Eat something raw with every meal. (And, of course, share with others:D)
Why is Raw so important?
Raw food (unless we are talking about food that comes from dead animals) means Alive. We also call it FRESH. And it’s the kind of fresh that doesn’t come out of an oven – it’s more like very fresh air high in pristine green mountains where every breath invigorates you, or the fresh breeze on the ocean shore or in the middle of a mature forest far away from any settlement. It is almost the same kind of freshness we feel in the air after a powerful long rain, thunder and lightning that cleared the air and filled it with billions of negative ions – we open the window or step outside and inhale this incredible freshness, it fills us to the brim sending very pleasant feeling up and down our body! This is how truly fresh and clean food tastes… You know the apples out of your own back yard that you pick off the tree and eat there and then? Or any wild or organic berries, vegetables or greens that you pick and eat almost immediately…The freshness of these fruit and vegetables cannot be truly described in words…You just Sense it on many levels. It’s as if LIFE itself is pouring into you through your mouth and your stomach making you feel ALIVE! The scientific research does show that after we pick something up (away from a branch or a stock ), the full amount of compounds is intact for about 15 minutes and then the breaking down process (or decay, death) begins. Some of the prescious compounds do get irrovocably lost after 15 minutes, however, some of them are still “alive” for much longer but do get completely destroyed by heat or radiation…
This Freshness that we are able to sense when eating – or even holding a particular vegetable or fruit in our hands – can be somewhat explained spiritually and scientifically. The ancient Ayurvedic medicine describes Ojas or the Life Energy or “vigor” which exists in humans and all other living beings. We can generate this vigor and can also consume it from living plants. The plants generate it via photosynthesis using the energy from the sun (a process, which is described in science very well, but is yet to be explained: where solar energy is converted or used to synthesize molecules and other energy within plants and algae to sustain them:) We can sense and taste the difference in the levels of ojas between a freshly picked apple and an apple picked 4 months ago and which is now being sold in a supermarket. It just doesn’t have that “zing”, that “freshness” or “vigor” of a fresh fruit anymore! In more contemporary terms (although ayurveda is old, but isn’t at all outdated, as its very rational principles work very well today too), in our modern terms we do know of something called enzymes, there are enzymes that we make ourselves (in our Gall Bladder, for instance) and there are completely different vast quantities of enzymes we cannot synthesize in our bodies found in vegetation. These enzymes get destroyed by cooking and radiation, stay fresh in sub-zero temperatures , and they can stay “asleep” or dormant in seeds of plants sometimes for thousands of years: i.e. if the seeds are well-preserved, they remain inactive until the conditions are right, and then they start to germinate. [For example Kamut grains have been found in ancient Egypt which have been buried (stored) for thousands of years. The grain successfully germinated and nowadays you can buy kamut bread or crackers in health stores, although prior to the second half of 20th century we haven’t had kamut for a long time:).] So, the enzymes, can be equated with life force that starts to become active when life begins anew in a seed.
What do enzymes do?
There are many different types of enzymes and they seem to participate in a lot of processes: from breaking down nutrients, allowing nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream, to being catalysts in important cellular processes, to being necessary for the delivery of nutrients to cells, some enzymes also destroy broken or dysfunctional cells or remove and break down toxins. Basically, without enzymes it would be very difficult to absorb and utilise all that nature has provided in the plants and seeds… Also, enzymes seem to play an important role in providing organically-bound minerals in plants, i.e. when enzymes are destroyed, minerals become denatured, non-organic, i.e. the same as they are in a rock, which makes it almost impossible for us to absorb. We have to then make these minerals organically-bound ourselves – which is a lot of work, as generally plants are much better equipped at this than humans, and if we eat them with their minerals still organically bound – we very quickly absorb all the minerals we need without having to deal with inorganic mineral left-overs either, i.e. such as in cooked foods. A good example of this is spinach: there is some controversy regarding oxalic acid in spinach. However, according to Dr. Walker (I am inclined to believe him since the man lived for at least 99 years and died in perfectly good vibrant health following his raw diet and juicing!) oxalic acid found in spinach, sorrel and some other plants is one of the most important acids found in its natural raw form – it is needed for the peristaltic motion of the bowels and tonifies the very delicate nerves and muscles that relax and tense to produce this very complex motion in our body. In its organic (raw) form, oxalic acid connects with calcium and assists in its absorption in the body. Once enzymes are destroyed by heat, the oxalic acid becomes non-organic, and becomes toxic to the body. It still forms connections with calcium but no longer releases it, which can lead to calcium deficiencies. Non-organic (cooked) oxalic acid forms oxalic acid crystals, which can accumulate in kidneys (this is why people with kidney stones are warned not to eat chocolate and cooked spinach).
Enzymes get destroyed by heat – the majority of them are destroyed at 43° Centigrate (Celsius), so warming anything above this temperature will result in loss of enzymes – and therefore loss of Life from Food. Eating something without its ‘zingy freshness’ is really never the same. And you are missing many enzymes that do not only deliver vitamins, minerals and nutraceuticals into your body, but also enzymes that participate in destroying inflammation and cancer in cells. Having mineral and vitamin deficiencies and toxicity are the leading reasons behind many diseases, and eating raw foods takes care of both!
How do I increase my “Force”, “Ojas” or Raw Foods intake :)?
- The best place to start is fresh fruit: it’s tasty, sweet and easy to introduce to the most toxic of humans. Eat it between or just eh before meals. The reason why this works best is because we break down sugary foods much quicker than any others, and if you eat something heavy first, i.e. bread, beans, fish – these foods take much longer to break down in the body, so the sugary foods will break down faster and will sit on top of whatever you’ve eaten before them, not being able to pass down the digestive tract. These sweeter foods start to ferment (rot), and this causes toxic by-products of digestion, you may experience it as bloating or constipation at a later stage, although what this eventually leads to is much more than just those symptoms. So, yes, start with the fruit, give it to the kids – if they feel like eating 5 pears and then a little bit of their dinner, well, so be it. What they have eaten is probably much more nutritious than the cooked dinner that was offered to them. Also, remember that the fruit digests very fast – so 30-50 minutes later, the kids will be back to either ask for more fruit or, more likely, for their dinner.
- Start to juice. This is a great tip for kids! And I mean every day. Drink a pint of raw fresh vegetable or fruit juice daily. The ones from cartons ABSOLUTELY DO NOT COUNT! They are NOT RAW! They are pasteurized: heated to 80° Centigrade! And the ones that have been juiced last night don’t count (Unless you have a magnetic masticating juicer). If you do this consistently and every day, without skipping a single day, after about 3-4 weeks you will notice that you are craving juices and have much more natural interest in salads, fruit, vegetables and other crunchy and fresh foods that you may not have had much interest in before. The juices will detox and nourish your body with instant vitamins and minerals that do not require digestion (as they are liquid without pulp). And this will bring your body into a more natural harmonious state where it is more likely to react in a more natural way to what it actually needs to be healthy.
- Green smoothies. These guys will work like lovely big, porous sponges on whatever toxins have been lodged on your bowels. They will also provide many essential vitamins and minerals, as they are raw :) And they will alkalise your blood, your cells and chlorophyl will oxygenate your blood cells more efficiently. If you are not familiar with green smoothies, here is a link to a youtube video explaining what they are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xW5LUkeVA6s Otherwise, here is a simple recipe for one of mine on this website. (Click the link.)
- Have at least one LARGE, Tasty, multi-coloured Salad daily. Experiment with salads and use tasty dressings to create tasty salads (read below): don’t just use iceberg lettuce and one sad-looking pinkish tomato and giant white onions! This is McDonald’s idea of a salad, not an idea that belongs to humans beings who have taste buds!!! Use Fresh, varied leaves, such as: young spinach, rocket, beet greens, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, bok choi, lamb’s lettuce, chard, etc.
Here is my classic take on a salad, and people fo LOVE them: cut larger leaves into strips or use baby leaves and add: fresh green or red onions cut small, organic tomatoes, organic cucumber (cucumbers are full of pesticides in winter, especially if they are grown in colder climates, i.e. Ireland or U.K. as there is no sunlight and they have to be stimulated a lot with chemicals to grow!) If in Ireland/UK buy spanish and/or buy organic in winter, otherwise you are eating a watery goo, instead of a perky crunchy cucumber! Add ripe avocado [it has to be soft and creamy]: this will make your salad exceptionally tasty! Use raw garlic, dill, parsley for more flavour! And remember, it’s all in the dressing! For the dressing: Use cold-pressed flax oil, lemon juice sprinkled/or liberally juiced over your salad, plus Himalayan pink salt! And that’s all! Simple dressing but oh, so tasty! [Remember to buy your flax oil from the fridge and store in the fridge. Never buy flax oil from a shelf. Go to health stores for best flax oil.] And remember you can also use radishes, carrots, raw beetroot (grated), Muli (white long radish), bean sprouts (not soy).
- Have something raw with EVERY meal you are eating. I.e. porridge or muesli in the morning? Cut an apple, pear or carrot rings on top of it! A sandwich for lunch? Buy a salad with it that has actual raw ingredients in it! Eat an apple or two or three before it! ;) Soup? Ask for some lettuce leaves from the sandwich counter, put them on top of your soup! Better yet, order a salad or bring your own amazing salad for lunch! :) A tip: Bring Avocados with you: these are raw, nutritious, don’t require washing, very filling, antioxidant, have protective oils in them and vitamin E. They can be eaten with anything: a soup, another salad, main course or on their own. And even with a desert :)) A tip: Have some fresh fruit just before your lunch (may be as you are waiting for it to be delivered or as you are queueing) – if there is really nothing raw on the menu. Go to the corner store or a supermarket, if you forgot your fruit in the morning! There are ALWAYS Fruit in every store, even at petrol stations!
- Research Raw nutrition: Look for recipes, good books, youtube. Victoria Boutenko “Raw Family” books and “Green for Life”. “80 10 10 Diet” by Dr. Douglas Graham. “The China Study” http://www.thechinastudy.com/
Good luck and I wish you Radiance on all levels of your Being!