Changing to a Raw Food Diet
1. Know why you're switching to unprocessed foods.
Eating enzyme-rich unprocessed foods is the way we humans have eaten since our days as hunter-gatherers. There are numerous health benefits to eating a diet built on fruit, nuts and seeds, including increasing energy, reducing risk of heart disease, kick-starting weight loss, and aiding in body detox.
2. When changing to a raw food diet, slow and steady is the way to go.
This nutrient-dense diet can be a bit of an adjustment in the beginning and may cause headaches and/or nausea. For most people this is a new and complicated lifestyle change, so it's important to approach this in a relaxed manner. Try incorporating just one raw meal into your day and build from there. Salad is an easy way to start.
3. Follow the rules of the raw diet.
While the raw diet can be time consuming-it typically requires that food is juiced, soaked, or dehydrated-there are also some fundamentals you need to learn. It's suggested that 75 percent of the food you scoff down should be uncooked and for the remaining 25 percent you must never cook it over 116°F (your stove probably starts at 200°F). Proponents of the diet believe that when food is prepared "normally" it can rob food of its dietary value and defeat the purpose of noshing on veggies entirely.
4. Get the right equipment.
While kitchen appliances can be expensive, you don't need to buy every gizmo on the market just yet. Start simple and go for a dehydrator (to blow air through food at cool temperatures) and a food processor. As you continue with the diet you may find that you'll want a heavy-duty juice extractor.
5. Be creative with your raw diet.
Don't think your life is limited to nibbling on dry nuts and seeds. Experiment with complex dishes like pizza (use buckwheat as your base), or indulge your sweet tooth and make a pie with fruit purée and nuts. Be on the lookout for great recipes at goneraw.com.