Don’t eat banana peel and nine other raw food tips for newbies!
When you’re new to raw it’s easy to get excited and to want to taste and try everything, to seek out durians, crack open coconuts with machetes and see how long you can dehydrate a cracker for. Here are my top ten tips for newbie raw fooders for a smooth transition!
1. Eat raw chocolate every day — but not ALL day!
When you first realise that raw chocolate can be on the raw food menu every day you might get a little excited. The only thing is, if you eat raw chocolate all day long, you will become over-excited so remember that ‘a little of what you fancy’ is still in order, even with a raw food diet. Base your day around green juices, smoothies, herbal teas, elixirs, wild leafy greens, superfoods and smaller amounts of nuts, avocados and raw chocolate and you’ll be many steps nearer your ultimate health goal!
2. Start composting! Raw foodists have a lot of leftovers!
You’ll soon discover that with more raw comes more peelings, more pulp and more waste. But don’t chuck it in the bin — if you have a garden or an allotment, put it all to good use and compost away to your heart’s content. If your garden is teeny tiny or you only have a window sill ask neighbours or friends if they will take some of the load for you. Not only will this help you with excess waste but it will help them to nurture their garden! Some people get wormeries so they can compost in their own kitchen!
3. Juice your apple, blend your banana!
Juicing is fun, easy and quick for superb nutrition but a word to the wise — not every fruit and veggie needs or wants to be juiced. Bananas and avocados should always be blended and others such as apples, lemons, pineapple, soft fruits, carrots, celery and so on can go through the juicer. Choose a good juicer or if you’re feeling even fruiter, try blending your food in a high speed blender and strain through a nut milk bag (as seen here in my kitchen) — the choice is always yours! I always recommend that all sweet fruit is juiced with green leaves. Try apple and celery with a dash of lemon. Or how about pineapple and spinach with garlic, a tomato and a touch of basil? Oh yes, it tastes just like a Hawaiian Pizza!
When you’re new to raw, it’s easy to be enticed by all the delicious products on the market and yes, they are wonderful and yes, you should and must treat yourself from time to time. But learn to make some simple yet delectable treats yourself and you’ll be quids in! Check out our extensive range of raw superfoods, fruits, nuts and seeds so that you can make chocolate and cakes and cookies and crackers until they come out yer ears!
5. Be kind to yourself in easy raw food steps
Don’t feel you have to go the whole (vegan) hog to raw. Why not start out by having one raw meal a day, then two and incorporate more as each month passes. It’s not about percentages and who is more raw than everyone else, it’s how you feel, from the inside out that is most important. If you fancy some cooked food, then consider lightly steamed vegetables, sweet potatoes, lightly warmed soups and some wheat-free bread served with a big fresh salad.
6. Keep it clean
Get into the habit from the word go at cleaning the blender, the juicer and dehydrator sheets. It’s easy to think ‘ah I’ll do it later’ but then it just makes more work for you and you’ll start to associate the raw food diet with hard work, which it isn’t. Just because it’s raw doesn’t mean it won’t eventually become mouldy and soggy so apply all the same health and safety kitchen and food prep rules as you would normally!
7. Keep in the flow
One common pitfall for raw food newbies is to smell or taste cooked food and then abandon everything that’s fresh and crunchy! Do not despair if you’ve been to a wedding or Auntie Mildred’s 80th birthday party. Bring in the raw every day to your life and you will notice the difference. If you allow the raw food goodness to disappear altogether, you will also notice a difference and fast. If you know you’re not going to have a chance for much raw-ness one evening, fill your day with veggies and dips. Don’t give it all up… we’re all in this together and there is an abundance of support and love for you!
8. Be creative
Your friends and relatives might think all you eat are lettuce and tomatoes… and I sincerely hope you have discovered that when eating raw, the world is for the taking! You can make raw pasta from courgettes, craft your own marinara sauce and crumble cashew cheese on top! You can make it simple or fancy, you can eat iceberg or rocket… there are hundreds of fruits, veggies, nuts, dishes, meals and recipes… imagine you’re on Masterchef and get creating!
9. Read, read and read
Keep reading about why it’s good to go raw. Check out the magazines that champion this way of life and eating, seek out the wealth of books and articles that we offer from Detox Your World. Look at photos of transformations and read people’s personal stories and testimonials. Get a good feel for what’s going on in the raw food community and become involved. Sign up for events, retreats and get in touch on Facebook with like-minded people — it’s a lot of fun and you’ll get support too!
10. Don’t eat banana peel…
…or make nut mylks in sieves, or blend smoothies without the lid on, or eat five bars of raw chocolate before bed, or forage in the wood without a guide… but most importantly, DO eat food that you love, that is full of life and that nature provides for us all on this wonderful green earth!