For those who may not know from previous posts, 3 years ago I founded a raw vegan food delivery business in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Cocina Verde). Since then I’ve had many people come to me interested in a cleaner, healthier lifestyle with the raw food diet in mind. However, the majority of people aren’t quite sure how to get started, beyond the pre-made meals they can order from my company on a weekly basis. Whether you are someone who is interested in going 100% raw, 75% raw or just wanting to incorporate a bit more raw into your healthy diet, I’ve put together some tips to support you on your journey.
First off, it’s always good to have a reminder as to why you want to go raw or go “more” raw in the first place. The raw-live food diet consists of fresh unprocessed and uncooked whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans and sea vegetables. By preparing foods at a temperature under 110F (44C), you are able to maintain the integrity/molecular structure of the food and preserve the enzymes, vitamins and phytonutrients present in raw, living food.
The benefits experienced by those who eat a primarily raw-live food diet (75% or more) are better health, increased energy, better skin, improved digestion, weight loss, reduced rate of heart disease. Overall, many say that they look and feel younger and that long-term health problems begin to disappear.
Additionally, those consuming raw-live foods only need about 50% the quantity they would normally eat when consuming cooked foods as the body gets the nutrients it needs and feels more satisfied with fewer calories.
Tips for Transitioning to a Raw Food Diet
1. Educate Yourself
It’s extremely important that you understand what you are doing when you start a raw food diet. This type of diet requires pre-planning and a knowledge of which foods you’ll need to obtain all of your nutrients. There are excellent plant sources for 99% of your nutritional needs, but it’s important to learn them and also ensure that you are always eating a varied diet. Many people are following a raw food diet these days, so there is plenty of information online and in books. You can also attend lectures and cooking classes in most cities around the U.S.
2. Learn Your Personal Nutritional Requirements
Not everyone has the same nutritional needs. Some people require more protein than others, some more fats, some more carbohydrates for energy. There are several ways/systems to assess your individual nutritional needs such as metabolic typing, Ayurveda body type/doshas, how fast you oxidize glucose, blood type, etc. There are some questionnaires online that can help you get started, however ultimately learning your body requirements takes time and dedication no matter what diet you are on. However, the wisdom you gain will be invaluable for life and give you the best chance of achieving optimal health.