A friend emailed me to ask how she might transition to eating mostly Raw. Below is my response to her.
I love to see a sistah working on her health. Here are my suggestions for starting:
1) Don't be too restrictive with yourself. My friend has started with 2 Raw meals a day, Raw snacks, and 1 meal that's just healthy, but not necessarily Raw. It's an easier way for her to transition. I allowed myself to eat sprouted wheat Ezekiel bread for the 1st week or so, but cut out completely cooked meals. It helps to commit to having something Raw with every meal or snack.
2) Decide how often you want to allow yourself a treat. Maybe once each week. You may find the treats don't taste as good as your taste buds change. After a few weeks, a bite of bagel was like chewing cardboard and paste for me.
3)The essential grocery list starts with the fruits and vegetable that you LOVE! Raw food is generally defined as uncooked, unprocessed fruits, veggies, oils, nuts and seeds. It's not a dumb question,because there is disagreement as to how hot you can dry things before they're no longer considered raw. Often, dehydrated/dried stuff is fine. You want to try for organic when you can, as well as unsulphured for the dried stuff. Oils should be extra-virgin and/or cold-pressed.
4) Don't overdo the dried fruit, nuts and oils, as they are calorie-dense. That being said, a little bit of those can be REALLY satisfying, and are healthy, so don't avoid them.
5) Seriously consider adding green smoothies to your daily menu. They're satisfying, highly nutritious and cut cravings for bad stuff. I don't particularly like kale, but when I put it in a smoothie, I don't taste it. Depending on how powerful your blender is, you might have to blend the greens with a little water before adding the fruit. That way they get well liquefied. Throw in some kind of fat ( a little flaxseed oil, ground flaxseeds, hemp seed oil, etc) if you want to balance the fruit sugars.
6) Buy a few Raw convenience foods. If you're near a good health food store, pick up something that looks great but will be easy to grab when you don't have much time to prep. Larabars help a lot of people transition. Don't invest too much money in Raw treats though, as they can be expensive. If you're not near a good health food store, look online at places like
naturalzing.com. Sometimes, especially when you're transitioning, you may want something more liked cooked food, and these things come in handy.
7) Check out websites like thedailyraw.blogspot.com, kristensraw.com, and goneraw.com for recipes you can make that will mimic cooked foods. They come in handy when you're craving old dishes. Some of these will require a dehydrator, but a lot won't. They also have creative ideas for salads and smoothies. Plenty of free recipes on the Internet, or if you're interested, there are ebooks available and books in most bookstores.
8) Only eat what you enjoy! This is supposed to be about health and abundance, not deprivation.
I hope this helps you. Email me as often as you like with questions or comments or suggestions