From "12 Steps To Raw Foods"

These are some excerpts from Victoria Boutenko's book "12 Steps To Raw Foods"

"When people talk about raw food, they usually talk about enzymes. Enzymes are energy. Enzymes are life. We cannot see enzymes with our naked eye, but we can see the life and energy that is the result of enzymes. For example, if I take two almonds, one raw and one roasted, and plant them in soil, within three weeks the roasted almond will have disintegrated into the soil. The raw almond will remain where I planted it. In spring the snow melts on the mountain and flows down to water the soil, inhibitors will be unlocked in the almond and it will have the potential to give birth to a beautiful big almond tree, which will give birth to thousands more beautiful almonds. As this illustration shows, the difference between the roasted almond and the raw almond is life and death. One has enzymes and one does not. One carries within the potential of life, the other has had life cooked out. If I were to take two almonds (one raw and one roasted) to a scientists and ask for an analysis of both almonds, the scientists will see no nutritional difference between the two almonds. Both almonds have the same amount of calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc and copper as if they are absolutely equivalent nutritionally. However, as the example shows, one carries life in enzymes while the other does not.

"In order to understand how enzymes work, let us fantasize a story. On a beautiful June day you are walking through an apple orchard. You look for apples, but they are still green and hiding in the leaves. You cannot see them easily and they don't really smell. You return to the orchard in July. The apples are big and red and they smell great. The apples seem to be calling to you, "See me, smell me, eat me." You realize that to an apple, being eaten by an animal or a human being means the continuation of life. You reach out and pick a large red apple. You take a bite. The apple is filled with live enzymes. As you enjoy the flavor and texture of the apple, the enzymes (likened to little handy-men with suitcases full of magic healing tools) work on your body. As you walk along, the enzymes work through your body as a healing team, repairing what needs attention. You feel good and full of energy because the apple carries the enzymes within it to digest itself. Your body does not have to put out extra effort to digest the apple. Later the apple leaves your body in the form of fertilizer and continues to live. You have participated in the circle of life. Everything is circular. It is a
universal law."

"The following weekend you return to the orchard and pick a basket of apples. You take the apples home to make baked apples with caramel and cinnamon, just like your grandmother used to make. You create your dish and put it into the oven to cook. The baked apple looks pretty and smells delicious. It looks as nutritious as that apple you picked and ate raw last weekend. But it is not. This apple has been cooked and the enzymes are destroyed.

You bite into the sweet baked apple; caramel and cinnamon stimulate your taste buds creating a pleasant sensation. You finish your serving and then go to lie down. You are feeling a little sluggish and tired. Inside your body your own enzymes have to leave their work, maybe cleansing
the liver, protecting you from tumors and evacuation toxins here and there, to come digest the cooked apple that does not have any enzymes of its own. When this apple finally leaves your body, into the toilet, it is filled with your own enzymes. These enzymes are gone forever. Cooked food does not contain live enzymes and so takes enzymes from your body to digest the food. These enzymes then leave your body, leaving you with fewer enzymes than you start with. Dr. Edward Howell, a leading nutritionist, suggested that the average American at the age of 40 has only 30% of their enzymes left. We can still walk, talk and think at this point, but when we have only 30% of our enzymes left, plus they have to give about 75% of their energy to detoxify the body, we become less sensitive to other people, and to ourselves. We may survive physically but not spiritually.

"The good news is that even if we have only 30% of our enzymes left, we still can live our portion of life, if we go on a raw diet and let the body purify
itself.

"There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion in the field of enzymes. In fact many licensed nutritionists don't understand the importance of enzymes in our food. If you want to have a proper diet, gaining complete clarity about enzymes is crucial. For example, let's look at the difference between raw fat and cooked fat. Why does fat exist? We all need fat to lubricate our eyes so we can see, to lubricate our skin so it is soft and to lubricate our hair. We need fat to lubricate our joints, so whenever we move our joints we don't squeak like an old garage door. We can't get live fat from pasteurized milk, butter, sour cream or roasted nuts because it's all cooked! We could be very obese but lack real fat. Our bodies are desperate for raw life fat. The best sources of live fat are avocado, young coconut, durian, olives, nuts, seeds and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

"I remember when I was very obese. I was 120 pounds more than I am now. During that time I started to crave avocados. I was able to eat eight avocados a day. Before that, to me, they tasted like soap. When I was eating avocados, I started to lose weight faster. This is because of the enzyme in the fat of avocados, lipase, was able to penetrate my saturated fat deposits, break them into saller pieces, and take them out of my body. Isn't that amazing?

"Another example is calcium. When we lack calcium, we are advised by advertising to drink pasteurized milk. You've all seen the ads that ask "Got Milk"?
I would argue that when we need calcium, the more appropriate question is
to ask "Got wheat grass?" or "Got sesame seed milk?" Cow's milk is not intended for human consumption; it does have calcium, but it also contains very
concentrated protein and produces excessive mucus. Secondly, pasteurized
milk has been heated until the enzyme activity has stopped. The enzymes are
destroyed; there is no life. The body only absorbs empty lifeless shells of calcium
molecules.

"Wheat grass is where a cow gets her calcium and is easily digested by the human body because the molecule of chlorophyll and the molecule of human blood are almost identical. Sesame seeds are the richest in calcium among all other seeds and nuts. Sesame milk is delicious and can easily replace cow's milk.

"As I said earlier, enzymes are life and energy. We are human beings and we are spiritual beings. We need energy so we move and work and also love, share, communicate and be sensitive to each other. Every time we eat cooked food we lose enzymes. In our cooked food filled bodies, our enzymes are doing hard work. Because cooked food does not have enzymes, our body cannot use it. Therefore, the body treats cooked food as a toxin and is only concerned with getting rid of it."