The Allure of
a Raw Vegan Diet
Celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Woody Harrelson, Sting, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all adopted a raw vegan lifestyle believing this manner of eating is healthy, ethical, and easy on the
environment. Most raw vegan foodists share these ideals and are compelled to eat raw foods to be well, to do no harm to animals, and to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet.
We all know what a vegan diet is, but how does a raw vegan diet differ from it? Just as vegans do not eat animals or animal products like eggs and milk, raw vegans do the same. The difference in the two lifestyles is that raw food vegans don’t eat any food that has been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. It is their contention that heat destroys the enzymes in food, and enzymes boost digestion and fight chronic disease.
The staples of a raw vegan diet are raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains, foods which are low in calories; high in fibre; cholesterol-free; low in saturated fats; and high in vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and minerals. They are eaten slightly warm or cold and can also be dehydrated or made into juices. The proliferation of plant enzymes in these foods helps with digestion. Because the body expends less energy digesting raw fruits and vegetables, it can allot more energy to healing and renewal. An increasing number of studies are demonstrating that raw vegan diets are beneficial for those who have been diagnosed with a terminal disease.
Many extol the virtues of a raw vegan diet in terms of the way it makes them feel. Benefits that are often mentioned are a healthier weight, clearer smoother skin, increased vitality, a heightened sense of smell and taste, mental clarity, and an overall sense of happiness and contentment. There are even those who declare that their ability to feel compassion has increased as a result of the raw vegan lifestyle because they have a greater connection with the
earth and everything that inhabits it.
Joseph Zenner and Chef Daniel Virola
CKW LUXE is delighted to feature Chef Daniel Virola and Joseph Zenner in this article and include a delicious raw vegan recipe contributed by each. Chef Virola is currently the executive chef at True Food Kitchen in Houston. He believes in healing the body with food and making it taste great. When he is not at the restaurant or creating new and exciting dishes, he enjoys spending time traveling with his beautiful wife, Kaitlyn. Joseph Zenner is a toxic cleanse coach. His passion is making healthy food taste good and delivering a healthy calm energy feeling to his clients.
Zucchini Noodles with Lemon, Ginger, and Basil Dressing
Chef Daniel Virola
6 whole zucchinis (noodled through a
3 whole lemons ( skin removed )1 bunch basil1 cup grape tomatoes1 bunch cilantro1 thumb of ginger (peeled)6 garlic cloves1 pinch of salt
Blend all dressing ingredients in a food
processor until well incorporated. Mix
dressing with zucchini noodles until
desired taste is accomplished.
18 slices jicama tortillas
10-oz. container of your
(All ingredients can be
cut julienne style)
1 large mango
1/2 celery stalk
1 each: red, yellow, and orange bell pepper
(use half of each)
1 cup pineapple
1 cup carrots
1/4 lb. grapes
1/2 lb. peeled walnuts
1/2 lb. cashews
1/4 lb. hulled hemp seeds
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener
3 limes (juiced; add pulp)
Mix all base ingredients with the dressing.
Let sit for an hour or so if possible. Spread
your favorite hummus on jicama tortillas.
Place base mixture on jicama tortillas and
top with walnuts, cashews, and hemp
Walnut Mango Raw Tacos