I am often asked if I eat a 100% raw diet. If you have been hanging out with us, you already know the answer. I do not. The majority of my diet (80-100%) is raw. In the summer, I eat almost all raw food. But when dealing with winter and also social situations, I allow myself a little wiggle room. Over the years I have found that adding some cooked food to my diet actually helps me maintain a higher percentage of raw. Especially in the winter, if I try to eat a 100% raw diet, I find myself migrating to unhealthy foods (that are not raw or healthy) and my whole diet goes down the toilet. The addition of some cooked foods can make a positive difference.
You might be surprised to know that most of the raw food “gurus” are not 100% raw. Many incorporate some cooked food into their diet but are pretty quiet about it. Some are 100% raw and seem to have the need to make people feel like they are failures if they aren’t 100%. I am happy if I can get you to take one step forward because you will benefit from that step. That first step can be the beginning of an amazing journey to health.
I feel the best when my diet is mostly raw. But as you know, I are not militant about it. While I don’t believe that you have to be a 100% raw foodist to gain benefits from raw food, I do believe that you need to be 100% smart.
100% smart is being aware of everything that is going into your mouth. It is about eating consciously, not unconsciously. It is about balance, planning and nutrition. It is about realizing that what you are eating affects almost every aspect of your life. Your health, your energy level, how you sleep, even your outlook on life!
Read, learn, and apply. Take time to plan and make sure you are getting a balanced diet. Too many people think that just because they are eating raw, they don’t have to pay any attention to what they are eating. The vast majority of what you eat should fall into the greens, veggies and fruits categories. Supplement with your nuts, seeds and grains but don’t make them the center of your diet. If you make a delicious raw tart, balance it out with a big salad full of greens!
Raw desserts are wonderful. They are much healthier than traditional recipes but once again, they are desserts and should be treated as such. They are nutritionally and calorie dense. A small serving is more than enough to satisfy.
Wake up to the dirty dozen. The EWG has put together a wonderful list that you can find here: The Dirty Dozen. They also include the “Clean 15″. Knowing what foods are the highest in pesticides helps us make wiser decisions when spending money on produce. If something is known to be full of dangerous pesticides, think about buying that organic. If something is clean, you might be able to get away with saving a little money. Ideally, we would buy everything organic. It is better for us and the earth but I understand that it is also very expensive. Once again, be 100% smart.
If you eat animal products, I highly encourage you to learn exactly what has to happen to get that animal to your plate. Not just what happens to the animal, learn about what happens to the environment. Learn how eating animals can affect your health, then use what you learn to make 100% smarter choices.
If you want to live your life to your fullest, learn to live 100% smart. And include a lot of raw foods in your diet!