I recently went to a lecture by Tim Van Orden titled “Running Raw” put on by Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association VIVA. Tim is a raw foodist that has a great understanding of what it is to be a high level athlete and healthy at the same time.
Tim aims to consume a raw, vegan, plant based diet 95% of time time without over-consuming nuts and seeds. I was impressed with his depth of knowledge, and his analytical approach.
Why would one follow such a lifestyle? For a few reasons:
- Nutrient Density- with a diet comprised of tons of leafy greens, low glycemic fruits, and healthy fats you consume a massive amount of nutrients per calorie. This is opposite to the Standard North American diet which is very high in calories but low in nutrients.
- Low “toxic” diet- Cooking foods, especially high starch foods like potatoes, at high temperatures actually change the structure of the molecules causing them to produce a substance called “acrylamides”. Acrylamides are actually toxic and are known carcinogens, cancer causing agents.
- High “net gain”- Digesting food takes energy. Digesting food creates energy. If you eat foods that are take little energy to digest (such as a raw food diet) then you have a net gain of energy. The North American diet takes a lot of energy to digest resulting in a ‘net loss’ of energy.
That is a very over-simplified explanation! As you can imagine following this type of lifestyle is not for everyone, I fully appreciate how difficult it can be to stick to this plan.
The most valuable piece of advice I took from the lecture was the suggestion to add “Green Smoothies” to your routine. Similar to Ugly Soup, green smoothies are a easy way to get a powerful dose of veggies quickly and easily. On that note I will attempt to have a Green Smoothie myself everyday and I will provide photo documentation!