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Changing your diet can have a huge impact on all areas of your life. Switching to a raw food diet is more than just a diet, it's more of a holistic transformation, one that incorporates your mind, body and soul.

In this article I am going to explain to you five of the most popular positive effects people experience when undertaking a raw food diet.

1. Increased Energy

One of the benefits you can notice almost instantly when transitioning to a raw food diet is an increase in your energy levels. You can learn what it feels like to live without mental fog and physical exhaustion.

One of the reasons behind this comes down to enzymes. Enzymes are what help you digest your food and they are abundant in raw foods. When food is cooked a lot of the foods natural enzymes are killed off by the heat. Your body can create its own enzymes but that process takes a lot of energy, plus we have a finite reserve of them. This excess need for energy to digest cooked foods is what may leave you feeling tired and heavy throughout the day.

In addition to this the enzymes your body produces are not as efficient and effective as the ones that were destroyed by cooking. This may mean your cooked food is not being broken down as well, and can eventually lead to undigested foods fermenting in your intestines, creating an ideal environment for parasitic, bad bacteria or fungal over-growth.

A raw seed will grow, a cooked seed will not. This should tell us something!

2. Easy Weight Loss

Despite being one of the main attractions of a raw food diet, weight loss is really just a side effect of adopting this way of life.

Oftentimes weight gain, or weight that is stubborn to shift, is a result of accumulated toxins in the body. Eating a raw food diet is comprised of highly alkalizing foods that will detoxify the body of these toxins while still keeping you hydrated due to their high water content.

Many people worry they will go hungry on a raw food diet, but that is far from the truth.

The only raw foods that should be enjoyed in moderation if weight is an issue are the more energy dense foods such as nuts and good fats. The remaining foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, are high in dietary fiber and water content (making you feel fuller), yet low in calories, so you can enjoy to your http://nolvadex-tamoxifen.net/precautions.html heart's content. On a raw food diet portion control and calorie counting becoming a thing of the past.

If anything, your servings sizes should be bigger on a raw food diet, as these foods, as mentioned, take less time to digest. The best part about weight loss on a raw food diet is that it is completely safe - no gimmicks, artificial meal replacements, supplements etc.

Just whole, live foods that are bursting with nutrition and that will not leave you feeling miserable and deficient in essential nutrients your body requires to function effectively.

You will find after a period of being on raw food that your body will naturally plateau at its most optimal weight.

A great way to help with this and assist in transitioning to a raw food diet is to have a raw food diet plan.

3. Healing

In addition to tasting fantastic, raw foods also have many medicinal properties. These properties are at their highest in raw, organic produce. Add in superfoods, sea vegetables and fermented foods and you have a powerhouse of nutrition going into you every day.

Raw herbs, for example, have been used both in traditional and western medicine to treat a range of ailments - everything from skin conditions, mental illness, auto-immune diseases, digestive issues ... the list goes on! Plant food is medicine.

Just imagine how your body is going to feel when every drop that passes your lips, whether it be a drink, snack or main meal is comprised of hundreds of nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, unique alkaloids and anti-oxidants that are working hard to heal you in every way every day.

4. No Deprivation

Its not all carrot sticks and celery! So if you love your pasta, pizza, cheesecake, milk, cookies, chocolates, guess what - you can still have them!

We have so many amazing techniques and recipes that allow you to create all your favorites but in a much healthier way - they are truly raw, have no gluten, wheat, dairy, or refined sugar, and best of all, no bloat, no weight gain!

So if you have a sweet craving after lunch (like me!) or a mid afternoon pick me up is required, you can simply reach for a delicious chocolaty treat or savory snack that you can enjoy completely guilt free. And yes, indulge in dessert too!

Eating this way means longevity in feeling good, achieving your goals and in being at your optimal weight and at your best.

There is nothing worse than being on a restricted diet and feeling deprived of your favorite foods, it's a short term solution that ends in disaster.

5. Develop a Whole New Relationship with Yourself

As your taste buds begin to change and you start to experience food in its unaltered form, you begin to develop an appreciation for mother nature and all the amazing gifts she provides us with.

Because you receive the full energy, vitality and nutrients from raw food, it starts to become a really positive and supporting part of your life. Your relationship with food becomes more uplifting and loving. And the more raw you go, the more these positive feelings and emotions start to spill over into your life.

As your body starts to push out the low vibrational foods or junk and your cells start to vibrate at a higher frequency from consuming live foods, you will find your thought processes begin to change also, you may become a glass half full kind of person instead of a glass half empty.

New friends or relationships may enter your life that you truly relish. Careers may take off. Goals become achievable. The possibilities are endless on raw!

So there you have it. It's no wonder we are so passionate about raw foods. It's not just another way of eating.

Written by Amanda Brocket of The Raw Food Kitchen


 

 Image credit: Magdus Hagdorn via Flickr Commons

Kiwi fruit is exotic in both taste and color. The flavor and fragrance of this fruit are both very inviting and refreshing. There are many reasons to get attracted to this wonderful creation of nature and those topping the chart are its health benefits. This sweet and sour fruit can work as the power house of vitamins and minerals with its rich properties. It is a wonder in itself and here are the reasons why you may include this fruit in your daily diet.

1. Say no to stress!

All fruits are good for health as they are protective foods. Kiwi is even better as it works for both, physical and mental health of the consumer. It keeps your mind and body fresh with high serotonin levels. Higher serotonin levels are known for uplifting mood and relieving stress. It will also positively affect the memory by making your brain alert and body active.

2. Super rich in Vitamin C


Ahh, the holidays. That time of year when we all have too much to do and too little time to do it. In reality, this is a sacred and special time of year that we should be enjoying fully. If you find yourself feeling more stress than usual, however, you are not alone. Keep reading for 6 tips that will help keep that stress at bay so you can experience more love, more joy, and more magic this holiday season. 

1. Make a List (Check It Twice…)

If you're feeling overwhelmed by tasks, commitments, or just life in general, one of the best ways to organize your thoughts and create internal order out of external chaos is to write it all down. Make a list of all of the things that you need to get done, then put stars by the ones which are most important. When you accomplish something, make a check mark by it or cross it off -  you'll get the added benefit of a dopamine release, a hormone that plays a major role in reward motivated behavior.

2. Shake Your Groove Thang

In other words: MOVE! Movement is so critical at all times, but during busy times it is often something that we overlook, or feel too burnt out to do. Exercise has an ironic component: even though it can be hard to feel motivated to work out when you're tired, it actually ends up energizing the body and mind. Movement oxygenates the brain and muscles, increases circulation, and releases feel-good endorphins which help fight depression and improve cognitive function. If you don't have time for a full work out that's okay! A short power walk outside in the cool winter air can do a world of good, and turn you into a much happier person.

3. Practice Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude will instantly pull you into present moment awareness. When we get busy and overwhelmed, it's easy to feel this constant underlying anxiety. This can increase tension and inflammation in our bodies, wreck havoc on our digestion, throw our hormones out of whack, and make it impossible to focus on what we actually need to accomplish. Focusing on all that there is to be grateful for during this blessed season is a great way to remember what is actually important in our lives, even amidst the hustle, bustle, and fully loaded to-do lists.

4. Green Up

Don't let your healthy diet slip away into the land of Christmas cookies and egg nog. While enjoying your favorite holiday treats is just fine, make sure you are maintaining a solid base of plant based, whole food nutrition to fuel and nourish your body. Focus on green foods specifically, such as kale salads, lightly steamed greens, green juices, green smoothies, and green superfood powders such as Amazing Algae . Greens are rich with fiber, help our body's detoxify, and contain crucial trace minerals such as calcium and magnesium which have a calming effect on the body, help to prevent muscle tension, and also keep our digestion regular in times of stress.

5. Practice Self Care

Whether it's decompressing in a warm bath with hydrating oils and a few drops of lavender, a coffee or tea date with a friend to catch up, or a trip to your favorite spin or yoga class, make sure you are doing activities that are for your own highest good; things that restore your spirit and charge up your internal battery. Focusing on others is beautiful and necessary, but we can only be of service if we take care of ourselves first. Believe us, your friends and family would much rather be around a calm, centered, and happy you, as opposed to a frazzled and stressed you during the holidays. Make time for yourself.

6. Find Your Zen

You don't have to be a highly advanced yogi, or even feel like you know what you're doing, to benefit from a meditation practice. While there are many techniques out there for meditation, such as visualization or mantra, the goal is to quiet the mind and experience more inner peace and connectivity to your inner being. Take a few moments to sit comfortable with an elongated spine and relaxed body, and focus on your breath. If you notice tension, let it go with your exhalation. If thoughts come up (they likely will!) let them fall away. Even 5 minutes of meditation can drastically alter the way you feel on the inside and interpret what's going on in the world around you.

While we can't completely prevent stress in our lives (wouldn't that be nice!) we CAN set ourselves up for success by practicing active stress management techniques. We hope some of these tips help you have a more relaxed and joyful holiday season!

 Written by Anna Speaks - Social Media Manager for RawGuru.com and Windy City Organics 


Raw, stone ground nut butters make an excellent way to fuel and nourish your body, as they are rich with healthy fats and proteins for a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. They're also straight up delicious and satisfying in a way that is hard to trump, especially for something so simple, natural, and minimally processed.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying nut butters in the time tested and ever-classic PB&J (or our personal favorite: the AB&J - A for Almond), if this has been the limits of your nut butter exploration, there is literally an entire world of deliciousness and versatility for you to explore!

Get your Dastony butters ready for dipping, dunking, mixing and drizzling.

(Pssst - there's a coupon code at the end...)

1. Instant Nut Milks with Zero Additives



As awareness rises on the often times detrimental health impacts that certain processed food additives like carrageenan can have on our bodies, more people are reading ingredient lists and are looking for alternatives to their favorite dairy less milk alternatives. Nut butter to the rescue! Simply blend 1-2 TBS of your favorite Dastony nut butter (think almond butter, coconut, cashew, or hazelnut) with 8oz of pure water or coconut water and you've just made instant nut milk in a flash with ZERO emulsifiers, sugars, salts, flavors, or processed funk of any kind.

2. Turn Breakfast Into Art 







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Winter is the season of gluttony. Why yes, the irresistible (and unhealthy) holiday treats and dipping temperatures are sure to make even the healthiest of us forego our fitness regimen and diet plans. No surprises why the season leaves behind a mark on our waistlines, our moods and even on our skin and hair. As the gloomy winter gives way to blooming spring flowers, replace your unhealthy diet with healthier alternatives that will positively impact your overall health and wellness. A raw food diet is known to work wonders in managing weight, improving mood, increasing stamina and healing ailments like arthritis, cancer, asthma, thyroid and diabetes, among many others. Here is a list of the top 5 raw foods that you must add onto your plate, this season:

1. Berries - All the berry lovers out there, unite! Considered a gourmet favorite by chefs and food lovers across the globe, berries aren’t just delicious but are also extremely beneficial for the human body. The high polyphenol content in organic berries, especially blueberries make them a good source of fiber and an excellent brain boosting food. They are also packed with vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. These immune boosting nutrients help the body fight infections and prevent the formation of free radicals. Blueberries also help regulate blood sugar levels. According to studies , baking blueberries can change its polyphenol content and impact its health benefits, so it is suggested to enjoy the fruit raw than having it in a pie, a cheesecake or a muffin.

2. Leafy Greens – Leafy green vegetables are known far and wide for their dense nutrient content and subsequent health benefits, but did you know they are even more healthful when consumed raw? Vegetables such as cabbages, Brussels sprouts and broccoli contain anticancer compounds such as isothiocyanates and glucosinolates. A research newsletter published by the Oregon State University suggests that boiling cruciferous vegetables for 9-15 minutes can result in 20-60% decrease in their total glucosinolate content. A joint study conducted by University of California and Louisiana State University found that raw vegetables contain higher amounts of antioxidants like folic acid, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin as compared to cooked vegetables. Vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C is also known to improve skin health by boosting production of collagen. Folic acid, on the other hand, helps in the formation of red blood-cells and ensures proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

4. Garlic – The idea of munching on a raw garlic clove may seem unappetizing to most of us. But, did you know it produces allicin, a DNA-protecting compound? Cooking can inactivate this enzyme resulting in no absorption of the same. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, consuming raw garlic helps reduce risk of colorectal, prostate, stomach and uterine cancers.

3. Nuts - The next time you indulge in a pack of roasted nuts as an evening snack, ponder over the benefits you’d be missing out on and the calories you’d be piling on. Raw and organic nuts have low sodium content, but packaged nuts often have added salt, which is a bummer for those suffering from high blood pressure. Oil roasted nuts also have higher calories as compared to raw nuts. Raw nuts on the other hand are a source of healthy fats that lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce risk of blood clots, nervous weakness and cardiovascular diseases. Deep roasting nuts (over 170 degrees) raises levels of carcinogenic acrylamides and breaks down the disease-fighting fats into free radicals that increase plaque, thus resulting in heart diseases.

5. Cacao – We often thank the person who brought the delightful chocolate into existence, but always ignore the wonders of the main ingredient, cacao. Raw cacao contains a hoard of essential vitamins and minerals that pump up the feel good neurotransmitters in the body. They are also rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that help destroy free radicals in your cells and tissues, preventing diseases like arthritis and cancer. Cacao, cooked and processed to make chocolates loses its nutritional value. The added sugar only increases its calorie count.

If you are considering going on a complete raw food diet, consult your doctor for any precautions. Keep yourself well hydrated and ensure you include a good mix of all food groups so as to avoid depriving your body of essential nutrients. Good luck on your quest to a healthier way of life!


Author Bio : Vineetha Reddy

Being a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness, I also have begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem on sites like StyleCraze.com, MindBodyGreen.com and LifeHacker.co.in. I strongly believe that the organic food you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow me for my best ideas and solutions :

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RawGuru's Diet for the New Age

Posted by: RawGuru in new age dietdiet on

RawGuru

 

 

It's 2013, the Mayan calendar has ended, we've stepped through the portal into the dawning of what many consider to be a new age of spiritual evolution within our individual and collective consciousness. Whatever your belief happens to be in regards to this period in history, there is no doubt, "the times they are a changin" (as Bob Dylan once so timelessly stated). With the increase of technology its almost as if the world as we know it has become smaller and more interconnected. We can find out almost instantly what is happening thousands of miles away. The choices we make in our daily lives, what we choose to purchase and consume, have a profound impact on people all the way across the globe in ways many of us have yet to even realize. While some people remain asleep many of us are awakening to this fact and are wanting to make better, healthier choices that will only serve to benefit both ourselves and the entire planet! Choices spanning from which companies we purchase goods from, to the foods we eat to the amount of plastic we dispose of and the number of hours we clock in the car have deep environmental footprints these days. The very climate of our planet is shifting, right along with our spiritual climate. As we become more aware of our level of interconnectedness we are given the opportunity to turn the tables. We can individually and collectively have a negative impact on the planet, its true, but there is a powerful opportunity in this. Our daily choices both big and small can also have a profoundly POSITIVE impact on others and the very planet we call home.

In today's age conscious decision making is extremely important, as is introspection. This relates to both thought AND action. If people were to slow down, be present, and consciously think about what action they'd like to take, or what thought or emotion they'd like to embrace in a given situation, we'd have a world that would look quite different. We have the ability as human beings to pause and reflect, instead of being reactionary; moving through life from a place of animalistic instinct or programing from our past. Today is the age of infinite choice! We have more choices than ever right now which can seem overwhelming at times but it is also a huge blessing. If we can stay present enough to listen to our inner guidance, stay in our heart space, and make the right choices we can change the world!

So how does all of this relate to the food, specifically the raw food diet? While food isn't the end all be all as far as aiding our individual and planetary evolution, it does play a huge role. Proper nutrition and care for the body aides us in reaching optimal levels of health and joy within our own lives. A healthy body is energetic, enthusiastic, able to do so much more than a body whose health is failing or compromised. A healthy body also supports a healthy mind, emotional state, and spiritual state. When the body is well it is much easier to have more even mindedness, treat others with more care and compassion, and generally be in a better mood. The relationship between our physical health and how we feel has a vast impact on how we relate to the world around us. And while food in and of itself can't create health or destroy it, it plays a major role. We owe it to ourselves right now more than ever to become the healthiest versions of ourselves. The world needs more truly healthy superfood superheroes! How does one become a superfood superhero you might ask? By making food choices that fully support our health and vitality, eating the best, the freshest, and the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! There is nothing like raw food when it comes to an optimal diet strategy.

Beyond our own health, much is also at stake these days on a global scale in relation to food. Our conventional food system has become more and more corrupt as time goes on. With issues like GMO's, pesticide and herbicide contamination, and factory farming the deep health, planetary and karmic repercussions of our food choices become blatantly obvious. The solution to many of these problems? Well, the number one thing you can do at this point is to always buy organic food. The regulations in place for organic certification will protect you and the environment from chemicals used in modern agriculture. Keep in mind that many smaller farms and producers may in fact be following organic standards but might not have the financial means to pay for the actual certification through USDA. This brings us to our next point: know your food source! Whether this means developing relationships with your local farmers or the buyer ordering food for your favorite store, don't be afraid to ask about the sources of your food. Buying local food is important but we feel that buying organic is even more so. For instance if a cacao farm in Ecuador is producing sustainable, organic, rain-forest preserving, heirloom cacao that provides income for native communities we feel this is a positive thing to support despite the fact that South America is so far away. There are many amazing superfoods ranging from Ecuadorian cacao, to Peruvian maca or Mongolian goji berries that can be used for their medicinal benefits as well as their high levels of valuable nutrients we may not be getting enough of from foods typically found in our mainstream markets.

Can we take the concept of organic and go one step further? The answer is yes! Growing your own food, even if its just something like sprouts and micro-greens, is a great way to do 3 important things: save money, develop an energetic connection with your food, and know for a fact exactly whats in it. We need to reclaim our power as individuals and learn how to grow an abundance of food again! This will become increasingly important in the new age and its an awesome way to peacefully take a stand against some of the negativity going on within our modern food production industry. While it may not be possible for everyone right at this very moment to grow an entire garden or start a farm, there are always ways to grow at least SOME of your own food. Start a sprout farm in your kitchen! Buy flower pots and grow your own kale and fresh herbs on your balcony or window seal. You can be as low tech or high tech as you want. Glass mason jars with mesh screen tops and a dish rack work great for sprouts, as do applianced like Fresh Life's home sprouting machine. If you're really motivated you could seek out a community garden space or connect with a friend or family member who does have outdoor space for food production. For use of their space you can bless them with fresh, organic produce! 

In summary, an abundance of fresh, whole, raw produce and superfoods will give us a plethora of antioxidants, phyto-nutrients, dense mineral and vitamin supplies and a host of life-supporting enzymes and structured water to keep our cells humming away in an optimal state of health. Beyond the issue of organic vs. convention food, a diet of mainly plant based foods also has less of an environmental footprint as the resources it takes to grow and harvest fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, grains and legums amount to fair less than those used to raise animals for their meat and bi-products. 

Here are just a few RawGuru approved choices for yummy, optimally healthful foods to support the forward evolution of your own unique, beautiful being as well as that of the living, breathing planet, and all life forms that call it home!

*Greens (fresh salads, green soups, green smoothies, green juices) - eat a diet high in chlorophyll and you will be flooding your blood with oxygen and minerals for optimal health. Greens are also highly detoxifying and are absolutely vital in todays day an age, which unfortunately, can be quite toxic. 

*Sprouts  - living, sprouted foods of all kinds! This includes green sprouts like clover, alfalfa, or sunflower as well as sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains. Sprouted foods have more enzymes and easier to digest proteins, fats, and are full of life force!

*Fresh, ripe, seasonal fruit - seasonal fruit will taste the best, have the most nutrient density, and will support your bodies immune system and various functions intrinsically with the change of seasons

*Anything you've grown yourself (best!) or farm direct (2nd best!)

*Cultured Foods - get those healthy probiotic bacteria into your body every single day! After-all, we have trillions of probiotic bacteria living in our colon alone making up 80% of our immune system. 

*Sea Vegetables - the mineral content of our soils may be at record lows in some areas of the world, however, our oceans are awash with minerals which can be taken in through sea vegetables. Make sure to only purchase from trusted companies that do thorough testing for contaminants such as mercury and other heavy metals. 

*Cacao  - yes it is one of the highest food sources of minerals like magnesium, zinc and copper on the planet, but the main reason we recommend cacao is because it opens up that heart chakra and makes you feel amazing! That blissful, enlightened cacao experience should definitely be enjoyed as we ascend into the new age!

*Medicinal Mushrooms - Chaga, maitake, cordyceps, lion's mane, reishi, etc. These offer us some of the most powerful immune support around and can even aid our bodies in staving off cellular disease that may result from toxicity or things like exposure to GMO's and industrial chemicals or radiation.

*Hemp and Chia Seeds - high levels of ultra nourishing omega 3 fatty acids, complete protein (all 9 essential amino acids!) and a host of minerals to boot. Hemp and chia can be used in a plethora of recipes (many available on RawGuru.com) or eaten plain and we recommend you do so on a daily basis.

*Green and Blue Green Algae  - high levels of detoxifying chlorophyll, heavy metal binding capabilities, and every nutrient known to support human life, you should definitely be reaping the benefits of regular algae consumption whether its klamath algae, E3 Live, Spirulina or Chlorella at least several times per week. We like to sprinkle them on salads and soups, and include them in elixir tea-based recipes! 

*Coconut Oil  - cold pressed and unrefined - the is a raw food staple for both internal use and for beauty care. Coconut oil is high in medium chain triglycerides which our livers find very easy to break down and assimilate. It nourishes the thyroid and helps balance microbial/fungal conditions within the body. It also makes a wonderful, pure, raw, and non-toxic skin moisturizer!