How to Start a Raw Diet

How to Start a Raw Diet

Rawists avoid foods cooked above 116 degrees F says the website Living and Raw Foods. Cooking foods to higher temperatures destroys their life force—essential enzymes that help with nutrient absorption and digestion. Raw food is prepared through soaking, dehydrating, sprouting and blending. These methods change foods’ textures to break up the monotony of raw fruits and vegetables. Most raw foodists are vegans—people who eat no animal products, including dairy and eggs.

Where to Start

A raw diet requires you to overhaul your entire approach to food. Begin a gradual transition to a raw diet by simply eating healthier and phasing out meat and dairy. Make your meals consist of whole foods like brown rice and quinoa with plenty of vegetables and salads. Allow yourself some fish or chicken—choosing wild caught or organic when possible.

Focus on fruits for breakfast. Switch to coconut or almond milk and yogurt. Slow changes are more likely to stick, as they will become part of your routine. If you jump right into a completely raw diet from a cooked food plan, chances are you will feel deprived and overwhelmed—leading to your raw diet being a quick phase rather than a life change.

Moving to More Raw Foods

You may feel better just eliminating processed foods and emphasizing more fruits and vegetables. If you want to continue to phase to a completely raw diet, gradually eliminate one cooked meal per day. Start with lunch, where it is simple to create a large green salad made with a variety of raw vegetables and raw nuts dressed with lemon juice and tahini. Over time, switch to a raw breakfast, comprised of smoothies made with hemp protein and frozen fruits.

After a week or two, your basic raw meals might become boring. Pick up a few raw food books at the library to learn about preparation techniques. Two to look for are Raw Foods, Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis and Raw Food Cleanse by Penni Shelton. Both offer helpful explanations of the raw food way of life without proselytizing.

Check your local health food store or online for raw food products like granolas, bars and crackers. These may be pricey, but can show you what these raw products taste like before you invest in the expense of a dehydrator to make your own. Experiment with techniques like soaking nuts, making raw hummus and even creating your own nut milks.

Becoming a Rawist

To be considered a rawist, you must eat at least 75 percent of your food raw. This leaves you room to still go out and enjoy cooked food once in a while if you desire. Always remind yourself of your motivation for going raw. As long as you are feeling better with the dietary changes you have made, do not be too hard on yourself if you stray to cooked food occasionally.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition