So What is a High Raw Omnivore?
Well, as far as I’m aware there are no hard and fast rules on the subject and to be honest I’m not even sure if the expression already existed somewhere before or if I’ve coined a new term! As such I can only tell you what it means to me.
First of all, why raw? A raw food diet consists essentially of raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains. Raw foodist’s are most often vegetarian or vegan. Cooking kills the enzymes in fresh produce and destroys the majority of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may be present.
As a result it’s very hard to fuel our bodies appropriately. One of the biggest causes of our overweight society is that our modern diets are full of foods that are so denatured, they no longer supply the necessary nutrients required by our bodies to function properly. As a result, we are constantly hungry and continue to eat in an attempt to calm the hunger. But our bodies still don’t find what they need and so stock everything in fat cells to be dealt with later, then calls for more food. The only problem is that later never comes, because the poor old digestive system is constantly battling to keep up with the junk that keeps being shoveled in.
By eating a lot of raw food we supply our bodies with nutrients that are so much more accessible and easy to convert to a fuel that is useful and recognizable to our systems. Less energy is spent trying to digest and process food and this energy is then available to be spent elsewhere – on repair or resistance boosting for example. It just makes so much sense to preserve the maximum amount of living enzymes and nutrients in everything we eat to give us a maximum amount of health and energy.
Lets imagine. Take a fresh seed and boil it. Now plant that seed. What will happen? Well, nothing much. The seed is dead, it certainly won’t grow and actually it’ll most likely rot in the ground. Now take another fresh seed and just plant it. What will happen now? It will sprout and be bursting with thousands of active enzymes all eager to transform that tiny seedling into a beautiful plant. Now which would you rather eat, the seed that will rot in your belly or the one bursting with eagerness? This example perfectly captures the philosophy of eating raw food.
What Does a High Raw Omnivore Eat?
Well this HRO eats at least 80% raw food on any given day. Ahhh, the good ol’ 80/20 rule. Now some people squirm at the mention of a raw food diet and to be honest, I don’t really know what goes though their minds! I guess they think I’m chowing down on raw chicken and t-bones or something, because the reactions can be priceless! It actually essentially refers to the aforementioned fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains. However for me, partly because of geographical reasons (and therefore lack of variety of produce) and partly because being 100% raw feels somehow incomplete to me, I also choose to eat animal products.
I do avoid dairy and wheat because I know that they are the cause of a lot of my bloating and aches, however I’m not obsessive about anything, which makes it a really flexible and practical way to live, especially when out for dinner or traveling for example. In fact nothing is strictly off limits, which also helps combat any feelings of deprivation and cravings that may arise. The thing is I happily choose to eat quality, nutrient rich foods, but being high raw doesn’t mean having to be an extremist. In fact I believe in always being open to change and evolution – as long as it’s an improvement! (Read: I reserve the right to stop eating a high raw diet at any time if I think there’s something better for me! But I can’t see it happening in the near future…)
It wasn’t so much a conscious decision for me to become a high raw omnivore, I kind of evolved into one after having tested and tweaked various styles of eating. It began in late 2008 with a desire to lose weight. Doesn’t it always? Of the many ‘lose weight and get fit’ type eBooks that I devoured in the following months there was always a recurring theme. What you eat is a crucial factor in determining your success or failure as far as the weight loss game is concerned. It represents half of the equation, the other half, of course, being exercise.
What I didn’t realize at the time however was the extent of the impact that my food was having on my general health. Now that might seem to you like a pretty naive thing to say, but when you’ve lived with a certain reality for so long, it becomes your norm and it can be hard to understand that things can be any different. Especially when you think you’re already doing a pretty good job most of the time! Maybe you’ve suffered from a perpetual pain for so long that you don’t even remember what life was like without it? Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.
High Raw Health
So my transition was fairly gradual as I learnt more and more about good foods and bad foods, what to eat more of, what to eat less of and what to avoid like the plague. The truth is that processed “modern” food evolved way too fast for our digestive systems to learn how to deal with. In fact so many foods nowadays have been so badly tampered with and are so far removed from their original forms with artificial additives, preservatives, colours, flavours etc. that our systems will probably never learn to understand them, no matter how long we wait or how hard we try! Removing these villains is the very first step that must be taken to clean up your health.
My reality was aches and pains in certain joints, bloating and gut pain, fatigue and a lack of energy in general, fogginess in the brain and lack of focus… nothing too major and all easily taken for granted. But as I gradually cleaned up my diet and took exercise a little more seriously, not only did I begin to lose weight, but I began to notice other physical changes. Like no longer having to creak my way out of bed, but rather just getting up and going. Or forgetting to put my knee brace on to go running – until I realized it was because I didn’t need it anymore. Or the energy I have that bubbles along all day long. Or the CLARITY in my mind. This is a biggie! Even when my body is dead tired my brain still feels so clear until I tell it to relax (or have a drink or two, but that’s another story!)
The change has been revolutionary!
If any of my experiences can help you to understand the benefits of eating a high raw diet and encourage you to improve your health in any way at all, then I’ll be thrilled!