Archive for the ‘ Raw 101 ’ Category

Amino Acid vs Protein

Over a period of time, I grew away from red meats. I’m not anti it. My eating is at most times, for function, yes, but I still have a very much hedonistic approach to food of any culinary type. And for me to sacrifice temporary shut downs to run digestions (sleepi/heaviness) what I eat has to be worth it. Tony Romas’ succulent baby back ribs, for example. Or a blob of pan seared foie gras (i developed an aversion for a short period of time upon learning how foie gras farming works, but it won me over again. They’re just too good for my liking). They’re celebration food for me though. I have them no more than once in every blue moon.

I thought I’d bring the topic of protein very concisely since it’s the most raised question aimed at vegetarian/vegan eaters: “where do you get your protein from?”

It’s a great misconception (or lack of marketing) (or too regulated marketing of the red meats industry) that protein generates from its own form, ‘protein’, only contained in meat. Protein is composed of chains of amino acids, or in other words, the building blocks of protein. What that means is, whilst consuming protein will require breaking down, amino acids are already broken down for you. And that does you a big favor in digestibility and absorption.

Rich sources of amino acids are not only in meat protein forms, they’re in leafy greens, legumes, and grains. More on this to come in next post!



Curious Questions

1. how to order smart while going out with friends or family to a restaurant (ie: chinese food, bbq resto, japanese resto, shabu2 resto, indo resto, korean resto) Coz mostly I work, I go out and I would eat out. I don’t know if my Lifestyle is suitable for the rawdiet. Any thoughts?


3. How to come up with more recipes so the rawfood menu doesn’t get boring? As u know, I work from 9-5 and its difficult for me to prepare my own food. From ur stories, I presume that u become ur own chef and came up with fantastic recipes. But how can I do it? Coz usually my maid already prepared my lunch box.

The most on-the-go or busiest lifestyles I find are actually the most suitable candidates to getting started raw. Sure there are lots of fancy dishes to make and at first sight, it seems like they are the only way to enjoy them; but these are raw ‘cook’ books we’re talking about that present such recipes. They’re not going to sell their books by telling you to just eat an orange. What most people are forgetting is the fact that whole fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed so effortlessly. A whole banana fuels me up better than a food coma-inducing full plate of bacon, eggs, and beans.

If you had to eat out and want to save your digestion, opt for a salad (that consists of mostly greens, not crisps and cheesy dressings). A vegetarian meal would be my second option. My choice always revolves around the digestive systems, in efforts to alleviate its job as much as possible. The lighter its job, the lighter I’d feel post-meal. Raw gets digested the quickest, followed by cooked vegetarian foods, and finally meats and others that do not belong like.. heavily.. deeply.. fried stuff.

Creating your own recipes will be tricky when you’re not familiar with the diet. Just the same way you would be in learning a new cuisine, regional cuisines work with different techniques and ingredients that require almost always new terms of learning. If you want to learn more, I suggest buying yourself a book and get familiarised. Otherwise, start fueling simple with whole fruits and salads. Play around with seasonings too. Toss some greens together with cut up fruits and dress with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar (whichever, lemon/lime juice does the same job), honey, sea salt and pepper, for example..


2. Do u still drink coffee? Eat icecream, yogurt, fancy drinks, etc? Coz I’m a coffee and yogurt lover. I’m curious.


4. Do u eat potatoes? Or what about veggies that need to be cooked first to serve? (Ie: potato, yam, bittergourd, eggplant, etc)

I stopped drinking coffee for a while. Only because my body cleansed at one point and made me all jittery over one serving of coffee. My taste to coffee averted. Though, I had started to drink coffee regularly again recently.

I make delicious raw ice creams.

I am very much fond to frozen yogurts. Where ever I can however, I would try to source for a place where they make fresh frozen yogurts from REAL yogurts. Most of the big, corporate froyo big boys use instant yogurt powders that they mix with water, poured into an soft-serve ice machine, which is fine (just not a preference). Yogurts contain friendly bacteria that are good for you. They are not technically raw nor vegan, and if you’re lactose intolerant it will serve you some problems but, if you can handle eating them, they’re not poisonous.

I rarely eat the vegetables you mentioned. Most of my green intakes come in powder forms I whizz into a smoothie with a banana. Chlorella and Spirulina are my top two superfoods. The darkest green, the richest source of amino acids (building blocks of protein) superfoods.


5. Do u get bored with the rawfoodselection? Is it really fulfilling? Coz usually I need to need carbs (ie: rice, noodles, bread) to feel full. Also most of the nuts that I see in grocery stores are salted. Is this okay, or u munch nuts raw and unsalted?

At first impression, the variety of raw foods dishes may seem limited, but again this is just unfamiliarity. After learning more about the diet, the creativity in creating raw dishes really goes a far way, and they are more fulfilling in a way that they are satiating at much smaller portion, this is my personal opinion. I find refined starch such as white rice and white bread are less satiating (one bite leads to a crave for the next) than unrefined whole grains such as brown and wild rice, and whole grain bread. I ballpark my theory on “the more processed or refined it is, the less satisfying.”

Salted nuts found in grocery stores have been roasted (cooked). Having said that, raw nuts are coated with what is called ‘enzyme inhibitors’; enzyme inhibitors are the dormant keepers of nuts and seeds in preventing them from sprouting into life before they are placed in the right environment of soil and moisture. Consuming them require a tremendous amount of digestive enzymes, causing an increase workload in the pancreas. In raw food preparations, all nuts have been soaked to remove all inhibitor coatings, and then seasoned and air dried in a dehydrator. The end result is similar in texture to roasted nuts. It is difficult to home-make in some parts of the world for dehydrators are not yet commercially available. So in essence, it is better to eat roasted nuts than raw.


6. I want to try to eat raw, but how can I do it? What shud be my first step? I’m afraid I’ll get bored with the taste after the 3rd day. Yikes. Will I feel the difference of boost of energy if I eat raw every other day?

Read my first week experience post. After that week, it was no longer taste that drove me into the commitment in staying raw although taste do not need to be sacrificed. It’s not all nasty green stuff that most people think. They’re all astoundingly yummy, especially the guiltless desserts..

Get a raw food book. Or wait for my book. Ha!


7. From ur stories of foodculinary, u ate enchiladas (are they raw? I thought they’re cooked), tiramisu, etc etc. Is it because u crave for them? Or u’re actually allowing urself to indulge in normal food once in a while.

They are all raw, only that they have been named after cooked dishes for familiarity of food forms. In answering your second part of the question, I still indulge in whatever I want to eat. 23 years of cooked diet is a long time to reverse and I still get cravings every now and again. There is never a restraint in my choice of food. I’m VERY raw, and I found my point of balance between raw and cooked.


8. I want to be toned. Not rail thin. Is bikram yoga the only solution? Or I can do it another way? Coz usually when I hit the gym, I participate in the classes (cycling, bodypump, bodycombat) but № significant result yet. Boo-hoo.

There’s never one solution. There are plenty of ways in getting around being fit. Just incorporate cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises. The key is consistency to results. Don’t do them on and off, find something you can be comfortable in doing over a long period of time.


9. I’m very much a food lover…I don’t know if I can do this. But it seems that u can manage urself so well. What’s ur secret in curbing ur appetite and crave for normal food? Coz I always give in when I see sumthing I like.

This is the idea of perfection that everyone needs to overcome. A lot of people are taking this way too seriously as if it’s a religion or something like it. Everyone can benefit from every little helping of raw foods when incorporated into their diets. 10% is better than 0%. Get that idea off your head or you’ll go insane.


Big on Organic

nitrogen, baby

Fruits and vegetables that have been grown organically tend to be more durable, and tasty. Because they have not been fed synthetic nitrogen, they grow slower, naturally. The slow growth let the plants develop thicker cell walls containing less water making them more durable. Less water also means more sugars, producing more concentrated flavors.

How about nutrition? A study by University of California-Davis published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2003 pointed out an experiment where identical varieties of plant foods were grown in neighbouring plots using organic and non-organic methods to compare levels of vitamins and polyphenols. Polyphenols are compounds that can be described as plant’s own natural pesticides, vital to human health in the form of antioxidants. Organic won the counts. As to why, the researchers suggest two theories. The first, polyphenols are naturally produced to guard the plants from pests and diseases. The more microorganisms they need to defend themselves from, the more polyphenols they produce. Plants that are defended by man-made pesticides don’t need to build as strong of a defense—kind of like breeding a spoiled child. The second theory lies in the chemically fertilized soil of non-organically grown plants. They do not withhold the essential ingredients to synthesize polyphenols,

Organic is preferable in order to get the best out of your raw meals. Because there is no cooking involved to enhance flavor and aroma, I find that sourcing in some organic ingredients can make a big difference in boosting taste and texture of a dish.

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Facing Questions

The Face

There seemed to be a recurring pattern of reactions from people when I blurted the words ‘raw food’. First, there’d be genuine curiosity: “What is that? What do you eat?” I’d answer, “raw plant foods mostly, comprised of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.” Then faces begin to pull, eyes widen, forehead skin rolls, bringing the inner point of eyebrows to the center of the face, line of the lips now slanted at an angle pushing one end up, accentuating the wrinkle line that separates the nose from the apple of the cheek. “Oh”. A short response hinted with a combination of sympathy and bewilderment. A ‘why?’ is probably floating somewhere in there, too.

“Why?” There it’s said. “You’re on a diet? You want to lose weight?”



Kidding. I never pause. I continue yapping on about enzymes, energy boost, the week that changed my life, and insist to them how much of a repulsive eater once was, once upon a time, and that the benefits of raw makes it all worth giving up.

It does help to explain your ground by knowing a little about the diet itself. But facts can only get so far in convincing certain kinds of people. I’m one of those guilty hardheaded ones that need self-proof in order to trust a principle. What will stand out more is you yourself as a raw by-product. People will notice the extra glow. It is evident. I stop trying to justify myself and set myself an example instead.


My Greatest Teacher

Uh Oh

My first week in the raw has to be hailed as THE historical event of my life. A memorable story I had told many people on repeated basis unfailingly without bore. Every fact and figure of diets and medicinal knowledge stored in the brain were deleted by the end of that week. Apart from band-aids and ointments for cuts and minor discomforts, antibiotics and medicinal pills no longer play doctor in fixing me up.

In all honesty, I initially didn’t take notice at the shift of energy I suddenly had. What I did remember was one morning that mid-week I stepped out of my apartment building at Devonshire Street in starting the day with an oddly good feeling. A burst of mellow happiness and a sense power in every step I took. My suspicions were not at raw foods at the time, I was expecting the results to be long and coming. Unusually good day, I thought. A couple of days later, my body refused any more detoxification and fought out a craving for the junkiest foods. I listened. That day, I must have had a full house junk party of burgers, fries, chips, and the whole shebang. I fell fast asleep like a baby following the food coma.

I woke up the next day, unprepared, to the worst feeling imaginable. Acute hangover times one hundred and ten. I opened my eyes in the dark to adjust. I then attempted to hoist myself up and found every inch of my body unco-operating in stiffness. I fell back down to the bed. What was this I was lifting? It felt as if my body had been wrapped in an extra set of immensely heavy weight bags. No headaches, just heavily disoriented. I struggled for the next ten to fifteen minutes trying to piece myself together and comprehend what just happened. When I finally made sense of it, my life just changed.

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Enzymes Basic


Raw Food 101: Enzymes

“Cooking destroys Enzymes”

That is the recurring underlying statement that echoes around raw and live food principles, but the claim still lacks pivotal understanding that is extremely important.

Most of us know the role of enymes in digesting foods—but a more important fact lies in its production in the human body, which makes the consumption of raw foods a perfect sense in body repair and healing.

There are two types of Enzymes chemistries:

  1. Exogenous. Found in all raw meats, plants, and dairy foods. Nuts and seeds excluded in which case they require germination to activate their enzymes.
  2. Endogenous. Produced by the human body.

The more enzymes supplied by raw food, the less the pancreas has to supply for digestion, allowing endogenous enzymes to be utilized for body maintenance and repairs.

Enzyme levels also deteriorate by age, making replenishment even more crucial. The more lavishly a young body gives up its enzymes, the sooner the state of enzyme poverty, or old age is reached. That is how Dr. Edward Howell put it in his words. In direct conversational English, it’s saying: the more you fix your body with cooked and junk without enzyme refills, the sooner you put body in deep s***.

Previous entry on enzymes, here.

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What is it?

raw is..

Raw 101: Definition of Raw Food

The definition of raw food is as direct as its name would describe it: foods—raw, unprocessed, uncooked, and preferably organic. The consumption of uncooked benefits from enzymes and nutritional value that are otherwise lost in cooking.

In technical understanding, the raw food diet can be comprised of a spectrum of raw components from plants to animal meats depending on the desired lifestyle of one advocate; raw vegetarian, raw vegan, raw omnivore, and omophagia. Nevertheless, the widely recognized and most commonly adapted raw food form follows a raw vegan diet; typically consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains and legumes.

Raw animal meats contain enzymes, yes. Though under the operation of unskilled and unhygienic butchers, raw meats are vulnerable to bacteria contamination from as early as slaughtering process. So before you get excited and start shopping for steak tartare ingredients, smart sourcing your raw meats and knowing how to conduct a sterile handling in your domestic kitchen is highly recommended.

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