Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Veganista in the Raw

So, there’s this pseudo-trendy movement these days in New York (and, for that matter, in most areas of the country) that is beginning to greatly affect the restaurant and food sales industry.  A cruel new kind of degustory torture called raw veganism is quickly spreading throughout the nation (well, New York and LA, anyway) and models, moguls, and celebrities alike are flocking to the nearest Whole Foods to comply with the newest and coolest diet of the year.  Demi Moore, Brooke Shields, Woody Harrelson, Natalie Portman, and Paul McCartney have all recently proclaimed their departure from the age-old habit of meat and cheese consumption in favor of a vegan or raw “lifestyle”.  Similarly, the likes of Rawstar, Tao Palate, and Candle 79 have taken the New York restaurant scene by storm and are only inspiring more restauranteurs to create havens for the growing number of folks looking to munch on unprocessed, uncooked, and (I’m assuming) generally un-tasty nuts, twigs, and berries.  Ellen Degeneres and Dr. Oz have devoted entire episodes to the cessation of animal ingestion while Alicia Silverstone’s new book, “The Kind Diet” is selling like hotcakes.  And for those of you that don’t consider anything trendy until you see it on Sex and the City, the restaurant where Kim Cattrall met her hottie boyfriend Smith in episode 76 (don’t judge me, people) was called RAW and had a menu that reflected its name.  What’s the deal, folks?  How much more amazing can a raw vegan lifestyle be than, let’s say, bacon?  Or brie? Or a 10-ounce filet cooked medium rare with a béarnaise sauce?  I guess I’ll have to see for myself.

According to Wikipedia:

A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant foods that have not been heated above 46 °C (115 °F). Raw vegans believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthy or even harmful to the body. Typical foods include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains and legumes.

Um . . . so, like, literally, nuts and twigs and berries.  And, I guess, fruits and vegetables, too.  Okay . . . fine.  I can do that.  What’s the big fancy ultra cool deal about being a raw vegan?  Well, according to the websites I have looked at, the benefits are pretty widespread and varied . . . but you can’t believe everything you read on the internet (duh).  Nevertheless, here are the supposed benefits:

Raw foods have more nutrients than cooked food and, thus, give you more energy.

Raw vegans say that processed food (think, Sun Chips and GoGurt) have stuff in them that enhance flavor and cause excitotoxicity (the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged and killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters such as glutamate and similar substances).  Whatever that means . . .

Raw foods have good bacteria and micro-organisms that are killed by cooking.  Some believe that these can ward off rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and can stifle signs of aging.

It apparently is the cool thing to do

Alright.  It seems like a pretty crazy lifestyle, but . . . why not?  On a personal note, I've also been inspired my my healthy schmealthy mother and father-in-law that have been vegan for years - and they seem to grow younger with every year.  Also, my fabulous dance partner, Freddie Kimmel, has been a proponent as well.  Ooh, and he has a great blog: - read it - it's brilliant.  So, folks, let’s do a little experiment in the interest of blogging about new stuff.  From this moment (December 1 at 6pm) through December 30th, I am going to be a raw vegan.  With the exception of one prearranged dinner party (I don’t want to be a bad houseguest), I will not be ingesting anything cooked over 115 degrees and no animal product will pass my lips.  We’ll see how it goes.  Hey, it can’t hurt, right?  And anybody can do anything for 30 days.  I’ll keep a little journal so I remember how it goes and you guys can look forward to the official “results” blog on January 2, 2011.  In the meanwhile, I’ll be blogging as usual about fun NY stuff.  Next blog: the secret subway stop.

Now . . . what the HECK can I eat?


Hiatt's blog said...

Yay!!! You finally blogged on raw food! Remember how much sh@# you gave me for doing that lifestyle! I may go back...makes you feel good...

Michelle Lookadoo said...

I just realized that I posted the raw vegan blog directly after the sausage pizza blog. Gotta love it!!

andrea said...

Yes..I was just about to say that Michelle! LOL!!! RIGHT under this blog is a pic of you hovering over that pizza! LOL!! There is also a picture of a greasy hamburger in an ad under it as well! LOL!!!
As you say.....BRILLIANT!