Showing posts with label RAW FOOD AND YOUR HEALTH. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RAW FOOD AND YOUR HEALTH. Show all posts

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's Spring - Time To Enjoy More Raw Food!

Increase raw food to at least 50% as the weather get warmer.

It's Spring!
Despite the recent rain here in northern California, the weather has been getting warmer and when it's sunny, the temperatures can be in the upper 60's or higher. When this happens, I start opting for raw smoothies over oatmeal in the morning and for salads over hot soups for lunch or dinner.

This morning I made a smoothie from blueberries, pears and spinach!

Vegans, Vegetarians and Carnivores
Whether you're vegan, aspiring to be a vegetarian or a card carrying carnivore, eating more raw fruits and vegetables will benefit your health. You'll find that when you increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and natural unprocessed foods you eat, you will start to eat less dairy, meat and non-nutritious processed foods without feeling hungry or deprived. Your diet will become more alkaline which helps your body more easily maintain its optimal and life-critical pH balance. You'll obtain more of the vitamins and phytochemicals that are diminished or destroyed during cooking and benefit from the extra fiber found in fruits and vegetables.

 Here are some easy ways to get your raw food consumption up to 50%.
For Breakfast:
* Start the day with a smoothie of raw fruits, raw nut milk and some greens like the blueberry, pear and spinach smoothie pictured above. The combinations of fruit and veggies are endless!
* Or have a fruit salad with your favorite fruits and berries topped with raw nuts, seeds, coconut or Ezekiel cereal.

Enjoy a fruit salad for breakfast like this
 Mixed Berry and Mango Breakfast Salad.

For Lunch or Dinner
* Enjoy a raw soup like Avospacho or Curried Lentil Soup.
* Make a huge, yummy salad as part or all of your meal like Asian Coleslaw or Waldorf Salad.
* Make raw dips and Raw Crackers like Guacamole and Raw corn chips or Veggie Seeded Crackers.
* Enjoy raw entrees like Raw Tacos or Spaghetti and Meatballs.
* Make Raw Sushi or Veggie Wraps.

Raw taco meat is made from English Walnuts and chili powder 
Making raw sushi is easy and fun!

For Snacks or Desserts
* Make delicious, high omega-3, Chia Pudding. We can eat this every night it's so good. Mix it with berries or other fruit or just eat it on its own. Everyone I've turned on to chia pudding loves it!
* Enjoy a raw crisp like Peach and Blueberry crisp.

You'll love this creamy chia pudding for dessert!

So navigate the site. I've got 100 posts on raw food to look through. Also, you might enjoy reading, Raw Food Diet - How Raw Do You Need To Be? 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New Year's Resolution #1: Eat More Raw Food - How Raw Foods Can Alter Bad Genes

Raw fruits, berries and vegetables can mitigate bad genes

Follow Foods For Long Life on FACEBOOK !

The Power of Food
     One of my strongest beliefs about food appears in my quote on the right hand side of this page.

     " Health, excellent or ill, is passed to our children not just through our genes but primarily through our recipes".

     People often live in fear of getting a disease that their parents have. I know so many people who had one or more parents die from a heart attack, or some other disease, and they are unconsciously waiting for the same thing to happen to them. You don't have to do that. You can take control of your destiny and fight back with a healthful diet. 
     Most of the illnesses you fear that your parents are passing to you (and the ones their parents gave to them) were passed in the form of dietary traditions. If you ever get a heart attack, it could be from Mom's 3 meat stromboli recipe that gave you high cholesterol and not from the bad genes you inherited.

But What If It is the Genes?
     OK, I admit, it's not always the stromboli recipe. We occasionally inherit bad genes that give us a predisposition toward certain illnesses. But with proper diet, even the effects of bad genes can be mitigated. 
     Perhaps one of the most exciting studies published last year was one led by researchers at McMaster and McGill universities. In a large gene-diet interaction study involving 27,000 individuals composed of European, South Asian, Chinese, Latin American and Arab ethnicities, they demonstrated that a diet rich in raw fruits, berries and vegetables could actually alter a high risk gene that causes heart attacks. 
     Those participants with the high risk gene for myocardial infarction (the 9p21 genetic variant) who ate a prudent diet that included large amounts of raw fruits, berries and vegetables had a similar low risk of heart attack as those who did not have the gene! 
     Dr. Jamie Engert, one of the lead researchers in the study, stated, "We know that 9p21 genetic variants increase the risk of heart disease for those who carry it... But it was a surprise to find that a healthy diet could significantly weaken its effect". 
     Check out the complete paper, The Effect of Chromosome 9p21 Variants on Cardiovascular Disease May Be Modified by Dietary Intake:Evidence from a Case/Control and a Prospective Study.

     So whether your parents have passed down bad genes or just unhealthful eating habits, make a point this year of eating a healthful plant-based diet with lots of raw fruits and vegetables.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How To Improve America's Productivity By Changing Our Eating Habits - Which Plant-Based Diet Is Right For You? What's The Difference Between A Vegetarian, Vegan, Flexitarian And Pescatarian Diet?

Heart Attack Grill serves a triple bypass burger

Follow Foods For Long Life on FACEBOOK !

Shocking Statistics
With the unemployment rate still hovering around the double digit mark and most of our jobs moving offshore, we might wonder what we can do to turn that around. We can't do much about the wage disparity between American workers and those in third world countries but we can do something about our productivity.
A new Gallup study about the health of American workers and their productivity was released and the numbers were shocking!
* Only 1 in 7 workers had a normal weight and no chronic health problems.
* Said a different way, 86% of American workers are overweight or suffer a chronic health problem.
* This causes 450 MILLION missed days of work per year.
* And resulted in $153 BILLION in lost productivity.
I wonder how we are going to become a thriving nation again with statistics like that?

Is it because of our Diet?
Have you been to the Heart Attack Grill? Seriously, a new restaurant in Las Vegas specializes in food that is bad for you and features a menu item called the "quadruple bypass burger". They even have a hospital theme where the owner is "Dr. Jon", the servers are dressed as nurses and the patrons are given hospital gowns (I'm not making this up!). An ambulance is parked out front which I'm sure is convenient for those ordering their 8,000 calorie meal. Oh, did I mention, patrons over 350 pounds eat for free!
Yes, it's clear that our diet has led to these numbers. That and the pervasive attitude that it's fun to eat food that is bad for you.

What's the Best Diet?
Many people want to turn this around. Usually it's when they suffer a heart attack or get the bad news that they have diabetes. But the good news is that, in many cases, health can improve and it's as easy as picking up a fork! (By the way, if you haven't seen Forks Over Knives yet, it's a must see). But selecting a new diet can be difficult and many people need a regimen that appeals to them and one that they can stick to. 

Different Plant Based Diets
Is there a perfect diet? I don't think so. We are all built differently, place different demands on our bodies, live in different geographies, etc. So a diet that works well for one person may not work for another. Also, a diet that appeals to one person may not appeal to someone else. One person may have life changing results by eliminating all animal products from their diet and another feel better by eating a mostly plant-based diet and occasionally eating fresh eggs or having a piece of fish. Many people may start out by eliminating red meat from their diet and a year later they may have eliminated pork and chicken too. You just have to do what works best for you.

What are Plant-Based Diets?
A “plant-based diet” can vary from those who eat mostly fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds with small amounts of fish, meat, eggs or dairy to those who avoid animal protein completely. By the way, just because you are a vegetarian or vegan, doesn't mean you have a healthy diet. Like all diets, you have to plan your diet to make sure you are getting all the nutrients. Here are some examples of "healthful" plant-based diets:

Vegetarian Diet:
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry or seafood or any products that come from those foods (like gelatin or rennet). Besides fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds, lacto-ovo vegetarians eat cheese and eggs. A lacto-vegetarian eats dairy products but no eggs. An ovo-vegetarian eats eggs but no dairy products.
A “healthful” vegetarian diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. If dairy is consumed, it should be reduced fat, organic, free of rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone), and used in moderate quantities. Dairy products are a source of high quality protein and contain vitamin B12 (nutrients missing in plant food). However, its consumption poses some health concerns and scientific evidence questions its health benefits. 

* Dairy products have little or no benefit for bones. 
* Cholesterol and saturated fat in dairy can contribute to heart disease.
* Breast, prostate and other cancers have been linked to the consumption of dairy products.
* Many people are lactose intolerant because they lack the enzyme that digests milk. 
Eggs contain vitamin B12, and are a source of high quality protein. If eggs are consumed, they should be pasture raised and eaten in moderation due to their high content of cholesterol. According to Egg testing by Mother Earth news,  pasture raised eggs have 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta carotene and 4 to 6 times more vitamin D!

Vegan Diet:

A vegan diet is a plant-based diet that excludes all animal products, even milk, eggs and honey. 
A “healthful” vegan diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Certain critical vitamins cannot be adequately obtained from plants. Vegans must supplement or eat fortified foods to get adequate amounts of:
Vitamin B12
Vitamin D
DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acid
In addition to the enormous health benefits of this eating a vegan diet, most vegans are primarily motivated by compassion and the desire not to harm or kill animals for their food or subject any animal to the cruelty of factory farming. Many vegans also wish to avoid the devastating effects of animal agriculture on the environment. 
* Over 10 billion factory farmed animals, who live unnaturally and are treated inhumanely) are slaughtered for food in the US each year.
* Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation.
* Factory farming pollutes our rivers and streams with massive amounts of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and other toxic chemicals which end up in our drinking water.
* One third of the earth's entire land surface, more than half the water and over 1/3 of the petroleum is depleted by factory farming.
* 800 million more people could be fed if most of the grain in the U.S. wasn't used for animal agriculture.

Raw Food Vegan Diet:
Raw food vegans, as other vegans, exclude all animal food. They typically eat a diet composed of at least 75% raw food made up primarily of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains and beans. Foods are considered raw if they have not been heated above 105 to 118 degrees F. Raw food vegans typically select this diet to address a severe health issue, like cancer, heart disease or diabetes, or to achieve remarkable health. 
A  “healthful” raw food vegan diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted whole grains and beans, and raw nuts and seeds. Certain critical vitamins cannot be adequately obtained from plants. Since raw food vegans avoid fortified foods, they must supplement to get adequate amounts of:
Vitamin B12
Vitamin D
DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acid
Eating food in it's raw state provides more phytochemicals, prevents the loss of heat sensitive vitamins and essential fatty acids and gives you the benefit of live food rich with enzymes.As beneficial as it is to eat lots of raw food, I do not think a 100% raw food diet is optimal unless you are doing it for a short time as a cleanse or you are trying to maintain a pristine environment for your body to fight a serious disease. There are some key benefits to including some cooked foods in a raw food diet regimen. For one, it's easier to consume beans and grains that are a great source of protein, fiber and low fat calories. It makes it a bit easier to socialize with your friends and family (a 100% raw foodist can become isolated) and in the winter, you may crave some warmer food.

Flexitarian Diet:

        Flexitarians, or Semi-Vegetarians are people who mostly eat a vegetarian diet but occasionally eat meat, poultry or fish. For example, many people avoid red meat, eat mostly vegetarian meals but include chicken or salmon in their diet a few times a week. More and more people are drawn to this diet because of data showing the many health benefits of eating less meat. Allowing for the occasional chicken breast or grilled salmon steak makes it easier for those who have trouble sticking to a veggie diet all of the time. 
A “healthful” flexitarian diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Dairy should be minimized but if consumed, should be organic and free of rBGH. Eggs, if consumed, should be pasture raised and eaten in moderation due to their high content of cholesterol. If fish is part of the diet, it should be wild, line caught, sustainable and low in mercury. When meat is consumed, it should be lean, range fed and hormone free. Red meat should be avoided or eaten sparingly. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends limiting the consumption of red meats and avoiding processed meats completely. 
Cultivate Research, a market research company for the vegetarian food industry predicts “The semi-vegetarian segment has the potential to grow to one-third of the U.S. adult population.” Ironically, this demand for vegetarian food is probably what’s driving more meat-free entrees in restaurants and products in mainstream grocery stores and not the demand from committed vegetarians, the 3% of the adult U.S. population who never eats meat, poultry or seafood. According to a 2005 survey by Cultivate Research, 13% of adults are semi-vegetarians or individuals who eat meat with fewer than half their meals. 

Pescatarian Diet:
A pescatarian is someone who avoids all meat with the exception of fish. Some pescatarians consume eggs and dairy. 
Given the benefits of a healthful vegan diet coupled with the high concentration of long chain omega 3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), vitamin D and vitamin B12, critical nutrients missing from a strict vegan diet, a pescatarian diet can be extremely beneficial - especially if dairy and eggs are minimized or avoided.
 A “healthful” pescatarian diet includes fish, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Fish should be wild, line caught, sustainable and low in mercury and chosen for its high content of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. For example, it only takes 2.6 ounces of cooked Pacific oysters or 1.9 ounces of wild Atlantic salmon to get 1 gram of (EPA and DHA) omega-3 but it would take almost a pound of catfish or haddock! 
Omega-3 is critical for cardiovascular health, strengthening the immune system, lowering the risk of stroke, cancer and inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Recent studies link depression, ADHD and hyperactivity with low levels of this critical fatty acid. Omega-3s are especially important for pregnant and nursing women, and young children as DHA is needed in very high concentrations for the development of the brain.
 For adequate omega 3, fish eaters are encouraged to consume two 6-ounce servings of per week of the lowest mercury seafood with the highest amounts of omega-3 such as: Pacific oysters, anchovies, Pacific herring, Atlantic chub, wild salmon, Atlantic sardines and American Shad. The Monterrey bay aquarium publishes a Super Green List that tells you what fish have low levels of contaminants, provide at least 250 mg of omega-3 and are are caught or raised in the most environmentally friendly ways. 

Bottom Line
Whatever diet you decide on, one thing is for sure. You should pass on the "triple bypass burger"!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Try A Raw Food Cleanse - An Introduction To A Raw Food Diet. Forward This To People You Care About

Start your day with a simple, raw breakfast salad.

For lunch try creamy raw zucchini soup with crushed pistachios.

Snack on guacamole and raw jalapeno corn chips.

Zucchini spaghetti and walnut meatballs make a hearty dinner.

Chia pudding and fresh fruit make a nourishing dessert.

It's Time for Spring Cleaning
When my iris are in bloom, and the weather starts to get warm, I feel like cleaning. There's something about this time of year that makes us clean out the garage, spray wash the driveway and spruce up our yards. The most important thing to cleanse, of course, is our body. After a winter of eating comfort foods and lower activity levels, a gentle body cleanse is a great way to get ready for summer.

Why Cleanse with Raw Food?
There are different ways people cleanse their bodies. Some go on a juice or water fast, some do it with the help of herbal supplements, others with colonic irrigation or other techniques. Each have some drawbacks.
Fasting is hard, especially for me. When I skip a meal my blood sugar drops, I get dizzy and unfocused and extremely grumpy! My husband and children will surely attest to that. Fasting for anyone can trigger severe detoxification reactions and should be done with the help and presence of a knowledgeable practitioner.
Herbal supplements can contain numerous ingredients and most people take them without a good understanding of what's in them. Looking at some of the more common herbal cleansing formulas on the market, I see a mixture of over 50 herbs. As you know, herbs can be strong medicine and combining that many of them is a bit worrisome for me.
Many people find colonic irrigation unpleasant and I certainly don't have to explain that. It is recommended by many experts, especially when undergoing severe detox from from chemotherapy or a lifetime of poor eating habits. This can certainly be done in conjunction with a raw food cleanse.

I find eating a diet of mostly raw food for a period of time to be the easiest, most gentle and certainly the most appealing of all the options. The advantages are:
* Eating mostly organic raw food for a period of time gives your body a break from adding to its toxic load.
* The high fiber of whole, raw foods is cleansing.
* The enzymes contained in raw foods help in their own digestion. This allows your body to spend the energy usually spent generating enzymes on doing other things, like healing and rebuilding.
* The numerous antioxidants and phytochemicals in raw fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables have the ability to prevent and combat many diseases.
* Eating and preparing meals from foods in their most natural state (versus eating processed foods out of a box) rebuilds a connection between you and the earth.
* A raw food diet allows many options for accomplishing these health benefits while enjoying delicious food.

Who Should Do This
Anyone who wants to improve their general health would benefit from eating a mostly raw food diet for a week, two weeks, three weeks or a month or more. Some people exclusively eat a raw food vegan diet but I believe you can achieve many of the health benefits of this food regimen without being 100% raw. (Read "Raw Food Diet - How Raw Do You Need To Be?").

If you are trying to lose weight, lower your cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent type 2 diabetes, improve your energy level, detoxify your body, get rid of heartburn or other gastrointestinal disorders, lighten your mood, or just improve your general health, you may want to try a raw food cleanse. Even if you can only do it for 10 or 20 days, you will see improvements. See how my friend Kannan significantly improved his health when he ate mostly raw food for 41 days.

When it starts to warm up in the spring, I eat at least half of my food raw and by summer, when my garden is flourishing, I eat around 70%. But once a year, sometime between May and July, I go on Raw Food Cleanse and I eat at least 90% raw food for one month. When I feel like eating a bit of cooked food, I eat brown rice, or a steamed grain.
How To Do It
For the next month eat mostly all raw food. I've listed some favorite raw food vegan recipes below for each meal of the day but there are many other raw food recipes on this blog in addition to those listed. If you are really craving some cooked food throughout this cleanse (especially in the beginning), eat some brown rice. If you eat a cooked meal for whatever reason, don't worry, just get back to raw food with the next meal.
This will not feel like a diet or fast. It will just seem like you are eating delicious, fresh, natural food.
So today or sometime over the next few months when the weather in your area starts to warm up and the farmer’s markets start to sell delicious, fresh produce, cleanse your body naturally and gently with a diet of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and sprouted grains and legumes. Here are a few recipe ideas for each meal of the day:
My favorite breakfast is a simple smoothie. A few of my favorites include:
A Fruit Salad is always a great start to the day. Try
For a more hearty breakfast, try
Note that whenever a recipe calls for hemp milk or soy milk (which are not raw), you can always substitute any raw nut milk of your choice.
Lunch And Dinner
I'll combine these two meals since many of the recipes can be eaten for either meal.
Raw soups are usually pretty quick to prepare and surprisingly very filling. Some of my favorites raw soups are:
For colorful, healthful and delicious salads try:
For a hearty entree check out:
Snacks and appetizers are an important part of your day. These are recipes you'll still crave long after your raw food cleanse:
And of course there's dessert. I've always thought raw desserts are better than any others. Check out:

Some Mild Reactions
Depending on how much processed food you consume in your present diet, you may experience symptoms of mild detoxification. You might get a headache. Or, if you are not used to eating much fiber, you may get an upset stomach or experience some gas. Be sure to drink plenty of fresh water and eat some cooked brown rice to help settle your stomach. These will pass after a few days.

Pass This On
If you know anyone who really needs to take a first step to improve his or her health, pass this along. If you know anyone who is curious about raw food or is just starting to eat a raw food vegan diet and would like some good recipes, pass this along. If you know anyone who is battling obesity, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heartburn, depression, fatigue, and many other health issues, pass this along.

It is always wise to inform your doctor before you begin any new dietary program.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lose Weight, Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome, and Improve Cholesterol & Triglycerides With a Raw Food Diet - Real Life Testimonial

Kannan before and after a 41 day raw food diet -27 pounds lighter.

A festive dinner blend of raw food and traditional Indian Cuisine.

A Friend and Colleague Gets Troublesome News
I met Kannan when we were both high Tech CEOs in Silicon Valley. We were members of a small group called “CEO Leadership Forum”. The group met monthly to discuss our businesses but we often talked of our personal interests and passions. Since I was also going to school and working on my PhD in Holistic Nutrition, specializing in Raw Food Nutrition, I would often speak to the group about raw food diets. Kannan and others were always politely inquisitive (of course you never know when people are really interested or if they think you are crazy when you talk about raw food diets). When I left Silicon Valley two years ago to devote my time to studying and writing about nutrition, I remained friends with Kannan and his wife and we stayed in touch. I made sure to send them an email each time I posted a new article or recipe on my blog.
At his last doctor’s appointment, Kannan was given the bad news that he was a “border line” Type 2 diabetic and was told to watch out for Metabolic Syndrome (several risk factors that occur together increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes). Some of his risk factors were worrisome:
At 5 feet, 5 inches and 166 pounds, Kannan had an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27.6. BMI is an indicator of total body fat that is related to disease and death. For a healthy BMI between 18.5 to 24.9, he should never weigh more than 149. Calculate your own BMI.
Even with a mostly vegetarian Indian diet, Kannan’s cholesterol profile was disappointing. Total cholesterol and LDL were high and HDL, his good cholesterol, was too low making his cholesterol/HDL ratio an undesirable 5.0. To have a “low risk” of cardiovascular disease, you want a ratio of 4.0. A ratio of less than 3.4 would be an indication of a “very low risk”. I encouraged him to also get tested for CRP and homocysteine that I believe are better markers for cardiovascular risk. None-the-less, the doctors would like to see an improvement in his cholesterol.
Kannan had very high triglycerides. Many people who suffer with diabetes or heart disease have high levels of triglycerides so this is a very important indicator. Over the past 4 years, Kannan’s levels have been as high as 268 and never below 162. Normal is less than 150 mg/dL. High triglycerides combined with high LDL or low HDL (Kannan had both) are associated with a faster build up of atherosclerosis. Artherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits in arterial walls, can increase the risk of getting a stroke or heart attack.
Glucose Levels and Pre-diabetes
High blood glucose levels is an indicator that your blood sugar is not getting taken into the cells adequately and could be a sign of “insulin resistance”. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps the body assimilate glucose for energy. Insulin resistance is where the body is not using insulin properly causing the pancreas to have to significantly increase its production of this hormone. When the pancreas finally gives up trying to keep up with the body’s needs, the level of sugar in the blood rises. This eventually leads to diabetes. Normal fasting blood sugar levels fall between 70 and 99 mg/dL. Kannan’s levels were a dangerous 146 mg/dL and had been as high as 193 mg/dL in a test taken several years ago.
Metabolic Syndrome
Besides insulin resistance and high blood sugar, there are other indicators that lead to diabetes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is defined as having any three of the following conditions:
- A waist measurement of 40 inches or more for men (35 inches for women)
- Triglycerides of 150 mg/dL or above
- HDL below 40 mg/dL for men (below 50 mg/dL for women)
- Blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or above
- Fasting glucose levels of 100 mg/dL or above
Kannan had met the criteria for both triglycerides and fasting glucose and was on the borderline of 40 mg/dL for HDL. This is why his doctor warned him of metabolic syndrome! Clearly Kannan had to do something quickly or he would be at risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Kannan's Annual 41 Day Ritual
Every year Kannan makes some kind of sacrifice for 41 days. What started out as a religious and spiritual routine based on the Indian lunar calendar, ended up as an annual self-improvement ritual between November 1st and December 11th. One year he gave up rice, a key staple of the India diet, and all other grains except oats. Another year he ran twice a day, every day for 41 days. This past year he called me and told me he was interested in going on a 41 day raw food diet. Luckily I had quite a few raw food recipes on the Foods For Long Life blog so he had plenty to choose from. He and his wife modified some of the recipes with more familiar Indian spices and ingredients.
Kannan's Typical Diet
Before his 41 day raw food diet, Kannan would typically start the day with oatmeal or a Dosa (an Indian crepe made from rice and lentil flour). For lunch he’d enjoy rice and vegetables. Afternoon snacks were typically deep fried Indian treats and dinner was comprised of Indian bread or rice with a vegetarian entrée. When he ate out, which CEOs often do, he admitted he indulged himself in rich and unhealthy foods.
During his 41 day raw food diet he would start each day with a fruit and vegetable smoothie or raw fruits in chia pudding or yoghurt. Lunch would be a nice big raw organic salad with tomatoes, dried fruit and nuts. He would snack on fruits, nuts and either soy or hemp milk or raw goat milk. For dinner he would eat raw vegetable soups based on the blog recipes but he would add some Karela (bitter gourd or melon known in Ayurvedic practices to help lower blood sugar) or Methi (Fenugreek seeds, also common in Indian cooking and known to help treat diabetes and reduce cholesterol). He also added turmeric (long known for its anti-inflammatory properties) to most recipes and some days his wife would sprout some beans for his dinner (I hear she is a master at sprouting!). I really like the way he added familiar foods and flavors to my recipes. Technically he wasn't 100% raw but adding a few non raw items like soymilk and yoghurt helped him succeed.

Impressive Results
Weight and Waistline
After 41 days, Kannan lost 27 pounds, over 16% of his body weight. This gave him a healthy BMI of 23.1. His lost 3.5 inches from his waist and went from a 37.5 inch waist to a svelte 34 inch waist.

After only 24 days into the diet, Kannan had some blood work done. Even with 17 days to go, the results were quite impressive!
Total cholesterol went down 24%, from 201 to 153 mg/dL putting him in the low risk category from “borderline high”.
LDL was reduced 20% from 122 to 97 mg/dL moving him to “optimal”.
HDL increased 10%, from 40 to 44 mg/dL. This improved his Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio from 5.0 to 3.5 which moved him very close to the “very low risk of heart disease” category.
Perhaps the most stunning result was a 69% reduction in his triglycerides. His last reading before the diet was 193 mg/dL and after on 24 days it was down to 60 mg/dL. This is well below the 150 mg/dL threshold.
Blood sugar
Fasting blood sugar dropped 20% from 146 to 117 mg/dL, still a bit high but much improved.

Kannan's Reaction to the Raw Food Experience
In the beginning, he felt hungry and got headaches towards the evening. This improved after a few days. (Headaches are common as the body starts a gentle detox from the purity of the diet.) The time for food preparation was something he had to get adjusted to and plan for. Sufficient snacking and drinking enough water was key. It was also a challenge when he went on a business trip and had limited options in restaurants.
Needless to say, both Kannan and his wife were thrilled with the results. He commented that none of the other 41 day fasts and exercise programs had ever produced results as impressive as this. Kannan no longer requires any medication.
In order to maintain his health and weight, he continues to eat one or two raw meals a day and has reintroduced rice and other grains back into his diet. Kannan said, “The good thing about this diet is that I could see my weight reduction almost on a daily basis. The better thing is that other people notice your improvements, including my doctor. The best thing is to get compliments from my dear wife! Thanks Joanne for being a catalyst to help me improve my own health by way of eating a healthier diet.”

Before you start a raw food diet or adjust any of your medication, talk to your doctor. You may not experience the same results as everyone’s body and metabolism is different. Now that I’ve reminded you of that, I will tell you that this is certainly not an isolated incident. Go to any raw food potluck and hear other examples of improved health.

Do You Want to Try a Raw Food DIet?
If you (and your doctor) decide you want to try a raw food diet for a week or a month, check out my many raw food recipes and articles. Remember, adding raw plant food to your diet, whether it's just a few fruits and vegetables a day or it's a 2 to 3 raw meals a day, adds healthy enzymes, fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals to your diet while providing an optimal pH balance for your body.