When you eat mostly raw foods, the following happens:
You look younger. Your energy levels skyrocket. You need less sleep. You react and think more clearly. Your skin fits your body better — no longer puffy with toxins, nor bulging with excess fat. I am testimony to all the above and I am only about 75% raw. Even after a week, you see positive changes.
Before you begin
After a life-time of eating meat, chemicals and additive laden food, plunging into a totally raw food diet without the right mindset and preparation, is not recommended. Unless highly motivated, you most certainly will revert back to your old habits within the week, if not earlier.
One woman who lived on Red Bull and protein bars changed overnight to 100% raw. The shock to her system landed her in hospital on a drip for three days.
Start with where you are now
Losing weight is a by-product, admittedly a fabulous by-product, of eating raw foods. But the real purpose of this diet is good health. So from a health perspective, where are you now?
Are you health conscious or do you eat an abundance of processed food? Do you eat meat or are you a vegan? Do you eat fruit and vegetables daily? Start with where you are now and take one or two little steps toward good health.
“But I want to lose weight quickly,” you might say. Do not under-estimate the power of small, consistent steps. They snowball.
Focus on health first and you will lose weight; slowly but steadily, without alarming your body nor feeling deprived.
Say you fall into the category of eating whatever you can grab, dead or alive … dead being cooked food or food made in a factory, and alive being food fresh from a tree or out the ground. The toxic trio in a traditional diet are: trans fats, white refined sugar and white refined flour. Stopping even one of them will make a huge difference to your life, so let that be our starting point. Choose one and for the next 30 days go without it.
Say you decide to cut out white sugar, which interestingly has been likened to crack cocaine (and artificial sweeteners are just as bad). To combat withdrawal symptoms of headaches and crankiness, drink loads of water.
Try raw unprocessed honey and fruit (dried or fresh) for sweetness instead. I like fresh dates. Chewy, super sweet and healthy, eat as many as you want. If your craving for chocolate persists and you feel desperate, eat at least three dates before indulging. Consuming dates beforehand takes the edge off your appetite, which means you eat less chocolate.
Remember we said little steps. You will lose weight doing this alone; not overnight, but gradually.
Before you eat anything, drink a glass of water. Filtered would be best, but if not available, tap water will do. Water serves a twofold purpose — it flushes toxins from your body and it fills you up.
Before you eat anything, even take-out, first eat something fresh. How much? About the size of your palm. A piece of fruit, salad, or if you dislike crunchy green leaves, just tomato and cucumber. And then eat your take-out.
Make this not negotiable — a glass of water and something fresh before you eat your cooked food — until it becomes second-nature. Think of every meal as a brick in the wall. By itself it seems insignificant. But before you know it, those too tight jeans fit you just right.
Have you noticed, other than the toxic trio, you are not being asked to give up anything? Instead, you are adding things, resulting in you eating more live foods and less dead ones.
Aim to eat one raw meal a day. Breakfast usually works best. Sweet succulent fruit when your digestive system is waking up, is a perfectly gentle start to the day. Eat as much as you want. If mid-morning you wish to tuck into a box of donuts, go ahead. But before you do, remember to first drink a glass of water and eat something fresh.
Keep this up and I promise you a twofold benefit — you will feel healthier and you will lose weight. After 30 days of cutting out one of the toxic trio, how do you feel? Do you wish to re-introduce it, or can you live without it?
Your goal is to eventually eliminate or drastically reduce all three. When you feel ready, focus on another one.
A typical raw foodie’s eating is something like this: a breakfast smoothie when you feel hungry, maybe 10 am. A huge salad at lunchtime with mostly greens. During the day sip green vegetable juice. Dinner would be a nonevent, perhaps fruit or maybe slivers of cucumber and carrots dipped in mashed avocado.
Some things to remember:
Keep your eating simple but interesting. The raw foods diet is for people who like to eat. Do not scrimp with fruit and vegetables, eat as much as you want. Find raw recipes online if you wish to experiment. Where possible go organic, even coffee.
Love what you eat. When eating out with friends, avoid enviously looking at their spare ribs. Order that if you wish, plus of course your water and salad.
Transition from a traditional cooked lifestyle to a totally raw diet may take as long as a year. Expect ups and downs, it is inevitable. If you find 100% too extreme, you may wish to compromise by settling for predominantly raw.
Whichever route you choose, you will glow with good health and your body will look sleek, trim and gorgeous.