The Natural Path resource for patients interested in naturopathic & alternative treatments, aiming to empower individuals to improve their health and wellness through naturopathic medicine. NaturalPath includes clinical protocols, natural treatment options, expert interviews, breaking natural news and more.
Each month I have an article about the health benefits of a raw food diet. Check it out here. Don't forget to leave a comment or click the heart if you enjoyed the article :)
Enjoy. Aloha xo
What Is Raw Food?
When people say The Raw Food Diet, what do you think of? Green salads? A vegetable platter with ranch dressing? This is what I thought of the raw food diet before I did an internship with the Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center. As it turns out, raw food can be anything you love: warm soup, pizza or pad thai. It can also be lemon meringue pie, coconut ice cream and brownies. The raw food diet is about eating fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds and oils in delicious and creative ways. It is based on the principle that at temperatures greater than 117 degrees Fahrenheit, enzymes denature, nutrients are lost and toxic chemicals are produced. By keeping the enzymatic and nutritional content of food intact, we are receiving more nutrition to support good health while avoiding the disease producing compounds of cooked food. But what about all the good things cooked food has to offer, like warmth, texture, and taste? Raw food repertoire includes warm food like soups, curries, and pasta while also preserving texture in dishes like noodles, cream sauce and rice. Using kitchen tools like a spiralizer, noodles are made out of zucchini, soaked cashews are blended into a smooth cream sauce and cauliflower is pulverized into rice. And the best part is they are served warm. Dehydrators are used to gently warm and soften food, while maintaining enzymatic activity. Raw food preparation also includes fermentation to make things like kombucha, coconut yogurt, and kimchi. Soaking and sprouting nuts and seeds neutralizes their natural enzyme inhibitors. Raw food is anything but a cold plate of vegetables. But how was it discovered, how does it compare to other diets, and what do I have to gain by eating a raw food diet? Lets have a look…
The Downside To Cooking
In 1930 a Swiss doctor named Paul Kouchakoff discovered that cooked food induces digestive leukocytosis. The amount of leukocytosis was dependent on the method of cooking with barbecuing and microwaving equal to that of an infection1,2. Heating certain foods creates toxic compounds. Acrolein, acrylamide, furans, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons, benzopyrene and HNE (4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal) are a few of the toxic compounds created by heating oils, proteins or carbohydrates. HEATOX is a research project involving 14 countries, an external panel, 100 scientific papers, and 700 references that looked at the health risks associated with heat-treated food. They found many of these toxins to destabilize DNA, induce neurotoxicity, cancers and kidney toxicity3. Other well known effects of consuming heat produced toxins are Alzehimer’s disease, chronic inflammation and the production of advanced glycosylated end products (AGEs). AGEs underlie the pathogenesis of many conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and cataracts.
Not only does heating food produce toxins it also damages proteins. Enzymes catalyze virtually all the biochemical reactions in the cell. One major enzymatic function in the body is to break down proteins in the GI tract. Eating food that lacks its natural enzymatic activity is harder for the body to break down and more energetically expensive to eliminate. Food that sits undigested in the gut is a prime resource for pathogenic gut flora like bacteria and yeast. When undigested food makes it way into the blood stream, food allergies are born.
Raw Food: A Nutritional Analysis
I was amazed to discover that raw food could be made into meals that were tasty, beautiful and also medicinal. At the retreat center, taco night was used as a tool of detoxification using: red cabbage taco shells, walnut taco meat, cashew sour cream, guacamole and fresh tomato salsa. Thinking about the nutritional benefits of our meal, I scanned through our ingredients: Cabbage- L-glutamine, sulphur, vitamin K, Walnuts- manganese, B vitamins, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, Avocado- saturated fat, fiber, Cilantro- anti-cancer, Onion-quercitin, Tomato-flavenoid antioxidants, vitamin C, and the list went on. No toxic compouds. No waste. This was really using food as medicine. The meal was delicious and afterwards I felt satisfied. For years I had struggled trying to eat a sugar-free, processed food-free, non-wheat, non-dairy diet. I would eat this way for a period of time and then invariably fall off the wagon because there was a meal, flavor or texture that I missed. For the first time I saw the possibility of eating healthy and fulfilling meals while avoiding allergens and processed foods. But how would I meet my protein and B12 needs?
The USDA Protein Comparison Chart (2009) has a 4 oz. porterhouse steak weighing in at 26 grams of protein, a 3 oz. serving of fish at 22 grams of protein, 1 cup of kidney beans has 44 grams and lentils 50 grams 4. Per calorie, 100 grams of broccoli has been shown to have the highest amount of protein when compared to 100 calories of steak, kale and romaine lettuce5. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s website compares the calorie to nutrition ratio. He notes that since 100 calories of steak is only 1 oz., most people are going to be eating 4-6 times that in a single serving which would increase their protein intake. However, for the average person, one serving of meat contains too many calories and not enough life enhancing nutrients such as vitamins A, C + K and minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium5. To manage their B12 levels some raw foodists incorporate raw milk and fish into their diet.
The Raw Food Revolution
Since Swiss medical doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner first opened his raw food clinic called “Vital Force” in the late 1800’s, raw food has grown into a revolution6. Chefs have made names for themselves creating and serving gourmet raw meals in cities all over the world. California, Hawaii, New York, Vancouver, Brighton and Glasgow have raw food restaurants, grocery stores and festivals dedicated to raw food. Medical clinics founded on the principles of raw food diet such as The Hippocrates Institute and Ann Wigmore Foundation have been treating dozens of conditions and thousands of patients for more than half a century. Raw food is used as a mechanism for detoxification, platform for lifestyle change, and basis for everyday diet to promote health and longevity.
3. HEATOX- http://www.slv.se/upload/heatox/documents/D62_final_project_leaflet.pdf
As we settle in for winter I am interested to find out more ways to enhance our natural immune system to fortify our bodies against infections. Winter is a glorious season to be outdoors and healthy to enjoy!
Golden Milk has been around for centuries, curing people of ailments from cancer to depression. Its main ingredient is turmeric. Not only will tumeric kill nasty winter bugs, it has many other medicinal actions. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, antibiotic, antihelminthic (parasites), anti-platelet aggregating, circulatory stimulanting, hypolipidemic (lipid lowering), carminative (good for digestion) and alterative (good for blood). It also protects and restores the liver! Learn more about tumeric or any other herb at Dr. Marciano's website, a beautiful herbal medicine compendium.
Golden Milk is a traditional ayurvedic remedy. It is easy to make and indicated in many medical conditions. Tumeric is used internally to treat liver and digestive complaints and painful periods. It is highly anti-inflammatory and can be helpful for arthritis (RA and OA) as well as other conditions of inflammation: tendonitis and bursitis. As a carminative it can be used for digestive upset, to relieve gas and protect the stomach mucosa from damage. Tumeric is anticancer and can be used as both a treatment and prevention. One interesting fact about pepper is that it helps us to absorb and assimilate nutrients! Combining the tumeric with ground pepper increases it absorption into the blood from the digestive tract.
Golden Milk Recipe
1/4 cup Tumeric
1/2 cup Filtered water
1/2 tsp Fresh ground pepper
Place all the ingredients into a sauce pan and heat on low. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes a paste. This will not take long, don't leave the room! Let mixture cool, store in a glass container in the fridge.
1 cup Almond Milk (or any nut milk of your choice)
1 tsp Coconut oil
1 tsp Tumeric paste
Directions: add tumeric paste and coconut oil to milk in a saucepan and heat on low. Remove from heat and add in honey at the end, to taste. Drink the Golden Milk before bed to calm your system and prepare for sleep.
RAW GOLDEN MILK
If you want to make it raw use my friend Ave's recipe: take all the ingredients and put it in a blender. Squeeze through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag and you're ready to go.
If you have any questions about this recipe or would like a consultation about your heath, send me an email. I would be happy to hear from you.
WHAT A RIDE ITS BEEN!
I was called to do a water fast while supervising a patient on their 21 day water fast. In fact, the call came earlier but I didn't listen.
I spent 2.5 months in the magnificent and beautiful country of France this summer. And I ate. I ate and ate and ate and ate. After that, I ate more. About half-way through I heard the call: "You need to stop". I was inflamed all the time. I carried a layer of inflammation + water on my body that weighed probably 5 kilos (the other 5 that I gained were baked goods and cream sauces). But as usual the mind had reasons to not fast, based mostly in fear. They sounded like this:
- "But its your last few weeks..."
- "But... but..what if you can't because... you're not at home"
-"Its not the right situation and you don't have your things" (Things??)
So I postponed it. When I came home I was busy looking for a place to live so I didn't "have the time". I kept eating. Kept feeling inflamed. I Kept having anxiety and mental confusion. And then one night it came, crystal clear and almost audible... While I was laying in bed my soul said "How long will you wait to do something you know you need to do?". I laughed out loud! "I'm not sure", I said. "Ok" she said "well decide. And then lets go". I started water fasting 2 days later. There was a birthday brunch the next day that could not be missed!
This is my second water fast and what an interesting and valuable experience it has been. Not only do I feel great, my mind is clear and the anxiety is gone. I can make decisions easily, and hear the voice of my true self loud and clear. When I close my eyes I fall in to mediation that is so relaxing. I can feel the rejuvenation.
The detoxification stage was hard. Body aches and pains. I thought I might throw up at one point. But these are all a normal part of the body healing itself. THE BODY HEALS ITSELF! Amazing. After day 7 I was called to begin green juices. The same green juices from the Gerson Diet. They are meant to infuse the body with nutrients and vitamins without fiber. I have been doing that and will continue until day 10, the day I feel my fast will be done.
If you are thinking of doing a cleanse, feel the need to detox, or have been called to water fast, I am here to support you on your journey. There is no time like the present to become all we were meant to be. Raw, radiant and healthy.
Aloha, have a great day xoxo
A blog for recipes, medical news, spiritual insight and more!
I am so happy to welcome you to the Raw Blog. Until now I had many sites where I would post pictures, recipes and articles. Now it can all be contained in one area. Delicious.
There is more Raw Doctor coming your way
In December The NDNR is launching a new website called The Natural Path. I will be contributing to each issue under the nutrition section. It is going to be all about... Raw Food! How to prepare it, the nutritional statistics and anything else you are interested in. Let me know...
Thank you for taking an interest in my website. I hope to provide you with information that is both exciting and empowering.