Introduction to raw foods – by Daphne Tsatsou

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Being vegan or raw does not mean that all you eat is salads, you will be surprised at how many options you have! Even if you don’t want to go on a fully raw diet you can introduce raw food principles to meals you already make regularly and with a few small changes make them healthier and tastier!

The main principles of raw food are that we do not cook any of our food over 45-48 degrees celcius which is the sun’s temperature on earth. This way the food maintains all its nutrients and enzymes, the enzymes ensure that everything in our body functions perfectly, they help the body decode the information and nutrients in the food and allows it to distribute them to wherever they are needed. Raw foods also boost our immune system, and keep our body’s terrain alkaline helping it remain disease free! Many people over the years have managed to cure seemingly incurable illnesses by switching to a raw diet. The body has magical powers when it comes to curing itself, as long as we feed it right and it’s strong, it can cure itself from almost everything. Of course nutrition needs to be supported by mediation and exercise for it to work at its full potential.

When i got introduced to raw foods i had already been vegetarian for over 10 years but through raw foods i fully understood what Hippocrates (460 BC) meant when he said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. When you start eating raw foods, you start hearing your body better, you feel better, you are more focused, you have a lot more clarity. Your body immediately starts detoxing and then you become more sensitive to its needs. Body and soul are both happier and healthier. You would never put bad quality fuel in your car, so why do it to your body? The things you eat are what give you the energy you need to live your life. All the cells in our body keep regenerating and re-creating themselves out of the food that we eat, so what we eat literally becomes what we are made of, “you are what you eat”.

The amazing thing is you don’t need to be very strict and say that from now on i will never eat sugar or white flour ever again, if you start introducing green smoothies, essence bread, many more greens, sprouts, raw deserts to your diet you automatically stop wanting the things that are bad for you. It is not a diet you force yourself to follow, it becomes a way of life, and all choices become obvious, choices that are good for you and good for the environment, and are purely based on how you feel after each meal. Instead of feeling sleepy and heavy after eating, you feel good and full of energy!

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You slowly start feeling the difference between raw foods and live foods too. You start feeling the importance of eating locally, seasonally, fresh ingredients full of life, vitality, and nutrients you need in each season. Nature knows what we need in each season and provides us with the necessary nutrients. For example in the summer it’s hot, and we have a lot of sweet, watery fruits that help us keep our bodies hydrated. In the winter it’s cold, it’s a time to be more inside (physically and spiritually), and we have more root vegetables available, keeping us grounded and warm. By following the cycles of nature you realize you are also part of this cycle. Your food choices become more conscious and that spreads to all aspects of life. You start considering where your food came from, how it was produced, under what conditions. You start realizing that every time you eat you vote, so you can chose to support small businesses and local farmers that love the earth or you can support large corporations that only care about profits. When you live in a city some times your food is your only connection to nature and the seasons, you need to honor that, and if that is the case try to get out more.. go for walks in nature.. re-connect with nature and immediately you feel better!

At the BYC post conference we are going to be teaching a full day introduction to raw foods, we are going to go through most of the techniques such as sprouting, fermentation, soaking, dehydration that can easily be incorporated into any kitchen, we are going to make smoothies, snacks, main dishes, and of course healthy sugar free deserts and chocolates that taste amazing and are good for you! Food is hugely important in our lives today, it’s political, it’s social, it’s ecological, it’s communal, and it should always taste good!

As soon as we show you some of the techniques you can go off and experiment and the possibilities really are endless.

Daphne Tsatsou (www.troofoodliberation.com)

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