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JaxRaw - NorthEast Florida's Raw & Living Foods Meetup Message Board › Raw Book Recommendations

Raw Book Recommendations

Ian
mysocalledknife
Columbia, SC
Post #: 236
Hello, all!


On Saturday, Lourdes, Margaret, and Teresa asked me to post the book recommendations I have for newbies starting out raw. I had mentioned these at the Present Moment during January's meetup, so I thought I would take the time to list them as a post in case anyone missed them a few weeks ago.

I have found that books on raw food fall into 3 main categories: scientific research, inspirational stories, and recipe books. I have noticed that many of the inspirational story books tend to include recipes, and many of the recipe books always have an introduction to the book explaining the reason why the particular author chooses raw food for their dietary path.

As such, I believe each "genre" of these books is instrumental in assisting those who want to know more about this lifestyle, and I do not believe the "science" behind raw food and enzymes is too technical for those with a non-medical background to understand. In fact, it is the simplicity of this path that makes me gravitate towards it more.

So I will list the three books I recommended, and then I will do a short book review of each in the following posts. I encourage others who are inspired by certain books to list theirs as well, and even give a short review to explain why this particular book motivated you. I look forward to the recommendations from our rapidly growing membership body :-)

Scientific Research

Edward Howell - Enzyme Nutrition


Inspirational Story

Victoria Boutenko - Raw Family


Recipe

Jordan Maerin - Raw Foods For Busy People

Ian
mysocalledknife
Columbia, SC
Post #: 237
Scientific Research

Edward Howell - Enzyme Nutrition (1985)

I did a book discussion/potluck last May, and I created a chapter-by-chapter outline of Howell's work, located in our files section here­.

Howell's research details the role of food enzymes and their role in human (and animal digestion). Howell's argument rests on three main concepts:

1) The cardiac (or "upper") stomach and its physiological role
2) The concept of "pre-digestion" in the cardiac stomach
3) The Law of Adaptive Secretion of Enzymes, which ties points 1 and 2 together

Howell contests that raw food will digest itself in the "upper" portion of the stomach (ie pre-digestion), which enables the body to preserve its own enzymes, and will spare the pancreas the duty of overworking itself to produce enzymes for digestion. Chapters 1-5 form the crux of the book, while Chapters 6-9 are more in line with other book written on those particular topics (specifics can be found in the link above to the outline)

One of the more fascinating parts of the book is the historical debate over enzyme research, starting with Professor Babkin's Theory of Parallel Digestion in 1904. Howell contends that nutritional research and education took a wrong turn at this point (which lent itself to the theory that enzymes from food are not important since the body produces all that is needed to digest food), and as early as 1907, Babkin's theories were being debunked by scientific experiements. Yet, modern day physiology texts still only focus on Babkin's flawed theories.

Howell's work is not just another "raw food book", but instead a mind-blowing manifesto that reads almost like a call-to-arms for people to either cease walking the path they are on, or potentially suffer the consequences. Howell backs up these consequences by traditional peer-reviewed scientific literature, and even challenges science to explain why their own ilk are publishing works that continue to prove his theories over and over again.

A highly recommended read for those interested in a pioneer writing about the science behind raw food.

Ian
Ian
mysocalledknife
Columbia, SC
Post #: 238
Inspirational Story

Victoria Boutenko - Raw Family (1998)

Victoria Boutenko's "raw family" story is one of the more well-known features of the current raw food movement. I had read her other works before this one (12 Steps to Raw Foods and Green For Life), and I wish I had read Raw Family first, as it is such a fluid read and an amazing story, that many of those I have recommended this to find inspiration in it, even if raw food isn't their destined path.

When the Boutenkos arrived in the U.S. from Russia, within their first year here eating the highly processed diet that Americans call their own, they saw a shift in health, energy, and weight gain from their entire family. Victoria mentioned how depressing it had gotten her, her husband, and even her son, who was eventually diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and was told he would soon go blind.

The book details their path to "awakening", as Victoria calls it, and it is written with input from each family member, giving their recollection of the same events that marched them to this path of health.

Green For Life is the one I would recommend after reading this one, and then if you would like to keep going further, 12 Steps to Raw Foods would be the 3rd in this series that I then recommend, as the latter book presents a detailed roadmap on how to transition to raw food, and even how to deal with that transition when others do not exactly show the most loving support for someone's decision to do this. Also, these other two books make more sense when you undestand the original story in Raw Family.

Ian
Ian
mysocalledknife
Columbia, SC
Post #: 239
Recipe

Jordan Maerin - Raw Foods For Busy People

There are so many top-shelf raw recipe books out there, that picking simply one becomes quite a daunting task. Ove time, I have changed my former recommendations in this category more than any other, and may do so many times more as I go forward.

What I like about Maerin's approach is that Chapter 1 details her own "literature review" of the raw food movement and its authors, recognizing that there is a wide variety of approaches to this path.

Maerin also gives a "Week in the Life of" type section to her book, displaying what a typical raw food routine could look like without overtaxing your already busy schedule. I find this useful because a question that I usually get asked is "what do you eat on a daily basis?", so this should help a little bit.

I also like Maerin's subtitle: Simple and Machine Free Recipes for Every Day. And for those who know my cave-man proclivities, "machine free" is, at times, quite appealing with regards to the food that I eat.

I will leave you with one of Maerin's recipes, the corn chowder, which I make when corn is available from Native Sun:

Fresh Corn Chowder

2 Cups fresh corn
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw almond or cashew butter (or tahini)
2 scallions, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper, minced (for garnish)
cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Blend corn, water, nut butter, scallions and cumin until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and thn add garnish. Soup can be served warm if water that is used is under 120 degrees.


Hope everyone enjoys!

Ian
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