As you may or may not be aware of, I am on a journey to eating a 70 to 75% raw vegan diet for best health. A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed, uncooked, organic vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). “Raw foodists” believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body. Many people clarify that they eat a “high raw” or a certain percentage raw, such as “75% raw”. I have no problem admitting to you that I’m not there yet. This is definitely a working process. But one that I am committed to following til I get to my goal.
I recently picked up a book by Natalia Rose called, “Raw Food Life Force Energy”. I had heard about this book and her 21 day program from a couple of people who give the book and her high praises. In the book, Natalia discusses “food combining”, which I’ve heard a lot about. Not only in the raw foods community. Not only does she advocate food combining but she also believes in the practice of eating “light to heavy”. Meaning “eating the lightest possible foods in the morning, and gradually increasing the density of the foods we eat, so that the heaviest meal is dinner.” The reasoning behind this is the “heavy foods in the daylight hours steal our energy and inhibit elimination”. Following this will ideally give you a lot more energy and better eliminations (no. 2’s). I am testing this out and have been for about a week. So far (as long as I stick to it) it’s been great. I want to give it a month before I post my reflections/conclusions on this practice.
Now, back to food combining…Natalia refers to food combining under the “Quick-Exit” Principle. Here’s an excerpt from her book:
“The Quick-Exit Principle tells us that the most health-generating foods and combinations of foods are those that enter the body, give the body what it needs, and then get the bloomin’ heck out of there! Hydrating fruits and veggies do exactly this, which makes them the quickest exit foods around…….What is the reasoning behind the Quick-Exit Principle? Whenever you eat a food or combination of foods that is difficult to digest, you paralyze the flow of Life Force Energy because “slow-exit” foods and meals use up the vital energy and enzymes that are working hard to break these substances down. This all amounts to a loss of energy that could have been put to many more supportive, anti-aging tasks within the body. If you eat a slow-exit meal once in a while, it’s not a big deal b/c the body can afford the occasional energy leach as long as the meals do not pile up. But if you eat a heavy, slow-exit meal several times a day or week, the constant drain on the body’s Life Force Energy, the expenditure of precious enzymes, and the pileup of waste multiplies, overtaxing and disfiguring the body.”
“While the quickest-exit foods are also the highest-Life Force Energy foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, you are not expected to live on these foods exclusively-that would be too extreme for most people. Any high-quality, minimally processed natural food, including fresh fish, whole-grain pasta, sprouted grain breads, raw goat cheese, and brown rice, can make a quick exit from the body if it is enjoyed in a quick-exit combination.”
Here’s a short rundown on Quick Exit Food Combining:
1. Starches (breads, pastas, whole grains, potatoes, legumes, cooked corn, avocado*) combine only with other starches and all raw and cooked vegetables.
2. Meats combine only with other meats, all raw vegetables, and all cooked non-starch vegetables.
3. Nuts combine only with other nuts, seeds, dried fruits, bananas, and all raw vegetables.
4. Dried fruits combine only with other dried fruits, avocados, bananas, nuts and all raw vegetables.
5. Fresh fruit should only be eaten alone on an empty stomach.
*Avocado is technically a fruit. If eaten without other starches (just with raw vegetables), it will combine perfectly with all fruits, including dried fruits.
Work in progress is all I can say. I have my good days along w/some stumbles and flat-out "I want what I want" days. With the inspiration and motivation that I get from some wonderful people (like Ingrid at RawEpicurean, Althea at theRawMochaAngel, earthmother at InTheRaw, and folks in the ATL's raw foods meetup group) that I've met along the way, I just pick back up where I drop off cause I'm committed to this journey of mine. =)