jueves, 4 de septiembre de 2008

Wanna go raw? A few practical tips

This post is for those who already want to go raw. I don't mean to push this diet on anybody.

So you want to go raw? Here a few things that could help you.

A conscious decision

I already stressed the importance of clarity in my previous post. Please go back and ask yourself all the questions I listed there in the paragraph about clarity. Write the answers down. Take some time to think it through.

If you still want to go raw, make the conscious decision to do so, no matter how difficult it could get. I'm saying this because when you get cravings it's easy to fall back, unless you remember that you once very consciously chose to go this path no matter how difficult it could get. If your decision sounds like "I will go raw! Well, unless it becomes painful... " this won't help you much. Don't leave any backdoors open for you to escape your decision in case it gets uncomfortable.

If such a commitment sounds too radical to you, set a time limit for your raw trial. You don't have to go raw at all costs and forever now. You can choose to try it out for thirty days. Or for ten days or even for just two days. The time amount doesn't matter, but decide on it before you start. And then, for this amount of time, stay committed to your decision - no matter how difficult it could get.

A good preparation

Going raw isn't easy. You'll have to overcome a strong, daily habit. You'll have to deal with a lot of social pressure. Always having something raw to eat at hand also requires organization. Not to forget that some substances in cooked foods are highly addictive. Breaking an addiction can get tough, and you'll be surrounded with temptations everywhere. For me personally, going raw was more difficult than quitting smoking.

That's why I think it's important to prepare oneself very well before going raw, not just jump into it spontaneously. Choose a date a few weeks ahead and prepare yourself during this time. Victoria Boutenko recommends drinking green smoothies every day for several weeks before going raw, to give the body nutrients and avoid too severe cravings later. I didn't do that, but maybe it's a good idea.

Here a few more things you can do before D-Day:

A written plan

Making a written plan has helped me tremendously. I found it much easier to go raw when seeing it as a game, or war. Your goal is to beat your opponent! Prepare yourself for the battle. Develop your strategies on paper!

In case you are overweight, you will lose weight. Are you prepared for such an eventuality? Write down what you will do about your weight loss. About new clothes you'll need. About how you will deal with comments from others. Such things. Write everything down.

You're very likely to experience a noticeable energy increase when you go raw. What will you do with this excess energy? You need to find an outlet for it just in case, or else it could overwhelm you so much that you'll return to cooked foods just to stop feeling uncomfortable. Can you think of something you're dreaming of doing but hadn't enough energy to do until now? Or maybe exercising more? Or starting a new creative activity? Find out what you would do with more energy, and write that down, too.

Now the main part of the battle plan:

Observe yourself for a few days and write down what you eat, when you eat it, and why. Don't judge your eating habits, just analyze them.
Based on this, imagine all kinds of situations in which you normally would eat cooked foods, or might feel like eating something even though you're not really hungry, or might get a craving.
Then, for each one of these situations, imagine what you will do in such a moment, instead of eating something cooked. It can be eating raw food if you're being hungry, but it can also be something completely different from eating, like going for a walk, performing ten push-ups or cleansing your chakras. Just pick something that makes sense in that precise situation and keeps you occupied. Write everything down.


Practice visualizing these situations and your desired reaction every day before going raw (but not while you are in those situations themselves). After going raw, when you're in one of the listed situations, all you'll need to do is to apply your great plan. You'll already be conditioned to have your desired reaction. It makes it much easier!

Also visualize your life and yourself as a raw fooder regularly before going raw, as if it were now. What are you wearing, doing, feeling, being, looking like? Imagine everything in details. Here it's helpful to use this emotional main reason for going raw I talked about in my previous post. What's the emotion you're aiming at creating? How do you hope to feel once you've gone raw for this particular reason? Healthy? Balanced? Free? Light? Proud? Productive? When you're visualizing, concentrate on feeling this emotion as if it were already present in your life now.

Support and information

It helps to talk to other raw fooders, to get involved in a raw forum, to join a raw community, to read books about raw foods, etc. Go search for resources on the net. Your intuition will guide you.

Also surround yourself with supportive people in real life. Ask your family/friends to help you. Avoid people who discourage you.

Build a favorable environment for your upcoming shift already before actually making this shift.

When D-Day has come, throw all cooked foods, pots and pans out! And jump into the Unknown. What might help you after D-Day is:


When you go raw you'll probably get a strange feeling of lightness that you're not used to. Like your stomach is empty, even when you're not hungry. This is strange enough! If you let yourself be hungry on top of that, you'll get cravings for heavy cooked things. Eating really really A LOT in the first few weeks helps. Don't worry, as time goes by you'll end up eating less anyway.


Do you already know EFT? It's an awesome technique to deal with unpleasant emotions and/or physical pain. It's often used to treat phobias or cravings. In case you get extremely strong cravings, it could be worth learning EFT and applying it to your cravings. You can find an easy tutorial for beginners (as well as many other resources) on this site.

A few failures

Bitterly failing a few times is extremely useful. I know this sounds like a contradiction to what I said above about leaving no backdoor open. But it's not. If you are fully committed and fail, you'll learn a lot out of it.

My first trial in November 2007 lasted only one week. It showed me that I feel much better on raw foods but that it's not easy. I also learned that eating raw grains is not a good idea for me! My second trial in January 2008 taught me that I had a disempowering mindset. I broke off after two weeks to fix my mindset, which took me a few months. In April, I started trial #3, this time feeling absolutely ready and firmly committed to go raw forever. Nevertheless, I wasn't able to stay 100% raw all the time. I experienced a few disappointing set-backs, and after exactly three months I had to take a break because I couldn't stand losing weight that fast. It taught me that I had unresolved issues that I needed to address first. It also taught me how addictive cooked food really is.

Failing is part of the learning process. You won't learn much if you're not truly committed to your new decision though. Be willing to fail, and give your best to succeed!

Hope this helps a little bit. Good luck :-)

lunes, 1 de septiembre de 2008

Does it take self-discipline to go raw?

No, it doesn't.

I completely lack self-discipline. I hate self-discipline. If it took self-discipline to go raw, I'd never have done it.

So what does it take to go raw?


Most of all, clarity, clarity, and clarity. If you want to go raw, it really helps to know exactly what you want, why you want it, who you are and what this diet change means to you.

So what do you want exactly? 100% raw? 90%? 75%? Why this number?

Why do you want to do it? What are your reasons for wanting to go raw in the first place? Write them down. Writing it down produces another result than just thinking of it. Brainstorm for a while. When I did it, I had over 20 reasons to go raw.

It helps to make it clear to yourself why you want to do it. Look at your reasons and ask yourself which one of them is the main reason, the most important one. Please don't listen to what your mind says. Your mind will pick the most "sensible" reason, the one you think should be the most important one. But that's not necessarily the one that most resonates with you deep down. Listen to your guts, because the day you have a serious craving and are about to give up, reminding yourself of your emotional main reason might save you. Reminding yourself of your logical main reason won't do much for you.

What does going raw mean to you? Is it strictly a health matter, or does it have another signification?

What does food in general mean to you? What is your relationship to cooked food? When and why do you eat exactly?

Who are you as a person? What's your life purpose? What are your core values? How does eating raw fit in?

Can you imagine yourself as a raw fooder? Have you thought of all the negative consequences of going raw? Look at them boldly, and compare with your reasons for wanting to go raw. Do you still really want to go raw?

Know all this and you won't need self-discipline.

Willingness to change

If you want to go raw, you have to welcome change in your life. Even if you choose to cut the cooked food out of your diet very gradually - there's still a point of no return where you'll have to go cold turkey at least for those foods that are addictive (like sugar, grains, meat or dairy). This WILL be a shock.

Going raw will completely mess with your life. Not only will you have to eat different foods, with all the social consequences of that, you'll also experience physical, mental and emotional changes. All raw fooders I know of report an increase in energy, creativity and clarity of mind after going raw. If you're overweight, you'll lose weight. You'll have to find a way to deal with these changes. We are what we eat. On raw foods, you will become another person entirely.

To go raw, you need to welcome this new person. If you're someone who's very uncomfortable with too radical change, you have a problem. You'll need to let go of control, let go of your identification with who you are currently being, and trust that you are safe.


Jumping into the Unknown like this requires some courage. Not much, it's not that terrible ;-) but yes, it's scary at first. I was scared, not knowing what was expecting me. I was especially scared to see my body melt and my weight drop dramatically, so much that I had to take a break. Don't worry, once you've been raw for a while, it's ok. You get used to this new food, to your new habits, your new body and your new personality and won't need any courage anymore. But at first, yes, you need some courage to jump off the cliff.

Curiosity and Strategic thinking

Absolute clarity, the willingness to change, and courage at the beginning, this is what I personally find most important for those who want to go raw. Of course it also helps to be curious, because it'll make experimenting with new foods more fun. And if you enjoy strategic thinking, that's even better. It helps to think of it like a game or a war and to make plans to beat the opponent! But I'll talk about this in my next post, as this one was more about what it takes mentally to go raw, and less about concrete strategies to do so.

I'll share a few practical tips in my next post. If you follow them, you definitely won't need self-discipline.

Have a wonderful day!