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WHY EAT GRAINS?

We can do this the hard way:

  • Switch straight from JAM – Junk And Meat Eating
  • to RAVE – Raw And Vegan Eating

Or we can do it the easy way:

  • Ride the WAVE – Wholefood And Vegan Eating
  • All the way to RAVE

Whole grains are a WHOLE FOOD, and make WAVE so easy. They fill your tummy and taste like take-aways when you add a bottled sauce. I'd buy the whole gamut of sauces at the health store — Thai, Mexican, Chinese... they all fell away over the years, as I Reached for Raw.

Grain are quick to prepare, quicker than washing leaves for salad, because they simmer away on their own. They'll even cook in a thermos flask – no pot to watch!

MY OWN EXPERIENCE WITH STARCH

Starch was my salvation at the end of '92 when I first began the switch to whole foods, on my way to raw. Looking back now, I see the two foods that kept me slowly moving forward were:

  • Blended and juiced Greens, especially Energy Soup with living greens from my Sprouter; and
  • Slow- and low-cooked whole Grains.

By the winter of 2004, 12 years later, I no longer ate cooked grains, except for home-made bread occasionally. Desire for cooked rice or millet, for pasta and potato, had finally left me.

Back to 1992, in the morning on the Brooklyn bus to Manhattan, I ate sprouted buckwheat and quinoa porridge, blended raw in a mini-processor with banana and dates. Then I wasn't hungry again till 2 pm.

At that time, I could never begin the day with fruit, as advised by Natural Hygienists Harvey and Marilyn Diamond in Fit For Life. With fruit, I'd always go out and buy a muffin. Better to eat my own sprouted grains, than a white-flour muffin.

In the first year, I couldn't eat fruit anyway, because my teeth were so painful. Today at 95% raw, I eat fruit only for breakfast all year round.

LUNCH AND DINNER ON WEEKDAYS

For lunch in the '90's, I ate sprouted beans and baby greens with vegetable fruits like tomato, cucumber, sweet red pepper or summer squash. I took my own lunch to work. I finished off with  home-made raw grain crackers for a good taste in my mouth, like carrot cake cracker. I altered the colors of my veggies each day – red, yellow, purple cabbage, and so on.

In the evenings after work, cooked grains were my staple. If I was craving chips (crisps in UK, my favorite snack) on my way home from the subway, I'd force myself to make it home. Then right away eat a bowl of cooked millet with avocado and a teaspoon each of nutritional yeast and dulse flakes, all mashed up together.

In the hot summer, I enjoyed sweet seed or nut milks for supper, with blended fruit and honey or brown rice syrup. My cells loved the glucose in sweet nut milks, very satisfying. Grains were too heavy in the heat. They sat untouched in my refrigerator all summer.

In the snowy New York winters, I had to eat grain every day or I'd be freezing cold and starving hungry. Definitely they gave me the calories and fuel I needed to feel warm and nourished. It was like getting out my winter woollies.

My favorite evening meal was cooked grain with sprouted chickpeas steamed for 3-5 minutes, and a high-calcium green like kale or collard steamed with the beans. The big-bean sprouts like chickpea or soya I always steamed, only mung and lentil I could eat raw. Steaming softens and sweetens the starch in big beans, and the cellulose in tough greens.

If I left out any one of the three – grains, sprouted beans or greens – I never felt satisfied, and wanted my old junk food I'd eaten for decades. But all three together kept me full and warm.

GETTING A VARIETY OF TASTES

I followed the principle of Variety. So every two days I'd cook a different grain, to last me two evening meals. My favorites were brown rice (3-4 varieties mixed together), millet, whole barley (hulled, but not pearl barley which is the same as white rice) and the high-protein non-hybridized grains like kamut and quinoa.

I'd add sauce or a seasoning from the health food store, so the grains tasted like take-aways. I avoided sauces with sugar, salt and oil. I kept a variety – Thai, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian curry. I figured most of the meal was grain. A little factory-processed sauce wouldn't hurt me, and it didn't.

At first I was cooking my grain to last a week in the refrigerator. I thought the food's dead anyway so what's the difference if I keep it for a week. Until a macrobiotic friend pointed out there's different degrees of death. The longer you're dead, the more decayed you are.

From then on, I cooked only enough for two meals, and never kept my cooked grains in the refrigerator. Macrobiotics is the expert on grains, and they're totally against refrigeration.

I always store RAW grains and other seeds for sprouting in my refrigerator if I've space. This way they retain a higher germination rate. They deteriorate quicker when left out in the heat of the day, as any living baby would.

GRAINS IN A LIFE OF RAW FOODS

Today at 95% raw I no longer cook any grains. I've lost all desire for them. In the summer I'll make a dish such as raw sweet potato pie, and in the winter I love cooked starchy vegetables such as butternut or yam, slowly simmered on low heat.

Raw sprouted grain crackers I eat all year round if I can get them. I don't have time to make them myself.

A couple of days a week, I enjoy half a slice of home-made gluten-free bread or scone with avocado when in season, or else home-made peanut butter and banana. If I switch to 100% raw, I over-eat on nuts and dried fruits, an obvious craving of my body for glucose.

Nuts and dried fruit don't give me what half a slice of bread will. There's something missing in them. Everyone reports that when they first go raw, they binge on nuts and dried fruits, but in time this passes.

Nuts and dried fruits are so heavy in my stomach, they're such a concentrated food, whereas my home-made bread is light and nourishing. If you prefer to be 100% raw, then you must eat a huge amount of raw fruit daily to cover your calorie needs. Often you binge simply because you've not eaten enough calories today.

One slice of vegetarian pizza is 670 calories. That's 96 cups of green leaves (one cup is 7 calories). Do you understand WHY you could be buying pizza? Simply because you've not eaten 96 cups of greens today! Eat More Fresh Fruit!

Fruit is the best source of calories, and grains, both cooked and sprouted, while you're transitioning to raw.

I love seeing the gentle evolution when you add more raw to your diet. One winter I recall toasted cheese with raw hot pepper was my daily meal. A later year it was cooked grains. Since winter 2004 it's been simmered squashes like butternut. Do you see how your body-mind chooses simpler foods as you walk the path of raw?

95% raw keeps me focused on my dreams, working creatively for each one, and keeps me happy and high. I don't get the stagnation that comes with cooked food.

Thanks to raw foods, I'm no longer locked in a dead-end job where I'm thinking, "Why am I here? This isn't the purpose of my life." I'm free every day to enjoy myself and do what I want, write, or take my dog to the beach.

Unequivocally, it was cooked whole grains that got me here, along with greens.

Refined grains short-change you, and keep you locked in a world where you don't want to be. Whole grains will help you escape from the white bread and cakes, cookies and chips.

  
   
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