Enjoy these tips for success on a raw food path:
- Education: Read books by authors who teach Natural Hygiene such as myself, Dr. Herbert M. Shelton, Dr. T. C. Fry, Dr. Douglas Graham and Brian Rossiter. If you are really ambitious, enroll in a holistic degree or certification program offered by the University of Natural Health. Learn the basics of our physiology, namely detoxification processes, healing requirements, raw food nutrition and digestion. Understand that it’s a continuously unfolding process. Hire a diet coach such as myself or Brian if you need help.
- Set Goals: Set goals and write them down. Go back to the list and revise it as needed each night before you go to sleep. Visualize, affirm, take action, give yourself validation and reinforcement, and you will attain your goals.
- Psychology: Feed your mind positive healthful thoughts. There are more than 20 lifestyle factors, aside from nutrition, that need to be optimized to create vibrant health. Eat mindfully and eat to live; don’t live to eat. Design your lifestyle to have a good, varied “diet” of activities that don’t involve food intake.
- Contemplation and Meditation: The best if not the only way to access the answers from within—what, when and how to eat as well as any other aspects of living—is to sit in silence. Tune in to your body’s signals, and its needs will be revealed.
- Practice Body Awareness to Overcome Emotional Overeating: Emotional body awareness helps us delve into reasons for overeating, which are typically a quest to fill an “emptiness” within or a resistance to feeling certain emotions. The Somatic Inquiry (presented later in the next section) can help you accept certain emotions and learn how to locate and tune in to the love that is always present, waiting to “nourish/nurture” your emotional body.
- Exercise: Exercise makes the whole dietary transition go better and better. Exercise improves willpower, digestion and elimination. Exercise vigorously at least twice daily to create true hunger.
- Mineralize: If you are not in peak vibrant health, a mineral deficiency could be a key part of the problem. Minerals act as co-factors for our enzymes, powering them for maximum efficiency. Food sources rich in minerals are fresh vegetables and juices (carrot, celery, kale and lettuce, for example) and tomatoes.
- Transition: Substitute cooked fat with raw fat. Avocados, nuts and seeds (raw or soaked overnight) are healthy, satisfying sources of fat. Try making nut and seed “milks” and “cheeses.” Substitute salt with celery and fresh or dried tomatoes. Substitute cooked starch with raw corn, zucchini, summer squash and Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes). Always eat a bigger portion of raw with cooked food.
- Have No More Than One Heavy Meal Per Day If Your Energy Is Sub-Par: If you have nuts or seeds, avoid avocado and starchy foods that day. If you have avocado, avoid nuts and seeds that day. If you have cooked starchy food, avoid nuts and seeds that day. Avocado combined with starchy foods is a fair combination but works for most people. Avoid nuts, seeds and avocados altogether if you are not feeling well.
- Follow Food-Combining Rules: Eat sweet fruits only on an empty stomach. Don’t eat them with or right after other foods, with this exception: sweet and acid fruits combine well with greens, celery and cucumbers. Avoid eating fatty and high-protein foods (nuts and seeds) with starchy foods. Eat plenty of greens and/or cucumbers with heavy meals which include fatty, high-protein and starchy foods.
Five Keys to Eating Fruit Meals
1. Exercise beforehand. Eating fruit (or any food) when we have no cellular need for the sugar and other nutrients can lead to metabolic problems. We need to create the need for nutrients (true hunger) by exercising.
2. Clean out with water beforehand (10 minutes or more before eating). A clean alimentary canal will promote optimal digestion; a soiled alimentary canal leads to fermentation of fruit sugars, mucus production, indigestion and food drunkenness or fatigue.
3. Eat sweet fruits alone (mono or combo) or combine them only with greens, celery and/or cucumbers (except melons—eat them alone). Sweet fruits digest and need to assimilate quickly. Sweet fruits (except melons) digest well with only the “neutral” green foods (foods that are low in protein or starch and therefore do not require a long time for digestion in the stomach).
4. Wait six hours or more after eating nuts, seeds or starchy vegetables or cooked food. Those heavy foods require hours of digestion in the stomach. Wait until the stomach and intestines have digested and passed those foods through before eating sweet fruits.
5. Eat sweet fruits with greens, celery and/or cucumbers to mitigate overeating of sweet fruits (if you have such a problem). Rather than filling up on the sweet fruits, eat a small portion of them, then some of the green foods. Alternate handfuls or eat together as desired.
- How to Overcome Any Gastric Distress When Beginning Your Natural Diet: When we start eating a lot more raw fruits and vegetables, existing stagnant, putrid and fermentive gaseous food matter is flushed out of the bowel due to the energizing effect of the raw sugars and the high fiber and water content. Also, when raw fruit sugars contact existing bacteria-laden morbid matter from cooked starches and meat and dairy products, the fruit sugars will ferment, and gas will evolve. This will pass when the bowels are clean. If we do not follow food-combining guidelines, fermentation and putrefaction will continue. Digestion difficulties during the initial transition and cleanout phase will be alleviated by eating very simple, properly combined foods. If that does not work, eating mono meals will help in every case. Raw salads with grated vegetables will help sweep out the bowels and, eventually, fruit sugar and protein foods will digest cleanly. Pure water, fruit juices and smoothies help us clean out as well. When the bowels are clean and the detoxification action calms down, digestion will be a quiet and thorough process as long as healthful eating principles are maintained. Remember: Simple eating is always best!
- BYO: Bring your own healthful food and drinks with you when you go to work, travel, visit friends, etc. so that you are always able to eat the way you want to eat.
- Peer Support: Associate with other raw fooders via raw food potlucks (try hosting your own), outings, phone and e-mail. Avoid nonsupportive relationships.
- Be Passionate!: It is the intention behind your thoughts and expression that seeds the success you desire. It is the emotional force that you attach to your thoughts and expression that catalyzes your transition and rejuvenation process. Choose to become vibrantly healthy and be passionate about life! Interact with other passionate, health-minded people, learn from them and share your passion and joy with them!
- Relax, Be Patient and Accept What Is: Nothing can be or needs to be any different than it is right now—this moment is perfect and you have done and are doing the best you can. Praise yourself for being where you are, having the courage and wisdom to be on the raw food path and don’t be down on yourself for any reason. If you stumble, get up—don’t give up. Rome was not built in a day. Be patient, focus on the good things in your life and, in due time, the fruits of life will be yours!