Sunday, December 30, 2007
So you wanna give raw food a try...
You may have a lot of questions, but here are some sure-fire tips to help you along the way.
1) Eat a lot or at least when you feel hungry. You may feel hungry when your stomach is empty, and even though it isn't true hunger, if you are like most people, the only time you allow your stomach to empty out is during sleep, so this may be somewhat uncomfortable to you.
2) Eat lots of FRUIT. Bananas are really filling and satisfying. Blend several bananas with water and ice for an amazingly simple banana shake. You'd be surprised how good this tastes and how filling it is. Sometimes blending fruit makes it easier to eat in larger amounts, if you cannot eat fruit whole.
3) Have a well-stocked kitchen. The day before the you start, which will probably be on January 1, hit the produce section and get LOTS of fruit and salad fixings. Buy some raw nuts and seeds as well. Go to the store hungry so that you will buy the raw food that looks good to you.
4) Aim for ALL raw. Some people say they will just do 80% or 90% raw, but that leaves the cooked door open and cravings will happen. So try going all raw and see what happens. At best, you will feel light, full of energy and lose weight quickly, at worst you may experience some detox symptoms.
5) Allow whatever raw you want for the first 2-3 weeks. Even though a lower-fat diet is healthier in the long run, you need the first few weeks of transitioning time to be easier on you, and if you have to eat extra nuts or avocadoes then don't beat yourself up about it. True there are people who start out eating a fruit and greens based diet, but not eveyrone can do that from the beginning. If you need to use bottled salad dressing because you are not used to eating your greens naked or making your own dressing, that is okay. If you need to use sea salt on something, that is okay. As long as you are focusing on being raw, that is the important thing.
6) Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and in the middle of the day between meals. This not only helps to curb hunger but will assist in the detoxification process. If you develop a headache or any other detox symptom, drink a glass or two of water. I like to drink cool water without ice - it goes down more quickly that way. You don't want to overload on water, but have enough to take you through the first few days.
7) Move ahead - keep moving forward and don't worry about those slip-ups that might occur. Dont' forget, the long time raw fooders slipped up many, many times before their footing took hold so don't let a night of pizza or a cooked vegetarian dinner stop you in your tracks, just get right back on your horse.
8) Detox means it's working! You may get a slight headache or be down with full-blown flu symptoms - this means that your body is detoxing some old matter. Work through it and don't be tempted to go back to your old diet. Drink and rest lots and in a few days you'll feel amazing again.
9) Dont obsess over nutrients. If you weren't worried about where you got your potassium, protein and B-12 on your past diet, don't start now. After a month or so you'll be able to pick your diet apart, but for now just concentrate on STAYING RAW. Enjoy all the fruits and vegetables, try new ones and different ways to prepare them.
10) Keep it to yourself. I say this from experience. Dont' shout from the rooftops that you are now raw and that everyone is killing themselves with their knives and forks. You will be met with resistance and even some backlashing, and people will ask you where you get your protein or will tease you about eating like a monkey or eating rabbit food. If you can help it, don't eat out for the first week or two and if you do have to eat in a social setting, have a simple entree sized salad or fruit plate and if met with questions, just say you don't feel very hungry and leave it at that.
Most of all, just have fun!