A lot of people are jumping on the raw food diet bandwagon–to boost metabolism, build immunity, improve digestion, fight chronic health problems or keep weight down. However, it can be difficult to adjust to the quantity of food you must eat when on a raw food diet, and even more difficult to modify a restaurant habit. Yet there are several strategies you can adopt to start a raw food diet.
Try a transitional diet plan. In this strategy, go 50 percent raw as opposed to 100 percent raw. Add extra servings of fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables to every meal and consume them before any cooked foods. Some people modify the raw food diet by only consuming raw foods at breakfast and lunch; others go raw for half the week.
Lose the sugars, chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring and trans fats that hide in packaged, processed and fast foods. Remember that with a raw food diet, you’re consuming plenty of natural sugars. If you find you miss the overstuffed feeling after consuming fried and junk foods, try supplementing your fruits and vegetables with soaked nuts.
Move beyond the salad. Yes, the primary ingredients of a raw food diet are fresh, plant-based foods. However, there are a wealth of food items beyond lettuce and carrots that satisfy this dietary requirement. Raw foodists often consume nuts, seaweed, sea vegetables, seeds, soaked beans and grains.
Fight cravings with superfoods. Superfoods, which are also plant-based, natural and unprocessed, have a high density of nutrients and have often been used by naturopaths and homeopaths for healing. Popular superfoods are raw cacao, goji berries, maca, spirulina, ginger, chlorella, bee pollen, ginseng and garlic. These superfoods can help fight nutrient deficiencies that are sometimes the root of cravings.
Study some un-cookbooks, otherwise known as raw food recipe compilations. The Living and Raw Foods website (see Additional Resources) is your go-to guide for everything from all-raw sushi to avocado gazpacho. The Raw Dessert (see Additional Resources) handles cravings for sweets, with recipes and photographs of chocolate cheesecake with mint ganache, brownie bites with vanilla frosting, dark chocolate truffles and more.
- Some people experience side effects such as weakness, dizziness or nausea when changing to a raw diet. These effects typically subside within a couple weeks.