My name is Jennifer and I'm a carb/junk food/cheese/fat/chips/oil-aholic.
And a vegetable/greens/ethnic food-phobic.
I'm so needing help.
I've been doing a lot of research on this whole raw stuff and while it sounds so amazing, I'm scared to try it. I don't think I can make it.
For 30 years, I've been eating nothing but processed food and fast foods. My mother worked so our dinners were usually something from McDonalds and the like and when she did cook, it was totally unhealthy. I crave pastas, could live on bread alone for the rest of my life, and my favorite food is cheese pizza. I've been a lot more concious about eating meat so I'm already working on that.
Watching the movie, Food Inc. has made such a mental impact on how I want to be eating.
Are there any tips on how I can start incorporating more raw foods into my diet without totally failing. I could say I'm going all raw and in a couple days be over it. I want this to be lifestyle change so any help would be much appreciated.
The best thing you can do is start slow. At one point in the day instead of picking up potato chips pick up an apple (or any fruit/veggie) and eat it. Do this once a day for a week. Then the next week do this twice per day and
go for another week. Every week just add another raw food in instead of junk food.
You can do this!
i feel ya girl! The hardest thing for me is giving up bread!! I would definitely start slow like kurite said. I also saw this interview with a girl who claimed she was 95% raw because she thought it was dumb to say 100% and then feel like a failure any time she wanted to splurge on wheat thins or something. I feel it's really important not to feel guilty for splurging otherwise it'll lead to thinking "well I already messed up might as well eat bad stuff all the time" - so if you just incorporate raw when it's most convenient at first and work up to mostly raw, hell have a cheese pizza once a week, have a whole day of eating all the stuff you're "not supposed to" and feel great knowing that the rest of the time you're eating a little better than before.
"I don't think I can make it." = "I won't make it"
"I am going to make it" = "I am going to make it"
Don't worry, plenty of people come from your background. You can do it, just be positive and believe that you can.
I agree with the suggested slow approach! Add a salad to a small cheese pizza. Heck, add a salad to anything. Have some fruit with breakfast. That kind of stuff. You can go "cold turkey" if you want- but your digestive system may rebel. Your body is use to junk. Give it some time to get use to good food.
I know so many people (including me) that were in your position. Starting slowly and making small changes is the best. I started with green smoothies. They taste great, take 5 minutes and are full of nutrients. Its simple. 1-2 banana, 3-4 chard leaves (or spinach, kale, turnip, etc.), and 1 other fruit (handful of berries, an apple, etc). Keep it simple! Just bananas and greens are really good, too. I used to hate bananas until I discovered smoothies. If you start each day with one of these, you will begin to make other changes without even realizing it. I also recommend a LOT of reading. It helps when you understand why to change and how to do it. My favorite book is The Live Food Factor by Susan Schenk. Sproutman's book is really great, too. rawfoodexplained.com is a great website. I know this will help. Good luck!
i am coming from a different perspective, because i am still in the process of trying to go raw.
BUT i have made the big transition from junk to whole foods.
at first it was little changes, white to whole grain, instead of white flour i powdered oatmeal in the blender, low starch, low carb, then i started moving more and more away from processed foods, and i was able to lose a ton of weight and keep it off. then i started doing a green smoothie for breakfast, and a HUGe salad for lunch. sometimes i would add fish, sometimes plain. then i would eat a healthy dinner that my family was eating. i tried to use the vegetarian meat products, ex. fake burgers etc, and got a horrible case of food poisoning, first time in my life.... so now i've relapsed a bit on the meat, but am trying hard to get back on track. you can do this, just do what works best, jump in with both feet or creep in gradually... do what works for you. I love naturalnews.com, and it helped me tremendously years ago and still does. whenever you get tempted to eat chips, either grab fr/veg or at the very least grab the healthiest version of the word "chip" thats possible. lol then next time one up yourself and grab the right thing! remember you are only one meal away from getting back on track.
'remember you are only one meal away from getting back on track' - I love this saying!
Jennifer, good luck to you, take slow steady steps and I'm sure you'll do just fine. Lots of good advice above.
One thing I'd say is to start with the raw foods you really love and make sure you're enjoying everything you eat. I believe it's very important to enjoy your meals and not force something down because it's 'good for you'.
Then try a couple of new things each week as gradually your taste bugs will start changing and accepting things you never thought you'd like.
People at work say they can't understand how I always eat so healthily but it's because I absolutely LOVE what I eat!
Oh and remember not to give yourself a hard time if things don't go quite as planned.
One of the strategies that I give people along the same lines of taking it slow is "give your body what it needs first". In other words, eat whatever the hell you feel like eating, after you've gotten your fruits and veggies in. :) Start your day with a green smoothie, move up to a salad for lunch, then maybe replace your snacks. Down the road, it will be a lot easier to change your dinners because your taste buds will change as you progress. Also, you will probably notice how fantastic you're feeling early in the day compared to how you start dragging later on. You will want to feel like that all the time. :) The awesome thing about this is that even if you are still eating some junk, you are giving your body the good stuff it needs right from the start. Good luck!
When I was transitioning from SAD to whole foods to vegetarian, etc several years ago, I had a defining moment. I had worked at a bazaar where everyone who had a table brought a treat for the customers. I had made brownies and there were a lot left to bring home. Those brownies sat there on the counter and got stale while I munched on healthy stuff, I finally threw them out after several days. I had reached the point where not only was I eating the good stuff every day, I actually preferred it! It will happen for you too!
I second sv3's advice. Find what you like, not just what you "should" eat, is essential for sticking with it.
This seems obvious but don't bring the chips, etc into the house. That way you can't eat it on impulse, but if you are really having a hard time and feel like you *must* have pizza/chips whatever, you have to go somewhere and get it. That worked for me with not keeping coffee at home. Having to walk to the coffee shop and pay $2.00 for a cup makes me think twice about how much I want it, but if I still decide to go for it, I let myself have it.
Also, it is really hard for most people to make such a big change. Some people say they don't miss cooked foods, that their lives have changed since going raw and they have no problems staying raw, etc. While that is true for so many, when I read things like that when I first started I thought, "These people are not like me. I DO miss bread! I do miss cooked things, even though I love raw- maybe I'm not cut out for thuis". In other words, *Don't give up* if you aren't instantly euphoric about these changes!! Everyone is dfferent, but being raw is certainly not 100% effortless for me, although it is definitely worth it. It may be hard, but you can do it!!
Each and every one of us are capable of kicking our "addictions" and bad habits... it is all about what mindset you are in. I would really like to stress this having been an ex-smoker, ex-drinker, ex-sugar and salt addict, ex-caffeine addict, etc. I had a really bad habit of forming bad habits!! I used to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, and have now been quit for over two years. A few months before I had quit, I thought I would NEVER be able to. But then I changed my attitude. I decided, "you know what? I only 'can't' do something if I tell myself I can't!"
Ever since I adopted this way of looking at things I have kicked bad habit after bad habit, and have improved in skills that I had wanted to progress with, etc. Mentality is key. Do you want a better life for yourself? If you're tired of feeling ashamed about the way you eat, then you should probably change something. Either you can keep eating the junk and force yourself to ignore how terribly you feel about it (which I doubt is going to happen), or you can make healthy lifestyle changes and feel really great, physically and mentally!
Part of the best part of of making these improvements in your life, is knowing that it was NOT easy, but you were still able to accomplish it. For me, I give myself a pat on the back for everyday that I don't smoke, that I don't drink, that I treat my body with the respect it deserves.
It's always best to keep your eye on the prize... on the long-term. Most of why we eat junk food is entirely out impulse.
At any rate, while what others suggested about taking it slowly might be a good idea, you'll have to figure out what works best for you. Some people truly do have an easier time with doing things cold-turkey... I know I do. Though, it's definitely going to be easier to start with the major things... like eliminating cheese and eggs.
I like what someone else advised about not keeping the junk in the house, too. That's a biggie. The more inconvenient it is to have, the less likely you're going to impulsively indulge in it.
It's true that you will learn to love what you eat, but I do agree with grapefruit.fanatic that sometimes you're still going to miss the old things. Sometimes at the weirdest times, sometimes things you didn't even think you cared THAT much about. It happens, but with time it gets a lot easier to get through.
There are a lot of things that you can make raw that resemble your favorite old dishes that are totally yummy, but I personally wouldn't recommend making it a HABIT, as a lot of those recipes can get time consuming and costly. They are nice for a special treat, though, and much better for you than the alternative *most of the time*.
Maybe it would be helpful for you to write down a list of the things you think you'll miss and start planning for what you might eat in place of it if it becomes very difficult, or what other foods might help curb that craving instead.
You could also allow yourself to have these things when it gets really difficult, but maybe you could opt to make it a little healthier than what you've been used to. For example, if you're really wanting a pizza, perhaps instead of calling up Pizza Hut, you could make a homemade one with organic ingredients without any hydrogenated oils, etc.
My biggest rule of thumb is to avoid extremely processed foods and foods that contain hydrogenated oils, high fructose, TBHQ, etc. If I really really can't seem to overcome a craving, I will still make sure that what I eat is void of these severe toxins at the very least. (and is vegan)
This alone will probably make drastic improvements to your health. Hope this helps!
There is some great information in the post already and I doubt I can come anywhere near the solid, kind advice that's been given. But I like to write long emails on a Saturday afternoon so here goes!
This is just my view, but I think we need to do what makes us feel good. If adding just a bit of raw foods or even more cooked veggies into your routine is what you do, you'll still be better off and that's something to be proud about! Just relax and make baby steps. One of the things I ran into when I decided to try changing my eating lifestyle is the overwhelming amount of information out there about raw foods and the benefits, and what to do, and what not to do and it tripped me up. I felt good about eating raw meals, but then felt bad because not everything was organic, or learning that maybe something I really enjoyed eating is really the devil of raw foods after all etc. etc... I then realized that hey, why am I getting down on myself about my raw food choices!? Instead of eating a Wendy's Baconator for supper, I had a Coconut, Cucumber and Celery smoothie and perhaps it wasn't all organic but it's certainly MUCH better than a Baconator! (And delicious!)
Like yourself, my parents worked and didn't have a lot of cash so I grew up on three things; Kraft Dinner, Cheerios and Caesar salad (With 2 pints of dressing, a pound of croutons and about three romaine leaves!) we joke around that we knew it was Christmas when there was hot dogs in the Kraft Dinner.
I had no idea about nutrition and had my mind set that vegetables were pretty much the worst thing on the planet. I remember when I would make a "Healthy" salad for myself in my early 20's... it would be a head of romaine, half a bottle of ceaser salad dressing (lite of course, so it's healthy!) and then I'd cut up a block of cheese and half a box of croutons into the mix. And because I was so proud of having such a healthy lunch I'd make myself a chocolate milkshake to balance it all out. I couldn't understand why I was gaining more and more weight and had to start shopping at the big and tall shop for men.
I was obese and miserable, I just felt horrible all the time. I got fed up of this in my mid 20's and joined a famous weight program. It took some time but I lost over 100 lbs (On a "point counting" program) and I liked how I looked but I still felt horrible and unhealthy. Then I went over to a friends house and she was making a green smoothie and I was like "THAT'S DISGUSTING" but then I tried it and was like, "Wow, it's only slightly disgusting!" (It was actually delicious) And then we started talking and she told me about live foods and I should check it out. So I went home and decided to look it up online... It was a world I had no idea about... I mean, dehydrating?? Raw Pizza? WHAT!? These people are crazy! But one common thing I read about over and over again was how people just felt so much better eating raw foods.
So I took baby steps... I started making some raw meals here and there but I still enjoyed a good all you can eat sushi feast and some BBQ goodness at friends places once in a while. Over time, I realized than I felt better after eating the raw foods, and not so hot after the BBQ goodness... so naturally I started making more raw foods. Then the changes started to happen... Little things like finding myself buying 90% organic because I felt it tasted better. Or people commenting on how bright and happy you look. Or realizing you haven't turned your stove on in 5 months. Or stepping on the scale and seeing yourself 20 lbs lighter than you were just 8 weeks ago and you've been gorging on the most delicious raw pizza and green juices, almond butter and coconuts the entire time. (And not counting points!)
I used to drink 3 pots of coffee a day and now I have an herbal tea maybe once a month. It blows my mind the changes that have happened in a relatively short time, and without any effort or cravings.
like Tweedle says, Love yourself and congratulate yourself on the daily accomplishments.
I would say I'm predominately raw vegan but hey, I don't know what I'll end up as... 100%, 99.34%, Who knows! and I'm not stressed about it. I just know I feel good right now and this is what's working for me right now. Sure
there were cravings but I found there are healthy alternatives to the SAD food that's actually much better! (I can make a "raw" shake that kills
any milkshake I've ever had... and OMG, RAW PIZZA!)
I'm interested in learning more about raw foods and things like food combining rules and the 80/10/10 thing and the like, but I'm not going to look at that until sometime after the summer... If I overwhelm myself with information my mind goes "whoah, back down!" and it just sets me up for failure.
Check out my man "Dan the man, the life regenerator" on youtube (Shameless plug alert!) He has a great way of looking at it, just baby step it... make small goals like "tomorrow I'm just going to have oranges for breakfast, then just eat whatever and not worry about it" or "have a salad before you have that Cheeseburger"... It's all about setting realistic goals for you and your health. And most important, LOVE YOURSELF!
I apologize for this long winded email... I'm a nut.
(Seriously, if all you get from this message is learning about Dan the Man or the raw food trucker, I'm a happy camper!)
I recommend the approach Kevin Gianni recommends in his free high row book located at: renegadehealth.com
It is a 207 page book with a great common sense approach.
The best piece of advice I like in the ebook is that he suggests always asking yourself "how can I make this healthier" like sisterbecky states above (adding a salad to your pizza is a step in the right direction)--the more educated you become, the more steps in the right direction you will take. After all, it is a journey, not just a destination. Many times when we set ourselves up with rigid parameters, we break the rules and fail. If we instead, have guidlines to help us to our goals, we achieve far more and set-backs are just that and not total derailments. : )
I disagree with what some of the people above me said about going slow. Going slow might just end up in you slipping back into your old routine,and if you really want to get healthy now, you have to start now.
What I seriously suggest is that you start with including a lot of fresh foods into your diet. A good and very effective trick is to make yourself eat as many fresh foods (like fruits and vegetables) as you do junk foods (the foods you normally eat). So if you want two slices of pizza, make yourself to eat two-three pieces of fruit as well. This will encourage you to eat a well-rounded diet without giving up the stuff you love (just yet anyway!!). It will also encourage you to fill up on healthier foods during meals as well as junk foods.
Trust me, the more healthy food you eat, and the more you get used to eating it in regularly, the less you'll want the unhealthy bad stuff.
Personally I went from a 'standard' diet that the average person eats to full raw with the start of a new day (of course with some weeks of research). For me that worked really well, I find that if I make one exception it's too easy to make another one, and another one etc. Now it's really clear and easy: only eat raw foods and nothing else. I suppose it depends on what works best for you personally, as many people seem to prefer doing is gradually as you have read.
Something I recommend in either case, once you reach full raw, is to adapt your environment to strengthen your new way of eating. Remove from your house (if you love alone or with other raw people) all inventory of non-raw food and replace pans etc with a blender and fruit-knives. Make sure that healthy raw food is always closer and easier to eat than non-raw things. Prepare some raw foods, lock non-raw foods away and put the key in the basement, place a bowl of fruit in the living room. And buy the raw foods you most like eating, especially in the beginning (strawberries etc?).
EDIT: And keep in mind that it will become easier after a while.