Health advocate, Sheree Clark, lectures on importance of eating raw foods, checking food labels

Robyn Riley

Most students going through the food lines at UDCC probably are not thinking about eating raw foods for lunch, but one Des Moines health guru thinks that should change.

Sheree Clark, certified raw culinary arts chef and instructor, gave a lecture March 11 at the Memorial Union titled “Eating Without Heating: An Intro to Raw Food.”

There are four main categories of raw foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. For one of those foods to be considered raw, it must be heated to no more than approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Raw food has valuable minerals, vitamins and enzymes that don’t get destroyed by the cooking process, and the enzymes help break down food in the digestive tract,” Clark said.

Eating raw foods was not something Clark had always done. When her father passed away due to a heart attack, she realized she didn’t want to have to take a pill to lower her cholesterol for the rest of her life.

“You all know the feeling of eating too much at Thanksgiving dinner or eating healthy for a few days. The effects of food on our bodies everyday is undeniable,” Clark said.

Fork In The Road, Clark’s Des Moines-based company, is all about encouraging people to make the right choices every day in regards to healthy eating and living.

“Every day, we come to a fork in the road when it comes to healthy choices. Don’t change your entire life. Just decide which decisions are worth it,” Clark said. 

During the lecture, Clark brought up many misconceptions about what “health foods” in stores today are made of, simply by addressing the ingredients in many popular products, like almond milk or banana chips. She also gave a few quick and easy tips on how to make these products at home for a much cheapter cost.

“Read the ingredients on the products you buy. Don’t focus on the calorie count or sugar and sodium levels. The ingredients will tell you all of that,” Clark said. 

Time is something that students don’t have a lot of, but Clark suggested that students set aside a specific time during the week to prepare healthy food, and to buy in bulk. While it takes a little bit of extra effort as opposed to simply buying something off the grocery store shelf, eating healthy foods, specifically raw foods, will help students navigate through depression and will increase students’ moods each day.

“Set yourself up for success. Starting your day right will help your day be more successful. There is a 100% food-mood connection.”

Camden Anderson, freshman in interdisciplinary studies, said he will start thinking more about eating healthy foods and changing the way he cooks.

For more information on how to prepare raw foods and live a healthier lifestyle, Clark has a show airing Sunday mornings on KCCI, digital channel 8.2, as well as her website