How to Start a Raw Food Diet
When starting a raw food diet, people should begin gradually, with one meal a day, and slowly building up to about 70 – 90% raw. Some people may go up to 100% raw, although this can be difficult. How about starting by having a typical dinner such as a salad with a cooked vegetable side dish such as potatoes or yams, and gradually decrease the amount of times per week you allow yourself cooked vegetables or baked grains (or cooked meats, if you eat meat). Be sure your diet is simple for you to do, as an extremely complicated plan is not likely to be followed for very long.
1. Experience and Observe Effects of Raw Food on Your Body
Some things you should look out for is that going on a raw food diet can be compared to a detoxification effect, and as your body adjust to this new diet and the new things happening in your digestion and the change in available nutrients and fats, there may be some side effects. You may experience slight headaches, sensations of nausea, and/or depression in a mild form. You should consult a doctor or nutritionist if these symptoms or other side effects continue. If these effects start, you may wish to slow down you change to the raw food diet, to allow your body more time to adjust.
2. Meal Planning
To start a raw food diet, an important first step is meal planning. You will need to carefully plan your meals to include foods which will cover all your dietary needs. Remember that if you plan all your meals carefully to meet your body’s needs, you should not have to be concerned about cravings. Our bodies naturally crave salt and/or sugars, because they cannot make them themselves. But a variety of foods can provide your body with everything it needs. If you cannot get enough of a variety, you may want to consider a supplement. After all, the whole point of going on any diet is to improve your health, not to cause a nutritional deficiency or a health risk.
3. Basic Things You Need
You will need to have a few basic things in your kitchen (it’s no longer the oven, the stove, and the microwave), such as:
- a juicer (also called a juice extractor)
- a blender
- sharp knives (or just a sharp knife. A butcher’s steel is also useful)
- large containers for sprouting sprouts (more than one would be handy)
- dehydrator (some raw foodists will not use these, as the high temperature implies cooking)
4. Tools will Help You
You may already own these kitchen tools and appliances, otherwise, you may want to invest in them. You might find yourself in need of them as time goes on. A juicer can make it much easier for you to ingest your raw food, especially at the beginning of your diet. A blender will help you to create different recipes and flavors, while a dehydrator will allow you to make simple breads and flavorful treats. While these methods do not allow you to enjoy food in its completely natural state, it does allow you to try out different flavors and textures, which can make the raw food diet easier and faster for a lot of people.