With each change the next becomes easier, as we build a history of delight in our lives.
However, making deep change is not something one does on one’s own. We recognize that in making the choices we are making to continue our move towards having raw foods be the foundation of our diet we build on the work and experience of others, and we are utterly dependent upon a thriving planet! Living simply means we are more directly connected to plants, air, water, and soil. Thus we move towards greater concern for all beings.
Some thoughts to consider as you too may begin to transition to eating more raw foods:
- Eat with knowledge and awareness. There is so much we can do to educate ourselves about food and its relationship with our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Food can be our number one medicine and yet we know so little about what we are putting into our bodies and what our bodies do with it. Explore the power of food, how certain foods react in your body, and what a healthy body, mind, and spirit can mean for you. We live in a time where there is a plenitude of information and support readily available to us. Learn and share!! [As a starting place, check out EWG (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php) for the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, or the China Study (http://www.socakajak-klub.si/mma/The%20China%20Study.pdf/20111116065942/) for some grounding in the impacts of certain foods on long term health.]
- Let yourself transition to raw foods gradually. Try making just one meal a day fully raw (a morning elixir or smoothie, for example) and then slowly add more and more raw to each meal (until it crowds out the rest!). In some ways transitioning to raw is like bringing your digestive system to the gym for a workout. You’ll be using new muscles and strengthening them. They’ll have to work harder than when you ate processed foods and you will likely feel this happening! Don’t be surprised or discouraged by this, just pay attention. Real and lasting changes take time to be embraced by all of our body/mind/spirit systems. Self compassion, joy, and gentleness are as important to the changes you are making as are the foods you are choosing. And remember to make space for yourself to exercise, relax, and drink plenty of good water.
- Eat things that are satisfying to all your senses. Just because it’s raw doesn’t mean it can’t look enticing, smell wonderful, and taste delicious! Use loads of fresh herbs and even edible flowers. And do not deprive yourself: If you have sweet tooth (like we do :)) find some wonderful, easy to make, raw desserts!
- Eat nutritionally dense, whole foods – as organic, local, and seasonal as possible. Go to your farmer’s market or your great health food grocery store and prowl the aisles. Let yourself choose the fruits and veggies that look really good to you. Eat food that you love and that loves you. Keep it simple and tasty and be excited about what you’re eating! You can also begin to slowly explore and incorporate Superfoods into your lifestyle. Cacao (raw chocolate), for example, can easily be added to an afternoon smoothie or you can toss some hemp seeds into a salad for bit of a nutty taste :).
- Be prepared!! If you don’t have the foods you really want to eat when you’re hungry, you’ll easily fall back into old patterns. If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Of course, failure is part of being human. When it happens, be gentle on yourself. These moments can be great opportunities to explore where we choose to go unconscious in our eating habits and our lives. Learn from them, give yourself a gentle hug, and then go shopping for what you would have liked to have had on hand.
Remember, start where you are and begin to reconnect to your inner sense of health, joy, and stability. We move through so many transitions in our lives, but not always consciously. These are just some ideas for first steps to embrace. Feel free to add to the list!