Do any of these describe you?
- You’ve heard about the health benefits of raw and plant-based foods. It just seems to make sense, so you want to know how to incorporate more of it into your day.
- You’ve had some personal or family illness and you’re looking for a change of lifestyle, so you can heal yourself or those around you.
- You’re a foodie and you see the importance and value of making nourishing food. You’re excited about learning more about raw and plant-based foods, because it’s something different.
- You love the taste, vibrancy and energy of raw food already and you’re looking for more recipes and more creative ideas in the kitchen.
- You’re the type of person that doesn’t like chemicals in your food or drugs in your body. You want to live as close to nature as possible.
- You’re a holistic practitioner and you want to learn more about raw and plant-based foods, so you can incorporate them into your offerings with your clients.
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
“Unrefined, unfiltered and untampered with.”
What is raw food?
Raw food in its purist form is about not heating foods above 42 degrees C (115 degrees F) to maintain the nutritional quality of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes in their most natural form.
Raw and living foods have their enzymes intact. Enzymes can be thought of as the life force of the food. They help your body digest the food and are a catalyst for every function in the body.
The most fragile of enzymes start to die off at that 42C/115F degree mark. So when cooking food, you not only denature those enzymes, but also some of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins.
The dictionary definition of Raw is:
Unrefined, unfiltered and untampered with.
Many people find they do really well with a high amount of raw food with the rest of their diet made up of ‘as raw as possible’ or ‘raw-centric’ foods. This means whole foods, unrefined, unfiltered and untampered with.
There’s a whole scale of ways to cook foods, from steaming at the ‘gentle’ end, to deep fat frying and the other. For this reason it’s not true to think of all cooked foods as the same, putting them into the ‘bad’ category.
Some cooked foods do release more nutrition when cooked. For example, cooking tomatoes makes the licopene more bioavailable, but destroys the vitamin C.
But if I put a raw apple and a baked apple in front of you, it’s very intuitive as to which one has more nutritional benefit.
For these reasons, I Iike a mix of both cooked and raw, with the emphasis on raw.
Everyone is going to find the right level of raw for them. Even with all the science about what should be working best for you, the ultimate measure is how you feel. General nutrition guidelines don’t acknowledge you as an individual.
And if you have specific issues, working with a naturopath or naturopathic doctor, who will be able to do blood tests and tailor things for you is the best course of action.
So ease yourself into this. I know from experience that bringing more raw food into your everyday life will make you feel so vibrant and healthy, that you’ll get addicted to feeling so good.
Who isn’t raw food good for?
Raw food, even in small amounts, seems to have huge benefits for everyone. However, there are some types that do better than others.
If you’re naturally a ‘fast burner’ with a colder constitution, as it would be described in Ayurvedic or Chinese Medicine, then you will probably not do well on high amounts of raw food. In this case you can mix your raw foods with a little more cooked foods.
What to eat if I’m not eating raw.
I’m still a huge fan of plant-based, whole foods when cooking. There’s a small selection of plant-based cooked recipes here that we’re adding to all the time.
You may find that by avoiding an ‘all or nothing’ mentality, you’ll find a place that doesn’t feel restrictive and that not only helps you reach your health goals, but also feels fun and enjoyable. Focus on what you’re adding in, rather than what you’re taking away will change your life.
“Focus on what you’re adding in, rather than what you’re taking away will change your life.”
Do I have to be vegan?
Many people find raw food through having been vegetarian and vegan, because by default, raw food is vegan. But we are also finding people that consider their diets to be ‘mostly plants’ are becoming more and more interested in the burgeoning raw food lifestyle, because of how they feel when eating this way.
Mostly raw and plant-based with some animal products occasionally seems to be a sweet spot for a lot of people who come to us as omnivores and can’t seem themselves being fully vegan.
If you are vegetarian, you’ll see that all our recipes are veggie, and in almost all cases cases vegan. There are some recipes that will use a little honey and one or two recipes that use bee pollen.
What do we do at The Raw Chef?
- We dream of the day the alternative becomes the mainstream. A day when ‘conventional’ refers to organic, rather than sprayed with chemicals. A day when factory farming is a thing of the past.
- We dream of the day when it’s not profits and politics that decide the health of humankind, but holistic health practices shared and delivered within community.
- Our purpose is to transform people’s experience of life through food.
- We’re known for making healthy living fun. People often tell us that we leave them feeling invited and excited.