When my husband and I transitioned to a plant-based diet, we had fun trying the vegan eateries in our area. One of the first ones we went to was 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa. On our drive to the restaurant, I asked my husband, “Why 118 Degrees?”
In a superior tone, he said, “Because its longitude is 118 Degrees west.”
“What? That doesn’t make sense. Why would a restaurant choose a name like that when only an annoying brainiac like you would know that?”
At the restaurant, I scanned the menu and noticed a text box that read Why 118 Degrees? It read:
Why 118 Degrees?
“118 degrees is the commonly accepted temperature at which the natural enzyme value and nutritional contents of raw plant foods begin to break down and become useless for the body. One benefit of eating raw food is the energy derived from the enzymes and phyto nutrients available in foods that are still living!” – from 118 Degree’s menu
I reveled in informing my husband that he was wrong. Unperturbed by this, he only asked, “So this is a raw restaurant?”
We were still new to the vegan scene, so eating raw vegan food was a stretch for us that night. We found the food unusual, especially the flat, crunchy bread, but it was also tasty. And the place had a nice atmosphere with a romantic vibe, so it was a good find.
Should I go raw?
On our drive home, I couldn’t stop wondering if cooked food was really bad for your health. Obsessed, I searched for answers online. I found arguments for and against eating only raw foods, which only confused me.
I decided to ask Katherine Nilbrink, my plant-based nutritionist friend, her thoughts on raw food. She told me that it’s extremely beneficial, but she stressed that it’s not necessary to eat only raw food to gain these benefits.
“Raw foodists,” she said, “talk about the negative catalization that happens when you eat cooked foods. Studies show that if you eat 51% or more raw food, these negative processes are negated. Plus, some nutrients are more bio-available when they are lightly cooked. Besides, most plant-based eaters eat between 50-80% raw, and that’s a great ratio.”
I trust Katherine’s opinion about nutrition, so 51% raw is what I strive for in my diet. What are your thoughts on raw food?
Photo courtesy of Marin at freedigitalphotos.net.