Gluten intolerance led me to seek other dietary alternatives that avoid wheat and other allergy triggers. I found a diet that was gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and meat free. Every dish is full of flavor and packed with nutrients. Desserts are delectable and can be eaten for breakfast. There is no calorie counting, you can eat all day and whatever you want. Sound to good to be true?
The Raw Food or Living Food Diet has grown in popularity across the globe. Raw foodist seem to have turned back the hands of time with their vibrant energy and youthful glow. Successful weight loss stories, the reversal of diabetes as well as other diseases has also attributed to the popularity of this lifestyle. Raw food restaurants and ready-made-items are growing in demand. There are also institutions that teach week long classes, give seminars, and sponsor retreats on preparing foods, nutritional benefits, and eco-friendly living.
Some raw foodists eat unpasteurized dairy products and raw meat (jerky and fish such as sushi), but typical raw vegan dishes are: smoothies, soups, taco wraps, ice cream, pies, spaghetti with marinara sauce, buckwheat crust pizza, curries, cheesy nachos, burgers, crackers, stuffed tortillas, granola, marinated collard greens, guacamole, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, hummus, even lasagna. Dates and agave nectar are used as sweeteners. Some recommended food preparation tools are blenders, food processors, and food dehydrators.
In my opinion, the most attractive feature is eating enzyme rich foods (catalysts that are necessary for body functions). Cooking over 105 degrees loses or destroys enzymes, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Another benefit is the ample amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants which delay and protect against the aging process, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Eating a high raw diet also means the fats you eat would come from good foods such as avocado, flax seeds, nuts, and olives as well as oils such as flax, extra virgin olive, avocado, and coconut oils. Essential fatty acids are necessary for maintaining cells, lowering cholesterol, clearing clogged arteries, skin, brain, and heart health.
Some questions that should be considered: How much are you willing to eat raw- 50%, 75%, or 100%. How will you meet your RDA of protein and calcium? What about Omega 3 & 6? All of these can be successfully met with adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and even grains. However, B12 should be supplemented with nutritional yeast or supplement of choice. This diet is not about restrictions but fulfillment, giving your body the highest quality and the perfect balance of all essential nutrients.