Making more Informed Food Choices
December 11, 2012
Jackie Roberge

The other day I wrote about the fun I had juicing and that started me thinking about my food choices.  I am not vegetarian but I try to eat healthy, fresh foods, choose healthy combinations and incorporate some raw food with every meal. 

Below I have asked my colleague Cherie Strong some questions I had about food and food choices.  Cherie is a Colon Hydrotherapist, Kinesiologist, Raw Food Educator and Yoga Instructor. I hope you enjoy her answers and insights!  Here is a link to her HealthStrong website in case you have more questions or want some support to start off the new year with new and healthy eating habits.  Cherie's philosophy includes a belief that you are your best judge as to what works best for you in the moment.  She encourages people to let go of the 'isms' (raw foodism, veganism, vegetarianism etc) and instead opt to create and develop a loving and trusting relationship with your body knowing that your body always wants the purest of foods and often it is to satisfy the mind at the expense of the body that we make choices that are not in alignment with what our bodies truly want.  

Why is juicing such a powerful practice, especially for cancer patients or those healing from any illness?
Juicing can be a powerful practice because it can be very alkalizing (healing) for the body and with the fibers removed, very gentle on the digestive system.  This means you get lots of vitamins and minerals to your body to heal and restore health without having to do all the work digesting it.  With less energy required to digest, your body has more energy and now more vitamins and minerals to do what it knows best how to do, restore balance and health to the body.  When juicing, it is a good practice to juice plenty of vegetables and minimize the amount of fruits juiced.  It is the vegetables that are mineral rich and what is needed most to help heal and restore health.  Pure fruit juice is not the best choice because without the fiber, they are high in sugar and can spike your blood sugar levels.

Can you demystify the term whole foods?
Whole foods are foods that are found the way you see them nature - simple, whole, pure and clean ie: apples, carrots, bananas, nuts, etc.  The definition of whole food is: foods that are unprocessed and unrefined before being consumed.  This means eating an apple rather than apple sauce, grapes rather than raisins, whole grain rather than bread etc.  At most typical North American grocery stores, it means shopping around the perimeter of the store and skipping the isles!  For those eating a pure whole food diet they are eating a version of a raw food diet. For other people in practice, eating a whole food diet means minimally processing the food they eat.  These people choose to heat their food but aside from the heating process not much else is done.    

What are the primary benefits of eating raw foods?
Raw foods are by their very nature whole food and our bodies do best when it is given whole food as its fuel source.  I like to call raw whole food natures perfect food for in it contains all the water, vitamins and minerals, fiber and enzymes needed to nourish our bodies and then help move the waste out!  We've all heard the saying 'we are what we eat'.  With raw food you can rest knowing that what you are eating is alive and contains many essential nutrients the body needs to create and maintain energy.  

Some of the reported benefits of following a high raw food diet are: improved skin appearance, excess weight loss, improved digestion, the reduction of many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as many other health debilitating ailments.

What would you suggest to someone who wants to start the new year out with some changes in their diet?

I always recommend a whole food diet, either in its pure form or one that includes heating and minimally processing.  I believe strongly that we feel our best when we provide our body with whole food as its fuel source and I truly believe that we all want to feel our best!  This means letting go of the boxed, canned, frozen and take out foods and opting instead for fresh, whole, ripe foods, organic and local when possible.  As a starting point I would encourage people to eat fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds and whole grains as 75% of their diet and free range/wild/organic meats and organic dairy as 25%.  As they grew and evolved, they might start to ask themselves if they wanted to include dairy, then ask whether they want to include meat and so on.  

Article originally appeared on CancerShift (
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