Switching from your current way of eating to the raw food diet plan does not have to be complicated. All you are doing is choosing one kind of food over another; or one kind of recipe over another. That's it. You don't have to know everything ever written about the raw food diet to just get started. There's plenty of fun stuff to learn later on, but I have purposefully kept this plan as simple as possible so you'll realize how very easy this is to implement into your life.
The raw food diet plan consists of eating many foods you are already very familiar with (see the List of Raw Foods page for a complete list). These foods represent the palette, so to speak, that can be combined in almost limitless ways for creating delicious recipes! Here are the general categories of foods:
Fruits, fresh and dried (ex: apples, raisins)
Berries (ex: strawberries)
Vegetables (ex: carrots)
Leafy Vegetables (ex: romaine lettuce)
Nuts (ex: almonds)
Seeds (ex: sunflower seeds)
Seaweeds (ex: kelp)
Legumes (ex: lentils)
Beans (ex: adzuki beans)
Grains (ex: barley)
Superfoods (ex: bee pollen)
Fermented foods (ex: sauerkraut)
Herbs (ex: parsley)
Spices (ex: cinnamon)
Oils (ex: olive oil)
Sweeteners (ex: honey)
Condiments (ex: raw soy sauce)
Beverages (ex: water, herbal tea)
The above foods are all eaten raw, meaning they are not cooked. However, this doesn't mean everything on the raw food diet plan is eaten cold. You can warm up your soup or use a dehydrator to make veggie burgers, as long as they are not heated above 118°. This preserves the most nutrients and live enzymes in the food so you can be as healthy as possible. Here are some examples of raw food preparation techniques:
Eat just as is: just grab an apple or a bunch of grapes
Cut them up: such as a bowl of cantaloupe or watermelon pieces
Mix them up: such as a salad full of leafy greens and vegetables
Juice them: like carrots and apples
Blend them into smoothies: like strawberries and bananas
Or into soups: like a fresh tomato-based gazpacho
Or into sauces: like a marinara, non-dairy “chedda” or BBQ sauce
Use a food processor: for nut-based pie crusts or veggie burgers
Use a “spiralizer”: to turn zucchinis into instant spaghetti noodles
Sprout them: to create your own alfalfa sprouts
Ferment them: to make your own pickles or sauerkraut
Dehydrate them: to create veggie burgers, breads or crackers
Did those foods sound familiar? Delicious? See - the raw food diet plan is so do-able. You're just going to make foods from different recipes. Get some good easy raw food recipes books to give you ideas. And I've even included a few simple raw food recipes on this site to get you started. They may sound like old favorites, but they're made a little differently. For instance, no animal foods (chicken, tuna, meat, etc.) were used at all, despite the names of the recipes. They're all made with just the fresh plant-based ingredients listed above, along with creative use of seasonings, to create delicious raw alternatives. Here's an example of what you might eat on the raw food diet plan (see Raw Food Diet Meal Plans for more options):
3 BREAKFAST IDEAS
rolled oats (soaked overnight) w/ honey, apples, raisins or bananas
bottomless bowl of fruit
an avocado, onion, lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprout breakfast sandwich
3 LUNCH IDEAS
huge salad of leafy greens and mixed veggies
hearty vegetable soup with “tuscan bread”
“tuna or chicken salad” sandwich or wrap
3 DINNER IDEAS
“BBQ chicken fingers” with stuffed peppers
“mexican veggie burgers” with corn relish and guacamole
zucchini “pasta” w/ chunky marinara sauce and veggies
3 SNACK IDEAS
fruit and “yogurt”
cut up veggies with dip
crackers with “cheese”
3 SMOOTHIE IDEAS
go green smoothie
3 DESSERT IDEAS
“oatmeal raisin cookies”
banana “ice cream”
Now that you know which raw foods to eat and have perhaps found a few great recipes to try, let me help you by making this all so much simpler: throw all your old rules out the window! On the raw food diet plan, you don't have to count any calories or carbs or measure any portions or starve while waiting 3 hours until the next time you can eat.
No, quite the contrary: if you are hungry, eat! As much as you want! Until you are full! As long as you are eating a nice variety of raw foods like the ones I have mentioned on this site, you are eating foods that are naturally low in calories, balanced nutritionally and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and water content (as long as your use of nuts and oils stays within reasonable limits). Therefore, even with larger portion sizes, you'll likely be within recommended calorie intake levels because you don't have to account for 800 calories worth of pizza or hamburger. Even if you're really hungry and eat a lot in the beginning, your body will quickly adjust to the healthy natural food and that voracious hunger will start to shift to a mellow reminder. You'll soon find it takes less food to make you full.
However, in order to keep your fat burning furnace fired up, you don't want your calorie intake to dip too low. This alerts your survival instincts to slow down your metabolism to save you from possible starvation, and makes it very difficult to lose weight. That's one of the main reasons that many low-calorie diets fail.
Instead, pay attention to your body's signals, eat whenever you are hungry (ignoring the clock), eat until you are full, and enjoy your raw foods. What you are really doing on this raw food diet plan is removing from your diet those foods that may have caused your weight gain, or foods full of toxins or chemicals that have compromised your health, and instead eating clean fresh foods brimming full of nutrients that will help your body to heal on every level. And this includes all those systems of your body that work together to help you lose weight: your liver, your colon, your kidneys and even your lymphatic system. The reasons why people lose weight so successfully on the raw foods diet plan can be found on the Raw Foods Diet Weight Loss page.
Healthy raw foods are not readily available everywhere - yet. So prepare your own food ahead of time, have it ready to grab and go, and always have raw food with you so you don't resort to a weight-loss-busting error in judgment.
As a general rule of thumb, aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day in between meals. Example: if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 oz of water. This is about 12 8oz glasses, or 12 cups, or 3 quarts. And just as a reminder: milk, coffee, soda, bottled/canned/boxed fruit juices or teas and the like have no place in the raw food diet plan. Just drink water, with perhaps a little fresh squeezed lemon or lime or a few drops of pure essential oil or a high-quality greens powder mixed in.
Get that body moving. Go for a walk, go dancing, or shop 'til you drop - whatever you like to do. Add strength training (using weights or a resistance band) a few times a week to further increase your metabolism. When you find your weight loss lagging, step up your activity level a notch. The exercise that trimmed me down the fastest was power walking with ankle and hand weights and lots of “wiggle”. This also gave me fresh air, sunshine, deep breathing and stress-relief every day – a great combination!
I teamed that up with another extremely beneficial exercise, rebounding, or bouncing on a mini-trampoline, which also skyrocketed the health of my lymphatic system, allowing all that fat and those old toxins to be escorted out of my body!
Make a good night's sleep every night one of your highest priorities on your raw food diet plan. This is when massive healing takes place in your body. It's also when your body replenishes hormones that further assist your weight loss efforts! And as a bonus, when you get enough sleep, you have more energy during the day to get that body moving more!