As you become more familiar with the raw food lifestyle and move beyond vegetarian and vegan towards high or completely raw, your diet and practices must always change and evolve to meet your needs. In the beginning, because of your past training, your resolve will swing like a pendulum. You will constantly worry about whether or not you are getting enough nutrients. Should I eat more fruits? More greens? More nuts?
The only way you will rid yourself of these fears is by gaining your own quantifiable firsthand experience. When this happens you will not be enduring the raw food diet, you will be enjoying the truth. Balance is the key!
Not all raw foods are created equal. Some are healthier for you than others. Certain ingredients might be helpful to the transition but should be gradually eliminated once the change is complete. While on the raw food diet, do not force any dietary changes. Let your body be your guide.
For example, mushrooms are excellent for filling the initial void left by eliminating cooked food, but exercise moderation in eating them. Listen to your body; you will know when it is time to give them up.
Raw soy recipes are certainly better than tofu or processed soymilk. There is nothing wrong in making raw tofu with sprouted soybeans during the transition phase, but as you progress, all soy dishes should be avoided because even ‘organic’ soybean crops are now genetically modified.
Dishes involving marinating in Nama Shoyu are very helpful when you miss heavily flavored cooked food. However, in preparation of this sauce, the soybeans are boiled and, although fermentation makes soy products into a somewhat digestible food, it is still cooked and salted.
Raw cakes, pies, and cookies were indispensable in my battles with sugar cravings. I relied heavily on them in the beginning but find that I am making fewer and fewer desserts for myself. When I do, I use coconut water as the main sweetener.
Dried fruits are not the healthiest of foods, but they were crucial during my transitional phase, and you may find them to be so during yours as well. They will help you eliminate such foods as processed cookies, chips, pastries, etc. All of the dishes involving dried fruits must be eaten in great moderation. You should always brush your teeth after eating, but absolutely do it after eating dried fruits. And try to eliminate them from your diet as soon as possible.
Another tremendous stumbling block for me initially was giving up bread. During the transition, I did use some sprouted grains. In my second book “Beautiful on Raw: Uncooked Creations” I included several raw food recipes that helped me over that particular hurdle. Again, in time, grain dishes will become too heavy for your digestive system. The same applies to sprouted beans. Give them up for good as soon as you can. It will accelerate your progress.
If you have a serious health challenge you should exclude grains, beans, mushrooms, soy products, and dried fruits entirely from your diet. However, for most of you, the success rate will be much higher if you start with a variety of transitioning raw food dishes and then gradually simplify as you ascend to the basics: vegetable juices, green smoothies, simple greens plus vegetable salads, soaked nuts and seeds, seaweed, and some fruits.
It is not unusual for a long time raw food eater to have only one or two simple meals per day. This concept is explored in my third book “Quantum Eating.” The information and practices in it will help propel you to a whole new level of health.