I gave raw food a try a while back for somewhere around forty five days. I bought a dehydrator, made a lot of my own foods, and bought the rest from the Whole Foods raw bar. In the end, I didn't stick with it. Here's why:
Despite all of those reasons, I always had it in the back of my head that I would become raw later. The dogma just sounds so good, and it's hard to argue against eating anything as raw and unprocessed as possible. Once I could afford to hire a chef or eat every meal out, I'd do it, I thought. But recently I learned something that changed my opinion. Barring any overturning evidence, I will never be primarily raw.
As it turns out, we've been eating cooked food for TWO MILLION YEARS. Two million! While we haven't had time to evolve to a refined grain diet, we have certainly evolved to eat cooked foods.
Just because we've evolved to eat something, of course, does not mean that it's good for us. But cooked food may be more than good, it may be why we are human in the first place. According to Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire, the reason we evolved big brains is because cooking enabled us to get more nutrients from the same amount of food.
Raw foodists like to talk about enzymes being killed when you heat food over a certain temperature (116, if I remember correctly). That's true, I'm sure. What they don't like to talk about are the nutrients that are made available by cooking.
All that said, my objections are only to the lifestyle, not to the meals. Besides eating a lot of raw nuts and fruits, I like eating at raw restaurants from time to time. I visit Pure Food and Wine in New York every time I get to the city. In particular, raw desserts are the best healthy desserts out there (except, possibly, for the cookies my sister makes).
I used to walk into McDonalds and often times I wouldn't be charged for my food. Why? Because I went there so frequently and brought so many friends, that they knew I was good for business. My favorite meal was the Fishwich, a mighty sandwich made with a bun, american cheese, a deep fried fish patty, and a generous portion of tartar sauce. To fully sate my appetite I always supersized.
My parents had always encouraged me to eat healthy. I just didn't see the point. I felt good, I wasn't fat, and I never got sick. Why fix what isn't broken? I was thankful for my good metabolism and assumed that eating healthy was for people who didn't have it so good.
Then a couple years ago I watched Super Size Me. I watched it for entertainment, but it was the first time I began to believe that what I ate actually mattered. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. When subjected to a McDonalds only diet, the creator became depressed, lethargic, and generally didn't feel too well. That was the day I stopped eating fast food.
Its official now, my friend has agreed to the bet. He is a sincere and tough fellow who intends to donate the amount to charity if I fail.
Terms and Conditions:
Start date: Aug 15th 2013
Party A agrees to pay an amount of rupees 20,000 to party B in case of failure of the reaching following goal:
Loosing 4 inches of waistline in 2 months