Monday 25 May 2009

Why Raw Food #2: pH

The second advantage of getting more of raw vegetables and fruit in your diet lies in the latter's alcaline properties, and this can be proven by measuring your urine pH each morning.

What is pH?

PH is the measurement of how acid or alkaline something is. The pH level scale runs from 1 to 14 with 1 serving as "very acidic" 7 being "neutral" and 14 being "very alkaline". The blood has a PH level. In fact, it goes to great lengths to maintain a pH level of 7.35 to 7.45, slightly alkaline.

Why is this important? Among many reasons why your body strives for this balance is your energy level to begin with. Introducing a large amount of raw vegetable and fruit is what gives the blood enough alcaline elements so that your body is balanced and your energy increases.

To find out what your general pH is, get pH paper strips from your drugstore and dip it in your first urine in the morning. The color will change according to urine pH. Compare it with the color samples on the cover of the paper strip box: you get a number that should not be below 7 nor over 8.

What does acid do?

Your body is a finely tuned machine. Like other types of machinery, the parts need to be kept running by fuel. The best fuel for your body is a custom mix, more alkaline than acid. What difference does this make?

It all starts in the bloodstream. Think of the bloodstream as a superhighway with stops all over the body. Red blood cells are the commuting traffic riding along the bloodstream in a hurry to get to work. These red blood cells each have a negative charge on them, and this keeps them from getting into fender benders and collisions in the bloodstream. When the negative charge is stripped away from the red blood cells, they cluster together and can cause gridlock and bottlenecks in the bloodstream. In short, the traffic in the bloodstream isn’t flowing as smoothly and it causes everything to slow down. If you’ve ever been stuck in freeway traffic you know how frustrating this is.

This stress on the body causes a domino effect, which eventually saps the energy away and makes you tired and sluggish. Acid is the culprit in the bloodstream traffic jam. When acid is introduced into the bloodstream it eats away at the negative charge that surrounds each red blood cell and causes all kinds of problems. How can you avoid this? The answer is quite simple and it starts with what you put in your stomach.

Why acid makes you fat

Red blood cells are created by the food that you eat. When the stomach works on digesting food, it leaves behind natural acidic waste. Your body eliminates this waste through your urine and sweat, but there comes a point when the waste build up is too great to eliminate.

What does your body do with all of the acidic waste that cannot be eliminated? It stores it in your body! The cells in your body are mostly alkaline, but the acid waste starts to attack and destroy them. A lot of energy is expelled keeping the waste from doing detrimental damage to your body, but this fight can only go on for so long. Eventually the build up is so great that the cells deteriorate and cause energy depletion, leaving the body open to opportunistic diseases.

Rawfood brings alkaline relief

Making changes to your diet - and especially introducing raw vegetables and fruits - is a huge step in reversing this breakdown of your body while boosting your energy level. The choices you make in what you eat will greatly determine how much of acidic waste gets stored in your body.

The more alkaline your food choices are the less of this waste will be accumulated in your body, tipping the balance in the favor of good health. By limiting your intake of acidic foods and increasing your intake of alkaline food you can increase your stamina, endurance, and the overall performance of your body machine.

Many books and websites show lists that outline which foods are alkaline and which ones are acidic. But in general, when eating raw food you make sure that what you get is more alcaline than acidic. Even if you eat lemon juice! This will surprise you: although they are acidic in your mouth, eating lemons is a sure way to re-alcalinize your body.


For 1 serving you need:
- 1 cup ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and cut in chunks
- 1/2 cup banana, peeled and cut in chunks
- A blender

Put fruit chunks in a blender and blend lightly until smooth.
Add your favourite spices: cinnamon, ginger... to taste.
Eat immediately.

You can create your own variations, adding:
- Fitted prunes, figs or raisins (soaked before blending).
- Raw tahini, raw almond butter, or any kind of raw nut butter you can find (make sure it is raw, meaning that the nuts have not been roasted before the crushing, and that the crushing was made in a refrigerated mill). However, the main problem with nuts is their acidic property; therefore, avoid this part if your PH is too acidic.

Why "Eat immediately"?

When the fruit is pealed and broken, or if you have just extracted the juice, the vitamins are exposed. They deteriorate in a very short time, from 10 minutes to half an hour according to the kind of vegetable or fruit, and even in the refrigerator. There can also be an oxydizing process of the whole, the taste and smell can change, etc. You want to get all the nutrients in their best state and quality.

Another important quick tip

If you mix raw and cooked foods at the same meal, EAT THE RAW FOOD FIRST, then the cooked dishes. Do not mix raw foods with cooked foods. Although people believe that everything get mixed up in the stomach, this is not true.

Monday 18 May 2009

Why Raw Food #1: Enzymes

I already posted some general comments about why eat raw food. Today I am starting a series of practical « reasons why » that will include:

Why Raw Food #1: Enzymes
Why Raw Food #2: PH
Why Raw Food #3: Nutrient value and energy
Why Raw Food #4: Detox process
Why Raw Food #5: Organic food

Why Raw Food #1: Enzymes

What are enzymes?

The point in eating raw food is this: Raw foods contain enzymes. When we heating our food over 116°F, enzymes in food are destroyed - in fact, they start to degrade in as little as 102°F. All cooked food is devoid of enzymes, furthermore cooking food changes the molecular structure of the food and renders it toxic. Raw foods that are alive also have enormously higher nutrient values than cooked foods.
Enzymes are complex organic substances originating from living cells and capable of producing certain chemical changes in organic substances by catalytic action.

What do enzymes do in the body?

It is enzyme activity that accomplishes all biological work. When the food is cooked beyond 118°F (48°C), all of these naturally occurring enzymes are killed, and your body must manufacture its own digestive enzymes to do the job.

Enzyme researcher Dr. Edward Howell explains that when the body is busy digesting food, it cannot divert enough energy to continue processing the type of enzymes needed to do other tasks. There is conflict between the demands of your digestive system for a constant supply of digestive enzymes, and your body's needs for metabolic enzymes that are vital for cleansing, healing, and building.

Without an adequate supply of metabolic enzymes, over time, the body starts to show signs of suffering and fatigue, such as: indigestion, constipation, age spots, chronic fatigue, lethargy, wrinkles, skin problems, declining eyesight, poor memory, mood swings and irritability (leading to depression), allergies, brain fog, parasitis (candida), hypoglycemia (leading to diabetes), etc... the list is not closed. And finally, degenerative diseases silently install themselves.

Enzymes and digestion

The catalytic action of enzymes assists in the digestion and absorption of foods. If someone eats enzymeless food (such as "junk food" for instance) the body does not get maximum utilization of the food. This causes toxicity in the body, which turns into fat, clogs arteries, blocks the cleaning organs (kidneys, liver, skin...). Now do you understand why developed countries are getting plagued with overweight problems?

Raw food and the stomach's acid secretions

Cooked protein foods require large secretions of stomach acid (which is not healthful for several reasons - just think about the common "acid reflux" problem...). When we stop eating those foods our stomach doesn't produce much stomach acid. Many people who eat raw foods eat a low protein diet and are free from the stomach acid secretions and have much more energy and a lighter disposition.

Get living food

In living foods, the enzyme content is much higher. Raw, unsprouted nuts contain enzymes in a "dormant" state. To activate the enzymes contained in almonds, for example, soak them in water for as just 24 hours. Once the almonds begin to sprout, the enzymes become "active" and are then considered living.

Of course, this works solely if your almonds were raw from the beginning. Very often, so-called "raw" almonds sold in most food stores have been heated to kill molds and parasites. They appear "raw" and are not. But this is another question for future posts.

Different kinds of raw food diets

Some people consider that they are a raw food dieter from the moment they eat 75% of their food raw. But for others, raw food diet means EVERYTHING RAW.

Among those exclusive raw-eaters, there are specific categories, for example:
- Fruitarian: People who consume mostly fruits.
- Sproutarian: People who consume mostly sprouts.
- Juicearian: People who consume mostly fresh juice.

What do raw-foodists eat?

Raw-foodists eat all fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, grains, sea vegetables, and other organic/natural foods that have not been processed. In some instances, there are special ways to prepare the foods: for example, most raw-foodists soak or sprout nuts, seeds and grains before consuming them.

What do raw-foodists drink?

They drink pure water (source water, or tap water that has been purified), freshly made juices (made with a personal juicer and consumed immediately). They can even drink coconut water or coconut milk from young coconuts.
Most drinks processed at a store (soda, bottled juices, coffee, alcohol) have been processed, including bottled organic juice sold in health food stores. None of them are really healthy from our "raw food" point of view here, and they always contain too much sugar for overweight or diabetic people. (I'll later have a line of posts on "juicing", how and why).

Where can I start? COLESLAW RECIPE

If you want to achieve optimal health, the best way to do that is to eat a high enzyme diet, and this means adding more and more raw food into your diet.
You can start by including a "coleslaw" at the beginning of each meal. Coleslaw is a salad made of finely chopped vegetables. For instance, finely chop the following ingredients:

- 3 carrots
- 1 small red beet
- 2 kale leaves
- 1 small onion
(You can also add sliced tomatoes, green peppers, cucumber, radishes, mushrooms - you can finely chop zucchini, celery root and stalks, ... unleash your creativity).

Mix them together.
Make your own dressing, according to your own taste, with:

- 3 teaspoons olive oil or flaxseed oil or hemp oil (raw and organic, from your health food store)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (you get two different tastes there),
- and/or Tamari sauce if you like it (the pure, organic stuff used by macrobiotic eaters, not the "soy sauce" junk full of chemicals)
- Finely chopped garlic (if you like it)
- Finely chopped fresh herbs: parsley, mint, oregano, ... to your taste.
- Half an avocado, mashed (in this case, you can use less oil).
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Ginger, or Cayenne pepper... to taste.

Try and have fun!

Eat a full serving of this at the beginning of a meal and I guarantee you will feel full already and you will want less cooked food to continue with your meal.

Attention: do not mix raw and cooked foods. Eat raw food first, then cooked food, and not the other way around. The enzymes from raw food at the beginning of the meal help with the digestion of cooked food that follows.

Give your body what it really CRAVES: enzymes and nutrients.


Monday 11 May 2009

Raw Food and perfect health

Why try the raw food diet?
As I said in my previous post, cooking takes enzymes, nutrients and vitamins OUT of food: when you stop cooking food and start eating uncooked, nutrient-rich foods you automatically start feeding your body what it needs. A raw carrot has exponentially more nutrition than a cooked carrot.

Cut out digestive problems
Cooking also alters the chemistry of foods, often making them harder to digest. People have so many digestive problems because they are putting foods into their bodies in a form that we were not designed to absorb. Enzymes enhance the digestive process. High fiber, high water content fresh produce abolishes constipation of the bowels, cells and circulatory system. Obstructions are cleared and blood flow increases to each and every cell in the body. Enhanced blood flow is significant for two reasons: as mentioned above, blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to living cells, and carries away their toxic metabolites.

Keep away weight gain risk
Obesity is endemic in this country. The diet industry is more profitable than the oil companies. Why? Because the way we eat and prepare our food practically guarantees that we’ll overeat. Psychologists tell us that we overeat because our souls are hungry. But in reality, our bodies are hungry, even though we may feel full. When you start giving your body the nutrients it craves, overeating will cease.

Get more energy
Eating raw foods is a boost to your metabolism as well. You do not only take in the food with its nutrients and vitamins, you also take in the energy of the plant itself. They have accumulated energy from the sun, from the air, and possibly from the healthier atmosphere of an organically managed farm. You get all this when you eat the vegetables and plants in their fresh, raw state. Moreover, rather than spending energy to rid itself of toxins produced by cooking food, the body uses its energy to feed every cell, sending vitamins, fluids, enzymes and oxygen to make your body the efficient machine it was intended to be.

Cut out binge eating
You’ll naturally stop overeating because your body and brain will no longer be starving for the nutrients they need. A starving brain will trigger the thoughts that make you overeat. The brain and the rest of your body don’t need quantity; they need quality.


Sunday 10 May 2009

Raw Food Diet: returning to the source of food

The idea of Raw Food Diet has been around for some time. It is not just as a diet to lose weight (although it works very well), but a diet for a long and healthy life. Eating processed food has become such a big part of culture that we do not even think about what we are putting into our bodies, and how far we have come nutritionally from our ancestral, agrarian roots. And when there is health damage, we do not suspect our food as the origin; we go to the doctor for medical treatment of the symptoms.

A raw food diet means consuming food in its natural, unprocessed form. There are several common-sense rationales for why this is a good idea. Processing and cooking food can take so much of the basic nutritional value away. Think of some of the conventional wisdom you have heard about for years, such as: If you cook pasta just to the al dente (or medium) stage, it will have more calories, yes, but it will have more the nutritional value in it than if you cooked it to a well-done stage. Or you probably remember hearing not to peel carrots or potatoes too deeply, because most of the nutrients and values are just under the surface. That is as untrue as believing that the Earth is flat.

The raw food diet means eating unprocessed, uncooked, organic, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruits, seaweeds, etc. For some people, it means a diet that is at least 75% uncooked. Other people believe that you cannot really heal your body if you do not eat 100% uncooked food, especially if you have a very serious or chronic disease.
Cooking does not only take out flavor and nutrition from vegetables and fruits. It takes all the ENZYMES away. Enzymes are vital elements in the whole functioning of our body. I'll return to that idea in another post. All enzymes die at a temperature of 101° F. Enzymes are alive elements in what you eat, they are what makes your body keep living on.

A raw food diet means eating more the way our ancient ancestors did, and we believe they were healthier and more fit. They cooked very little, and certainly did not cook or process fruits and vegetables. They ate them RAW. Their water was not from a tap; it was natural, spring water.
That is an idea that make sense, to think about how our bodies were meant to eat.

Raw Food Diet is a way of eating that is in harmony with the planet and in harmony with our own metabolisms. Our bodies were meant to work, and need to work to be efficient. That means exercise, certainly, but it also means eating natural, raw foods that are more easily digested than processed food because they still contain all the enzymes.


Saturday 2 May 2009

Swine Flu and Pig Farms

Now people are mentioning intensive pig farming (5,000 animals in each farm) as a possible cause for the current pig swine. This information is to be considered with caution of course.

Watch this video:

When I see all these poor animals packed together, I'm not surprised. Do we need to make animals live in such a poor state to feed our bodies?

Read Mercola's page and send it to friends and family:



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More on raw food later on.