Raw June is here for the Beach House. Jane and I are going cold veggie (and fruit) for the entire month and we both cannot wait to get going.
It really has come around quickly this 100% raw/vegan June adventure. We have both been working quite a bit lately and have had less time to plan for the big plunge than we would have liked, hence the lack of any ‘build-up’ posts. As with most things, we’re going straight in there!
I have a strange excitement in the pit of my stomach and I don’t know why. I know that I will feel alot better and have bags more energy, focus and vitality, but there is the feeling that this could be something very big in my life. It could be a huge lifestyle change for the better, no matter how unconventional it is and no matter how many people call me a ‘weirdo’ (there have been quite a few already) I going for this new diet and looking forward to experimenting with my body and mind in a good way. We are what we eat, well, we shall see.
The main reason for eating raw is that cooking kills nutrients in food. Vitamin C and B are heat sensitive, enzymes are also destroyed when food is cooked, which are essential to the function of the body. If enzymes are not replenished in the body, we can age quickly and loss health. Raw foods have been used for years to treat ailments and illness, most famously by Dr Ann Wigmore,who set up the Hippocrates Health Institute. The truth is that we are exposed to more pollutants than previous generations and our food has less nutrients, even organic food is grown on soil that is less rich than is was in previous times (normally due to bad farming techniques).
Ecologically, if we all ate more raw foods there would be a relief on the planets resources. No cooking conserves energy, there is less packaging (hopefully non) with raw foods, there are no emissions created no processing, the waste is compostable and biodegradable, meaning no rubbish.
Below is the Raw Food Pyramid (thanks to the Almost Raw Vegan for this), this replaces the average diet with meat, dairy etc and will give you an idea of what we will be munching on in June. We are eating no dairy, refined foods, wheat etc and no alcohol or caffeine. Our diet will consist of many different types of salads, smoothies and juices and another host of interesting raw foods that you will seldom find, especially in the UK where raw food is still a relatively new thing. In the States and Australia for example, raw food seems to be very popular. Many people say that raw food will become the new vegetarianism for this generation, I have already seen restaurants with raw options on the menu.
We have always eaten alot of raw food, we just didn’t necessarily call it ‘raw’, just a salad or a smoothie. We will try and be as close to 100% raw as possible, but aren’t really too fussy about things. We’ll still be drinking herbal teas and if our new lovely looking olive oil is not certified raw, we’ll still use it. The same goes for nuts, seeds, dried fruits, pastes etc which are all borderline raw foods. We love these items too much and deem their nutritional values to be too important to eliminate from our diet.
We hope to open a few people’s eyes, minds and palates to the joys of raw food. Raw food is nutrient rich, meaning you don’t need to eat or digest as much. When you are eating a bag of crisps, or packet of biscuits, the reason you are not getting full is because they are devoid of nutrients. Your body needs the right fuel! A raw diet puts that fuel in and makes it readily available. We have had a few days almost raw already and the we have been buzzing! I went for my normal jog and needed to extend it a little, up the mountain. I couldn’t stop! With raw food, your body needs less energy for digestion, which can be utilised in other beneficial ways.
The body has clearly define cycles or natural rhythms:
12pm-8pm Digestion cycle
8pm-4am Absorption cycle
4am – 12pm Elimination cycle
The raw diet will help to cleanse our system of toxins and bring us into balance. After gradually eating healthier for a number of years (we are not just diving in here, we have been eating well for a while now) my body is quite sensitive to toxins and rich foods. I sometimes get what is called a food ‘hangover’ after a cheese or chocolate binge, I will be glad to be free of them. Raw food is devoid of toxins and packed with nutrients. There is a popular raw slogan, ‘stop counting calories and start counting nutrients’. It makes perfect sense to me that what we eat has a profound effect on our bodies and minds. What we consume affects us on ways that we cannot see or know. Raw food seems like a stepping stone for me to a greater understanding of my body and what makes me tick, what makes me truly happy.
Raw food will also free up so much time, as I mentioned we are both busy this summer with work, so not cooking will allow us to do other things. The garden is definitely looking like it needs some TLC.
We will be taking alot of inspiration from our fellow bloggers of the cyber world and also have some good books. ‘Eat Smart, Eat Raw’ by Kate Wood being one of the main ones. Written by a Brit for British folk, mainly important because we don’t have the plethora of fruits and veggies that many countries enjoy. We also have the long cold, dark winters, where soup is our best friend and a chilled smoothie seems like a difficult proposition.
We will be supplementing our diets with a few superfood-type bits. Jane picked up some Barley Grass at the health food shop and that is supposed to be super charged stuff. We will also be drinking propolis daily, which is a bee resin with amazing properties. We’ll be writing about it soon. We will also be sure to drink plenty of water, as this seems to be important no matter what foods you are eating. Become more fluid! It is worth noting that many mineral waters are not organic and the best water you can drink is water that has been treated by reverse osmosis, this is pure H2O. You should also not drink water, or any liquid with meals, as it affects digestion and absorption (diluting stomach acids).
So we are going out in a blaze of intoxication tonight. We said we wouldn’t, but we are. It is a relatively decadent evening with some smoked stilton with sparkling wine planned, followed by some of the finest chocolate I have ever tasted (post coming soon..).
Raw June, a time when we in the Beach House gain a greater awareness and respect for the foods we eat and the bodies we inhabit; a time when we gain a new insight into the world of nutrition and the impact it has on us.
Jane and I are both very positive about all of this, which we feel is crucial, as our mental state has a more profound effect on our health than anything else.