Go Raw, Not Crazy!
If you’ve decided to go raw to lose weight, you’ve set yourself up for success. But going raw can be a challenge, so recognize that going raw isn’t a short term weight loss fix, it’s a lifestyle transformation. Lifestyle encompasses all areas of ones life from family, friends, recreation, to values and personal beliefs. A raw lifestyle will surely bring all sorts of emotions and fears to the surface, so you really need to be prepared to commit to your own greatness and personal evolution during this process.
Let’s say you’re only going raw to lose weight, stop now, don’t even bother. Why? Because going raw requires such deep commitment that if you’re only focusing on one area of your life, you will most certainly fail. Mindset is key to creating an amazing experience for yourself and others around you when transitioning to a raw, plant based diet. Now just because going raw is a deep commitment doesn’t give you permission to give up before you’ve even tried it out. My point is, embrace all aspects of the lifestyle and what it can offer you rather than focusing on an external side effect like weight loss, which inevitably comes along with adopting a raw diet. Give the lifestyle an honest shot before you throw in the towel, start with 7 days but see if you can play around in the raw world for at least 6 months before you make any sort of judgement.
We could talk forever about this subject, partly because i’m so passionate about health and raw food, and partially because there’s just so much to know and learn. There are a few key factors to keep in your mind at all times during your journey with raw food:
1. Choose what’s right for YOU. It’s so easy to get caught up in the us vs. them mentality that unfortunately still persists in the raw / vegan health realm today. Opinions are valuable, and they are also abundant. Humans are notorious for being biased, so remember to trust yourself and always keep digging for more information. Stopping at the first buck when you’re making this type of lifestyle change can be dangerous, because even though it might seem obvious, many people forget that as individuals we are all vastly different, and what works for one person, very well may not work for you.
2. Listen to your body. Some people can get really hardcore on this diet and tell you that you have to go 100% raw or you’re not a raw foodist, or you should only eat fruit, or you should do tons of superfoods and supplements, or no superfoods at all. It’s very confusing to join the raw community at first partially because everyone’s telling you something different. Part of the raw food mentality is that nature is perfect, so why would we question our own intuition when it comes to food choices. Pay close attention to your desires, and if they will nourish your body and soul, act on them. I’ll give you an example: I craved steamed broccoli for 5 days in a row last week while we were travelling but I couldn’t get it on the go, and then when we were at The Longevity Now Conference, I discovered that when we steam broccoli we access more omega 3 oils then when the vegetable is raw. So I ate some! Isn’t that amazing? My body knew exactly what it needed. P.S – Raw should be simple, if it sounds too complicated, ask yourself who’s trying to sell you something.
3. It’s not a cult. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes you some time to go completely raw. The average person who’s transitioning from the SAD diet can take up to 3 years before they are consistent with the lifestyle. Perhaps you will notice you feel at your best when you are 80% raw and 20% cooked meals, that’s ok to. Create a plan that you can keep up consistently, make sure it feels good.
4. Be mindful of your fat intake. A raw food diet can be just as high or higher in fats as a regular cooked, non vegan diet. New raw foodists tend to get caught up in the fun gourmet meals, nut cheeses, nut butters, dehydrated crackers and avocodos that are all high in fat. The body does not need much fat to thrive, in fact fat is the cause of diabetes and candida. When you consume too much fat, your body can become insulin resistant, making it more difficult for you to process fruit sugars. Fruits (Carbohydrates) are your natural energy source. Fruit can not make you fat, and it’s unfair to group fruit sugar with other sugars because it’s not an isolated ingredient. Fruit also comes with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients unlike other sugars. If you’re new to raw and you’ve been eating all of the fancy raw meals your local raw cafe has to offer, beware that this should be part of your transition phase, not a lifetime way of eating. Simplify your meals, start eating more fruits and greens, lower your fat intake and you can sustain a raw food lifestyle long term. It’s totally ok to have gourmet raw meals just not every night. Eventually as you reduce your high fat intake (less nuts, seeds, avocados) your body may actually respond differently to fruits and fats then it did before.
5. Find a good balance of proteins, fats & carbs. It’s really impossible for someone to tell you exactly how much of each component you need in your diet without working very closely with you and experimenting with different foods. Before you base your choices on the “blood type” diets, keep in mind there are actually 16 blood types and personal experience is usually the best route to take. Generally speaking, fat intake should be around 10% and no more then 30% at the most. If you feel like you need 12% fat and lots of protein in the form of sprouts, broccoli etc, experiment. Some athletes supplement with Vegan or SunWarrior protein shakes, and some don’t take protein supplements at all. So play around and see what you feel works. There is always something positive you can take away from a book or an expert, just make sure to remember this is about you, not them and personal experience always beats someone’s “theory” about what works and what doesn’t.
6. Know when to ask for help.
There are so many free and paid resources online and in your community available, so make use of them. At Young and Raw, we’re always available to answer questions on Facebook as is our community, and we offer an array of different online programs you can enroll in and take at home. There are local holistic nutritionists and coaches as well if you feel you need a lot more one on one. If you’re the learn at home type, we also have a 3 month raw food course “How To Go Raw, Not Crazy”. If you’d like to find out how you can register at a discount as a student tester, email us with the subject line “how to go raw”.
7. Everything has protein in it. If you’re working out a lot, make sure you’re consuming a lot of sprouts, celery, cucumber, broccoli and other high protein fruits and veggies. Find out how much you really need, it’s probably less then you think, however protein is an important component of your daily food intake, so don’t ignore it due to the “protein myth”. The protein myth is in place to raise awareness to the fact that meat is actually a less reliable source of protein due to the hard work your body has to endure in order to access the protein in the midst of breaking down the flesh and fat. Not to say that we don’t actually need protein in our diets.
8. Have fun and experiment. Like Caleb always says “food should be fun!”. Play around in the kitchen with new juices and smoothies, and make fun meals or desserts when you feel so inclined. The possibilities are endless! You never have to go without, anything can be recreated into a vegan friendly and raw dish! Be gentle with yourself, your creations won’t turn out perfect every time, it’s all part of the process. Or at least that’s what Caleb tells me when I miss the buck on a first time recipe.
9. Lead by example. The best way to make a positive impact on the world around us, is by being the change. We can only control ourselves, and by consuming plant based and nutritious foods, others will follow when they are ready. We don’t live in a utopian society, in fact the etymology for the word utopian actually means “extravagantly ideal or impossibly visionary”. Just enjoy life, learn from your own lessons and let people be examples or warnings in your life. Getting caught up in the drama of what other people do or don’t do is just another way for you to allow external circumstances to steal your joy.
10. Last but not least, acknowledge yourself every day. The transition to a raw diet isn’t always easy, and always rewarding. There are people who will go their entire lives without making a conscious choice to take their power back and heal themselves, you’ve already achieved so much. Look in the mirror every morning when you wake, and every night before bed and say, “I love you”.
May your journey ahead be filled with positive lessons and beautiful discoveries!
Do you want to learn How To Go Raw, Not Crazy?
We are now taking students for our 3 month online course. If you’d like more information about the program you can email us or post on our Facebook Page.