Tag Archives: raw foodist

‘Eat less red meat’, say experts and every newspaper in the UK. ‘Duh!’ say every vegan, vegetarian and raw foodist.

20 Feb

Cows are dancing for joy at the news that the SACN recommends we humans eat less meat...

Today was a good day for vegans, vegtarians, raw foodists and even raw food hypocrites like me.  Every Sunday newspaper in the UK has reported on the ‘advice’ due to be released by The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommending that we eat less meat.  While the equivalent of three rashers of bacon a day still seems like a lot  to me – surely we are merely a stone’s throw from being ‘advised’ to be completely raw…

While the full report will be issued in a few days with the full advice and basis for it – here is the article I’ve copied from today’s Independent.

Britons should cut their consumption of red and processed meat to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, scientific experts are expected to recommend in a report.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) was asked by the Department of Health to review dietary advice on meat consumption as a source of iron.

In a draft report published in June 2009 the committee of independent experts said lower consumption of red and processed meat would probably reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

The committee said: “Although the evidence is not conclusive, as a precaution, it may be advisable for intakes of red and processed meat not to increase above the current average (70g/day) and for high consumers of red and processed meat (100g/day or more) to reduce their intakes.”

A daily total of 70g is equivalent to about three rashers of bacon.

The Sunday Telegraph said the full report, to be published within days, was expected to echo the committee’s draft report.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The DH committee of independent experts on nutrition will shortly publish their final report on iron and health.”

The World Cancer Research Fund already recommends people limit their intake of red meat, including pork, beef, lamb and goat, to 500g a week.

The fund also advises consumers to avoid too much processed meat, including hot dogs, ham, bacon and some sausages and burgers.

The Telegraph goes further to reiterate that ‘links between red meat and cancer, which have been suggested by a series of scientific studies, have provoked long-running controversy.

In 2005, a European study found those who regularly ate 160g (5.6oz) of red meat a day increased their risk of bowel cancer by one third.

High consumption of red and processed meat has also been linked to many other cancers, including that of the breast, bladder, stomach and digestive organs, but the evidence is weaker.’

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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.

Revolution in Thailand: the green smoothy kind

9 Jun
Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

On the night before I began my fast here on Koh Samui, Thailand, I was lucky enough to bump into ‘my’ iridologist, and raw foodist, crystal healer and friend Jennifer Thompson. And as luck would have it she invited me to a free green smoothy talk she was giving that evening. Of course I accepted her very kind invitation and me and my fuchsia sunburn trundled along to her lovely beach hut to have my raw life revolutionised.

The first thing you notice about Jennifer is that she glows.  A problem if you come from Chernobyl but in this case it’s a very good thing.  She is gorgeous, vibrant and energetic and lives a raw food life in a way that I don’t think would ever fit with my hectic London schedule and weak willpower.

Six of us sit around a low table groaning with a giant pile of green leaves, exotic fruit and bananas and of course, a blender.  Nothing fancy, it’s just a slightly battered well loved, plastic blender I’ve seen in Sainsbury’s for a tenner.

First off we define what a green smoothy is.  Jennifer tells us; ‘it is not a naughty treat, it’s a healthy meal in itself.  Green as in green leaves are the only thing in nature that the sun turns into edible energy and blending them helps break them down and open up the nutrients to our bodies. ’ She also told us that ‘green leaves are not a carbohydrate like vegetables or fruit and they provide lots of essential minerals and proteins normally associated with meats.   They are a category of their own.’ 

Jennifer continued and rapidly fired off the benefits of green smoothies. Here are the top seven I managed to remember:

1. it’s an EASY way to get your nutrients (iron, calcium, magnesium, Vits K, C, E, B) for the day;
‘A smoothy is a perfect way to eat greens because we need such a big volume of them that we couldn’t get in a salad. You just add the green leaves to a fruit base such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, whatever and blend.’

2. it’s a QUICK way to get all your nutrients for the day;
‘We’re all too busy to chew.’

3.  You’ll have LOTS OF ENERGY;
‘When you start drinking green smoothies you’ll notice you’ll have a lot more energy because it is energy coming directly from the sun.’

4. It’s CHEAP;
‘Instead of coming all the to Thailand you can a three day or two week  (or whatever) green smoothy diet and fast every month.’

5. GREAT FOR BABIES;
‘Green smoothies are a great transitional food for babies because they’re delicious and easy to swallow.’

6. it’s a HEALING food; and
‘Your body can’t heal itself without the tools.  The tools are the nutrients.’

7. STOP CRAVINGS.
‘Underneath every addiction, is your body craving for nutrients.’

The one major yet superficial benefit of green smoothies that Jennifer didn’t really go into, is that you’ll lose weight.  Once you stop succumbing to the cravings, your body has the nutrients it needs to heal itself and because it will feel the love from you, you’ll shift the pounds! She also mentioned that because of the high level of fibre in the smoothy they can last up to three days so you can make them at night and eat them the next day. Oh – and they’re packed with anti-oxidants.  I’m 99% sold at this point and already visualise my new life as a green smoothy disciple.  And so we begin to blend…

For more information about the nutritional value of green leaves I found this easy to understand article on About.com.

Raw Food at The Hay Festival?

28 May
the epicentre of the second hand book world

the epicentre of the second hand book world

I’ve just spent the long weekend at The Hay Festival a ten day international book fest set in Hay-on-Wye in the Welsh Brecons. With some thirty major bookshops it has been famous as the world’s largest secondhand and antiquarian book centre since 1961. While there are some perfectly reasonable pubs and cafes around town, (I ate the best beef wellington of my life at the Old Black Lion), none of them serve raw food other than the lettuce leaves in the prawn cocktail I saw on a fellow diner’s table.

While the town is about nothing but books, the festival is really a series of lectures and discussion by and with recently published authors from a range of backgrounds covering a range of subjects. This year, amongst other published celebrities, economic and political commentators and literary greats I managed to see foody legends Jay Rayner and Heston Blumenthal but just missed out on Monty Don speaking about his new book Fork to Fork.  

But what do people eat at a literary festival?

fresh strawberries from a farm around the corner

fresh strawberries from a farm around the corner

Other than the delicious, organic and locally grown punnets of raspberries, blueberries, cherries and strawberries, I noticed that my bookish fellows queued around the block for sheep’s milk icecream, venison burgers, crisps, cider, pimms, ploughman’s cheese boards, and the fudge. I have to say it did look tasty and I was impressed that it was at least all local produce, but it was absolutely and utterly – not raw. 

So it seems the tastebuds of Hay Festival bookworms do not veer towards to raw food. 

The suprising news, even to me, is that I resisted all of it except for the Burnt Sugar fudge, which after a bag full, gave me such a sugar high that I didn’t get to sleep until 2am.  Thankfully, the next day I managed to find a fresh salad stall and stocked up on an onion and carrot salad, lettuce leaves and seasoned cucumber. Combined with my bag of apples, the berries as above, and my nakd bars, I was happy.

The festival was interesting, frustrating, thought-provoking, exciting, comforting and inspiring.  My brain feels stretched beyond recognition and besides my fudge feast and a brief encounter with a dried up piece of cod, I was for once, an under-control raw foodist…

How does Wikipedia define a raw foodist?

24 Mar

I always go to Wikipedia for a matter of fact opinion/view of the world.  And so I thought it would be interesting to read a matter of fact description of a raw foodist.  According to them (whoever ‘they’ are), raw foodism (or rawism) is a lifestyle promoting the consumption of un-cooked, un-processed, and often organic foods as a large percentage of the diet. If 75-100% of a person’s total food consumption is raw food, he/she is considered a raw foodist or living foodist.

 

Raw foodists typically believe that the greater the percentage of raw food in the diet, the greater the health benefits. Raw foodism or a raw food diet is usually equated with raw veganism in which only raw plant foods are eaten, but other raw foodists emphasize raw meat and other raw animal products. Depending on the type of lifestyle and results desired, raw food diets may include a selectıon of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds (including sprouted whole grains such as gaba rice), eggs, fish (such as sashimi), meat (such as carpaccio), and non-pasteurized/non-homogenized dairy products (such as raw milk, raw cheese and raw yogurt). Raw foodists can be divided between those that advocate raw vegetarianism or raw veganism, those that advocate a raw omnivorous diet, and those that advocate a diet of only raw animal foods (carnivorous).

 

Even though I am a giant hypocrite and eat meat every now and then, I do advocate raw vegetarianism and in my ‘good’ moments, I think I really am a raw foodist. To see the rest of this matter of fact Wikipedia entry about being a raw foodist, click here.