Raw Food Potlucks: Helpful or Harmful?

Are raw food potlucks helpful?

One of the first things I learned about when getting interested in raw foods was the raw food potlucks. They were recommended to me to learn more about the lifestyle, meet other raw foodists and learn new recipes.

After a few months I did learn those things; met others at all points of their journey to better health, learned new recipes, resources and lifestyle ideas.

Over the years, I made an important distinction. Long term raw foodists don't normally eat the foods brought to a raw food potluck.

Why?

I've determined that raw food potlucks are most beneficial to those new to the lifestyle, those looking to make a change for their health, making new friends or those curious and wanting to learn more.

Long term raw foodists can be helpful to those that are new and provide guidance, although do not normally eat much at the potlucks. Since many who attend are new, they create dishes that are high in fat, lack proper food combining principles or are gourmet style recipes (all of course are great once in a while). For those experienced in raw foods, this type of meal is affectionately called "combo mambo" since the food combining is not the best and there are all sorts of foods mixed together when you try a little of this and that.

I noticed after about a year that eating at potlucks was no longer pleasurable. It often brought indigestion, gas and uncomfortable feelings. You see, as you progress in eating raw foods, you start to prefer simpler meals and normally combine foods naturally. Eating a combination of different foods that are normally high in fat (nuts, pates, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, etc) and normally more than just a bite can easily upset a digestive system that has been already cleaned and prefers simpler foods.

In fact, as I now bring simpler dishes, interestingly enough, they are not as popular as the more 'gourmet' meals I once brought. Most seem to enjoy the fancier foods that resemble cooked food dishes - just with raw ingredients.

So are potlucks helpful?

Absolutely!

First, they are a great support network for those interested in learning more about better health, raw foods and recipes. Second, as you learn and become more experienced, you can be helpful to others just starting out and looking for answers. Many long term 100% raw fooders I notice don't eat much at the potlucks and spend most of the time sharing with others. I've learned to do the same, and often eat prior to attending and bring a simpler meal for others to enjoy.

You also make new friends and can build long term relationships with like-minded individuals in your area... which can be very helpful when making changes like this in your life.

You can learn more about the potlucks in your area by visiting: http://www.livingnutrition.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodnetwork.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodinfo.com/directories/dir_rawpotlucks.html

To your best health!

Mark

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Attack on the Raw Food Diet?

Posted on August 21st, 2009 in children,raw diet,raw food,raw vegan diet,vegan diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 23 Comments »

Several times this past week I have been attacked for making suggestions and encouraging the raw food diet. One in particular was from a 'fitness professional' that lashed out at my so called criticism and promptly removed my comments from her blog.

What was my crime?

Traveling on the Raw Food Diet?

Posted on July 9th, 2009 in raw diet,raw food,raw vegan diet,travel,traveling,trip,vegan diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 8 Comments »

One of the things many talk about when transitioning to a raw food diet is 'how do I travel when eating raw?'.

Some look at it as a challenge, some as an obstacle, some as the natural thing to do.

Too Much Weight Loss on a Raw Food Diet?

Posted on May 21st, 2009 in diet,eating,raw diet,raw food,raw food weight loss,raw vegan diet,vegan diet,weight loss by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 25 Comments »

Most of those interested in the raw food diet are looking to lose weight... to release extra weight. But some are concerned about maintaining their weight when transitioning to a raw food diet.

Here's a question I received recently:

Vegan Raw Diet Turns Me Into a Billy Goat?

Posted on March 8th, 2009 in diet,eating,exercise,meals,raw diet,raw food,vegan diet,video by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 4 Comments »

With spring warming up the Arizona environment, I decided to go for a hike today. Unlike 99% of Arizonan's, I enjoy hiking when it's warm... or better yet, hot, so today's higher temperatures and sun made it a perfect day to head to one of my favorite hiking spots, South Mountain.

Now, I haven't been hiking for about 4 months, partly because of the lack of heat as I mentioned, and expected to take a leisurely hike to 'break' myself in to a new season.

Well, it wasn't a leisurely hike, and not by choice.

You see, as soon as I started up the mountain, I had an urge to move quickly. I felt light on my feet and ran in parts up the mountain. Then it happened.

As I passed a group of hikers one gentleman who was trudging along mentioned that I resembled a 'billy goat climbing up the mountain without hesitation'. We all laughed and I continued on, like a 'billy goat'.

Then I got to thinking. 

Never in my 13 years of hiking had I ever felt this energentic. Especially after taking the winter off. I mean, there were times today when I felt I was gliding up with energy that didn't stop. I'll say this... it was near effortless. And this is 13 years after I starting hiking regularly.

I ran up many parts on the way up, and all the way down. I wasn't tired and felt I could continue after the hour long excursion up and down the mountain. Here are some pictures and video:

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So why am I telling you this?

Well certainly not to impress you, but instead to impress upon you what is normal for a person that eats a natural diet and stays active. A raw vegan diet mainly consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables and a small amount of nuts or seeds. A low fat raw diet. I say this because there has been controversy within the raw community lately on which is better. More about that in another post coming soon.

You see, the longer I've followed eating simple whole foods and stayed active regularly, the more benefits I experience. Not a 'hollywood' style raw diet, or the gourmet raw food diet, or a high fat raw diet, or the raw junk food diet. Mainly simple fruits and vegetables, leafy green salads, and smoothies. This goes along with the theory I uncovered in Arnold Ehret's Mucules Diet Healing System and in Paul Nison's talk 'The Formula for Health' that the less obstruction you have in your body, the greater the power and more importantly, the vitality you experience. You see, the fewer obstructions you 'put' in your body, ie, cooked and processed foods, stress and toxins in the form of mucus, the more vitality you experience. And after almost 5 years of being 100% raw, with many adjustments, tests, trials and errors, I've finally and clearly experienced that greater vitality. It's been sneaking up on me the last few months and none clearer than today.

Another factor was conditioning. Although I hadn't hiked during the winter, I stayed active working out at least 6 days a week. Normally 30-45 minutes a day including running and body weight exercises. I do and recommend the two exercises fellow raw vegan coach Roger has put together, and added my own twists to expand them and create a quick routine where I can exercise at home fast or at my local park. No equipment or health club expenses, just a quick daily workout routine.

You can learn more about what I've learned, what I recommend, get regular and exclusive meal recipe videos, meal plans, shopping tips, eating tips, your questions and answers and much more at our new site, Learn Healthy (Raw) Meals. This makes transitioning to a raw vegan diet straightforward with a plan and gives answers to your questions.  Check it out while the free trial is available. The feeling is incredible, share in this amazing experience with me!

To your best health!

Mark (aka the billy goat)

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