by Kathy Ashley
August 01, 2016
Does a raw food diet sound kind of extreme to you? It did to me at one time.
As we have all developed lifestyles and habits that we're hopefully happy or at least comfortable with, the idea of shaking it up can be a bit unnerving. Some of us don't welcome change, especially with diet.
Even though a balanced raw food diet enables the body to heal itself of extreme health conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, immune disorders and many other illnesses, most people automatically turn to poisonous treatments and medication rather than change their diet. I see it all the time. I don't know if they think such small and simple lifestyle changes can't help, or that they need to go to extreme measures for extreme health conditions. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we in the western world have been conditioned to believe this is the only way. Also, processed food additives are literally as addictive as hard core drugs.
I am hoping that since you're here, you are ready to learn more about how you can heal with the raw food diet. As always, nature is the way to deal with any chronic health challenge.
Let's explore the idea by addressing the most common myths and concerns that I've heard when talking to people about this amazing way of life, as well as the far reaching health benefits of the raw food diet.
Whole, healthy foods are too expensive.
Meat, dairy and processed "foods" are very expensive; once these items are eliminated, groceries will cost less.
Farmers Markets are usually a better place to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables than many grocery stores. The food is much fresher, many times the prices are lower, and you'll be supporting the local farmers. Another great choice is a CSA (community supported agriculture), which offers seasonal produce directly from farmers in the area. Search Google for one in your area. We personally use both a farmers market and a local organic CSA.
Of course, if you have the time and space to grow an organic garden, this is your best and most cost effective option. You will have full control over planting, pest control and processing. For pest control, always use natural, organic methods.
Raw food will limit my choices.
There are more healthy and delicious food choices than you could ever imagine. You are not limited to salads! Most cooked recipes that I can think of have a delicious raw equivalent -- pizza, spaghetti, meatloaf, tuna salad, etc. If anything there are more choices with raw foods, and it's all healthy. Be sure and check out some of the simple recipes on my blog!
Raw food is too hard or too much work.
As with anything there is a small learning curve with preparing raw food dishes; however once you get used to it, you'll find that it's a lot easier and faster than cooking, and cleanup takes very little time.
I'm concerned that a plant-based raw food diet is unhealthy. Where will I get my protein, calcium and other important nutrients?
A plant-based raw food diet is the healthiest, most detoxifying, most anti-aging diet you can have. It gives your body everything it needs while eliminating the things it doesn't need, which allows the body to heal itself.
We have been conditioned by the meat and dairy industry to believe that these are the best sources for protein and calcium. Truthfully both are harmful to your health, causing chronic inflammation, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many others. Plant-based protein is in the ideal form for our bodies to digest and use effectively.
I'm afraid I won't have time to make meals from scratch. I feel so rushed all the time, especially in the morning.
Using very few ingredients, most raw food meals take only a few minutes to prepare. Healthy smoothies take less than 5 minutes to prepare in the blender. Pour into a to-go cup, rinse out your blender, and you're out the door with a healthy, energizing breakfast.
I have kids and a husband at home, and I'm afraid they won't be on board with a diet change such as this. I don't want to double up on my work by making two different kinds of meals.
I was in a similar situation and developed a few strategies to easily get around this challenge and helped my husband get healthy as well.
For the family try making simple, healthy entrees (e.g. crock pot soups and stews, veggie stir fry, homemade veggie burgers, etc.). As a side dish, they can enjoy some of your delicious raw food. And enjoy it they will...many raw food dishes are prepared in such a way that no one would ever know they are raw. They're simply healthier versions of everyday dishes.
This way your family will be sampling some new raw food dishes while still eating the kinds of foods they are used to, and you don't have to worry about making two separate meals.
This strategy worked very well for us -- my husband was willing to try new foods, so it wasn't long before he realized how delicious and beneficial the raw food diet is. Many times we are both able to enjoy raw food meals together, and he eats a lot less cooked food and animal protein than before.
I don't want to be raw 100% of the time; that would be too hard and inflexible for me and my lifestyle. I still want to be able to enjoy healthy cooked foods.
I have good news for you! The raw food diet is not an all or nothing deal.
Although the deepest health and healing will take place at the 100% mark, and that is what I wholeheartedly encourage, you can still reap great benefits at even 50% raw food.
If you're having trouble accepting the 100% concept it might be a good idea, at first, to focus on eating more raw foods and simply include some with every meal. A piece of fruit or a smoothie with your breakfast, a salad with your cooked lunch and dinner, and you're already halfway! From there if you'll work at adding more raw foods in small increments wherever you can (snacks, etc.), you'll be on your way to the healthiest you've ever been.
Did any of those ring true for you? I totally understand -- all are valid points. When I first heard about the raw food diet, years before I actually started it, I had those very same thoughts. Admittedly I didn't go for it then because I wasn't ready, which is important. As I mentioned above there is a learning curve; it takes some effort to get started and work it into your lifestyle, so you do need to be up for the challenge.
This is indeed the best thing you can do for your health and longevity. When you start to eat fresh, live plant foods, your whole body changes -- physical health, mental health, thoughts, feelings...and a lot of it happens very quickly. You can actually feel a big difference in as little as one day!
To help you feel more ready and excited to take on this important challenge, I've compiled a small list of benefits, just below.
High energy - an abundance of even energy throughout the whole day, with no cravings for caffeine or sweets to get you through an afternoon slump, because there is no afternoon slump!
More free time - There is more free time because meal prep and cleanup is such a snap that it leaves you with extra time for the important things in your life.
Improved mental clarity, concentration and higher productivity - With a balanced raw food diet you feel great, have more energy and your mind is clear, alert and attentive, which allows for a big boost in productivity.
Weight loss - You lose excess weight and effectively reshape your body. At the same time your body becomes more naturally toned, defined and flexible.
Better hydration - Because you are consuming foods with natural, high quality water, your body stays hydrated more easily.
Anti-aging - The cells in your body replace themselves all the time, and if a cell has had an abundance of energy and the right raw materials, it will replace itself with a stronger and better cell.
Higher quality rest - You are able to rest better at night. It doesn't take as long to recover and rejuvenate, therefore you may not feel the need for as much sleep perhaps as you did before.
Immunity boost - The greatest undeniable fact about raw foods is that they boost immunity like nothing else, to the point where you just don't get sick.
Nails and hair - Nails and hair become stronger, grow faster, longer, and less brittle with a natural shine.
Teeth and gums - Teeth become stronger and whiter, and gums become healthier. The raw food diet may also allow receded gums to heal.
Mindset - Mood is improved, leaving you feeling lighter, happier, peaceful and more alive.
These are only a few surface improvements - sounds great, huh? And since all this is going on, imagine the awesome health and life-changing benefits taking place deep within. Your body is rebuilding itself one bite at a time, one cell at a time. Ever true is the saying "you are what you eat".
Don't let the myths and concerns stand in your way. Here's the deal - to create lasting change in your health and life, you just have to make up your mind to do it and set your intention to follow through. It takes only a day or so to feel the amazing difference, which will continue, and should provide more than enough motivation to keep you on track. Give it some time. You'll feel fabulous, your health will improve beyond belief, and your body will thank you for it!
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it! Check out our organic holistic skincare. We have amazing products that are all natural, non-toxic and organic, made right here in-house and with lots of love.
Are you on board to create your very best health? I want to know! Please comment below and let me know your thoughts. Feel free to ask any questions you like.
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