I finished The Raw Food Detox Diet while we were up north with Zak’s family at their cottage for the holiday weekend.
This was the only food picture I took all weekend!
I’ve seen this in my local health food stores but have never been interested in trying it. I rarely buy drinks when we are out, I usually only bring my own water. But after seeing this on many raw food blogs, I was feeling a little “rawdy” when I saw it at a new health food store we stopped at on the way up north on Friday.
The clerk told me it tastes like vinegar but really it just tastes like STRONG ginger tea. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t mind the taste of ginger (or vinegar for that matter). It is definitely an intense drink and is not sweet.
The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose
I’ve had some time to process the information in this book these past few days, milling these ideas around in my head and going back to re-read sections, chapters and recipes as needed. I want to give a brief summary of the book as I have already begun to incorporate some of the things from this book into my life now. I’ll go in to more detail in the days ahead.
I plan to treat this book like I do every other book on nutrition: Like a Buffet. I’m going to take what I like and leave the rest.
This book talks about more than just raw food and the benefits it can have on your health. A large part of following the eating plan she describes has a lot to do with properly combining food. Basically, ways to combine foods to get them to move quickly through the body. She says that when foods are improperly combined, they sit in your digestive track for long periods of time and are a drain on our energy and mess up all sorts of things in our bodies; from our skin, constipation, IBS, indigestion, thyroid disorders, circulation problems, skin problems, the list is endless. I believe this is probably correct, it makes sense to me, especially with the amount of processed foods in the typical American diet. She says these foods are unrecognizable by the human body (Jillian says the same thing in Master Your Metabolism and the Skinny Bitches say it too) and do nothing but make us fat and keep us addicted to these foods.
In the book she describes how to combine the different types of foods you eat, and she breaks them up into four categories.
1. Starches (whole grain breads, rice, sweet potatoes, pasta, avocado falls into this category as well)
2. Fleshes (meat, eggs, fish, raw cheese)
3. Nuts/seeds/dried fruit
4. Fresh fruit
You are not supposed to mix any of these 4 categories. Vegetables, nut milks, chocolate, mustard, soy sauce, spices, are “neutral” and can be mixed with the first 3 categories. Fruit should ALWAYS be eaten alone, typically first thing in the morning and even better if it’s the only thing you eat throughout the morning until lunch time. She says it takes 30 minutes for fruit to go through your system (45 minutes for a banana) and you can move to another category if desired at that point. If you have fruit later in the day, it should be 3 hours after your last meal and then nothing again for at least 30 minutes.
LOTS of rules here! It seems pretty overwhelming at first, but I’ve already got a lot of it committed to memory and am willing to give this a try. I want to read more about the benefits and approaches to properly combining food (Fit for Life, is one of the more popular books on this topic I think?) and see what some of the different experts say. I do believe there is something to this.
The one example she gives that I keep going back to is eating an avocado on a piece of toast vs an egg on a piece of toast. The avocado and toast take three to four hours to leave the stomach (yes, just the stomach!) and the egg and toast take upwards of EIGHT hours. The avocado/toast combo allows your body to get back to work strengthening and rejuvenating itself, whereas the egg/toast combo is a huge drain on your system. Especially considering you’ll eat again before those eight hours are up and create a huge backlog in your digestive system.
The food combination part is going to be more of a challenge for me than eating raw foods. But I’m still ready and willing to experiment and play around with the ideas presented in this book. I’m not aiming for perfection here, but I am hoping to move in what I’d like to think is the right direction. The things she says raw foods and proper food combining can do for weight loss are really appealing. Basically, weight loss is effortless and there’s no need to count calories, measure food, etc. That doesn’t mean you can go hog wild of course, but with the right foods and combinations, you can eat until you are satisfied with no worries about calories or portion sizes.
Let me say here that I am not looking to lose a large amount of weight, I know that I’m at a health weight. But I wouldn’t mind getting a little leaner and I feel there are still areas in my diet that have room for improvement. I still fight cravings and I already know from experience that my cravings for carby foods (like cereal, sweets, etc) are diminished when I stay away from refined carbs altogether and get the majority of carbs from fruits and vegetables. I also find that I have more energy, during my runs especially, when I’m eating generous amount of green vegetables.
I’m anxious to read more on these topics, from beginners and experts alike. I haven’t read anything else on raw foods besides this book and a some personal experiences from blogs. I also would like to know more about eating raw as an athlete.
I’d like to read some of her more recent books, as she lost a little credibility with me when she recommends SPLENDA (!!) as a sweetener option!! Splenda? Really?? This book was published in 2005 so I certainly hope she has since changed her tune with that item in her list for acceptable sweeteners.
I also want to read what other raw food authors have to say, along with RD’s and what the skeptics say too. I do not plan to become a 100% raw foodist any time soon, she actually advises against jumping into this program too quickly, and thus describes 5 different levels (determined by a your medical and eating history) to ease yourself into it. She talks about her own journey in the book and that it took years to get to where she is now. She describes her typical day and I can say with certainty that I am definitely NOT interested in taking it to her level any time soon.
I will say that I ate raw all weekend, with a few exceptions including a piece of chocolate cake for dessert on Saturday night. 😉 I had a great 7 mile run this morning and have felt surprisingly good and craving free all weekend too. I feel this is definitely worth exploring further. I’m always up for trying new things and like seeing what changes I can make to improve my health along with the health of my family as well.
Zak, who was a vegetarian for about a year or so before me, is totally on board and said today he feels like this is the direction he wants to go as well.
I’m looking forward and am excited to see what following a largely raw, properly combined diet can do for me! At this point I do recommend reading this book if you are interested in learning more about a raw food diet.