Raw any way you like it
Note - I had written this earlier this year. I had it on my RawkyMountainHealth site. This is a good reminder of not to be too strict or too liberal when you are eating. It is so easy to go either way, that you can get frustrated or carried away with what you are doing, just a reminder that balance is the key here!
One thing I have seen on many specific raw discussion groups is the mindset that there is one type of way to eat raw which works for every body.
You may notice that there are 2 different examples (for the most part) people going raw use who tend not to stick with it too long:
1) Eating simple and mono-mealing -
Strictly fruits and vegetables with small amounts of fats like avocados, and nuts and seeds; sometimes eating one type of food at a meal.
In this instance, it may be too extreme for some to go from a complicated cooked diet to such a simple one.
Eating too simply too fast in the beginning may leave a newbie bored or hungry for more complex foods that was eaten before starting raw.
A person can be used to eating small portions of dense foods like cooked animal products, grains and fats which are very filling, and not be used eating enough fresh plant food to fill themselves up.
However, for others, this works well IF their diet was already uncomplicated and hassle-free.
It requires almost no prep time, and can be easily adapted to most any situation away from home. This diet would enable a person to heal from disease and lose weight rapidly.
2) Wildcard diet -
Eat what you want as long as it's raw - eating heavier, richer seasoned foods, commonly using recipes as meals, not centering meals around fresh whole plant foods.
The second type of diet can really set up a person to start craving cooked food as many of these recipes mimic a favorite cooked dish, such as burgers, pizzas, cakes, etc.
The term "eat it as long as it's raw" can also be confusing to a newbie who doesn't quite grasp what raw food actually is. Some people tend to over eat "raw" things like nut butters, nuts, oils, "raw" energy bars, etc. instead of using fresh foods, thinking that they are health promoting. Many seasonings and condiments are used to appease a cooked palette.
It can be expensive between the equipment, ingredients and waste of a recipe that doesn't turn out well. Or it can keep a person's cravings alive, eventually leading them back to cooked foods.
However this can work well with those who need to be filled up if they are used to over-eating and/or eating dense or fast foods, and are actually able go through the process of moving on to simpler foods without turning back to cooked food. Detox and healing is slower and more comfortable.
In my years of raw food experience, I started off with the 2nd instance with much recipe-making and it has backfired. Moving on to simpler foods didn't happen with me, and I went through a lot of money on those recipes. The same thing has happened to most people I know trying the same route.
Now I have seen it work with a few people, so I know it is possible. But they are few and far between. There have been those who have tried the simpler way and have had problems as well. Many have stayed on the diet and had great results, but then crashed and burned in a matter of months.
Yet there have been many people who have come from a higher fat, recipe heavy "as long as it's raw" type of raw diet, gone off the diet, and then started back on raw using the simpler lower fat style with great success.
Many people I've found do not want to even try the raw food diet for two reasons:
1. They don't want to try it because they are turned off by the thought of only eating fruit and salads.
2. They are turned off or intimidated by the high cost and time of doing all those recipes.
If you are not sure which way to go, I suggest trying a balance -
eat what you want as long as it's FRESH (meaning something you find in the produce section, or has recently been picked off a plant),
and if you run into problems like cravings or wanting more or different, then try a simple recipe or two, and halve the recipe so that you don't spend too much money or time on something that you might not end up liking.
Give yourself a limit on the amounts of dense dehydrated foods like nuts and recipes. You might want to portion them out into bags so you don't get into a cycle of daily overeating non-fresh foods.
In conclusion, I don't believe that eating whatever you want as long as it's raw with wild abandon works for most people in the long term.
I believe that people who work toward a goal and incorporate some kind of control and/or discipline end up getting what they want out of any kind of dietary and lifestyle change.
"It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop" - Confucius
Last words of advice - even though you may change the road that leads to your destination, try your best not to stop or go back the other way. Just keep charging ahead and keep your eye on the prize. You may chose to take a few extra steps along the way, or take a couple of short-cuts, or even sit down and rest, but don't let that stop you from getting there.
Sharon Oliver ©2006