In several places around the world, termed "blue zones," people live with mobility and vigor into their 100s. And in the "cold spots" of the world, there is little to none of the disease or chronic conditions that "plague" the West.
No, these areas are not full of the rich who can pay for the best food and medicine. In fact, most of these people are financially poor. They can't afford a herd of animals and they don't have refrigerators. So they eat plant-based diets and bury their food (before the age of appliances, fermentation was a standard way of preserving food). They commune with their families and neighbors, they feel a sense of connectedness and purpose, and they've made moving their bodies a priority in life.
Sounds rich to us—this is about quality of life. What do people from the blue zones and cold spots have in common? Here's what we can learn:
•Eat a plant-based diet:
These people eat little to no meat. Instead, the bulk of their diet is simple whole foods, deep greens, healing herbs, and spices.
•Eat small portions:
it's a documented fact that the less one eats, the longer one lives. The heavier your meals—especially food unnatural to the human system, the more wear, tear, and burden on your energy and every cells in your bod.
•Eat good raw fats:
Coconut, olive oil, chlorella, avocado, raw cacao (omega-6), omega-3 (hempseed, chia, flax, AFA blue green algae). Healthy fats seem more important than protein in these diets, demonstrating a few interesting things.
A) If you eat food, you get enough protein.
B) Fats contain more calories than protein (9:4 cal/g), which means longer sustaining energy.
C) When you think you're craving protein, you're most likely in need of good fat.
•Eat fermented foods:
Kimchee, coconut kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, these foods contain billions of "good bacteria" (probiotics) that promote health in the gut—thought to be the core of the immune system.
Be part of a community. Show up, have someone's back, and let others get yours, too.
•Keep it movin':
Dance, walk, garden, shake it...at least sit on the floor and stretch while you're watching TV!
Were you considering going vegan but you think all your veg friends look like they’re dying? Or did you try going vegan yourself, but you ended up wilted and weak?
If that's a "hell to the yes," we totally understand. While most vegans we know are thriving and glowing with health, vegan-eating doesn't necessarily denote healthy eating. We mean, almost anything is better than a diet of dead, leukemia-stricken flesh and pus milk—but to be optimally healthy, you have to be eating non-processed whole foods, superfoods, and lots of greens. The more raw, mineralized, nutrient-rich foods you have in your daily repertoire, the better you’ll feel—and the more likely you are to stay vegan.
If your vegan friends are not lookin’ so hot, most likely, they are living on processed concoctions of faux meats, soy cheese, rancid oils, breads, potato chips, and pasta… that’s a whole lot of dead food—fried, boiled, baked, and burned—to feed their screaming yeast. And your vegetarian friends, they’re piling dairy on top of all that! You just can’t sustain a healthy immune system on that garbage.
Granted, even if you’re eating all the right things while you transition, one still might have ups and downs on the journey. Often, these health hiccups are evidence of the “Herxheimer effect” —essentially, cleansing reactions. Clearing out the havoc that meat and dairy causes in the body is a real thing and can take time. These are not reasons to start eating meat and dairy again, but to look further into feeding your body right, especially while you cleanse.
So, if you’re feeling uncertain about going vegan because of our soy-guzzling brothers and sisters (we still love them for the cause), look a little further to the beaming and bright-eyed vegans who know what’s up. We even have vegan athletes on our side now who look like superheroes and have one thing in common—they eat a lot of fresh, raw foods: triathalon champion Brendan Brazier, MMA fighters Jon Fitch, Nick Diaz, and Mac Danzig, figure competitor Claudia Cuellar, and b-boy icons—Mr. Wiggles and Flowmaster, not to mention a host of other modelesque, in-shape vegans who rep our culture raw.
It's a new era. Those invested in health and physicality are redefining the means and methods to strength, endurance, recovery, and longevity—not to mention quality of life. So don’t hesitate. Get prepared to do it right.
This list should get anyone started on their journey into veganism. Check back often for updates!
Raw Food World
VEGAN/RAW AUTHORITIES TO FOLLOW:
Dr. Gabriel Cousens
101 Cookbooks (so easy!)
Raw for $10/Day or Less
We Like It Raw
Victoria Boutenko's Green Smoothies
Mercy for Animals
Diet for a New America (book)
Food Revolution (book)
Girlie Girl Army
The Discerning Brute