Tips for Transitioning to Raw Food
Making a decision to improve your diet is a big step! Making the decision to go Raw or High Raw is huge! There are many thoughts on how to make the “Transition” and it will vary from person to person. Everyone is in a different place when they begin.
Where you begin is dependent on where you are starting. If you are on a Standard American Diet aka SAD, going Raw is going to be different and may take a little longer than if you are already on a Plant Based Vegan Diet.
I know people who have made that shift overnight to an all raw diet from a SAD diet. Most say it was a challenging way to go and if they were to go back and do it again they would go slowly.
Making changes in you diet will challenge you on many levels, physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially. I recommend taking things step by step and slowly give your body, mind and taste buds a chance to adjust. (Not to mention the people around you!)
It’s been shown that it takes 30 days to solidify a habit, and I believe this is a perfect way to make this transition successful so take it slow. You want to be successful long term!
Here are my recommendations. I encourage everyone to comment on your experience, how you went raw, where you were when you began, how you felt, the challenges you faced and what you would do differently if you were to go back and do it again.
- Educate Yourself
To be successful long term on a raw or a high raw diet you have to make sure your diet is nutritionally sound and your calorie needs are met. My “go to” books for this is are Becoming Raw and Becoming Vegan both written by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, They are both Registered Dietitians http://www.nutrispeak.com/newbecomingvegetarian.htm and give detailed and sound information on how to meet your nutritional needs in a clear and understandable way.
Beware of the numerous “experts” out there giving advice and selling products. Make sure you are following someone with the proper education and experience.
- Keep a Journal
As you begin this amazing journey of health, keep a special journal dedicated just to this. See tomorrows post for a Journal set up!
- Learn The Basics
Pick up a few basic raw “cook” books and learn some of the basic recipes. There are so many raw food books on the market that are filled with complicated recipes. These are fun to learn, but your staples are going to be the recipes that are quick and easy. If you start with recipes that require heard to find ingredients and take 30 hours in the dehydrator your going to be overwhelmed! Jennifer Cornbleets books have great, easy to learn recipes! http://www.learnrawfood.com/
- Remove “Bad” Food, Add “Good” Food
Look at your existing diet. Are you eating processed, refined foods? Fast food? High sugary foods? Meat, pasta, dairy? Pick one or two foods a week to release from your diet. No more than that at a time!
Clean your cabinets out so you won’t be tempted. As, you let go of these foods, add one or two healthy foods into your diet. Try to get as much green food into your diet as possible. Aim for 1 1/2 -2 lbs a day!
You can add all the healthy food you want but until you dump the junk you will never see the results you are looking for! Be gentle with yourself. If you slip, get back up and move on. Hold yourself accountable but without a guilt trip. As, you release foods that no longer serve you, acknowledge any emotions that come up. Journal about your feelings, share them with a trusted friend.
Resources you may find helpful: Raw Emotions by Angela Stokes Monarch http://www.therawfoodworld.com/ and Transforming Your Life with Raw Food, a DVD by Philip McCluskey http://www.philipmccluskey.com/
- Start with a Raw Breakfast
This is the easiest meal to have raw. I recommend you start with a Green Smoothie. It’s an easy way to get your greens in and alkalize your body. Add some avocado, coconut oil or butter, nuts or seeds for a feeling of satiety and fullness. These are good fats and you only need a tablespoon or so. Your body needs fats!
- Go For Variety
Aim for variety in your daily diet. Aim for the rainbow! Greens, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds and seaweeds. If you’re eating a high raw diet add some cooked grains, legumes or beans. By eating a wide variety of nutrient dense foods you will ensure all your nutritional needs are met. If you are not eating any animal foods add a B 12 supplement or nutritional yeast to your diet.
- Be Prepared
Get a lunch bag or even a small cooler to keep with you when you go out so you always have something on hand for lunch or a snack. Check out the raw food section in your health food store for pre-made and packaged snack food like bars, crackers, kale chips etc. Keep fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds along with water, coconut water and kefirs.
Also handy to keep on hand are condiments such as sea salt, lemon wedges, mini bottles of olive oil, apple cider vinegar these items are small and easy to bring with you to a restaurant. You can always get a chef to custom make a salad for you and with a little squeeze of a lemon, some olive oil a pinch of sea salt and a sprinkle of nuts or hemp seeds your good to go!
- Adding On
As your body adapts, add a second raw or high raw meal into your day. I recommend that be dinner. Your digestion and sleep will thank you.
Find your groove. Don’t force things that don’t feel right to you. If being all raw feels great, stay there. If being High Raw feels good, there you shall be. Be truthful to your self.
Elaina Love, Victoria Boutenko and Chad Sarno have just released a book called Raw and Beyond that advocates a High Raw Diet as opposed to an All Raw Diet.
Tomorrow I will give you a great way to organize a Food Journal plus a few quick, easy and yummy recipes! Please add your comments below with YOUR experiences or tips!
In Love and Health, Lori Clayton LMT, CHHC