Day Nine: Variety is Key

I've heard of some people spreading around the idea that a diet of only raw foods -- veggies, nuts, fruits -- is the key to health. Apparently it's based on the idea that our primeval selves did not cook food. Nor do animals, in fact. Thus, it only makes sense that the healthiest food for our bodies would be in their raw states, chock full of vitamins and minerals without the drainage that cooking causes.

However, as much as we love to worship the health benefits of fruit-based diets, it stands that fruits are chock full of sugar. Sure, natural sugars are better than the loaded refined and processed sugars that go into almost every packaged product you can buy, but people preaching having half a cantaloupe as a snack don't really know much about moderation and variety -- which are really the main keys to a healthy diet. I think I'm sounding a bit too preachy myself, but I hate watching people brag about how they eat only a single food and how healthy their bodies are as a result. The cabbage soup diet, the peanut butter diet, the banana and milk diet -- they're all fads that promise weight loss, but only in water weight. For long term health benefit, it's evident that more than a single food is necessary.

Not that I don't promote raw foodism. I personally actually prefer that to the paleo diets that many people enjoy raving about, simply because of how natural the foods are. Unlike most other people, my taste buds are abnormally sensitive, so eating plain raw salad minus the dressing has never been a real issue to me. If you think about it, there's a reason why carrots are like candy to rabbits. Try it out sometime, after you've cleansed your palate of that bread, butter, cookies, or whatever sugary carbs you happen to have in there. Carrots, lettuce, celery -- they're all full of sugars after all!

Anyway, the only reason I can vouch for this is because I actually underwent about two weeks of this raw foodism myself, and I can honestly say that I never felt more energized or ready to take on the world. I wasn't ever hungry because eating vegetables and fruits fills you up with water more than anything, and I was never dehydrated. Of course, having a two week stint like that is hardly evidence enough to promise that a raw lifestyle is ideal, but judging by all of the happy faces of the raw foodist community, it seems as though such a diet may be possible for our human bodies to handle after all!

But that's not what the main point is. The diet of a raw foodist seems a bit limited at first, especially since almost all carbs are cut out (with the exception of easily digestible oats and other grains). However, just take a look at the Google Images search results when you type in "raw food recipes." I promise you nothing less than a colorful rainbow utopia of health and wellness! It's practically a hipster's dream!

By adding natural sugars from dates and raisins, you can make a variety of creative dishes from raw foods. For instance, using walnuts, dates, and cocoa powder, you can make a deliciously fudgy cupcake that practically resembles a regular chocolate fudge cake! Here's a convenient recipe for you daredevils out there: http://www.rawfoodrecipes.com/recipes/mint-chocolate-chip-cupcakes.html

But with anything, variety in nutrients is important. The difference between raw food diets and fruit-based diets is the subtle (not really...) wording. One promotes a broad category of foods with various proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals to fill up and healthify a body. The other promotes a slim category of foods with barely enough nutrients to sustain oneself healthily for very long.

On that note, I had a very varied day today. My dad had been invited to his coworker's house to eat, and I managed to keep myself under control even (or especially) in the presence of company.

Breakfast: Egg white omelet, pumpkin bun
Lunch: Celery, cucumbers, carrot sticks, grapes, melons, steamed Turkish rice
Dinner: White rice, kidney beans, lettuce, pickled cucumbers, sour cream
Snacks: Figs (our tree is finally making fruit!), melons

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