The raw food diet is not only the healthiest for the human body, but it is also the most environmentally friendly, as it requires that you consume at least 75% of your foods in their raw state. Thus your body is able to obtain more nutrients, as cooking destroys many of them. And you are saving the environment because you are not cooking your foods over fires that pollute the air.
The diet is not all that popular even though it has been around longer than any other diet. However, it is gaining more popularity as more and more people are being healed from diseases that modern medicine does not have a cure for.
Switching over to the raw food diet means that you will no longer be able to eat most of the foods that you are used to eating on the modern conventional diet. And the worse part about it is that the majority of those foods contain ingredients that are very addictive. Thus leaving behind the foods that you are used to, is a lot like a drug addict coming off the drugs (only not as severe).
But the good news is that there are a lot of things that you can do to make it easier on yourself, and those around you. Here are some tips to help you go raw and stay raw.
Make Gradual but Permanent Changes
First of all, you need to take things slow. Your body may be very toxic, and thus you may experience severe detox symptoms if you make drastic changes in your diet. Fruits and vegetables and other raw foods are high in antioxidants that go to work immediately to loosen the toxins and eliminate them from the body.
However, when too many antioxidant foods are consumed, too many toxins will be released and the kidneys will not be able to keep up with eliminating them. Thus the toxins keep circulating the body until they can be eliminated, and the more toxins you have floating around in your body, the worse you will feel. You may experience headaches, fatigue and mood swings, as well as an increase in body odor.
So what can you do? The answer is quite simple. Simply start off by adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals. Then when you are ready you can start eating 100% raw meals. The best meal to start off with as a raw meal is breakfast, as that will motivate you to remain raw for as long as you can. Then the next step is to go raw for lunch, and then eventually you will want to enjoy a raw supper as well.
Some people may be able to eat a 100% raw diet within a few months of starting the diet, while others may take a little longer to adjust.
Get to Know Your Foods
You should take the time to educate yourself on the foods you eat, regarding the nutritional values and the health benefits that they can offer you. By doing so you will be able to eat the right foods when you have a bad day, and thus you can become your own doctor.
Knowing the nutritional value of the food will also help to pull you through the stage where your taste buds are trying to adapt to the new diet. You may not enjoy the foods, but you will eat them anyway, because you know that they are good for you. Once your taste buds come back to life, then you can forget about the benefits and just enjoy your foods.
One of the main reasons why people are switching to the raw food diet is because they want to avoid toxins in their foods. Thus it only makes sense that you try to purchase organic foods that have not been treated with pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers.
Organic foods generally cost more than conventionally grown foods, but the good news is that organic foods also contain more nutrients. Thus you really are not paying that much more, and you will feel better when you eat organic.
Eat Filling Foods
You may not agree with me on this at first, but you should eat lots of foods that are high in calories and healthy fats. These foods include avocados, coconuts and nuts and seeds. The nutrient rich calories will help to restore nutrients back to your body, and the healthy fats help to suppress hunger. Thus by eating these foods, you can actually eat less in the long run.
Eat Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are just as important as any other foods, as they are high in vitamins and minerals that your body needs. In addition leafy greens are low in calories, which makes them perfect for combining in a salad with nuts and avocados.
Leafy greens are often consumed in green smoothies, along with nuts and other superfoods.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
The raw food diet is high in soluble fiber, which absorbs water in your digestive tract. Thus the more fiber you consume, the more fluids you will need to drink in order to replace the water that is lost.
The best fluids to add into your diet are fresh water, lemon water, natural tea as well as freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. Caffeine and sugary drinks should be avoided whenever possible as caffeine is dehydrating and sugar is toxic to the body.
Avoid Food Temptations
It may not always be possible to avoid food temptations, and there will be many times when you will cave. But there are a few things that you can do to either avoid them, or overcome them.
Avoiding them is always best, and the best way to do so, is by not storing any junk foods in your home. Another way that you can avoid junk foods is to go for a jog when you know that they will be served in the kitchen.
And to help you overcome them, simply eat a lot of healthy and filling foods such as nuts and seeds, avocados and coconuts. You can take a bag of nuts and seeds along with you where ever you go, and before you leave the house make sure that you have plenty of foods in your tummy. This way when you drive past the fast food places you won’t be so tempted to drive through.
Avoid Fast and Processed Foods by Cooking From Scratch
Even though you are still allowed to eat cooked foods, you should stay away from processed and fast foods as much as possible. This is due to the high amounts of food preservatives and other food additives that are added to these foods.
You may have to learn how to cook from scratch, and make your own sauces and dressings. Fresh herbs and spices such as ginger, garlic, chives, mint, cilantro, rosemary, sage, basil and oregano are great for adding rich flavors to just about any dish.
Bring Your Own Food
This may seem awkward at first, but you can actually bring your own foods when going out to dinner with a friend. All you need is a light dressing and maybe some raw nuts to top a leafy green salad. Then simply order the salad without the dressing, and you can enjoy a raw meal just as if you were at home.
You can also bring your own foods when going to a family event or a party. Just bring enough food for everyone else to have some too.
You will be amazed at what fasting can do for you, as it not only helps to clean out your digestive tract, but it is also a great way for you to take control of your food cravings. In addition, after fasting for a few days, your body will begin to break free from all food addictions.
At first fasting will be very hard for you. But once you have done a few juice fasts, or have stuck with a clean diet, then you will be able to fast for longer periods, and perhaps even go on a water fast.
Talk to Your Family and Friends
Your family and friends may not be supportive of your new diet because they do not understand how you can survive without animal proteins. Thus you may need to sit them down and explain to them what the diet is, and tell them about all the nutrients that raw foods contain, and the health benefits the diet has to offer.
Keep a Food Diary
Some days will always be better than others, but for the most part you will continue to eat healthier as time goes on. It may not seem like it at times, and therefore a food diary will come in handy so that you can keep track of your progress. Thus you can look back and know whether or not you are doing better.
Enjoy Your Foods
Another very important key to staying on the raw food diet, is to eat foods that you enjoy. You may have heard everyone talking about green smoothies, and how good they are for you. And so you tried them, but then you nearly gagged. If that happened to you, then you may want to try fruit smoothies instead, as they are naturally sweet and taste much better. Then when you are ready, start adding in more and more greens until you begin to enjoy green smoothies.
Most people when they think of the raw food diet, they think of eating just cucumbers, or tomatoes and green salads. But the truth is, you can enjoy a wide variety of foods, just like you can on the conventional diet. You can still enjoy breads, pizza, pasta, cookies and many other delicious foods.
However, the only thing is that you may need to purchase some new appliances such as a dehydrator, grain mill, juicer, blender, sprouter and other nifty gadgets to make your life as a raw foodist easier. You can purchase them at health food stores or online.