This page is all about taking an ordinary diet and then turning it on its head by not cooking anything that can be gotten away with not being cooked. In other words, going raw in the sense of eating a raw food diet!
A Raw Food Diet
There is such a thing as a diet consisting of just raw food and it consists of eating lots of vegetables and fruit as well as salads, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, diary products etc that can all be safely eaten without cooking.
You could include eggs in there if you were not worried about the possibility of them containing the salmonella bug, but for that you'd have to have your own organic farm and be sure your chickens are healthy (along with what they're eating).
The idea behind eating raw foods as a way of losing weight is a good one as the body naturally has to work harder to digest uncooked food. This means the body actually uses more energy to process the food, which means more calories burned just by eating!
There is also a wealth of health contained in foods in their raw state that cooking destroys. So there is another side to eating a raw food diet other than just as a means to lose weight.
What You Should Not Eat Raw
Of course there are some foods that we naturally eat cooked that should not really be eaten without cooking. The main variety of these is meat in general and most fish, mainly because there can be bacteria on these foods when raw that cooking destroys.
The last thing you want when trying to get healthy and shed some weight is to come down with a nasty bout of food poisoning because you tried to eat a raw chicken breast! The challenge is to find the right foods that can safely and enjoyably be eaten uncooked.
You can eat some smoked and cured meats such as Parma ham or Jamon Serrano (Spanish cured ham), beef jerky etc that have not been first cooked. It is common to eat a beef steak very rare, so although it has touched the hot plate or pan, it is almost raw! If in doubt about any meat, you should cook it and not try and eat it uncooked!
As already mentioned, eggs are a sticky choice. When I was a child, adding a raw egg to a chocolate milkshake when I was feeling poorly was considered a good booster or tonic and was a common thing to do. Nowadays, eggs can contain the salmonella bacteria, although instances are rare and are recommended by experts to be eaten well cooked.
Another food that is not generally a good idea to eat uncooked is fish. While there are some fish that are naturally eaten raw, such as herring or the varieties of fish that are used in Japanese sushi dishes and some smoked fish such as smoked salmon etc, there are also some that should be cooked before being eaten.
Naturally Healthy Raw Foods
That leaves us with the naturally healthy foods that can be safely eaten raw and enjoyed. Nearly all vegetables and fruits fall into this category and they are incredibly healthy in their natural state. They also taste a whole load better too!
A freshly pulled carrot washed and sliced is very tasty, as is a fresh turnip or Kohl Rabi bulb. Cabbage leaves taste slightly peppery when eaten raw and when thin sliced and added with grated carrot make a great tasting side. Raw peas and French beans taste great as small bites and remember if you grow your own vegetables, you can pick them very early on to enjoy them very sweet
Even broccoli, cauliflower and kale can be eaten without being cooked! Celery, lettuce and tomatoes with capsicum (bell peppers), radish, cucumber and zucchini all make a great salad.
Many herbs can be (and are) eaten uncooked and some can be added to salads to vastly improve their flavor while adding their unique and individual health benefits. These include Florence fennel, chives, basil, parsley, sorrel, nasturtium (leaves and flowers) and borage (young leaves and flowers).
Of the few vegetables that can't realistically be eaten without cooking to some degree, mainly because they're just a little tough in that state, will include beetroot, parsnips, swede, eggplant, marrow and anything that grown well past its prime and has become woody or stringy.
Finally, use your own common sense as to what you decide to include in your meals when you want to avoid cooking for the many healthy benefits this way of eating can bring. Enjoy the great taste, fine texture and amazing energy boost from foods eaten in their natural state, just as nature always intended them to be!
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