A raw food cleanse enhances raw food health.
The following is an interview with Jinjee Talifero. She is a long-term raw vegan mother to five, home-birthed, home-schooled raw-vegan children and lives with her family in the mountains of Southern California. Her husband Storm, who has been raw for 40 years, is the inspiration behind her successful raw food programs in which she shares his balanced and sustainable menu plan and “Fresh is Best” philosophy of raw food.
Jinjee is the author of several raw food eBooks including Raw Pregnancy, Ecstatic Birth and Raising Raw Children.
RFDM: First off, what is the purpose of raw food?
Jinjee: The purpose of raw food is to provide a diet that is pretty much free of toxins, that consists entirely of foods that were designed by nature, that are structured by the intelligence of the universe, unharmed by heat. The benefits range from weight loss to anti-aging and rejuvenation to healing.
It is important to eat fresh, raw foods because these foods have nutrients. When you cook your foods, you destroy the nutrients. Do you want your food with or without the nutrients? Many people are relying on supplements for nutrients. However, the nutrients in supplements are synthesized from plants; they aren't the real thing. When you absorb a nutrient from a supplement, it can block the absorption of that same nutrient from food because you only need a certain amount of it.
There are micronutrients in foods that have yet to be discovered. We are starting to find electrolytes and phytonutrients, and we keep discovering new vitamins. Only by eating the actual food can you be sure you are getting everything you are supposed to be getting in the way of nutrients. If you choose to get your nutrients from fresh organic produce, you are also supporting the organic farming revolution and you are helping to create a garden planet.
In my view, a lot of the misery on our world comes from the fact that we are far more technologically advanced than we are spiritually advanced. As we start to take in most of our food from fresh organic produce then we will be connecting with the planet and each other in a way that seems to awaken us spiritually. Many people start eating raw and find themselves happier, more aware, drawn to prayer, meditation, yoga, communion, deeper connections in their relationships, a consciousness of the health of the planet, and so on.
RFDM: What is the importance of organic food?
Jinjee: Chemical sprays and fertilizers are toxins that attack the nervous system, respiratory system and reproductive systems of pests. When we look at all the new conditions on the rise in humans which also attack these systems, you start to question if there is a connection. These chemicals also deplete the soil of nutrients, which in turn produces foods that are lower in nutrients.
RFDM: Define a raw food cleanse.
Jinjee: Going from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to a raw food diet is a cleanse, because the raw food diet has about 80% fewer toxins than a SAD diet.
When you stop the ingestion of toxins, your body begins to eliminate the stored toxins within the body. A cleanse is a detoxification of the body.
RFDM: What is the difference between a cleanse with raw foods and a raw food detox?
Jinjee: I wouldn't say there is any difference. Cleanse and detox both mean the same thing.
RFDM: What are the health benefits of doing a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: When you start to cleanse or detoxify the body, you notice numerous health benefits, including weight loss, anti-aging, and mental clarity. Aches and pains can vanish, and all sorts of health problems can clear up. A raw food detox is a wonderful cleanse because you can still eat, you are still taking in calories, they are just clean calories.
RFDM: Who should do a raw food detox and who should not?
Jinjee: I believe a raw food cleanse can be beneficial to anybody. People who don't wish to lose weight or who need additional calories, like athletes, pregnant women and nursing mothers should add raw fruits, vegetables, salads, nut milks, smoothies or juices in between meals as needed. As long as they aren't starving themselves, a raw food cleanse is safe, simply because it is a nutrient-dense diet, meaning that it has a high density of nutrients per calorie.
RFDM: If I am pregnant, can I, should I, do a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: There are different opinions on this. Some of the Naturopathic Doctors in the raw field believe that you should not go raw or detox while pregnant. My personal belief is that my body has the wisdom not to detox in a way that will harm the baby. By doing The Garden Diet 28 Day Raw Transition Program and leaving out the Deep Cleansing Week, one can go raw very gently in a way that provides a very slow detox. I have often taken my diet to a cleaner level during a pregnancy and only had positive results.
RFDM: What happens after I am done with a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: Ideally, you would continue with a raw food diet. In both our 21 Day Cleanse and on our 28 Days Raw Program week two is the Deep Cleansing Week. The other weeks are examples of a regular raw vegan diet that is sustainable for the long haul.
RFDM: What kind of kitchen tools do I need if I want to do this detox?
Jinjee: A vegetable juicer, a high-powered blender, a citrus juicer and a food processor are all we use in our programs.
RFDM: What is mono eating and why is it beneficial?
Jinjee: Mono eating is the practice of eating only one food at a time. People find it beneficial for digestion in that it does not confuse the stomach. Our cleanse is not a mono eating menu, except for a few of the meals in the Deep Cleansing Week, which is more of a fasting week. A mono diet is a nice fast, but generally not interesting enough for most people as an ongoing lifestyle.
RFDM: Many detoxing/cleanses suggest fasting. Why?
Jinjee: Fasting is the quickest way to detox and cleanse. However, in my view, unless there is a life-threatening condition that warrants a liquid or water fast, a slower and more gentle approach is more ideal because a detox crisis is not as likely.
RFDM: Other than raw foods, what specific kinds of food do you eat on a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: Other than raw foods, we do not eat any other foods on our cleanse. Some raw food cleanses may include supplements and powdered superfoods. Our raw food detox includes only fruits, greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouts. We do also include olive oil, flax oil, raw honey, unrefined sea salt (Celtic Sea Salt), raw carob powder, olives, chickpeas, and dried herbs.
RFDM: Should I take any supplements during a raw food cleanse? Can I take my medicine during a raw food cleanse?Jinjee:
Although we do not suggest the use of supplements, I think this is a really personal decision. If someone is having great results with supplements I might suggest taking a break from them anyway while doing our cleanse to see how they feel. If they feel better with the supplements then I suggest they take them. I do suggest people continue with any medicine they are taking. They should remain under the care of their physician who will recommend they discontinue their medication if and when their condition improves.
RFDM: How long does a typical raw food cleanse take?
Jinjee: Our cleanse is 21 days and we also have a 28 Day Transition-to-Raw Program. Other raw cleanses range from 7 days to 90 days.
RFDM: What are the health benefits of doing a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: When you eliminate the toxins of a SAD diet, you can expect to quickly return to abundant health, your ideal weight, and the most beautiful you that you can be. When you eat a natural diet you assume your natural shape. Some unexpected side benefits include increased mental clarity, spiritual connection, and more balanced emotions.
RFDM: If I already eat totally raw foods now, would a raw food cleanse be beneficial for me? Why?
Jinjee: Yes. By changing your raw food routine, learning new recipes and doing the Deep Cleansing Week in which you experience fruit-only days, green days, liquid days and a water fasting day, you can find out which type of cleansing and fasting works best for you, and gain new ideas and information that will help to make your raw diet more interesting. Having new tools to fine-tune your raw diet for your unique needs is always beneficial.
RFDM: What type of people would a raw food cleanse benefit?
Jinjee: Anyone who has tried to go raw but has had trouble can benefit from a guided raw cleanse. Anyone who needs to release weight, wants to feel better or increase their energy level will also be glad they treated themselves to this experience.
RFDM: Are there any negative side effects of doing a raw food cleanse? How do you overcome them?
Jinjee: Sometimes people can experience detox symptoms, also called a detox crisis, even on a gentle raw cleanse. These symptoms can range from constipation to feeling light-headed. By increasing water consumption and by exercising more these symptoms can be prevented and minimized. An enema is often immediately helpful if other measures are not effective.
RFDM: How often should I do a raw food cleanse?
It is safe to do our raw food cleanse continuously. Some more extreme
cleanses such as water fasting can be undertaken once per season for 3
days to a week; 30-90 day fasts and cleanses can be undertaken once or
twice a year.
RFDM: What happens if I don't like raw food?
Jinjee: If you stick with 100% raw food for a few days to a week or two, you will develop a taste for it.
RFDM: What is the difference between eating a raw food diet and doing a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: A raw food cleanse is just a taste of doing a raw food diet. A 21 Day Cleanse, for instance, allows you to test the diet and see if it is for you. If you like it, you may decide to try the raw diet for longer. For those who know they don't want to do a raw diet long-term for social or other reasons, a raw cleanse allows them to obtain some of the benefits of going raw and if done once per season, can contribute to the overall health and quality of life through offering the organs a rest from the hard work involved in digesting meat, dairy, cooked and processed foods.
RFDM: What types or groups of food are totally excluded in a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: Meat, dairy, grains, sugar, flour, cooked foods, preservatives, flavor enhancers and other artificial additives, coffee, caffeine and alcohol. Just excluding these things, no matter what you do, you are going to experience some amazing changes in your level of health right away.
RFDM: What is the role of exercise when I am doing a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: I think it is very important. Without exercise you increase your risk of a detox crisis. The lymphatic drainage system is the system that removes cellular waste products from our body. It is only activated when we move. Exercise helps aid weight loss and helps our skin shrink-to-fit while we're losing weight. It also reduces stress and improves our mood so we're less likely to have emotional detox issues, or we'll have a much easier time dealing with them.
RFDM: How important is water during a raw food cleanse?
Jinjee: Water is very important. It keeps any toxins from being reabsorbed back in to our system and helps to flush out waste, so we are sure to detox through the elimination organs rather than through the skin. Staying hydrated is also important for weight loss, brain function, lubricating the joints for exercise and improving the skin tone and elasticity, ensuring the skin won't be too lose when a large amount of weight is lost.
RFDM: Are there any health conditions that a raw food cleanse would make worse?
Jinjee: If there are advanced immuno-deficiency conditions, I have heard that the presence of microbes in the foods may be harmful. This is not a sterilized diet— it is a live diet.
RFDM: Is there any truth behind the concept of not combining food groups such as not eating fruits and vegetables together?
Jinjee: Fruits are the cleansers and vegetables are the builders. Combining these can perhaps be counter-intuitive. However, as long as fruits and vegetables are sometimes eaten independently, I don't see the harm in combining them. In green smoothies, for instance, the fruits help make the greens more palatable. For those who can't stomach green juices, it is better to have greens with fruits than no greens at all, in my opinion. Many people are experiencing positive shifts in their health from drinking a daily green smoothie.
Another raw food combining rule is to eat fruits before other foods. So, if you are eating heavier food like nuts, seeds, legumes, or even just vegetables, it is better to eat fruits before rather than after. Fruits digest faster than any other foods and they can ferment in your stomach creating gas if they are stuck waiting for a heavier food to digest.
RFDM: Is a raw food cleanse a type of diet for rapid weight loss?
Jinjee: Yes, a guided raw food cleanse in conjunction with exercise can be a very effective and rapid weight loss program. It is also the healthiest rapid weight loss program out there.
RFDM: What can I expect after finishing a raw food cleanse?Jinjee:
You want to come off the cleanse slowly. The first day off, you might want to stick to fruit, liquids, or something very light. Ease in to your regular way of eating. The longer you have been cleansing for, the more you lose the tolerance for toxins and the more slowly you should come off your cleanse. Ideally, you should transition to a raw food diet, so that you never have to become toxic again.
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