Last week I celebrated 7 years of eating mostly raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, otherwise known as a Raw Food Diet. While the occasion offers me an opportunity to reflect on how I got here, and why I stay here, I thought it might be helpful to offer you some suggestions for beginning the journey at the beginning of a new year. Keep in mind that there are no rules about becoming 100% raw, which very few people actually attain, so you need not immediately dismiss the whole idea with the thought, “Oh, I could never be completely raw!” Furthermore, inasmuch as virtually every published diet on the planet recommends including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, some of the following suggestions may be helpful urging you towards a better balanced food plan. Every increase you make with whole, natural, unprocessed foods is a benefit to you and the planet. Just begin, and see where the journey takes you.
So, here we go. There are many benefits associated with following a raw food diet. Many people who are now high raw eaters began with the apparent stumbling block of, “I don’t know where to begin.”
|Make a list
Before You Begin to actually follow a diet with a higher nutrient density than what you now enjoy, make a list of all the raw foods you love to eat. Include fresh fruits and vegetables on the list as well as nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. I recommend keeping a food journal for a week or so, (and January is a great time for this sort of refocusing activity), so that you can keep track of the foods you eat on a regular basis. Your list may look something like this:
Fruits – bananas, strawberries, mango, oranges, pineapple, apple….
Vegetables – broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, spinach, tomatoes…..
Fats – sunflower seeds, avocado, walnuts, almonds, olive oil….
Now that you have your list of foods you enjoy, begin to include them in your meals more often. Let go of some of your non-raw foods gradually, beginning with the low nutrient density – packaged snacks, sweet desserts, etc. This will make it easier to transition to a diet higher in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Learn how to make green smoothies – recipes abound – and try some morning juicing if you have a juicer.
As You Transition, recognize that it may take awhile, and that it may be challenging in the beginning. It may help to seek out raw recipes that look appealing, and begin to incorporate them. It is also good to spend more time with folks who are known to be health seekers, possibly high raw food eaters themselves. Subscribe to this blog in the right sidebar, and visit my website www.janesmith-healthcoaching.comwhere you can find lots of information, recipes, and sign up for my monthly newsletter. The point here is to keep the information flow coming, so that you are not alone, but supported in your endeavor.
Move right along. Once you experience some success with a few new recipes and start feeling the benefits of your efforts, (and they come fairly quickly), you may just want to jump in and make your diet as high raw as possible. That was my approach, which worked for me just fine. I know many people, too, who make steady progress in a much more gradual way. Either way works, as long as you continue to make good, then better food choices at every turn. There is plenty of support in your area, no matter where, so reach out and enjoy the ride to a happier, healthier, more energetic and vibrant you.
I wish you well in this new year. May it be one of increased robustness in every area of your life, and peace in your body, mind, and spirit. Happy New Year!