For the past three years, my eating habits have changed drastically from the ones of my childhood upbringing. I have embraced vegetarianism and raw food fasting. These are changes I have made—with the help of loved ones—so that I could achieve optimal health and beauty. Hopefully, in embarking on this journey I would also be able to capture the imaginations of my family members and other loved ones, helping them strengthen their trust in healing and nutrition through natural sources.
Our bodies are capable of accomplishing tasks greater than we may at times realize. Healing is just one of the body’s many capabilities. I believe entirely that what we consume has the power to heal any sickness, infirmity, or degenerative disease. With that said, let’s choose life. Let’s rejuvenate ourselves by eating living foods.
Alissa Cohen is the author of Living on Live Foods and creator of the living and raw food diet website www.alissacohen.com, where she explains that raw whole fruits and vegetables, or living foods as they are often called, are critical for any healthy diet. Rich in enzymes and proteins, living foods provide nutrients necessary to sustain just that: Life. Other living foods include raw nuts, seaweeds, raw carob powder, cold pressed olive oil and various spices and seasonings. Cooking foods at temperatures over 115 degrees depletes them of valuable enzymes necessary for digestion. Undigested food gets stored in the body as toxins and produces residual ailments.
those who do
Unsure of how to get started eating living foods? Learn from those who do know. Many seasoned raw foodists are choosing to be resources for those interested in incorporating raw foods into their daily lives. Some refer to this process as raw food fasting. It usually includes committing oneself to eat fresh, usually organic, fruits, vegetables and other living foods as a way of cleansing the body. Khepere Anu, owner of DC-based Mojo Juice Club, leads weeklong fasting-combined-with-yoga programs. He advises apprehensive newbies to simply pick a favorite fruit and eat that one fruit type all day long. With his programs, he advocates juice fasting mid-week—starring coconut water. At the beginning and end of the fast week, he honors the participants with a raw food feast that he prepares himself.
Solstices and equinoxes, better known as the change of seasons, are wonderful times to engage in fasting, says Chef Skai Davis who owns Baltimore’s vegan restaurant, The Yabba Pot. “Chef Skai”, as she is affectionately called, refers to raw food fasting as a cleansing process, and hosts an inspirational 21-day Raw Food Challenge every new season.
“It takes twenty-one days to make or break a habit,” says Chef Skai. What kinds of habits will you embrace for your health this season?
message to you
Of course there are some common questions that arise in the beginning, like: “What will I eat?” My suggestion is to start with what you know; eat more apples, oranges, salads, or whatever kinds of raw foods you find most conveniently near you. Shop for foods that are in season when possible. Or, if you are on a budget, look for the discounts! Be sure to drink lots of water. Then, research. The internet is filled with information about communities and people who have answered this very question in their own creative and unique ways. Find how-to guides, tips, recipes, or simply connect with other raw foodies by going online. Don’t forget to check out your local library or bookstore.
Next step: Listen to your body. When the going gets tough, the tough get spirulina! Claudia Thorn regularly ups her intake of living foods, and uses spirulina to boost her energy as her body adjusts. Dr. Theodore Watkins of the Watkins Institute for Lifestyle Change in Washington, D.C. agrees that the blue-green algae supplement can serve as a pick-me-up. “Its high in nutrients, and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals in a form that is easy to use,” he says. Dr. Watkins has been practicing holistic medicine for 20 years and advocating the raw food lifestyle for the past 13 years.
If increased energy, pain relief, better sleep, weight loss and mental clarity don’t appeal to you, then maybe the vain and superficial benefits associated with eating living foods will. Fasters’ skin has been known to glow. Avocados and cold-pressed olive oil can help to obtain this end. Zezeh Pereira has been a frequent participant in the Mojo Juice fasts. She says she saves money on hair supplies because–with the way her hair shines after eating all living foods—she doesn’t need them. Get your raw food fast on today and find out why some people (ehhem, Zezeh) liken this experience to the sensation of making good love.
Any of the websites referenced in this article would be great for starters. Here are a few others:
The following books provide excellent recipe ideas as well as additional info. Eat well and enjoy!
- The Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey (Zakkyah)
- Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow (Kinney and Melnglailis)
- RAW: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food For Life by (Brotman and Lenkert)