I’ve been doing this whole pseudo-raw foodist thing now for four years strong, and I’ve been vegan now for over ten years. One question that always seems to come up is how do you go the distance? Especially with raw foods it can be extremely daunting at times to stay on the path, because doing so is never what is most convenient. It would be way more convenient to shove your face with processed foods, meat, dairy, and everything else widely available and cheap in our toxic world, but if we did, we would loose our sexy vegan badges quick! Besides that along with convenience comes bad skin, sour moods, and maybe even the inconvenience of a very large hospital bill years later. What you eat catches up with you. To help you stay on the sexy and raw track below I’ve listed some tips that I hope may be useful to you.
Don’t be a Raw Natzi. There are so many people out there preaching the gospel of raw like it’s a religion, and the best one at that. Please don’t let yoursellf turn into one of those preachy people. Nobody likes a Raw Evangelist anymore that they like Jehovah witnesses pounding down their doors every single day. I find the best way to make an impression on people with any ideology is to live it, not preach it. When you are preaching it a lot of times you are even trying to convince yourself. There is much more power in just doing your thing, and not feeling the need to impose your beliefs on others.
Release The Obsession With Being 100% Raw. It’s really funny how no matter who you chat with if you say you are a raw foodist they eagerly chime in “Are you 100%?” Please do not stress about this! At the end of the day your goal should be to be the healthiest version of you by any means necessary. When you are just starting just keep eliminating foods one at a time and keep increasing your amounts of raw foods. Maybe you’ll wake up one day and realize, that you are 100% raw and have no cravings for cooked food. Or perhaps you’ll end up eating 80%-90% raw foods and some cooked food and feel awesome! We all know there are benefits to eating raw and of course those benefits increase the more you eat that way, but you can be optimal without it. So, relax, please, and enjoy the process of adding living foods to your diet.
Find your SHE-ROES/ HEROS. This is something that always helps me get back on track. You don’t have to personally know a raw foodist who can mentor you or “show you the ropes” so to speak, but you can find online and through research stories of incredible people walking the path. Part of why I have the SHE-RO section on this blog is that the women I feature all inspire me to stick with it so I can see the same awesome results that they are experiencing long term. Watching a video on Annette Larkins, for example, always immediately makes me up my raw game. It’s visible proof of what is possible for you. Find those go to people and tap into their stories whenever you are feeling weak or you have fallen off the path. If other people’s stories don’t work, think about putting a visible reminder of your personal reasons for going raw on your fridge or in your kitchen. It’s all about staying in touch with your motivation long term.
Get Your Nutritional Balance Act Together. It took me a whole year of being 100% raw when I first started to realize something was starting to be out of whack with my body. The major problem was that I was not supplementing B12 and I was not eating enough superfoods to ensure well rounded nutrition. This is incredibly important. When you are doing any diet/lifestyle right, your body is getting the nutrients that it needs which makes you in turn less susceptible to craving the bad stuff you left behind.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare in Advance. If you really expect to have any success being raw and not immediately give in to cravings that come up on a whim, you need to be prepared. This is not a fly by the seat of your pants kind of diet. If you know you are going on a road trip and you pack nothing, guess what, you will be cranky, and your stomach will be growling the whole way. If you are making more elaborate raw meals, which can be fun, you need to soak things sometimes days in advance or at the very least one day. Think through your schedule every day to make sure you are never stranded without raw rations. This will save you from caving in and eating fast food or whatever processed junk is at the only convenience store you can find.
Don’t Get Hung Up on Gourmet Meals. If you are just starting out I think its awesome to experiment and create some of the more gourmet raw meals that take a great deal of time. You may start doing it and fall in love with preparing food and have the time to do it. If you are a busy body like myself, please don’t feel bad that you are not feeling up to being Raw Rachel Ray today. Go easy and have meals that are quick but pack a strong nutritional punch like smoothies, sprouts, super foods, and power-packed salads. Then when you get a little breather time you can always make something more elaborate or take your sexy vegan self out to a nice raw restaurant and experience the bliss that is gourmet raw foods.
Surround Yourself With Positive Energy. This is definitely crucial. You do not want to be in an environment where people are intentionally or maliciously trying to keep you from sticking to your raw plan! It is already tough enough to commit to a raw diet, Lord knows you don’t need additional help falling off. When you begin this path, your family and friends may not understand, that is typical. Its up to you to gradually get more comfortable in your reasons for sticking to your diet, (you may want to start rehearsing a “Where do you get your protein speech”), and also ensure that you take care of yourself at social gatherings. Bring something with you to eat, or make something over the holidays so you won’t be starving. You’ll be surprised, some family members may end up eating more off of your plate. -XoXo Raw Girl