Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets
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Customer Reviews

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on January 1, 2014
you know what it is. This book isn't so much about what it's like to eat and live raw, it is more about the facts of a raw vs. cooked diet. Very scientific and lots of information brought in from modern research. To me, this book is a reference guide and great for students of nutrition and wellness.

It's allot of reading and not something you can just skim while hanging around at the pool. You will need to make an investment of your time to work through this book. If you know that going in, I think you will enjoy reading this book. Let me put it like this...this book is not fluff!

Sometimes you just want to read the more fluffy books and enjoy looking at amazing photos and peoples creativity. Other times you want to dive in and research. I will definitely keep this book on hand for research, however it was not really what I was looking for. I was looking for more of a step by step guide on how to transition into a raw life-style.

Having said that, the book is well organized, well written and a great reference for any serious raw foodie.
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on January 15, 2014
This is a very concise and very informative book. I loved it and read it straight thru once I opened it. They say nothing bad about not eating raw but just give you the truth whether negative or positive about the subject. I appreciate the honesty. So many times people write books and think being negative towards those who disagree is the right thing to do then they tell you how wonderful and positive their point of view is. They don't do that. Even though everyone knows how wonderful eating fruits and vegetables are they actually give you some precautions so you make the right choices and don't harm yourself. Excellent book.
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on January 17, 2012
This was a very in depth, technical, book. TONS of facts and figures, lots of charts and such explaining the bio/chem/molecular makeup of pretty much any type of plant/seed/nut, including vitamins, fats, proteins, carbs, etc. etc. SUPER AWESOME as a reference guide. I also felt it was pretty unbiased; writer seemed to write like a scientist, simply delivering the FACTS. not at all a vegan propoganda book. Also has recipes too. In the end, i gained the most from this book by comparing things i normally eat, so that I can be sure to eat the most nutritionally dense/effective/efficient foods when i need to based on what vitamins my body needs. This should be a book they give to all K-12 students! seriously :)
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on July 6, 2011
There seems to be a lot of raw vegan books on the market written by people with little or no training in science or nutrition. As a physician, I looked for quite to find a book that was based on science rather than pseudo-science. "Becoming Raw" fits the bill nicely. It's based on the available research and was written by nutritionists that have the background knowledge to present an informed opinion on the subject. While being pro-raw they do a good job of presenting an unbiased look at the diet.

Pros:

Based on the available science
Unbiased
Well written

Cons:

Contains a fair amount of science that might make for a harder read for the lay public
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on June 3, 2011
I have read dozens of books on nutrition and diet, and particularly vegetarian, vegan, and raw vegan lifestyles. Becoming Raw is one of the best I've read. The authors approach the subject from a scientific perspective. In doing so, they articulate honestly the advantages and disadvantages of a raw vegan diet, and how to best reap its benefits and avoid its potential detriments. Virtually every assertion made in this book is supported by serious research. I commend the authors for a thorough, intelligent, and honest review of the scientific literature and for a brilliant summary that brings it all together in a well-written, easy to digest book. If you're interested in a serious discussion about nutrition and diet, this book is a must read (and a must re-read).
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on December 10, 2015
One of the best books on nutrition. A must read if you desire knowledge about the body you live in. It is clear that a lot of research and time went into this marvouleous and very interesting read on nutrition and how to help yourself. I found this book to be empowering to make good food choices for life. Excellent reference book! Thank you to the authors for your investment.
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on May 12, 2014
This book is different from all the other raw books out there in that it uses scientific studies and nutrition science to give you the best information on whether a raw diet is healthy, can be better than a cooked vegan diet and how to make a raw diet work for you. While this will have a special place on my bookshelf, the recipes are not ones I can see myself using, but that section of the book is so short it didn't detract from the wealth of information this book provided me with. Well researched and unbiased.
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on August 19, 2013
This book goes over everything you need to know about going raw vegan. I would have gone raw even if I hadn't read this book, but the book really helped a great deal. It is remarkable how much my life has changed since going raw, I have felt love for people(including strangers) and sometimes it feels like my life is an adventure. Make sure you get enough vitamin B12, which you can get from nutritional yeast. If you're going raw, definitely get this book.
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on August 19, 2013
This book goes over everything you need to know about going raw vegan. I would have gone raw even if I hadn't read this book, but the book really helped a great deal. It is remarkable how much my life has changed since going raw, I have felt love for people(including strangers) and sometimes it feels like my life is an adventure. Make sure you get enough vitamin B12, which you can get from nutritional yeast. If you're going raw, definitely get this book.
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on January 6, 2016
Reading Becoming Raw is like having your own dietitian to guide you in achieving success in following a raw food lifestyle. In this case you have two registered dietitians with years of experience to help you achieve your goal. Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina have written some definitive guidebooks that are essential resources for vegans, vegetarians, and raw foodists. This writing duo has a distinguished career collaborating to author Becoming Vegan,
Becoming Vegetarian,
The New Becoming Vegetarian
The Raw Food Revolution Diet

In all of these well-researched books they have given their readers sensible nutritional guidelines for following these lifestyles. This latest work follows their usual high standards.

In the opening chapter of Becoming Raw the authors write, "Our goal in writing Becoming Raw was to assist you in the task of designing a raw or mainly raw vegan diet that is not only nutritionally safe and adequate but also optimal. It is our hope that this book will provide the information that you need to construct a diet that will nourish your body and soul."

The authors confront some of the major questions surrounding the raw vegan lifestyle. Will raw disciples be able to satisfy their nutrient requirements, especially protein and calcium, iron, and B12? Are raw foods like sprouts safe to eat? Do enzymes in raw foods provide health benefits? Does cooking food destroy its nutrients and even make it poisonous? In examining these questions the authors turn to their voluminous research to arrive at the information in the book.

For example, in a section titled The Raw Report: Scientific Evidence to Date, they offer evidence of the health benefits of a raw diet. They present the latest research to support their contention that "Raw vegan diets may very well provide the most effective therapeutic dietary treatment for chronic disease that exists today."

In Why Raw Rocks they show how the phytochemicals and antioxidants in raw foods are beneficial and how harmful fats, refined carbohydrates, sodium, and animal protein damage the body.

Their focus on fiber encourages readers to "RESPECT YOUR ROUGHAGE" and reveals the numerous benefits of fiber in the diet. The World Health Organization recommendation is a minimum of 25 grams of dietary fiber daily, while the average person in the United States ingests only approximately 15. Raw foodists, on the other hand, average close to 50 grams of dietary fiber daily.

Is fat a friend or foe in the raw food lifestyle? The authors explain the answer could be both. Some experts like Dr. Gabriel Cousins recommend an intake of between 10 to 20 percent calories from fat, but many others are more liberal on fat intake.

From their research the authors conclude, "Concentrated fats and oils are among the least nutrient-dense foods in the diet, providing very few nutrients (apart from essential fatty acids and vitamin E) and a lot of calories. These foods may crowd out more healthful foods, making it challenging to meet recommended intakes for many nutrients, especially those that are already marginal in raw vegan diets. For this reason, an upper limit of calories from added fats and oils is suggested, with lower intakes being preferable." Cut the quote down—too long

Davis and Melina do focus on the good fats, those present in whole foods like avocados, nuts, olives, and seeds. They point out an absence of studies that negate the health aspects of these natural foods, but so many that verify their nutrient and antioxidant benefits.

One chapter is devoted to the The Great Enzyme Controversy. The authors examine these five key points in the theory that food enzymes are critical for optimal health.

1. Food enzymes possess a "vital life force."
2. People have a finite ability to produce enzymes over their lifetimes.
3. Insufficient digestive enzymes lead to poor health, chronic disease, and premature death.
4. Cooking destroys enzymes in food.
5. Food enzymes are important for human digestion.

The authors conclude, "Raw food offers many advantages, and food enzymes are among them. There is good evidence that food enzymes play a positive role in health and digestion, although the role appears somewhat different, and less critical, than what proponents of the food-enzyme theory have suggested."

In one chapter of the book historian Rynn Berry provides a historical account of the raw-food movement in the United States, beginning with pioneers like Sylvester Graham and including luminaries like Bernarr McFadden, Herbert Shelton, Norman Walker, and Paul Bragg.

Although there are many books with raw recipes, the authors chose to include 50 pages of recipes that reflect "a cross section of eating styles." Readers will find directions for smoothies, cereals, salads and salad dressings, soups, and desserts. The recipes or recipe ideas came from a number of chefs and cookbook authors. A detailed nutritional analysis is included for each recipe.

The book concludes with a Glossary and an impressive list of the 977 references to support the information presented. The numerous charts make this book a valuable continuing resource. A must read is Top Ten Tips for Optimum Health on a Raw Vegan Diet.

You don't have to be a raw devotee to benefit from reading Becoming Raw because so much of the nutritional information applies to everyone. Anyone who contemplates going raw will find this volume an essential guidebook for achieving success in this lifestyle. For those who have thumbed through numerous diet books to take off extra pounds, this well researched work clearly provides an optimal solution. The authors state it succinctly when they write "A well-designed raw vegan diet can be viewed as the ultimate weight-loss regimen."
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