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What is the raw food diet? 08/29/11

Authors of Rawlicious, Peter and Beryn Daniels join the Veggie Buntch. Meet this dynamic raw food duo.

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Veggie Buntch is pleased to welcome Peter and Beryn Daniels as contributors to the site. These vibrant individuals are committed to raising awareness about raw food and have some amazing recipes and stories to share with us. To introduce you to their way of thinking, here is a short interview with Beryn.

What is the raw food diet?
A high raw food diet is about eating ‘as close to nature as possible’.
Eating more raw organic plant foods, especially leafy green vegetables, micro-greens and sprouts – foods with life force energy.
This way of eating is really not a diet; it’s a lifestyle. The word diet makes it sound like a process of deprivation, however eating this way is fun and exciting. As raw chefs, Peter and I show people just how to achieve this in our Rawlicious Recipe Book & DVD. Eating this way alkalises the body and brings about an overall feeling of increased energy and well-being.

Why do you think raw is the best solution?
Eating more than 50% of your diet as raw plant foods creates a powerful healing environment in the body, aiding in recovery from disease and injury and has a profound youthening effect. A diet that is made up of a large percentage of raw plant foods is naturally low in calories and a low calorie diet is the only proven way to increase longevity.

What is your fave raw meal?
Hmmm, I have so many – a fresh garden salad with lots of avocado picked straight from my garden. Or avocado, dulse, sauerkraut and herbs wrapped up in a large kale leaf as a leaf wrap with a sprouted chickpea hummus. I also LOVE sushi wraps with cauliflower or parsnip rice (again with lots of avo).
For dessert it’s raw chocolate mousse (ironically yes, made with a base of avocado plus enough raw cacao powder and natural sweetener such as agave to offset the taste of the avocado)

How long have you followed a raw diet?
We’re going into our 7th year now – and feeling stronger, healthier and happier than ever before.

What is the downside of a raw diet?
To eat a 100% raw food diet straight off the bat can definitely result in some drastic detox reactions. If you want to be 100% raw you definitely need to look at educating yourself more about nutrition and possible deficiencies and supplementation. That being said, we all know that eating more fruits and veggies is good for us and increasing your raw percentage can only benefit your overall health.

Many people make the mistake of overindulging in the sweet and fatty foods and forget to take in enough green leafy veg – which is an important cornerstone of a high raw diet to provide maximum mineralisation and vitality.

The vitamin B12 issue is one that comes up often, but statistically there are as many meat eaters that are deficient in B12 as vegans. Supplementation seems to be the best solution. B12 is depleted when we become stressed, which may also be a reason why the deficiencies are seen across the board of most meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans.

The only other downside can be that friends and family don’t understand what you are doing or why, and often it’s tricky to find places to eat.
This too is changing as more people are starting to cotton on to the benefits of raw foods and the growing demand for places to eat beautifully prepared and organic plant based foods.

Peter and Beryn are both UK-trained, Raw Food Chefs working towards raising raw food consciousness in South Africa. They travel all around Southern Africa presenting Raw Food Courses and educating people about the healing power of raw, living foods and superfoods as well as demonstrating how to prepare these foods in interesting and delicious ways. Find out more at www.superfoods.co.za. They are also authors of the Rawlicious recipe book.

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Laura Cooke is the editor and creator of the Veggie Bunch website and community.

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