It is never too late to start following your heart and eating what you believe in. Whether it is all sugar cut-down or sans fat diet or plant-based or raw food diet, it is your body you are feeding, and you should be the one deciding about it. No matter what you decide to follow, you must know about your diet plan and all the tips on how to start.
The importance of cutting down the fats in your diet is undeniable. Fried foods increase the risk of high cholesterol levels in your blood and also render your heart weak. This is why there is a surge in the popularity of the raw food diet. People are opting for the raw food diet because it is deemed healthy for weight loss and helps cut down on fatty foods.
In this article, we will be providing you with all the information that you need to start a raw food diet, including tips, and some raw food ideas you might want to start with.
What Constitutes As A Raw Food Diet?
In the simplest of words, the raw food diet comprises of any food that is raw and unprocessed. By definition of the term raw food, it is understood that anything that is cooked or heated over a temperature of 104°-118° Fahrenheit is not considered raw. Also, the food items that are refined, or treated with any pesticides, or processed in some way, or even pasteurized, are not considered raw.
Quiet similar to a vegan diet plan, the raw food diet is also mostly based upon plant-based items, such as fruits, nuts, certain seeds, and vegetables. However, the vegan food diet draws a line with the raw food diet upon the inclusion of raw fish or meat in some cases. Moreover, eggs and certain unprocessed dairy products are also a part of the raw food diet.
Why Go For Raw Food Diet?
Advocates of the raw food diet strongly condemn the cooking of food. They claim that when we cook certain food items (let us say vegetables), we lose their benefits to heating and all the additional oils and spices. The supporters also believe that the raw food diet works wonders for losing extra weight, cutting down on the fat ridden foods, pumps up your body with energy, enhances vitality, and overall helps your body to remain healthy.
What Can You Eat When On A Raw Food Diet?
Initially, it is mostly about making a list of all the possible things you can eat when following a raw food diet. Being aware of your choices is essential while doing grocery shopping and getting the correct items.
For starters, here are some items you should have on your list to get from the store:
- Fresh fruits
- Raw vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Raw grain and legumes
- Dried fruits
- Nut milk
- Coconut and olive oils (cold-pressed)
- Fermented food items such as Kimchi
- Eggs or other raw dairy products
- Raw fish or meat (optional)
- Sea Salt
- Cooked grains or meat
- All the baked items
- Roasted nuts and seeds
- Refined oils
- Table salt (it is as refined), refined sugar and flour
- Pasteurized milk, juices, and dairy products
- Coffee and tea
- Pastries or cakes
- Snacks and other processed foods
Tips for Starting a Raw Food Diet
Now that you know what essential food items you can consume when following a raw food diet let’s move on to the next step, that is, where you actually start drafting a raw food meal plan and consume it. No diet change is easy to adopt – not even for our body when it is so used to having foods that are processed and laden with fats and calories but very less energy.
So, we have some tips for you if you are starting a raw food diet that will help in gradually accommodating your body to the change without any lapses or failed attempts:
- Transform Your Kitchen
This is the most important step in order to get started with a raw food diet. You should begin with your fridge and clean out all the high-fat foods, salty foods, cakes, pizzas, milkshakes, burgers, fries, and all the other unhealthy leftovers/foods. If you don’t have all these foods around you, it will be much easier for you to transition without any problem.
Once you transform your kitchen and get rid of all the junk, you are ready to move to the next tip, which is also another important step.
- Start With What Is The Easiest To Get
This is the most practical tip to get yourself started on something new – let yourself get acquainted with the change by simplifying the things. The same goes for introducing the raw food diet in your life: start with the basics. Do not let yourself get tangled into the long list of possible raw food items you can or should get to start. Instead, start with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Prepare a delicious salad for a few first days for yourself. Toss in some fresh vegetables or fruits of your choice and season it with cold-compressed olive oil. Another great option is to make yourself a delectable fruit salad and dip it in the nut milk of your choice.
- Foot-in-the-door Technique
No change is readily accepted when it is forced and is not introduced a little bit beforehand. Therefore, the second helpful tip is to start with one raw food meal a day. This will help in making your body accustomed to the change, and you will also start seeing new perspectives for combining various raw food items to create a perfect meal for yourself.
- All Raw Food Diet Except Dinner
For some people, this might be the best tip to get themselves going on the path of raw food diet. Instead of the previous technique, some people might as well go for the whole day raw food diet and have dinner with a little cooked food for starters.
This step really helps you in developing a taste for raw food diet while not completely stopping the cooked foods. This tip is an excellent one for starters as it would not feel like a forced invasion of some sort; instead, you will be able to gradually but firmly embrace the change in your diet for good.
Key Points for Your Health and Sanity:
- Always let your body take the lead – if it is unwell, let it rest for a while or a few days. Let your body guide you how slow or fast it wants you to make the switch. Our taste buds are made to adapt, and they will if you let them take some time and do not overburden your body.
- While it is perfect for you to decide and consume what is healthiest for your body, it is also completely natural to be a tad bit flexible with your choices in the beginning. While you are in the exploring phase, experiment with different food items and let your body set the pace.
- One of the best things to adapt your body and brain to this change is to surround yourself with raw food diet and related things as much as you can. For this, you can start reading up on the literature, food blogs, personal experiences of the people, and other items.
- You should get your hands on a recipe book or a food guide for a raw food diet. It will help you get ideas about what to put together for meals.
Some Meal Ideas for Preparing Raw Food Diet
- Raw Coconut Yogurt
Just scrape some coconut meat from two coconuts and blend with coconut water until the mixture is smooth. Add in probiotics and some vanilla beans or powder. Keep in it a cool dark place to let the process of fermentation take its toll for 10 hours (you can do this process a night before). Chill the mixture and sprinkle some raspberries or strawberries before indulging in it.
Entrees and Salads and Soups
- Raw Green Peas Soup
Take a bowl full of peas and blend half of it with some avocado slices, almond milk, a little pepper, and salt until it turns into a smooth paste. Take out the mixture and garnish it with leftover peas and some onions.
- Raw Protein Thin Mints
This is one of the easiest snacks that double as a dessert for raw food diet followers. For this, you need protein powder, cocoa, vanilla extract, liquid stevia, peppermint extract, and coconut oil. The preparation is as simple as putting all the ingredients into a bowl and stirring them till they are all well combined. Scoop the mixture on a flat tray and refrigerate to set. The cookies are ready!
It is not easy to bring a big change in your diet overnight – it takes time and perseverance. So, give yourself room to adjust to it. Acquaint yourself as much as you can with all the knowledge and topics related to the raw food diet. This will help you know all there is to know about how to start, what to buy, and how to put together a meal that is fresher and less ridden with fatty oils and extra calories that you can easily live without. Eat healthy, stay healthy!