Hello, beautiful souls!
The global health movement is literally expanding. People become more and more aware of what they consume, food-wise, information-wise, or environmentally related. You probably know that I’m a big advocate for plant-based nutrition and so am I for the concept of bio-individuality. There is not one type of diet that fits all in every moment of their lives. I want to emphasize first that I am not here to judge or claim any approach toward food, any type of diet or lifestyle. I don’t label myself as a 100 % raw foodist, because that’s not the point. However, it is a big desire and passion of mine to share with you more about the incredible benefits of raw (living) foods.
“Through embracing the diversity of human beings,
we will find a sure way to true happiness.”
Don’t force yourself to do anything that does not match your intuitive (gut) feeling. You might feel attracted to certain types of food or meals just like you resonate with a certain type of exercise or art or another person. That’s the beauty of diversity in human beings and I very much appreciate that.
At the same time you can ask yourself, if you feel your best right now. Or if you want to improve your overall health, vitality, even your mental and emotional wellbeing.
When it comes to foods, ask yourself:
- What kinds of food do you feel attracted to?
- What makes you feel your best?
- Which foods give you energy, don’t make you feel sluggish and tired, but rather vibrant, happy, and healthy?
- Are you fully present, looking forward, and 100 % enjoying your meals?
It is not only about the pleasant moment as you’re chewing, tasting, and swallowing your foods and drinks. Of course, you are meant to experience this absolute feeling of abundance in your mouth! But what’s at least as important is how does is make you feel afterwards, one hour, two hours later, how do you feel the next day?
Let’s begin with a definition on what the term “raw food” actually means.
~ What does “raw” mean? ~
The raw food approach includes mostly or completely raw and therefore unprocessed uncooked (plant) foods. I want to emphasize again that it is not necessary about eating 100 % raw. The term “raw” includes per definition all foods which were not heated above 116-118 Fahrenheit or ~ 48 °C (Porter, 2016). The theory behind the unheated foods is that temperature above 118 Fahrenheit will destroy the nutritional value, its “life force energy”, the enzyme in the food as well as the water content becomes drastically reduced. Thus, it becomes less nutritionally valuable.
Just like any other nutritional approach, a raw food diet can be either super healthy or not. For example: eating plant foods in their whole natural form as it is grown is definitely healthier than eating mostly dehydrated and heavy (oil-based) gourmet raw foods. Veganism and raw foods are very closely linked as the latter usually includes only plant-based foods. These are (Dina et Dina, 2015):
- fruits (fresh and dried)
- vegetables (fresh and dried)
- nuts and seeds (dry, soaked, or sprouted)
- grains (generally sprouted)
- legumes (generally sprouted, like alfalfa sprouts)
- (wild) herbs and grasses
- sea vegetables
- raw condiments (e.g. sweeteners)
- edible algae and cyanobacteria (e.g. nori, spirulina)
Certain preparation methods make some of the raw produce more digestible and offer a greater variety without cooking it, for example soaking, sprouting, dehydrating, or juicing.
Even in the raw food movement you will find lots of philosophies for an ideal meal plan. They range from fruit based (high carb low fat) to low-sweet fruit diets, from intermediate raw diets to an 80-percent raw (20-percent cooked) diet.
Most people eating raw foods consider it rather a lifestyle than a type of diet. Diets implement to be focused on a meal plan, usually followed for a certain period of time. However, raw foodism (veganism) is approached by people out of many reasons as they embark on a journey that addresses different areas of their lives.
~ Thriving lifestyle? The overall benefits ~
Whatever you’re doing or subscribing to: If it comes from your heart, not (only) from the mind, if your body thrives on it, if you feel connected with it and become more aligned with your innermost values, then I’d say “continue doing it”. If you resonate with something on a deeper level and your heart opens naturally, it may not only support your health and your spiritual journey, but it may also be linked to your life’s purpose. And this – of course – does not necessarily have to be related to nutrition.
If you resonate with eating raw, it can be a thriving lifestyle on which you will experience a wide range of benefits:
- Raw food is fully packed with nutrition: Unprocessed, natural, ripe whole plant food (from Mother earth) contains a very high amount of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals.
- Raw food has an optimal ratio between carbs, proteins, and fats. Plus, the fats are on the healthy side.
- Fruits and vegetables contain – according to their colorful, tasty, and beautifully smelling appearance – the highest amount of phytochemicals, such as antioxidants. These chemical compounds are only found in plants and have amazing health promoting properties, like anti-cancerogenic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, metabolically harmonizing or antioxidant effects.
- Raw food contains fiber which has a great deal of health benefits: Fiber supports digestion and elimination, it feeds your healthy gut bacteria, gives you a feeling of satiety, binds and eliminates unwanted substances and regulates metabolism.
- Raw food provides the highest amount of light energy in form of bio-photons which supports cell vitality.
- The raw food diet excludes all highly processed, refined, unnatural, chemically containing products, and therefore the main harmful components, such as trans fats, refined sugar or synthetic food additives.
- Purchasing local, organic food supports a long-term sustainable environment.
- Excluding all animal products leads to the same overall benefits as veganism does, which are:
- social aspects, and
- health (mentioned above).
I’d agree that a raw vegan diet is the most natural way of eating as it doesn’t require any processing and therefore you won’t miss out any important ingredients that nature has intended to provide you with.
~ My Top 3 Tips for beginners ~
For someone who is completely new to this lifestyle, it might seem totally overwhelming and undoable to live off of fresh fruits and vegetable “solely”. I totally get it. My soft reminder for you, beautiful: It is a journey. It takes time for your body and mind to adjust. Exactly like everything else in life. Because I’ve been on this path for a few years now, I could not be more excited about sharing my knowledge and experience with everyone who is open and feels called to move towards this path as well. 🙂
Here are my top 3 tips for newbies who are fascinated by the idea of following a (high) raw vegan lifestyle:
- Abundance mindset: Look at your belief systems. Eating high or fully raw is not a limited diet. On the contrary, it brings you a huge variety of different fruits, vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, sprouts, seafood, fermented and other foods into your life that you have never even thought of eating. By sharing your lifestyle with a like minded community it is even more fun to dive into the feeling of abundance. And as always: Be gentle with yourself! Self-care and self-love are the keys for thriving on this powerful lifestyle.
- Stock up on as many beautiful fruits and vegetables as you wish, so you literally bring the abundance of the colorful beauty of nature into your kitchen. It is so much easier and more attractive for you to eat this way when it is right at your fingertips!
- Take it one step at a time: Start raw with the first meal of your day: breakfast. For most people that’s probably the easiest meal to eat raw fruits and even veggies. A green smoothie is an awesome way to get heaps of nutrients, fibre into your system and stay hydrated. For some inspiration check out my green smoothies recipes.
If you are interested in more content, practical tips, recipes or even personal guidance: Stay tuned on my blog and feel free to reach out to me. 🙂
Remember: You are a unique gift for this world. Stay true to yourself. Listen to your intuition. Thank you, everyone.
Sending you lots of love,
Dina K., Dina R. The Raw Food Nutrition Handbook. HLP (2015).
Porter L. Raw Vegan Diets. Cinahl Information System (2016).