How I Strike a Healthy Raw and Cooked Balance

by Gena on November 11, 2010

OK, first things first: absolutely loved the discussion yesterday on Nicolette Niman’s Atlantic piece. We all kept it civil, productive, and provocative–exactly what I want conversations on CR to be. Thanks to everyone who left a comment or asked me a question.

Let’s switch gears from vegan ethics to pop music. Anyone catch the CR twitter feed this morning? If you did, you know what I did last night. Hint:

Remember this ditty? Hello, 1997! Well, in case you didn’t know, Swedish born pop star Robyn is back. And truth be told, her new album (soon to be followed up with another) is worth checking out if you’re into pop music that walks the line between guilty pleasure and legit artistry:

That song, friends, is pretty great live–especially in a good crowd. I spend a lot of time at Terminal 5, and last night’s audience was one of the best I’ve kept company with. If nothing else, the sheer exuberance was a sign of how desperate we all are for good pop stars. Gaga can’t shoulder the whole burden alone.

Now, a bunch of you have asked that I start sharing more music on CR. I’m not sure where you got the impression that I’m qualified to do such a thing, but I’m happy to start talking music here on the blog: music closely rivals food in the category of things I care most about. So stay tuned. I’ll even go beyond dance hall tracks.

On to food. In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the cooked:raw food ratio here on the blog: why all the cooked food? Are you less raw purposefully? How raw are you, exactly, and what’s the ratio you recommend? Etc. These questions have, with maybe one or two exceptions, been totally sweet and inquisitive, and they don’t bother me at all. (When I do get questions from raw extremists who don’t like the cooked food I eat, I just promptly hit delete: this blog is called “Choosing Raw,” and not “Gena’s House of Green Smoothies and Judgment” for a reason. It’s about the cumulative effect of small choices, and not a global dogma.) It’s totally normal for my readers to wonder about how raw is raw, how raw I like to eat, why the patterns change sometimes, and so one. So, let’s go through it:

1) I really don’t have a regular raw percentage, but it’s safe to say that about half of what I eat each day is always raw, and sometimes quite a bit more. I go through long periods where it’s closer to 90%, and I did that consistently for my first year of infatuation with raw food, not because I thought I had to, but because I was totally obsessed with raw un-cooking. I did, though, have plenty of cooked food in that year, and I always intended to stay semi-raw, not all raw. I knew from the get-go that all raw wouldn’t be nutritionally right for my body, and I knew it wouldn’t be socially feasible for me.

And I like cooked vegan food. A lot.

2) I’m not eating more raw because it’s getting colder! At some point I promise a post on staying semi or high-raw in winter, but for now, let me say that I actually don’t crave more cooked food due to cold temperatures. I definitely go through weeks where I want more cooked than usual, but it’s usually random and unrelated to weather–it can easily happen during summer. And conversely, I often go through really high-raw months in winter. My food phases have more to do with whim and with what cookbooks I’m reading than with the seasons.

3) A few of you have noted that I seem really un-neurotic and flexible about how raw I eat. Thank you! I think I’m pretty chillaxed about it, too, and I’m happy to hear that this comes across on my blog. For someone who battled anorexia to be relaxed about anything related to food–especially in the raw foods world, which is so driven by dogma–strikes me as an accomplishment. I’m happy that I was able, given my history, to fall in love with the spirit of raw food without losing my mind about the “rules.”

4) With that said, it would be wrong to say that I could eat 100% cooked and be happy. I can’t. When I don’t eat at least semi-raw, I don’t feel my best physically, and I certainly don’t feel culinary satisfied. I love raw food! Raw food is delicious. So if I’m traveling, say, and eat all cooked food for days at a time, I’ll be really eager to get some raw veg in my body–both because I love how I feel from it, and also because I love the flavor and texture. I am not and will never be a person who feels any guilt attached to the idea of cooking food: as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t agree with the raw foods premise that eating raw food preserves live enzymes in foods themselves. Our gastric juices denature food enzymes as we digest them. But I do love the whole ethos of raw food, and appreciate the vitamin and mineral density.

So: when I’m not in my kitchen, or when I’m not just cooking for me, I have an “I’ll eat pretty much anything that’s vegan and relatively healthy” attitude. When I’m at home, I’m always eager to keep raw foods in my dietary rotation.

5) If you think there’s been a lot of cooked lately, you’re somewhat right. October was more cooked than raw, and that’s mostly because my boyfriend and I were eating most dinners together. He’s a vegan and a very healthy eater, and he has excellent taste in food (by which I mean, he tells me often that he loves my cooking). But he, like most of my loved ones, likes a warm meal at the end of a long day. Or at least a semi-warm one.

So how do I keep us both happy? Well, I start by taking inspiration by friends like Mama Pea, who cooks for a family of vegans and one vegetarian, and manages to accommodate her own tastes (super healthy), her childrens’ demand for cookies, and her husband’s desire for a good veggie burger, all at once. In my own case, I’m accommodating the taste of a healthy vegan who nonetheless likes his comfort fare, and my own, which runs the gamut from vegan cookies to blended salads.

The easiest solution is for me to make regular vegan fare at night, and eat more raw breakfasts and lunches. Again, there’s no dogma here: I also eat out a lot for work lunches, so plenty of my midday food is cooked, and it’s autumn, which means I love me some oatmeal now and then. But I enjoy the balance I get from focusing on smoothies, buckwheat cereal, and chia pudding in the morning, salads and collard wraps and raw soups at lunch, and more grains, beans, and other vegan cooked fare at night. There’s nothing inherently smart about “raw till dinner” from a nutritional perspective, but it’s an easy way for me to eat both raw and cooked right now.

Obviously, on nights when M and I are (ruefully) separated, I’ll often experiment with fancier raw entrees. For now, though, the recipes I share on CR — the more “notable” ones — may be from cooked dinners. Just be aware that lots of raw food happens at other times of the day, and rest assured that I’ll periodically show you some samples. Let’s start with some raw dishes from the last week or two, served mostly at the office:

Carob Chia Seed Breakfast: 3 tbsp chia seeds, 1 scoop vanilla sun warrior, 1 tbsp carob, stevia, and 3/4 cup almond milk, mixed and allowed to set, served alongside a banana:

Green salad served with Raw Beet “Pancakes” — recipe on its way soon!

Vegetable salad served with juice pulp crackers and my cashew ginger pate:

Pumpkin chia seed pudding:

Raw lasagna pasta:

Raw Tomato Tahini Soup:

And, that rare treat: takeout raw sushi rolls from Pure Food and Wine:

See? As I experience the sudden joys of cooking for me and for someone close to me, I’ve also been able to enjoy the foods I love on a regular basis. No compromises.

For the many of you who write to me asking how to handle a raw foods habit when your family or friends don’t share it, I’d just offer this tip: immediately ditch the complicated recipes and crazy, three course raw dinners. If you’re making cooked foods at night, or balancing more than one main dish for you and other family members, gourmet raw foods won’t be sustainable. Instead, put all of the real cooking energy into dishes that everyone can eat. Then, for whatever meals you eat alone (at the office, or when others are out of the house), keep it simple: salads, soups, collard wraps, smoothies. Those are the best foods in a raw diet if you ask me, anyway, so stick to them. It’s the easiest way to stay high raw while also remaining all inclusive in your cooking efforts.

I hope this gives you all a sense of how I balance raw and cooked in my own life. Naturally, there are some nights where I’m not with M, but I feel like eating cooked anyway, and this is fine: on such a night, I cook! I cannot stress enough how important it is to obey such instincts. My food habits are a mixture of nutritional awareness, intuition, and cravings, and all three help me decide whether I’m in the mood to cook or uncook. But it’s worth pointing out that I always, always crave raw foods–not a day goes by when I don’t want at least one raw meal. I attribute the longevity of my raw foods infatuation–going on 4 years now–to the fact that I never demonized cooking.

On that note? I’m off to prepare a half-raw, half-cooked dinner. Night all :)

xo

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl November 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Those songs bring me back to when I was about 9 years old, haha ;) Well, the first song does at least.

Thank you for sharing the balance!

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Natalie November 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Great post! I was dabbling with more raw foods recently and I found that it was “too much raw” for me. I find that I can do breakfast and lunch raw, but by dinner time I want cooked foods. I’m not letting my “failed” raw experiment stress me out. Everyone has to find their happy place and eat accordingly.

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Daniel November 11, 2010 at 7:23 pm

“Gena’s House of Green Smoothies and Judgment” – I laughed pretty nicely on the inside. :P

I think it’s amazing that you’ve come so far (from what I know) out of an ED to be able to say what you did. You give me motivation to work away from the black and whites and focus more on the gray areas (something which I try to do more and more nowadays). The message that you convey to your readers is one that says “It’s ok to stray off of the path.” You don’t worry about each meal having to have x nutrients, y calories, z number of raw or cooked foods, a M:N ratio of certain foods or P food groups involved (I’m running out of variables here). Your sense of balance is great and I’m happy that you can share that with us.

I guess it goes without saying I really like this post, it talks to me as of recently with my attempt to look at things with new perspectives. ^_^

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Dan,

It is such an immense joy to read this! At this point, I blog for two main reasons: 1) to spread a healthy and informative vegan message, and 2) with the hope that I help someone out of an ED, even a little. So thanks for keeping me going.

Thanks for your admiration. But keep in mind that it was a long process! I spent most of college going through all of the normal ups and downs of living with and/or getting over an ED: eating too little or too much, fretting about what I ate, scouring the web for a magical alterna-diet that would make me “normal,” fearing socialization, fearing restaurants, fearing intimacy. It wasn’t easy.

The biggest issue was that I never quite was able to get past seeing food as the enemy–as dirty, as dangerous, as gross. I felt guilty after most every meal until maybe my mid-20s. It was a big issue, and I’d say that I didn’t work through it till I found veganism. Eating in a way that I felt lessened cruelty and pain in the world was what I needed to start seeing food as productive, rather than some sort of concession to necessity. And the foods happened to taste delicious and make me feel good, which helped too!

Of course, I still have a rough day now and then, when I wake up and feel ill at ease with my body. It’s not usually tied to what I’ve eaten any more, which is major progress — it’s just lingering pangs of dysmorphia. And now, at 28, I’ve developed the psychological coping mechanisms I need to deal with it and let it be a matter of hours, rather than a matter of weeks. most importantly, I never allow a day of body image discomfort to affect my eating. I eat foods I want and in good quantity every single day — I never restrict to cope with emotion. It’s not even self imposed at this point — rather, eating is second nature to me. That feels…well, it feels kind of like normalcy. And that, given my history, is HUGE.

So too is any capacity to eat with balance and relaxation! I’m definitely not someone who thinks not at all about nutrient ratios — I’ve got a general sense of things at all times, which I think is actually a good thing. But no counting or obsessing, for sure.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I just wanted to explain that it all takes time, so keep on keeping on. And also realize that you, at twenty or whatever you are, are already a few steps ahead of where I was. Kudos.

G

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Margot November 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Sorry to intrude but, wow, what an inspiring response. Thank you, Gena!

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melissa November 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm

i’m all in favor of more music on the blog! it’s one of my fave passions! my eyes are glued to the beet pancakes!

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Heather November 11, 2010 at 7:38 pm

This is perfect timing! Thank you for the breakfast & lunch suggestions and sharing how you find balance between raw and cooked. Another helpful post!

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Allysia K November 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I checked that CD out a week or two ago, it’s fairly solid! It’s not my genre of preference, but I preferred it to her previous CD, which was a little more, um, angry? :)

P.S. Hooray for vegan boyfriends! :)

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Gena November 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm

yeah, I like angry too :)

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Joanne November 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm

How come you don’t buy in to the raw food and live enzymes belief? Just curious what you have heard?

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm

I added another line. And see my similar response to Kelli, below!

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Joanne November 11, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Do you know any web sites where I can get more info on this – basically any info that is against the normal raw foodist beliefs about enzymes?

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I don’t know of one off the top of my head. But this is basically common understanding in the medical community.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm

“I seem really un-neurotic and flexible about how raw I eat.”–Yes, totally! And I am the same way! There are wayyyyyy bigger fish to fry in life for me than if I am 67.23% raw one day or 18.89% the next day. It all balances out and we all do what makes us feel best; no need to get all uptight and neurotic about it. When I get emails from people that ask those kinds of questions…I can literally FEEL the tension, stress, and anxiety just over the dsl line :)

And this:
“immediately ditch the complicated recipes and crazy, three course raw dinners. If you’re making cooked foods at night, or balancing more than one main dish for you and other family members, gourmet raw foods won’t be sustainable. Instead, put all of the real cooking energy into dishes that everyone can eat.”

Omg I JUST posted something like that this morning. I made a one pot, one meal for the entire family, meal of coconut milk, rice, garbanzos, and veggies. It was delish. And I thought of you and linked you with your rice cooker (and if I had an M around who’d want to pressure cook me some beans, i’d take that…haha!) but seriously,it’s all about being smart and not stressing about things.

Life is too short for that.

Lovely tips & Thoughts, Gena!

:)

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Anon November 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Gena, I have been having a lot of bowel and digestive difficulties. But I’m curious: do you think you’re chia seed puddings would be fine for breakfast (for someone like me with a disaster of a system at the moment).
Also, do you know the nutritional stats on chia seeds? I think its 120 cals in 2 tbsps? Yes or no?

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bitt November 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm

just butting in to say my husband has digestive issues that are worsened by too much chia. each person is different though.

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Anon November 11, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Thanks. Any suggestions for good breakfasts?
The issue is that I’m low weight, low energy and everything. People say to focus on the food and not the calories. But when I do that, I tend to go low-calorie and simply do not gain. My digestive issues are complicating things and I’ve given up on both mainstream and alternative practitioners because they’ve only run me in circles again and again.

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 11:09 pm

I’d say oats with lots of nut butter, high calorie shakes. And if you really need to gain, calorie counting is probably the way to go: intuitive eating is not for those who are *very* underweight.

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Anon November 12, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Thanks Gena. Any thoughts on BMI? Any thoughts on what you think is truly unacceptable as a low weight-healthy weight type?

Also, just curious..but how tall are you? I’m a short person and always curious about any other fellow shorties :)

Gena November 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm

It’s about 120 kcal in 3 tbsp. And I know that chia seeds work great for Fartygirl, who has bad IBS. They work well for me, but I no longer suffer from IBS.

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Jen November 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Gena you are amazing! I just wish more people in the vegan and/or raw communities could communicate the joy you find in the lifestyle so eloquently instead of waxing dogma. You should be an official ambassador. :)

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Lauren November 11, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Great post Gena! I have really enjoyed your cooked meals lately, so I welcome them! :) For myself, I went through the same raw honeymoon and now I feel like I like a balance with raw and cooked. I just eat what I feel like, and that sounds like what you are doing! :)

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Namaste Gurl November 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Wow, well put, Gena! Once again, you always say it just right :) It’s great that you stressed flexibility- so often vegans, raw foodists, etc. can be super inflexible in how and what they eat. Often whether it be social, intuitive, nutritional matters, you can’t always eat the way you intend to. I love your sense of flexibility on those matters!

Random question, sadly, Jay Robb’s isn’t selling their brown rice protein right now. Not sure what’s up…. I’ve heard quite a buzz in the blog world about Sun Warrior. And I know it’s great, being vegan, raw and organic. But it’s quite expensive. Where do you buy yours at? Do you know a good online source that I could get it cheaply? Thanks Gena :)

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Namaste Gurl November 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Oh P.S, I LOVE all your recipes and posts about cooked meals– no judgment on my end :) I love the balance of raw and cooked food posts/ recipes.

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Christin@purplebirdblog November 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm

“Gena’s House of Green Smoothies and Judgment”

*gigglesnort*

You crack me UP! :)

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe November 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm

That sucks that people are giving you a hard time about the exact percentage of raw food you eat versus cooked food. I wish you didn’t have to explain yourself so much, but I’m glad that you do because I love reading your level-headed and informative responses!

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Kelli November 11, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I too wonder about your mention of not buying into the raw foods and live enzymes argument – can you explain more or point me to an old post on this if I missed it?

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I added a line — basically, our gastric juices denature any enzymes in the food we eat almost instantly, so whether or not they’re intact as we eat them, they can’t confer the magic properties or aid in their own digestion as raw foodists claim.

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Annie@stronghealthyfit November 11, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Really interesting post, Gina. I love your down-to-earth, level-headed way of writing and explaining things, and the fact that you are yourself and have the confidence to just BE yourself.

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Thanks Annie :)

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bitt November 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Ok, i think comments are working again. i have two that didn’t go through.

I am with you on nondogma. If your body works well on cooked and raw, then you just choose what you feel like each day. I can’t stand the percentage game. although I appreciate that you keep it vegan and that you see that as a different set of rules than the cooked/raw paradigm.

jealous of the pure food takeaway!

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Totally different set of rules! Non rules, actually — necessities, for me. Asking me not to eat vegan would be like asking me to bend any other parts of my world view and values. It’s not a health experiment, nor a fad, nor something I do just because I like the way my body looks because of it, or whatever.

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Ritika November 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Wonderful post, Gena! This is just what I needed to read today. I have a dilemma though. I understand the importance of greens in a diet. Is it best to include some salad with each cooked meal? I find that somedays I want to eat cooked for both lunch and dinner, and I read that it helps to eat some raw before starting. I don’t really like salad but I will eat it if it makes sense from a nutritional standpoint.
What is your opinion? :)

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Gena November 11, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Thanks Ritika!

I like to eat some raw greens with lunch and dinner always, yeah. I don’t think it’s mandatory from a health standpoint, but I feel not myself unless I get my raw greens in, always! And from a health standpoint, you do want to eat your green leafies at least once daily.

G

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Ritika November 12, 2010 at 2:06 pm

That’s interesting! I’m always confused as to how much green leafies to get ingest daily. Victoria Boutenko gives estimates based on GS vs. salads. There is so much variability. How do you know what is best for you? :/

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Ricki November 11, 2010 at 11:12 pm

“Gena’s House of Green Smoothies and Judgement.” You are a riot! And, as usual, your approach is balanced and level headed. I have been amazed over the past two years that I also tend to “require” a certain percentage of raw foods or I really, really begin to crave them. As you say, raw food is delicious and I love the tastes, colors, textures. Oh–and thanks for introducing me to Robyn! :)

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Sarah November 11, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I was wondering if you could one day do a post about the regularity at which people within the vegan community waver between raw and vegan. Recently (a little over a year) into the life myself, I am always a bit mystified at the large amount of people (at least from my interactions) that have been raw for years, only to go vegan again or even turn back to animal products. I would love to read your take

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Sarah November 11, 2010 at 11:51 pm

This is exactly the sort of stuff I do to work with my husband’s vegetarian, cooked diet and my preference to eat more raw foods. We also have different protein needs – he prefers rice and bread, while I find I function better with more protein. I’ve taken to simply modifying the same ingredients to suit us both. Last night was Ani Phyo’s Wakame Hemp Power Slaw with tofu for me, and vegetable rice and tofu for him. I often do the whole cooked pasta for him/raw zucchini noodles for him. It works well, and I’ve been amazed at how easy it is for this to work. Above all, it’s more important to me that I get to eat with him than it is that we eat the exact same thing.

And my raw/cooked ratios seem to have very little relationship to the weather. It’s getting warmer here and I’ve been craving warm soups and fewer green smoothies. Odd, but like you, I just roll with it.

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Gena November 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Fortunately M and I are both carb people — but it sounds like you adjust to varying protein needs beautifully!

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Ashley November 11, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Oooh, I really enjoyed reading this post!! Also, I had that Robyn CD from ’97!! :) I’m hoping to dive into the cookbook you sent soon…I bought powdered milk and a few other ingredients to get started. xo

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Dr. Seale November 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

Gena, you are a STAR! You have the gift of the written word, knowledge of food & health, and your a comedian too! Kudos for your sense of balance & avoidance of dogma just for dogma’s sake. You are completely correct, by the way, regarding the fallacy of “live” enzymes in raw food. First of all, enzymes are merely proteins, and as such they never possess “life” in the true sense of the word. Second, when eaten they are denatured by stomach acid and then digested down to amino acids by proteolytic enzymes in the digestive tract, just like any other dietary protein. It is the amino acids that are absorbed – not the complete protein. This happens regardless of whether the enzyme is in raw food, or whether it has already been denatured by the heat of cooking. Listen to your body – if you desire cooked food, it may be for a reason – some nutrients are better released & assimilated from cooked foods. The same is true for raw foods. A balance is probably best, just as you’re doing!

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fartygirl November 12, 2010 at 12:29 am

The video brings back a lot of good memories. Sorry, had to find it and had to post.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3hpl2_robyn-show-me-love_music

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Sonya November 12, 2010 at 3:16 am

Wonderful post Gena :-)
Your blog was one of the first I found when looking at transitioning to a ‘more’ raw lifestyle and a year later, is the one I come back to time and time again for your sensible, balanced healthy (and fun) approach to living well. The balance you describe between cooked and raw food is where I feel most comfortable also and reaffirms that I don’t need to follow the 100% raw ‘rules’ to be healthy and fulfilled xxoo

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Mama Pea November 12, 2010 at 3:28 am

Aww, thank you, my darling. Isn’t it amazing how much our blogs, palates, choices, lives have changed since you first started Choosing Raw? I think everyone needs to find the right balance that works for them in every avenue of their life. I think you’ve found your happy place. And that makes me very happy indeed.

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Casey November 12, 2010 at 7:31 am

Love this post Gena! Your attitude really reflects mine…I love both raw and cooked egan foods but I just adore raw foods in their total simplicity so much that I eat them as the major part of my diet.

I find when making foods for others simplicity always gets the votes, not fancy gourmet raw stuff. Fresh raw salads and cooked soups and veg. Or raw pasta. Always a hit!

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pure2raw twins November 12, 2010 at 10:11 am

Thanks for the songs, I will check them out.

Michelle and I have been getting a lot of questions too about why we are eating more cooked foods. Which we are. But we are like you and really has nothing to do with the weather, we still love our green smoothies all winter long. But having one cooked meal a day has really been helping us with food cravings and keeping us full longer. And at the moment that is what I need though I still feel my best when I eat mostly raw :) My BF likes a warm dish for dinner most nights, but I did get him to have kelp noodles one night and he loved them! YAY. xoxo ~ Lori

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Lisa November 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm

This is my favourite post ever!!!!! So timely for me…thank you for such an amazing discussion. You’re awesome!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I love this post – thanks for some great ideas!

Will you post the recipe for the pumpkin chia seed pudding? It looks fantastic! :)

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Erin November 12, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Hi Gena,

I just found your blog recently and so much of this post rings true for me too! I went 90% raw cold turkey from a clean, omnivorous diet at the end of March. It was great for the spring and summer but as the weather cools (I’m in western Canada), I find myself needing more warm, cooked foods. I still love my green smoothies, and have been tending more towards “raw until dinner” as a way to work with my family’s needs.

I also struggle with body image and found I was becoming rigid and obsessive about my weight, calories, fitness, “perfection” in all things including my diet and it wasn’t serving me well. I’m trying to find a place of balance right now, so your post comes at the perfect time. I love your sound, common-sense approach. Thank you for your affirming the conclusions I’d come to on my own!

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Gena November 14, 2010 at 9:08 am

I’m so happy this post was affirming to you, Erin!

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) November 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Good points, all of them. I spent too much time looking for rules to follow, which is just weird, and once I let go of them and realized how I really want to eat, it all got much easier! I used to plan out every single meal for the week in advance, and while there is some benefit to my wallet there, my body likes it more when I loosen the reins and roll with it a lil more.

Bon weekend, pretty face. xo

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Ananya November 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Why is it not “inherently smart [to eat] “raw till dinner” from a nutritional perspective”? Is it because of the lack of calories?

Thanks Gena!

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Gena November 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I just meant that there’s nothing nutritionally significant about eating raw foods during the day, versus at night. Some raw foodists say that means you have more daytime energy (less digestive stress), but I think that, if you’re eating wholesome foods at all times, the order doesn’t’ matter. I simply find raw during the day to be an easy method for me, when I’m cooking for two at night :)

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Sarah November 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Like everyone else, I looooooooved this line: “Gena’s House of Green Smoothies and Judgment”!!!

Thanks so much for sharing your balance, Gena. I really feel good about my own high-raw way of eating after reading about the way you balance yours. Thanks again!

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Julia November 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Gena~
I’m really glad to see the varying raw and cooked things on your blog lately. I too have been leaning on the cooked side lately.. but the green leafies are always a star!
~Julia

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Katie (Sweet Tater) November 12, 2010 at 4:57 pm

i fuuuucking love robyn. and that F bomb was WORTH IT.

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Gena November 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I fucking love F bombs!

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Christine (The Raw Project) November 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Wonderful post on balance, Gena! Last winter I tried too hard to maintain a high raw diet being new to raw and driven, I burned myself out a bit. This year I’m not shy about going to a cooked vegan recipe when the craving comes which is usually for dinner after a cold, long day.

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elise November 12, 2010 at 9:27 pm

too bad…“Gena’s House of Green Smoothies and Judgment” is so catchy…
:)

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day November 12, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Great post Gena. I’ve always loved your rational approach to food. It is refreshing. I am so trying that carbo chia pudding.

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Jen November 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Hi Gena,
I am so glad you posted this:) It’s nice to see that I am not alone in regards to what percentage I fit in on “the raw-o-meter”……lol And I also appreciate you rational and honest approach to everything.

I was actually reading a raw food forum(which will remain nameless:X) this morning, just checking out some Thanksgiving recipes and came across a post that seemed pretty rude. A person made a post inquiring about if it was ok to be 80% raw and a few people commented pretty harshly, having an all or nothing attitude. I felt like this wasn’t sending an ecouraging message to the person who wanted to be 80% raw. Personally I think that person is 80% more healthy and good for them. There shouldn’t be such harsh criticism and judgement on things like this. Basically it shouldn’t have to be all or nothing. Sorry for my mini rant but I just feel that we are all indiviuals and we need to comprise a diet that works for us not what the trendy masses are following…LOL

As for me,the majority of my diet is raw, but I find that certain foods such as various fall and winter squashs and beets I need to cook. My body doesn’t seem to digest them well when eaten raw. I really enjoy buying most of my food at the farmer’s market also, so I tend to eat seasonally. So I naturally eat cooked food in the fall and winter. In the spring and summer I rarely ever eat anything cooked. I also use things like stevia and nutritional yeast, which is very popular in the raw community, except that it’s not raw.

I think overall we should all be confident in our choices to eat raw, raw vegan, or vegan,etc. without having to label it or fit in to a specific “group”…………Just my humble pie opinion:)

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Gena November 14, 2010 at 9:11 am

Anon,

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I don’t like to give out any prescriptive advice on the blog. I think that BMI can be an unreliable measure of health, but I also think that most ED sufferers like to use that fact as an excuse to stay below healthy weight. On the whole, BMI measures are a reliable and accurate measure of good body weight — probably the best we’re going to get.

I’m 5′ 4″. Not tall, by any means, but not super short, either.

G

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