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If you are intrigued by the current trend of eating real food, want to take this concept to the next level but are skeptical as to how to implement the raw food lifestyle on a practical everyday basis, pick up a copy of Natalia Rose's "The Raw Food Detox Diet, for a fast and fun introduction that does not require a cold turkey approach to eliminating cooked foods.

Rose is in agreement with French dieting guru Michel Montignac on her definition of what constitutes a "legal" food on this plan. Montignac, a long-time proponent of eating real food as opposed to processed junk, urges us to forego the old dieting adage of counting calories and all the newer macro nutritional phobias with regard to too much or too little fat, protein or carbohydrates and instead analyze each food choice with an eye on the food's metabolic reaction with regard to fast and easy bloat-free digestion and elimination.

Rose agrees, emphasizing that whereas natural foods are easily recognizable by the body and therefore easily broken down, utilized and eliminated, the processed foods that make up so much of the typical American diet are deemed by the body as the worst kind of illegal aliens that sadly deteriorate into waste that the body can neither utilize nor expel. Waste in this case, has no other recourse than to morph into a variety of problems like weight gain, a degeneration of the organs, a slowing of the metabolism and premature aging.

By utilizing a method of food combining where mixing foods in different categories is verboten, similar to that of the Montignac method (minus the glycemic index factor), Rose further expands this theory by grouping nuts - an iffy category on most food combining plans (Somersizing immediately springs to mind) - as a separate category (starches, fleshes and fruits being the other three categories) , to be combined only with dried fruits and vegetables.

She provides an extremely helpful hierarchy of eleven types of quick exit foods, where level number 1, the best, contains fruits and vegetables and level number 11, the worst, contains chemicals and artificial colorings and sweeteners. She adds that as eating from quick exit levels 1-8 is doable by everyone; the higher levels of health will be reached when eating only from levels 1-5. In addition an indispensable transitional food grocery list is included to provide brand name items that act as substitutes for mainstream comfort foods that must be eliminated to insure success on this program. She is not a big fan of dairy and as expected pans the consumption of power shakes and bars. Surprisingly she eschews the current 'soy is nirvana' bandwagon, labelling soy products as mucus-forming poisons. Neutral foods, those which may be eaten with any category except fruit include such treats as nut milks, 70% chocolate, olivess and olive oil. how refreshing! Way to go, Ms Rose!

On the practical side, the book abounds with menu plans, recipes, and suggestions on what to eat in a restaurant or at social occasions. For the aspiring raw foodist, separate chapters are dedicated to detoxifying all aspects of your lifestyle including your bathroom, your living space, your kitchen, your family, fasting, traveling, holidays and your colon.

I emailed Ms Rose with questions that pertained to the diet as juxtaposed with my lifestyle and was extremely pleased that the author very pleasantly answered all my questions promptly and professionally and made suggestions that I was able to implement quite easily.

Bottom line: Ms Rose achieves the impossible, a raw food diet that doesn't force you to eat only raw foods, but urges you to discover your own lifestyle at your own pace for achieving optimal health. With a combination of guidelines, recipes and a fresh common sense five part transitional approach, Ms Rose sends you out into unknown territory, with the option of staying on one particular phase of the diet for as long as you wish.
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This is a helpful book to improve your diet. The author stresses vegetables and low starch and refined foods. The science is "iffy"--I'd charitably call it empirical at best. For example, nuts and dried fruits are classed together as fats and I wasn't aware dried fruit had anything but a concentration of fructose and fiber...fat? No. But then, alcohol is said to be metabolized like fat, so perhaps, again, empirically, there is something to be said for this idea.

The author essentially follows the old food combining rules, which Science says is bunk but effectively limits anyone from consuming a huge meal from soup to nuts. Instead, here you eat (drink) vegetable juice, salads, dressings of raw oil and seeds or nuts, and for those not totally into raw-only, steamed vegetables, some fish.

This book is valuable for the recipes, especially "green lemonade" which is a great juice to start the day (a head of romaine, some kale, apple, lemon and ginger. ) There is some fairly good advice on what to base your diet on. The author claims she eats almost exclusively greens and fruits with some nuts. Without a doubt, this diet lacks in vitamin B-12 and even chimpanzees, our close cousins, eat bugs and small critters. So is this really natural? I am not sure that is natural to exclude an important source of an essential nutrient such as eggs and occasional fish and meat, or even wise.

There are a lot of recipes for young coconuts. While I agree this is one food that is delicious and good for you, it's pretty hard to find young, green coconuts in most of middle America, even in places with many Asian ethnic residents. And if you are not handy with a cleaver, they are tough to open. The author does give good advice; keep one hand behind your back no matter what.

One more thing; the author recommends stevia, a sweet-tasting herb which is fine, but substitutes Splenda, which is pretty much dissed in the health community. If you're going all natural, artificial sweetener would probably fall on the first list of "must-avoids." Since stevia is widely available now and is a good natural-based sweetener, why include Splenda? Even a dash of honey, maple or agave syrup would be preferable, in my opinion.

I like this book, but with reservations.
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on May 30, 2005
This book is easy to follow and the diet is even easier. Her recipes are delicious. Even her "Green Lemonade" is so good I look forward to it every morning. My husband and friends have said I have never looked better and I know I have never felt better. It is definitely from all the great food I am now eating.
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on January 26, 2006
The beauty of this book is that the recipes (which are so delicious and flavorful) do not require soaking, sprouting, or dehydrating, as many other raw-food recipes do. This simplifies the food-preparation process and makes the raw-food lifestyle more appealing to time-starved people.

Rose explains food combining and digestion concisely and in a way that makes sense. It has changed the way I think of food. I used to think that if I never had to worry about my weight, I'd eat everything I wanted. Now I think of food in terms of what it'll do to my body on the inside. The weight loss is just an added bonus (I've lost 20 pounds effortlessly). And once you've been eating "clean," you'll feel the difference when you eat something processed--and you won't crave those processed foods, because you know how they'll make you feel (heavy, bloated, and too full). Furthermore, there is no "falling off the wagon" with this way of eating, because, if you do have something you "shouldn't" have, it's so easy to just eat clean at the next meal.

I was so excited by this book that I sent a copy to my mom, and she has experienced the same changes in her body and her attitudes that I have (and on top of that, her hairstylist noticed that her hair has gotten thicker). She then bought a copy for her friend. I also sent a copy to a friend who has Crohn's disease (an intestinal disorder), and after only two weeks, her digestion changed significantly. At the risk of being graphic (but to prove a point to doubters): After following Rose's guidelines, my friend began having solid bowel movements for the first time in more than four years.

As a final note, for those who are concerned about increased grocery bills, consider this: You will no longer buy canned, boxed, or processed foods; you will very likely buy less (or no) meat; and you'll be less likely to order take-out for lunch because you'll have lots of healthy, delicious leftovers. You will also spend less money on supplements, because you'll be getting all the necessary nutrients from your food, and you may never need another antacid. I now shop at a farmer's market, and the prices there are fully one-third less than those at the grocery store. Furthermore, everything I buy gets used--there is no waste (no more half-eaten bags of salad that go bad because I forget they're in the fridge). To maximize the food you buy, I would suggest making a menu each week and sticking to it--it not only ensures that you'll use what you buy, it also eliminates that 30-minute period we all waste figuring out what to have for dinner after a full work day.

If you've been interested in a raw-food lifestyle but don't believe you have the time for it, try "The Raw Food Detox Diet." It will change your life.
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on January 7, 2006
I bought this book because I was interested in increasing the raw food in my diet. I am not a vegetarian, nor do I eat all raw... I am a total beginner who was looking for a place to start and some good recipes. I felt that if I enjoyed eating raw food then I would be more inclined to stick with the program. I enjoyed reading the book and thought the information was valuable. I have started to combine my food correctly when possible and have been more aware of what goes into my body. I got this book from the library first and then realized that I needed to buy it since I kept going back to it. I have tried the Green Lemonade, the Gold Elixir, Oh so Easy Romaine Wraps, Not peanut sauce and several others and they have all been delicious and easy. At the very least this book has me eating healthier and if I continue to incorporate the principles and suggestions I would hope to feel and be healthier as well. Enjoy
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on May 14, 2005
This diet is easy to follow and the results are immediate. I lost at least 10 pounds when I first started and then did not bother to keep track. I am 125 pounds now.

Once my clothes fit nicer and I no longer had that uncomfortable bloating from bad food combinations, I just did not pay attention. Just having a flatter tummy made me happy.

I felt great and looked better. I also recieved alot of compliments.

I enjoy using the juicer and blender recipes. They are fun and tasty for the whole family. I recommend this diet to anyone because it works and you are never hungry. You can eat as much as you want as long as you do not miscombine.

Mrs. Sonja Tremont Adams Morgan
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on December 27, 2005
I have been a vegan for over a year and for the past couple of months I have been interested in the raw-foods lifestyle. It seems like a natural progression, for me, to explore this because though I love being a vegan, I knew in the back of my mind that eating a lot of processed and packaged (albeit vegan) product was still not the way to go. I knew I needed to get back to basics even if a raw lifestyle seems intimidating.

This is the main reason I like this book. The unforced transition and the personal choice of progression are reasonable and seem the only way to sustain a healthier lifestyle. To be honest, when I bought the book, I didn't realize there would be such an emphasis on weight loss. I was not as interested in that as simply maximizing my health. And personally, I believe major concentration on weight loss vs. maximum health keeps people in the cycle of gaining and losing. I don't think there is enough of this to weigh down my review negatively, however. My only other complaint is that she makes some comment about how no one in this country suffers from hunger, and I thought that was elitist and untrue. It was only one sentence, but it did jar my view of Ms. Rose.

STILL, the basic philosophies & her basic information in the book were enough to spark a lot of intrigue and it caused me to research more about questions she had raised. For example, she is a bit vague about why soy is bad, but this did cause me to look into it more.

I decided to try the "raw till dinner" suggestion, Level 3, because I have had a pretty healthy regime. However, I was fairly nervous to do this, especially eating only fruit until noon and giving up most of the soy. I told myself I would see how I felt in a few days and if I was starving or felt depleted of energy, I would stop. I am a big breakfast person and I am sincerely surprised, nearly shocked, that Raw Till Dinner has not been that hard. I've been on this for 10 days; through the holidays even! I went off the exact plan maybe a couple times without guilt and the day after Christmas I had lost a pound, which as I said earlier I was not trying to do. I plan on staying on the Raw Till Dinner plan permanently or until I feel inclined enough to go to Level 2. Btw, this book also made me feel less intimidated by the juicing experience. I received a jr. juicer for Christmas and I was so glad to discover that juicing is really quite simple -- and delicious!

I do feel great and I appreciate the guidance in the book.
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on January 26, 2007
This book is practical for the average Joe. It doesn't preach 100% raw, just 50-75% and raw until dinner. I lost 30lbs in 3 months, and have maintained my weight for 2 months. My gout has disappeared with no meds. This book changed my life.
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on January 22, 2007
After doing a colon cleanse, I wanted to continue the journey and found this book. My husband and I were truly ready for more of a change.

I have been very pleased with all of the recipes in this book so far. I'm totally addicted to 'pecan pie'. The dressings are fabulous - love the Liquid Elixir.

There is definitely nothing lacking in flavor in any of these recipes.

The information regarding health is excellent. I'm a Holistic/Natural Health Consultant. I would refer this book to any of my clients ready for a change.
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on May 20, 2005
"I highly recommend The Raw Food Detox Diet book by Natalia Rose if you want to lose weight and obtain very useful information on optimum health, vitality and overall wellness. The book contains a ton of absolutely delicious, surprisingly easy yet guilt free recipes. It educates you with a no-nonsence approach about detoxing and cleansing your body effectively for noticeable results. Since I have incorporated this knowledge into my own life, I lost weight, feel and look much better and have renewed vigor and fitness."
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