Friday, June 5, 2015

How to Make a Transition to Raw Food

By Dominique Allmon

I often meet people who are curious about raw food. They would ask questions and even find the concept interesting, but would end the conversation with a statement that they would love to try raw food but could never give up this or that. For me, this is a wrong approach. People trying to change or improve their nutrition should be asking what they would gain by going raw and not what they would have to give up.

I grew up eating raw food so choosing a raw food lifestyle wasn't difficult or easy, or anything. It was a natural progression to ever healthier and more nutritious diet. 

However, I understand that habits are hard to break and that food means more that a meal on a plate. It is a cultural identity, tradition, set of behaviors and a system of nutritional beliefs that, in a sense, make us who we are. And for as long as our food does not make us sick, all is fine. That this isn't always the case you can see when you check the statistics or simply look around. 

If you are new to raw food, you are probably wondering now how to painlessly make the transition to raw food lifestyle. My answer is: "Embrace positivity and do it gradually." You do not have to give up anything. You simply have to start adding more fruits and vegetables in their natural, raw food state. With time you may notice that your energy level rises, your health improves and the desire for certain foods simply disappears.

Ten Steps for a Smooth Transition to Raw Food
    • You can make the transition at any time of the year, but it is easier to go on raw food in late spring and summer when locally grown, organic produce is abundant.
    • Buy a good raw food recipe book that will introduce you to the intricacies of raw food preparation. Depending on your cooking skills you may want to start at the introductory level. 
    • Gradually increase the amount of raw foods that you are willing to consume daily. You may want to add fresh fruit or raw nuts to your breakfast, or a raw salad to go with your lunch sandwich. This is easily done and even members of your family who do not normally eat fruits and vegetable might appreciate the change. They would not be giving up anything, they would only be adding a few new things to their menu.
    • While making the transition, work with ingredients you already know and like. Introducing "outlandish" ingredients and unfamiliar tastes too early may only discourage you from staying raw.
    • Start with recipes that are easy to execute. Food preparation should not be too complicated and time consuming or you will get discouraged.
    • Find a source of raw food recipes on social media. Look for raw food blogs, Facebook pages, Pinterest walls, un-cooking classes, and raw food groups. Join the discussion and ask questions. There are many levels of being raw and you should pick what suits you best: high-raw, fully raw, raw-vegan, or simply partly raw when you feel like it.
    • Invest in a few kitchen tools that are useful in raw food preparation. A sharp knife and a good cutting board are essential, but if your budget permits, buy a juicer and a powerful blender. They are very useful in any household, but especially if you are going raw. 
    • Keep a  journal and write down your experience with raw food. Keep an open mind and observe the changes in your body and your reactions to food. If your transition to raw food is gradual you will experience less digestive discomfort. Many people, however, complain about bloating and other digestive issues. Normally, these problems subside when the body gets used to the amount of fiber, enzymes and nutrients it is receiving. But when the discomfort persists, you may reconsider your food choices. You may be allergic to a particular food or food group. To clarify your problems consult certified nutritionist or a raw food coach. Have an IgG (food intolerance) test performed, if necessary.
    • Gradually expand your menu and try to replace entire meals with your raw food creations. By all means, avoid monotony.
    • To enjoy vibrant health become passionate about raw food. Learn as much as you can about the ingredients you are using and understand their nutritional value in order to provide complete nutrition. Remember that your meals should contain amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Fruits and vegetable are also rich in secondary plant nutrients that can help you prevent premature aging and disease. Use them wisely.

      Raw food lifestyle can be fascinating! The more you understand and learn about it, the more will you be willing to change in your current diet. Soon you will be creating your own raw food recipes and maybe even become a blogger or a book author to share your experience with others.

      I truly hope that your enthusiasm for raw food will never cease, but like with everything, there are some serious issues associated with raw nutrition, especially with the raw vegan form of it. Many people notice that after years of their vegan raw food experience they became seriously ill. I do not suggest that you should become fully raw or fully vegan. Choose what suits you best and always follow your gut feeling. Be passionate not fanatical about your food choices and always consult an expert in case of doubt. Nutritional deficiencies can be easily prevented, but you have to be able to make wise choice. Knowledge can save a lot of pain.

      In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

      You may also want to read  Rejuvenate with Raw Food  and  Is Raw Food Good for Everyone

      Dominique Allmon©2015

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