I never truly realized the power of eating raw food and how it would affect my body until I started to get more serious about it and started to truly love the food that I was eating. When I first started out on my life style adventure, I ate raw because articles stated that I would lose weight, improve my skin, create increase energy, and my athletic edge would dial up due to my body’s cleaner operating system. I had tried so many other fad ways of “getting healthy” and feeling better in my own skin, but nothing seemed to be complete and fulfill the many physical health needs that I needed. If I ate lower sugar and no fat (and filled up on artificial sweeteners and pseudo-fattening foods), I lost some weight, but I had no energy and I still had that soft look around my waist. If I went low calories and still attempted to kick ass in my workouts, I teetered out quickly and felt like a slug, ultimately loosing lean muscle and looking physically soft. I couldn’t seem to balance the weight loss and the energy components to bring about a feeling of full vibrancy. So, one day, cruising around online and trying to find some answers, the universe pulled out some websites that it knew would lead me in a better direction. I started to investigate the raw food lifestyle and discovered that there were many forms of “raw foodies.” Some ate only raw fruit. Some ate only raw vegetables. Some ate raw fruit and vegetables and meat and cheese. Some were raw vegans and others were not. Then, there is a part of the population that eat an 80/20 split of raw/cooked. Because my personality fluctuates on the “all or nothing” cusp, I decided 100% raw (or 99.9% if I had to) it was for me. At least I thought so at the time…
I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to encounter when transitioning over. The higher raw I went, the more angry and depressed I got. My face started to break out in acne and my sweat after a hard workout was terrifying for anyone close to me. Confusion set in and I started to question my decision. As I did more research, my ah-hah moment came…I was detoxifying and my body was cleaning itself of the years of abuse and nutritional torture! It made more sense, but as I rode it out and I started to feel physically better, my new realization that 100% raw did not fit my lifestyle and was making me miserable. Don’t get me wrong, my friends, I was feeling amazing and my energy was off the charts. I could run faster, lift heavier, and my inner vibrational levels sky-rocketed, but I was missing out on some really important experiences that was creating a detrimental affect on my body. My mood swings were a super-dooper looper roller coaster and I felt stressed that I couldn’t partake in the events and eat some of the foods that brought me fond memories. That is when I remembered the psychology related to eating and to food and how food pleasure plays a vital role in satisfaction and overall nutritional absorption of your food. There is a balance that needs to be honored. So, I played around with it for years and I finally found what worked for me. It is now custom-fit and tansy-approved. I now aim for high-raw eating where I gravitate towards the majority of my day eating raw food and the rest is cooked. As much as possible, my cooked food is clean, organic and creates a cleaner digestion process. As to round it all off, I have a “whatever I want meal” 1-2 times per week. Regardless, I listen to my body because sometimes my body is telling me to eat more raw food and other times, it may not crave it so much.
So what did I notice right away and on a daily basis? My energy levels are sky-high most days, my skin is clearer, I have a natural and smooth glow to my skin, I have been regularly mistaken for about 10 years younger than I truly am, I feel more lean and muscular, my moods are more stable, and my self-esteem is much higher than when I was in my early 20’s.
I do coach eating high-raw and love to share the incredible, life-changing benefits that undoubtedly go along with it. How does it truly change your physical health? Well, I am glad you asked…
What makes raw food raw?
Raw food is uncooked and never heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Preferably, it is unprocessed, fresh, and organic – that means no irradiation, preservatives, pesticides or GMO. Raw food is seen to be pure and honest food that provides optimal enzymes, nutrients, energy, life force, minerals, and vitamins when delivered in an non-tampered and uncooked state. Scientists that study the impact of food and that support the raw food diet believe that heating above 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys some of these properties and decreases the potential body absorption rate.
A basic raw food diet typically consists of fruits, vegetables, soaked nuts and seeds, sprouts, and sea vegetables- some raw foodists also consume raw dairy, meat, and honey. There is a comprehensive list by Karen Knowler that really displays the variety of raw foods you can consume!
The concept is, simply, we are what we eat! If we eat living, raw food that is filled with life and energy, our bodies will ingest that life..that energy..that pure force that will heal us from within.
The beautiful benefits of eating a high raw diet (and some that I noticed specifically in myself)
- Improved digestion
- Weight loss
- It is alkalizing and low in inflammatory properties
- Improved fertility
- Clearer skin and resolution of skin disturbances (i.e., rashes, eczema, psoriasis, etc)
- Decrease in risk of developing diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular problems
- Massive increase in energy
- Improved mental clarity
- Increased stabilization of mental-health issues (i.e, anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD, etc)
- Less body odor
- Helps distinguish food intolerance and allergies
- Increases intuitiveness
- Decreases cravings for sugar and greasy foods. It literally changes your taste buds.
- Improved, deeper sleep
- Better athletic performance
The bewares, warnings, and ah-hahs!
For all of you just starting out, I had some ah-hahs and some “I wish I knew that earlier” moments that I want to share with you.
- First and foremost, success comes with easing into the lifestyle change. A too fast approach can make it seem mentally overwhelming and unmanageable, creating a lower success rate. Remember, eating nutritionally sound and choosing optimal raw foods is a life-long process and can take years of practice and build up. It will get easier, but it can be challenging in the beginning when approached too fast. Listen to your body and do what is right for you. If 50% raw food feels right for you at said point in time, then stick with it and do it the best you possibly can. As that gets easy, increase the percentage…if that is right for you! You may falter a few times. I did and I do, but I get back up on the raw food horse and kept pressing forward. This is where a support system comes in handy and I highly recommend you finding a friend, a family member, a support group or all of the above to support your healthy lifestyle change. Change is easier in numbers.
- Slower progression will also be easier on the digestive system and will cause less bloating and gastric discomfort.
- You WILL detox, but the faster you go, the quicker you will detox. If that works for you, then go for and embrace those mood swings, that stress, and those crazy body odors that you didn’t think existed! But, if you want a smoother transition, slow it down and ease into it.
- Make the majority of your raw food intake vegetables and fruit. Too many nuts and seeds and fats will weigh you down and make you feel heavy, bloated, and will decrease your overall energy. Try to fill up on light foods first and then supplement with all the other delicious raw goodies you can find!
- Don’t get bogged down with having to buy every piece of equipment that raw-foodies use and all the fancy ingredients that can sky-rocket your grocery bill. Start simple and then build on. Find out what works for you and what you gravitate towards. A perfect example of this was my dehydrator. I thought you absolutely had to have one and I would beat myself up for not going out and buying one, but they were expensive at the time and I wasn’t ready to invest in the product. Years later, I got one as a gift. It is now one of my favorite raw food “cooking” pieces and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
When I first began, I was totally overwhelmed and needed a few pieces of guidance to start so that I could be successful. Here are the top pieces of guidance I wish I had:
- A website that teaches everything about raw food and has some delicious recipes:
- A website to buy any raw food ingredient I needed:
- Chefs that create delicious raw foods:
- Matthew Kenney
- Ani Phyo
As one of my favorite raw foodists, Tonya Kay, once touted, everyone is a raw foodie to some level. Even if you put tomatoes and lettuce on your burger, you are still getting some raw food!
Take action now! Look at your current nutrition and your diet. What does it look like and are you getting enough raw foods into your diet to help your body heal? Do you have negative signs and symptoms that are plaguing your body and not allowing you to live the optimal life you deserve? Is your energy low and you often feel run down? If you are seeing negative signs and you are not filling your diet with raw foods, then that is a wake-up call to you to make some changes. Do some research and start implementing at least 1-2 new raw foods into your weekly nutritional plan. How will this look for you and who will you recruit to be your support system? I want you to comment below or email me through my website, Facebook, or Twitter and tell me all about what you chose.
Are you currently living a high raw food diet lifestyle? I want to hear all about it! Live your life with passion and purpose…
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