How to Get Started
Today I wanted to share with you something I have been wanting to write for sometime for those of you who have been writing to me asking me how is the best way for you to start on the RAW or even just get a little healthier, so here goes.
For me, starting to eat more RAW in my diet was a real gradual thing and something that I had to take a step at a time (you can read more about it here), ie I didn’t go VEGAN overnight, and I never gave up eating animal products because I never liked the taste, but rather it seemed the natural way to go, as I upped the plant based products in the my diet over a year, then I decided to go VEGAN. I’m not suggesting that this is something you all would wish to do, as there are healthier ways to eat and NOT go VEGAN however this was the natural progression for me.
For those of you just starting out, my first points would be to:
- Start adding more wholefoods to your diet (before you take anything away). This will reduce the feeling of deprivation and in turn enable you to stick to it and in no time you will begin to naturally reduce the processed foods as your tastebuds and your body start craving more life giving foods.
- Increase your greens! If you were like me in the beginning and had a love/hate relationship with salad, then get into green smoothies/monsters and DRINK your greens. I find my green smoothies take away cravings for fried and processed foods and are so filling they usually keep me going from breakfast to dinner. AND for those of you a little hesitant to try it, spinach and romaine (cos) lettuce don’t really have a taste and if you mix them them with fruits the only evidence you will see that they are in your drink are in the colour! Want to know more about it, check out this fabbo website on the Green Smoothie Challenge.
- Learn how to make some delicious salad dressings! This could be make or break for how many veggies you consume, but I find if I make a tasty dressing then I actually go back for seconds and thirds just so I can sample more of my dressing. Here is one I never tire of mixed with greens, sundried tomatoes and some toasted pine nuts, and marinated mushrooms. Also a great standby dressing is 2T olive oil 2T balsamic vinegar, 2T Nama Shoyu/Tamari/Soy Sauce with cracked black pepper and mixed herbs. You can also use salad dressings on steamed veggies.
- Try and eat raw til dinner. This sounds harder than it actually is, but if you don’t like the idea of eating fruits then blend them. Also you can have blended fruits and veggies for breakfast, a massive salad for lunch and then dinner can be your cooked meal. Nuts and seeds are a great snack to have on hand in your handbag or backpack to stave off the munchies in the meantime or if you are away from home.
- Be prepared! Being healthy doesn’t have to mean being boring and take yourself out of the social scene. If you are going out for a meal with friends to a restaurant, try and get a copy of the menu before hand so you can know exactly what you wish to order ahead of time and it will take the pressure off you to try and find a suitable meal whilst enjoying time with your friends. And don’t be afraid to ask for things that are not on the menu or add things in. Even if you tell the waiter what you can and cannot eat, they may be able to get the chef to make something special. Things I like to order in Indian restaurants are vegetable curry with Roti (usually it’s made with whole wheat flour rather than white). At Italian restaurants I usually alter a salad by adding avocados and nuts and usually ask for dressing on the side or use a squeeze of lemon. don’t have rice, or I have been known to order two appetisers if there doesn’t appear to be any other suitable main meal choices. Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter questions and even thell them you are allergic to certain things if need be. Worst case scenario you just get a plate of veggies with some cracked pepper. You can also take an avocado or salad dressing in your handbag to add to a salad or meal if you are really hardcore!
- Party time.If you are going to party where you just know you are going to be tempted by the food, FILL UP on good stuff before you go. I have been known to make a really hearty and heavy veggie soup and eat it up before heading out, and I also like to take my own drinks with me (blended frozen pineapple with coconut milk makes for a refreshing drink to have in your hand if you don’t want to drink and also keeps you from snacking on the not so healthy snacks. Also don’t be afraid to take some of your own snacks if you feel you will be tempted. Vegetable crudités and some delicious healthy dips are a great idea. People kinda expect me to BYO my own food and drinks. Oh and I do still indulge in some cocktails now and then, but my preference is red wine if I am going to overindulge (which isn’t often)
- Surround yourself with inspirational people. Even if you cannot do this in person, seek out books or websites or blogs of people that are living the life you want to live (this can extend to other areas of your life also). I started my blog mainly as a way to keep myself inspired and accountable, but I also love reading others blogs daily to keep my motivation at a high level.
- Read labels - and only eat things with ingredients you recognize. The closest to nature is the way mother earth intended. Look at our animal relatives. They don’t have to count calories or weigh their food, but they also don’t eat food out of packets. They have not junked up their bodies with processed foods and can intuitively eat which brings me to my next point:
- Listen to you body. Once you start making more conscious choices in your diet, and begin eating lesss processed and refined food, your body will tell you what it wants to eat. Sometimes after a hard workout I feel like a piece of toast, so I allow myself a decent, wholegrain or wholemeal slice then a plate of yummy salad. Or sometimes I just want a plate of oranges. This is my body telling me what I need not what I want.
- Have a treat day once a week! Still allow yourself some leeway to indulge in some of your favourite foods! Don’t go crazy, but if you stick to a healthier way of eating for the rest of the week, chances are you actually won’t feel like eating that burger and fries, but hey if you do, you probably won’t feel like eating it for a while after your body has been feeling so much better and efficient with your healthier way of eating. I find anytime I fall off the wagon, it makes me feel that terrible that I am craving the green smoothie in NO TIME. And a treat day doesn’t have to mean something decadent, it can still be vegan or at least a healthier version of a less desirable meal (ie like homemade pizzas). Get creative.
- Give yourself a break. Don’t go all out crazy if you fall off your plan, just get back on it as soon as you can, and be kind to yourself. It is a process as starting out can be tough, so give yourself some time to get used to it and within no time it will be less hard work and more gut instinct.
If you want more information on how to get more details on where to begin, I totally recommend my friend Casey Lorraine’s Ebook that I bought and read over Christmas called Get Vital here. I totally recommend this ebook for anyone who wants to improve their diet and life but doesn’t know where to begin. And don’t worry, she also allows for you meat eaters out there. Totally worth the $19.95AUS and she has a terrific blog here. Just tell Casey I sent ya!
Also if you REALLY think you need a little more of a helping hand, Casey and Marlena Torres are running a guided 3 week detox program from the 25th of February and included phone support, recipes, grocery lists and more. They offer 2 Options and you can read more about it here. It looks like a fantastic way to kick start your detox and make your way to better health.Share on Facebook