Monday, 28 June 2010

on my 27th day on Raw Food

Since my creatinine level indicated beyond normal in my recent annual physical exam, I've been advised to refrain from eating meat. I've decided to go back to being vegetarian and in fact, I've taken it a notch higher by going raw. This means, not eating cooked, processed foods. So far so good, I'm on my 27th day and surviving.

It wasn't easy at first since there was hardly anything to eat at most restaurants and all I know how to prepare is salads. My first attempt in making a vegetable smoothie ended tasting like wasabi juice. I blended pechay (local spinach) with pineapple and banana.

Also since I didn't stop running or doing workouts, my strength and endurance suffered. I started panting at 6-km or would be out of breath which I seldom experienced. I guess my body was relying on my stored fats for energy and the last few days, I had no stored fat left.

Its not easy to go raw. This even includes boiling water which means no soups, teas and coffee. Apparently, cooking destroys 25% to 100% of the nutrients depending on the how its cooked - steaming 25% and up to 100% for microwave, frying and baking. In fact, cooked food produces carcinogens such as acrilamide.

According to Dr. Bernarr, "When food is cooked above 118 degrees F for three minutes or longer, its protein has become coagulated, its sugar has become caramelized, its natural fibers have been broken down, which means it will take longer to move through the intestinal tract, 30% to 50% of its vitamins and minerals have been destroyed and 100% of its enzymes have been destroyed. Cooked food depletes our body's enzyme potential and drains the energy we need to maintain and repair our tissues and organ systems and shortens our lifespan."

The good news is aside from Alive! restaurant in The Farm in San Benito, I found a raw food restaurant in Manila called Rawvolution in Kamuning, Quezon City. The owner and chef, Cheloy Ignacio, who was previously sickly turned to raw food in 2006 and since then never got sick. In fact, she lost 20 lbs in ten days. Check her website here. I joined her 'healing' class which consisted of a lecture by naturopathist Dr. Samuel Dizon and raw food preparation by Cheloy where she shared two recipes - green smoothie and asian salad. I learned how to make almond milk in her class - 1/4 cup of raw almonds soak overnight and 1 cup water, blended which i use for my daily morning smoothie.

I also joined the live food preparation of another raw food chef Aileen de Guzman who learned from Michelin award-winning Chef Felix Schoener at The Farm at San Benito years ago. Aileen taught us how to prepare - a breakfast smoothie, asparagus bundles, thai pomelo salad, vegan sushi and tiramisu.

Well, so far i can see the benefits - literally my eyesight has improved, my hearing good, skin better and alas, I've yet to lose weight. I've invested in a vitamin blender, food processor, ceramic knife (food won't oxide when sliced) and will have to save for an ozonator and pasta maker. Being a food lover and gourmand, going raw is quite a challenge. The recommendation is actually 30% cooked and 70% raw. If I keep this up longer, I may just join the ranks of raw food advocates - -the likes of actor Woody Harrelson, author Anthony Robbins , Tri-athlete Brendan Brazier and even Apple CEO Steve Job.