The Raw-Vegan Diet is reaching critical mass and is moving from the fringe to the mainstream via numerous retreats, restaurants and books. The most recent addition is especially notable; Roxanne's, a four month old 5 star restaurant in the Bay Area launched by millionaire David Klein and his wife Roxanne is attracting the attention of top chefs around the world for its all-raw haute cuisine.
According to John Robbins, there is a Food Revolution taking place. This is a movement towards eating more locally grown whole vegetarian foods for health and for the planet. A major movement within this food revolution is a rapidly growing health trend known as the raw-vegan diet. The raw-vegan diet is similar to the vegan diet (a diet that excludes meat and dairy) and adds the additional caveat that all food should be eaten raw. The raw-vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains and legumes, seeds and nuts. Raw-vegan food is considered healthy because of its living enzymes. The enzymes in food aid in digestion and are destroyed at 118 degrees of heat. Therefore in order to digest cooked food your body has to use its own metabolic enzymes which takes energy from your body and leaves you feeling sluggish. Heating also depletes food of vitamins and minerals which is why cooked food is thought to lead to excessive food consumption in the body's attempt to gain adequate nutrition.
According to Jinjee Talifero, co-author of The Garden Diet, "Not only does cooked food contain extremely limited nourishment, but it also contains numerous toxins. Scientists in Sweden recently discovered that heated carbohydrates contain a known toxin which renders water to be classified unfit for drinking when it contains this toxin in far smaller quantities/"
The raw-vegan movement has been gaining momentum rapidly since 1995 via books, websites and email newsletters published by raw food authors such as Gerald (Nutman) Talifero at The Garden Diet and David Wolfe at Raw Food and educators such as Nomi Shannon at The Raw Gourmet and Paul Nison at Raw Life as well as literally hundreds of others. These include doctors, nutritionists, naturopaths and ordinary people who have become passionate about sharing the knowledge that helped them lose weight, heal or prevent illnesses, and feel younger and more energetic. Raw-veganism has also been called "sustainable eating" and is entering into environmental conversations and simplicity circles as the way to eat to save the planet.
Raw food is reaching critical mass and is moving from the fringe to the mainstream via numerous retreats, restaurants , and books. The most recent addition is especially notable; Roxanne's, a four month old 5 star restaurant in the Bay Area launched by millionaire David Klein and his wife Roxanne is attracting the attention of top chefs around the world for its all-raw haute cuisine.
Articles about raw food have appeared recently in USA Today and Women's World, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle, praising Roxanne's. Celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, Robin Williams, and Bryan Adams have all been seen in raw food restaurants and some are known to be full-time raw-vegans.
In a world where doctors receive four hours of training in nutrition during their entire education, it is no wonder people are taking responsibility for educating themselves about diet and nutrition.
We live in a culture that is literally built around cooked food, which makes the social implications of going raw full of challenges. However the alternative is at least equally fraught with difficulty. Obesity has recently been declared a National Epidemic by the CDC (Center for Disease Control). A recent episode of Investigative Report on A&E called The Supersize Generation relayed that one in three children and half of all adults North America are overweight. One expert on this special commented on our need for instant meals, the proliferation of junk food outlets and the ever-present temptation of processed foods, saying: "In order to make wise food choices in this society, you almost have to be a fanatic."
Fortunately, being fanatical can also be a lot of fun!
For more information about the Raw-Vegan diet you can visit The Garden Diet where you will find out why, how and what to eat raw, raw-vegan recipes, how to make a safe transition to the raw food diet, and links to hundreds of raw food resources online.
The Raw Gourmet Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Living Well -
About this Contributor: Johanna Garrick is a raw-vegan of 9 years and mother of three home-birthed, home-schooled children. Her main work is with the Take A Fruit Break Campaign, a campaign that advertised fruit to children on TV in order to balance out all the junk food advertising.