Whenever someone decides to make any changes in their diet they come face to face with a lot of important questions and concerns. Most importantly they want to know how to succeed with eating more raw foods. I've complied a quick list below of 5 steps that are essential in order to do so. This way you can get started immediately instead of feeling confused and lost.
Step 1 Get the Right Equipment
It doesn't have to be top of line but something decent from a good department store will do. Having a good blender and food processor is key to getting started. My personal favorites are the Vita-Mix blender (or my affiliate Vita-Mix link) and the Cuisinart food processor. A dehydrator is not necessary at this point, for right now lets keep it simple.
Step 2 Educate yourself
Purchasing a few books that cover the educational and food preparation aspects will help you tremendously. A few of my favorites are Sunfood Diet Success System, Rawvolution, and Green For Life.
Step 3 Get Involved
Take a couple of food prep classes locally. Attend meetups or potlucks regularly for support and encouragement. It can be very lonesome if you don't have anyone to share your experiences with and joining a social group will help you feel supported and able to stay on track. Join a few online forums or social media sites like Give It To Me Raw or Facebook. Plenty of people are ready to connect with you and share tips and ideas to help you stay motivated.
Step 4 Know how to make the food
Eating out at fancy raw restaurants and grabbing to go foods can be fun and oh so tasty, but what happens when you find yourself in an area that doesn't offer these kinds of luxuries? Look, when I first started out I had no prior culinary skills. My idea of cooking a healthy meal was grabbing a box of rice and stir frying veggies together. Preparing raw foods can definitely be a beautiful art form in itself, but it's not necessary. With all of the equipment out there it's nearly impossible to not be able to whip something together fast and that tastes great too. That's why it's so important to get the equipment as mentioned above. I'm not expecting you to make 5 star dishes but you can start by learning how to make smoothies, super food smoothies, pates or dips, gourmet salads, and decadent desserts that are satisfying to the palate. Two of my favorite sites for free recipes are GoneRaw and Raw Freedom Community.
Step 5 Go easy on yourself!
So many people really beat themselves up if they eat even one piece of cooked food. Although I choose not to eat any cooked foods in my diet, I also wouldn't have unrealistic expectations on you. Maybe you're not looking to eat 100% raw or aren't at the point of feeling ready to go head first all at once, but rather ease into it slowly which is what I highly recommend. Just starting out with smoothies, especially green smoothies is an easy way to do so. It's all about adding more rather than taking away. This way you don't feel deprived or like you're on a diet.
Being healthy should be fun and enjoyable in my opinion. For me it's a lifestyle change and with any changes they take time. I remember reading it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So whether you move into a new home or change up your eating program it's going to take time to feel second nature.
Remember, it's all about making better choices. So even if you still find yourself eating cooked foods from time to time, substitute the butter with non dairy spread or eat a steamed sweet potato instead of a white potato. Stir fry or steam your veggies instead of microwaving or boiling, you get the picture. If you feel like you've fallen off the wagon, just dust yourself off and get back on again. Grab a journal and record what you eat and review it daily as a constant reminder of how much better you are eating prior to your old habits. Be sure to write down the reasons clearly of why you're doing what you are and what your goals are. This way you can glance at them each day and know that you are making progress towards achieving those goals. Be sure to give yourself credit and celebrate your small victories towards becoming healthy and happy. Take a moment to reflect and truly enjoy the new journey you are on!
Let me know what your thoughts are. Do you have any tips to add? What is or was essential to getting started for you? Post it below and join the discussion. :)