After eating raw foods for 30 days, I learned a few things about the raw food lifestyle. These are more of the technical aspects of eating raw. Since I’ve had a couple of you e-mail me about the raw food diet experiment, I decided to make a separate post detailing some of the things I learned while eating raw foods. I hope these points help you on your journey and hopefully you will learn a few things that you can add to this list.
Eat greens to stop cravings: I read that when you have strong cravings you can usually dissipate those cravings with a good helping of greens. Therefore, when I had strong cravings for cooked meat, I would go to the blender and throw as many greens in as would fit. This worked as stated and the cravings would go away in about a half hour. Towards the end of the experiment I figured out that eating some greens was not enough. In order to keep the cravings from emerging, you need to be eating around 2-3 lbs of greens per day. This may seem like a huge task, but if you have a blender you can just whip yourself up a smoothie and drink it.
Buy a high power blender: During my first raw food trial, I bought a cheap blender which cost me around $34. I was able to use it for 3 days before its engine gave out. It burned out when I put in some collard greens and some wheat grass. One moment I’m peeling a mango, next moment I’m hearing “granawwww wwrrrrr wrrrr wr…*poof*” and smoke starts coming out of the blender. I took it back and got another one that died again after a month of moderate use. Don’t let this happen to you. Buy a high end blender. It will help you cut through tough fibrous greens with peace of mind. I recommend the Vita-Mix 5200, I’ve had mine for a little over a month and it is fantastic. You can’t go wrong with it. It has more than enough power and capacity to puree the tough green vegetables you’ll be using in your smoothies.
Chew your smoothies: You need certain enzymes to break down the cellulose walls of the plants. Those enzymes come from your saliva, so if you just drink the smoothie there won’t be enough saliva enzymes present in the food in your stomach to break down those cell walls and you won’t get all the needed nutrients from those plants. So take a sip and chew it until it is warm, then swallow it.
Avoid green bell peppers: Green peppers are high in solanine – a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family, which green bell peppers are a part of. Solanine acts as a toxin and is poisonous in even small quantities. Solanine poisoning is primarily displayed by gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Some of the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, burning of the throat, heart arrhythmia, headaches, and dizziness. It can even cause hallucinations. I also talked to a friend of mine who is an 80% raw foodist and he confirmed my research. So just say no to green bell peppers!
Nuts processed in the US are not raw: During my second week on raw foods, I found out that the nuts produced in the United States are pasteurized. Because of a salmonella incident that happened years ago, laws were passed that required all nuts produced here to be pasteurized. The real kicker is that the companies who produce the nuts are not required to label the pasteurized nuts. So when you buy a bag of raw almonds, you’re not buying raw almonds – you’re buying pasteurized almonds that haven’t been roasted. I bought two bags of what I thought were raw almonds from two US manufacturers and both bags of almonds failed to germinate when soaked in water. If you aren’t sure where the nuts are produced, try giving customer support a call and find out whether the nuts are processed in the US or some other country.
These are just a few of the lessons I learned. If you have any of your own, feel free to contact me.