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How can I speed up my metabolism?

Metabolism is the speed at which chemical reactions are happening in the body. All chemical reactions in the body are caused by enzymes.
Metabolic enzymes run the organs. Digestive enzymes digest food.
When foods are cooked the enzyme content is denatured and the enzymes become worthless to our bodies. In foods not heated above 105 degrees F the enzymes are still present and help digest food.
This is important because when the stomach needs more digestive enzymes, it takes metabolic enzymes from the rest of the body (the organs). Over time, this weakens and slows organs.
In short, we call this the metabolism slowing down, or aging. What is really happening is that the body is continually lacking in the enzymes it needs.
In summary, to speed your metabolism up you should eat raw fruits and raw vegetables.
The other side to the story is exercise. For example, your lymph system functions only when the body is in motion. Blood is moved by your heart. Lymph fluid doesn't have a heart to pump it, yet it must move in order to detoxify the body. A sluggish lymph system shows symptoms such as fatigue, acne and inability to lose weight. Much of the benefit of exercise comes from stimulating the lymph system.
I was reading one of your posts about you being more natural because of the harmful side effects of modern chemicals, and I was wondering...

What do you use for hygiene products, and bathing?

When I think of odor causing bacteria, I think of this one vegetarian I met. He was an all natural guy that I met some years back.
He was extremely fit, and active but he stunk horribly all of the time.
And his flatulence made one feel as if they lived in a rotten bean factory.

What causes really bad gas?

Great guy though, I liked him a lot.
I'd like to start by addressing your vegetarian friend who stank like a "rotten bean factory." That is actually fairly common and it is due to a general population ignorance on some very vital subjects.
Most people don't pay any attention to food combinations or flora health, which causes them to be gassy.
Gas is the result of combining foods improperly and feeding bacteria in your gut instead of feeding yourself. And/or, sometimes the bad food combination itself causes a chemical reaction which creates the gas.
Digestive systems that are not strong (most people's) are not cut out for beans, nuts or meals that combine starches, fats and sweet all at once. They require conflicting (alkaline and acid) enzymes which neutralize each other in the stomach, causing all the food to move to the colon undigested, resulting in bacteria feeding on the food and producing gas.
This can also happen by stacking meals closely together.
If you eat rice and then fruit twenty minutes later, there is a good chance of getting gas or indigestion in a weak digestive system. (A weak digestive system is a cover-all term I use to mean a number of things, such as insufficient stomach acid or bile production, weakened stomach lining, insufficient enzyme production, improper flora balance, etc.)
Rice will take around two hours to digest and requires different enzymes than fruit. Fruit will take twenty minutes to an hour, with the exception of fatty fruits (an avocado would take two hours or more).
Digestion times will vary from person to person, and the weaker the digestive system the longer it takes.
Regardless of the individual, it always is best to eat fruit away from meals, preferably early in the day, allowing them to fully digest before eating anything else.
Leafy greens can be combined with any meal without an issue, and raw greens can help digest other foods as long as the stomach is not over-filled.
I doubt your vegetarian friend knew any of that stuff or lived by it.
As for hygienic practices:
Showering helps.
Many people don't realize, however, that showering is generally insufficient to get fully clean. At least twice a month take a long soaking bath. It will loosen up layers and layers of dead skin that showering will never get off.
I'm generally surprised at how little people ever take baths, much less soak.
On the flipside, you can get really clean in the shower if you use a really harsh unhealthful soap and very hot water. However, this is a terrible idea because it destroys all the natural oils in your skin and bacteria that is supposed to be there, and actually makes you smell worse sooner.
When you use harsh conventional soap with hot water:
  • Bad bacteria, when you encounter it, now has free reign (because the good competing bacteria has been removed). 
  • Your pores clog sooner because hot water leaves your pores open.
  • You are more vulnerable to skin irritation and bacteria-caused break-outs.
  • You are more likely to smell bad.
Using oil-based organic soap that doesn't easily remove your natural oils may seem counter-intuitive. The difference in the health of your skin will compensate by becoming more bacteria and dirt resistant. Just like a well-oiled wood table is easier to clean, your skin is also easier to keep clean when its natural oils are present.
Specific Products! Looking for specific product recommendations? Click here for the body products I use.
I switched to oil-based organic soaps in 2010. At first I didn't feel clean when I used them because I was used to every bit of oil being taken out of my skin by soap. It takes getting used to, but it is worth it.
As for bad-smelling sweat, that is detoxification. The more you detox with your diet (through your colon and into the toilet) the less you'll detox through your skin. Also, drinking plenty of water makes the sweat more healthy, less sticky and less smelly.
Speaking of sweating and showering: The best time to shower is while you're actually sweating. That cleans the pours naturally, while they're currently excreting waste. It gives no time for bacteria to develop on the surface of the skin after the sweat dries.
Ideally, you'd hop in the shower while still sweating, soap up with an organic oil-based soap and shower with warm water. Then you'll rinse with cool water to close up your pores. You'll emerge from the shower with your skin at the level of cleanliness that is normal and excellent for a human being.
In summary: bad odors come from bad bacteria and toxins. Having healthy flora (good bacteria) and a detoxifying diet (with good meal combination) as well as a regular routine of showering with quality soap will prevent bad odors.
Wow. Thank you very much.
I must say that time and time again i am actually blown away by the depth of your knowledge. I know people twice as old as you who know less than you.

Do your recipes include agave?

"I am curious if your raw plans include agave or other sweeteners. I have had terrible pain and dehydration from agave."
Agave makes me feel terrible too! I actually had my legs lock up and wasn't able to move after eating a pie sweetened with agave. I've been trying to tell people to stop using it. In my local area, the raw foodies rarely use agave any more because my husband and I as well as another couple have been speaking out against it for years now.
In answer to your question, no refined sweeteners are used in my meal plans at all.

Is it really safe to be 100% raw?

"I have heard over and over that being totally raw is bad for you. That everyone needs some cooked foods to keep their digestive system and organs balanced and healthy over time. What is your take on this?"

If you think about it, all the herbivore animals are 100% raw. They don't cook their food, why should we? The short answer: Yes, it is safe to eat a 100% raw vegan diet.
I explain in my books about getting B12 and D which are not abundant in plant life (depending on who you ask, of course). Those two compounds aside, everything is more abundent in raw vegetables (when measuring food by calories—the only fair way to measure foods in comparison with one another).
All of the above aside, it is not necessarily bad to eat 10-20% cooked food, as long as you know which cooked foods never to eat. Part of the reason the raw diet is so powerful is because a large array of cooked foods are so harmful. Getting those toxic cooked foods out of the diet is equally important to getting powerful healing foods in to the diet.
Steamed vegetables are safe as long as no oil is cooked on them. While cold-pressed oil is okay, cooked fats should never be eaten in particular. The way fats change chemically when heated is monstrously bad for our human digestive system (or any digestive system as I understand it).
So those are just two examples of cooked foods: one perfectly "safe" (even if devoid of vitamin C, enzymes, and various other things), and the other very harmful.
Including steamed greens in the diet is a good idea for anyone who doesn't like to eat a lot of salad. It is hard to get enough calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium if you're not consuming a lot of leafy greens. If eating large salads doesn't agree with you then including steamed kale, cabbage and other greens is a good idea. Minerals are not chemically altered the same way when heated as vitamins are.
An easy way to think of what happens to food when heated: Enzymes and vitamins are 80-100% destroyed by cooking. Minerals are only 10-40% lost, depending on the cooking method. Heating with water is okay. Heating without water (baking) or heating with oil (frying) is very bad, creating carcinogenic toxins.
Personally, I consume steamed kale on occasion for extra calcium and iron because I don't always feel like drinking more green juice or making another salad. Mostly I do it in the winter when it is really extra nice to have something warm. Steamed kale with celery salt for lunch on a cold winter day is very comforting without being detrimental.
However, it is important that at least 50% of your calories come from raw foods. German studies showed nearly a hundred years ago that a diet of 50% or more cooked foods causes immune dysfunctions (which are really ramapant today in a society that eats 80% or more of their calories cooked).

Should someone with leaky gut syndrome eat lentils?

"Should someone with leaky gut eat lentils?
"And, if I can't eat lentils, then where would I get protein if I became a raw vegan?"
No, someone with leaky gut should not eat lentils.
People with leaky gut, low hydrocholoric acid, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, candida or habitual constipation should not have any of the following:
  • Beans (including lentils)
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Meat
  • Diary (especially cheese!)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
The reason is because grains, nuts, legumes and animal products all contain "dense proteins" which are murder to a less-than-optimal digestive system. They use enzymes to digest that irritate a weakened stomach lining (this is especially bad for people with advanced candida or stomach ulcers). The undigested proteins feed bacterial problems (which will worsen constipation and yeast infections).
Any grains, nuts, seeds or legumes that are consumed should always be soaked overnight and rinsed thoroughly with drinking water before consumption (whether or not they are being cooked). This, at least, removed the enzyme inhibitors that make digestion extra hard. However, I don't recommend these foods at all when working on healing one of the digestive conditions I just mentioned.
Instead, vegetables should be the protein source. The protein in vegetables is actually easier to use, easier to digest, and builds muscle faster and more effectively.
Per calorie, you'll actually get more usable protein from vegetables than you will from meat, beans, nuts, seeds, or dairy. (100 calories of vegetables will provide more usable protein than 100 calories of any of those other foods.)
Vegetables average 20% calories from protein. Much of that protein is ruined during cooking, so it is best to get protein from vegetables in salads, green smoothies and green juice. To learn more click here to read this comprehensive article about protein.

Should food be sterilized?

"I am curious about your thoughts on sterilizing raw foods before they are eaten."
It shouldn't be required if you're immune system is strong.
However, you can use hydrogen peroxide on the outside of produce before consuming it. Just rinse with water, then with hydrogen perioxide, then with filtered water.
A veggie scrub, vinegar or baking soda could also be used to clean produce. I used to always use a veggie scrub, but now I just use vinegar or just scrub fruit with a brush under luke-warm water.
I don't always wash produce if I pick it myself and it is organic. The reason to wash organic produce comes from the possibility of the pickers leaving harmful germs (possibly disease) on the food.
With conventional food, no amount of scrubbing can fix all the things wrong with it, but it still helps.
If you grow or pick it yourself and it is organic, no cleaning is required.
~ Raederle Phoenix
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