The Ins and Outs of a Raw Food Diet
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting to know a few other raw foodies around the world. I’ve scaled the internet high and low, and found three people who really know their stuff about raw food diets. Their knowledge is vital for other people who want to try a raw food diet or just learn more about raw food, and they have all provided helpful tips for those who fancy giving it a try. Don’t forget to check out Saskia’s and Alina’s websites too for more information.
Saskia @ Raw Freedom
Saskia is an inspirational raw food expert, author and life coach, supporting busy and ambitious women to experience greater energy, mental clarity and shining self-confidence. She runs life-enhancing coaching programmes and workshops and has written a number of raw food recipe books. For more information visit her brilliant website – www.rawfreedom.co.uk
1 What made you decide that a raw diet was the thing for you?
I was suffering from IBS, joint and muscle ache, an appalling memory and moodiness. I started to research raw food and was excited about the health results that people were claiming to get from following a raw diet. I went 100% raw for two weeks in November 2006. In those 2 weeks, I experienced a noticeable improvement in my symptoms, as well as very strong and uncomfortable detox symptoms (I generally don’t recommend going 100% raw from the start – it’s much better for your body to ease in gently and give it the opportunity to cleanse at a manageable rate). In the spring of 2007 I started my raw food journey for real.
2 What is the main benefit you’ve found with eating a raw diet?
The main benefits of eating high raw for me are that I feel happier, more positive, more confident, and my body working is much more efficiently. I have lots of energy, focus and mental clarity. I increase and decrease the amount of raw food I eat depending on my lifestyle requirements at the time. For example, if I’m about to teach a workshop, I’ll up my raw so that I’m really on the ball for teaching, but if I’m on holiday, I’ll relax my eating habits and eat more cooked if it’s easier. On an average day I am around 70% raw. Discovering raw food has meant that even the cooked food I eat is much healthier now.
Check out Saskia’s Raw Mint Chocolate Torte here:
3 What would you say is the main difficulty with eating a raw diet?
For me, the main difficulty with eating a raw diet is dealing with the ‘raw’ emotions that come with it. We use cooked and junk food to numb our emotions, and when you eat raw food you start to become more in touch with what’s really going on emotionally for you. Without the right support and a patient and kind attitude towards yourself this can mean that you end up eating cooked and unhealthy food again. My raw food journey has been about learning self-love and becoming emotionally conscious. Eating raw food gives me a level of self-awareness and emotional courage that I lacked before. And this is what I help my clients with when I’m coaching.
4 Do you have any tips for other or aspiring raw foodists?
Be gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you eat cooked or junk food – use it as an opportunity to change your self-talk to a language of compassion and encouragement. Look at what you are achieving, not at what you feel you are not. On a more practical level, starting one meal at a time works really well. Introduce raw breakfasts, and then once that becomes comfortable and habitual, add in a high raw lunch etc. High raw is the most flexible way of living a raw food lifestyle. It means that you eat mostly raw food and some cooked food. For example, a lovely big salad with guacamole and shop bought rice cakes, or a raw Thai curry with cooked brown rice.
Alina Zhukovskaya @ Alinaz.com
Alina is a board certified health and nutrition coach and culinary expert. Her unique approach to food says that creating a healthy diet is like choosing the fashions that fill your closet. To fit well, your diet has to reflect your unique personality and lifestyle. It’s a philosophy she calls “Couture Nutrition™” and sharing it with others is her passion. When you understand food through fashion, she says, you learn realistic ways to boost your energy, control your weight, and look simply fabulous. Or as Alina Z likes to put it, “you blossom.” Currently, Alina is finishing her second book – “Let Yourself Blossom: An Un-Diet Guide To Food & Self Love.” Check out her website here: www.alinaz.com