You intuitively know that raw foods are good for you. You may be a bit overwhelmed with all the raw food information out there. Your body is craving more real, organic, whole food every day. But where do you start? With a good raw food cookbook? Nope.
While many of the raw food authors have good intentions, their books contain recipes with large amounts of nuts, dates and bananas, which can cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels, as well as add on unwanted pounds. There are a couple exceptions to this rule; those that are teaching proper food combining and slow introduction to the raw food lifestyle use these foods in moderation only.
Make things simple for yourself – just start eating more fruits and vegetables, or have a fruit smoothie as long as the foods are fresh and there aren’t any added ‘natural flavorings’ or sugary syrups. Often these contain chemicals and colorings and you won’t get the benefit as you might with an all-fruit or fruit/vegetable smoothie.
Your next step might to make your in-between snacks raw. This can be something as simple as an apple, or vegetable sticks like celery, carrots, peppers, jicama, rolled up lettuce leaves with hummus, a small handful of raw nuts, and so on.
After a couple weeks of snacking with real food, considering making one of your daily meals raw. Again, make it simple. Start with a nice salad at lunch. Or make one of your side dishes raw. You can take it even slower if you haven’t eaten a lot of fruits and vegetables over the years. Don’t eat the food in it’s raw form, lightly steam or saute it. The idea when starting out is to keep the food as close to its natural form as possible, so you benefit from the enzymes and energy in the live food. When we cook the holy heck out of a food we destroy many of its healing properties.
Try a week or two of eating your snacks raw. When you’re comfortable with that, try adding in a raw side dish to one of your meals. Maybe after a few weeks you can try an entire meal raw.
As overwhelming and difficult as raw food eating may sound, it really isn’t. The key is to move into the raw lifestyle at a pace you’re comfortable with. Many people find the more they eat raw, the less they want processed or overcooked foods – they simply feel better and actually crave live foods.
If you start out with an all-green juice or smoothie (which is NOT recommended in the beginning), the chances you’ll be turned off by raw food is pretty high. As nutritious as the greens are, you need to wean onto them and add them in slowly. Over time, you may find you want the bulk of their raw foods green. Then again, you may not.
There are varying degrees of raw food eating. Some folks love, and are comfortable with, eating 100% raw. Others like a combination of cooked and raw, and some do well with either of those combinations with some animal protein.
There are no fast and hard rules when it comes to eating raw. Do what feels right for you and your body, it will always let you know what it needs. And if you decide to try out a raw food book, there are plenty of them out there with recipes to satisfy your palate.