If you’re interested in raw food, plant-based foods, a vegan diet, or just need some ideas for how to enjoy healthy food in a new way, try learning some simple steps to eating raw. Eating raw is not about eating raw all the time. In fact, most raw foodists don’t. Most incorporate some kind of cooked meal or beverage in their day. Even if it’s just herbal tea, or a baked sweet potato, most people who eat raw food eat that food 90% of the time and eat cooked food the other rest. While there are some people who are 100% raw, it doesn’t mean that they are perfect or have the perfect diet. The point of eating raw is to eat food in its purest form, to get the most nutrients you can from food. Raw food also energizes you, tastes good, and can be really simple. My favorite thing about eating a mostly raw diet, is that my appetite is more stable, I don’t spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen, and I have more energy. You don’t have to eat all salads and smoothies if you eat raw either. Check out these simple steps to eating raw and you’ll see that they’re not only easy, but also useful to anyone’s life and tempting to anyone’s taste buds.
1. Keep It Simple
One of the very most important steps to eating raw is to keep things simple. Raw food is not about making gourmet raw dishes every time you eat. In fact, it’s best to keep it simple. This keeps things easier on your time, budget, and your digestion. Raw foods can be hard to digest when combined in large quantities, or in complicated dishes. That's the reason simplicity is key. Throw a big salad together of all kinds of raw veggies and add some lemon on top with some hemp seeds or almond. Or mix up your own energy bars with a simple mix of dates, coconut and cashews in the food processor. Keep things simple. In fact, a single chopped avocado and tomato with some lemon and lime juice and cracked black pepper can make a complete snack, or make the perfect salad topping instead of meat.
2. Find a Great Smoothie to Make
While I did say that raw food isn’t about smoothies and salads, it is a good idea to at least come up with one smoothie that you like. Why? It gets you to start eating more raw food and helps you to be creative in a short, quick way. A quick smoothie sends nutrition directly to your cells since the cell walls and fiber of the produce in your smoothie are already broken down. Smoothies also don't take hours to make and they have the ability to taste like a milkshake so you don’t get deprived. Wondering what my favorite smoothie mix is? Spinach, almond milk, raw hemp protein or Garden of Life Raw meal, vanilla extract, chia seeds, cacao powder, blueberries, cucumbers, ice, cinnamon and stevia. Blend, and you’ve got yourself one delicious icy treat that makes a great meal in minutes.
3. It’s Not 100% or Nothing
An important step when learning to eat raw is that it’s not 100% or nothing, meaning you don’t have to eat all raw all day to follow a raw food diet. Just try taking baby steps and don’t freak out if your almond milk isn’t homemade. Mine isn’t!
4. Keep Your Snacks Raw
Here’s a simple tip I try to stick to. Instead of laboring over all raw meals, I stick to quick raw snacks that are easy to grab and go. Mine are: celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, homemade raw energy bars ( as mentioned above), raw protein powder mixed with almond milk like pudding, a smoothie, or a bowl of chopped raw veggies with avocado. It can be so simple, yet so satisfying!
5. You Don’t Have to Juice
I love making fresh, raw juice, but guess what? Just because you’re trying to eat raw, doesn’t mean you have to juice. Instead, juice if you want to , but don’t feel like you have to. I know it can be expensive, time draining, and even though I feel it’s worth it, I don’t do it every day even though I wish I could.
6. Watch Your Nuts and Seeds
Yes, nuts and seeds are so healthy for you, and in my opinion, I think every single woman should eat raw nuts and seeds every day because they are powerhouses of nutrition that lower heart disease, depression, anxiety and food cravings for sugar or unhealthy fats. Yet, many raw foodists can overload on nuts and seeds, and that’s not what I want you to do. While they are healthy in small portions, they can be very hard to digest and can make you feel ill if you eat too many at one time. You can even gain lots of unnecessary weight if you're eating tons of them each day. Try to stick to mostly vegetable based meals, and don’t eat all raw desserts all day and think you’re super healthy because it was raw.
7. Listen to Your Body
The most important thing to do when eating raw is to listen to your body. Let it eat more raw foods as it can. The beauty of raw foods is they can help make you look youthful, decrease depression, increase energy, and more, but guess what? They also aren’t for everyone 100% of the time. If your body feels good on raw food, keep trying new things. If not, listen to it, and incorporate more cooked foods like root veggies, cooked greens, and even dark chocolate if it makes you feel good. Listen to your body and don’t tell it what you think it should be doing: raw or not.
How do you implement more veggies and fruits into your diet? Do you eat raw food? Share your thoughts here!