Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Raw. It's Naked.

blog by: kim

Forgive me, for it has been a long time since I blogged. I ditch my personal blog at times for writing gigs that actually pay (hell, I didn't say pay much). But I like writing occasionally what I want, in the tone I want without a care about typos, formatting, editors or listing my sources.

I seem to be the type of girl that likes to have her hands in a few things. It's just who I am. It's not a bad thing~ so spare me the raised eyebrows. I have always been a self-confessed "foodie" and equally fascinated with all things healthy, especially as the years go by and I am more aware of what abusing our bodies can actually do to us. I watch in horror at what years of heavy drinking/smoking and eating has done to some people I know.

Raw, Creamy Banana Coconut Ice Cream

Nope, you won't catch me shaking my finger at you or playing the food police. Even I fall victim to a delicious dessert, an occasional plate of nachos or fresh, warm bread. When I stumbled across the trendy raw food scene, I was enamored. I was in love.

I dove into books & websites like by Dr. Rose, Ph.d and read Raw Food/Real World by Sarma Melngailis ~ owner of Pure Foods & Wine in New York City. Note to self: must make it there to try the gourmet raw foods and see my friends who live there, but i digress. I also have Eating in the Raw by Carol Alt and a few more.

Before I dazzle you with the fact that celebs like Sting, Demi Moore and Donna Karan live by this way of eating; there is a very real reason it does a body good. Still with me? Why does raw food effect the body in the amazing way it does? ENZYMES. Enzymes are the spark of life. Most of us could care less about any of this and give zero thought to the crap we put in our bodies. Healthy enzymes that we need are basically killed off when food is heated. 

I am not talking about eating raw meat. I am primarily speaking of fresh, organic vegetables, fruits and nuts. When foods are heated above 116 degrees, their vitamins and enzymes become denatured and  inactive. When you cook food, you loose those vitamins. Think of it this way: fevers above 107 degrees are generally deadly because at that point our enzymes self destruct. Scientists have known for years that when you cook food, you loose vitamins and minerals and destroy enzymes. Raw Fusion explains this.

I don't believe in any extreme lifestyles or fad diets. I think even if you increase your raw veggies, nuts and fruits by 40% to 50% (my words) you will feel better, more vital, have less PMS, less sick days, drop weight, feel less moody, have more energy and a higher libido.

Get The Glow

This is a topic that has been greatly covered and many books have been written on it. I don't even begin to scratch the surface, nor am I am expert. I am like everyone else trying to find my way. I am learning too. I don't think I can be 100% raw, I love my breads too much. However, I equally adore fresh veggies and the feeling I get from eating this way, so I will happily drink a fresh, green smoothie loaded with kale, swiss chard, berries, bananas and apples. Mmm! I love going to Dr. Rose's Raw Foods classes because she feeds everyone all sorts of delish dishes and entertains us while educating us. Who doesn't need to be more empowered?

I will say- excessive drinking, smoking, chronic stress, a bad diet and sleepless nights will lead you to an early grave...and you'll probably feel like garbage in the years leading up to it. Many people have picked up the raw foods eating idea after suffering from serious health issues. That's not the case with me, so I can't speculate; but I read that eating this way clears up things from high blood pressure to diabetes to IBS to bad skin conditions, allergies, headaches, heartburn and  pre-cancerous conditions.

Go Raw. Live Long

So why do so few people eat raw or even have a clue what it's about? Because we are creatures of habit and we play "follow the leader". It's human nature. It takes time to undo deeply rooted habits, right or wrong. There's been a boom in health and wellness in recent years, as we have become a more educated generation. If you have always done something one way, why question it? Traditionally, some societies eat more raw foods than others. Not as much here in America, but it's changing. With concerns about increasing disease and obesity, people are becoming more aware. Right Sarma?

I have heard "eating raw makes my stomach hurt" This is temporary because your body simply isn't used to eating that way yet. I love the great recipes you can make raw. 
I added photos of some of the foods to this blog.

For the yummy recipes, refer to Raw Fusion recipes.  Healthy alternatives to your favorite comfort foods. It's actually not as daunting as it all sounds. I don't "do" daunting anyway.
I'm respectful to the ways people choose to eat, this is not a fad diet~ just a return to eating simpler, less processed, less cooked and healthier foods.

Bon Appetit


  1. (Reply by AJ) I gotta admit, the notion of this type of eating has, in this past, sent me running the other way. I'm not sure WHY exactly, but it always seemed too complicated for the end result. However, over the past 4 months or so, I have really cleaned up my act when it comes to food. For years, I have ignored the fact that I am allergic (sometimes only mildly reactive) to many processed foods, the worst reactions coming from artificial sweeteners of any kind. Anyway, these past 4 months has seen a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables back in my diet, along with lean meats, less sugar, and less pre-packaged anything. Not ENTIRELY back to basics, but a shift away from relying too heavily on convenience foods. As it has been a gradual change, I didn't immediately notice the change in how I felt, but it became very obvious when the family & I went on vacation a couple weeks ago. Staying in 4 different places, and sometimes cooking over a campfire means not always eating the best foods. I was SO feeling the result of that after only 2 days. By the time we got home, I wanted nothing but salad, apples, and nectarines.

    Anyway, I've been keeping up with your forays into the world of 'raw,' and I am inspired. Looking at all the photos, I wonder now why I ever felt so intimidated; I'm a good cook (if I do say so myself) and am surely up to the task. Thanks for waking me up to the importance of what I am eating. We've heard it since we were small: You are what you eat. Keep the info coming, Kim!

  2. Kim replied: Alisa, I agree, it can sound daunting. There's a small learning curve. A good way to start small is by blending green smoothies (not to be confused with sugary fruit smoothies & milk shakes from fast food)in a blender. There is a lot of use of dehydrators in raw foods, soaking nuts and all sorts of tricks. There are simple, easy quick recipes too. I am all about convenience. I have picky kids and I am short on time, so I need healthy, yummy and convenient. Like I said, I never push people to live a lifestyle that feels odd to them, because it won't stick over the long term. Even if they go 40% and eat less processed junk, they will feel amazing if they stick with it.
    Can't wait to see you this fall AJ. I need to get a raw foods cookbook to you, so you can experiment. I know you are a good cook (trying not to use the word COOK) far better than me! We are both "foodies" and like to self educate so it's fun. x x

  3. AJ, I totally know what you mean. I came to healthier eating kicking and screaming. I like my sweets and crap food! BUT cutting out preservatives and additives and fake stuff helps me not only feel better, but my meds work better, so it was necessary. But reality being what it is, and my kids wanting easy, it's harder to get them on board. I've changed diets to the point where they seriously balk. That and organic is EXPENSIVE and being that I'm not the federal government and can't just vote in a higher debt ceiling, I have to stick to mine! LOL!

    Great blog, Kim. Knowing you like I do, it has to be easy and yummy, or you wouldn't do it ;)

  4. Kim replied: thanks Suz. I have the same dilemma with organic foods being expensive, so I know what ones to buy (apples for example) and what ones I can slide a little on. That's the whole key- finding what works for you personally. It has to fit into our lives in order for it to stick. As for our kids, the reason they don't like it is because we raised them on the bad stuff, they develop a taste for it- so slipping organic greens under their noses feels weird to them. Emily is in the middle- she eats better than most kids and has a palate for good, healthy foods because she has a mommy like me (poor kid) but I also let her be a kid and eat kid stuff. I meet her in the middle and try to teach her the right way. That's where the fun experimenting comes in with the cookbooks. Not to mention we feel amazing and healthy, so it's a win-win. Thanks for the insightful comments.