The idea of introducing more raw food in to your diet can be exciting and daunting. The rewards make it worth it! More energy, a brain that’s clear and sharp, emotional balance, not to mention glowing skin, weight loss and feeling happier – what’s not to love?
No two people arrive at their perfect lifestyle diet in the same way. Whatever angle you’re coming from, whatever your beliefs are about the raw food lifestyle, it’s all ok.
You might be someone who wants to eat raw but feels restricted by the idea of it. Or you may have gone all out, only to discover you can’t maintain the amount of raw food you want to. You might think it’s impossible to do while trying to feed a family, giving up your dreams of feeling fantastic before actually get off the starting blocks. Or you might believe that embracing the raw lifestyle means you’ll never be able to eat out or drink again. Learning how to integrate more raw into your diet is a journey of discovery, learning how to make it work for you and your unique life.
Getting Past the Blocks
So, how can you get past all the obstacles that seem to be stopping you from eating as healthily as you want to? I’ve discovered, through my own experience and through all the people I’ve coached and mentored around raw food, that there are a few key secrets to getting raw right that apply to everyone. So, if you struggle to feel good about your diet and want to eat more (or better) raw, here are those secrets:
1) Don’t Push Yourself
We generally have such high expectations of ourselves. We use unrealistic or overly strong expectations to actually limit our potential, because it gives us the opportunity to feel badly about ourselves when we don’t meet our expectation. I know this sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but see what happens when you relax your expectations of yourself around raw food. So, for example, if you’re trying to be 80% raw but keep finding yourself eating only 50% or 60% raw, RELAX. Let yourself eat 50% or 60% raw whilst patting yourself on the back for managing to eat that much, and focus on on the cooked food being organic and as clean as possible. If you decide to eat pizza or a cheese sandwich a couple of times a week, RELAX – enjoy it, and focus on how well you’re doing, when before all your lunches were sandwiches and all your suppers were 100% cooked. It’s all about maintaining your perspective. You’ll find that the more you relax, the easier it is to integrate more raw.
2) Only Eat What You Love
Raw food is not meant to be some penance done in the name of Perfect Health! It’s supposed to be something you love and that you do for the love and care of yourself. Good health is as much about FEELING good as it is about FEEDING good. If you don’t love your food, you’re not eating the right food! It’s true, you do have to do some experimenting to find out what kind of raw food you enjoy but don’t make yourself eat things just because they’re good for you. Go to raw food classes and get recipe books to show you what ‘s possible with raw flavours. What happens as you eat more raw is that your physiology changes and you start to enjoy different tastes – and this is a process that can take months or years to happen. The spectrum of raw foods that you enjoy will change over time. I really didn’t like spirulina when I first went raw, and now I enjoy it. I didn’t like dates, and now I love them as a treat.
3) Be Prepared
The most common mistake people make is not being prepared for everyday situations. Make sure that you alway have raw snacks with you. Eat on time. Don’t get caught with nothing inspiring in the fridge. Plan your meals and your shopping list. If you’re feeding a family work out how you can cross-polinate meals to save you time. If you’re having a raw curry, heat it up for the family and make them rice, or if you’re having salad and a baked potato, cook them some fish to go with the salad and baked potato. Having the right equipment so that preparing food isn’t a hideous chore will make a big difference too. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it needs to do the job and save you time. In social situations, see yourself as an inspiration to others not as a weirdo who only eats rabbit food and, without being evangelical, tell people the benefits of raw food, because few people can argue with that!
If you implement these 3 secrets your journey of raw discovery will be one that is going with the flow, and you won’t have to swim upstream anymore.