The Deal With Raw Food Diets

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raw foods

Photo: Aniphyo.com

From Gwyneth Paltrow to Amanda Seyfried, celebrities regularly tout the health and weight loss benefits of raw food diets.

Though I can't imagine giving up cooked food (pizza!), I am intrigued the more I hear. So I caught up with Ani Phyo, author of Ani's Raw Food Essentials (to be released in May), to talk about going raw.

What are the benefits of a raw food diet?

Raw foods are the healthiest way to eat. Each bite provides the highest nutrient values and places the least amount of stress on the body to digest, leaving more energy to heal, combat illness, rebuild, regenerate. Each ingredient is a super food -- no fillers, no chemicals, no empty calories.

Does it really mean NO cooked foods ever or are there variations?

Raw foods are never heated over 104 degrees. Yes, so never cooking, but dehydrating is okay.

I do tell people it's fine to heat up a raw soup, or cook a SunBurger in a pan because the food started from all whole foods -- no fillers, no chemicals, no toxins -- and though heating damages the enzymes, it's still better for you then say a frozen veggie patty that's been factory processed and packaged, warehoused, shipped, stored at grocery, then at your home.

Tips for beginning a raw foods diet?

Take it slowly. Consider your routine, lifestyle, travel, season, climate and environment to find what works for you. We are all unique and need unique solutions.

I work with people and have them drink a giant protein smoothie for breakfast first, then they can have their eggs and bacon. They will only eat half usually because the nutrient-rich shake fills them up. They end up eating less and less cooked food, and more and more raw over time.

I have them note how they feel with more raw foods. They will feel lighter and have more energy, more mental clarity and focus. Once we realize how good we can feel, we want to feel better and better.

After chatting with Ani, I looked up some raw food recipes and was surprised to find so many that I found appealing. While I don't think I could do an all-raw diet, I do think I can and will try to incorporate many more raw foods into my current diet.

Have you tried a raw food diet?

diets, eating healthy, general health, going green, healthy habits, natural health, weight loss

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yetti26 yetti26

I am currently doing a high raw, vegan diet, and I love it. I used to think I was a picky eater, but the more new foods I try, the more I realize how much I love them. Being vegan has actually been easiest way for me to eat. It feels very natural. I get a lot inspiration from http://kristensraw.blogspot.com and http://www.choosingraw.com/

nonmember avatar demonterius

i everything love you

nonmember avatar Susannah

I've been a raw vegan for 2 years and would never go back to my former ways! Benefits include weight management, glowing skin and increased energy, plus the food tastes so darn good. I love Ani Phyo for her easy, tasty recipes.

nonmember avatar Ani Phyo

that's awesome you're enjoying high raw diets. as the weather grows warmer, it's easier to enjoy more fresh, local, seasonal, whole foods. fresh means fiber and water. it's detoxing and cleansing to enjoy more raw foods. it helps us maintain our ideal weight because the water and fiber help fill us up. the nutrients are dense, so in the long run, we don't need to eat as much and feel satisfied sooner and for longer periods of time. it also eliminates or decreases potential allergens, like wheat, and decreases inflammation to help us loose weight too. :)

nonmember avatar Terri

I admire Ani's efforts to encourage healthy eating and active lifestyle. However, raw diets do scare me a little because I don't think most people who follow them monitor their micronutrient intake. You can definitely get all your macronutrients from raw foods, but certain vitamins and minerals are not easy to come by. Obviously the most common complaint in B-12 and iron. Also, the whole enzyme thing is completely and utterly incorrect. Humans have their own enzymes that digest food. The enzymes found in "live" food are for the food itself, not for other species to use. They are all denatured in the stomach. And besides, why would an organism have enzymes to completely digest itself?

BSanc... BSanchez45

I've been eating about 50% raw for over a year and I feel much better. I lost 30 pounds and have more energy. I don't know if I can do 100%. I agree with the vitamin B-12. It's difficult to get enough on a vegan diet. I eat eggs and salmon for the B-12 but other than that, I eat mostly veggies and a mostly non-gluten diet. I love Ani's recipes and can't wait for the new book. Her recipes are so easy to prepare and I usually have the ingredients at home. My favorite are the little breakfast cakes with flax seeds. Yum!

ethan... ethans_momma06

I have not but I always enjoy raw fruits and veggies.

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