The raw food diet craze may have started in the Western world in the 1980s with Harvey and Marilyn’s best selling book, Food for Life, but the consumption of ‘living foods’ goes back centuries, even eons. The expression, you are what you eat, doesn’t just mean superficially or metaphorically. You can eat foods devoid of life, or sustain it with the life-giving force of light. Essentially, that is what raw-foods are – light-filled.
A true raw foodist will tell you that they don’t eat anything cooked over 115 degrees because that would kill the important enzymes and phytonutrients which are within all plants, be they vegetable fruit, seed, nut or herb. This is true, but according to the yogic and Ayurvedic traditions, food is also a source of energy. Not just the energy which we gain from digesting food and breaking down the molecular structure so that our cells can absorb the vitamins and minerals, but also a more subtle energy called prana which is contained in the light-filled flesh of living sun-machines – plants that have processed sunlight via photosynthesis in order to sustain their own growth.
When we eat a plant that hasn’t been cooked to death or chemically altered, we also imbibe its life-force or prana. Meat, and other processed foods are completely devoid of this pranic energy, and so when we eat them, we are, essentially consuming death. It isn’t a metaphor and we can observe the results of eating non-light-filled foods very easily. People who consume raw foods are often lighter – in weight and mood. They live longer than meat eaters, as evidenced in recent research from Frank Hu, senior advisor on a study conducted and then published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which proves that eating red meat means you will likely die young. Processed meats like hotdogs or bacon meant an increase of 20% that you will die even sooner. Those are some pretty drastic statistics, but not when you consider the more subtle elements of food and how we interact with them as a human being.
The way we eat can even reduce our carbon footprint and lead to a more sustainable planet. Animal methane contributes greatly to overall green-house gases, and while the entire Universe is heating up, we certainly don’t need to contribute to global warming unnecessarily. Eating unprocessed foods also reduces the toxic-overload on the planet due to packaging, shipping and chemical use which has heretofore been needed to make foods last on shelves for long periods from the time they are picked, plucked or planted to the time they end up on your plate. It has been shown that a typical body full of the preservatives present in most ‘civilized’ nations’ diets decomposes more slowly after death. Are we so desperate to interrupt the cycles of nature that we try to keep our dead bodies alive with chemicals, ad infinitum? Why not just live better, now?
When we eat light-filled foods, we learn how to eat less. This is in part, because we are consuming more pure nutrition, and so we are not hungry for ‘junk.’ Recent statistics published in the United States point to obesity levels at astonishing rates. This country is ahead of other industrialized nations, such as New Zealand and Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland in, excuse my French, fat people. While we can blame television programming with infinite commercials that contain subliminal messages to drive us to our refrigerators and pantries containing processed chemical-laden food, we can’t stay ignorant forever. Almost 40% of all adult Americans are now obese and at least 17% of children are. It is sickening to think of such an overweight population starving to death, for real food. Food that sustains us doesn’t make us fat and lazy. It doesn’t cause depression and heart attacks. In fact, it fills us with intelligence and energy. It can even bring about ‘en-light-enment.’
Eating raw doesn’t mean you have to chomp on carrots like a jack rabbit all day. You can use a dehydrator to make tasty vegetable and fruit chips. You can use a food processor or blender to make delicious smoothies and soups. You can eat nuts, seeds and sprouts, and make your own granola or trail mix to munch on throughout the day. Try to pick a rainbow of colors and use fresh herbs to heal the body of an assortment of ailments from allergies to lethargy and to keep your palate tingling and tantalized with a myriad of flavors from around the world. A raw food diet isn’t only full of light, it is full of flavor. You can start by adding more life-giving foods and eliminating death-filled foods one by one. Eventually your body will adjust to its new-found health and crave only life-supporting foods and you will wonder why a fast-food meal ever sounded good at all.
About the Author:
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga. You can find more information about her here.