So you’re ready to start a raw food diet, but you’re wondering if you’ll make it through the cravings, the stigmas, and the doubts that you might have about whether it’s sustainable or nutritious. Not to worry! You probably already understand the benefits of eating raw fruits and vegetables; you will have more energy, a healthy physique, and less chances of having to deal with illnesses like heart disease and diabetes if you eat enough fresh plant-based foods.
All that’s left is simply taking the steps of cleaning out the processed foods from the cupboards and filling your kitchen with lots of whole, fresh foods to indulge in. And when you’re in need some inspiration, answers, and recipe ideas, know that everything you need is right at your fingertips.
Between friends and family, the wonders of the internet, and the help of your local library, you’ll find that it’s easier than ever to get started with a raw food diet. Here are the top five things you’ll want to start doing right away:
1. Become a Student
One of the best ways to stay on track while carving out a raw food regimen that works for you is to commit to learning something new about nutrition, and the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption on a daily basis. Read books about digestion and healing disease, read forums for support and to get other points of view, and read newspaper articles and nutritional studies to gain extra insight into your favorite fruits and vegetables.
The more you learn about how foods you eat interact with your body, the easier it will be for you to tailor your diet so that it meets all of your personal nutrition needs without having to use supplements. You’ll also probably discover all kinds of new foods to try that will help to keep your raw food diet varied and interesting. It is important to note you should take vitamin B12, which can not be obtained in efficient amounts through a raw food diet (or most any type of diet).
2. Reach Out for Support
Getting support and finding camaraderie is an important part of any new adventure, including embarking on a raw food diet. If you’re feeling a little lonely on your raw food journey, you can find all the support you need thanks to the wonders of the internet. Interact with others who are also following a raw food diet on social media website like Facebook and Twitter.
Watch videos of raw food gurus who are happy to share their intimate tips and tricks with you. And of course, you can find plenty of support right here on One Green Planet. We feature lots of awesome recipes, health and nutrition information, and even heartwarming stories about how living a vegan lifestyle helps people, the animals, and the planet.
3. Acknowledge Small Achievements
It’s alright to eat a baked potato with your huge salad for dinner, and it isn’t the end of the world if you end up using corn tortillas for your otherwise raw vegan tacos. If you put too much pressure on yourself to follow a rigid set of “raw food rules” you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.
Instead of worrying about the couple of chips you snuck from your coworker during lunch at work, focus on the achievement of truly enjoying your fully raw collard wraps. Give yourself a high-five for downing that big green smoothie for breakfast, and forget about the bite of toast you finagled from your significant other. Celebrating all the small achievements will set you up for a happy and healthy journey on a raw food diet.
4. Experiment in the Kitchen
If you let yourself get caught up in making the same old recipes night after night, chances are that you’ll get bored with your raw food diet. To keep your mind and your taste buds interested in fresh raw fruits and veggies, it’s important to mix things up by experimenting with new ingredients in the kitchen.
Make it a point to add a new ingredient to a familiar dish each time you make it, and take the time to add new components, like sprouted beans, to main dishes that can use a little more pizza. The great thing about creating raw food meals is that they’re pretty forgiving. For example, if there isn’t enough flavor, you can simply add more spices. If the sauce is too runny, you can turn it into a soup. So don’t be afraid to experiment!
5. Focus on Variety
Just like it’s important to experiment in the kitchen, it is essential to use a wide variety of ingredients in your meals on a day-to-day basis. This helps to ensure that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs so cravings are minimal and energy levels don’t dip. Each fruit and vegetable features its own unique concoction of nutrients to take advantage of, so mix things up and use as many colors of the rainbow as you can manage throughout the day.
If you find that you don’t like a certain vegetable as-is, try preparing it several different ways to see if you can’t find a method that pleasures your palette. Try dehydrating, marinating, and blending to achieve different texture and flavor profiles.
Armed with these ideas in mind, you should have no problem with success on your raw food journey. You might even inspire others to follow in your footsteps, so consider documenting your progress. See all of our raw recipes here for more ideas to use during your new journey!
Lead Image Source: Raw Pasta With Basil Hemp Pesto