I have several shelves of several bookcases full of raw food cookbooks and tomes on health, diet and nutrition. Not many of them are as comprehensive as Susan Schenck’s The Live Food Factor: The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet. If I had to do it all over again, I would have started with this one.
When my copy arrived in the mail, and before I opened the envelope, I thought they had mistakenly sent two books! At almost 700 pages, it’s more than twice the size of most books on the subject, and contains more information than all of them put together. Aside from an incredible compendium of raw food information, including submissions by others in the field, the author cites various scientific studies (70 of them(!) and actual peer-reviewed and published, for those that must have the Research Machine’s stamp of approval in order to consider any findings valid) revealing the many benefits of an unprocessed whole-food, plant-based diet.
This book doesn’t stop there, however. There is detailed and in-depth information on just about everything related to a healthy lifestyle and getting started on your own journey to health, if you are new to the idea. Along with the scientific studies, there are personal testimonials (including before-and-after pictures) from those just wanting to lose weight to those who claim they cured themselves of cancer or other diseases. There is considerable space devoted to the numerous controversies surrounding nutrition. There are tips on going raw, staying raw, common pitfalls, great recipes, and lots of recommendations for further reading.
The size of the book might actually seem a bit daunting, in addition to the sheer size and heft of it in one’s hands. For this reason, I found it a wonderful book to flip through, reading random sections in no particular order, rather than cover to cover. Its size made it a little difficult to hold for lengthy periods, and this must be the reason there is a “special binding upgrade” for those who order directly from the author, so the book can be laid flat. It’s probably worth the wait and cost for that, but I wouldn’t let this deter anyone from picking up a copy. There’s just too much great information here, without a lot of fluff.
The main sections of the book were broken into the following four topics:
Reasons to Go Raw
History and Modern Day Leaders
Your Journey to Raw Life (this part includes lots of recipes)
The author, Susan Schenck, is a Licenced Acupuncturist with a master’s in TCM, a master’s in applied linguistics, and bachelor’s in education. If you visit her web site, you can read the first chapter of the book there, as well as links to her health and recipe blogs.
Two thumbs up from this reader!