Saturday, January 21, 2012

Raw vs Cooked

Throughout my journey of learning about raw foods, I think it can be really easy to get trapped into the mindset of trying to only eat exclusively raw, and while this may work for some, I've found a diet of mostly raw with the inclusion of some cooked foods a lot easier to manage, and to be honest, more enjoyable. Continually thinking my diet wasn't 'perfect' if I ate some cooked food felt way too similar to an eating disorder mindset, something that I've tried really hard the past few years to free myself from, and including cooked whole grains and some veggies has been a lot easier and I'm not always stuffing my face with nuts trying to stay full.

While I do think North American culture in general over-emphasizes their obsession with getting 'enough' protein through animal sources, which I don't agree with, I can acknowledge the fact that on a vegan diet getting protein is something you need to remain conscious of. On a raw food diet even more-so, and as a raw foodist you turn to a lot of nuts and oils to try to satiate you. While nuts are beneficial and contain loads of fats that are good for you, I found over consuming them didn't make me feel great. I found it really interesting that in this interview with Victoria Boutenko(, she was mentioning a similar opinion.

In fact, some foods, such as mushrooms are better assimilated by your body when they have been cooked. Which leads me to think that balance, with an emphasis on lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, is much more do-able for me at least. I still eat a high percentage of raw foods, but usually include one cooked element in most meals. This way I've found it a lot easier to still eat in a way I find healthy for me, but I'm able to eat foods that help me stay full for longer and feel more satisfied. I think it's really all about just trying to find a balance!

I especially love this last quote by Victoria Boutenko in regards to how switching to a high raw diet has affected her:

"I do not feel that anything is missing in my diet any more. I feel good and my weight is steadily normalizing. In addition I feel a profound peace inside from abandoning a place of limitation and idealism. I choose to be healthy, instead of being 100-percent raw."

I think it can be so easy to be caught up in trying to aim for perfection, which seems like a goal that can never be reached, or that you're always falling short. I believe you should never beat yourself up for 'failing' at eating a perfect diet, there is no such thing. Balance is much more optimal to strive for, some days will be good, others will not. It's not about what you do every moment, it's about your habits collectively that will lead to health.

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