Sunday, September 20, 2009

Science of Raw Food Nutrition

Last month I attended an amazing nutrition course offered at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute. Taught by the raw food doctors, Rick and Karin Dina, they thoroughly explored every aspect of raw food nutrition over nine days. For a health enthusiast like myself this was exciting but also extremely intensive. So much so, that my eyes started twitching on the 7th day from reading the textbook and watching the lectures all day long. Nevertheless, I loved every bit of it!

Some of the topics they covered:

vitamins, minerals, enzymes
optimal blood sugar regulation
acid/alkaline balance
the B12 controversy
how we get protein
essential fats
human digestion
cooked food toxins
history of human food choices
youth extension and longevity
history of living foods
food combining
women's health topics
animal products
menu planning for various health challenges
raw food exaggerations

And that was just the tip of the iceberg. I really appreciated that all of it was scientifically supported and cited. I've been raw for over two years and still get confused by conflicting claims in the raw food community. This helped me make sense of what is nutritional truth and what is just plain silly. I also learned little fun things I've never heard before. For instance, if you lay out for 5-10 minutes a day like I do to get your Vitamin D, don't shower till at least the next day or you will lose the Vitamin D that was created when the sun reacted with the cholesterol on your skin. I also didn't know that green leafy vegetables have essential fatty acids in them or that goji berries are part of the nightshade family.

The classes are offered in three sections that you can take separately or all at once. It equips you to become a Science of Raw Food educator and you receive a powerpoint presentation that you can use for your own lectures. I highly recommend it to anyone in the holistic health field or if you just want to do it for your own health and benefit. You won't be disappointed. If you can't make it to Living Light they do travel the country (and Canada) to teach the introductory class. Check their website for dates.


Susan said...
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Lori-pure2raw said...

Great post. I will definitely look into the courses. Maybe one day I will able to go to one? Do you know if they are only offered in California because I live in North Carolina. Thanks. I had no idea about the vita-D... I would always shower after being outside... now I have to re-think everything.

Judita said...

Hi Lori,

They occasionally teach the classes outside of Living Light. Check their website for details.


Jason Bagley said...

I'm curious what the most common mistake of raw foodists as far as nutrition according to these doctors. Is it eating too much fat (nuts/oils)? Too much sugar?

And one more thing...the main argument I always hear for raw food is that it preserves your own body's enzymes, but I've read some seemingly credible doctors say that this theory has no basis in fact or evidence. Did they present some actual science to back up the enzyme thing?


Judita said...

The doctors lean toward the natural hygiene approach to raw foods but recommended finding your own personal balance between fruit/sugar and fat.

I was surprised to learn that the pancreas produces all the enzymes we need whenever we need them. We don't have a finite number of enzymes as many raw gurus propose. They also said most, not all, enzymes are destroyed in the stomach by HCL acid. Some enzymes do make it to the intestines such as papain and bromelain.

So many raw leaders quote Dr. Howells enzyme research but in my opinion I think some of it may be outdated. Even though they do lighten the load in our stomachs, raw foodists make too big a deal out of the enzymes.

Jason Bagley said...

Thanks--I'm glad to get some clarity on that.

By the way, I'm a creative director at Wieden & Kennedy (advertising). We are the agency of record for Nike, Target, Levi's, EA, and Old Spice. Maybe I'll see you sometime in a casting session! I personally oversee Old Spice and EA, so we tend to cast mostly male talent, but you never know.


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