Sunday, June 29, 2008

BigTree and CultureLab :: Beginner's Guide To Going Raw

Had a wonderful day at Springwood, catching up with Taffy and Glenys, then a leisurely late lunch with Paul. My mountains friends are a diverse bunch, but one thing that we all have in common is a certain passion and delight in food - not to mention our desire to see fresh organic food made available to as many people a as possible, and with a commitment to sustainable principles.

I had seen Taffy's video of the solstice circle, but today i got to experience it and what a magnificent ly crafted structure it is. i shot some footage of Taffy talking about CultureLab, and then we got to talking about raw food. CultureLab, by the way, is the food co-operative in the lower Blue Mountains which runs a food box scheme for it's members and customers. i love the model they have chosen, which is similar to a Japanese model i had read about. It involves staying small - a group of no larger than 50 - and "expanding" by helping other groups form along a similar basis. I like working in groups of 50-80, because at that size it is possible to know everyone in the group. Cohesiveness is possible.

both taffy, glenys and paul were curious about raw food and there are always questions. what do you eat? where does the protein come from? what difference do you notice when eating raw?

there is much already written (on the web and in many great books) but whilst riding on the train back to katoomba, i gave some thought as to what my key thoughts were on eating raw. mainly in answer to the question of what eating raw foods looks like. \

What Does Eating Raw Look Like?

i like to keep it simple. think of food in three main food groups. 1. fruit 2. vegetables 3. nuts, seeds and oils. eat mostly fruit and vegetables, with small amounts of nuts. fruit has a cleansing action on the system, so it is best eaten in the morning and ideally, not eaten at the same time as vegetables. i personally don't mix my fruit and vegetables, though some raw foodists do. i soak nuts before eating them. put in a bowl and cover with water, then leave overnight (or soak in the morning and rinse in the evening). rinse them the next morning (do not use the soaking water) and then eat. raw vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and are enzyme-rich. these foods have a nourishing and enriching effect and are the building blocks of the body. two things that i do in the vegetable realm are 1. juicing and 2. sprouting. Vegetable juices, especially green juices are a way of getting large quantities of trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, etc. directly into the bloodstream. Sprouting - lentils, mung beans, and buckwheat are my current favourites - is a great way of eating living food.

that's it really. i soak dried fruits, make my own nut milk (usually almond) and use the blender for smoothies, soups and sauces. everything i eat is a variation (an experiment, actually) on these principles.

Benefits of Eating Raw
Ahhh, well this is the bit i love. Not only are you doing your body a favour, but the planet benefits as well. Eating raw is even more sustainable than being vegan. Not only are you consuming plants and therefore not contributing to the energy that goes into producing animals and animal products for food, but you are not eating processed (vegan) foods which use energy in the making. And to top it all off, by preparing raw food you are saving on the energy that is used to cook a meal. And if you grow your own food organically, there's a further saving on transportation (food miles), and on artificial inputs - petro-chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
As for the health benefits, some raw theorists say that for every month a person is eating 100% raw they are healing one year of eating cooked food. As a result the body becomes regenerated at a cellular level and you experience the effect of becoming younger. i personally have seen this both in myself and others. Symptoms are, an increased level of energy, clearer and more focussed mind, more tone in my skin and clearer skin, loss of those tree-trunk thighs (storehouses of waste that the body is unable to process and eliminate immediately).

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