7 Myths to a Raw Foods Diet

Myth #1 – A raw foods diet is too expensive.
Everything is perception and at first when you eat more raw foods, it may seem expensive because you are shopping more for fresh, organic, local produce or because you are buying different equipment and tools for your kitchen and different pantry items to concoct your recipes, but you can actually save money on a raw foods diet. What I’ve found to be true is that the more raw foods I eat, the less portion size I consume and also I’ve found great produce markets and farmer’s markets where the local organic produce is very inexpensive. Shopping at high-end gourmet health food stores and supermarkets will break your bank. I also instead of buying my nut butters which I use to provide bulk and substance to my diet as well as protein, I make at home in my food processor by adding the nuts, olive oil, and some salt and then I store them in containers and snack on them during the week. I’m not sure if I spend more money on food than the average person or not, but I do know that I don’t take any medications which cuts down on costs and I haven’t had the need to see a doctor in over 7 years which also cuts down on costs and because I eat so simply, other areas in my life have called for that same simplicity and moderation which also cuts down on costs.

  • Myth #2 – A raw foods diet is too cumbersome and hard to maintain.

The more I embraced raw foods, the less cumbersome and easy I found it to maintain. Also because I eat more simply than I have ever eaten before, I have found that having a really organized kitchen by having ample storage containers, a compost container, and a place to store everything makes it not only easier to maintain the diet, but it makes a very pleasant experience. Eating more living and fresh foods brings joy to my life. I now look forward to taking trips to the produce market and seeing what new fruits and vegetables are available and I also enjoy experimenting with recipes. It only becomes cumbersome and hard to maintain if you are not embracing the food and surrounding yourself with people who eat like you as the influence of others can hinder your joy in embracing this diet.

  • Myth #3 – Raw foods is dangerous because of the bacteria on food.

All food should be handled carefully, with clean hands only, and prepared on clean surfaces. Its also important to consume fruits and vegetables as soon as possible when they are really fresh as this can cut down on the possibility of the growth of harmful bacteria on them. There is the case of fermented vegetables which is when vegetables are kept at room temperature in a sanitary container for a number of days to ferment so that it activates the lactobacilli which is naturally present in raw cultured vegetables as well as in our digestive tract but this bacteria is beneficial for your body. There are friendly bacteria necessary to break down foods in our digestive tract. It is also not necessarily true that when food is cooked that it kills the bacteria.

  • Myth #4 – A raw foods diet does not supply enough nutrition.

This is exactly the opposite. A raw foods diet supplies the body with all of its necessary vitamins, nutrients, and minerals it needs to thrive. It as well naturally hydrates the body with its high water content which means that you don’t have to drink as much water and it is also a natural detox diet which means that it it constantly detoxing the body of toxins. As far as protein is concerned dark leafy greens are known to have the most digestible protein on the planet.

  • Myth #5 – Raw foods does not taste good.

This all depends on the creator of the dish. Raw foods can taste just as good, if not better than cooked food and with just as much or as little or no seasoning at all. What is great about raw and living foods is that because the natural juices in the food are so scrumptious for the body, you don’t always have to season the food. It all depends on one’s palette.

  • Myth #6 – You have to eat a 100% raw foods diet to enjoy the benefits.

Absolutely not true. I’ve experimented with a 100% raw foods diet and I’ve enjoyed many of the benefits such as flawless skin, a high energy level, and a higher immunity to disease. But I’ve also gone 80/20, 50/50, etc with raw and cooked food and I’ve noticed that I still maintained the benefits. Getting more live and raw foods is important for the overall health of the body because it naturally detoxifies our bodies and supplies the body with enzymes but its not necessary to eat 100% raw. Everyone’s body is completely different and some people just can’t eat a 100% raw foods diet.

  • Myth #7 – There is not much diversity in a raw foods diet.

There are more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains on the planet to eat than there are animals to eat. There is so much diversity in a raw foods diet. The reason why people believe this myth is because as humans we tend to eat the same food over and over again and we tend not to experiment with different foods. We also tend to shop in the same place and therefore we are only going to be exposed to what the market is asking for. Its important to read about different food, venture into other neighborhoods to shop for food, try different ethnic and exotic fruits and vegetables, and experiment with different herbs and spices to season your food. I’ve been playing around a lot with caraway seeds which is a spice that I probably would have never heard of if I didn’t eat a raw foods diet.

Eating Healthier On a Budget

Many people think eating healthier is complicated, hard-to-do, and expensive when really it is the total opposite.
My approach to eating healthier is to do it simply, easy, and inexpensively and without a lot of fuss.  Leave yourself some breathing room in case you can’t find an ingredient.
1. You do not have to buy everything organic.  I view health as good, better, and best.  So of course eating organic is always best but it is not always feasible because of budget restraints as well as because of accessibility.  Buying local is actually better.  Many local farmers cannot afford the organic certification and they may actually be practicing organic methods.  I am in contact with two local farmers in the Pennsylvania area who are in this very predicament.  There are some vegetables and fruits that you should absolutely buy organic like celery, peppers, apples, potatoes, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, etc, but again depending on where you live and your shopping budget, do the best that you can.
2. Keep some basic staples stocked in your pantry or refrigerator so that you can make just about any raw foods or vegan recipe.  Some basic staples are Braggs liquid aminos, olive oil, nori sheets, nut butters, coconut oil, sea salt, cacao powder, lemons, and dulse flakes.  With these basics you will be able to whip up most recipes.
3. Buy in bulk as much as possible.  You may not see the cost difference in the beginning but in the end it will save you some money.  Buy nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and lentils in bulk.
4. Buy produce that is in season.  Produce that is in season, not only tastes better but it will be cheaper than if it were out of season.  Right now pomegranates, leeks, squash, and pumpkin are approaching our fall harvest.
5. Patronize your farmer’s markets, local co-ops, ethnic grocery stores.  The produce is slightly more inexpensive and sometimes of greater quality.  Caribbean and Asian produce stores are my favorite.
6. Purchase your kitchen equipment on e-bay.  I’ve gotten great deals on Vitamix blenders and Cuisinart food processors from e-bay.  Make sure you check out the seller’s past selling history before you buy.
7. Learn to substitute where and when you can.  If you do not have agave nectar, use honey or maple syrup.  Use lemons instead of limes.