First of all, raw food has become quite the buzz word. Many of us associate raw food living to a strictly vegan diet, or a diet that consists of very unique recipes & uncommon ingredients. But did you know that you don’t have to be a vegan, or even a wealthy Whole Foods shopper to add more raw foods into your life for the purpose of creating a healthier version of yourself? Well, it’s true!
Think about this for a minute, what is raw food really? Well, raw food is anything that hasn’t been processed, isn’t cooked above 118 degrees and for some arguably above 109 degrees, and for most of us, raw food is usually as organic as possible, preferably local, and whole from nature (so organic skittles wouldn’t count).
Even if you think you’ve never eaten raw food before, or that you just couldn’t pull it off, hear me out on this one…
I’d be willing to bet that almost everyone has tried raw food at least once in their lifetime, including you! If you can check off one or more statements from the list below, then you are fully capable of getting healthier with raw foods:
- You’ve eaten a fresh green salad with vegetables on it before
- You’ve eaten a fresh salad with no dairy on it
- You’ve had fresh squeezed orange juice (not from a box)
- You’ve had sashimi at a sushi bar
- You’ve had a green smoothie
- You’ve had a fruit smoothie
- You’ve tried a green juice from a juice bar
- You’ve eaten an uncooked apple, orange, or banana
Who Says you have to be 100% Raw?I don’t personally subscribe to the mentality that you need to be 100% raw to achieve your health goals. Being 100% raw is wonderful if you’re healing or losing weight, but over the long term it’s not required and often it’s not sustainable either. Some people can stay 100% raw and thrive that way, and often times they’re either eating a high fat diet or a super high fruit diet which I’m not saying doesn’t work for some because it does, but the majority of us out there need a little more balance over the long-term.
When I went 100% raw back in 2010, I did so to heal myself and shed the excess weight I had gained from a series of unfortunate health mishaps. It was the dead of winter in Canada, and even I managed to pull off raw food living and loved my experience the entire way through! Once I had gotten my body and my energy back, I began to experiment to find the right balance for me. That balance at present isn’t a 100% raw diet, instead it’s a “high raw diet” that includes plenty of raw foods throughout my day. At this point, it’s hard for me to imagine not eating raw foods on a daily basis, no matter where I am or how busy I get.
If you want to get healthier, shed excess weight, balance your hormones or feel more happy and inspired it could be very beneficial for you to consider adding a few new additions to your daily routine. To start, those new additions could look something like this:
- When you wake up in the morning, have room temp fresh water with a squeeze of lemon
- Enjoy a daily green smoothie with a bit of fruit
- Eat 2-3 pieces of whole, organic fruit or low sugar berries like blueberries each day
- Have 1 big green salad a day
When you put processed food, fried foods & other sugary stuff into your body, it cannot focus on healing or weight loss, because it’s too busy fighting off the internal perceived foreign invasion inside of your body. Anytime you take a break or totally eliminate toxic foods from your diet and add in fresh, whole, living foods – your body is allowed to rest, rejuvenate and heal.
What are the benefits of eating more raw foods?Results of raw food show up differently for everyone, but the most common results are:
- More Energy
- Healthy Weight Loss
- Better Sleep
- Less Stress & Anger
- Less Cravings for Sugar & Processed Food
- Clearer Skin
I’ve had people tell me that eating 100% raw food isn’t a sustainable way of life, however I have yet to have anyone argue that it would be a poor health choice to:
- Drink more water when you wake up
- Have a green smoothie or a green juice every day
- Eat 2-3 pieces of whole fruit
- Have 1 large green salad a day
- Cleanse properly with raw foods a few times throughout the year
Anyone can benefit from eating a bit more raw food during the day, even you. So, if you do give a few of these suggestions a try, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below on any changes you’ve noticed in your health or energy levels.
Sometimes we have to take baby steps towards achieving greatness. Evolving our diet to be more in alignment with nature and less supportive of corporate manufacturing (processed food) is a wonderful goal to set for yourself. Remember to honor your small changes and celebrate the little successes, for those are what you have to be proud of, and all add up to help you reach your own version of optimal thriving health!