The Raw Food Diet/Lifestyle
Your Raw Food Choices
If you've decided to embark on a raw food diet, you're in for a wonderfully fascinating journey! Believe me, if my raw food diet didn't deliver everything I hoped and more, I would not have ended up where I am today, some 20 years later. I'm still as firm a believer as I was when I took my first few baby steps. The results have surpassed all my expectations. If you commit to changing not only your diet but your entire lifestyle, then, somewhere down the line, you will agree with me. Diet and life go hand in hand. Once your diet changes, everything else seems to follow suit. It isn't something you necessarily plan on - it just evolves. And it's tons of fun!
Raw Food Plan: Where do I start?
Creating a firm foundation for your ultimate success means setting realistic goals and transitioning gradually. Don't be swayed by hype or dogma. Moving thoughtfully to a raw foods diet will serve you best if you do not rely on supplements or superfoods for meeting your nutritional needs (unless you have a specific deficiency that needs addressing). As you progress, be your own researcher, your own experiment. No one will be able to tell you what you as an individual should or should not be eating each day. Everybody is different. For the best basis for your transition, I recommend reading my books in the order they were written - see the page entitled Health Benefits of Raw Foods.
Personalization of your raw food diet.
What works for one person won't always work for you. Have fun with your transition period. Enjoy finding healthy transition recipes as well as raw ones while you establish ever-healthier habits. Balancing your cooked and raw vegetarian or vegan recipes will provide familiarity and comfort as you move along in your raw food plan. Experiencing an enjoyable transition, however short or long, is important not only physically, but mentally. Eat fruits and vegetables you already love, both in cooked and raw form, while exploring new raw options. Trying new recipes is fun. But not everything needs a "recipe" at all. A bowl of sliced fresh fruit is every bit as delicious, as satisfying, as a recipe with many ingredients and steps. Strive for balance.
Find and add in substitutes for your favorite cooked foods, but don't overdo nuts and heavy dishes. These will cause you as much gastric upset as their damaging cooked counterparts. Stick to the basics - juicing, smoothies, interesting salads - and branch out from there. See my book Beautiful on Raw: Uncooked Creations
Raw Food Diet Plan: Transitioning smoothly
Add before you subtract. Begin, that is, by adding raw foods to your present diet, not taking away cooked foods. There are self-styled right-now types who'll disagree, hard-headed purists who'll cringe at the very thought of including anything, in any diet ever, that doesn't meet their stringent standards. But most good raw-foods teachers emphasize the addition-first principle along with me. Practically speaking, it's a very helpful mindset. You're not taking anything away from yourself, or depriving yourself of favorite treats. Rather, you are gifting your self with vital, life-bringing foods, spicing your life with fresh flavors and colors. Start this way, and you'll soon be finding yourself adding in more and more of them. New discoveries will come - gradually, sometimes without your even knowing - to replace those "meat and potatoes" items you once thought essential. This way, you'll find your transition a joy - not a burden. A game to be played with delight - not a set of prison-yard rules to be obeyed
The best thing to add, and maybe your first, is daily fresh vegetable juice. Juicing is king, as I point out in my blog article Are We Getting Enough Nutrients?
Give yourself the gift every diet in transition needs - forgiveness. Be patient as you strive to change habits. Have a sense of humor. It's normal - not a sin - to fall off the wagon now and then. Berating yourself for yesterday's steak sandwich will likely do more damage than your lunch choice did. Besides, that was yesterday's lunch, and you can't fix it - you can only fix today's and tomorrow's. So...learn from your mistakes. Your raw-foods transition is a process, a journey - not an event. Be ready to do a lot of experimenting along the way so that you know what works best for your individual body and lifestyle.
Health - not disease - is my expertise. I am not a doctor of any kind. Nor do I have any "alternative" health care training. My interest and my focus are health, not disease, so I don't involve myself in medical issues. (You should never regard my words or work as substitutes for duly qualified medical treatment or advice.)
That said, I have had more than my share of medical challenges and victories. I can say with confidence that the raw food diet is one of the most healing diets on the planet. As you change your diet and your practices, neither I nor anyone else will be able to predict for you whether or how well your raw foods diet will help with this or that issue, because it is not the food that does the healing, curing or balancing - it is your body that performs the miracles, when supplied the right raw materials.
Take one... leave one. You will be astounded at how much seemingly effortless progress you can make if you practice what I call the "take one, leave one' principle. Every week, two weeks, or if you want to take it slower, take one more dietary or lifestyle practice or change at the same time that you leave one out. For instance, start juicing daily and make that a solid habit, while leaving off eating cooked breads. When you're ready to take it a step further, you might start dry skin brushing daily and leave off eating refined sugars. As you progress, you could possibly take up hot yoga or some other form of exercise daily and strike coffee off your list.
You can draw your own roadmap. Or you can use mine, if you like. If you want a step by step road map that will walk you through the entire process, then my ebook 100 Days to 100% Rawis definitely for you! I wrote 100 Days to 100% Raw specifically for those needing step- by-step instructions on transitioning from the Standard American Diet to the raw food diet.
Tailor your journey to fit your lifestyle, your needs, your goals. Recently revised, 100 Days is filled with notes on websites and resources to help propel you to where you want to be. On its pages you'll find recipes, instructions, beauty tips, and more! 100 Days to 100% Raw is a tool based on my own carefully recorded journey, offering experience and research I hope you'll find invaluable in your efforts to obtain your most radiant health and beauty. In this ebook I give references to my first two books.