Review: A week at a raw food retreatCosmo joins the raw revolution to see if the A-list secret to wellbeing really is the easiest and most natural way to lose weight and feel great. In a luxury boutique barn conversion in rural West Sussex, our 'Raw Lifestyle Coach', Natalie Heath, greets us with informative and inspiring welcome packs detailing the programme, complete with guidelines, recipes, nutrition information, sourcing tips and preparation tricks which instantly makes me hungry for more raw.
A morning yoga class (of the more familiar physical variety) worked up my appetite for breakfast, but first a demo on making green smoothies. Most PopularA birthday in the group calls for chocolate cake, a sweet surprise from Natalie. I'm bouncing out of bed on our last morning and this seems to be a general theme – everyone is looking brighter and lighter even though we're about to have a raw chocolate class.
When cells cannot use oxygen to metabolize, they resort to fermenting glucose for their energy.Thata€™s what cancer cells are about. The likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston know that with a raw food lifestyle you can naturally lose weight, beat cravings, increase energy, boost mental and emotional clarity, stabilise moods, heal allergies and illnesses and improve your skin, hair and nails. It was all a lot easier to swallow when I digested the fact that when food is heated above 47oC vitamins and minerals are dramatically reduced, protein is diminished, once healthy oils turn toxic and enzymes in the food to help your body digest are destroyed.
Fuelled with our superfood shake (packed with freshly pressed almond milk, frozen banana, superfood powders and hemp seeds) we followed Natalie's lead to make our own nutrient-rich, utterly healthy choccies.
Thata€™s why anything that oxygenates cells works to cure cancer, and thata€™s why cancer patients should avoid sugar.The paradox of cellular oxidation is that incompletely utilized oxygen can cause cellular damage.
Fruits, veggies, superfoods like maca or even raw cocoa powder, seeds such as chia and supplements like probiotic powder make up the vital statistics of a nutritious, filling liquid brekkie. Together we spiralized courgettes and marinated them for dinner to be topped with a raw pesto. We made Natalie's 'Green juice' (recipe below), enhanced with spirulina, a superiorly rich food source, and I like to think we swiftly absorbed the nutrients and the knowledge with our new found energy.Another food highlight includes Natalie's 'nutty veggie wraps' combining mushrooms, carrots, courgettes, red peppers, spring onions, cashews and more to fill cabbage leaves spring-roll-style.
Our masterclass in making Natalie's 'Aligator smoothie' (recipe below) went down a treat.Some people are experiencing withdrawal headaches, fogginess and fatigue as toxins are released during the cleanse.
This raw cocoa-rich, nuts and majool date-packed, agave-sweetened delight blows everyone's taste buds and I don't feel a bit guilty. This is the most fun I've had with food for a while.This evening after our yoga nidra (which I'm not exactly improving at, but am feeling the blissed-out benefits from) we watched a compelling documentary called Hungry For Change. But now I know that eating a high-raw, plant-based diet will not only show on your face, it's the simplest solution to health whatever your concern. A chain reaction of cellular oxidative stress in a particular organ can cause that organ to not function properly or become cancerous.Fortunately, the body comes equipped with an antioxidant defense system.

All the food is 100% natural, raw, vegan, homemade - and darn tasty.After dinner we relax into our first yoga nidra session. It's nasty but quite normal and the on site-treatments and swimming pool are easing tensions. Given that it's not brimming with refined white sugar (aka my culinary crack), I'm not feeding my sweet tooth addiction and I don't feel sickly. It's a follow-up to the influential Food Matters and both expose the hidden agendas of the mass market food industries and promote the health-healing (and cancer-curing!) benefits of a plant based diet. Antioxidants are molecules that can safely interact with free radicals and stop the chain reaction from continuing or even starting. I'm already a yoga convert - I see it as my window to wellness on the inside and out - but this is a meditative form of the practice which, led by Natalie (also a professional yogi, she's quite the gal) was intended to guide us into a deep state of tension-reducing relaxation. In preparation for this retreat and after a painful previous cold turkey experience, I've cut out coffee and cheap chocolate over the last two weeks but my pangs are still strong.
Taste and add more agave if it's not sweet enough.Pour the liquid chocolate into moulds or ice cube trays (I like to use silicone moulds as it's super easy to get the chocs out).
Likened to lucid sleeping, it's among the deepest states of mellow you can get while remaining aware, but I clearly need more practice at this given that I crossed the line from concentration to unconsciousness after ten minutes.
Can eating clean, help me to beat my controlling sugar and caffeine cravings for good?Lunch and dinner were both inspiring – who knew you could make raw spiced squash soup? If you exercise regularly, you do increase the potential for oxidative stress, making consumption of antioxidants even more important.The following foods and spices are rated by ORAC value. ORAC is an abbreviation for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and was developed by the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore. Theya€™re substances in food which prevent damage to your bodya€™s cells and tissues caused by free radicals. Ita€™s important to keep free radicals in check, as they may contribute to aging, cancer and chronic diseases such as heart disease and Parkinsona€™s disease.Certain vitamins, such as A, C, and E have antioxidant properties, as do bioflavonoids a€“ free radical-fighting chemicals naturally present in certain plants. There are various methods of calculating the antioxidant value of foods, one of which is the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) assay, used by the USDA.
The type of spice with the greatest antioxidant capacity is cloves, with an exceptional ORAC value of almost 300,000 units. ChocolateBet youa€™re not too sad to hear that chocolate is an antioxidant super-food! Keep in mind, though, that the more processed chocolate is, the less antioxidants it typically contains. Pure, unsweetened cocoa powder and baking chocolate both have phenomenal ORAC values of around 50,000, and dark chocolate candies can range in the 20,000s.

Steer clear of milk chocolate, which possesses a far weaker antioxidant power (and also contains a lot more fat and sugar than dark chocolate).3. CoffeeCoffee is another great source of antioxidants, with an ORAC value ranging from about 15,000 to 17,000, depending on brew time, type of bean and other factors.
While the ORAC value of coffee is considerably less than those of spices and pure cocoa, consider that in terms of volume, we consume a lot more coffee than we do spices. In fact, based on a University of Scranton study published in 2005, coffee is the top source of antioxidants in the average Americana€™s diet.4.
Other antioxidant-rich berries include elderberries, chokeberries, cranberries and strawberries.5. NutsNuts are jam-packed with antioxidants, while also providing protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Pecans are the best source of antioxidants among nuts, with an ORAC value of close to 18,000. Dried FruitDried fruit is a highly concentrated source of antioxidants by weight since the fruita€™s water content has been removed. The dried fruits with the strongest antioxidant effects include raisins (dried grapes), with an ORAC value topping 10,000, and prunes (dried plums), which clock in at around 8,000. Fruit JuiceLike dried fruit, fruit juice is another super-concentrated source of antioxidants. Berry juices are the best, with the ORAC value of black raspberry juice, for example, coming in at around 10,000. USDA researchers recently discovered that artichokes actually contain more antioxidants than any other cooked veggie, providing about 9,400 ORAC units.9. BeansKidney beans and black beans are the best sources of antioxidants in the beans-and-legumes family, offering up ORAC values in the 8,000s. Like nuts, beans also provide filling protein and fiber, making them a great weight loss food.10.
Colorful FruitsIn general, deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables have higher antioxidant capacities than less vibrant-looking produce (such as white potatoes, for example), as the protective bioflavonoids in plants are what supply them with rich colors.

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