Let’s start from the beginning….Have you heard of the raw foods diet? For those of you who are new to Epic Self, you’ll want to get a little back story on my raw journey. Raw food is one way of eating that is sometimes mis-categorized as a ‘fad’. The truth is, raw foods are not a passing trend. If you think about it, we’ve been eating primarily raw foods for thousands of years, and yet in the industrialized world we are eating fewer and fewer raw foods with every generation.

So what exactly are raw foods, and what makes them so healthy?
A raw diet is composed of raw plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These foods deliver quality oxygen and water to your body, and they are a good source of antioxidants and fiber. They are rich in enzymes and probiotics, which are important in metabolic and digestive function: in short, they help make your guts work! Raw foods also help balance your body’s pH.

Raw food is very cleansing, healing and refreshing to the body, and is especially good for people who eat a lot of meat, sugar and processed food.

Curious to give raw foods a try, but don’t know where to begin? I am here for you on your journey and now offering 15 minute free consultations to answer your personal questions. Pick a time on my calendar and I’ll confirm.

The number one question I hear from clients is, “how do I make the transition to more raw foods and begin eliminating animal products?”
Here are my top 5 answers:

1.) Add, Don’t Subtract: Instead of thinking of what you will begin eliminating, start by adding in more veggies, greens, fruits, nuts and seeds. Raw food is not a “diet” in the typical sense of the word, where you drastically cut calories. The more raw you eat the less you crave junk. For those who have eliminated processed junk and fast food from your diet can relate to this feeling. Your body craves nutrients and won’t miss the artificial taste or negative after effects. Can you say “food coma?!”

2.) Dare to Experiment: Food is emotional. We fear change in general, but especially when it comes to food. We are creatures of habit that use food to fill voids in our lives, or handle stress. I dare you to experiment for a week. Perhaps you start small and eliminate processed sugar. Then you try a week without meat or dairy. Are you gluten intolerant? You won’t know how certain foods effect you until you eliminate them because you’ve been raised on them. How does it feel to eat differently. Are you grumpy, irritable, etc? Be bold and dare to be vibrant. Why do we self sabotage?

3.) Focus on Portions: A typical American dinner includes a large slab of meat, a small scoop of veggies and a basket of white bread. Swap the largest portion of the meal (the meat) for vegetables or a salad, eat a quarter of the meat you would have consumed and make the bread (grain) the smallest portion. Are you honest with your portions? Not sure? Track your food the Gen Y way. Take it’s picture!

4.) Add Agua: Our cells are comprised of 65-90% water. Drinking filtered, pH balanced, or spring water will satiate you before food is even a thought. Every time you feel the urge to eat, drink a glass of water and re-evaluate. Raw foods are full of H20 because they are not cooked above 115 degrees or processed. Cucumber, melons, and celery are my favorite water dense raw foods. Eat and drink your water!

5.) Smoothie Start: In the wee hours of the morning take 5 minutes to fuel your cells with vibrant raw energy. Whether it’s a filling power smoothie or a few pieces of fruit from the market with a glass of lemon water, nourish the brain and body after the 8 hour sleep fast. You are worth the time. Treat your body like a temple and watch it flourish!

If you aren’t hungry in the morning perhaps your dinner is too massive. Eat the largest meal of the day at lunch so you can sleep soundly, restore properly, and fully appreciate breakfast. I literally run to my Vita-Mix“> in the morning…ready to create and nourish myself. I crave greens! Do you?

You don’t need to go all-raw to reap the benefits – try one or all of these tips to smooth your transition into more vibrant, conscious living. Once again, I am here for you! I build specific nutrition programs for clients that align with their unique needs and goals. Meet me virtually for a free 15 minute consultation if you have any questions.

P.S The top photo is an iphone pic of my groceries at my favorite local health food co-op called Rainbow Market!

Shopping list:
-greens- as many varieties as possible! Mixed greens, spinach, kale, swiss chard, sprouts
-herbs- cilantro, parsley
-veggies- cabbage, saurkraut, bell peppers, cucumbers, lots of celery, carrots, broccoli, zuccini,
-fruits- apples, berries, avocados, coconut water, bananas, oranges!!
-nuts/seeds: almond butter, pumpkin seeds, walnuts this time
-Ferments for digestion: saurkraut, kombucha

Too see fun insights into my raw lifestyle friend me on facebook and twitter. I update a lot more on those social platforms when I’m on the go.