I mentally log repetitious conversations weather I am apart of them or not. I figure it this way; if I keep hearing, or eavesdropping rather, on the same things, in the same week, might as well post about it (always watch what you say, unless you want it to be a post). This week, its all RAW.
Quite some time ago, before the earth fell in love with bacon again and finally all became right under the sun, many people were avoiding meat altogether. Those same meat-haters all the sudden stopped cooking everything and thus was born raw foodism (I have no clue if that’s the right term). The majority eventually found that living meat-free wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. But the question remained, “should food still be raw”.
The reason for raw
Cooking at high temperatures often lessens the bio-availability of the food we ingest. Meaning, you don’t get what you should out of it. Furthermore, overcooked food becomes carcinogenic and creates a wealth of stomach discord which can lead to all sorts of gut things that show up as fatigue, dry skin, poor performance, acne, all the way to auto-immune disorders.
Another benefit to raw food eating, as it pertains to certain greens, is that cooking actually kills the entire reason for eating it in the first place. Take broccoli for instance; broccoli is a big anti-cancer food when eaten raw, but when you make it all limp and disgusting, it becomes relatively worthless.
A raw trial
There was a time not to long ago when I included raw meat and vegetables in a certain percentage every week. Not because I was sold on the reasons for it, but becasue I wanted to test it. Here is what I learned;
Raw fish is an easy one and the one I used most often. However, I always marinated it something citrusy like lime or lemons. The acid base can guard against parasites, not to mention change the texture, in dishes like Ceviche. If you live somewhere that isn’t super close to fresh fishing this is a big plus.
Tartare, or Carpaccio was another story. When I did this I would always chose grass fed local beef, which we should be doing anyway, and I would still freeze it for about two weeks just because I wasn’t of the human who was doing the handling of the meat. It’s not that I don’t think our bodies can handle it, it’s that I don’t trust human error.
As far as veggies go, some things are just really hard to eat raw. Kale and broccoli for instance take serious work to chew. That alone is one of the benefits as far as weight loss goes simply because you get bored of eating before your finished. This wasn’t the main goal, but an interesting side effect no doubt.
Buy local, and never go to a chain store. If you can eat grain fed meat, or farmed fish raw, I wouldn’t know because I would never try it. I would always recommend, while eating raw or not, attaining all your meat from local sources, and from a butcher like the one here, that knows the exact needs of a Paleo CrossFitter.
When it comes to vegetables, the same rules apply. Stores wax their food to make it look pretty, and Monsanto is forcing places like Whole Foods to carry fake crops without telling anyone, so never, ever, eat that raw….or cooked for that matter.
Personally, when it came to performance and aesthetics, I noticed zero difference. At the time of my raw trials I was only ingesting 15% of my calories from raw sources anyway which may not be enough for a valid test in my opinion. I made sure to have three raw servings of meat per week, and three raw serving of vegetables, the rest was cooked like normal-ultra rare.
Raw eating today is only dangerous because of the environment we live in. It’s not convenient when it comes to procurement, but it still may be worth the work to give it a shot and see if “not” cooking awesome food gives you some sort of edge over the competition. For the active, unrestricted athlete free from derangement, it may be hard to tell a difference. For the athlete with a sea of chronic health issues, raw may be just the thing missing from the menu.
2-Hang split cleans AHAP
EMOM 7 rounds
10-Hang power cleans 95/135
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