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When I first begin my journey to raw, I made the mistake of imitating my favorite raw food dishes.  My journey began with the cumbersome-to-prepare high-fat raw cuisine.  In addition to feeling spacey and lethargic, I felt like I never measured up. 

Popular raw dishes include the nut-seed pate, raw pizza on flax nut-seed crust and cashew cheez, raw burgers with nut-seed bread, and flax crackers with hummus.  These dishes often contain a cup or more of oil.  Who would sit down and drink a cup of oil as a meal? 

To add more flame to the destructive fire, high-fat raw recipes attempt to copy the taste of SAD (standard american diet) food by including too much added salt, nama shoyu, tamari, and “healthy” oils.

I learned that being raw alone does not make it healthy.  Therefore, it’s important to keep a balanced perspective on your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake regardless of wheter you’re an uncooked or cooked vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore.

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The Two Approaches to the Raw Food Diet

When it comes to raw foods, eating can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it.

Some raw food books say you need a high-power/high-speed blender, food processor, spiralizer, mandoline, dehydrator and oh yeah, a good set of knives, in order to get started. Others will have you soaking and sprouting seeds, grains, and peas on a regular basis.

While there is nothing “wrong” with having a fully equipped kitchen or soaking and sprouting, these lifestyle habits can be expensive and foreboding for newbies and even laborious for the experienced.

So before you buy your first spiralizer or soak a chickpea, you should understand the two main approaches to raw foods. They are LOW-FAT RAW and HIGH-FAT RAW. HIGH-FAT RAW includes your nut-seed pates, guacamole with flax crackers, oil-based salad dressings and other raw food items that may be hard to digest because they contain too much fat. LOW-FAT RAW includes your fruits, greens, vegetables, and small amounts of nuts, seeds, and fatty fruits.

These two approaches are not necessarily in opposition to one another, but it’s important to know the difference between the two, especially if you plan on successfully eating raw for a long period of time.

LOW-FAT RAW recipes…
• contain 5 or less ingredients.
• contain 5% fat or less.
• can take less than 5 minutes to make.
• follow food combining principles, and are therefore easier to digest and assimilate.
• require little to no equipment.

HIGH-FAT RAW recipes
• contain 5 or more ingredients.
• Can take more than 5 minutes to make.
• contain way more than 5% fat (usually 40%-60% of the calories are from fat).
• generally ignore food combining principles.
• require more equipment.

A diet high in fat, whether raw or cooked is not good for the body.

So, whether you are considering a 100% raw foods or simply increasing your consumption of raw and living foods, you will be happier and healthier for it.