- Associated Press - Sunday, July 30, 2017

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) - Maple City Market Co-op is interested in helping people uncover their whole self.

“We really do have that overfed and undernourished dynamic for a lot of folks,” Imbur said.

July 20 the co-op held a raw foods instructional meeting where they discussed how to incorporate raw foods into daily meals, ways to get started and health benefits of eating raw foods.

“Our bodies do have a certain amount of intelligence and ability when they’re treated right or given optimal conditions to convert (food) into the things that we need,” Greg Imbur, five year member of the co-op, said.

Dar Dechant, a 10-year raw foods expert, explained to the class that the enzymes in the food are the workers of the food. She recounted a story taught in a seminar she once attended.

“He laid some sticks and a hammer and all the things that he needed to build a little bird house. And he went on lecturing, and he said, ‘We’re going to see if that bird house gets built.’ And he talked for a while and nothing was going on and he said, ‘You know what we’re missing? We’re missing the workers.’ And that’s what your enzymes are. They’re the workers.”

She described raw food as having “tags” on it, so that the body knew what to do with it.

“When you heat the food, the tags are gone,” Dechant explained.

“If you were going to improve your house, would you set it on fire?,” she continued. “Any time you heat something, it becomes less. So why would you heat your food? Just eat it raw. It’s really important to have those enzymes.”

Admittedly, Dechant understood that sometimes the raw food diet isn’t for everyone, so she had a few suggestions for individuals interested in trying a few of the principles.

“If you’re going to eat cooked things, eat your raw salad first, because there you’ve got the enzymes.”

She added that eating some foods in the right order, or at the time right time of day is important. For example, the high sugars in fruit cause them to ferment sooner than most other foods. Therefore, they should be consumed before the rest of the meal is eaten, rather than at dessert.

“The hardest thing that your body does is digest food,” she said.

Another suggestion made during the informal class was to consume less meat.

“You’ve probably heard people say before that we’re obsessed with protein in this country and, I mean, protein is something we need - let’s not discount it, but all of the sources of animal protein that we get- I almost don’t want to go there. Our food system has so many problems in it that this is what it’s created. It’s created so many problems for so many of us,” Imbur said. “Animals are eating grass or, you know, grass fed animals- and we don’t have the same digestive system as them, but we may be able to get more protein from plant based sources than we’re led to believe.”

Dechant suggested plants such as mung beans, almonds, chickpeas and other various beans, nuts and sprouts at alternatives for meat-based protein.

For people that aren’t prepared to commit to a raw foods lifestyle, Imbur suggested, “”Try to make part of it raw at every meal.”

“Everybody finds what raw piece works for them,” Dechant added. “I don’t feel like it’s a life sentence. The day that I wake up and I don’t want to do it anymore, okay. But it’s just a really, really simple thing to do.”

Substitutions are a large part of the raw food diet. Dirt cake, regularly made with Oreos can be made with cocoa or cacao powder. Chocolate mousse can be made with avocados, cocoa powder, and dates or bananas. Green beans can be marinated in things like lemon juice, vinegar and cashews.

“It’s really empowering to know that food, if you like that food, there are ways to substitute and be satisfied, it’s not a life of depravity,” Imbur said.

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Source: The Elkhart Truth, https://bit.ly/2uy3dNU

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Information from: The Elkhart Truth, https://www.elkharttruth.com

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