Lorraine Pannetier: Raw Food Fitness

Think Raw Food belongs in Hollywood or at the bottom of the fridge? We discover how it helped a Jersey fitness instructor get her body back on track

Advocates of raw food believe that cooking destroys natural enzymes vital for regenerating the body, and that cooked food can contain toxins. While there are various aspects of ‘Rawism’ with some people only eating raw fruits and vegetables, and others eating raw meats and fish, there is a general belief among adoptees that raw food contains more nutrients.

Lorraine Panettier has been eating a vegan raw food diet over three months ago. The mother-of-two from St Clements, Jersey, embraced raw food as a way of controlling digestive issues, and, to help with her gluten-intolerance.

As a personal trainer, Lorraine is always active, and eats a lot of her meals out of the house, making transportable salads a practical choice. However, getting enough nutrients from a vegan diet requires a lot of discipline.

She said: “When I first started eating raw food I found it hard to finish everything. When a large amount of your diet is green vegetables, you have to consume vast quantities to get enough calories and protein.

Vegetable Marinara: Courgette spirals with tomato sauce

“I would normally eat en entire head of greens myself for one meal, the sort of amount a lot of people would normally use to feed a whole family if they were serving it with meat and wheat-based dishes.”

Eating around 2,000 calories a day, 90% of Lorraine’s diet is carbohydrates, 10% is protein and 10% is fat. As well as vegetables and fruit, Lorraine will eat grains like quinoa (which also provides protein), but gets the majority of protein and fat from nuts, and vegetables like avocados, along with seeds like chia which absorb liquid and help fill you up.

She said: “Nuts and seeds are such intense sources of energy you don’t need to eat a massive amount to get what your body needs. They also add a lot of flavour and can be used as a substitute for things like cheese, or even flour when making vegan recipes.”

Lorraine will typically start her day with a smoothie, eat salads for lunch and then tuck into a huge bowl of raw vegetable for supper. Good kitchen equipment is vital to help prepare the vegetables, hence the spiraliser, which Lorraine uses to create thin strands of courgettes, carrots, sweet potatoes and even cucumber,  to make a substitute for spaghetti in her raw vegetable marinara.

Berry Smoothie: Frozen berries are great for a breakfast blend

A food processor is also essential for blitzing nuts, while a blender is the perfect device for making smoothies and raw juices.

Lorraine said: “We have so many vegetables and fruits in the house there is always something which needs using up. A smoothie is a great way of using older fruits and vegetables which might not took so pretty by themselves. You can also use frozen fruits for the smoothies too, which means you can buy things when they’re plentiful or on offer.

“Fruits like bananas are actually better for you when they’re really ripe as the sugars are easier to absorb.”

The high fibre content of a raw vegan diet will affect your digestive system so it is best to introduce a few dishes gradually. It is also not necessarily suitable for everyone, and Lorraine’s children still eat meat and grains like oats alongside lots of smoothies, salads and vegetable dishes.

For Lorraine the effects of a raw food diet have been mental as well as physical. She said: “My doctor had been on the point of prescribing anti-depressants but as soon as I started this diet it was like a grey cloud had been lifted. I feel like I have a lot more energy, especially in the evenings when I now feel more mentally alert. The fact my eyebrows and eyelashes are thicker too is also very nice.”

For the full version of this article and for details of food events in Jersey see the Private Table website HERE