Alicia Grant shares her Top 10 Tips for breaking cooked food addictions. Alicia improved her health dramatically after she began following a raw food diet in March 2009. Passionate about wellness and spirituality, she has been inspiring others to make healthier food and lifestyle choices by sharing her journey through her uplifting and informative videos as well as through her inspiring Instagram account.
A former professional singer, songwriter and music producer who also has a degree in graphic design, Alicia uses her love of food, nature, spirituality, music, photography and video production to help illuminate the path and guide others to vibrant health and well-being. Find out more about Alicia on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter as well.
1. Make sure you consume enough calories from fruit throughout the day. Eat fruit until you’re completely satiated during your meals. If you have to eat more often, don’t be afraid to do so. Most fruit is not as calorically dense as cooked food, so you need to eat more than you’re typically used to eating. Can I get an “Amen!” from those of you who love to eat?
2. Only eat fresh, truly ripe fruit, organic if possible. Most fruit in the grocery store is picked before it’s matured to a fully ripened state to make it easier for packing and shipping. This means less flavor, less nutritional value and makes the fruit more acidic than alkaline, leaving you unsatisfied and craving more. Buying local from a farmers’ market or co-op that buys directly from farmers will help ensure you get ripe, delicious produce. Plus, some foods are being genetically modified, and many foods are sprayed with harmful chemicals to control bugs and weeds that can be very damaging to your organs and cells. Hell no, you don’t want GMOs or pesticides! That’s why buying organic is most often important.
3. Avoid added sodium, which can be stimulating to your brain and taste buds, making you want more than you really need and trigger a desire for cooked foods. Ever heard the Lay’s potato chips tagline, “Betcha can’t eat just one.” Hello, salt and other sneaky brain-stimulating ingredients!
4. Remove all the unhealthy junk foods and processed foods from your home and have lots of fresh produce on hand so when you’re hungry, the only option is a healthy one. Oh, and avoid watching commercials, too. That’s part of removing the junk food from your home. If you don’t see it, the fewer your chances to have cravings.
5. Start collecting low-fat raw vegan recipes from books and websites, and try to make a new recipe at least once a week to get familiar with preparing raw meals. That way, when cravings hit, you’ll be good at fixing something fast, and you’ll be less tempted to cook. This also helps when you have guests over because you can show them how delicious eating raw food can be, and you’ll draw more people into the lifestyle with you. The more the merrier!
6. When the smell of cooked food begins to tempt you or you start to have a craving for a cooked meal, ask yourself, “What low-fat raw vegan recipe can I make right now to satisfy this desire?” Then find a recipe for the raw alternative and make it. It helps to have several staple recipes of your favorite meals on hand so you can easily make something delicious. This is where tip No. 5 comes in very handy. My staples were always raw zucchini pasta with marinara sauce, fresh mango salsa with romaine and cucumber chips and banana “ice cream” because I’m Italian and I love Italian and Mexican food, and I love ice cream. Those would always hit the spot when I had a craving.
Watch Alicia Grant Prepare Raw Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce
7. Read The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas Graham to really understand the ins and outs of this lifestyle. The more you know, the better you understand and the easier it is to stay on track. I also recommend reading all of Don Bennett’s books. He really makes a lot of sense and will answer many of the questions you likely will have.
8. For some people, it helps to commit to a specific time frame such as two weeks or 21 days because having a dedicated period of time and a plan in place to try this lifestyle makes them feel secure and gives them a sense of direction. Others may feel trapped with those parameters and may need to approach this lifestyle one day at a time, one meal at a time. Decide how you operate best and move forward from there. It has been said that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Keep that in mind as you move forward. Raw food is a very worthy habit!
9. Join a low-fat raw vegan forum or Facebook group for support. Find like-minded individuals to connect with and help keep you motivated. Look for fruitlucks on Meetup.com in your area or create your own fruit-friendly community. In addition, watch YouTube videos of those successfully following this diet. Follow their Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts. The more you connect with like-minded individuals and keep your focus on the people successfully following this lifestyle, the easier it will be to stay on the raw path and motivated. And who can’t use more quality, positive, passionate friends?
10. Have a reason or many reasons why you’re wanting to eat this way. Make a list and keep it on your refrigerator or kitchen cupboard, bathroom mirror and in your wallet. If you start to feel tempted to stray, look at your list and let those “whys” help keep you focused. When I started to have a craving for cooked food, I would remember all the pain and frustration I went through with my digestion when I would eat cooked food and my “why” of wanting to have good digestion would prevent me from giving in. I began to think of cooked food as broken glass or cement because that’s exactly what it would feel like I was eating if I followed through with the desire. You may not have health issues; you may have a love of animals, and your “why” is not to torture other sentient beings. You may have spiritual reasons or a love for the planet and a desire to save it or all of the above and so much more. Becoming clear on your reasons can be a very powerful motivator. Choose your “whys” carefully.