As you may know I completed a raw food program last month and experienced amazing results, including a 17 pound drop in weight. I feel lighter physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. In my post My Raw Food Journey, I listed some general things I had learned, including new food preparations and philosophies. During the program’s conference calls I would share some of the delightful and surprising changes that happened to me while on the program: Being full fast and having amazing energy where I no longer need to take naps. I didn’t understand what with raw foods made me so full eating so little and being so energized, but the program director let gave me these reasons:
1) Raw food metabolizes faster than cooked food so it gives your body its needed nutrients quickly and thus signals to the brain that your stomach is full.
2) The body can break down raw food easier because the digestive enzymes that are necessary for this process are still intact. Most of these enzymes, however, are destroyed when cooking food. When eating cooked foods, the body has to work harder to digest these because the body has to produce digestive enzymes that should come from the consumed food. This is the reason you may want to go to sleep after a meal, particularly a big one. Whereas with raw foods, the normal digestive process takes place, leaving you with energy to expend on activities instead of on breaking down food.
When I told her my plan was not to be 100 percent raw, she suggested I make sure to eat some raw food along with my cooked food for the following reason: She said for whatever reason the body reacts to cooked foods like a foreign invader and the body works hard to rid itself of the foreign invader like it would a virus. If you eat raw food along with cooked food, the body no longer treats the cooked food like a foreign invader. Of the three theories she gave, this one gave me pause. I have yet to research any of her theories for scientific support, but my empirical evidence can testify to what she has said, even on this last thought. I cooked some black eyed peas last night and ate some with some tabbouleh; I felt fine. I ate some more peas today with some carrot slaw; I felt fine; I ate two spoonfuls of peas alone and my stomach was upset. It was in knots and hurt something awful. Again, I haven’t checked out the science behind my director’s statements but my hunger satisfaction, energy and physical comfort agree with her words. Science or no science, I like how my body is working with the good, uncooked foods I have been eating. If you have yet to try more raw foods in your diet, perhaps try to eat at least one raw food with your cooked foods. You definitely don’t have anything to lose (except for unwanted weight) and, as I have experienced, much to gain.