A couple of years ago I wrote a post entitled, Raw Foods: The Grand Experiment. I had already been a vegan for a number of years, and a vegetarian for more than two decades. Anyway, I’d been reading about the concepts of eating only raw foods online and in various books. And back when I initially wrote that previous article I thought I’d give raw foods a try.
The main concepts concerning a raw food diet were fascinating to me:
1. More Energy and Stamina
I’ve read about triathletes eating primarily a raw food diet to maintain higher energy levels for performance and endurance. So, being a musician and drummer, the idea of enhancing my performance through an optimum diet greatly interested me.
2. Optimum Health
In order to perform on a musical instrument and to perform at one’s highest level of performance, one needs to practice on his/her instrument for hours each day. But one can’t perform well unless he/she is physically, mentally, spiritually strong. So, maintaining optimal health is really something every musician should focus on.
3. Detoxifying Effects
I’d been reading from various sources that eating primarily a raw food diet has detoxifying effects, meaning that a raw food diet aids the body in getting rid of toxins and waste products that clogs the body and potentially contribute to a diseased state. Though the medical establishment has traditionally scoffed at the idea of detoxifying the body, there are many studies that point to the benefits of detoxifying the body.
4. Rejuvenating The Body
I’ve also been reading that, if there are any natural sources out there that help to rejuvenate the body and keep one looking as youthful as possible, it is the concept of eating raw foods that are natural and contain more micro-nutrients in relation to their macro-nutrient (carbohydrate, fat and protein) counterparts. This basically refers to foods that have a very high nutrient content while containing more fiber and less calories and fat. In other words, more bang-for-your-buck… more nutrition and less calories mean calorically less dense and good for the body.
My Raw Food Story
So from 2005 I began eating 75% raw food diet, but still maintaining a 100% vegan diet. And at the same time I found myself practicing Yoga everyday. So, between the Yoga and the raw food diet I did find I had more energy and felt quite healthy with more stamina especially with regards to my performances on drums and piano. My drum solos, especially, I felt were more focused and creative.
Falling Off The Raw Food Bandwagon
Then, somehow in the first part of 2007 I totally got off track. I even went as far as to eating red meat, chicken and and seafood but I’d always feel sick and unhealthy afterwards. Though I may have had cravings that probably stemmed from childhood, I just never felt as healthy when not a vegan or raw foodist. But the first half of 2007 was dealing with all this, and trying to get back to a more healthy lifestyle.
Getting Back On Track
During the latter half of 2007 I was able to fall back into a very healthy routine of exercise, eating raw foods and practicing Yoga once again, and I even became serious about gardening as an exercise and form of meditation. And going into 2008, I’ve been maintaining a successful routine since.
What I’ve been finding out with a raw food diet is that it’s a very clean diet. Raw foods get processed and assimilated into the body faster as opposed to eating animal foods, which tend to slow the body down because it takes more effort for the body to digest the animal foods. On a raw food diet one eats for the benefit of “feeling” extremely healthy as opposed to eating for the cravings and the tastes.
More Energy For Work and Play
It seems that eating a sensible raw food diet gives one more energy throughout the day. There are no need for naps, especially after lunch or a big dinner. And one doesn’t really need all that much sleep. During my performances my drum solos are more focused and they feel more effortless to me. And I think that boosts my creativity.
One needs to be sharp and focused when performing jazz music, or any music that is challenging, and the difference between eating a big steak and eating a raw garden salad is like night and day.
Raw Foods Will Benefit Even Meateaters
The important thing I’m noticing is to stick with eating a raw vegetable salad everyday. If you are not a vegetarian, ideally it’s beneficial to eat a raw garden salad at every meal. And for added energy, drink a raw smoothie preferably at least once in the morning for an added boost. I don’t drink coffee or go to Starbucks any more. There is no need for CAFFEINE! As of right now I’ve been caffeine free all of 2008.
If you are a devout meateater, or you are trying to eat sensibly with a chicken or seafood diet, eating more raw fruits and vegetables will definitely add to your health. I do think the rejuvenating benefits are there and it definitely helps to maintain a youthful appearance, even into middle age and beyond.
In summary, the raw food diet is definitely a healthy one, provided that mostly raw organic fruits and vegetables are eaten, rather than eating junk food. Though, with a raw food diet there is pretty much no junk food to eat at all…. and thus, out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
Stay tuned… as I’ll also be posting about the 10 Essential Raw Superfoods.