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raw food diet: isn’t steaming good? and, my kids come back sick

Robyn Openshaw - Jul 28, 2009 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Update: Yep.All four of my kids puked their guts up at their dad’s family reunion.Just like always.Poor little guys. (Well, one of them is 6’2″, not that little, huh?)Back to the green smoothie diet!So happy to have my kids back.It’s my job to help them recover.

My daughters come back from an extended period away, wanting to cleanse.I told the girls today to sit down and brainstorm a list of fruits and veggies they want me to buy for them.That way they’re in the driver’s seat, eating things they like, and I get my way, too (high nutrition, mostly raw food diet).Remember that old prayer asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the will to change the things I can?I can’t change what their dad feeds them.   (My girls report that their aunts and uncles all provided a vegetarian option to the menu made for everyone else on the nights they cooked, which was sweet.)But I CAN help them cleanse and drop unwanted pounds when they’re home.Once the girls came home and said, “Mom, we want to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for three days.Can you help us do that?”(Of course I can.)

Still talking about the raw food diet today.Everybody, including nutritionists, suggest steaming.I’d rather have you eat steamed broccoli than no broccoli!(I personally do not enjoy raw broccoli unless it’s chopped small and in a really yummy salad.NO, NOT THE KIND WITH BACON.)

But that broccoli is still heated to well over 212 degrees, and vitamins and enzymes die over 116 degrees.And mineral salts are lost and deanimated.Cooking, even steaming, destroys indoles in vegetables, which are wonderfully anti-carcinogenic.

Worse, when you cook things, free radicals are created.(Free radicals are unpaired molecules that destroy cells and cause cancer.Antioxidants in raw foods mop them up.)Some amino acids (lysine and glutamine) in proteins are destroyed by cooking.You probably already know what high heats do to fats: alter them to become trans fats that are highly destructive carcinogens.And when fiber in food is cooked, it is slimy and soft and doesn’t have the broom-like power to clean the intestine any more.

I do eat cooked plant food and make no apologies for it.But I make every meal or snack at least 60% raw food, and often it’s 80% or more.Then you’re supplementing the cooked foods with enzymes.Doing this regularly will have a dramatic effect on your youthfulness.

On a related topic, here’s the dehydrator I recommend, by the way, to make crunchy snacks like in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps, preserving enzymes and vitamins:

Posted in: Green Smoothies, Relationships, Whole Food

11 thoughts on “raw food diet: isn’t steaming good? and, my kids come back sick”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So sorry to hear about your kids. Will it be hard for them to go next year? It sounds a bit traumatizing! I am very curious as to what 3 days of a fruit and vegetable cleanse for kids would look like. I have two daughters, 12 and 16 who I would love to have cleanse before going back to school next month and facing the usual junk food there. I’ve been giving them a green smoothie most days. One will drink it easily and the other with much complaining! Thanks so much for all your valuable information. It is helping our family.

  2. http:// says:

    Hi Robyn

    I’ve heard somewhere that we should not eat raw and cooked food at the same meal. Is this true?


  3. Anonymous says:

    My baby just turned 1 and has been on formula for the past 6 months. New to GS, slowly doing the 12 step program with the family. Me and my husband love it, kids we are struggling with. Robyn, you mentioned goats milk which I would like to try with him, how long do you keep your kids on it, how much a day, and where do you buy it. I live in Pleasant Grove and am struggling with the cost of all this good food! He has struggled with eczema and diaper rashes and want to see if it helps

  4. http:// says:


    By this time in my life I have finally learned that I do not have to justify my choice to eat raw or to not get sick from what I eat! Hopefully our kids will learn that too… the hard part is when they are too young to go get their own food. I encourage you to teach your kids to stand up for and respectfully communicate to their dad what they need from him.

    Maybe sending them with some raw snacks they can eat instead of what is available. OR… what if they were to put together a shopping list – with exact amounts for minimal waste – and request that he take them to the store when he picks them up?

    They are old enough to make many things on their own……..

    Maybe they could ask him for a VitaMix of their own for an early Christmas present to have at his house and the oldest could make smoothies for them when they are there. Or you could send a loaner that traveled with them to his place. It seems that it would be worth most anything not to spend a weekend sick every time they were with him. Sooner or later he should get tired of them being sick when they are with him.

    Have they told him they don’t want to go because they keep getting sick when with him? Not disrespecfully of course but no one likes to be sick on a regular basis!

    Maybe if they sat down with him and explained how they felt he might listen….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Could stopping raw foods cause me to get a cold?

    I’ve had a crappy diet for the past 8 days because we have NO fruits or veggies in the house and I haven’t had time to go to the store. I finally went last night so I could make a green smoothie this morning. What happened? I woke up with a cold. Stuffy head, sore throat, feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. I ate my green smoothie this morning, but about halfway through I almost threw up and I couldn’t eat any fruits or veggies the rest of the day without feeling nauseous. I could stomach junk (chicken sandwich and fries) though.


  6. Anonymous says:

    A Chinese Accupuntarist that we were going to told us not to eat “cold” food. They believe that it makes the body work too hard to warm it up. She asked us to just lightly steam our veggies for a minute to warm them up. They are not fully cooked, but are just barely warm. My husband, who didn’t like cold food, has found them much easier to eat this way. Hopefully this is not destroying all the good nutrients.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Chris —

    My coworker from China told me the exact same thing. She is trying to eat healthfully, and is trying to get interested in salads. She said that the Chinese simply do not eat vegetables cold, particularly salads. I thought that was pretty interesting.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Chinese medicine offers some very good things. And also some nonsense. Just be careful not to believe everything in the name of “the Chinese do this.” If someone won’t eat cold food, getting sufficient enzymes is going to be a problem. I’d rather see him eating barely cooked vegetables than a host of other things available in our food supply though! 🙂 All enzymes do die above 116 degrees, and lots of minerals and vitamins are destroyed or altered as well.

    I think there’s lots of evidence that when we don’t eat well, we weaken our body so that it’s more vulnerable to attack (from viruses and bacteria). I would bet most of you, if I asked, have noticed this with your own body and health.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Just be careful not to believe everything in the name of “the Chinese do this.””

    This is exactly what I think every time I hear about the China Study.

  10. http:// says:

    Ah, but the China Study has nothing to do with “ancient Chinese medicine.” That’s simply the place that the Oxford and Cornell researchers found their two study groups. Very different thing. It’s an incredibly well designed, longitudinal study.

    Not eating cooked and raw in the same meal? If you’re going to eat cooked, I would highly recommend you do so WITH at least 60-80% raw so the enzymes provided by the raw food help you break down the cooked food. I don’t agree with that at all. The worst thing would be to eat cooked food and nothing else (in any meal/snack).

  11. http:// says:

    Lynn, thanks. I gave my ex a BlendTec when he left. He uses it for fruit smoothies only now. My girls know how to use it. I have encouraged them to share with their dad (who is in no way interested in my opinion on what he feeds them) their needs/wants about purchasing and preparing food.

    One of my daughters is at war with her dad over her vegetarianism. I hope for both their sakes, and for their new stepmom’s sake, that my daughter relaxes her hostility over the issue and that her dad gets more supportive of her dietary choices.

    Meantime, both my girls have to struggle with what many do, whose families are not supportive of a GSG diet: can we say no to the poor dietary choices when they are right there in the house with you? That makes it infinitely tougher. Both my daughters are concerned about weight gain. (My boys don’t struggle–they just indulge!)

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