Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Walk the Raw Line somewhere in the middle....

As someone who is constantly studying nutrition, health and wellness, I find it extremely interesting (and maybe a little frustrating) that there are so many different opinions on what is healthy for us. This post is inspired by a recent conversation I had with a friend about being or not being raw, and also a debate about agave nectar that was brought to my attention. It seems that everywhere you look, someone is saying something completely different about a food or health tidbit that you thought for sure was the truth. From "stop eating by 7" vs "it doesn't matter when you eat, just what you eat," to "cooking food destroys the vitamins and enzymes" vs "heat is needed to release certain vitamins and minerals," it goes on and on. (Btw: "it doesn't actually matter when you eat, just what you eat" is true, and both of the raw vs cooked food statements are true). So how do we ever find the actual truth? Good question! Lol. I'm not exactly sure. But what I do know is that usually when something is extremely on one side of the equation, it is most likely NOT the truth (unless it is something obvious), because the world isn't as black and white as maybe we would like it to be. To relate it to something, think of a relationship that you debated about staying in.... Some parts were probably amazing, while others maybe not so much; it wasn't all positive or all negative. It's the same thing with nutrition and health. 

I changed the title of my blog from Selki's Raw World of Health to Selki's (Mostly) Raw World of Health, because I didn't want to give the wrong impression. I am not 100% raw, nor do I strive to be. I do think that eating a lot of raw foods is beneficial to the body, ie greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc (all the things that are naturally raw), but this doesn't mean that cooked foods are not healthy as well. Grains and pseudo-grains like brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat (not actually a wheat), and amaranth are great sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals, and cooking foods with the proper oil and the proper amount of heat is also very healthful. I actually follow what I like to call a "whole foods diet." (no, I don't only eat food from the grocery store of that name!) I try to feed my body with real, whole foods that occur naturally and haven't been processed, because this is when my body feels the best. The reason I am so drawn to the raw way of eating is because you are pretty much guaranteed that no chemicals have been added to the food, and that no processing has occurred. (This isn't always a given with vegan foods, because just because it is is vegan doesn't mean it is healthy. Using an oil that can't withstand heating (more on oils in a future post!), evaporated cane juice or white flour can all make a seemingly healthy dish more on the unhealthy side). So this is why I like it raw. :) Simple, clean ingredients all added together to make a delicious, still clean dish. Same with raw desserts- almost every ingredient is a whole, unprocessed and naturally good for us food. No flours, gums, , chemicals, fake sugars, yeasts, evaporated anything.... It's just simple ingredients put together to make yummy, healthy treats for when you need something that is not a piece of kale. 

So don't think that I am on the "ONLY RAW" bandwagon, because I am not at all. I'm not even on the completely vegetarian bandwagon, believe it or not. I don't choose to eat meat or any animal products, but I do believe that some people benefit from the protein from meats (as long as they are grass fed, hormone free and organic, and from local farmers if possible). (I am however, very against the consumption of dairy, which is another post in itself). What is important is how you feel on a certain diet. My body feels the best on a mostly raw, sometimes cooked vegan diet. Many raw foodists fight against their cravings for cooked foods and try to adhere to strict guidelines, and I think that this is more unhealthy in the long run than eating some well prepared cooked food. Creating stress and trying to force yourself to do anything is not going to improve your health no matter how many veggies you eat. So I encourage you to listen to what your body is saying. I mean really listen! If you become tired or cranky after eating pasta and meatballs, maybe stop eating it and see how you feel. Or if you are fatigued because you are only eating raw, maybe add in some cooked grains and see how you react. 

To make my point about not being a raw food only groupie, I have included my recipe to my favorite Thai Coconut Stir Fry meal! Its soooo good, and the sauce is one of the only stir fry sauces that is soy free. Its delicious and I highly recommend trying it. Being the weirdo I am, I like it leftover, cold. (I was always like that as a kid too, which explains why I fully enjoy being mostly raw). 


1/2 cup low fat coconut milk
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, shredded
1/2 tsp coriander powder
squeeze of lemon or lime

1 hot chili pepper, finely chopped, or cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste

What you do:

If you like rice or quinoa, make that first. I make it in a rice maker bc it's so easy.

Mix all ingredients (above) in a blender and let sit until the stir fry is almost done.

Stir Fry: Take your favorite veggies (I like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, spinach or red leaf lettuce, carrots, mung beans...) and toss them into a wok with coconut oil (this is the best oil I know of to cook with), and then cook until they are a little crispier than you want them. Then add your sauce and stir for a few minutes until the veggies reach the consistency you like. That's it!

I also like to throw in some tempeh, which I cube and start cooking before putting in the veggies. The coconut oil gives it an amazing taste. 


  1. I personally like the "mostly" raw part. I love some cooked foods and this also means I may get some good cooked snack ideas from your blog YAY!

  2. Thanks for following, Steven! I will definitely give you some cooked snack and meal ideas :)

  3. Some of the actual truth with foods is available! With the help of peer-reviewed and non-baised research it is possible to find information on the foods we eat. For example, that red meat is not good for colon health. Some things, like how being a high raw vegan has all these health benefits, needs more research. I think diet is a combination of personal preference and food beliefs.