Health in the Raw Food Kitchen
article & illustrations by Ezel Küçükkoç
It has not to be forgotten that cooking is on its own a chemical process. There is not any living creature who eats the food after cooking it but the human being.
In a period of my life, when I was looking for a healthier, quality life style, I discovered the concept of raw nutrition. It was not easy to change my dietary style that I was used to for years. As a beginning, I added raw foods in small amounts to my daily meals. After trying some raw diet recipes and experiencing its benefits more and more, I started to search more information on the subject and continued with my trials. While I was gradually transforming my dietary practice in my mind and in my body with baby steps, I began feeling more and more energetic and healthy! In addition, I realized that raw diet made me feel full for longer hours with less amounts of food. Transforming even half of my daily food to a raw diet caused noticeable, positive improvements in my health and appearance. And moreover, I achieved this with rich raw food menus filling my soul and body with their vivid colors, gorgeous tastes and flavors in spite of the general argument that raw food diet contains tasteless meals. It is worth trying, isn’t it? Raw food kitchen is very open to creativity. It is an area where we can reflect ourselves freely. By keeping creating and trying new recipes I have seen delicious and rich kinds of foods produced. Making marvelous soups, salads, meals, desserts, snacks and various kinds of energy drinks is possible with the resources given by Mother Earth.
Raw nutrition and the life energy
The statement of the dietary style called “raw foodism” is that the body needs to be supported by foods which still possess the life energy. Even for a short period of time, consuming uncooked and unprocessed foods which contain living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fibers and fatty acids makes us recognize that stronger life energy is being stored in our bodies. The lively life principle argues that specific nutriments contain more life force (prana). 2,500 years ago, Pisagor said “Only living, fresh nutrition is able to make the human being achieve the absolute reality,” while defining the term of “vitality”. We know that every being obtains energy from the sun and that energy is stored in green plants, vegetables, fruits, dried fruits and seeds. When we eat these, we get solar energy directly into our bodies. In other words, we nourish ourselves with “living” foods which still contain the life force and thus we rejuvenate.
When the food gets cooked…
The taste of a food is not a criteria for its nutritional value. Moreover, the more we cook our meals we take away their true nature for making them tastier and the more we decrease their nutritional value. The main difference between cooked and uncooked food we take in our body is the enzymatic activity in cells of uncooked food. Foods which have not been exposed to more than 40-45̊ºC heat are rich in natural enzymes. When the food is cooked natural enzymes lose their efficiency, vitamins run out, proteins and essentials fats get damaged. And free radicals which have important role in the occurring process of many illnesses including cancer arise. Especially when the fruits and vegetables get cooked (lose their vitality) they transform into sugar and damage the insulin balance of blood. Being unable to get the enzymes they need, our cells get starved and that sense of starving spreads to all body. We feel hungry in our physical, mental and emotional bodies. Our spiritual hunger lasts as long as our cells are not satisfied.
The main benefits of raw nutrition
Raw food nutrition has many benefits such as stronger immune system, improved health conditions, high amount of stored energy and longevity. Every nutrient we consume is fuel for our body regardless its quality. This fuel affects our health and our appearance in a good or bad way depending on its quality. A rich dietary habit consisting of unprocessed, living foods raise our energy level and affects our holistic health in a positive way. A diet full of uncooked and unprocessed carbohydrates proteins, vitamins, healthy fats, enzymes and minerals fill our cells with the fuel they need. When our cells get nourished in this way, living food will transform to living tissues. New tissues will improve, existing damage will be repaired, and aged cells will rejuvenate. The visual impacts our new dietary practice will bring are the vitality and brightness of our skin, hairs, eyes, nails and our overall appearance. A dietary system consisting of living (raw) food has the power of protection us from a chronic disease as well as healing existing one. Raw food diet cleans our body from toxins, the main causes of ailments.
We are what we eat
By our dietary practice, we can create either a shining body and mind full of beauty and health or an exhausted body and mind full of ailments which struggle to survive with a inadequate energy. While our nutrition system constitutes the ground of our physical reality, our thoughts and emotions are also firmly connected to that system. That is to say, we are what we eat.
“Happy Bites” from raw food kitchen:
These energy balls are one of my favorite recipes, especially after yoga classes! Ingredients (for 10-12 balls):
- 7 dried figs
- 6 dried apricots
- 1 cup unprocessed walnuts (chopped)
- ½ cup coconut (desiccated)
Let the figs and apricots stand approximately 2 hours in clean water. After removing the stems of figs put the figs and apricots in your food processor or blender and blend them until they take a gooey form. Add the walnuts and mix well all the ingredients. With clean hands, roll a tablespoon of the mixture into a ball then coat it in the coconut. Continue until all mixture has been used up. For perfect taste, let these energy balls stay 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
About Ezel Küçükkoç: Born in 1967, in İstanbul, Ezel Küçükkoç is a dedicated yoga instructor and raw diet practitioner. In 2004, she started yoga and raw nutrition which both created a difference in her life style and perception. Currently, Ezel shares her experience on yoga and raw diet in her studio with yoga students and participants. She also writes about these themes and shares many delicious raw food recipes in her blog: http://ezeldenrenkler.blogspot.com.tr/