THE raw food diet – boy it’s not for the flaky.

This is a road for those who are prepared to truly commit to watching what they eat – as in scrutinising every ingredient.

For some, following such a plan would be like hell on a plate, but for so many others it’s the key to weight loss, more energy, glowing skin and health benefits galore.

Raw foodists typically live on a diet of beans, dried fruits, fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, seaweeds coconut milk and nuts.

Depending on how hardcore they are eggs, some fish, meat and dairy products may also be allowed.

But choco, coffee and sugar-holics beware – a high raw diet contains no processed, fast foods, bulky baked breads or sweets.

The ethos of the movement is that cooking food above 116 degree Farenheit kills the enzymes found naturally in food which help fight off diseases especially chronic diseases.


Therefore all dishes are cooked at a lower temperature, if at all.

Raw foods are also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive, avocados, nuts and sunflower seeds and oils which can help burn fat.

Generally foods that have been pasteurised, homogenised or produced with the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilisers, industrial solvents or chemical food additives are forsaken on the raw food diet.

Although such a strict diet could seems limiting, Richi Watson says become a dedicated raw food follower is one of the best things he’s ever done.

Richi, 35, switched to wholefoods and raw foods as a way to help him get over Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) – otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

He was first diagnosed with ME at just 17 years old.

It stayed with him throughout his twenties and at times rendered him incapable of even climbing the stairs.

But after completely overhauling his eating habits, embarking on detox programmes and arming himself with an unwavering positive attitude, the Essex dad went from constantly feeling he was living in an energy draining vortex to feeling more alive than ever.

He says bringing raw foods into his diet has helped with this amazing change.

He said: “Bringing natural raw foods and juicing into my lifestyle was the missing link for me in moving beyond my health challenges and it’s now become an effortless and joyful part of my life.

“I’ve seen similar changes work for so many people around the world on so many different levels over the years, in terms of their energy, resilience to illness, and their over-all health and happiness.


“Bringing these simple approaches in can be a huge catalyst of positive change for people, and it’s so accessible, everyone can do it!

“My tip to anyone thinking of starting out with raw food would be to start with raw soups like Gazpacho, as blending vegetables is a wonderful way to make assimilating the nutrition within them easy.”

After beating his ME Richi now throws his efforts into hosting wellbeing and nutrition events to help others in the same boat.

Last year he organised his own ME positive event in Southend called the Wellbeing Now Seminar. The seminar, held over two days, even saw famous face from TV, Linda Barker, dropping in.

Richi has now organised for another show to be held from April 16 to 17 at Southend’s Clifftown Theatre and Studios which will feature a variety of high profile guests, including the country’s most popular raw chef, Russell James.

Richi said: “The key to raw food is knowing how to make it simple and delicious and it’s a dream come true to have the UK’s number one raw chef, Russell James, join us with a food demo to show people how to do just that!”

There will also be plenty of other foodie demos, including by Ellie Bedford who wrote the award-winning book How to Eat a Rainbow'– a magical themed healthy children’s recipe book that targets treats, snacks, and drinks.

The show will also feature wellbeing coaches and experts as well as spiritual authors and even world class acrobats.

Visit wellbeingnow for details and to book tickets.

I have more energy now in my fifties than in my twenties

COMPLIMENTARY Therapist Teresa Harding, from Colchester, teaches people everything they need to know about the raw food movement, thanks to her raw food workshops and group retreats.


Through her workshops, which are for everyone, Theresa takes her clients through everything from the health benefits of being raw to the basic kitchen necessities you’ll need to hands on practical food preparation and tasters.

Teresa herself has been “high raw” for many years.

She is now in her fifties but says she genuinely feels better and has more energy than she did when she was in her twenties.

“I became a vegetarian in 1985 because of animal rights issues and then I eventually cut our dairy completely and became a vegan,” said Teresa.

Teresa sticks mainly to a completely raw diet – so hardly anything cooked – but she does brew up soups in the winter on her crock-pot.

She says: “Going raw isn’t something you can do 100 per cent over night, it’s about building it up and trying out recipes.

Teresa also started up a Colchester based meet up group– Raw Pot Luck – where raw food enthusiasts get together each month to share recipes and idea.

For more details, visit www.complementary therapist Dawn Waterhouse from Colchester is also an expert on raw food and hosts ‘make raw food interesting one-to-one workshops for people interested in taking this specific food path in life.

Dawn is a member of the Colchester Raw Pot Luck group too.

For more details visit