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The Balance of Raw and Cooked

Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body!

I made a sign with this saying and have it hanging in my studio kitchen as a sweet reminder as to why I do what I do. It is my goal in life to approach everything I do with intention. When it comes to food, I do my best to make every bite count. For over a decade, my site has been filled with 100% raw vegan recipes. But as the years passed by I learned that most people don’t eat 100% raw, and that included my family. This shows me that for those who eat 80,50,20, or 10% raw vegan… they are also eating cooked foods to complete their diet.  So, I decided to share the cooked foods that we also eat, making them plant-based, nutrient-dense, and delicious! I never skimp of any of those criteria!

The term “raw food diet” refers to the consumption of foods that haven’t been cooked or treated at temperatures above 105-115 degrees (F). If you are new to the raw concept, I have a post (here) that explains it in greater detail. The term “cooked vegan diet”… well, the phrase is pretty self-explanatory.

Common Ground for Vegan Raw & Vegan Cooked

  • They are free from any animal products.
  • They are both referred to as a plant-based diet or a whole-food diet.
  • They are both nutrient-dense.

Raw versus Cooked — Which is the most nutritious?

My definition of the most nutritious diet is one that YOUR body can effectively digest so you can absorb all of the available nutrients. Since we are all uniquely and genetically different, it seems only obvious that your nutritional requirements may look slightly or vastly different from the person standing next to you. I think the ONE thing that we call all agree on is eating a diet that is based on whole foods (eating foods closest to their original form) has tremendous benefits for us and the planet.

I want to be transparent, I am not here to discredit one or the other or to make claims that there is only one way to prepare foods — because there isn’t. All plant-based foods are full of nutrients, it all depends on how they are prepared. Some foods offer up more when cooked while others offer more when eaten raw. But again, it all boils down to how well your body can digest them which ultimately makes the nutrients available to your body.

People might question my integrity and feel as though I have fallen into the mainstream way of developing recipes. Frankly, it couldn’t be any more opposite. I will always work off of the foundation that I have built for myself and for this site; every recipe is to be based on whole foods, nutrient-dense, and delicious.

One Degree Of Separation

Have you ever heard of the phrase? Bob shed some light on what that meant to me a while back. It means, “a  degree of separation is a measure of social distance between people. You are one degree away from everyone you know, two degrees away from everyone they know, and so on.” I like the concept and now use it to describe the way I eat. I do my very best to eat with minimum degrees of separation between me and my food source.

  • For example, oatmeal. I choose to eat steel-cut oats since they are the least processed (other than whole oat groats). I could buy instant oatmeal packages but they are highly processed, loaded with other processed ingredients, and are far from their natural source. Next time you pick up a food item while at the grocery store, ask yourself, “How far away is this product from the farmer?” Within seconds you will know how many degrees of separation you are from the growers.
  • I have a full section that teaches about “Where Our Food Comes From.” I recommend referring back to it over time to familiarize yourself with where your food comes from, how it is grown, harvests, and produced.

No Shame | No Judgement Zone

AmieSue.com/Nouveuauraw is a no shame and a no-judgment zone. What does this mean? I am here to meet you where you are at this very moment. I have a post called Your Path, Your Journey which I recommend giving a quick glance at if you can.  Even if you eat the standard American diet (SAD) and are just starting to dip your toes into the world of healthier eating—I am here to support, guide, encourage, and inspire you to create a healthier lifestyle that is based in whole foods. Just by showing up, you have already shown me that you want to learn how to take your health back into your control and for that, I applaud you!

For those of you who wish to maintain a high raw diet, never forget that is no shame in eating cooked foods. Early on in my journey, I got caught up in shaming myself for wanting to eat cooked foods. I had an awful “all or nothing” mentality. Thankfully, we can learn from our mistakes if we are open to it. All I ask is that you get in tune with your body, listen for cues that it might be giving you. If you are experiencing bloating, excessive gas, tummy pain, elimination struggles, headaches, low energy, etc. Take a good strong look at what you are eating. Not every symptom is food related but it’s a good place to start. If you can’t seem to pinpoint it, send me a message and I will partner up with you to see if we can figure it out. I am not a doctor or am I licensed to give medical advice, but I am always open to sharing what I have learned over the years.