If you’re thinking about beginning a plant-based lifestyle, congrats! I can personally attest to how amazing it makes you feel. AH-MAZE-ANG! For anyone who is new to it, my biggest and best advice is to take it slow! This is not a “diet” – this is a change in lifestyle, not a race to the finish line. Here are some tips that may help you along the way:
Being the Type A personality that I am, it took me quite some time to realize that I did not have to jump into raw foods 100% at the start. The benefits of changing even one meal to raw have been touted over and over again. For example: if you have a raw food smoothie for breakfast (see this delicious raw smoothie recipe video I did!), a salad and baked potato for lunch, and whatever you want for dinner… that’s 50% of your meals that you ate raw! If you begin to eat this way – and then eat clean for the rest of your meals – you will surely reap the benefits and see major changes in your inner and outer health and appearance.
To those who say to me, “Going raw is so hard!” I say, “Really? How hard is it to pick up a banana?”
All those gourmet recipes you see people creating? You do not have to start out with that! Incorporating more raw foods into your meals is as simple as peeling an orange! Breakfast? Lots of fruit! Snack? Raw bell peppers and raw hummus! Dinner? A huge helping of kale salad (Mmmmmm… KALE SALAD! So delicious! Check out this video about how to make it). It does NOT have to be complicated, I promise!
Which costs more… filet mignon or fresh mango? I’m just sayin’. It’s all about perspective.
Some say that it’s too expensive to go raw. While Whole Foods aisles can be truly blissful, no one says you need to shop there all the time! There are amazing cost-saving options that can help: Asian markets have amazing, inexpensive produce. Wal-Mart has organic fruits and veggies for less. Farmers markets give you access to local growers and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture – a great way to buy food in bulk and in season directly from farmers!)
Dehydrators, Vitamixes, lemon zesters… WHAT?!? Most people believe that going raw will cost thousands of dollars in equipment alone! The truth, however, is that you don’t need all this stuff to get started. A blender, a good cutting knife and a cutting board is all you need. Will you eventually buy more as you begin to experiment with different raw recipes? Sure, and you should look forward to that! For now, however, do not let the price tags of these toys defer you. Start simple and grow from there.
Here’s the BEST thing about plant-based living… you get to play with your food!
Have you ever tried mulberries? Lychees? Dragonfruit? Asparagus? Nori? Well, now’s the time. All those fruits and veggies that you’ve been wondering about? Try them! Experiment! Branch out and see what produce you like. See what you DON’T like (so you know for future reference). Check out raw recipes on YouTube. Go to the library and check out raw food books.
Eat. Play. Love!
Questions, comments, things to add? Feel free to post them below!