1. Don’t be afraid if you don’t feel great right away! When we are sick and switch to a raw vegan diet, the body will start healing itself and removing toxins, which could take anything from a few weeks to a few years. The tallest mountains have the best views, and great health is worth sticking with this.
2. Save money by shopping the sales and for the seasons and going to farmers’ markets and wholesalers such as Costco. Whilst 100 percent organic is good to strive for, I am a student and do this for around $15 a day. I make sure my greens are organic, then I do the best I can. “Ugly tables” at the back of the supermarket are a great way to find wonderful deals. Making friends with produce managers or farmers often leads to free boxes of expired produce. Organic produce expires the fastest, and I also get great deals on boxed fruit at my local market.
3. Learn how to spot a ripe banana! They are a great staple for raw foodists on the go, and most people eat them when they are way too starchy. They are best when they are spotty all over. Blending a bunch of spotty bananas with water is one of my favorite monomeals.
4. Don’t overdo the fats or use oils. I find they trigger lower moods and cravings for me. Read The 80/10/10 Diet and stick with whole food sources for fats and no more than 10 percent of your calories a day from fat. I rarely eat fat now because I can’t tolerate seeds, and I am just fine!
5. Find a community of people you resonate with. There are no fruit-based eaters in my area; however, I have made many close friends online to share my journey with through Facebook.
6. Beware fancy raw food cakes, pizzas and bars—they are OK on special occasions but the sugar-fat combo in most can take away my superpowers.
7. When eating out or going to social functions, have a smoothie before you go and order a salad with lime as the dressing. Don’t discuss your diet with others unless you are prepared to face negativity. Most of all, don’t push the way you eat on others unless they ask. Most people will eventually get curious about why you look and feel so good in their own time.
8. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. We have the tendency to think, “Well, I’ve ruined my diet, so I may as well have that vegan doughnut, ice cream or pizza I have been craving. Keep the damage low and treat the experience as a learning process. I found writing down how awful I felt after vegan sushi stopped me from having it again.
9. Get as much rest, sunlight and time in nature as you can. Avoid negative people, news, TV shows and movies as much as you can. Laughter is the best medicine for healing. Where possible, spend your time with loving people. Read positive books. I like reading positive stories about healing, too, to stay motivated!
10. Love yourself. That’s why if you think that a low-fat vegan lifestyle is what’s best for you and your health, don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way. The best gift we can give to ourselves is health.
Check out Natalie Lenka’s transformation story!
Hungry for more? Check out Natalie’s Fat-Free Zoodles Marinara recipe!