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The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss (Raw Food Series) Paperback – December 26, 2006
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About the Author
Natalia Rose works with some of the world's most health- and body-conscious men and women. Her private practice is in the heart of midtown Manhattan, where she is sought after by a wide variety of clients, including models, actors, socialites, and media personalities. She has been in private practice for more than ten years and has also served as the nutrition director for the Elizabeth Arden Spa on Fifth Avenue and the Frédéric Fekkai salons and spas.
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I just finished reading The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. Published in 2005, I opened this book with mild expectations--would the information already seem dated within the 11 year post-publication span? Regardless if this was or wasn't the case, I selected Rose's book because I was looking to obtain information that would meet my needs at this point in life. I am in the market for a lifestyle change, and want to be convinced. Having started reading about raw lifestyles years ago, I find that these books are a great way to get going. The optimistic, motivational writing style makes it seem like such program is do-able, dare I say even easy, in addition to being the key to maintaining a naturally youthful appearance, clean body cells, and better quality of life. I don't doubt any of these effects; however, Rose lost me on more than one occasion.
One of the pros about Rose's perspective concerns cooked food. To put it plainly, cooked foods are not eliminated from one's eating repertoire. It definitely surprised me to read such information in a raw food book, but I believe such perspective also works in this book's favor. I was given the impression that one should try to eat as raw as possible, but that if cooked food consumption happens it's not the end of the world. As long as the cooked ingredients are of the utmost quality (processed and artificial foods are, obviously, the ultimate no-no,) cooked food in moderation is acceptable. I could be wrong, but I feel like Rose would be okay with people eating a 50% or more raw diet daily. This in itself maintains my hope of success. That, and she didn't completely bash coffee--now that's my kind of girl :)
With this being said, Rose didn't have to do much convincing for this reader. I'm already a strong advocate for a diet rich in whole foods. I believe that going raw vegan is best for one's health (and to be clear, Rose does NOT suggest everyone go vegan, or even vegetarian, in this book), and try to live by this principle as best as I can. But that therein is the problem--I try but ultimately cannot commit 100% to such lifestyle. Temptations are stronger than my willpower, and I will be damned if I can walk away from one of my mom's home cooked meals (OMG mom's cooking--the BEST!) in favor of a carrot stick. (Exaggerated for effect, of course.) So on page 34 when Rose begins her discussion of "quick exit foods in quick exit combinations" I was a goner.
Essentially, this is the rationale of quick exit combinations: There are four basic food categories (starches, fleshes, nuts/seeds/dried fruit, and fresh fruit), and these combinations should never mix in a meal with some exceptions. Now, I have two masters' degrees in fields that are founded on critical thinking, and even I had to read this chapter a couple of times to:
A.) get over the shock of what I was reading, and
B.) understand how to properly combine a meal
Raw veggies are permissible to be combined with pretty much anything, and cooked veggies have more leeway as well; however, eating, lets say, a bowl of oatmeal and a banana in the same sitting is BAD, BAD, BAD! Rose explains this is due to the taxing energy it takes the body to digest certain types of foods. Consuming raw fruit that has been improperly combined leads to fermenting in the stomach, and thus does not allow the body to absorb the full nutritional benefits of the food. Negative consequences of this are gas and tiredness, to name but a few. As a result, raw fruit should only be eaten on its own with a good two hour minimum lapse (the time it takes for fruit to leave the stomach--the time is actually shorter than this, but I use this figure to be on the safe side) before consuming any other category of food.
Now, I'm going to be fair and say that I absolutely agree with Rose. Who hasn't experienced a "food coma" before? Exactly. But, c'mon now. If I'm getting up in the morning and eating a banana and a rice cake together, I'm not going to kick myself. For those of you who are able to separate your food categories and only eat within them, more power to you! But this little cookie enjoys having a handful of raw almonds with mixed berries, thank you very much. If it means I'm going to wrinkle sooner and have post-consumption lethargy, then so be it. I applaud Rose for putting this theory out there, but admit I was a little annoyed by how "easy" she makes such a change seem. One need only look at how the majority of complete meals in human history is organized to see that category combination is internationally steadfast. The suggestion to completely reconstruct this system on a seeming whim is underestimated.
She also underestimates the cost of her program. Rose is a juicing advocate, which is great, but the amount of vegetables one has to purchase for one serving of one juice is high. She addresses the issue a bit in the book and offers suggestions of foods to purchase for us poo' folk, but my perception was that she dances around the reality of what her program will cost. (Rose states that she spends $800/month on groceries for her family. This was 11 years ago. Even today, that figure seems awfully high to me!) So don't worry kiddies, for those of you who can't swing juicing an entire head of romaine, 5-6 stalks of kale, 1-2 apples, 1 organic lemon, and fresh ginger EVERYDAY for ONE juice using the $350 juicer that she recommends... I'm right there with you.
Rose also lost me on enemas and colonics and foot propping while pooping. Yep.
Anyway, from this point Rose has you take a short quiz to see where you fall on the detox transition level (I fell into level 3--accurate), and then gives you a tailored diet for detoxification. It's helpful, and her suggestions are not as difficult as it may seem for the short term. Following this guide, she provides chapters that offer suggestions for how to make the raw lifestyle applicable to one's everyday activities long term. As to be expected, such way of living is full of challenges. Thus, it is important to stay focused, maintain willpower, and have a positive outlook. Remember why you were drawn toward going raw in the first place, and keep this close during times of tempting derailment.
Overall, I DID enjoy this book. It gave a good kick in the pants to get healthy! And, it also set a high bar to aspire towards once one gets the hang of the raw lifestyle. I'm very thankful that resources like this exist to bring one the suggestion to live a healthier, happier, more enriched life.
A quick note: I found an "oops" on page 186 where she suggests bringing Splenda to work... Ha! I think the presumed ghostwriter meant Stevia. :)
I think I was trying to actually find a book about a diet that didn’t mix certain foods with others. No starch with fruit etc. Lost my train of thought and ended up buying this book instead. Happy with purchase. Raw is the way to go!
Her writing style is very simple, conversational and a similar style expected from any diet or nutrition books. Natalia's book takes you through the effects of a poor diet, sadly nicknamed as the American diet, and the pre-mature aging you can cause your body by the poor choices you make in every occasion. The core of her message is detoxing our bodies with a more raw food diet and as a result, clarifying our minds.
The weight loss and feeling fabulous follows naturally as a consequence of eating a more raw food diet and drinking green juices. Detoxing is a hip word these days. I first heard it from my cousin in Canada and just had to look into it. In October'07, I was on a wonderful trip in Germany and funny enough, it is exactly when I felt most helpless for not being able to control my body weight, something I had never had a problem with. During the 3 years before 2007, the infamous 15 pounds had slowly crept in. Not being able to make it vanish as swiftly as in my 20s created an emotional and psychological barrier to success in my mind.
What attracted me to Natalia was her flexibility to a practical approach. With all her strictness, she makes room for negotiables and provides many modified approaches to raw food diet approach. I wanted an eating style that was very simple, based on as much raw natural organic fresh food as possible, and yet not limited to just those foods. Natalia provides that flexibility through varying phases of adoption of her ultimate approach to eating.
Natalia takes you through her cleansing system, her reasons for juicing, and most importantly, her raw food combinations. Not eating certain things is challenging no doubt, but combining foods with new rules is an ever-present difficulty for me. The most difficult modification has been the Fruit Rules, as I call them:
Eat fruit only on an empty stomach and in the mornings.
Never combine fruits with anything else except raw vegetables.
Abstain from eating fruit after dinner or any meal.
Natalia's reasons for the Fruit Rules are simple: Fruit eaten on an empty stomach exits the body in 30min to an hour. She believes fruits eaten on a full stomach, especially after a cooked meal, will fester and the acids will do damage to your intestines, and hinder digestion for the meal and the fruit itself. I have relaxed some of my fruit rules since reading this book but I enjoyed following her rules when I could.
Among other surprises in this book is Natalia's hard-core theory on eating light-to-heavy, where dinner is your biggest meal, and if you will be having foods not on any of the cleansing programs, best to do it later in the day than earlier. She explains in detail how the food reacts and breaks down in the body and her take on what best to avoid and what best to enjoy.
Natalia's single favorite food has got to be the avocado. Avocado is delicious; even all by itself, it makes a filling and delicious snack. My relationship with it has grown tremendously since it has become a regular part of my diet, especially at breakfast. I like to mix it with some raw vegetables - carrots, celery, cucumbers - and sometimes raw nuts, pine nuts or almonds. Avocado does wonders for your internal organs and the natural fats from the vegetable are particularly beneficial to your body as a nutrient.
The book is filled with great fun creative recipes for an all raw-food diet, semi raw food diet, smoothies and juices. I have made the delicious Liquid Gold Elixir, in my blender and love the taste by itself or in my salads.
For the "Green lemonade", a recipe for one of her green juices, I have modified her recipe to add some of my ow favorite vegetables. It's heaps more fun to be creative and I suggest that when you first start juicing, keep everything in a Juicing Journal, because your taste buds are unique and you will forget the combinations you liked and those you did not, so best to write about it.
Loved loved this book and use it as reference all the years since 2007. Must read if you are thinking of going for a more raw-food based diet.