The Raw Food Movement is sweeping the nation. In a nutshell, the raw foodist upholds the following practice: 75-100% of their diet is uncooked and unprocessed organic foods. They believe that any food that is cooked over 118 degrees will lose it’s precious nutritional qualities that the foods are trying to give to you. Heating food to that level also kills off the enzymes naturally present in food. According to raw foodists, enyzymes are the life force of a food. They help us to digest food and absorb the nutrients that nature creates.

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Photo Credit: Stacey Spensley

If we overcook our foods, the body, in effect, must work a lot harder to produce the very enzymes that we would have absorbed through the food in its raw form. Insufficient consumption of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, accelerated aging, and weight gain.

The Raw Food “Diet” can take many different forms. You can go the vegan route and never touch any raw meats or animal based products (which is recommended) or you can do the omnivore thing and still eat meat, but they must be raw.

I like how the Raw Food Movement doesn’t require that you maintain this structure 100% of the time. I think I would be a little overwhelmed with that. It also frees you up to not look like the snooty health-freak at the table when you go out to dinner with your friends.

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Photo Credit: Stacey Spensley

There are a million different recipes and techniques for preparing raw foods to make them tasty and delicious. Pick up a book at Barnes and Nobel to start or just google “raw food recipes” and you will have more than enough fun ways to prepare raw foods.

A quick list of raw foods to prove just how much you have to work with: List of Raw Foods.

And fortunately for you drinkers, wine is still an option. Liquor and beer are generally boiled so they are sort of a no-no for the Raw Foodist.

Raw Foodists claim a multitude of benefits from following these eating habits. Increased energy, mental clarity, clearer and softer skin. weight loss (this is a big one), reduced risk of sickness and disease.

Hollywood stars are starting to jump on this bandwagon too, which always helps the cause. Demi Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Sting and Cher are all claiming a raw foodist lifestyle.

The thing about food movements like this is that you can never really know until you try it. I would recommend giving it at least four weeks before making your decision on whether or not you will completely adopt the lifestyle. If you are someone who has food-driven health issues, persistent upset stomach, or a chronic weight issue; starting this journey towards becoming a Raw Foodist may be the best decision you ever make.

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