Friday, January 1, 2010

Review of Natalia Rose's Raw Detox Diet and Detox for Women

Long time no hear, Happy New Year! How about a book review to kick off 2010?

I'd read Natalia Rose's books a while back but the info kind of got 'lost in the the shuffle'. I was a tad skeptical at first but I've just met a health practitioner who went from tired, depressed and miserable to feeling great using her regime.

The Raw Food Detox Diet is sort of a raw foods book but sort of not. Rose's main focus is digestibility and colon health. Unlike 100% raw advocates, Rose nixes overreliance on heavy, hard to digest 'raw' items like nuts and seeds in favor of lighter cooked fare (steamed veggies, fish and baked root vegetables).

In order to succeed on this plan, which is more of a lifestyle change than a quickie diet you have to be willing accomodate the following:

1) Move toward green juices and fruit in the AM. This will require the purchase of a juicer. Alternatively, if you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec you can strain the juice in a nut milk bag (I've had good luck with this except for 'juicing' carrots).

2) Be willing to not mix the following food groups in the same meal:
- Starches (beans/grains/starchy root vegetables)
- Animal protein (meat/cheese)
- Nuts and Dried Fruits
- Fresh fruits (which she recommends eating alone)
- Veggies mix w/all of the above and the author is a fan of copious green salads

3) Eat 'light to heavy' - this means the heaviest food gets eaten for dinner and easier to digest foods get eaten first in the meal.

The Raw Food Detox Diet is the most flexible of her books. She has a quiz that puts readers in one of five levels, one being a super clean raw foods regime and five being a total beginner.

Detox for Women is a variation on the above designed for women with yeast overgrowth. This plan is a lot more restrictive in that she recommends avoiding beans, grains, soy (hard to digest) and sweet fruits and natural sweeteners (feeds yeast) for 30 days.

For non-vegans, Rose recommends Alta Dena Raw Goat Cheese or raw sheep's milk cheese if that is not available. Since I wrote this article, Bexley Coop, Calumet Coop and Raisin Rack have started carrying it. Oddly enough Whole Foods only carries one gourmet brand at about $20 a pount. You can also check out for a local heirloom dairy that makes this type of cheese. Rose also nixes meat that is factory farmed in favor of organic and seafood so again, you may have to hit Whole Foods or LocalHarvest in search of alternatives to your local grocery store fare.

I did find food bill climbing on Rose's program. Juicing uses a lot of organic produce and the plan is also big on salads. Beans and grains would be a cheap way to balance this out but she doesn't recommend them due to digestibility issues. Exceptions would be: millet, buckwheat and quinoa and sprouted grain bread.

Rose's clientele are Manhattan's Upper East Siders; she's not writing from the perspective of someone who lives in a small town with only a WalMart to rely on. She lists some websites for various specialty foods she adores but financially strapped folks stuck in the boonies may not find that they share the same perspective on how easy it is to adopt the program.

On the other hand Rose is not into supplements and 'superfoods' so someone following her plan wouldn't have to fork over a lot of cash for that kind of stuff, which believe me can be super pricey.

How do I personally feel after following Rose's guidelines (albeit loosely)? I really have to say that I'm feeling better. The feeling of being lighter and more energized is a lot stronger than when I was eating a bunch of food and not food combining. I've come to use her 'green lemonade' as a staple of my diet. On the other hand, I found myself getting too hung up on rules about what combines with what. So I have to say she's onto something and her program is worth trying but it's not worth becoming fanatical about.

--------------LOCAL Resources-------------
Whole Foods - Organic baby salad greens are $6 a pound (although you can get them at Walmart and Krogrer too). They also sell the Nu Naturals Stevia Rose recommends (esp in Detox for Women). Whole Foods also has a good source of greens in the Winter (although farmer's markets are vastly preferable when open - see sidebar links for various options).

Trader Joes - has great prices on bags of lemons and avocados + various salad fixings. They also have some raw sheep milk cheese at decent prices. See sidebar for links to area stores.

Bexley Coop, Calumet Food Coop and Raisin Rack - now stock raw goat milk cheese.

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