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Managing Your Raw Transition

A raw transition can be tricky if you don't know how to handle it.

If you've heard about the benefits of a raw food diet and you want the cleanness of body, clarity of mind, and abundant energy that comes with it, it can be temping to jump right in without planning on how you want to handle the changeover.

Doing things the wrong way can lead to an endless yo-yo of raw highs and cooked lows that is very hard to escape, so how you'll change is worth some thought.

Planning Ahead For Your Raw Transition

Raw Transition Orange CarryThe best transition plan will be useless unless you're on a diet that can sustain you in the long run.

It's critical to make sure that your diet includes enough calories for your needs, doesn't contain more than 10 percent of calories from fat, and has no more than 10 percent of calories from protein.

Don't worry, a fruit and vegetable diet will usually fall right within this ratio
, provided that you don't eat more than one avocado or other fatty fruit a week.

Read more about healthy raw food diet here and familiarize yourself with  how you shoudl be eating.

Once you've figured out what a healthy diet is, you should read up about something that's going to be very critical - stopping cravings.

Only then should you start to make your plan.

The Two Methods

There are two basic schools of thought on the best way to manage your raw transition, and I'll walk you through the thinking on both.

When I first started experimenting with a raw diet in college, I was not at all committed. I'd go three or four weeks, my colitis would start to heal, but then I'd go and have some Chinese or Ethiopian food because I felt like it. It wasn't so much a break down of will as a lack of commitment.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
- Henry David Thoreau

I enjoyed eating fruit and vegetable meals, but didn't think of myself as being on a raw food diet permanently. I hadn't burnt my bridges, and so was willing to stray periodically, therefore undoing all the healing that had taken place.

It's important to understand the tremendous importance of commitment. Until you actually think of your self as a raw foodist, instead of as someone giving a raw diet a try, you'll likely not succeed in making the transition permanently. Think about if you're ready to comit to such a change.

Throw your cooked and raw junk food out of the house and stock the fridge with whole, ripe, raw, organic plant foods.

Start thinking about yourself as a raw foodist and that's exactly what you'll start becoming. Burn your bridges and don't look back.

Raw Transition Method #1: Pulling the Band Aid

This is the method that I used. I went from a cooked vegan diet one day to 80/10/10 the next. It was a bit of a shocker, to say the least, but it was very effective. I did fall back on cooked food several times, but I always returned right back to a 100 percent raw.

Proponents of this method explain dietary change like a drug addiction. You wouldn't tell an alcoholic to gradually reduce their alcohol consumption, nor a heroin addict their drug intake. They have to go cold turkey if they want get sober.Raw Transition Burger

If you only go half way, you'll always be thinking about your next cooked meal, just like an addicted person thinks about their next hit.

You may laugh, but food can be very addicting too. Were you aware that gluten, a protein found in my grains, is considered a causative factor in several neurological disorders and psychoses? Grains also contain numerous opioids, which cause addictive eating patterns (1).

If you've heard someone tell you that they're craving bread, they're probably not lying. Their body is telling them to get some, and only by going cold turkey will they ever overcome the addiction.

Even if you start with method number two, you're going to end up with the Band Aid method eventually when you've culled enough cooked meals from your diet, so my thinking is you might as well start here.

Raw Transition Method #2: Sure and Steady

Some people are not ready for a complete raw transition, and will do best by starting off with this method.

The idea is to gradually replace cooked meals with raw meals. The key to this is to keep reducing, because if you stay at a step too long you'll get complacent. I suggest no more than a week or two at each step.

Sure And Steady Steps

  1. Eat only fruit for breakfast.
  2. Before you eat lunch and dinner, eat as much fruit as you care for and only then eat the cooked portion of the meal. You'll likely find you don't want nearly as much after the fruit. Note: some fruit won't mix with some meals, so give yourself 40 minutes or more to digest.
  3. Replace your cooked lunch meals with all the fruit you care for.
  4. Three times a week, replace your cooked dinner meal with fruit followed by a large raw salad
  5. Eat only two cooked meals a week
  6. Pull the Band Aid- See Method #1

On Healthy Raw Transitions

Raw Transition Ride
If you've prepared properly, these steps will get you to an all raw diet. If you fall of the wagon a few times, that's ok.

Just get back up and start where you fell off. You'll get there soon enough. It's about direction, not speed.

Remember: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Confucius

Looking for a treat? Here are some recipes for your raw transition.

Raw Transition Sources:

(1) Grain Damage, Dr. Douglas Graham, pg 25.

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