Go Raw or Die Trying?

The other day I came across a Facebook group called “Go Raw or Die Trying”. Since when did going raw become such a do or die situation?

Go Raw or Die Trying
Photo by Bram Cymet

I believe we should be nice to ourselves and our bodies. That means not killing yourself trying to reach the idealized concept of being a 100% raw foodist.

Be Gentle With Yourself

A lot of people when they first learn about raw foods, decide to commit to it completely. That’s exactly what I did when I first learned about raw food.

I chose to be 100% raw or nothing at all. And while I think it’s important to give yourself a 30 day trial on raw foods, I don’t think you should kill yourself trying to be perfect.

After all, we are only human. We have moments of weakness, and we all have things to work through. We all have issues with food that we probably didn’t know we had, which tend to surface when we start eating raw.

Eating raw foods really brings up all these old emotional patterns, whether they have anything to do with food or not.

There’s No Raw Food Police

That’s why I always say there’s no raw food police. I think that raw food is great as an ideal to work toward, but being at 100% raw and killing yourself is much worse than the alternative.

If you can eat 75% to 90% raw, without the guilt trips, without pulling your hair out, and without causing too much trouble in your household, isn’t it much better?

Raw Food Police
Photo by Nik Worthley

Whenever we choose to make changes in our life, we should understand where we’re coming from. If you’ve been eating a highly processed or standard American diet for the last 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years, how can you expect to go raw overnight?

You have to give your body and your emotions, time to catch up with your newly adjusted mental model.

Oh, and by the way food definitely has an impact on our emotions. So you’ll want to make sure that you’re not so hard on yourself.

All Or Nothing vs. A Commitment

Sometimes it’s better to transition into raw foods slowly. Just like you wouldn’t try to run a marathon after years of inactivity without practicing first.

You wouldn’t want to overburden your body with the task of taking out the trash (all the toxins you’ve been gathering over the years) overnight.

When you go raw, there are so many different things that take place.

You’ve got to make different choices in your everyday life, and that’s going to bring up some resistance for yourself and for the rest of the people in your life.

You’ll also experience different physical changes. You might start losing weight, you might be bloated or gassy, you might sleep better or wake up in the middle of the night. You might have cravings, feel hunger pains, or lack energy.

All of these things are perfectly normal, but if you’re taking the stance of needing to be in this 100% raw, you might decide that it’s all too much at once and give up.

Going Raw At Your Own Pace

You have to understand that you’ll still be here in a year from now. So any small changes that you make right now will benefit you in the long term.

So even if you can just cut out coffee, and replace it with a green smoothie or green juice in the morning, you’re doing yourself a great service.

Building up small changes over the long term is a great way to include more raw foods into your diet, without causing you too much emotional stress.

Not to mention that taking it easy, is better for the people in your life. You don’t want to scare them or make them think that you’re going all crazy extremist on them, when they still enjoy eating steak.

What you want is to come up with an action plan that you will follow. You can do a 30 day raw trial, because that will give you motivation and results right away.

Your skin will get clear, your eyes will be brighter, you’ll lose weight if you have to, or gain weight if you need it, you’ll have more energy and you’ll sleep better.

But if you decide that after 30 days it’s going to be tough to keep going, then ease back to maybe 90% raw or 80% raw if that makes you more comfortable.

Because aren’t we all doing this raw food thing for a few simple reasons? We want to be healthier, and we want to live in a safe and healthy environment. So don’t make your environment more toxic by trying to go raw or die trying.