I was very excited to receive a message from the Vegan Society to let me know that they were sending me a copy of Balanced Raw to review. My experience with a raw food diet to date has been: Fruit, salad and the much missed Aloka restaurant Brighton. I was interested in seeing what raw dishes I could try and what benefit they might bring. I also had a slight sense of trepidation; I have a strong sensitivity to nutritional bad science and raw foodists have been known to set my bullsh*t alarm pinging away.
I was comforted then to open the book up and see that it was a book on a ‘balanced’ raw diet and much of the first section of the book is taken up with explaining the benefits of eating some cooked food – this wasn’t a problem that I was aware needed addressing! There is a lot of good information in the first few chapters on increasing the range of food that you eat and giving some practical suggestions but soon I realised that the distracting tutting noise was coming from me.
I think that veganism is in itself a healthy way to eat. A vegan diet that avoids processed food even more so. I am not sure that I need to cut out/hugely cut down on wheat, corn, soy and nuts! Very few people actually have a problem with these nutritious food sources and I am not sure it is healthy making our eating more restrictive then it needs to be.
Then comes the word I had been expecting and dreading. Detox. If there is anyone out there who still has faith in the ‘detox’ model then can I please recommend Ben Goldacre’s ‘Bad Science‘ book. You will be amazed to hear that no ‘tox’ has ever been captured having been ‘de-ed’ The body is remarkably efficient at removing ‘toxins’ and really doesn’t need any help. Don’t eat poison and you will be fine.
This book is a 4 week program of ‘balanced’ raw meals. One of the first things to strike me is just how low in calories these meals are. As a runner I need a little more fuel than these meal plans are offering. They are very low in fat and protein but I have no doubt packed full of micro-nutrients. They would therefore be a useful addition to ones diet but are not going to be my complete diet unless I am laid up from running for a good few weeks.
I will try some of the recipes and let you know how they work but on first reading I would say this book would be good for someone who:
- Is currently eating a high raw food diet
- Is looking to lose or maintain a low weight
- isn’t running ultra marathons
- Has a low sensitivity to nutritional bull hookey.
- Unwanted Weight Gain on the 80/10/10 Diet (healthyvegasvegan.com)
- Reasons to Go Raw (izzycoconyra.wordpress.com)
- Raw Food Diet Is Secret To Eternal Youth, Good Health, Claims 29-Year-Old Susan Reynolds (medicaldaily.com)
- Raw Food Diet Information (healthcareinterventions.wordpress.com)
- What is Raw Food? (plaingreens.wordpress.com)