Deciding to begin a raw vegan diet was the absolute best decision I ever made in my entire life. It has given me my life back, my potential, and the ability to work toward and achieve goals I had almost given up on. It has benefited my loved ones as well, because I was no fun or use to anyone while ill.
I would say that the main point to remember about this change you’re about to make is this: It is something you are doing for yourself. No one is making you do this.
The only thing you will be deprived of on this diet is illness and all the misery and consequences that go along with it.
You should write that down, because there will be times you want to eat something cooked or processed. Discovering this way of eating is a blessing, a gift, and the only thing that has worked to make me healthy again. I tried a long list of things, so I don’t say that lightly.
So, having said that, here’s what to do and what not to do:
The only rule is that it has to be raw, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, or seeds.
This sounds so limiting when you’re getting started but as you go along and your taste buds adjust to real food, you’ll appreciate the flavors more than you thought possible, and you’ll expand your palette to things you never thought you would like.
However, in the beginning, only buy foods you know you like, and eat as much of them as you want!
Don’t buy a bunch of things you think you ‘should eat’, or you’ll end up not enjoying your mealtimes and/or throwing out a bunch of uneaten food.
Don’t count calories, or even think about weight right now. Later, it will come off with little effort, if you have extra.
Don’t make your whole day about the food. Learn to see food as fuel and nutrients – which is its purpose – rather than emotional comfort. Don’t focus on it, don’t obsess about it, don’t even think about it. Just fuel up then do something else. (Craving Unhealthy “Comfort Food”? Try This…)
Always be gentle with yourself. If you mess up, start again. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
Smoothies, Not Juicing – There is a lot of information online that will tell you to start with a detox, juice fast, or other extreme methods. When I started I was weak and didn’t want to risk a “healing crisis” and couldn’t spend hours standing up chopping and juicing produce. I wanted to build strength not drain it, or dread the process of getting well. So, I suggest always being gentle with yourself. Make smoothies of fruit and veg you like. There are so many pre-packaged frozen fruits and veg to choose from that are all ready for the blender, just add a handful or two of pre-washed greens (like baby spinach) and you’re done.
But, in the beginning, eat solid food too!
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Sweetie!
Don’t worry about fancy recipe’s just yet. Just eat whatever you’re able to eat. A handful of raw cashews and some whole fruit for breakfast. A large salad for lunch. A smoothie for snack. A couple of cantaloupes and a pound of berries or a different salad for dinner. Whatever you want, nice and simple, easy to make.
Once your strength and stamina come back, then you can get more creative. Right now, just get well.
Patience & Persistence
You will see results, just give it time. Don’t do anything else differently yet. Be gentle with yourself. It was three weeks before my son told me that the twinkle was back in my eyes. I felt it too. It was as if I was coming back to life. In a month I was exercising again. In only four months I felt “there.” It may take longer or less time for you but with patience and persistence you will begin to feel better.
Here are some additional things I did to help me stay motivated every day.
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