My Health Blog
Here you'll find various articles I've written with health tips, as well as detailed explanations on how to use various medicinal plants and foods.
Hope those writings help !
(Click on the ➕ sign next to each titles to read the full articles)
What is RawVegan food ?
Living food consists of eating food without heating it, raw, or by dehydrating the food at a low temperature, below 45°C. Eaten in this way, food retains all its vitality, because as soon as it's processed, it loses its nutritional power and weighs down our bodies even more. Pasta, bread, pizzas, cakes etc. are "dead foods" that have lost all life, and de facto slow down the life of our cells (especially refined cereals, cheeses and cold meats) ; they generate life and thus maintain the well-being of our body's cells. They are therefore considered to be "alive" hence the term "living food" when we talk about raw food.
Above 45°C, cooking destroys the precious vitamins and also the enzymes present in plants. It even changes the molecular structure of minerals, reducing them to their inert form. On average, cooking eliminates 100% of enzymes and phytonutrients, 75% of vitamins and 50% of minerals. Raw foods are therefore bursting with enzymes, and some well-known raw food practices, such as fermentation and germination, even seek to multiply and conserve this enzymatic power! These two techniques also increase the bioavailability of nutrients... vitamins multiply, amino acids simplify and are better assimilated by the body.
By choosing not to cook our food, we also retain a large quantity of water, oxygen and chlorophyll in our meals, which contributes to better regeneration and oxygenation of the muscles and brain, and better elimination of waste.
What's more, plants and fruit are rich in fibre and contain many alkaline mineral salts, which help to maintain a healthy digestive system and restore a good acid-base balance, thus preventing demineralisation and premature ageing of the body.
By excluding cooked and fried foods from our diet, we also choose not to eat refined or processed products, preferring fresh vegetables and fruit, oilseeds and seeds (preferably organic or even better biodynamic).
Finally, the vegan diet consists of not eating any animal products: meat, fish, dairy products, and going easy on honey :-) The paradigm of the need for animal proteins is a thing of the past. We now understand that eating a wide variety of plants provides all the amino acids essential for building complete proteins.
The approach to this diet (at least as I see it) is not a diet or a dietary dogma. It's more a lifestyle and it can even become a revolutionary political act! In some deep way it helps bring a higher level of consciousness. When you eat this way you become your own nutritionist and you're contributing to the global well-being of the planet! It's also some kind of art of living since making raw food dishes can be very creative and sensorial. Thanks to this way of nourish ourselves, we can reach more optimal health, experience more positive thoughts and find a profound will to live.
The aim is not necessarily to become 100% raw (which is very difficult to achieve), but to experiment with it over a period of time or to adopt a 70% raw food diet, for example...
And the extraordinary thing is that most of the time, by going step by step, the body recognises what's good for it, the superfluous disappears and Life is reborn in us! And that's when you realise that the most complicated thing is not changing the way you eat, but managing all this new energy, haha!
April 2017 Lucigaïah Copyrighted
Where does the Raw Vegan diet come from ?
Millions of years ago, we were physiologically constituted to assimilate a natural and simple diet based on plants, fruits and a few seeds and legumes. Before discovering the use of fire, humans ate only raw food. The art of cooking dates back around 10,000 years ago, which is quite recent in human terms! Thanks to fire, we were able to survive the Ice Age and our civilisations developed thanks to hunting and the cultures of cereals. Cooking was also very useful for destroying pathogenic bacteria and helping the assimilation of certain foods.
So, throughout history, we have adapted to our environment... but it doesn't mean that our digestive systems have evolved! And since the industrial era (which began in the 18th century) we have continued to alter the planet by impoverishing the soil... According to French microbiologist Claude Bourguignon, 50 years ago in Europe there were 2 tonnes of earthworms per hectare. Today there are barely 50kg. And 6,000 years ago there was 3 times less desertification on the planet! All because of conventional agriculture and mono-cropping. What's more, over the last 30 years we've been constantly changing our eating habits, in particular by over-consuming (too many ready-made meals, meat and dairy products in particular).
These days, the raw food and vegan diet has become a very exciting subject. It is based on the basic mechanism of our body's digestive functions and carries a message of hope for re-fertilising the soil, preserving the planet's water and developing fruit forests.
Moreover, since prehistoric times, the digestive system of the human being has not undergone any transformation, we still have the same intestines, the same stomach, etc.... In fact, men and women have the same genetic make-up (to within 1.2%) as chimpanzees! In fact, the difference is only on the outside... because human beings have exactly the same digestive system as primates! And as everyone knows, chimpanzees don't eat meat or cheese; they don't bake their bread or add salt, wine or sugar to their food. They eat only fruit and plants, and occasionally a few small insects. And when they live in the wild, chimpanzees are rarely ill, and are unaffected by heart disease, diabetes, etc. Unlike carnivores such as lions, whose intestines are very short (enabling them to digest meat easily) and unlike granivores such as chickens, which have gizzards (which help to crush the seeds they peck at), we have intestines that measure (when unrolled) 12 times the length of our bodies! That's why when we eat meat, it putrefies in the colon because it's too difficult to digest, producing toxic acid waste that our liver and kidneys struggle to eliminate...
As for our hands and canines, we're not "armed" like carnivores...Although we are not instinctive carnivores, we are not herbivores made to graze on grass... Cows have neither incisors nor canines, only molars, and they use their large tongue to tear up grass. What's more, the cow's milk that has been consumed regularly by humans for so many generations is not really suited to them... We are not calves to begin with, and what's more, cow's milk contains proteins with a molecular structure that is too large for them to be properly assimilated by our body, as well as numerous saturated fatty acids responsible for the bad cholesterol that clogs our arteries and is at the root of most heart diseases. Numerous recent studies have also reported that milk causes a number of pathologies, including osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue, asthma and sinusitis.
To return to the history of the emergence of raw food, several traces of writings on the life of the Essenes (a community that lived on the shores of the Dead Sea two or three centuries before Jesus Christ, of which this one was a member) relate that this people consumed mainly sprouted seeds and raw vegetables. These manuscripts, found between 1947 and 1956, also reveal that the Essenes enjoyed good health and surprising longevity.
Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, Dr Gerson succeeded in treating himself and many other patients with a raw food diet. He is best known today for his book "A cancer therapy". Then a study in the 1930's by Paul Kouchakoff of the Lausanne Institute of Chemistry recognised that our immune system does not recognise cooked molecules. (called the phenomenon of digestive leucocytosis). In fact, when cooked food is eaten, the leucocytes (white blood cells) multiply in order to fight against the abnormal molecules considered to be "aggressors", leading to fatigue after meals during digestion.
Catherine Kousmine, the Russian-born Swiss doctor who was born in 1916 and died in 1992, also devoted most of her life to studying dietetics. She is best known for her recipe for Budwig cream (which contains cold-pressed oils and unrefined wholegrain cereals).
More recently, Professor and Doctor Seignalet has endeavoured to shed light on the links between diet and cancer, and his book "L'alimentation ou la 3ème médecine", published in 1996, places great emphasis on the use and benefits of a raw food diet.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Ann Vigmore and Viktoras Kulvinkas were pioneers in experiments with Raw Living Food, and it was they, for example, who highlighted the therapeutic aspect of wheatgrass juice. In 1956 they founded the Hippocrates Health Institute, where they taught the basics of living foods. Since then, the centre has been run by Anna Maria and Brian Clement, and every year welcomes thousands of people wishing to recover from serious illnesses or boost their immune system. Robert Morse, an accredited naturopath and herbalist, has also strongly promoted raw food and veganism in his 40 years of practice. Since 1974, he has run two clinics in Florida and teaches the importance of detoxification and cellular regeneration. Finally, there is the doctor and top-level athlete Douglas Graham, author of the famous book "The 80 10 10 Diet" . In this book, he advocates a predominantly frugivorous diet. Through his lectures and consultations, he has helped many people to lose weight and regain their health.
So it was really in the United States, and especially in California (the cradle of social and revolutionary movements) that living foods began to make a name for themselves... Since the early 1990's, juices and smoothied bars, cafés and restaurants dedicated to raw food have been popping up, inviting Americans to discover the healing power of living foods. In 2008, in Montreal, David Côté and Mathieu Gallant opened the doors of the Crudessence restaurant, which is known the world over, and their book, published in 2011, was one of the first French-language raw food recipe books. With of course the book Certains l'aiment cru the first book of Kate Magic translated and published in France in 2005. She has been training for decades thousands of people all over the world about superfoods and raw foods, including me in 2010 :-) !
In France, the pioneer of raw food was certainly Swiss-born Guy-Claude Burger, who launched the instinctotherapy movement in the early 1980's. And over the last five years, raw food has been on the up, and since 2013 we can even enjoy a magazine entirely dedicated to living foods called Le Chou Brave. So you see, raw food is now well established in France, and that's great - I've been waiting for this since 2009!
April 2017 Lucigaïah Copyrighted
Why eating raw vegan foods ?
There is a long list of answers to this question, as the raw vegan diet increases a lot our health capital and our capacity to heal. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the health benefits of this lifestyle :
* The importance of enzymes... Cooking destroys the enzymes that raw foods contain in abundance. But why are enzymes so important? Just as in plants, enzymes, along with water, vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, make up our body's vital force. They are the catalysts for almost every bodily function. There are two types of enzyme : metabolic enzymes, which manage our entire body. All our organs, tissues and cells function thanks to them. And digestive enzymes simplify the nutrients we absorb. These enzymes are proteins that optimise and accelerate certain transformations in our body. They are necessary for digestion and assimilation of the food we eat.
It's good to know that all fruit and vegetables contain a wide variety of beneficial enzymes. It's also worth knowing that cereals and dairy products contain harmful enzymes that are detrimental to our good health! Fresh juices and sprouted seeds have incredible enzymatic and nutritional potential, making them the ideal allies for regenerating our weakened bodies and extending our life expectancy. In the absence of enzymes in our food, the work of pre-digestion and digestion relies solely on the enzyme capital at our disposal, which over the years becomes depleted... and can no longer devote itself to the hundreds of other activities involved in the smooth running of our body. In fact, when you overload your body with dead, denatured or cooked food, your body has to withdraw energy from the production of its own metabolic enzymes and use this energy to produce digestive enzymes. This is one of the reasons why you feel tired, sweaty and foggy after a big cooked meal. Raw food, on the other hand, is so easy to digest that it doesn't interfere with the production of metabolic enzymes. Nowadays, most people suffer from a deficiency in dietary enzymes, which is one of the reasons for many of the so-called diseases of civilisation, such as obesity and diabetes, and inflammatory diseases such as asthma and arthritis. So by eating fresh (close to the harvest) and mostly raw food, we maintain a good enzymatic capital directly linked to youth and vital energy.
* An abundance of nutrients... The process of cooking food destroys the delicate nutrients in food, such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants. Baking and frying are the most damaging methods, whereas steaming or stewing preserves a large proportion of the nutrients and preserves the flavour of the food much better. At all temperatures, nutrients are lost and chemical changes take place in the composition of the food. From 45°C to 75°C, for example, all the enzyme ferments disappear, at around 100°C minerals and trace elements are lost... and at 120°C the last vitamins are destroyed, lipids are transformed into tars and protein molecules become twice as difficult to digest!
Raw food, on the other hand, retains all its high nutritional density. And certain well-known raw food techniques, such as soaking, germination and fermentation, even multiply the nutritional value and bioavailability of nutrients.
* Stopping eating toxic foods... In fact, the benefits do not necessarily lie in eating raw foods, but above all in the fact that we stop eating industrial, pasteurised, sterilised, irradiated, devitalised, refined and overcooked foods that are totally devoid of nutrients and often saturated with sugar, salt, flavour enhancers and poor-quality fats. What's more, we stop eating too many carbohydrates (starches such as pasta, bread, rice, pulses and pastries). Most people then lose weight because the body has much less glucose to regulate and store, so it draws energy from its fat reserves.
We also stop taking products containing the famous Maillard molecules that hide behind the golden crust of baguettes, the caramel of tarte Tatin, and everything that's nicely browned and roasted... The browning and the change in smell betray this molecular reaction that poisons us and accelerates the ageing of our bodies. The same goes for grilling, particularly charcoal grilling, which not only generates Maillard molecules but also contributes significant quantities of highly carcinogenic toxic substances. For example, the benzopyrene released by one kilo of charcoal-grilled meat is equivalent to 600 cigarettes!
* Acid-base balance... In the same way that a rich soil enables a plant to grow and flourish, the quality of our internal environment determines our ability to develop in good health, to heal ourselves and to support certain metabolic processes. In fact, to be in tip-top shape, the body needs to maintain a perfect acid-base balance, as an acidic metabolism is conducive to the development of degenerative disorders. In fact, an acid-dominant diet, as well as stress, pollution and negative emotional states, create an acidic organic environment. To re-establish the acid-base balance, the body draws on its mineral reserves (bones, teeth, hair, cartilage, etc.), resulting in demineralisation, muscle and bone pain, inflammation, degenerative diseases, cellulite and weight gain.
The PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load), is a measurement used to classify foods according to their alkalinising or acidifying properties. We know that cereals, meat and legumes are acid-forming and that cooking in general acidifies foods. Living foods, on the other hand, provide alkalizing foods such as vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, ripe fruit, seaweed, soaked and pregerminated seeds and oilseeds and lacto-fermented vegetables. As we have seen, food is not the only source of acidity, and various practices such as meditation, contemplation and yoga can complement an alkaline diet, by promoting good circulation of body fluids, good emotional management and serenity.
Self-test strips for acid-base balance are available in pharmacies and certain organic shops, and can be used to measure urinary pH. You need to take several measurements over a period of at least 15 days to find out how acidic your body is. This is because the urinary pH varies throughout the day (and night), depending on meals or physical activity, for example... Occasional results indicating an acidic background are not alarming. On the other hand, if the values regularly fall below 6, there is a good chance that the body is overloaded with acidic metabolic waste and is no longer able to eliminate it normally.
* A diet rich in fibre and with a low glycaemic index... Hyperglycaemic foods (i.e. foods that significantly increase blood sugar levels), such as refined and industrialised products, low in good fats but high in added sugars, pre-cooked and overcooked foods, put our health to the test and are the cause of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. To cope with this excess of foods with a high glycaemic index, the pancreas produces insulin, which enables the body to use sugar as fuel. Fats are then no longer used for energy and are stored in the tissues. In addition, blood sugar peaks trigger a feeling of hunger, leading to overeating and overconsumption of sugary, empty-calorie foods. In contrast, raw food contains mostly low-glycaemic-index foods such as green leafy vegetables, sprouted seeds and fruit (except bananas and dates).
What's more, the absence of fibre increases a food's glycaemic index. This is because soluble fibre (found mainly in apples, pears, strawberries and carrots) forms a viscous gel that slows down the digestion and absorption of glucose. The more fibre a food or combination of foods contains, the lower its glycaemic index. And it just so happens that a vegan diet is a major source of fibre-rich foods, unlike animal-based cuisine, which is totally fibre-free (meat, dairy products, eggs). Fibre not only helps to regulate blood sugar levels, it also helps the digestive system to function properly and helps to eliminate bad bacteria in the colon. It also maintains healthy intestinal flora and mucosa, and helps to increase the feeling of satiety.
* A new taste of food... When you're cooking, it smells good, and sometimes even tastes great! But once it's on the plate and in our mouths, it's not necessarily so exceptional... and you need a lot of salt, sugar, spices, condiments, herbs and sauces to enhance it all and repair what we've burnt by heating the food... not to mention flavour enhancers that are often poisons and trigger thirst. Although crusine doesn't necessarily give off enticing smells, it's much more interesting in terms of flavour when we taste it! With crusine, we have much more scope to play with colours and textures and create magnificent mixed dishes !
If you have enjoyed this article and would like to try the raw vegan food diet, but you are afraid of changing all your habits at once, take one step at a time and gradually replace certain meat products that no longer suit you... The transition period may be a little complicated to manage (especially with the people around you...) but your efforts will be rewarded and you certainly won't regret this decision !
So don't hesitate to persevere with the rest of the articles I've written especially for you... !
Septembre 2017 Lucigaïah Copyrighted
Is the raw vegan diet good for the planet ?
Being on a raw food and vegan diet is much more than a diet, it's a lifestyle that can also be a solution to certain ecological problems.
* The power of organic, vegan and local food to change the world by directing your purchasing power towards responsible businesses is enormous! Eating locally has a great impact because by encouraging producers and processors in our regions, we are directly involved in creating the social fabric that benefits us all. Locally grown food avoids 3 things in particular: overseas transport, the development of international monoculture and food speculation. And what a pleasure it is to get to know your market farmer personally, who is so proud to offer you his creations! In fact, ideally, every country should be able to control its own food, without depriving itself of the opportunity to spice it up with international exoticism. In this way, foreign products become delicious exceptions, rather than the daily staples of our diet.
* Eating mostly local, seasonal fruit and vegetables enables us to create more vegetable gardens and orchards. In this respect, permaculture and agro-ecology are fantastic tools for returning to more fertile and diversified ecosystems. When we look at the plant world, we realise that on our planet, any land left to its own devices is transformed into a forest. Before human intervention, forests covered the entire planet and their ecosystems create a very rich soil that is home to life... Plants grow there freely, stimulating and protecting each other. In contrast, agriculture and monocultures have profoundly impoverished the soil. Ploughing and pesticides destroy fauna and humus, contributing to soil erosion and the depletion of nutrients in our food. By making the most of fruit forests (and not by fighting against them, as we are currently doing), we can produce an incredible abundance of edible plants of high nutritional quality.
What's more, fruit forests are tall and multi-storey crops that are self-sufficient in water. So they require little tillage and no irrigation. And, of course, they help to recreate oxygen wells in a world where deforestation and pollution have destroyed almost everything... Our grandparents cultivated their gardens and had fruit trees in their gardens, didn't they? So let's try to promote this return to the land, whether we have simple balconies or live in urban areas, by having a few aromatic herbs, or trays of young shoots, jars for sprouting, or by joining and participating in the creation of shared gardens... The Incroyables Comestibles movement in this sense is worth discovering! So many things are possible and are already happening!
* It's important to note that everyone has the opportunity to improve the ecological situation on a daily basis by doing their shopping and choosing what they buy. Food drives the world... in fact the central gear of the economy is mainly linked to our plate! Everyone is responsible for the trends that the agri-food industry supports... and paying more for organic and local produce is a meaningful action and an inspiring drop in the bucket that makes a significant contribution to the torrent of change!
* It's also important to note that livestock farming is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of deforestation in the Amazon. And a vegan emits 2.5 times less greenhouse gas than a Western omnivore! So livestock farming, especially if it's intensive, takes up most of the arable land and causes alarming pollution of soils and rivers (the figures from the latest surveys on this subject are absolutely catastrophic...). So stopping your consumption of animal products really does have a major ecological impact...! So from a moral and ethical point of view, eating vegan can be seen as a peaceful evolution and a major step forward in people's attitudes... it's about living your life without exploiting animals, and considering that animals don't belong to you!
It's also important to note that a plant-based diet could feed our entire planet... and yes, enough experts have clearly demonstrated this in recent years... so what are we waiting for to change our habits and make this change to our diet? And for those who still have doubts, yes, it is quite possible to find in a vegan diet all the proteins, vitamins and minerals needed for the human body to function properly. And becoming vegan is not just about eating bananas, lettuce and broccoli. The raw vegan diet can be a culinary art made up with fresh raw vegetables and fruit, and can be adapted in a multitude of ways to suit our tastes and desires. These days, a great deal of expertise has been developed in this area, and any typical meat-based dish can be transformed into a plant-based version...
Change is already happening ! Some food companies have understood this, and that's why it's surprising to find vegan product ranges in some large food groups specialising in charcuterie and other meat-based dishes...But just like organic food, which has a good reputation, be wary of claims such as "vegan" and check that the products are certified... And in my opinion, it's always healthier and more economical to prefer homemade and fresh foods than to eat products that may be labelled Vegan, but which are full of bizarre additives and vegetable hormones such as soya!
* Finally, because of its healing power, living foods also have the power to transform the planet by offering men and women the chance to maintain their health and avoid many illnesses and diseases. It really is a form of medicine on the plate! Superfoods such as medicinal herbs and wild plants are in fact veritable nutritional treasures. In the past, people were much more aware of this and knew about natural pharmacopoeia. Unfortunately, our societies have preferred to condemn midwives and so-called "witches" and to intervene by modifying plants to make them more attractive, more colourful, sweeter, etc., and by resorting more and more to chemical substances... Today it is up to us to preserve the heritage of the ancient knowledge of herbalists and popularise the use of natural remedies.
Septembre 2017 Lucigaïah Copyrighted