Monday, August 31, 2009

3 Common Raw Food Myths Busted! by Karen Knowler

Brassica oleracea viridis Cabbage at a market ...Image via Wikipedia

When I first got into raw food back in 1993 there weren't a lot of myths floating around as there weren't many raw foodists or raw food philosophies floating around either!

Since then my, how things have changed! There's more books, resources, foods, theories, promoters, restaurants - you name it, there's more of it! And yes, ultimately this is a great thing... the only thing that frustrates me just a little are the myths that are created out of thin air and then get passed around like Chinese whispers and are taken as gospel! So because I'm keen for people NOT to sign up to a "truth" that's not true, here's my contribution to blowing these myths out of the water.

Myth #1: Talking about "THE" Raw Food Diet

The first and most misleading myth is that there is such thing as "a raw food diet" - there's really not. If I were to say to you that I eat "a cooked food diet" would that tell you very much? Of course not! I could eat burger and fries twice a day (like I used to), or I could eat beans and rice with steamed veggies (which I later switched to) - obviously very different foods that will affect my health, energy and body very differently - but they're all "cooked".

And so for me to say "I eat a raw food diet" is equally unhelpful. I could major on greens, salads and sprouted foods (which is, loosely speaking, the ideal in my opinion), or I could eat predominantly complicated raw gourmet dishes mostly made in the dehydrator followed by raw chocolate cake every night. Again, very different foods which will definitely result in differing levels of health and vitality - but all raw foods nonetheless.

So, when someone says to you "I know someone who tried the raw food diet but it didn't work for them", try asking them what exactly that person was doing or eating. I've found that usually after a little probing it becomes clear that really most people don't know what they are doing (some of the stories I have heard have been pretty scary!), many have not been eating a wide enough variety of foods (or of good enough quality), but moreover most if not all have failed to figure out and follow the 7 Steps that I teach in my Raw Food for Beginners book and classes - which is why I wrote the book! There is a method to all of this and it pays to learn it - that way success lays, and when you've made it happen for yourself you'll know that there really is no such thing as a raw food diet, but there is such thing as YOUR raw food diet!

Myth #2: "If You Eat Only Raw Food You'll Never Get Ill"

The second myth that needs busting is that if you eat all raw food you will never get ill. This is simply not true, although generally speaking eating lots of first-class raw foods certainly keeps people healthier and more able to shake off things than the average diet. But while diet is undoubtedly a very important part of the health puzzle, Step 1 of The 7 Steps to Going and Staying Raw is to learn, understand and acknowledge (as discussed in last week's issue) that "Going Raw is a Whole Person Journey."

Eating right (which to my mind is at least 80% raw vegan) is a brilliant tool for creating amazing health, but if you are overworking or are constantly stressed out, if your emotional needs aren't being met, or if you don't get enough fresh air, water, rest, sleep, sunshine or exercise then your body simply isn't going to thrive as well as it could because other vital nutrients are missing (of the non- food variety). In fact, stress is more acidic to the body than some of the worst junk food; it can literally poison the system, regardless of how well you might be eating. So, yes, when you go raw you need to be watching more than just what you eat - you need to be taking good care of yourself right across the board and feeding yourself optimally on all levels - but that's a good thing, right?!

Myth #3: "You Have to Go 100% Raw to Be Your Best"

The third and final myth that I really want to bust is that going raw has to be all or nothing. No, not at all. Over the years I have been at all places on the dietary spectrum, from eating all junk and lots of meat to all raw vegan - and everywhere in between. Nowadays I eat pretty much 100% raw vegan all the time (there are a few occasional exceptions, but these are a very rare event), but that's simply because I feel and look my best when I do - but I don't treat eating raw as a religion. When eating raw becomes a "must do" rather than a "want to", that's when it starts to become unhealthy. So being clear on your values and having your Big Why at the core of your eating habits ensures that you keep your emotional energy high which will greatly assist you in eating more raw and feeling happy about it - but what level you choose to go to is entirely personal to you and can and most likely will change ongoingly as you and your diet evolve. The key criteria for all of this has to be that you are happy with what you're doing, and are consistently feeling better for it in every way, otherwise why would you do it?

(c) 2008 Karen Knowler

About the author: Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Free Raw Food Recipe - Best Blueberry Or Blackberry Pie Raw Recipe

Several types of common "berries", n...Image via Wikipedia

Free Raw Food Recipe - Best Blueberry Or Blackberry Pie Raw Recipe
By Helen Hecker

If you're looking for a healthy alternative to cooked berry pies or even cooked desserts that are laden with unhealthy fats and sugars, why not try my live-food, free, easy, raw berry pie recipe. Many people are gradually making the switch from cooked desserts and cooked foods which are causing so many of our health problems today. It doesn't matter if you're a raw fooder or eat the standard American diet; you'll love this raw berry pie recipe and know that you're doing your body good in the process.

In fact making a raw berry pie does not require turning on the oven and can be made in virtually minutes. I have often timed myself and can make this pie in ten minutes or less if the ingredients are assembled. Equipment: food processor.

This is my own creation, one of many vegetarian, vegan and raw food recipes that I have developed and created over the past few years as a raw fooder - eating raw foods, having cured myself of breast cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis and sinus infections along with many other ailments.

You can use the pie crust for dozens of other types of raw food recipes or live pies including raw or live apple pie. I've experimented with dozens of variations and tried various ingredients but I've found this raw blackberry or blueberry pie recipe is the best, fastest and easiest recipe to make. In fact if you're going to have company coming over you can whip this free raw food diet recipe up in no time.

Helen's Best Raw Berry Pie - the ingredients: 12 organic medjool dates, 1 cup raw pecans, 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries or boysenberries and 2 bananas.

For the crust put 1 cup of raw pecans in a food processor and grind until fine. Add 8 pitted organic medjool dates and process until mixed fairly well. Place into a 9-inch pie plate.

For the binder mix two bananas, 8 berries or so for color and 4 medjool dates in a food processor - use the same food processor - don't need to wash it. Remove to large bowl and carefully fold in 4 cups of fresh or frozen or partially frozen blueberries, boysenberries or blackberries. Spread berry-binder mixture on top of the crust. Decorate with boysenberries or blackberries around the edge of the pie. Refrigerate.

This live or raw berry pie is a family favorite and one I have served on many occasions to company who are not aware they are eating something healthy containing all the vibrant nutrients - nothing cooked out.

This pie is really good with boysenberries too. You can also slice some fresh kiwi on the top or other fruits that won't turn color.

One nice thing to know about fixing any raw food recipe is that you can eliminate, substitute or add ingredients easily and it will still taste delicious! In this vegan or raw food diet recipe - you may only have one banana on hand for example or you can make half the recipe. You can substitute the pecans for a mixture of one half cup pecans and one half cup walnuts, or all walnuts.

If you live in an area where you have tons of wild blackberries you can make this pie for pennies. Pick blueberries cheaply in the summer and freeze them for year-round use, although fresh berries are always the best. You can make raw berry pies with this free raw food recipe year-round and you'll feel good too knowing you have served your friends and family something that will help them better their health and help them lose weight if they need to too.

For my raw food diet cure and secrets - how I used it to help cure my breast cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, acid reflux-digestive, sleep issues, headaches, pain, weight loss, etc. see a nurse/raw food expert's and my easy raw food recipes

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taking the Mystery out of the Raw Food Diet By Diana Walker

LégumesImage via Wikipedia

What's all the excitement about raw food diets? Well if your idea of a good meal is a vegetable laden salad and you relish the crisp textures of fresh fruit and the tastiness of nuts, you just might be interested in the lifestyle and health benefits of raw foodism.

Most people who decide to become a "raw foodist" try to ensure that at least 75% of their diet consists of raw, uncooked and unprocessed foods and 25% or less cooked food. A raw foodist typically adheres to this 75/25 breakdown with relative gusto because the belief is that improved health is linked to greater consumption of raw foods.

The old adage "you are what you eat" has taken on renewed significance with the raw food movement. Raw foodists believe that eating food that is raw or alive helps to create energy in the person digesting this food. Whereas consuming cooked or "dead" food offers less opportunity for the body to absorb vital nutrients and enzymes that can help the body to digest food.

Researchers have confirmed that food cooked above a certain temperature (generally above 112º F) kills enzymes that can help the body with digestion. As a consequence, raw foodists believe eating raw food helps to increase a person's energy levels and natural vitality.

Think about a plant sprout and the energy within a seed that causes that sprout to erupt. That growth is caused by living enzymes in that seed. Only raw food has functional live enzymes like that found in a seed. To eat food that can release that kind of energy is a powerful concept that many say passes on significant health benefits including improved digestion, healthier weight levels, and reduced risk of heart disease.

Is a raw food diet sustainable? I agree with many health advocates that it is more difficult to maintain a raw food diet without some variety or offerings from the cooked food group. Meat, eggs, fish and cheese are often difficult dietary items to drop especially when many of these food groups contain significant nutritional value even in their cooked form. For this reason, I and many raw foodists include a small percentage of cooked food in our diet. A typical raw foodists' diet may, therefore, include a selection of raw fruits, vegetables, beans, seaweed, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, meat, and un-pasteurized dairy products (e.g., yogurt and raw milk).

What also makes this "lifestyle" so appealing is that so many of the food choices available are already widely known to have significant health benefits. For instance, many raw foodists include chocolate beans in their diet, and these beans are believed to foster a feeling of wellness while suppressing appetite-no surprise there. A little less familiar food item that is gaining great popularity in the raw foodist community is algae. Algae is rich in minerals, vitamins and a substance that many believe removes toxins from the body.

The nature and degree of health benefits may vary between individuals but there is little to dispute about the attributes of the foods included in a raw food diet. By and large raw food diets contain fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical Western diet.

While some argue that human beings have been cooking for hundreds of thousands of years and our bodies have adapted to the digestive challenges of cooked food, there is consensus that fresh fruits and vegetables provide necessary fiber that ultimately helps the body to better absorb key nutrients in our food.

Some interesting cooking techniques that can be incorporated to make a raw food diet interesting include juicing fruits and vegetables and blending or pureeing vegetables and herbs to create interesting flavors and recipes.

One of the best "byproducts" of raw foodism is that it's an environmentally friendly lifestyle. There is far less wrapping and packaging involved in the transport and retail of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts than processed foods. Once raw foods are consumed, peels and seeds can go into the compost or can be used in other ways.

For over 20 years, Diana Walker has assisted people like you in using natural, safe options for creating vibrant health and well-being. Get her gems of wisdom and healthy recipes mini- e-book via her free newsletter at:

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Raw Food Restaurants Worldwide - Exploring Raw Food Restaurants for Taste & Nutrition

Raw Food Restaurants Worldwide - Exploring Raw Food Restaurants for Taste & Nutrition
By Emily Rutherford

Raw Food Restaurants Are Increasing in Number

Raw food restaurants have increased in number over the past 10 years, as more people seek healthier diets and lifestyles. Raw food restaurants serve no cooked foods. Instead, they serve an assortment of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains—including raw desserts, raw pizza, raw “lasagna” and more. Surprisingly, raw food tastes good—and best of all, it’s good for you.

Currently there are 95 raw food restaurants worldwide—however, this number also includes a handful of vegetarian restaurants that are partially raw (restaurants that serve both cooked and raw food selections).

Raw Food Restaurant Food Preparation

Raw food restaurants use several tools to prepare food for customers: a food processor, a high-powered blender, juicers, and variable-temperature dehydrators, among others. Absolutely no microwaves, ovens, or stoves are used. This is done to preserve the live enzymes presents in all raw food. Live enzymes are destroyed when food is cooked beyond 114 degrees Fahrenheit.

Raw Food Gourmet Chefs

The raw food trend has picked up steam in recent months, spawning “gourmet raw food chefs” and raw food cooking schools. Even classic chefs are visiting raw food restaurants to discover a cuisine that offers surprising diversity, flavor and texture.

Popular Raw Food Restaurants

Some of the more well-known raw food restaurants include Juliano’s Raw in Santa Monica, California. Juliano’s Raw was one of the first raw food restaurants to open its doors. Other well-known raw food restaurants include Pure Food & Wine in New York City, and Café Gratitude in San Francisco, California.

For a free list of raw food restaurants, be sure to request your copy of The Raw Food Restaurant Guide. The Raw Food Restaurant Guide includes up-to-date listings of raw food restaurants, plus where to buy organic produce when traveling.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

10 Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

This Raw Food Diet article with ten benefits is a first hand account by the author Swayze Foster and will give you an extra incentive to start adding raw food. I would take issue with her opinion regarding #3 "Energy" however that is a subject covered by several earlier posts ( See Yuri Elkaim Eating For Energy ) including the one previous to this John Tobe's Energy Muesli Recipe....

Swayze Foster provides some very good reasons to "Go Raw"...

10 Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
by Swayze Foster

Are you really eager to go raw, but just can't seem to muster up the courage to get started?

These are some of the top 10 benefits of the raw food diet that most every raw foodist has experienced. If this doesn't convince you to go raw, I just don't know what will!

#1: Improved digestion

If I had to give you my top raw food benefit, improved digestion would be it. It is the one result that almost every single person who attempts a healthy raw diet experiences.

Not only that, but it usually occurs very quickly. Almost every digestive issue can be solved in just a few short days, if not less. Whether you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or just the occasional upset tummy, you will see major improvements after going raw.

However, if you continue to abuse the #1 food combining rule, than your results will not be as great. No amount of raw food can undo the effects of the sugar-fat combo.

#2: Permanent Weight Loss

Hmmmm...maybe permanent weight loss should be the top benefit?

I don't think it's going too far to say that close to 99.9999999% of people struggle with their weight at some point in their lives. Many of us go on diet after diet after diet hoping that we will see *some* kind of change in our weight.

Unfortunately, the only change that most of us witness is a higher number on the scale. And if we do happen to lose weight, it's usually at the expense of our health (i.e. calorie restriction, dangerous diet pills, frozen food programs, etc.) and typically comes back to haunt us sooner or later.

On the other hand, eating a healthy raw food diet allows you to lose weight *permanently* while improving your health substantially. Plus, you get to eat *pounds* of food on a daily basis, without any guilt!

#3: More Energy

Unlike what you read/hear from many well-known raw foodists, raw foods do *not* give you energy. Nothing you eat does, whether it's a burger or a banana. Eating food of any kind *requires* energy, just as everything else that you do during the day requires energy.

What makes following a healthy raw vegan diet truly special is that it requires less energy to process inside your body. 2 pounds of grapes literally takes *minutes* to be fully digested by the body. This is opposed to cooked foods, or even a complicated fatty raw dish, which take hours to be digested.

The one *true* energy provider is sleep, which brings me to benefit #4...

#4: Better Sleep

Since I've been raw, I rarely ever feel tired when I get into bed. Even after being raw for so long, I still get ready for bed sometimes and think, "Gee, I'm not going to be able to fall asleep right now. Maybe I should just stay up for a little longer."

However, I convince myself to get into bed and the moment my head hits the pillow, I feel so relaxed. Within minutes, I'm out.

The best part? When I wake up, I feel completely awake and ready to begin my day. No more groggy mornings for me!

This is a far cry from my bedtime routine from two years ago. My routine was this: feel absolutely exhausted by 4pm. Try not to fall asleep at the wheel on the way to a client's house. Feel a little better after a 30-minute nap. Feel exhausted again by 7pm. Get into bed still exhausted by 10pm. Remain awake for an hour. Wake up at 7am groggy and grouchy. Repeat.

Yikes, that makes me tired just writing it!

#5: Mental Clarity

I'm sure that many non-raw foodists will disagree with this one. Raw foodists are supposed to be tree-hugging, hippie nut jobs, right?

On a raw food diet, because you are no longer weighing your body down with hard-to-digest cooked foods, you have more energy to use your brain!

Of course, this has a lot to do with sleep as discussed previously. Because we spend less energy digesting our foods, we sleep more soundly. This means that we have more energy during the day, meaning our thoughts are generally much clearer and our focus greatly improved. We are more mentally, and even emotionally stable.

It's really a cycle, isn't it? The more raw foods you eat, the better you sleep. The better you sleep, the more energy you have. The more energy you have, the more mentally stable you are. The more mentally stable, the easier it is to stay raw. The longer you stay raw...

#6: Soft, Smooth, & Clear Skin

To be honest, I've always had pretty good skin. I've had maybe three blemishes in my entire life. In fact, the worst my skin has ever been was for the first few months *after* I gave up salt! But that's for another article...

I'm not trying to brag. I just want to be honest. I'm not here to make up crazy transition stories about how going raw made me grow 5 inches taller and gave me the power of flight. Although I have gone down almost 2 full shoes...

Anyway, I'm sure that many of you struggle with skin problems, whether it's a blotchy skin tone, dry skin, oily skin, visible pores, blemishes, etc.

You *do not* need an expensive, chemical-laden skin treatment routine that only serves to further irritate your already abused skin. All you need is a good heapin' helping of water-rich raw fruits and veggies.

And some sunshine couldn't hurt either. :)

#7: Thick, Healthy, & Shiny Hair

I've always had really thick hair, but it was very dry and hard to manage before I went raw. The worst part was that I would shed like crazy! My Mom was always pulling handfuls of my long locks out of the rollers of the vacuum. Yuck!

Now that I eat plenty of nourishing, water-rich foods, my hair is silky and soft. And I'm no longer a shedding machine!

#8: Healthy Teeth & Gums

But aren't your teeth supposed to rot out of your head when you go raw?

NO! The fact that so many long-term raw foodists have suffered tooth decay is simply a testament to the fact that the mainstream raw food diet *does not work*.

On a healthy raw food diet full of sweet fruit, moderate vegetables and little fat, you will not experience teeth problems. In fact, the condition of your teeth and gums is likely to improve!

The real key is to have a solid dental care system in place and not to make dehydrated foods the base of your diet.

#9: No More Aches, Pains, or Minor Illnesses

How many of you have struggled with "everyday" illnesses and pains such as headaches, migraines, colds, flus, tummy aches, joint pains, muscle cramps, allergies, etc.? We all have at some point!

I used to struggle with

* anemia
* restless leg syndrome
* muscle and joint pains in my legs and feet
* seasonal colds about 3-4 times a year (pretty much whenever the weather changed)
* the flu every couple of years
* headaches
* heavy menstrual flows and horrible cramps in my abdomen and lower back that left me in tears

And of course there were the seemingly random and unexplained aches and pains that would crop up every once in a while.

Every one of these has been *completely eradicated* since I went raw. No more headaches. No more colds. Perhaps best of all, no more heavy periods and gut-wrenching cramps! Sorry, guys, but that really is a big one for us ladies.

#10: Save Some Green

When you decide to take your health into your own hands and go raw, you can expect to save *heaps* of money in the process.

No more money wasted on unnecessary drugs, supplements or "superfoods." No more expensive doctor's fees. No more high insurance rates.

You can finally focus on *you* and spend that extra time and money on the things that actually make you more...well, you!

Still Waiting to Go Raw?

What are you waiting for? Each day that you remain a slave to your aching back, your extra fat, or even your trip to the local pharmacy, is a day that you could be living raw and loving it!

For more information on the best raw vegan diet, be sure to visit and subscribe to Swayze's newsletter Peachy Keen Ezine. By subscribing, you will also receive the free report The 4 Principles of a Healthy Raw Diet as well as the 5-week mini-course The Fool Proof Transition to Raw.

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