What Is Living or Raw Foods?

liveFoodYou probably have heard people (like me here on this site) talking about raw food or living foods or live food. You may have wondered what that is and why it matters. Let me explain.

First of all people call it a variety of things. Some say raw food, some say living or live food. Some say sun-fired foods. Some may mean raw food when they speak of whole, unprocessed plant based food. All of these are referring to the same thing.

Raw/live foods are:

  • Vegan or plant-based
  • Minimally processed
  • Not heated above 110-118º

You most likely already eat raw foods. Any time you eat a piece of fruit you are eating raw food. A veggie plate with dip probably has raw veggies. Salads are often raw foods. Smoothies (made without yogurt or other cooked ingredients) and fresh juices are also live foods.

Someone who is eats all or mostly raw or living food avoids eating all or most cooked foods. They probably eat salads most every day. Some people eat most of their food just as it grows. Other than cutting it open they may do little else. A plate of strawberries and several mangos or a garden salad creates a meal.

Other live foodists also include more gourmet type meals that include raw versions of cooked foods like nut burgers, veggie pasta, and dehydrated breads and crackers. This allows you to still enjoy a variety of dishes similar to what you used to eat, and may make it easier to stay committed to eating only living foods. These are the types of recipes you find here.

So why would you decide to eat living foods? 

Raw/live foods in their natural state are better for you. Cooking causes chemical changes in food that alters or destroys the nutrients.

Cooking food causes new chemicals to be made that are harmful like acrylamides and AGEs. These can contribute to a host of chronic diseases and health issues and make you feel and look older.

All other animals eat all of their food raw. What makes us different? Why would we need to eat cooked food? Why wouldn't the food provided for us by God or the divine be perfect just as it is?

Eating a live meal gives you energy. Eating a cooked meal gives you the "itis."

Many health problems are reversed or prevented on a live food diet. This includes diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and numerous other chronic diseases.

It is easier to stay at a healthy weight. A live food meal is filling and satisfying and may help you avoid overeating.

Live food is "alive!" Your body can use it as it is to rejuvenate and create a healthy vibrant you!

Cooked food is dead. It takes more energy and your own vitality and life force to incorporate it into your body. This is especially true of the highly processed, and high fat, sugar and salt foods that predominate the Standard American Diet (SAD).

It tastes great. The flavor of fresh living foods (organic of course) is amazing and is more satisfying than cooked foods. By using spices, herbs, and seasonings you can create a wide variety of dishes with the taste of the worlds cuisine.

The challenge of living foods.

There are new skills and techniques you need to learn, and ingredients and tools you may need to add to your kitchen. But given a little time and practice you will be making great food too.

Cooked food is addictive. Even those of us who are committed to a living food lifestyle may find ourselves eating more and more cooked food even though it may not be as satisfying.

Food and meals are a communal thing. If you don't have others who are on the same path you may need to work harder to stay committed. You may feel pressure from yourself and others to eat what everyone else is eating.

Not everyone understands living foods. Your physician or family may tell you that you need to eat cooked food for health. Unfortunately most people, even doctors don't really know much about nutrition. There is a great deal of nutrition MIS-information put out by industry and the government alike.

The food industry spends a good deal of money to make sure you want to eat their inferior products. Every where you go, and whenever you turn on the TV, radio or go online you are inundated with advertising images, and messages that are designed to break you down.

The good news.

There are more and more of us eating living foods all the time. The growing community of Black vegetarians includes many who enjoy a living food lifestyle. More and more of us realize eating that SAD is causing us pain and suffering.

Even many who are not eating all raw foods are trying to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into their diets. You can bring your raw food to your family gatherings and others will enjoy eating it too.

There are more and more options at restaurants. There are all raw restaurants and raw food options showing up at vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants.

There are more and more resources like here at Food For The Soul. There are many recipe books, websites and courses to help you learn how to make living foods a regular part of your lifestyle.

So that's the scoop on the live/raw/living food lifestyle. 

What questions do you have? Or why do you eat live foods? Or what's stopping you?

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

2 comments on “What Is Living or Raw Foods?

  1. I’ve been trying to eat more raw/ living meals.im not big on salads so I was worried I would want cooked food more. I’m still learning and trying to get more ideas on raw eating. I’ve been vegan for a year and a half now and it has really helped with my lupus. I’m down to only one pill I take a day, now I’m working on getting off that as well.

    • Congratulations on your healing! As far as salads go have you tried making different fresh dressings? The dressing really makes all the difference. Wishing you continued health.

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