Tip #1: Start simple...
Start with the veggies and fruits that you enjoy. Starting with these guarantees success. If you start out with jackfruit, durian and jimaca, you might be at a loss since you’ve never had them before (however, they are delicious). If you like cucumbers, look up cuke recipes and have fun making new things with a veggie you know you’ll love. Then the next day try another recipe. Start with small baby steps and you’ll go far.
Tip #2: ...And then experiment.
Once you’ve got the cuke recipes down, experiment. Promise yourself you’ll get one new fruit a week or one new veggie you’ve never tried. You might hate it or you might love it, but you’ll never know! This keeps you going, makes life interesting, and keeps you involved in your journey. After a week of cucumber recipes, you’ll need to use this tip!
Tip #3: Start every day with a green drink.
Green smoothie or green juice. This sets you up for success. For smoothies: Make it 2 cups fruit, 2 cups greens, 2 cups water/or cooled tea and you’re set. Experiment with fruit, but the softer ones (pear, strawberries, banana) are the best since they blend really well with the greens. As for the greens, I’d start with spinach since it’s super soft and also blends well. The next day try kale. Alternate your greens so that your body has the best nutrition. If you have a juicer, start juicing – it’s one of the healthiest things you can do (if you make it mostly green – if you make it mostly fruit/carrots/sweet, then you might throw your body into a sugar imbalance). My fave: 1 whole cucumber, ½ lemon, 1 broccoli stalk, 2 apples, a small piece of ginger and a handful of sprouts or spinach. Yum!
Tip #4: Indulge in a book.
This is how I started out. I was on a mission, but a complete newbie to raw foods, so I started with one book, and I was hooked. Then it became two, then three. Now I have a library and I love it. At some point, you’ll even get to a place where you see a cake or cookie and you know exactly how you’d make it, since you know how the ingredient materials act and react to create what you want. When you’re doing fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, greens, things actually get really simple. You’ll find your “tried and true” rules of making raw food, and you’ll begin to get creative on your own. But starting out with a book is really helpful – since books inspire. Here are some of my faves:
Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet
Rawmazing by Susan Powers
Raw & Beyond by Victoria Boutenko, Chad Sarno, Elaina Love
Anything by Ani Phyo or Alissa Cohen
Tip #5: Remember to balance your raw foods triangle.
Fruits, greens/veggies, and fats. You’ll find the right balance for you. Very easily, people get hooked on the desserts and quickly start craving the greens! You can definitely do the “raw diet” the wrong way, by overindulging in dried fruit, loads of nuts, and desserts. Balance is everything. You need fruit for energy, fats for your brain and hormones, and greens for detox, strength, and well…everything else!
Tip #6: Find one dessert and stick with it.
This is a place where people want to try everything in the world, but when the cravings begin (if they begin), you’ll want to be prepared with something you know hits the spot. Is it easier to go to the store for a krimpet or do you have your chia pudding already made in the fridge? The answer is easy. Make it easy on yourself to succeed.
Tip #7: Drink your water.
Most often, headaches, fatigue, cravings, hunger are all a sign of…..not what you think. Dehydration. Drink your water. Simple. We all need to do this. Drink and after 5 minutes, see how you feel. Then go for what your body truly wants.
Tip #8: Be prepared on the road.
Have something in your bag, purse, all the time. I carry almonds with me and I always reach for an apple when I leave the door. And always a water bottle.
Tip #9: Be prepared at home.
You won’t eat veggies if you don’t have them in the fridge. You won’t eat fruit if you have none in your pantry! Fill your house with beautiful fruits and vegetables so that you’ll want to eat them. The more colors, the better.
Tip #10: Lastly, remember to eat!
You should be eating whenever you’re hungry. This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle where you give your body wonderful nutrition. Most of the time when we’re hungry, we’re hungry for nutrients rather than bulk. Formerly, I was eating way too much and was never satisfied. Now, I know that a small meal that’s high in nutrient density satisfies me more than a huge meal that’s made of lackluster foods such as white pasta and bread. The latter was my former life and I wouldn’t return to that if someone paid me. But eat, please, eat and if for the first 5 days you have to eat every 3 hours, then eat every 3 hours and don’t judge it. Get those nutrients in and enjoy yourself. Whenever I look at someone who is heavily overweight, I often think “they’re starving for nutrients”. Many people overeat because they’re looking for nutrients, and they eat until they find it, which tends to be “never”. Hence the overeating. What happens with raw food is this: once you eat high-nutrient foods, something changes after a few weeks. You actually won’t need to eat as much. Simple, clean food that’s colorful and fresh is VERY satisfying. You’ve satisfied your true hunger for nutrients, and you eat…just what you need.
1. You don’t need to be 100%. You can be whatever percentage you want. Even if you make dinner revolve around a salad, do that…and add some beans, sprouted bread, whatever. But celebrate everything you can do to get more fresh produce in you, even if it’s not 100%.
2. Detox: Sometimes people experience detox. When you eat lots of fruits/veg, your cells get cleaned out, and that gunk has to go somewhere. Before it leaves your body, the cells get rid of the gunk in your blood stream, and that’s when you experience detox symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, even skin eruptions. That’s your body getting rid of toxins. For some it lasts one day, for some 3. Just ride through it, drink your water, and keep going. In a short few days, you’ll feel amazing.
3. Live a beautiful life. Keep active. Exercise, sweat, laugh, enjoy life, sleep, and find activities that make you happy. It’s not always about the food, but about the big picture.