Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chef Susan Teton Campbell Part II: Cooked, Raw and Cultured Foods are Good for You

This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at In this excerpt, Chef Susan Teton Campbell shares on cooked foods verses raw foods and cultured foods and why they're so good for you. Renegade Roundtable with Chef Susan Teton Campbell. Susan is a food evangelist and author of "Raising a New America" and co-author of "The Healthy School Lunch Action Guide." Kevin: You mentioned cooked foods that you can mix with raw food techniques? Explain that. Susan: Yeah. I think one of the most important things about raw food is the integrity of the food and the integrity of the oils and the fats. In other words, let's just take nuts for example, nuts are so much better for you when they are soaked and they're sprouted, or at least soaked so they're germinated, as opposed to a processed almond oil, as opposed to a raw nut. Just a raw nut in the store is just a raw nut. But in live foods preparation we germinate the nuts and seeds, bringing them to life, getting off the enzyme inhibitors. So you can take those same techniques and use nuts and seeds and combine them with some simple steamed veggies. A lot of people want a little more cooked foods, but you can use some of the same techniques from raw food and mix it with cooked food. You're still getting great benefits and getting a lot of great nutrients in your body. A lot of people won't eat, let's say a dish of chard. I could eat a whole bowl of chard but not if it's raw. If it's lightly steamed I could eat a lot more of it. Do you follow what I'm saying? Kevin: Right. Yeah. I want to talk about the transition that you made from raw to cooked, because we don't eat 100 percent raw and there's reasons why. I like to ask people why they've chosen to incorporate some cooked foods into their diet because it might help someone decide if they're willing or need to take that sort of path - if they're striving for 100 percent raw and they're feeling a little off. Why go to cooked foods? What do you think you needed from them? Susan: Good question. I think what inspired me was when I was sick I went to a homeopathic doctor, and he advocated more of an Indian cuisine, east Indian cuisine, which is a lot of lentils and chickpeas and lots of vegetables. He wanted them to be cooked, not raw. As you know, there's many different types of diets and healing modalities with regards to food. I did really well on that diet. I found that I was a bit starved for some nutrients on the raw food diet.. Some I got abundantly and it really lasted me for a while. But over a long-term it didn't. Plus I was going through menopause. Your body is going through more of a transition; it's beginning to take a different change, a complete change. Some of the things we can do when we're younger don't always serve us as we get older. I found that, let's take lentils and chickpeas and legumes and things like that, before when I sprouted them or made pates out of them I wouldn't eat probably nearly as much of them. So I probably wasn't getting as many nutrients as I could. Now I can eat a bowl of cooked lentils with some coconut oil on them and some really great Celtic sea salt and maybe some sea vegetables. And I'm getting all of these things from the raw food diet but the lentils themselves have been cooked. So I assimilate them better. I seem to digest them better and I eat more of them. Kevin: I completely hear you because that's been one of the challenges that I've had. It's been a calorie issue for me. Susan: Yeah, we get skinny, too skinny, too. I did. [Laughter] Oh darn, some people say. Kevin: What turned you on to cultured foods? Susan: I think I first learned about cultured foods through Donna Gates, The Body Ecology Diet. I started making my own cultured vegetables and made coconut kiefer, tons of it. Oh, I had my saw out in the kitchen and there would be a whole case of it. I was having a lot of digestion problems and couldn't seem to figure out what was going on with me.. As it turned out, way later I found out, that I had some sort of weird parasite, which I have since completely healed myself from or got rid of. But I really learned a lot about cultured foods. Now I can hardly go a couple of days without my cultured vegetables. Of course they're raw and they have so much more of a combination and variety of probiotics bacteria; whereas, if you take the pills you're only getting certain strains. In cultured vegetables when you've got a combination of maybe sea vegetables and cabbage and carrots and whatever else you want to put in.. You're going to get such a variety of microbes that it just really enhances the digestions. Every single person I have turned onto them, because you can go buy them if they're raw; you don't want to get like regular, commercial sauerkraut because they've been pasteurized and highly salted. But if you get raw, ... they make a pretty good brand that you can find in most health food stores. They're kind of pricey. They're like ten bucks a jar so a lot of people go, "Oh, those are so expensive." I say eat a tablespoon at each meal. Do what I say. They'll call me in two days and say, "I can't believe the difference." Source -

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