Is It Necessary To Go 100% Raw?

With more and more talk about the benefits of a high raw diet, I think it’s important to stress the idea of transitioning to raw.

I don’t think everyone can go 100% raw overnight on their own.

Raw as an Investment For Your Health

For most of us, food is a nuisance. (I used to think this a lot before I went raw!) It’s a drain on our bank accounts, our schedules, and our energy.

Sometimes we eat out of necessity, opting for the quickest option that we can chow down on so that we can get back to the real important stuff.

Other times food can be a way to medicate ourselves. We might eat when we’re bored, feeling emotional, avoiding problems that need to be solved or work that needs to be done, and so on.

Let’s take a different perspective of the food that we eat. What if the food that we ate was solely seen as the fuel for our bodies and minds? Just like you wouldn’t put random household ingredients into your car’s gas tank, you should invest in the correct fuel for your car.

In this case the food you eat is an investment for your body, for the long-term.

Raw carrots, yum yum!
Photo by John Watson

Raw Food Diet Definitions

In the spirit of accepting that every one of us is at a different place along our journey, let’s look at the different options that you have for incorporating more raw foods into your diet.

  • 100% Raw: People who go 100% raw overnight, tend to experience great benefits soon after they go raw. Sometimes however, being 100% raw is too strict and these people can flop back and forth between 100% raw, high raw, and going back to their original eating habits. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, as long as you aren’t taking yourself too seriously, or are afraid of reverting back to your not-so-good eating habits.
  • High Raw: The definition of high raw is between 80%-99% Raw raw foods. What this means is that people who are high raw intend to eat raw all of the time, but that there are certain circumstances that are beyond their control. For example, they might eat a condiment or a sauce that isn’t raw, or even go for some cooked vegan options if they are stuck. People who are high raw have the advantage of being lenient with themselves, and not beating themselves up for not adhering to their standards.
  • Raw Until Dinner: One of the simplest ways to add more raw foods into your diet, is to go raw until dinner. The idea is that you eat raw meals for breakfast, and lunch, and your snacks are raw. Then dinner is up to you, you can choose to eat the foods that you always eat, but you’ll notice that soon enough you’ll be attracted to eating more healthful foods even in the evening.
  • Transitioning To Raw: If you just learned about raw foods, and you want to take the slow and steady road to eating more raw foods, transitioning is the way to go. When you’re transitioning, you choose exactly which meals and what it is you’re going to eat for each day, and try to fit in as many raw fruits and vegetables as you can. One of the ways of doing this is to drink a big green smoothie either in the morning, or as a snack in the afternoon. I personally transitioned to raw foods for over a year, before actually choosing to take the high raw path.

Bear In Mind

Everyone is different, and we all have different experiences with food from our past. It’s important to take into account that just because your mind has decided to eat more healthful fruits and vegetables, doesn’t mean that your body is in agreement yet.

Sometimes we have resistance when it comes to changing our eating habits. It helps to have a buddy who can keep you accountable. Having a whole group to support you is even better!

There’s no raw food police, and you don’t need to destroy yourself esteem trying to go 100% raw overnight.

Is Raw Food Contagious?

In this post I’m going to explore how contagious raw food can be. Not necessarily as easily “catchable” as the common cold, but it’s definitely catching on.

Here are some of the random occurrences of meeting people who were into raw foods.

Raw Larabars
Photo by Amy Vuong

The Checkout Girl

The other day I went to the grocery store to stock up on Larabars for myself and my dad. (The fact that my relatively small town carries Larabars is enough of an indication that raw foods are becoming more mainstream, but I disgress.)

We decided to take one of each different kind of Larabar, just to keep things fun.

When we got to the cash register, the sales clerk scanned the Larabars and then stopped to talk to us. She said she loved the Cashew Cookies bar, and that she had just tried the pistachio variety recently.

I told her that cashew cookie was one of my favorites too. She was surprised to see them on sale, since they were $.30 cheaper than the last time she bought one.

I told her that the prices had gone down, permanently. She was surprised and excited.

I don’t know about you, but when a chocolate bar gets cheaper, that usually means it’s because the product isn’t selling well or something. That’s not the case for Larabars though.

The smiling sales clerk was very excited, and said she would stock up on Larabars now.

She continued to check out the rest of the food that we were buying, which consisted mainly of green and leafy veggies. She seemed to have a bounce in her step, and she was very enthusiastic about how many Larabars we were buying.

I was happy that to find out that someone other than me buys Larabars! The higher the turnover, the more indication that raw food is taking the world by storm!

Raw Vegan Librarians!
Photo by Celeste RC

The Librarian

A few days later, while I was at the library stocking up on books, I ran into a librarian who I have known for years.

She asked me what I was up to these days, and I mentioned that I was starting a website about raw food to help people go raw.

“Raw food?” She asked.

“Yeah, it’s all about uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds,” I replied.

“Oh I know all about raw foods! I ate raw for many many years. I read books by Victoria Boutenko and her children,” She said with a big smile.

Now I wasn’t surprised, because this woman had been a vegetarian ever since I could remember. Of course being vegetarian in these parts of Canada is considered a little bit weird, so image how far out vegan or raw foodists might be.

In any case we discussed quite a few ideas and even a few simple recipes together. She told me that the only reason she stopped eating raw, is because everybody else around her was not eating raw.

She enthusiastically mentioned that she had the most energy while she was eating raw.

I thanked her for the books and for the nice chat, and I skipped all the way home like a happy bunny.

These are just some of my feel-good “raw food going mainstream” examples from the last week.

** Have you ever experienced any fun raw food moments that made you think “Yes, raw food can and will go mainstream!”? If so share below in the comments!