Monday, September 17, 2012

Information about the Raw Lifestyle

This the second post in a series of posts about things a person needs to go raw if they are new to the lifestyle.  The first thing you need is a reason.  I listed a couple of reasons here but of course every person's reasons will be personal and individual.

The second thing I think a person needs to go raw is information, particularly about nutrition.  If everything you've ever known about nutrition can be summed up by the Food Pyramid it may be time to go back and do some research.  I used to think I knew how to be healthy by eating foods that included animal products.  I'm only beginning to learn how to get sufficient protein by eating plants, which is actually much easier than one might think, and how to get enough nutrients like vitamin D and B12.  I also think that oral hygiene and dental care is extremely important on a raw food diet, especially for those people who eat a lot of fruit.  It's important to get enough calcium and phosphorus in the diet and to clean the teeth properly.  Calcium and phosphorus are found in greens such as kale, chard, spinach and dandelion greens, and I believe that for most raw vegans an optimal daily diet includes greens. 

So far my two favorite books about the health benefits of raw foods are:

"Becoming Raw, The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets" by Brenda Davis RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD
"Green for Life" by Victoria Boutenko

I like these books because they contain solid science.  Lots of people will go on about how raw food has "life force energy," and that's fine but it's not for everyone.  It's good to know that there is some scientific fact behind the lifestyle. 

Another good resource is well- known nutritional expert Dr. Michael Greger M.D.  Currently he is offering regular informational vlogs which can be found on, which is funded by the Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation.  He also has a channel on Youtube.

Speaking of, it's a very good source of information concerning the raw food lifestyle.  Some of the people on youtube make what I think are some pretty outrageous claims, but that doesn't mean this is not a good lifestyle choice.  I just think that these are the opinions of some very passionate people, and leave it at that.

Here is an interesting article concerning the science of raw food:

"Ted Talks" about food, diet, health and the environment are a good information source:

There are plenty of documentaries that might be helpful to people who are interested in a plant based diets or the raw vegan lifestyle.  Here's a short list:

These are not necessarily raw, but about the benefits of a plant based diet:

Forks Over Knives

These documentaries focus on the raw food lifestyle:
Supercharge Me!
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days
Vegan 2 Raw Vegan
Heal Yourself 101
May I Be Frank
Food That Kills
The Raw Natural

These are about how our health and the health of our planet is being systemically harmed by the major food, agricultural and chemical industries and related government policies:

Food, Inc.
The End Of The Line
Dirt!  The Movie
Food Fight
Killer At Large
King Corn  
Super Size Me
The Garden
The Future of Food
The Real Dirt On Farmer John
Vanishing of the Bees
Queen of the Sun
Food Matters and Hungry For Change

Finally, I think testimonials can be very helpful.  A lot of people will say that raw food worked for them and can describe how it transformed their lives on a personal level, but they can't explain the science.  These stories experiences can be valuable as the science, in my opinion.

One of the best testimonials comes from Dave The Raw Food Trucker.  His story is incredible.  He was morbidly obese and had diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular problems and kidney problems.  Any one of these issues could have killed him.  He healed himself completely with raw foods and green juices.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?