There are several concerns that should be considered when living on a raw food diet.
1. Thorough chewing is very important in the raw diet.
Raw foods are often more tough and fibrous than cooked foods, thus requiring more complete chewing to aid in proper digestion. Larger, unchewed small chunks of raw foods are more difficult for the digestive system to efficiently break down and absorb, and may thus simply passing through the intestinal tract, or, worse still, cause gas, bloating or other types of digestive upset. To prevent this and derive maximum benefit from the invaluable nutrients that organic raw food provides, it’s important to remember to chew one’s food throughly.
2. Juicing and blending can be an extremely valuable.
Such food processing helps break down raw foods for easier assimilation. Some might say this is not natural. However, these days, many people simply do not have the time to properly consume a large amount of raw fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains, nuts, seeds during average meal times; thus the value of juicing and blending into drinks, smoothies and shakes.
3. Be wary of overdoing on fatty nuts, seeds, dressings and avocados.
Admittedly, nuts, seeds, dressings, oils, seasonings and avocados are just plain delicious and add greatly to the raw food diet. Their fattiness and stronger flavors offer greater satisfaction and satiation. Thus, it’s easy to overdo. Although these foods can greatly aid in the transition from cooked to raw, one should be aware of the tendency to use too much of a good thing. It’s important to limit these fatty, tasty, rich foods. Use them more sparingly. Increase the consumption of Green Shakes and Smoothies.
4. You can eat almost anything raw.
Many believe as long as they eat anything raw, they are following a good diet. This is not necessarily so. Some raw foods are not easy to digest. Others should not be consumed raw, but should be sprouted, cooked or cultured. These include such foods as legumes, nuts, root vegetables, soy, raw cashews, fava beans, sweet potato, okra, certain nightshade vegetables, buckwheat, buckwheat sprouts and greens, skin of figs and mangoes, potatoes, cassavas and yams. If in doubt, cook or culture more questionable foods.
5. Certain raw cruciferous vegetables and other raw foods can cause digestive upset.
Indeed, this can be quite true due to higher levels of strong, chemically active and powerfully aromatic components. Raw broccoli, onion, garlic, chilis, cabbage, cauliflower have all been implicated in a number cases of heartburn or stomach upset. Everyone has individualized tastes and reactions. Listen to your body and avoid foods that seem to cause unpleasant reactions.
6. Other raw foods are difficult to digest.
Nuts and seeds can also be difficult to digest, depending upon one’s digestive system. A number of people may have less hydrocholic and stomach enzymes than other people. Other people may simply be unable to process these foods. If you are sensitive, try soaking, then culturing your nuts and seeds. Some people are sensitive to gluten and thus, breadstuffs or grains. In such cases, one may find their sensitivity diminished with soaking and sprouting, while for others, soaking and sprouting make no difference. Again, it’s important to listen to your body.
7. Organic foods seem to cause less negative reactions and food allergies than conventionally grown foods.
It’s always best to try and avoid the consumption of pesticides, genetically modified foods, chemicals and toxic residues in food, no matter how small. If you have access to fresh, raw organic foods and they are within your budget, you are fortunate indeed. As best as you can, incorporate more and more organic foods into your diet.
8. Some people may have sensitivities or allergies to certain raw vegetables and fruits.
Eveyone’s system is individual. What is one person’s panacea may be another person’s allergen. Again, be sure to listen to your own body. Remember to chew or process your foods thoroughly. Keep your teeth clean, and if you have any mouth problems, be sure to have them all taken care of. Also, with the increase in genetically modified and processed foods, incidents of allergies and sensitivities have greatly increased. If one has these issues, it’s optimal to eat organic foods as much as possible.
9. Being 100% raw…
Over-worrying about being a purist in anything can lead to undue stress, but especially when it comes to worrying over every bite of food and whether it’s allowed on a particular diet. If you feel that you need to eat cooked and raw foods together, so be it. If you feel you may need organic eggs, a bit of fish, a bit of humanely raised meat, do not be overly concerned. Follow your best instincts. There is a natural body wisdom that knows what’s inherently best for you moment by moment. See if you can tap into this natural wisdom. Your core body knows what it wants, what it needs. And mostly likely, it’s more and more likely to be God’s food, served God’s way.
10. Cravings and the Raw Food Diet and the Biggest Mistakes
Many people have developed cravings when following a strict diet. On a raw food diet, eat plenty and follow your heart. This is not the time to limit quantity. Be sure to eat a varied diet which includes plenty of different vegetables, fruits, whole sprouted grains, some seeds and nuts, especially in the beginning transitional phases from cooked to raw. Perhaps the biggest mistakes made during this time are:
a. Neglecting to eat sufficient quantity
b. Neglecting to eat a varied enough diet
c. Neglecting to include enough greens
d. Neglecting to access delicious, easy, online recipes
(we will have some of our absolute favorites, soon : )
e. Neglecting to stand strong and resolute before detractors
f. Not knowing what’s best to eat (see this article)
The raw, organic diet can contribute to some of the most powerful, life altering changes to health and wellness that one could ever imagine. Embark upon this journey with care and love. Love yourself exactly as you are, love your body exactly as it is, this very moment.
Together, with these delicious natural foods and a loving spirit, the most beautiful things can happen, sooner than you think.
Long ago, we lived in villages where we could all help one another stay on the straight and narrow path, and learn from the great accumulated wisdom of the ages from our elders. Today, we must rely upon ourselves and our abilities to study, learn, research and draw reasoned conclusions. Research, study, know your options. Turn to books, and research on the Internet. Use your own powers of discernment to weed out fiction and fantasy from what’s real and good.
You are on the path to body enlightenment. Congratulations, and enjoy!