Whole Fresh Food
By Eric Karlsson © September 14, 2011 Last update July 25, 2017
This article will give you some basic knowledge about a Whole Fresh Food diet and health. A balanced Whole Fresh Food diet is a powerful and important part of a healthy lifestyle. Science is finding out more and more about the importance of eating fresh fruit and vegetables and the benefit of micro nutrients to prevent and treat modern diseases like cardio-vascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, gastro-intestinal and other diseases. Natural healing practitioners have known for a long time what modern research proves today. By eating a healthy and delicious WFF diet it is possible to avoid a lot of disease and suffering. This at the same time as you reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. Animal agriculture is also the leading cause of logging of the last rainforests and loss of biodiversity. Please read on and if you’d like to know more please come to one of the courses or contact me.
Raw Food is becoming increasingly popular. There are many different concepts and ideas about how to eat raw. Some believe in eating fruit, others in greens, others in sprouts, in grasses, in juices or superfoods etc. Some raw fooders get 60 – 70 % of their calories from fat while others get 5-10 %. Some say certain food like banana, cabbage, coconut oil, quinoa or chocolate are very good while others say they are bad. There are different ideas that combining food in different ways is harmful while others say there is no need to do food combining. This goes to show that a Raw Food diet can vary a lot. This can be very confusing, especially to a beginner.
I believe in eating fresh food the way nature intended us to, balancing the diet on the different foods that are natural to us.
You can often read that we are better adapted to life in the stone age than in the modern world, but talking about diet we are really best adapted to a diet from a time much earlier than that.
Most available to our early ancestors would have been the food that grows on trees; that is mainly fruit and nuts. Creating weapons to kill large animals would have come a long time later. The way our body functions has changed very little and so neither has our needs. We need similar food to other primates who thrive best eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. If you instead of believing in science have faith in the Bible you may consider this quote instead: “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:29
There are reasons we retreated from our original diet. Some reasons may be climate changes, new environments, entering cold climates and shortage of natural food. In the last 10,000 years, agriculture appeared which meant that we have started to eat many new foods never before eaten or eaten only in small quantities. Many of them we are not well biologically adapted to digest. In the last 150 years we have had industry producing food that most of us agree is not food at all.
Today “foods” are produced in large amounts that earlier was not eaten at all, “foods” invented by the food industry. A lot of “foods” has lost its food value through heat, storage, refining and chemicals has been added. Many foods contain very little nutrients other than calories. This global experiment has brought us to an epidemics in cardio-vascular disease, cancer, diabetes etc. Most diseases could be avoided and often cured just by returning to an natural diet. Nowadays there are organisations of medical doctors recommending a wholly plant based diet to counteract the many common and deadly diseases caused by a unnatural diet.
WHOLE FRESH FOOD (WFF)
So what is a natural Raw Fresh Food diet? A lot could be said about this but here is a summary.
Fresh Food, or to be more specific, Whole Fresh Food (WFF) ought to be the base of our diet. I invented the concept Whole Fresh Food in 2007 when planning for the first Fresh Food Festival (not knowing if the term has ever been used before) as I wanted to be more specific than just using Raw Food. The word whole means entire, with all its parts. Nothing is removed from something which is whole. The food has all parts left when we eat it (there are exceptions – we naturally remove skin, husk and seeds of some food). The opposite of whole is refined, separated, extracted, concentrated, fractioned or parted. There are no nutritional advantages to dry or concentrate whole good quality food; it does not make the quality of a food higher.
Good quality Foods are best eaten whole. For instance there is no advantage eating the superfood goji berries dried compared to fresh. The amounts of antioxidants, protein etc. per kilo is higher when dried. But dried foods lack water so you need to drink water instead and the amount of nutrients per berry will not be higher when dried.
Concentrated dried food can never give the same balance. And we do not benefit from taking in more of a nutrient than we need. Drying food is still quite a natural method of preserving food and it gives us the possibility to store it a long time and it is easier to transport. Dried food can also make the transition to WFF diet easier as they can be used to resemble other food for instance when you want to make sweets and desserts. One advantage with dried fruit is that the dried fruit is usually ripe when dried. Fresh fruit sold is often picked unripe and thus doesn’t have all the natural sugars and other nutrients it ought to have. Dried food just as frozen food, can be a valuable complement to WFF because optimal WFF will not always be available to us. But drying doesn’t add any nutritional value to a good quality food. It is good to soak or sprout dried food when possible.
The body of a human can handle a lot without getting sick, but at some point there is a limit. The more we come close to an optimal diet the better and safer it is for our health.
Some qualities, some of them unique to WFF are:
- Capable of growth and reproduction and having natural radiation (alive).
- No nutrient loss.
- Has the advantage of supplying maximum nutrition in maximum balance. No other food has that combined quality.
- Some WFF can supply nutrients so you could live a long time just on a single food item (but this is not recommended).
WFF – the diet as a whole:
- Alkaline forming and varied.
- Supplying multiple nutrients in balanced amounts and always containing water
- Ideally should be fresh, raw, whole, organically grown or wild harvested.
Further some WFF has the advantage that it can be produced almost anywhere where there is soil and in fact even without soil. This also means that it is cheap to produce and when you produce it you can also at the same time get exercise, fresh air and sunshine. WFF can also be produced on balconies and indoors in trays and pots and even be grown in jars. WFF can also be harvested for free wild.
A WFF diet means that you base your diet on fresh fruit and vegetables. This is complemented with naturally concentrated food like nuts, seed and pulses and if you like a smaller amount of dried fruit and vegetables, juices, frozen and cooked food. Nuts and seeds are usually dried when we eat them. But they can be soaked or sometimes sprouted and thus they then have the quality of a WFF. That is of course as long as they are not dried under heat or other factors has destroyed the life force.
Of course on a WFF diet there are no rules saying you cannot drink a fresh juice or eat frozen or dried foods or a cooked meal. How much of your diet is based on WFF is entirely your choice. There is no “must be 100%”. With a 100% WFF diet in a cold climate it may be difficult or impossible (depending on availability) to get a good variation of good quality of WFF and to balance your diet. Then it is better to be a pragmatic rather than to be ridgid and sticking to the idea that everything has to be fresh. There are more important aspects of food and diet than that! In my opinion it is better to eat lightly heated vegetables, buckwheat, mlllet or pulses than to eat poor quality fruit or too much nuts and seeds. By soaking, sprouting and grinding the time needed for heating can be minimized to a few seconds or minutes when maintained on the remaining heat from the stove. This limit the nutrient losses.
Balance is a keyword in nutrition. Although I recommend a plant based diet the one who eat animal products can obviously also eat a mainly or partly WFF diet. To give you some idea, I think that 80 % WFF is quite good. But if you went from 10 % to 50 % WFF in your diet you have done more for your health than if you went from 40 % to 80 %. The main thing concerning diet choices is to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and other good natural food while avoiding the refined food, junk food and non food.
Please notice that some foods called fresh are not fresh food! Bread and cakes may be fresh, meat may be freshly killed, but this is not what I mean by fresh food!
One thing that is important to know is that WFF is generally speaking low in energy.
The following are examples to show how much you need to eat to get 1,000 calories:
(The subject of calories I write about only to illustrate that there is a lot of differences between energy amounts in different foods. Not because I recommend calorie counting.)
In other words to get your calories from iceberg lettuce you have to eat 70 times more in weight than if you eat oil. In volume that is even more! Fruit and vegetables are high in water and vegetables are generally the lowest in calories. This means that you need to eat a lot greater volumes when you eat fruit and vegetables compared to when you eat grain, pulses, animal products, nuts or oil. While early in transition you should not force yourself to eat a lot. It will happen by itself after some time when the body gets used to fresh foods. But then it is important to know that you do need to increase the volumes of food to get sufficient amount of energy. The energy needs are individual and due to a number of factors, (i.e. we do not all need the same amounts). Juicy fresh fruit and vegetables are perfect for weight loss! (But not banana and avocado)
People who go on a raw food diet tend to make costly and sometimes irreversible mistakes. It takes some knowledge to make the WFF lifestyle a healthy one. While some experience only positive changes others run into health problems after a short or longer time. There could be many different reasons for this. Tooth problems are one of the most common problems. It is my duty when promoting WFF to inform about the risks. Please read on for the article “WARNINGS with raw food diets” on the link up to the left.