In our 2019 Summer Refresh Detox we are focusing on a season with a high percentage of the diet being raw. The hot summer months make going all raw easier because the majority of the foods in a raw food diet are naturally cooling. Raw foods are an abundant source of enzymes, which are essential to cellular function.
The raw foods movement in American actually came to us from Europe. Contemporary raw food diets were first developed in Switzerland by Maximilian Bircher-Benner (1867 – 1939), who was influenced as a young man to go "back to nature". Embracing holistic medicine, nudism, free love, exercise and other outdoors activity, and foods that it judged were more "natural" Bircher-Benner eventually adopted a vegetarian diet, but took that further and decided that raw food was what humans were really meant to eat. Influenced by Charles Darwin's ideas that humans were just another kind of animal and Bircher-Benner noted that other animals do not cook their food. In 1904 he opened a sanatorium in the mountains outside of Zurich. These ideas were influential to Ann Wigmore a notable raw food advocate. Other practitioners and laypersons brought support to the idea of eating all raw diets. Eugene Christian's Uncooked Foods and How to Use Them, 1904. Herbert Shelton was an avid supporting of the raw food diet along with many others including notable physician Dr. Gabriel Cousens, whose Tree of Life Center offers healing opportunities and retreats based on Live Foods.
In recent years there have been a number of studies done on the possible benefits or downside considerations of eating a solely raw food diet. A study published in the Oxford Academic's The Journal of Nutrition, puts forth a good argument for balance. I also found this excellent point of view from Ellie Krieger on the Pro's and Con's of Eating Raw Foods. Many believe their healings from cancer and other life threatening illnesses are a result of living on a raw foods diet, for more on that perspective Passionately Raw is a great source of more info about this choice.
On a personal note I have solely relied on raw foods as a diet for a number of years. Overall, I find a high percentage of raw foods leads to a cleaner and more powerful feeling of lightness in my body. I do practice eating all raw during certain times of the year. My over all dietary consumption of raw foods being 80%, on average. However, my philosophy about diet has evolved over the years. I'm all about live foods, but I also realize that there are certain foods that yield more nutritional value when properly cooked. There are times of the year when a bowl of soup with bone broth or a dish of baked veggies with a pile of greens on the side really hits the spot! It's that "hits the spot" feeling that I use as my guide for what my body needs. I believe it's important to not eat according to DOGMA or FADS. You must learn to pay attention to the instinctual self to guide to to what's healthy for you as the seasons roll by. Remembering that what may work for some, does not work for all.
Those whose choice it is to eat an all raw diet must be certain to be well educated on how to maintain sufficient levels of proteins, maintaining proper nutritional balance. I caution, especially those who think all raw is about eating salads sprouts and fruits. Many younger health seekers have used a raw diet as a way of starving, a type of anorexia. In order to successfully go "all raw/live foods" education is important!
With that in mind, I am pleased to share the perspective of a very successful Live Foods Chef and Lifestyle Educator, Janet Lee. Owner of Healthy Journey this Live Food Chef and Holistic Nutritional Educator and Life Coach is dedicated to helping others to live well and healthfully. Our Live Foods friend can teach us a great deal about delicious way to integrate more raw foods into our diets.
Energy and Food
“The food you eat can either be the most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.” – Dr. Ann Wigmore
The concept of energy is fascinating to me. We all know that energy is in everything. We often say, “I like the energy that women brought to the meeting” or “I feel so energetic after I eat a healthy meal as opposed to that fast food one we had last week!” In Reiki, a healing technique based on the principle that energy can be channeled from one person to another to activate a healing process or restore a physical or emotional response; we can transmute positive energy to uplift our mood, send a person some healing with our mental intention or bless our food. We might have felt some kind of warmth or something as we rub our hands together and then separate them. It’s palatable for those that choose to be open to it.
I remember when I was young I believe I had lots of experiences that today I would call ‘feeling the energy’ that I did not identify back then. The times I crossed the street when I noticed someone I didn’t know was walking behind me. Or the times I didn’t want to be in a café or store because I ‘sensed’ something was off or strange; so I left. It didn’t make sense to me then; but it sure does today.
As a living food chef I enjoy having conversations with students and clients about this concept of energy and how it relates to our food and our health. Does it really matter is food is cooked or uncooked? Is the nutritive value the same or does it matter if it was grown organically or not? A technique known as Kirlian photography can demonstrate that organic uncooked foods have stronger energy fields. The theory behind this was discovered by the late Semyon Kirlian, a Russian inventor, who back in 1939 connected voltage source and placed an object in contact with a photovoltaic plate to produce a corresponding image on the plate. The resulting image also contains a visual display of the object’s electrical ‘aura’ of sorts, which both surround and emanate from it. In essence, a piece of cooked broccoli will have a very different energy field around vs. the piece of broccoli that is left in its natural live state.
To further make this point, a documentary called The Beautiful Truth, which was released in 2008, showed that a team of scientists used Kirlian photography to analyze various foods. They found that organic foods emitted a clearly more vibrant and harmonious energy field than conventional foods. Raw foods also fared better in the energy department than cooked and pasteurized foods, the latter of which appeared duller and less uniform than their raw counterparts.
As I handle colorful and nutritious foods from nature I am in awe of the beauty displayed. As I create dishes from these vibrant and nutrient dense foods, I am reminded of the “life force” they provide to me and all who share in these meals. Live food has an energy field that is whole, clean, and life-giving. To make easy changes and increase your energy and vitality; consider the choices of foods you bring home. Summertime is the best time to bring the most colorful foods into your home.
Here are a few suggestions to get more energy into your week:
To your excellent health!
Janet M. Lee
A Healthy Journey, owner
Living Food Chef, Holistic Nutrition Educator and Life Coach
FB: Janet Lee
Mobile: (480) 250-6089
Certified Wellness Consultant speaks up!