Raw Food Challenge

I have decided to go on a raw food challenge. I am going to eat raw food every Monday starting today! I went to the store a couple of days ago anticipating my first day on the raw food challenge. I bought spinach, grapefruit, bananas, an orange and an apple. I am writing this at the end of the day on Monday. I ate half a grapefruit and a banana this morning for breakfast. For lunch I made a salad. I put spinach, red onions, carrots and cucumbers in the salad. I squeezed fresh lemon juice over the salad. For an afternoon snack I ate the rest of the grapefruit and had another banana. I also ate a handful of raw almonds. For dinner I had the rest of my salad and a granny smith apple.
The food I ate today was simple to prepare. However, there are many foods that raw foodists eat that require planning. For example, rice and grains require sprouting or overnight soaking to become digestible.
What is raw food?
Raw food is uncooked, unprocessed, and often organic food. The food must not be heated to above 104 degrees F. Many raw vegans believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthful and even harmful to the body. Since I am a vegan I do not eat raw meat, fish, cheese, etc. Raw food diets consist of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains and legumes.

Why I decided to do this:

1. It’s healthy! Advocates argue that raw or living foods have natural enzymes, which are critical in building proteins and rebuilding the body.  Raw foods have higher nutrient values than foods which have been cooked. The raw food diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical Western diet. It is also low in sodium and sugar and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, Vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants.
2. Reduced risk of diseases! Being on a raw food diet lowers risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and hypertension.
3. It makes you look good! Raw foods such as fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and raw-foodists believe they can help stifle signs of aging.
4. Makes you more energetic!
5. I don’t feel like I need to lose weight but some people may go on a raw vegan diet to do that.
6. It cleanses your body!

Tips:

1. Soak nuts and seeds before eating them. This activates their enzymes.
2. If you would like to prepare gourmet raw food recipes buy a blender, food processor, juicer and dehydrator. Some foods such as crackers, breads and cookies may need to be dehydrated. A dehydrator simulates sundrying. They are enclosed containers with heating elements to warm at low temperatures. A fan inside the dehydrator blows warm air across the food, which is spread out on the trays.
3. Some raw beans can be eaten after they have been soaked and sprouted, but others are considered unsafe to eat, such as kidney beans, soy beans, and fava beans.
4. One of the main concerns people have with the raw food diet are deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Supplement with a multivitamin and eat a variety of foods.
5. Ease into the diet. Having one 100% raw day per week can give your body a rest and let it heal and rebuild.

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