"10 Sure Ways to Become a Healthier Raw Foodist"
by Frederic Patenaude
The first step might sound obvious, but for many raw-foodists, their 90%, self-proclaimed raw food eating is, in fact, close to 40%. All those soy lattes at Starbucks, those occasional baked potatoes and chocolate samplings are really adding up at some point. Its so easy to get caught in a pattern, eating the wrong foods and slowly but surely get off the wagon. If this happens to you, dont desperate. The easiest way out of this is to spend a few days eating very lightly. You could eat only raw fruit for 2-3 days. With this little cure, it will be much easier to start eating raw again.
Take Sleep Seriously
The modern hero is a work alcoholic who works 16 hours a day and doesnt have time to engage in a time-wasting activity such as sleeping. Since the invention of the light bulb, sleep is generally viewed as a mostly wasteful activity. While this is true that, on a better diet, your sleep needs diminish, it does not mean that sleeping 8 or 9 hours a night is wrong or lazy. It might be just what you need.
When we get less than our required sleep, which is different for every person, we accumulate a sleep debt. A person with a big sleep debt will not digest very well, even if all she eat is raw foods. She may even start to loose weight while eating more.
Sleep is so critical that many books have and could be written on the subject. But, the average raw-foodist knows as much on sleep as the average Joe. It could pay off to study the subject a little more, especially if you experience sleeping difficulties. An interesting book on the subject is The Promise of Sleep, by William C. Dement.
Most fitness gurus will tell you that health is not possible without fitness. While sedentary people can live without disease, they will not experience a high level of vitality.
Lets be honest: were naturally lazy. Thats the tendency. Even though we eat healthy and make our juices and smoothies, its still too easy to just hang out, surf the net, watch the rain fall and eat all day. But, one day you drive by a gym where they have big windows so you can see everyone working out and you realise: I think something is missing from my life. You dont exercise! And youre really missing out. Exercise is absolutely vital, especially to help us metabolize all those avocados and tropical fruits.
Ill tell you the secret right now: youll have to force yourself to exercisebut only for 7-10 days. After not exercising for a while, you wont feel like it. It may even be very difficult to get back into it. But after 7-10 days, your body will be trained and youll actually be looking forward to your exercise routine. Start with 15 minutes and increase by 5 minutes every day. Pretty soon youll be rocking along with everybody at the gym.
Dont Overdose On Nuts and Fat
When you stop eating meat, tofu and cheese, there arent many filling foods left. For that reason, most raw-foodists initially eat too many nuts and seeds. Many continue that pattern for many years. Eating too many nuts and seeds, as well as eating too much fat in general, will leave you tired and will cause many health problems. From what I have seen, thats one of the major reasons why most raw-foodists are not experiencing exuberant health.
When you eat five avocados, thats the equivalent of almost an entire cup of oil. How would you feel if you sat down and ate a cup of oil? Yet, many raw-foodists dont mind eating five avocados a day. That is too much. And thats why they dont feel so great. So whats the solution? Id say that almost every raw-foodist would feel a lot better if they cut down their fat consumption in half, and in most cases even more than that.
Its easy to eat fruit. Fruit is sweet, and eating lots of it comes naturally. Its a no-brainer. Because of that, the natural tendency is to eat too much fruit and not enough green vegetables. This leads to several imbalances and possibly nutritional deficiencies. Lets be honest with ourselves: we dont like green vegetables as much as fruit. Who would honestly choose kale over a mango? So whats the solution? Simple enough: make sure you eat at least one vegetable meal per day. This meal should contain a good quantity of green vegetables, either mixed in a salad or blended in a raw soup. Its also a very good idea to drink one green juice every day.
Food combining is still valid, even for raw-foodists. While we avoid most bad food combining by avoiding cooked foods, there are still a few bad food combinations possible on a raw-food diet, and they may start to matter when we repeat them everyday. I would say that there are only two rules to remember.
- Dont mix fruit and nuts. This combination can only work in small quantities, but will definitely cause problems in larger quantities. The worst combination is the mix of dried fruits and nuts although it is one of the most delicious. Reserve for special occasions, when preparing a raw dessert!
- Avocados dont combine with nuts. This combination is especially difficult to digest.
As for the other combinations, you can experiment with them and see what works for you.
Avoid Dried Fruit
My current recommendation for dried fruit is simple: dont eat it, except rarely on special occasions. The stuff is deadly. It doesnt matter if its organic, sun-dried or imported from other planets: its still too sweet and too addictive and too difficult to digest. Unless you can limit yourself to eating two dried figs per day, avoiding dried fruit completely will be easier and might greatly improve your health, if you have been eating too much of it. Instead, reserve dried fruits for special occasions, when youll prepare a raw dessert with your friends or children.
Avoid Strong Spices and Irritating Foods
Not all raw foods are created equal. Just the fact that a food is raw doesnt make it healthy. Generally, you can tell whether a food is good for you by tasting it in its natural state, without any combinations or seasoning. If the taste is pleasant, it is good. If your body rejects it, it means it contains some poisons or toxins that the body does not want.
So why do you persist eating hot peppers and onions when those foods, when eaten in their natural state, burn your tongue and make you spit them out. Even children and animals wont eat them, and we should certainly follow their example. They disturb digestion and are very irritating to the digestive tract.
Get a Life
For many raw-foodists, food and diet have become an obsession. They so are obsessed with food, its quality, its perfection that they stress out in the way and forget to have fun. They also forget that it will never be perfect, no matter how hard you try, and that there are other things that matter in life in order to be healthy.
The best way to become less focused on food is to be involved in an activity or hobby where you dont have to think about food. It could be taking a class to learn about digital photography, learning to play the guitar, engage in outdoor activities, and so on.
Food is just fuel what you do with your life is what matters!
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