Tag Archives: raw food hypocrite

Cherry juice is perfect for thirsty insomniacs

18 Jul

In this unusually hot and summery month of July in London, my new best friend and drink of choice is concentrated cherry juice with chilled soda water. Not only is it deliciously refreshing and tasty, but according to a zillion trusted sources only a tablespoon of cherry concentrate a day can significantly ease gout, arthritis, muscle pain and insomnia, prevent stroke and heart attack, and ongoing studies suggest that it may even prevent cancer. I don’t have either arthritis or gout, and don’t do enough sport to warrant muscle pain, but I can say I am sleeping like a log.

Cures gout, joint pain, prevents heart attacks and strokes
According to glamorous website joint-pain.com, ‘cherries have been shown to lower levels of uric acid in the blood, which is one of the most common causes of gout pain. A study at the University of California Davis showed that consuming a serving of cherries daily significantly lowered the blood uric acid levels of women by as much as 15 percent. The secret to the benefits of cherry juice is a compound called anthocyanins, which are the pigments that give cherries their bright red color and are also believed to be the key to helping the body relieve inflammation. As an added bonus, these same anthocyanins may significantly reduce your risk for colon cancer, the third leading cancer in America. Doctors and scientists believe that the anthocyanins in the cherries is what caused the decrease in blood urates and what causes cherry juice gout relief. They also feel that consuming anthocyanins on a regular basis may help lower heart attack and stroke risk, and are even studying the benefits of cherry juice and how it may have direct applications to the treatment and prevention of cancer.

Melatonin in cherries helps you sleep like a baby
On the riveting medical news today website – Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D, a biomedical scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center and one of the world’s leading authorities on melatonin, says while melatonin supplement pills have been heavily promoted as a sleep aid, foods such as cherries – available year-round as dried, frozen and juice – may be a better alternative for boosting the body’s own supply of melatonin. “When consumed regularly, tart cherries may help regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep,” says Reiter. “And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits.”

Recover quicker from marathon training
If you are one of those super fit running freaks, not like me, you’ll also be pleased to know the research results of Dr Glyn Howatson, exercise physiologist and Laboratory Director in the School of Psychology and Sports Sciences’. He examined the properties of Montmorency cherries in a study that found that athletes who drank the juice recovered faster after the London marathon running than a placebo controlled group. Inflammation was also reduced in the cherry juice group, as was oxidative stress, a potentially damaging response that can be caused by strenuous physical activity, particularly long distance endurance exercise.

Even the rarely open-minded Daily Mail is on the case reporting that ‘drinking a glass of cherry juice a day offers the same health benefits as eating 23 portions of fruit and vegetables.’

I’m onto it and you should be too.  There are several brands but right this minute the raw food hypocrite is drinking CherryActive concentrate. You can buy it here or at Wholefoods or Planet Organic.

Gandhi was a raw food hypocrite too

3 May

I’m in India at the moment and a few days ago visited the Gandhi Smitri museum in Delhi. Here I bought numerous pamphlets which are collations of Gandhi’s various lectures, speeches and articles he presented and wrote on various topics over his life. Reading through them I see that Gandhi is also a raw food hypocrite.

Gandhi advocates a raw diet many times in his writings but as he says in a speech to the London Vegetarian Society in 1931: Man is more than meat. It is the spirit of man for which we are concerned. Therefore vegetarians should have that moral basis – that a man was not born a carnivorous animal, but born to live on the fruits and herbs that the earth grows. I know we all err. I would give up milk if I could, but I cannot.

The pamphlet I refer to in this post is titled; ‘the moral basis of vegetarianism’. In it are these articles Gandhi wrote for the Young India newspaper on the 15th August 1929 such as this one: As a searcher for Truth I deem it necessary to find the perfect food for a man to keep body, mind and soul in sound condition. I believe that the search can only succeed with unfired food and in the limitless vegetable kingdom there is an effective substitute for milk, which every medical man admits, has its drawbacks and which is designed by nature not for man but for babies and young ones of lower animals.

In Young India newspaper a week later, he wrote: If one may take ripe fruit without cooking, I see no reason why one may not take vegetables too in an uncooked state provided one can properly digest them. Dieticians are of the opinion that the inclusion of a small quantity of raw vegetables like cucumber, marrow, pumpkin, gourd etc in one’s menu is more beneficial to health than eating of large quantities of the same cooked. But the digestive systems of most people are very often so impaired through a surfeit of cooked fare that one should not be surprised if at first they fail to do justice to raw greens.

More evidence that if you can at least try to eb raw and aim towards it as a lifestyle – you’re on the right, not only physically but also spiritually and ethically. Reading this inspires me to keep trying.

Being a hypocrite is good for you

26 Jan

Eat well for the planet and your body

Good news – my hypocrisy is vindicated.  According to this article; ‘Why the shift away from veganism in the raw world?’ by Fresh Network, vegans and raw food experts all over the world are turning back to animal products to supplement their diets for better health and more energy.  Having never turned completely away from animal or cooked foods, I now wonder if it is a primitive instinct for nutrients rather than extreme lack of willpower that makes me the raw food hypocrite. 

However much of a relief that is, I still believe, based on my own personal experience, that overloading on meat, cooked and processed foods is really unhealthy.  And of course, I also strongly believe that we should always eat well for the planet as well as our bodies and minds.

Why the shift away from veganism in the raw world? on Fresh Network

As you may already have noticed, a big change has taken place in the raw food world, and this change is ongoing. More and more raw food authors, coaches and speakers are coming forward either to say they’re not vegan anymore, to publicly promote the health benefits of certain animal products, or to warn that the vegan diet does not provide all necessary nutrients so vegans must supplement.

Taking into account those raw leaders who have never been completely vegan anyway, we can now count very few raw food promoters who are 100% vegan themselves and who also say that a 100% raw vegan diet provides us with everything we need (i.e. that there is no need to supplement). We decided a while ago that this phenomenon deserved a closer look, so we have been busy discussing this shift with our contacts and also investigating what may be causing it.

Before going any further, we wish to acknowledge the gigantic ethical and environmental justifications for avoiding animal products, and the fact that for many, eating these foods is not an option, regardless of any alleged or real health benefits. And indeed this is why there are passionate vegans who do not believe the vegan diet is our natural diet, but who choose to stay vegan and supplement rather than consume animal products.

The rest of the article, including interviews with some some of the leading raw and vegan foodies, is here.

Raw food in season in January

8 Jan
 

fresh and seasonal is best for your body and the planet

If you pick your fruits and vegetables from where they love growing and when they love growing, you will not only reap maximum flavour, but also maximum nutritional value.  Fundamentally, the idea is that the fruits and vegetables will be happier growing to their full and ultimate individual potential at their ideal pace.  And consuming anything happy can only be good for us.

Imagine if we all ate fruit and vegetables like that all the time. We’d be healthier, more clever and probably wealthier because we wouldn’t, for example, be paying exhorbitant transportation costs for say, mangoes from the Congo.  Not only do our back pockets suffer from the cost of tranporting unripe genetically modified fruit grown in hot houses, but more importantly, our eating behaviours (and I am including myself) are at the expense of our increasingly fragile planet.  Raw and seasonal is the best sustainable and nutritional way to go.

I find my seasonal info here at Eat the Seasons:

VEGETABLES
beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, salsify, shallots, spinach, swede, turnips

FRUIT
apples, clementines, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, satsumas, tangerines

HERBS, FLOWERS, FUNGHI, NUTS
almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, chives, coriander, hazelnuts, mushrooms (cultivated), mushrooms (wild), parsley, truffles (black), truffles (white), walnuts

Delicious detoxing? I’m teaching raw food recipes on 23rd Jan

2 Jan

I'm teaching a raw food detox class at Books for Cooks on 23rd January

If you are anything like me at the dinner table around Christmas time, you’ll have an extra chin, even more rolls on your stomach (and back…), two large love handles and big bags under your blood shot eyes by now.  Sounds gorgeous doesn’t it?  Um, well, no… However – it just so happens that not only am I about to embark on a serious detox to get rid of those unwanted bits but I’m also teaching a raw food/detox preparation class at the wonderful Books for Cooks, here in London, on 23rd January.

Books for Cooks is Notting Hill’s famous specialist cookbook shop, crammed with thousands of tasty titles and equipped with a squashy sofa for cookbook junkies in need of a long read. Cookbooks are put to the test in their café at the back of the shop, while cookery classes take place in the demonstration kitchen upstairs

The class will be based on an international selection of raw food treats using organic ingredients in season at the moment.  I also throw in some of my extra strong opinions on nutrition and living the good life.

1. a green smoothie 
2. raw spring rolls
3. raw som tam salad
4. raw sushi
5. various raw mexican salads
6. raw cauliflower couscous
7. raw chocolate

Of course the menu may change slightly as we get closer to the 23rd, however, essentially, I can promise I’ll prove that a raw food detox doesn’t have to be dull, worthy and a royal pain in the backside to make and live by.

So – to book, click right here.

Raw chocolate Christmas pudding deluxe

23 Dec

Raw Christmas feast for twelve carnivores? What do you think their opinion of a six course raw menu would be? Exactly! So the hypocrite in me gave them what they wanted; turkey mince balls, cranberry chutney, chestnut souffle and a mountain of roasted vegetables. At least until dessert.The raw foody in me then managed to sneak in a raw chocolate Christmas pudding without anyone noticing it was raw. Usually traditional Chrissie puddings seriously clog up your digestive system – you’ll find this one does the opposite!

 

THE INGREDIENTS
200g organic dried apricots
300g raisins
100g prunes
10 delicious caramel-like medjool dates
2 pods of vanilla
a pint of freshly juiced apple juice
3 grated carrots
2 grated apples
a healthy dash of cinammon
150g ground almonds
100g chopped hazelnuts
100g chopped pecan nuts

HOW TO MAKE IT
1. Soak the fruits, vanilla, cinammon and carrot in the apple juice, in a covered bowl, for three days
2. Blend as best you can – roughish texture is still ok
3. Add chopped nuts to mixture
4. Spoon mixture into small pots as in the pic above (I use recycled yoghurt pots)
5. Make the raw chocolate to the recipe here
6. Cover with a generous layer of liquid raw chocolate and refrigerate before serving. Yum.

It tasted delish and with all those dried fruits in there, also gave everyone a good digestive clean out the next day! Just two of the benefits…

TIP
I had loads left over, so rolled the mixture into balls, coated them in left over raw choc and then coconut. They last for ages and make yummy late Christmas presents for lovely neighbours.

US researchers conclude raw food eaters thin but healthy

16 Dec

a fresh raw fruit and vegetables is best for you

OK – so that conclusion is music to my raw food ears and I’m going to say those four highly irritating words – ‘I told you so’.  I told you a raw food diet was good for you and not just because you’re thinner, have better skin, look younger, have clear bright eyes and lots of energy.  And this BBC story sort of proves I was right.

I say ‘sort of’ because this report is a very frank analysis of the research and a raw food diet overall. It takes into account some of the potential negatives including damage to bone mass and the obvious necessity for a balanced diet.  It recommends including  raw fruit and vegetables into your diet, not following it 100%.  This could mean anything from munching a blueberry muffin to leading a 99% raw fruit and vegetable lifestyle and everything inbetween. I suggest, from my personal experience,  a diet of 70-80% raw.  I think this is not only possible for us punters but also very healthy.  While the study is based on extreme 100% raw foodies and helpfully concludes that they are thin and healthy, the article also provides the biggest clue, to us less fanatical, as to why.  It’s all in the chorophyll, which can be most efficiently found in fresh leafy greens. Hello green smoothies!

On another note, there are a few reasons why I can imagine this story wouldn’t be taken seriously.  Firstly this is a BBC report from 2005 that I’ve only just tracked down. Secondly, the study was ‘found in the Archives of Internal Medicine’ whatever they are.  And then, thirdly, you quickly discover that only 18 people were tested… Mmmmm.  Well.  Can such a small sample count? Probably not.  But who cares. It’s great news and you should read and digest every word!

Extracts from BBC News 29 March, 2005
People who follow a raw food vegetarian diet are light in weight but healthy, according to US researchers.

It has been suggested that eating only plant-derived foods that have not been cooked or processed might make bones thinner and prone to fractures. But a study in Archives of Internal Medicine found although bones were lighter on this diet, turnover rates were normal with no osteoporosis. The lower bone mass is down to raw food eaters being slim, believe the authors.

Dr Stephen Walsh, nutrition spokesperson for the Vegan Society, said it was to be expected that people who ate only raw foods would be slimmer and that this would in turn have an effect on bone mass.

Elaine Bruce, experienced naturopath, homeopath and director of the UK Centre for Living Foods, said calcium was important for building bones, but that inorganic calcium in the form of supplements would not do the job.

“You have to have organic calcium as it occurs in fresh green leafy vegetables. “What we do in our programme is maximise that intake by having it in juice form.”

She said that the chlorophyll found in green plants and vegetables also contained the right amount of magnesium that is essential for the uptake of calcium for healthy bones.

“The chemical composition of chlorophyll and blood is very similar which further facilitates this uptake,” she added.

Meatloaf is a vegetarian

11 Dec

Knowing my passion for raw food, my clever friend Wybe sent the raw food hypocrite this brilliant image, designed by JWT Kuwait for International Vegan Union. 

I can safely say that if this was a reflection of my body, there would be some chocolate, an espresso, cheese on biscuits and a pizza in there also!

While their website looks pretty bad, the content on it is really interesting and useful.  For example, I found out that there are no vegan organisations in Swaziland, and that Pythagorus, Tolstoy, Thomas Edison, Kate Bush, Billy Idol, ‘Weird’ Al Yankovich, Mel C, Prince, Moby, Justin Timberlake and even  Meatloaf are vegetarians.

Healthy sustainable eating is number 9 on Epicurious top ten menu trends list 2010

4 Dec

eating raw protects the environment

On the surface, healthy eating at number 9 on a list of trends from a foodie website  seems like a tenuous cause for the raw food hypocrite to celebrate, however when it is linked to sustainability, it is.  

Sustainability is one gigantic benefit to eating raw that goes way beyond our healthy, good looking bodies to a healthy, good looking planet.  We are on the cusp of a wave of consciousness about the links between nutrition, a healthy life and the world around us. Eating more raw fruit and vegies, means less ‘meat’ farming, less food manufacturing and therefore  less pollution, wastage, cruelty to animals and pillage of precious land.  It means that by choosing an apple over a cream bun, we can, even in a small way, do our bit for the environment. Ignoring the frightening other top trends of pot roast and stew and the following meaty, deep fried, beery, chemical-based others, here is the article ‘Menu Trends for 2010’ from Epicurious.com by by Tanya Steel posted yesterday.  

We’re not the only ones brandishing our crystal ball, predicting trends for next year. Among the lists coming out are Restaurant & Institution’s Menu Trends for 2010. It contains few surprises, and we think a fusion of Asian and Latin is so 2000, but the list (follows, verbatim) generally rings true:

1. Pot roast and brisket and stew, oh my! Homey favorites spotlighting affordable cuts are the order of the day for comfort-and value-minded diners.

2. Asian + Latin = A dynamic duo. The Twitter-driven frenzy over Los Angeles’ Kogi truck and its signature Korean tacos gets at least some of the credit for this latest fusion craze, which will only get bigger in 2010. 

3. Midday dining deals. With customers cutting back on dining out far more at dinner than at other dayparts, many operators are turning to speed- and value-oriented lunch specials in an effort to grab more midday dining dollars. 

4. Beer, there and everywhere. Whether diners view specialty brews as an affordable luxury in a down economy or they’ve simply grown more enamored of the drinks’ frothy charms, beer’s star is still rising at restaurants, with operators sourcing craft and seasonal labels, promoting menu pairings and themed dinners, and opening beer-centric pubs and eateries. 

5. Chains build better burgers. Premium burgers represent the ultimate marriage of value and indulgence, so it’s no wonder that restaurant chains are following the lead of high-end chefs and dedicated fast-casual concepts and nudging up America’s favorite sandwich a few notches. 

6. Are eggs the new bacon? Eggs are everywhere on menus–draped over burgers and pizzas, tucked into sandwiches, and showcased in dolled-up renditions of classic deviled and Scotch eggs as bar snacks and appetizers. 

7. Drugstore-counter desserts. The retro-dessert trend just won’t quit, and this time, spiffed-up shakes and floats are taking the spotlight. 

8. Big-name chefs take it down a(nother) notch. The drive toward downscale dining continues: Witness Big Star, Chicago chef Paul Kahan’s just-opened dive bar/taco shack; Il Cane Rosso, the San Francisco sandwich shop from Coi Chef-owner Daniel Patterson; and Bar Symon, Michael Symon’s gastropub-style spot in suburban Cleveland. 

9. Meatless meals. Americans aren’t quite embracing vegetarianism en masse, but eschewing meat more often in the interest of health and environmental sustainability is most definitely in vogue. 

 10: Deep-fried and fabulous. Bone-in fried chicken is the latest unlikely darling of upscale dining rooms, but nontraditional deep-fried fare is trendy, too.

Correction: Nakd bars aren’t completely naked

26 May

My friend and raw food guru, Rob from Funky Raw, has very kindly informed me that Nakd bars are not raw.  Firstly – I feel duped but secondly – I am so sorry to lead you astray. 

However it does highlight the point that perhaps there are some people jumping on the raw bandwagon without the pure raw credientials.  It is important that raw food is not only ‘not cooked’ but that ALL the ingredients are also absolutely raw.  Being ‘raw’ means that all those lovely nutrients are intact.  If something is cooked- we’re missing out. I can’t judge too harshly as I am a total hypocrite, but at least I’m honest about that…

I double checked the wording on the Nakd website and this is what they write:
‘nākd bars are a 100% natural wholefood bar – a delicious blend of unsweetened fruit, rolled oats, nuts and spices. Unlike most bars, nākd bars contain no artificial ingredients of any kind, no-added sugar and are made raw, never cooked. In fact, if they were any more natural, you’d have to peel ‘em.’

Reading that you could conclude that they are completely raw as I did.  Mmmm.  It also doesn’t change the fact they are delicious and are relatively very, very healthy. So – I recommend giving them a try but not if you are trying to be 100% raw.

You can read Rob’s full article and blog here.