A raw food diet sounds great to someone who just loves healthy food. It’s so alive, so pure, that it’s one of the best ways to get a wide variety of fresh, living nutrients — whether you choose to eat 100% raw or just 75% — as well as help with many modern diseases associated with the modern Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). But occasionally there are people that begin a raw food diet without learning how. When this happens, they’ll probably make some mistakes, triggering a cleansing reaction or “detox.” To avoid this try some of these suggestions instead.
Listen to Your Body – When food isn’t properly digested your body will say something about it! You may experience bloating, acne, fatigue, headaches and general malaise. To avoid all this just ease into your raw food lifestyle and listen to your digestion. Do NOT blindly listen so some raw food guru that says a raw food diet is the end all and be all — not even me!
Don’t Become Obsessive – Never forget that you won’t die from a little cooked food. My rule of thumb is that you are a Raw Foodist if just 75% of your diet is raw! At that level, your body can safely eliminate all the toxins in whatever cooked food you eat. Just figure out what works best for you, whether it’s low carb, cooked, raw, Paleo — or whatever your body seems to prefer. But remember to give yourself all the time your body may need to make a healthy transition before drawing any conclusions about what works best for you!
Not Getting Enough Varied Nutrition – Do not try to live off nothing but fruits, vegetables and greens right away. Though these are high in nutrition, they usually can’t give you everything you need — at least not right away. You see, your body has spent many decades adjusting to a diet of dead, cooked foods, and un-doing that can take some time. You may need several months, or even years for some people, to rehabilitate your entire digestive system so that you can efficiently digest real live food again. Right now, your body doesn’t know how to absorb all the extra enzymes and nutrients in live food. All your systems need time to adapt. So at first you’ll want to look for foods that are higher in calories and nutrients to prevent any potential health problems.
Diving in Too Carelessly – Your body doesn’t come with an on and off switch. Just starting a vegetarian or vegan diet requires some preparation. Raw food can be much more difficult for many people, causing them to cleanse so quickly that they feel sick and weak. The cleansing experience of a sudden 100% raw food diet is an extremely powerful detox for most people and not really the smartest way to start. Instead, ease into the raw food lifestyle by slowly reducing the cooked foods in your diet. I suggest shooting for 50-75% raw at first. If you count your between-meal snacks as one meal, you eat 4 meals a day. So to avoid an unexpected detox reaction, eat normal meals once or twice a day. Remember to avoid GMO foods (genetically modified) and eat as much organic food as possible.
Overdoing Fruit & Nuts – Fruits and nuts can provide a lot of calories for a raw foodist, The nuts provide plenty of protein and fat, but are hard to digest for many people. It’s actually best to soak all your nuts before eating them to activate the enzymes in the nuts, which will begin to break down the nutrients and make them more easily bio-available to your body.
Fruits are another story! Fruits have far too much sugar when transitioning to a raw food diet. Even though fruit sugar is fructose, you’ve been getting way too much fructose in your system for many years. The corporate food-delivery industry today adds tons of fructose to everything from desserts to soft drinks — and these corporations don’t want to put “sugar” on their labels. So I recommend that you avoid ALL fruit for awhile, at least until your body learns how to properly digest real food again — something most of us have forgotten how to do. For some people this can take several months or even years.
You may hear of some people that are “fruitarians,” eating nothing but fruit all day long and feeling great. But this is actually pretty rare. For most people, living off fruit alone is not ideal. If you love fruit and just have to eat some, stick to low-sugar fruits like lemons, limes, rhubarb, apricots, cranberries, raspberries, kiwi, guava, blackberries, strawberries, tangerines, nectarines and oranges.
Doing a Detox Intentionally – Going through a detox can actually help some people reach a new level of purification very quickly, but it’s not for everyone. Benefits include clearer sinuses, fast weight loss, clearer skin, more energy, more regular bowel movements, improved mental clarity, improved emotional stability and much more.
If you’re getting terrible headaches, just add some cooked grains or something to slow down the detox and make it easier for your body to adjust. YOU are in control of how fast you detox! Also, you can add other therapies to greatly enhance the detox and reduce any discomforts. Personally, i like to do dry skin brushing! Remember, your skin is the largest organ of elimination on your body!
Colonics & Enemas – Your colon is home to billions of microflora (bacteria). Besides forming stool, the beneficial bacteria living in you colon and digestive tract are important for proper nutrient absorption, maintaining pH balance, controlling hunger and counteracting any possible dangerous bacteria. recommend doing enemas and/or colonics to cleanse your colon during your transition to a raw food lifestyle, particularly if you want to eventually become 100% raw.
The goal of a good colon cleanse — whether an enema or a colonic — is to help your digestive system do its job in a way that won’t interfere with your normal bowel functions. Poor gut health, allergies, inflammation, pesticides, GMOs and other chemicals within the digestive system cause many people to struggle with having their bowel movements. Colon cleanses aren’t needed by everyone but some people can really benefit from help eliminating waste, bacterial matter and toxic material that’s been stored in their bodies for years.