The Raw Foods TransitionFor the kitchen tools you will need for your raw foods transition, go here.
I see a lot of advice on raw food forums where people are telling others to go slow with a raw foods transition, but what does this mean? I would give the opposite advice in many respects. That is because I know that the faster you get your body cleaned out, the more you will be able to stay consistent with the lifestyle, but I guess it depends on what one means by slow. Of course there are times to be slow and gentle with yourself, and times to be more disciplined.
TIPS FOR TRANSITIONING TO THE RAW VEGAN LIFESTYLE:
Eat, Eat, Eat!
Just start eating raw food. Alot of it. All the time. If you are doing that, you won't have time to eat cooked food! Cooked food may have taught you not to gorge, well re-learn how to eat a lot and enjoy it, especially at first. If you eat a whole jar of olives in one day, great! At least it wasn't a package of dead cookies! Get a ton of great books and recipe books and dive in. All raw food books were not created equal, but if you know you don't want to use bananas for example, then either substitute another fruit that is healthier and more balancing for you long term, or just use the recipe as an idea from which to create your own. Use everything as an inspiration, and not as an end-all, be-all, for there is not a single vegan raw food book out there that doesn't have a lot of positive energy, interesting information, and some good ideas. Eventually this lifestyle will cause you to eat very little and be totally satiated.
Avoid Hybridized, High Sugar Foods...
Have an awareness of hybridized, high-sugar foods like bananas, and know that the more you stay away from them, the more balanced you will feel, especially if you have done some gall bladder cleansing already, then you really shouldn't have as much craving for these foods. Eating a banana causes a reaction in your body that could cause you to then also want cooked food (feeding fungal colonies and giving you that unnatural blood sugar high). The bananas you find at a grocery store are part of the commercial cooked food world. They are fruit for people who don't eat any other fruit and then think that they can just eat a banana or a tomato, and they are getting their vegetables and fruit (and their macaroni and cheese, and hamburger, and french fries, and soda etc....). All I really need to say though is that bananas are not for someone who is trying to balance out their body ecology and live as nature intended. Now of course it is better for you to eat a banana then it is for you to eat pasta or cooked potatoes, be gentle with these things, and eventually you won't even want bananas anymore once you gain more balance on lifefoods .
Consider Gall Bladder, Colon, and Parasite Cleansing...
See my body detox page. The cleaner your colon and gall bladder get, and the more your rid yourself of candida colonies and parasites, the easier it will be to eat food as nature intended. Get rid of those gall stones from years of eating cooked starches and oil, and the parasites and fungus that feed off of them! Do many sugar fasts throughout the year to gain control over the candida. It can take a few years of cleansing and refraining from sugar to really gain the upper hand. Once you no longer have the gall stones causing you ailments, and the parasites and candida causing you cravings, you will be home free, well that is, as long as some other serious mental or other unforeseen problem doesn't come along to cause you to throw the towel in. Remember, hybridized Thai baby coconuts WILL feed fungus unless you make kefir out of them, so spend the money on healthier organic coconuts or use Artisana coconut butter instead, or take the time to make kefir. I no longer use coconuts and do not miss their mess, but because life is about change, I can see a future where I might enjoy having organic coconuts delivered to me again! Right now however, I enjoy Artisana coconut butter almost every day in smoothies and more.
Find Community, Build Community, Reach Out...
Get out in your community and find other raw foodists, raw food restaurants, whatever you have access to. Keep yourself on your toes. Try a new recipe every week. Get together with friends and frolic over the books and the food. Learn, expand, grow, enjoy, stretch, hike, watch yourself change, then eat some more raw food!
The most important element of a successful lifestyle transition, is having communal support of others that are more advanced on the path then you are. When I first went raw I immediately went out and found the Living Lighthouse in Santa Monica, Juliano before he started his restaurant in Santa Monica, and shortly thereafter, David Jubb and David Wolfe. These people and the community and living food events around them helped me learn overnight, from people who had been doing this for a long time, exactly how it was done and why it was done. My transition didn't seem hard at all because I was just constantly involved with people who were making awesome raw food and teaching others the wisdom and benefits of this lifestyle. I had the inspiration, I had the awesome food, and I had community support with potlucks and events consistently on the horizon.
I can remember the first recipes I made before I reached out to community links in the resource sections of raw food books I had just bought. Mostly I had no idea what I was doing and the recipes I made were terrible and often left uneaten! Yet once I found the community, not only was I constantly seeing how it was done, and how to make great tasting things, but I was constantly involved in a feeling of positivity, excitement, and inspiration of the exceptional lifestyle we were all celebrating and sharing in together. I had a wonderful support system, yes, and I suggest that people get out of themselves as much as they can to try and do the same thing in their communities as much as possible. Maybe you will have to be the one creating the potlucks and sharing the information and food, but at least you can get others around you excited about it. Make sure to post your potlucks and events online so people can find you! So my second related piece of advice on this matter would be to simply start gathering people together in any and every way you can to make living food recipes. Sometimes this could be a potluck, sometimes this could be you and two close friends who get together on a Saturday and have fun in the kitchen enjoying the flavors, colors, and smells of a living food kitchen. Put on music and make it a party! Allow there to be other things going on besides just food. Like maybe you get stuff in the dehydrator and go on a hike together, watch a movie, and then enjoy the food you have created.
Share The Energy, Make it About More Than Food...
That leads to my third related piece of communal advice. This lifestyle is so much more than food! It is about health abundance, joy, intending the lives we want to live, etc..... So go out and USE that raw food energy and share the vibrancy with others with more than just the food itself. BE the CHANGE you wish to see in the world! The point is, eating the way your body was designed to and cleaning yourself out will allow you to do so much more than you ever though yourself capable of. Also, be sure to be humble and have gratitude. You must have an immense amount of good karma stored up to have the blessing to practice such a healthy lifestyle in today's world, so feel lucky with whatever percentage of raw foods you are able to enjoy.
Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!
I can't emphasize that enough. Get excitement and positivity around the food and lifestyle and have FUN sharing it too.
Discipline, Discipline, Discipline...
Everything in life requires a balance of male/female, yin/yang energy, and so this is where you will need to sometimes actually be hard on yourself and disciplinary, rather than gentle. For example, many, many times in the past 9 years I have desired to eat something because I was away from home and hungry, but by denying myself food, I actually was doing something good for myself. Fasting periodically is a good thing. So those times when you are really craving and feel like you need something, use it as a time to congratulate yourself for fasting instead and having mind over matter. The reality is that you're probably going to eat some healthy raw food in a few hours anyway, so you are not really denying yourself of anything you actually need. For me, the craving always dissapears quickly and I am fine.
This incredible discipline has transferred over into my life and made me a more successful and positive person that knows she can overcome anything, because I have had to prove this to myself many times in order to remain committed to this way of life. Practically everything in our culture was against my success- but I was successful anyway!
On an important side note, use your discipline to make sure you never buy into raw meat centered diets, this will NOT help you along your journey. If you want to sneak a piece of raw goat cheese here and there the first year of your raw foods transition, you may do this with less harm, but consuming raw flesh is really antithetical to your growth and definitely to a raw vegan lifestyle. Eating cheese is antithetical to your growth too, because you are just feeding your happy candida and parasites, but less so if it's random and rare.
Heed my words about animal flesh though! Why are you living or wanting to live this lifestyle? Re-question this and answer it often, and that should help you avoid such traps. Eating raw meat is a trap, and not one that anyone really wants to fall into. If the lifestyle gets challenging at times, be solid in the fact that there is no more optimal way of eating than vegan living foods. You are insanely blessed to even know about them. It obviously is easier to throw down a slab of meat with some salt, and a raw dairy smoothie with raw eggs and honey may seem exciting, but don't let your old addictions to cooked food, meat, and the rat race of society, AND/OR FEELINGS OF LACK, convince you that you need to go there. You have all the lifeforce and power within you that you need, and raw vegan foods will help you experience more of this then you know how to handle becuase we get energy from the cosmos, not from food. Trust in something larger than yourself. Give your power to something greater than yourself. Do not regress to supporting the killing of animals for your own misguided concept of power and control.
Gentle and Allowing....
Then there are those times for simply being allowing and gentle with yourself. Like if you do fall into the trap mentioned above, just simply be gentle with yourself, forgive yourself, and move on. The moment is always now! There are times when you can allow yourself to eat those corn chips at the Mexican restaurant, the popcorn at the movie theater, or whatever, I've had those moments. Just make sure that you are doing what you really want and go for it! A few years ago, for whatever reasons, I just really wanted some homemade popcorn covered in olive oil, spirulina, and raw cashew cheese , so I did it. I had never needed this before or wanted to do it so bad, but it was something a friend used to make and I told my husband how incredible it was, so I just did it for us.
Now don't go thinking that I let myself do this all the time, because that is actually the only time I've ever done that! I had to send my husband to the store just for popcorn, and of course his excitement about it, only being raw for 2 years, was enough for me to even do it in the first place. It was a really fun, harmless drug experience where I got to enjoy my PMS and cram salty popcorn down my throat like a real popcorn drug addict!
Another important point that I should mention is that I don't crave to do it again after allowing myself such an experience, and maybe that has a lot to do with having been on this lifestyle so long. Sometimes giving in to an addiction is the best way to get over it. So be gentle and allowing when you need to, but know the difference between when you need to have discipline versus allowance. For me, the discipline was the most important during the first few years of being raw, so that I could teach myself that I didn't really need that crap, and that it wouldn't really make me happy long term, same with any other drug on the planet. Also, every single time that I ate something cooked, I would feel terrible, and even when I thought about giving up on raw foods, I just couldn't do it because I had gotten too far and knew the difference. I simply don't enjoy cooked food anymore.
Years later, I hardly ever crave anything, and I can allow myself this kind of drug effect for fun once if I want and have no attachment to it. Luckily years have passed and I have absolutely no desire for another popcorn binge! I can also do things like eat some steamed green beans at Thanksgiving, or some cooked vegetable soup at a yoga ashrama, and have no problem doing so because it's not innately unhealthy and it is a healthy thing to do in that moment. I don't need to have any attachment to only eating unheated vegetables, otherwise I'd be avoiding reality completely. We lived in a cooked food world, and not everything cooked is bad for us, literally.
Probably because I have learned to be so realistic about things, is actually the main reason I bet that I have been able to continue living what most people would consider a 100% raw food diet. Even with those once in awhile steamed green beans or cooked vegetable broths, these things are so very much the exception and so rare in my diet, that why would you define your lifestyle by them? I've also had popcorn probably 5 or 6 times in the past 8 years, so you do the math and figure out what percentage raw I am! I write this only to show how ridiculous that kind of thinking is. This is the meaning of allowance, and an argument against fanaticism.
We are not raw food Nazis, we are just trying to live optimally and feel incredible right? And maybe share that with others? So don't let raw food literalism get you sidetracked from the larger picture of being gentle, loving, gracious, and happy always with this immense gift and wisdom you have incorporated into your life. If you already have a lot of discipline, then you can be allowing with yourself, those around you, and with the reality of the moment you are in, even if that means eating some steamed vegetables and making a compromise for being home for the holidays! Just make sure that you know how much of a compromise is too much of a compromise.
Often times when we are craving something there is an emotion or something we are needing from it other than the food itself, because obviously, we don't need the food if we are getting a variety of raw vegan nutrition. So what my girlfriends and I would do back in the day, is make something that gave us a similar emotion or feeling and that felt like a kind of replacement. Make it delicious and incredible to you in that moment. It works! That way, instead of denying yourself what you need, you are simply getting used to getting it in another way. At the same time you are retraining your system how to get it with a higher vibration, which is an incredible way to grow. This is a good way to be both gentle and comforting, as well as stay true to your discipline and commitment to health and growth and really having the best day ever.
There should be no doubt that eating living foods is the greatest way you can love yourself with nutrition. Release any doubts about this now. Furthermore, it is the nutrition that will truly give you what you both want and need long term. Lastly, you may find that the emotions you are having, you may want to learn to deal with directly and not just with food. In other words, you can overcome them and stop feeding them all together. The above suggestion to replace instead of deny, will still help you on your journey to do that, because raw food will not allow you anywhere near the level of suppression and denial that a hamburger, ice cream, or vegan pasta will. Living food is extremely high in vibration and because we can't really feed our negative emotions with it, we have to heal our emotions in order to stay on the healing and growth journey we have begun. Remember, when overcoming eating habits, we are also overcoming mental habits that may no longer work for where we are trying to go in our lives mentally, physically, and spiritually. It's all connected!
Get Into Tea...
There are many cleanses I have done where I would go through a lot of craving as I was releasing the old in my raw food transition. One of the major things that got me through it was drinking a lot of herbal tea varieties. You can buy organic herbs and make really interesting creations to keep you entertained and hydrated and distracted from feeling that you need to eat. You can even add a little nut milk and sweetener. Tea can be really healing. Check out some of Hanna Kroeger's blends, they are excellent. Her teas can keep you focused on healing intentions and away from cravings because they are prepared specifically with certain vibratory frequencies in mind, and you can choose what vibration you want to help yourself experience simply by looking through the titles of her many tea blends. Become a bit of a witch in the kitchen and brew yourself up all sorts of creations. It's fun!
Smoothies, Smothies, Blender!
Get a high powered blender. Make power green super smoothies every single morning. My husband and I get a majority of our nutrition for the day from our morning smoothies, which keep us fed and satiated until the late afternoon. Staying with RAW long term really is about the blender and the smoothies! The blender is the fastest way to get all your nutrition in your body, and the smoothies are easy to take with you anywhere, like work, school, and travel.
Why We Go Raw Vegan
"What is fascinating is that the temptations of cooked food begin to lose their strength. The former "pleasures" associated with cooked food will automatically reverse as one continues to step outside of the old compfort zone in the raw realm. It is not that one has to discipline oneself forever to stay away from the "pleasures" of cooked food, it is that one is no longer attracted to those foods. They become seen as lifeless foods devoid of any nutritional and spiritual strength."-David Wolfe; Sunfood Diet Success System
"There are many things you do now which would have seemed difficult to you ten years ago. Those things themselves did not change, but your idea of yourself changed. What if you were to think things differently today?
It is going to take courage. where there is no joy there can be no courage, and without courage all other virtues are meaningless. Enjoy the process and let Nature take it's course. Nature's smile is for the joyful, the courageous, the disciplined, and the all-daring.
Complacency is the great enemy of possibility. Just keep taking action. Focus all your energy, no on fighting the old, but on building thenew habits.
It is going to take a view to the long-term. The ability to tink long-term, to be long-sighted, depends on the ability to delay gratification. The ability to delay gratification determines how much spiritual power we have over our physical body. Delaying gratification sia sign of wisdom and maturity. By delaying cooked-food gratificatin you start making incredible strides."
-David Wolfe; Sunfood Diet Success System
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