Revolutionise your menu: get raw power!

Fruit and vegetable - rainbow of coloursThis Q & A will get you up-to-speed on veg-centred consciousness.

Q. What is “raw food”?

Technically, raw food is food that has not been cooked or heated above 48 degrees Centigrade (or 117 degrees Fahrenheit). But more importantly, it is enzyme-rich, pure, fresh, whole, organic living food.

The reason why raw food is so much more beneficial is that the process of cooking food actually destroys nutrients and enzymes. According to Karen Knowler (therawfoodcoach.com), we lose up to 70% of the vitamins, some of the minerals, all of the enzymes, all of the oxygen, the important plant feel-good hormones and a high percentage of water via cooking.

Raw food on the other hand, is full of enzymes, water, oxygen, hormones, vitamins, minerals and the all-important life-force that enables it to sprout and grow. Quite simply, it is pure, delicious and fresh just as it was intended: living food for growing healthy bodies.

The fabulous thing is that you don’t have to have a 100% raw food diet to feel the benefits. However, the greater the raw food content the better for you!

Q. What are the benefits of choosing raw?

  1. Eating a raw food diet can reverse or stop the advancement of many chronic diseases. Raw foods maintain a healthy body and a healthy body is more resistant to disease.
  2. Raw foods are bursting in flavour so no need to add sugar, salt or other condiments that can irritate your digestive tract.
  3. Raw foods take little preparation so you spend less time in the kitchen. It also means that children can take more responsibility for meal preparation!
  4. Raw foods support sustainable environmental practices.
  5. Raw foods are better quality, therefore you eat less to satisfy your nutritional needs. As your percentage of raw foods increases you feel satisfied and have more energy on smaller meals because raw food has the best balance of water, nutrients, and fiber to meet your body’s needs.
  6. A raw food diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Q. Does this mean more, new kitchen equipment?

No! Well, not likely. The most important tools are a sharp knife, a chopping block and a blender. Discovering raw foods has seen my Thermomix working on over drive! I love mine even more now, but it is certainly not essential.

Many people also use a Dehydrator, a tool that uses low temperatures and a fan to dry out foods, but again this is not essential.

Q. Does this style of eating suit a family with small children?

You could certainly manage a raw food diet for the whole family. However, I found that my children still find it a little difficult to eat some things raw (for example, my youngest child will chew on lettuce until it becomes a mass in his mouth, impossible to swallow). Grating definitely helps. And I have also alluded to my trick (in the recipe below) of freezing some of my smoothies (which they didn’t necessarily enjoy) into popsicles, (which they love!)

I believe that our family probably fits in to the moderate – high raw category – we probably eat approximately 70% raw foods (give or take). I aim for a raw breakfast, morning tea and lunch. But I do mix in some cooked meals and I certainly focus on a little more meat protein as my children really like it. So I think, depending on how advanced your children’s eating habits are, you can modify a raw food lifestyle to work for your family by listening to your bodies and respecting individual needs.

Remember: you don’t have to have a 100% raw food diet to feel the benefits!

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