Raw Organic: Up, Close, and Personal

Posted: September 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

contributed by norm breaker, Jaqui Karr

Let’s start with the bad news: you are full of toxins. If you are reading this, it means you aren’t living in a remote mountain village in Tibet and just by the air you breathe and water you shower with, you are full of toxins.

The good news: raw organic foods detoxify. I don’t mean juice fasts and detoxes at retreat camps; I mean satisfying, flavorful, decadent, sinful, stunningly beautiful raw gourmet food. But don’t let the word gourmet intimidate, it can be simple. Gourmet in my world just means “more than lettuce and a beet”.

When people start talking about raw food, they generally talk about enzymes, which are terrific, but when you get up close and personal, there’s so much more to it than that. Sprouts are a perfect example and let me tell you why (any variety, alfalfa, baby onion, mustard seed):

1) They are a living bio-genic food which means they strongly support the regeneration of cells in your body

2) They contain something most foods don’t have: oxygen (2 time Nobel Prize winner Dr. Otto Warbur said he found cancer cells to be initiated by lack of oxygen)

3) They are an alkaline food and do a terrific job of raising our body’s alkaline level

4) They contain chlorophyll, which helps purify your blood and flush out harmful toxins

5) They provide EFA’s (essential fatty acids), fiber and a whole array of other vitamins and minerals (which vary from variety to variety of sprouts, so keep alternating!)

This is an extremely power packed food with such few calories, low on the glycemic index, and incredibly easy to incorporate into meals every day. Throw them into green smoothies, salads, chop them up over soups, layer into raw lasagna, and even layer into your regular sandwiches. This brings me to my next point, that you you don’t have to be 100% raw to reap the benefits. Obviously, the more raw you are the better, but it is a huge step for most people and definitely takes a major lifestyle adjustment. So what does adding raw to a generally decent, but not 100% perfect, diet mean? It means you tip the scale in your favor and improve your odds. Just in the example of sprouts you see what incredible benefits there are; so now imagine having five more or ten more raw foods every day all with a distinct array of qualities of their own. All with various nutrients, all with built in detoxifiers that target various types of toxins – some will break down plaque, some will neutralize free radicals, some will balance pH levels, bring cholesterol down, and on and on this list goes.

I mentioned plaque and I’m sure almost everyone connected that to plaque in the arteries and risks of strokes. While that is one the biggest concerns in the developed world, did you know that plaque also accumulates in the villi of the intestines (decreasing nutrient absorption) as well as in the brain (increases risks to Alzheimer’s). Plaque in the brain is called amyloyd plaque and even if the damage doesn’t extend to the extreme of Alzheimer’s, it can cause depression, brain fog, memory loss, lack of ability to concentrate. The studies are ongoing but so far turmeric is said to help decrease amyloyd plaque. As for plaque in the intestines: all raw food, particularly greens and foods rich in fiber, help to carry toxic accumulations away and maintain a healthy environment throughout the entire body, villi included.

While I would need to write an entire book on all the health issues our bodies face along with the raw foods that specifically counter each, there’s a shorter way to cover the topic, three words: eat more raw.

Vary what you eat; having a green salad once a day with lunch or dinner doesn’t cut it. You need to eat a huge array of fruits and vegetables because they all do different things and the truth is, science will never be able to catch up to the genius of food & nature, so we’ll never even really know everything there is to know. Based on the surface we have scratched, we know that each food has its own individual make up and basic logic and math says that the more we eat, the more of all these different components we absorb.

A great trick is to use the rainbow method of shopping for food; try to incorporate as many colors into your diet as possible. From my ebook titled “NakedFood”, here’s an excerpt to help you shop:

GREEN: collards, kale, avocado, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, parsley, purslane, chards, dandelion,  watercress, rapini,  all sprouts

RED: cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry, tomato, beet, watermelon, cabbage, grapes

ORANGE: sweet potato, cantalope, mango, orange, apricot, carrot, pumpkin

BLUE: sea vegetables, blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, plums

YELLOW: bell pepper, pineapple, lemon, squash

WHITE:  coconut, onion

You can see from this tiny sampler list how easy it is to incorporate colors into your diet – and I have listed only very common foods accessible to all. We can of course get lychee (white), noni (red), coronation blue grapes,     common or exotic, more color = more nutrients = better health.

A final thought: don’t let our modern lifestyle and disconnection from real food sway you; raw food is as close to nature as we can get and shouldn’t feel intimidating. Do a little research; find some recipes that appeal to you – there are hundreds of recipes with pictures on my NakedFood facebook page alone, never mind the thousands all over the internet. Experiment, enjoy, and before you know it you will wonder why you weren’t eating more raw before. Given that your irreplaceable body has no plan B if it wears out, can you afford not to?

About the author:

Jaqui Karr is founder of NakedFood, Canada. A Certified Sports Nutritionist, Certified Vegan Dietician, Author, Professional Speaker; Karr’s expertise goes beyond basic nutrition – her focus is on optimum health, overall wellness, balance, and preventative medicine in a raw organic manner. Her style is simple and practical, easily accessible, immediately applicable, making it possible to enjoy your best health ever while enjoying truly decadent food that is magazine worthy.  Jaqui is author of “NakedFood: 40 Raw Food Recipes, 80 Variations, 1 Healthier You”. Visit her at http://www.NakedFood.ca

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