Before I read 'Becoming Raw' by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, I had mixed feelings about raw food diets. Even though I eat a fair amount of raw food, I couldn't imagine living 100% raw.
In the recent past, when people talked about adopting a raw food diet, I wasn't exactly enthusiastic, because I had a lot of doubts about nutrition and calories. And my ignorance troubled me.
But I had a feeling that 'Becoming Raw' would probably tell me everything I needed to know about raw food diets. I was right - this is THE essential guide to raw vegan diets.
I have to say that after reading their latest book, I'm still not a raw foodie, but all my questions have been answered (and then some). I think that I can now talk somewhat sensibly about raw food!
'Becoming Raw' jumped right into addressing my concerns about raw food and health, explaining why people go raw, the history of raw, exploding the myths, detailing the theories, and laying out the facts about raw food diets.
Davis and Melina rely on science, but they're aware of the limitations of science set against the value of food traditions. The entire book has a balanced, thorough, factual, sensible, but sympathetic approach to raw foods.
Raw nutrition is very well explained and illustrated, with extensive nutrition charts and food lists. The authors tell us exactly how to get enough protein, carbohydrates, calories and vitamins on a raw food diet, covering essential fatty acids, enzymes, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, calcium, and other vital nutrients.
The chapter on nutrition guidelines and menus has a nice summary: "Top Ten Tips for Optimum Health on a Raw Vegan Diet", which would be useful for anybody to follow. The six sample menus followed by a great collection of recipes are extremely helpful, in my opinion.
The great news about raw food diets is that they're bursting with tasty nutrition. Except for Vit. D and Vit B12 (most of us need to supplement those), you can get everything you need for glowing health as a raw foodie. And it's a fantastic weight loss diet!
The bad news about raw food diets, for me at least, is that it seems necessary to spend an unbelievable amount of time figuring out how to get enough calories, foraging, preparing food, and eating.
I don't know if I'm up for chopping & chewing a half bushel of kale a day, but I feel a lot more comfortable and enthusiastic about raw food now that I've read this book. I'm excited about sprouting things - like quinoa. And I want to try raw coconut macaroons!
I highly recommend 'Becoming Raw' for anyone, from those who are very interested in raw food diets - to total sceptics. It's always good to know the truth.