By Chef Centehua:
The healing power in nature is irrevocable. One of nature’s cures is raw food, a great tool for healing and rejuvenating. Straight from nature, these foods are not processed or cooked; they are intact, straight from source to your plate. This sounds like a bunch of carrots, celery, lettuce and fruit on a plate, right? Well, raw foods are much more exciting than simple fruits and veggies.
We can get very creative with all kinds of nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, roots, mushrooms, sea weeds, etc. The preparation of raw food includes sprouting nuts and seeds, marinating veggies and mushrooms, culturing, fermenting and, of course, blending and freezing for delicious desserts. Raw foods can be dehydrated in an oven set at less than F118 -120 degrees. This method ensures that the food maintains maximum nutrition and the precious enzymes remain intact.
Raw foods have been around forever but have taken a more gourmet, trendy turn since the sixties. Today, many celebrities and health experts are on board the raw food train, and it’s no wonder why. Raw foods or living foods contain a concentrated amount of nutrients, and because they are not processed or cooked, your body feels energized and is able to easily eliminate toxins. The outcome of a raw food diet is weight loss, increased energy and vitality, radiant skin and hair, clear eyes, and overall well being and healing.
A holistic approach to health, raw foods benefit every system of the body and protect the body from disease. Many discover raw foods and make them a part of their lifestyle. For example, Dr. Gabriel Cousens has been thriving on raw foods for over 35 years. However, for many of us, raw foods are a tool and a method of healing and resetting the system. No matter the reason, incorporating more raw, living foods into our diet is always a great idea.
My journey toward health began with motherhood. Before I became pregnant, I was a smoker and had a terrible diet. In fact, 70% of my diet was caffeine and nicotine; the other 30% was anything processed that came from a box. Naturally, my system was depressed. With news that I
was to become a mother, an overwhelming sense of love and care came over me. I quit smoking immediately and began eating fruits and vegetables. After my second child was born, I became even more aware of my nutritional needs. I was not feeling my best, so I signed up for yoga, but I still indulged in processed foods from time to time.
Recently divorced, I was trying my best — with chocolate and wine — to cope with all the emotions. One day I decided that something needed to change, so I went to my local health food store and picked up a copy of Renne Loux Underkoffler’s Living Cuisine. That day my life changed. I became a raw foodist from night to day. Within three weeks, I had lost ten pounds and felt better than I had ever felt in my entire life. I felt energized, rejuvenated and clear. In turn, my kids’ health also improved because I introduced super foods like spirulina into their diets. (You can make all kinds of traditional plates like pizza or pie from raw uncooked food, too.) Never again has a box or a can been found in my pantry.
For some of us, the change is made suddenly and we never look back. But you don’t have to change radically to get benefits. Sometimes it’s best to transition gently unless you have a life threatening illness, of course. Start by adding more raw foods and super foods into your diet and, soon enough, the good will outweigh the bad. People begin to feel good when they introduce these foods. Their taste buds change, and the body begins to crave the good stuff. The rest will fade out naturally. You can start your day with a green smoothie or juice, and pack some nuts and berries for times when you’re on the go. It’s very important to carry plenty of good food with you.
I was a strict raw foodist for about three years. Nature provided a very healing tool at a crucial time in my life when many changes were taking
place. I later introduced cooked foods into my everyday diet but have remained a vegetarian. I am glad I listened to my body and expanded my diet according to the evolution of my body/mind, but I still consume about 60-80% raw foods. I eat according to the seasons and, while I can eat 100% raw food during the summer, during the winter months I truly feel that my body benefits from the warmth of soups, stews, baked roots and legumes.
I have dedicated a great portion of my life to this healing art. I created a website so I could share my experience and inspire others to take back their health. People dealing with degenerative disease or any body imbalance will benefit and see almost immediate results with a raw food diet.
I am currently making food and juice for my former husband. I am honored to assist him with his healing process. He is detoxing from mercury poisoning and restoring balance to his digestive flora, which has been damaged through years of antibiotics and acidic foods. He is consuming large amounts of cilantro and chlorella, which are most effective for heavy metal detox. I also prepared raw foods for a dear friend of mine who was dealing with a thyroid condition and ovarian cysts. It took only a few months of raw foods, herbs and acupuncture for her body to heal and gain balance. When dealing with disease, going all raw (even a juice cleanse) is recommended. Remember, we are not dealing only with the body: everything affects everything else, so expect emotional releases along with the detox.
Food, indeed, can be medicine or poison. It is up to us to make the choice. The more information we have available, the better our choices will be.
Inspiring movies and books and links are listed here for you: