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Raw food diet promoted at vegetarian festival

It's a show dedicated to all things vegetarian and vegan. And this year, London's "Vegfest" is showcasing the trend of "living raw" - a plant-based diet where food isn't heated above 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees fahrenheit). STORYLINE: If you're looking for new recipes and inspiration when it comes to living a meat-free life, this is the place to be. There's 180 stalls promoting different products here. One of the focuses this time round is the raw food diet, which is made up of completely uncooked and unprocessed foods - often referred to as "live." By dieting purely on raw foods that haven't been cooked above 48 degrees celsius, raw eaters believe the high-enzymes - which are usually destroyed by cooking, frying or boiling food - are preserved, thus giving greater health and putting less pressure on the body. Raw food expert, Stephanie Jeffs, is a strong believer in the benefits of a raw food diet, having found the potential for rapid weight-loss through high-raw and high-plant based eating. "Raw food helps the body cleanse and detox which is the body's natural state. We everyday detox our bodies, but those, the function of detox is very often blocked with processed food, by cigarettes, by eating meat, dairy, and aggravated by a body that doesn't really move very much," says Jeffs. "What raw foods then does is then just cleanses the body and gives the body the chance to say 'Oh great, we're going back to our natural, sort of, natural function.'" But raw food diets aren't just about carrots and crudites. The range also includes a whole variety of other items - ranging from cheesecakes to vegetable curries. Saskia Fraser is a raw food mentor and life coach and - despite the apparent limitations of not cooking food above 48 degrees celsius - has found a range of enjoyable recipes suitable even for a winter diet. "It's becoming much easier to do because people are creating recipes, more and more recipes that use everyday ingredients, there are raw restaurants and cafes popping up left right and centre," she says. "It's become quite fashionable raw food, there's quite a lot of celebrities and models who are also into it. And, also I think because people are getting a bit disillusioned with the mainstream medical way of dealing with health, people are trying to see what they can do to improve their well being," says Frasier. Many of the veggie stalls featured here at Vegfest are championing raw cuisine. Rawlicious, producers of raw, organic, vegan, and gluten free food are showing off their range of uncooked products. Among their recipes, Rawlicious have thai chilli twist kale chips, brazil nuts and thyme crackers and even raw tomato pizza crackers. "Our attitude to raw food is slightly different. As you, you know, we believe in fun food and a tasty food. So using only fresh vegetables to create our recipes. So tomato pizza is just sun-dried tomatoes, there is buckwheat, different spices, you know, fresh parsley, to create a really moth-watering taste," says Kate Dawidowska, founder of Rawlicious. Elsewhere at the show, some of London's vegan and vegetarian eateries are displaying their new culinary creations. Nama Foods, a London-based artisan raw foods restaurant, produces a range of delicacies which haven't been cooked, treated or processed in any way at temperatures above 105-115 degrees fahrenheit. It makes lasagne, pizzas, zucchini pastas plus a whole host of desserts including chocolate and hazelnut brownies. "We try to create, like, a little bit more complex dishes. Using, you know, different spices and herbs, marinating, fermenting, dehydrating, spiralising," says Irene Arango, co-founder of Nama Foods. The organisers claim they rank as Europe's biggest vegetarian events. You can license this story through AP Archive: Find out more about AP Archive:

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