How to do: Raw Food
This week we’re talking to raw food evangelist Renee Maguire. Renee is a chef, raw nutrition coach, food writer and motivational speaker.
Here she talks to adventures in fussy eating about her passion...
Q: Renee, thanks for joining us. Could you tell us a little more about raw food?
A: When you choose to eat more raw food, you are opening yourself up to a wealth of nutritionally dense foods that taste sensational.
Traditionally we cook our food at over 38 degrees c / 120 degrees f. During the heating process, natural enzymes of fresh food are depleted by up to 80%. These enzymes help our bodies to digest food properly. The art of raw cooking is to prepare the food at 38 degrees c / 120 degree or below, so it can retain its nutritional value and do us good.
Q: How did you get into raw food?
A: Food has been my passion, my friend and (at times) my foe. My world turned upside down when my beautiful sister passed away from breast cancer. Embroiled in grief, I turned to anti depressants, took comfort in overeating, and explored various forms of escapism. I became a shadow of my former self – my body was toxic and extremely nutritionally depleted, I would fall ill easily with common colds, migraine, skin outbreaks and extremely low energy levels. Eventually all these ailments became the norm.
Everything changed when I sampled raw food for the first time while at a detox centre in Thailand. I was truly inspired – not only at how densely nutritious raw food is but just how delicious it can taste! As a chef I was hooked immediately. I felt as if I had discovered a whole new way of cooking and preparing food. As soon as I landed back in the UK, I began creating my own raw dishes.
Q: What types of things can you eat on a raw diet?
With the use of organic, fresh and seasonal vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, you can create some fabulous dishes.
I make things like courgette and sun blushed tomato spaghetti, pecan pancakes and raw lemon cheese cake. The trick is that you never need to feel denied. I still eat crisps, chocolates, nachos; it’s just that mine are prepared raw.
I explain to clients that when we eat food that is bland and dull, we feel dull too. On the other hand, eating foods that are vibrant in colour makes us feel vibrant.
Q: So why is raw better than cooked?
A: Through eating a diet rich in raw foods you’ll experience a brighter, luminous complexion, enjoy natural weight loss, glossier hair and sparkling, energised eyes. Many clients report heaps more energy in their daily lives.
Personally it has given me increased confidence, better clarity of mind and subsequently better relationships. I am also never sick with headaches, colds or flu.
Q: Who can benefit from eating raw?
A: Everyone! In particular an increase raw food offers great benefits for people suffering from diabetes, or from lactose or gluten intolerances. It also aids symptoms of IBS, chronic fatigue, arthritis, psoriasis, and many other food related allergies.
Q: Where can we find out more?
A: You can have a look at my site and get in touch if you’d like to know more. We also do a ‘Chocolate Alchemy’ course which comes highly recommended! All the recipes we do are dairy free, soy free, gluten free and chemical free too.