Can it be a coincidence that the above topics were uppermost for me when the focus of my nutrition studies this month is the lower digestive tract?
The big thing that cropped up in the raw food class I delivered in Brighton recently is bloating and wind. Half the class expected it (and experienced it) – the other half didn’t. This serves to reinforce the fact that everyone’s digestive system varies in its ability to process what we eat. And the lesson is, when increasing raw food in your daily diet, individuals need to pay attention to the combinations, amounts, and pace of change, adjusting and tweaking as you go. Which is to say, you have to experiment on yourself to a certain extent.
There are several causes for bloating and gas. I have included a couple of references that cover the reasons below. In a nutshell, it may be that you are not chewing sufficiently to break down your food, your stomach acid is low, or that your intestines are clogged and not in prime condition. Initially, adding lots of raw food may make things worse. HOWEVER, this is usually a temporary phase, so do slow down, but also do persevere. Your body will adapt, especially if you increase your overall water intake, simplify the range of ingredients, and only consume moderate amounts of dry items such as unsoaked nuts, seeds, hard fruits, crackers etc. Whilst I don’t agree with every statement in these articles, the general gist is helpful.
I’ve had in mind colonic cleansing for a while. You can’t really hope to detox properly without paying it some attention. It’s like hoping that careful brushing of your teeth alone will remove all the plaque that builds up; it helps to keep it at bay, rather than eliminates it (excuse the pun). And so it came to pass, that I gave it a go. So far, I’m pleasantly surprised at how tolerable it is. Having only done it once, it’s a bit early to analyse the effects and benefits. More on this anon…
Which brings me to brownies – of the sweet treat kind. I made them as an extra for the Brighton class and of course, everyone wanted the recipe. Thank you for attending, lovely people. Good luck with your raw food journeys – here is your bonus:
(makes c. 15 squares)
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup carob powder
8 dates, pitted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp water
1/4 tsp of ground chilli or five spice or cinnamon (optional flavouring)
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/3 cup cacao powder
Pinch of salt
- Put nuts in food processor and grind until small
- Remove a quarter of the amount and set aside
- Add dates and continue to process until sticky
- Add carob powder, vanilla and water. Process again – drip in more water if required to make it tacky when pressed
- Stir in nuts that you set aside and turn out onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Press mixture down to mould into a flat slab about an inch thick
- Put in fridge to harden off for a coupe of hours
- Make topping by combining all ingredients in a blender until smooth
- Immediately drool this over over the brownie base
- Pop back into fridge for an hour and then cut into squares
Will keep for up to a week in the fridge.