Sunday, November 25, 2007

been doin some research

Well, I am in the last month of about 99% raw-ness. I leave off that last 1% for accidentally eaten cooked foods (like bottled lemon juice and twice eaten soy milk). So far I still just feel more tired than normal. Unless a large change occurs sometime this week, I think I will probably incorporate some cooked foods into my diet. This is because much of my research outside of the raw food world (which is the nutrition world) counters the very basic principles of raw-foodism (that the plant enzymes help digestion.) However, the one thing I can definitely give to raw food is that it has helped my acne on my face soo much! I think I might have a food allergy to dairy. I ate a small amount of yogurt a few days after I started on raw foods and although my skin was already clearing up that yogurt caused a breakout. So, I am planning to stay vegan for sure. I read that acne can often be caused by food allergies, and people just don't realize it because their acne is the only sign of the allergy. Therefore, I think I will slowly incorporate a few basic cooked foods such as rice, soup, tofu, soy milk, etc. IF I don't start seeing more energy etc. that raw foodism is supposed to give me.

I am a bit disappointed in this. Perhaps raw foods are more suited to some people and not everyone. I am just tired of being so low on energy. I like the philosophy that everyone is different in our nutrient needs and no one diet can be perfect for everyone. I am glad that I venture into new diets and experience what they are like. I think through this experimentation, I am creating the perfect diet for me as a unique individual.

As far as raw diet is going, I made it through Thanksgiving very well. The hardest part was answering all of my families questions and concerns. The only thing I cheated on was eating soy milk with my gRAWnola for breakfast. Granted that I did strongly want some of my grandmas oreo ring pudding cake thing, my cravings for cooked food that isn't sitting right in front of me have diminished.

I feel good that if I do stop being completely raw it isn't because I wasn't able to stop the cravings or that it was too hard, but that I don't feel good while on it and I think it isn't the best diet for me. Still waiting for that fuzzy feeling in my head to go away that has been with me since the first week on raw foods. I think it's like I constantly feel as if my blood sugar is low (like when I haven't eaten in a long time), but I don't think that is it because I have been eating enough and well.

One thing is for sure though, I will always love my green smoothies!

Notes to self:

from vita-mix website

To preserve its nutrients, spinach must not be simmered for more than 2-3 minutes. Kale, on the other hand, needs to steam for 6-8 minutes for maximum nutrient availability.

The longer a food is exposed to heat, the greater its nutrient loss. Being submersed in hot water (boiling) creates more nutrient loss than steaming (surrounding with steam rather than water) if all other factors are equal.

When a food is not cooked, the body depends much more heavily upon chewing to help prepare the vegetable for digestion. Cooking a vegetable, even for a very short period like one minute, can be a way of enhancing its digestibility.

The enzymes needed for proper digestion is supplied by our body, not by the food eaten. Our body has the ability to analyze the food and secrete the precise proportion and amount of enzyme needed for that particular food. We have to rely on the body’s genius to get just the right amount, not too much and not too little. Enzymes in plants are put there for the plants needs, not ours, but some plant enzymes do have nutritive benefits, not functional benefits. To fear eating a steamed vegetable, or vegetable/bean soup is entirely unfounded and without scientific support.

In matters of dietary reform, we would do well to carefully avoid extreme positions. Health reform can be brought into disrepute by extreme views, and that narrow ideas can bring injury to the cause of health reform. Health reform may actually become health “deform” when it is carried to extremes.

From the American Dietetic Association:

The “Raw Food Diet”

Raw foods provide fiber, which is important to our overall health. But is it really better to eat only raw foods?

The premise of the raw food diet is to cook foods below 160 degrees Fahrenheit to keep food enzymes intact so that the body can better absorb nutrients in the food. The problem with this theory is that the body already makes the enzymes needed to digest and absorb foods.

The raw foods diet encourages you to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, which is a definite nutritional plus. But there are real food safety risks. The diet calls for eating a variety of sprouts, many of which grow in environments that can promote harmful bacterial growth. And cooking foods below 160 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to food-borne illness.

As with any diet, when evaluating the “raw foods” approach, ask questions. If you think “This sounds too good to be true,” it probably is.

Produced by ADA’s Public Relations Team

1 comment:

Ian said...


When did you begin feeling lethargic?

Were there other factors going on in your life (ie- stress-related, school, work, social life etc) that coincided with this?

What is your exercise routine like?

Have you tried having a Thai coconut each day for a week or two?

I only ask because you seem to be a very high energy person, and every time you mention having no energy, I am dumbfounded!

Just questions because I am curious. Respond at your leisure.