How to Add More Raw Foods to Your Diet  

In my last newsletter blog I wrote again about the benefits of a diet rich in raw foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.  If you missed that one, or need to refresh your memory, click here.

Today I want to address some of the “how” and “what, exactly” issues that sometimes hold people back from not making some important improvements to their food plans.

Planning a Transition.

There’s more than one way

Cold Turkey. If you’ve read and heard enough about the benefits of a raw food diet, and you want the cleanness of body, clarity of mind, and abundant energy that comes with it, it can be tempting to jump right in without planning a changeover. That, in fact, was what I did – ‘decided I would  “give it a try for a couple of weeks,” then exit gracefully if it was “too hard” of “too weird” for me to sustain. I suspected that it might be, but decided to give raw food eating a fair shot. Here I am, and happily, still a high raw food eater, and I am the first to suggest that the same approach may not be the best one for you.

This “band-aid” approach, doing it all at once, like some people, including myself, quit smoking or other drugs, works if going only half way will leave you always thinking about your next fully cooked meal. Food does have some addictive properties, for sure.

Gluten, a protein found in many grains, is considered a causative factor in several neurological disorders and psychoses. Grains also contain many opioids which can cause addictive eating patterns. If someone says that they’re craving bread, it’s probably the truth. Leaving it cold turkey may be the best bet for them to stop the self-conversation of to-have-or-not-to-have for good.

Sure and Steady. People who are not ready for a complete transition to a raw food diet. Can gradually replace cooked meals with raw meals. The key to this approach is to keep reducing because staying on the same step too long is likely to lead to complacency. Having a plan or a “rule” about the length of time you’re allowed at one step may help you to keep making incremental steps toward a higher percentage of raw food eating. Some experts recommend taking one step a week.

One way that the sure and steady approach may work may look like this:

– Eat only fruit for breakfast
– Before you eat lunch and dinner, eat as much fruit as you care for and only then eat the cooked portion of the meal.  Chances are that you won’t eat nearly as much after the fruit.  (Note: some fruit won’t mix with some meals, so give yourself 40 minutes or more to digest.)
– Replace your cooked lunch meals with all the fruit you care for.
– Three times a week, replace your cooked diner meal with fruit followed by a large raw salad.
– Eat only two cooked meals a week
– Pull off the band-aid – make the break.

Again, this is one slow and steady approach. There are other ways to fashion an incremental approach. What’s important is to have a definite plan and then stick to it. It’s a direction, not a race, so be gentle with yourself for missteps, and keep moving.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Confucius.

Special Consideration Foods

Most people moving towards healthier eating discover adding new foods, previously unrecognized for their enormous nutritional benefits, or eating greater amounts of them as they go along. Consider these:

– Dark Leafy Greens are critical to human life, and we need to eat lots of them! Greens are the best source of the 12 mineral salts used in the body, each for a specialized function. Without minerals, the body is unable to force waste products out of cells and let valuable nutrients in. Raw greens are the second-best source, after fruit, of vitamins.  These are necessary for normal metabolic function, and a lack of them bring on diseases like scurvy and rickets. (The best way to assure adequate daily amounts of greens is to drink green smoothies. You can download my free e-book
Green Smoothies: Your best Quick Start to a Healthier, More Vibrant YOU, right here. (I recommend it, as well as a practice of drinking daily green smoothies.)

-Fermented Foods in one form or another are a staple in nearly every civilization on earth and are some of the healthiest things about eating a raw food diet. They naturally develop probiotics during the period when they undergo fermentation, when oxygen converts some of their nutrients.  Fermented foods have been eaten for thousands of years in the form kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi, and others. Pro-biotics are “good bacteria” which are provided by fermented foods and then reside in your gut with beneficial microbiota after you’ve begun the process of clearing away built-up toxins and waste. These foods encourage a healthy microbiome, are great for your digestive system. They improve immunity, help clear up your skin, and help to balance hormones and a healthy weight.

Sprouted beans and seeds add nutritional value to these foods and make them far more digestible because their protein is broken down into amino acids, their starches are changed into simple sugars, and their fats are converted into soluble fatty acids.  Sprouting increases the enzyme content of these foods. They contain enzymes which sprouting activates so your body doesn’t have to use its own enzymes to break up these foods. They are highly nutritious, and full of wonderful fiber, which is a great boon to proper digestion.

Other foods to eat regularly include avocados, good fruit and nut oils, such as almond or virgin coconut or olive oil, raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes, etc., citrus fruits and melons and berries, and fresh herbs.

If your main meal plate is about 75% full of fresh raw foods, you can add some organic, pasture-raised, or grass-fed animal , wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs. Quality is important here, to avoid more dangerous chemicals in your body.

By all means, replace all sugary snacks and refined grains, including white rice, white pasta, cereal, breads, pizza, crackers, fruit drinks, canned foods and pasteurized dairy.

You can maximize your health, feel better and more energized, more present and alive for each precious moment of your life!

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.  Henry David Thoreau

Related posts The Raw Food Lifestyle

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