Eight Pitfalls When Starting A Raw Food Diet

Every wonder what are the common mistakes and pitfalls people make while transitioning to the raw food diet? So often we hear a lecture or read a book, get really excited and start a process of making radical changes to our diet. Many times we see people doing the yoyo effect. And they tend to do this in many areas of life. Here are some of the pitfalls I see people making when eating more raw and living foods.

Pitfall #1:People go 100% raw overnight:
This is not to say that all of the people who do go 100% raw overnight will not stick with it, it's just that such a radical change to your diet will create a mineral pull and imbalance as time goes on and you might get hit with unbelievable cravings out of the blue. There are many people who have successfully gone 100% raw overnight but for the average person, it's best to transition over a long period of time. The body is always looking for homeostasis or the ability to get comfortable with successive changes over time. It's like lifting weights in the gym. Perhaps you cannot bench press 200 pounds if you've never worked out before. But you could lift that much weight if you slowly build your strength over time and work up to it. In fact, given enough time, you'd be amazed with what you can accomplish.

Pitfall #2: People confuse a raw cleansing diet with a raw sustainable diet:
There is a huge difference between these types of diets. A person who is in relatively good health can eat some honey, dates and so forth in moderation and have not problem with that. A person with cancer on the other hand has to take a more radical approach like cutting out all sugars, eating much more greens etc. You can read my article on alternative cancer treatment if you'd like. I've seen people go to huge extremes in this regard where they will cut out all sugars, dehydrated foods, fruits and such. But as time goes on, it's just not sustainable and they lack balance and then say that raw foods didn't work for them. Or I've seen this type of approach send somebody into a healing crisis that stirs up a lot of toxins in their body and they blame it on the food. The poisons and toxins were there before they ate the food. It wasn't the food, it was the stored toxins from food eating probably years ago that is now trying to exit the body. Because of the pain associated with all this, they lose desire to keep eating this way.

Pitfall #3: People confuse raw food with live food:
There are a few distinctions that should be made here.

  • Raw Food = This is typically meant when referring to the current raw vegan diet.
  • Raw Vegetarian = Can sometimes be referred to by people who eat raw milk, raw goat cheese and so forth.
  • Living Food= Ann Wigmore coined the term living food. This type of food is food that is still in it's growth process such as young sprouting plants like sprouts and grasses.
  • Life Food = Dr. Jubb talks about food that has its "electrics" in tact. They have a high amount of electricity and usually wild like seaweeds, Brazil nuts and wild food that you grow yourself or that you can find in nature. The latter two classifications, living food and life food are extremely powerful and usually contain the most enzymes, minerals and vitamins in their associated categories.Sometimes people think that if it's not cooked or if the food is raw it must be good for you. But what people forget to realize is that a food can be extremely hybridized and genetically weak, meaning that after a couple seasons of growing it, the food will no longer reproduce itself. Examples of these types of foods can be dates, red apples, many conventionally grown inorganic fruits, bananas etc. Look for food that has many seeds and is organic to start with.

    Pitfall #4: People make transitional foods their staples:
    Because we may have transitioned too quickly into a raw food diet, we didn't allow our bodies enough time to develop a new homeostasis. This means that with any shift in diet, there needs to be enough time for your body to do a mineral trade out and normalize at that current new state. So if we transition too quickly we're going to be looking for foods that are probably too heavy and fatty like nuts, avocados, olives, coconuts, almond butter, dates, bananas etc and we're going to be eating too much of these types of foods. So what do we do? Do we stop eating these foods? If we stop eating them won't we be too hungry? Well there really is no right answer. If you feel like you need these foods in order to balance yourself, just make sure to eat your green leafy salads. Greens are the great neutralizers. Even if you eat cooked food, have a salad with it.

    Pitfall #5: People wait till their hungry before making food for the day
    Part of the ancientness of food is lost in our culture today. Today we seem to only think about food when we actually get hungry. But the ancient cultures actually had to prepare days, weeks and even seasons in advance. If they killed an animal, they would freeze the meat in order to use during times of scarcity. Ancient cultures always seemed to "have something going" meaning they would constantly be drying, preparing, saving and foraging for food. They had to do this because they never knew when they'd eat again. In our culture as soon as we're hungry we can drive down to the local fast food restaurant and eat it in the car. We have become so far removed and disconnected from our food that we drive around in squares, open up and eat out of squares and live in squares. I always am working on making new food items in the kitchen. I never run out of food because I always have something dehydrating, freezing or cooling. When I do make the mistake of not making food in advance I pay for it. But then again, it's a good lesson to go without. :)

    Pitfall #6: People use a raw food diet to stand out rather than to fit in
    This can be a real problem for many people. We are always looking for ways to either fit in or not fit in. We like to think of ourselves as unique individuals. But it's important that we do our best to fit in with the crowd and not make a big deal about our new diet. This can be really difficult, especially when people might challenge us at the dinner table as to why we are only eating a salad for example. But I've always found the best approach is always the most humble and meek approach. If people really want to know more, they'll probably just see how it affects your life first, and if they see that it does, they'll ask you about it privately.

    Pitfall #7: People don't educate themselves or join communities.
    These are the two biggest factors that have helped me grow into this diet and lifestyle. The reason why you need to educate yourself is two fold. The first reason is for you. You need to know why you're choosing this lifestyle. You need motivation more than looking good or even feeling good. There needs to be a deep motivation if you want to do this for the long haul. The second reason you need to educate yourself is to be able to effectively communicate with people who are going to look to you for diet and nutritional help. The other pitfall that people don't realize is that this diet can be very lonely and difficult at times, especially if you don't know anybody else that believes the same as you do or who lives the same way. What helped me tremendously is joining www.thebestdayever.com and http://www.giveittomeraw.com. These websites changed the game for me.

    Pitfall #8: People use the raw food diet for short term
    Many times I've heard of people getting into the raw food diet in order to lose a few pounds or perhaps tone up or get fit. But the problem with doing this is that not only creates a yoyo effect which is never good for the body which is always trying to create homeostasis, but it also doesn't work for the long term. As mentioned previously, the motivation must be deeper than self. Why? Well because once you reach your goal of losing 10 pounds, then what? Perhaps your motivation could be, supporting ecologically sustainable companies, or improving the environment or perhaps it could be because you don't want to support the meat or dairy industry or slave labor. The point is that you should find something deeper than yourself and use that as the core motivation and everything else like losing weight is just a benefit.

    What is your core motivation for eating raw food?

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