but is it the right diet for you?
Trends come and go in the world of healthy living and gourmet food.
I remember in the late ’80s when fats were “out” and carbs were “in.” Almost every magazine on the shelves was extolling the virtues of a high-pasta diet (that seems so funny now, but it really was the case back then)! A decade later, high-protein was all the rage. Carbs were considered a necessary evil, best indulged in the smallest amounts possible.
Which brings us to today, a time in which diets are more balanced, but no less extreme. What’s in style now are food regimens that are more primal, emphasizing more fresh fare like our ancestors ate, and less “conveyor belt” foods from the industrial age.
It might seem that these diets are complete opposites, since Paleo is heavy on meat, while Raw Food is often considered a vegan undertaking. However, these two diets actually have meal plans with much in common. Namely, they emphasize the virtues of fresh, organic vegetables.
Is Raw Food the Best Lifestyle Diet Ever?
First, it seems important to say that the raw food regimen is not a weight loss diet.
Technically, the raw food regimen is a way of eating that emphasizes plants and that limits food choices to those that are uncooked — or at least not exposed to temperatures of over 104° F (or 40° C).
There is no one way to follow a raw food diet:
- ▸ some raw-fooders are fully committed and do 100% raw, believing that all plant-based foods are healthier — with their complete enzymes in tact — uncooked
- ▸ other health enthusiasts believe that a mostly raw food diet is the way to go, and shoot for a 70% intake or above (there has been some talk that while most vegetables are better raw, there are a few vegetables that might have a broader nutritional spectrum when slightly cooked)
There are even more subsets within the raw food community:
- ▸ including those who eat all-raw but include raw meat (such as our ancestors ate before the era of agriculture — this is another place where the raw food diet and Paleo diet converge a bit)
- ▸ the spiritually inspired health-conscious who believe uncooked foods have a quality that is unquantifiable in a lab test: namely, an abundance of “prana,” or lifeforce
- ▸ there are even raw-fooders who drink red wine!
5 Tips for Successfully Following a Raw Food Diet
Adopting new healthy habits can be tricky, at least at first. Here are some tips that might help make experimenting with raw foods an easier, and more enjoyable, process.
Tip #1: Identify a Primary Goal
Your chief aim is probably going to be something like “to dramatically improve my health and appearance by gradually increasing the amount of uncooked plants in my daily diet.”
Tip #2: Make Outrageous Salads
Each night, experiment with making the most amazing salads you can. Include your favorite vegetables and lettuces, but also try varieties you’ve never before considered. Top off with microgreens (such as sunflower sprouts) and raw, sprouted nuts and seeds.
Tip #3: Get into Green Smoothies
Get yourself an excellent blender and discover the delicious and energizing effects of freshly made green smoothies. Your first few shakes might be a near-disaster, but with a little patience (and a sense of adventure) you can make the best green smoothies ever!
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How to Use Your Blender to Become Lean and Energized! ~ eBooklet
“…I read the eBooklet on making fresh green smoothies
and promptly set about changing my typical fruit smoothie
to have greens in it.
But I did not believe you when you said to start slowly!
I dumped a bunch of green stuff in the mixer and,
well… you know how it went.
Had to force it down! Now I changed to follow your advice:
start with just a few greens to the mix until I get used to it.
And guess what? I really like adding a little celery
and some radish sprouts.
Very good stuff! I’ll be adding a little bit more over time,
just like you suggested.
Sometimes it’s good to follow advice, eh?”
~ Rand Larson, Professional Events Photographer
Tip #4: Listen Closely to What Your Body Tells You
I believe that, often, our bodies will give us the information we need to make good choices, if only we will listen! If you have sensitivity (or an allergy) to any particular food, your body will often tell you: did your energy drop, or go up, after you ate?
Tip #5: Give Your Body Time to Acclimate to the Increase in Fiber
I invite you to leave your questions and comments below! Depending on how optimized your intestinal flora is already — with good probiotics and such — your body may take a bit of time to get used to the uptake of fiber in your daily diet. Your stomach may grumble a bit at first! As you get healthier, however, you will eventually become far less gassy than you were before the dietary increase in living raw foods.