I'm intrigued about getting into the raw lifestyle as a colleague of mine did for health reasons and completely reversed his condition which usually carries a death sentence. Now a year or so later I also see how much weight he has lost and other positive health effects which intrigues me, but I'm hesitant about being able to go raw. His situation is that his family has come together to support him, and I'm a single individual so the amount of time, money and resources that I have available to dedicate to food and preparation is limited.
Because of these restraints, I doubt that I can immediately dive in to raw foods. I only have a blender, no dehydrator or juicer and I'm very busy so usually don't want to spend more than a half hour per meal to prepare the food, and resources are limited for lunches at work.
What I'm really looking for is advice on something to start with and how others have phased into raw food. I'm thinking about starting with something like making raw snacks for a short period and then start phasing some actual meals into the mix. Is this a good way to start or should I go another way? Thanks.
I don't know, everyone would start differently because we all start from a differet place. I was already eating about 50% raw before I became a raw foodist because that's how I ate, so advice for my transition would be different than yours.
If you're eating mostly cooked, phasing in raw snacks and raw breakfast will be good, as well as eating a salad with dinner. You don't need a juicer or dehydrator. Think simple and buy produce, chop it up, and eat it. :)
I think that the majority of the people on here started right where you are Mazzie. It's an extremely challenging task to just start into a raw diet so like superfood pointed out, it depends on what your diet consists of now.
I became a vegetarian 2 years ago when I started having tummy issues. I ate terribly and wasn't happy with my weight and my skin was breaking out all the time, despite running and lifting weights. One day I, my body basically told me that it no longer craved meat so I became a vegetarian. I started that with the mindset that if I wanted to eat meat again, I could, but I have honestly not craved it at all. I started small by having salads and experimenting with different dressings to change up the flavor. I also started having smoothies as a snack and almonds or fruit instead of chips or an energy bar. I made a rule that I would not buy foods that took more than a 3 steps to make (ie processed foods) and things just evolved from there. I too didn't have the time at first so I started buying pre-packed deli salads from PCC (in Seattle) or Whole Foods. Now this was pretty costly but it gave me that kick in the butt so that I would start making my own salads and keeping them in the fridge, which ended up costing more in time but A LOT less in money.
I think once you start introducing more natural foods into each meal, you will be surprised at how much your body craves it. Now, I have a green lemonade juice (lettuce, spinach, apple, lemon) in the morning, eat fresh fruit (melon, papaya, oranges, blueberries, banana's etc.) throughout the day, and have a large salad late in the afternoon (shredded carrots, beets, cucumber, fresh corn, onion, avocado, tomatoes etc.) I rarely get hungry after that but if I do I snack on something like nuts or I made a smaller salad. You would be so surprised at what kind of flavors you can accomplish with a salad! I even used almond butter and honey yesterday as a "dressing" and it was delicious!
I stay surprising full just by snacking all day long and drinking lots of water. I even commute by bike so I burn a lot of calories during the day which I thought would be an issue in calorie consumption but it never has.
Some books to browse that I have loved were The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier- this book talks a lot about vegan and raw diets for athletes and how your body uses certain foods for energy or health benefits. It's a great book in just educating about foods. Also, great recipes. I also have Natalia Rose's The Raw Food Detox Diet, which has some good recipes for someone who would be in transition like yourself.
Later, if you decide to stick to it, then invest in a juicer or a dehydrator (I don't have one.) I've found it fairly easy to make a juice for the morning and pack a lunch before I go to sleep. It's a huge commitment and life-style change, people will make fun of you and call you a "rabbit"; it just comes with the territory. But, I promise, if you do stick with it, like your friend, you will love the health benefits as well as experimenting with un-cooking and you won't go back. Good luck with your journey!