Why would anyone want to give up yummy baked treats or hot warming comfort food to eat raw fruits and veggies for the rest of their life?
It turns out you need a pretty strong reason or reasons to go and stay 100% raw. If you don’t have a strong enough reason it’s going to be an uphill battle watching on as everyone else around you indulges in cooked food delights.
But the reasons for adopting a fully raw vegan diet are so compelling that many, including myself, are willing to forgo comfort foods and the discomfort of going against the grain (excuse the pun!) for outrageous health and wellbeing.
But 100% raw is so restrictive, I hear you thinking…
Why not high raw, which would allow you the ‘freedom’ of some cooked food at night?
Well, having tried both food styles, in my experience high raw, while providing so many benefits over a standard western diet is still second rate to 100% raw.
If you want to experience some great benefits then high raw might be for you. But in my experiments over the last few years I’ve found that I still experience some annoying symptoms on a diet where I include some cooked rice, tubers, hummus etc.
Here they are as follows:
1) I can never seem to stay really high raw. Once I eat cooked food the addiction kicks in and I just want to eat more and more of it.
2) I tend to overeat on cooked food. It just doesn’t satiate me like a fully raw meal does.
3) The above is a big problem because if I overeat I get reflux and this interrupts my sleep at night and causes a host of other problems.
4) I tend to put on weight eating some cooked food. This may be because I’m inclined to put salt on my cooked foods and therefore end up overeating and gaining weight.
5) I get very mucousy when I eat cooked grains.
6) I eat less fruit and feel compelled to eat more fats for calories and then I get symptoms like acne breakouts, and an itchy feeling ‘down there’.
7) I feel sluggish and have to push myself to exercise.
8) I don’t sleep as well.
9) My allergies return
But going 100% raw is a challenge if you’re not really clear on the reasons why you’re doing it.
At the advice of long-time raw foodist, Roger Haeske, I developed a list of reasons why and make a practice of reading these first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Changing your old habitual eating patterns can be one of the most difficult things you will do in your life-time. But it’s so much easier when you have the motivation.
Roger has a great analogy, which has really helped me. He says going raw is like launching a rocket into outer space. You need a lot of fuel to launch a rocket. In going raw your fuel is motivation. Without strong motivation you’re never going to get that rocket off the ground. But once it’s up in space it hardly needs any fuel at all and there’s an ease and effortlessness about moving around in space.
Roger says the first 30 days are the most challenging, but if you can get through 30 days then it’s much easier after that.
On his website www.howtogoraw.com he has a bunch of compelling reasons people have for going raw based on the experiences of long-term raw foodies. I have adapted and added to them here for you…
51 Amazing Reasons to go 100% high fruit, low fat raw
1) It’s the ideal weight loss diet – Lose weight effortlessly and rapidly eating as much as you need to satisfy you. Some people may need to eat moderately in order to get to their desired weight, but compared to a standard western diet you can still eat large volumes of food.
2) Get to your ideal weight – Some people will get there slower or faster but all will find their optimal weight sooner or later on a fruit-based, low fat raw diet. Check out some of these super lean high fruit raw foodies: Julie Groenewald, Josh Tiska, Kristina Carillo-Bucaram and Roger Haeske. Basically there are no fat long-term fruitbased raw fooders. Period.
3) Look and feel years younger – Your skin will glow, joints will loosen, hair, eyes will all shine, taking years off you.
4) Heal and reverse all sorts of diseases in a relatively short period of time. There have been many, many cases of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, arthritis, asthma, allergies, chronic digestive disorders, acne, PMS and respiratory disorders that have been reversed through a raw food diet. I myself have healed a number of these.
5) Save money on doctors visits and drugs. You may never have to visit the doctor again.
6) Breathe deeply because you have cleared all mucus problems and sinusitis. Dr Doug Graham himself used to carry a box of tissues around with him permanently, which, for an athlete, must have been a real drag.
7) Improve your eyesight and throw away your glasses – Teri Leventhal was diagnosed early in life with vision problems. She was given a life-long script for contact lenses. After following a raw diet for a several months she had to remove them because she noticed that her eyesight had improved so much that the lenses were making her sight blurry. “I felt like superman when he had to take off his glasses,” she says.
8) Your eyes will shine and the whites of your eyes will be really white.
9) Your hair will regrow lustrous, shiny and thick.
10) Your nails will grow harder.
11) Experience easy elimination – complete sweet-smelling fruity stools
12) Experience, easy pain-free periods and a light flow each month. It’s true I don’t even notice when I’ve started my periods these days.
13) Lower your cholesterol after even a few months on a vegan diet.
14) Get over quickly or avoid colds and flues completely.
15) Get rid of infections easily without the use of antibiotics.
17) Experience perfect, silent, pain-free digestion
18) Lower your blood pressure naturally without drugs
19) Get rid of allergies
20) Dramatically improve your athletic performance through greatly improved energy levels and a drastically improved respiratory system.
21) Increase your aerobic fitness without even working out. The oxygen in raw fruits and vegies floods your whole body. (This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to also work out. Simply that the raw food diet gets you to an optimal starting place.)
22) Lower your body-fat percentage, which greatly increases your athletic efficiency and performance.
23) Achieve that flat tummy and thigh gap you’ve been desiring for all these years.
24) Experience rapid recovery from workouts because you have less lactic acid buildup.
25) Lower your pulse
26) Lower the rate of physical injuries from exercise
27) Play competitive sports at an older age.
28) Improve your physical endurance dramatically.
29) Increase your agility, reaction speed and strength.
30) Your tolerance to heat will improve – meaning that mid-summer temperatures and playing intense sports will no longer phase you. And you won’t need air-conditioning, saving you money and environmental costs of electricity.
31) Feel vibrantly happy on a cellular level
32) Power through your day, getting super-human amounts of work done. Have the energy and inspiration to want to work and be very efficient.
33) Achieve at a whole new level because you have crystal clear thinking and high levels of energy.
34) Dramatically increase your spiritual awareness, creativity and intelligence. Teri Leventhal also reports she moved up a whole grade point average when she went raw.
36) Defeat depression and moodiness. I used to experience real mood swings and feel irritable and cranky on a daily basis. I would eat rubbish foods to make me feel better (in the short term) and it would always make me feel much, much worse.
37) Get rid of obsessive-compulsive disorders – Chris Randall of www.realrawresults.com talks about how his OCD went away after a few months eating a raw food diet.
38) Eliminate mental fog. Feel clear about what you’re doing in every moment.
39) Save time by not having to prepare fancy meals, or wash up greasy pots and pans afterwards.
40) Save money on doctors bills and expensive supplements.
41) You’ll need less sleep, or function better with less sleep.
42) Earn more money because of your superior, energy, endurance, mental clarity and intelligence.
43) Experience a better sex life: Smell and look better to your partner, have longer lasting erections for men because the diet increases circulation (which applies to all body parts).
44) Be lean and healthy, which is very attractive to your partner.
45) Overcome impotence: “Meat-eaters are likely to become impotent because of damage caused to the artery system that supplies their penis with the blood that causes an erection. Erectile dysfunction is more often seen in men with elevated cholesterol levels and high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol – both conditions related to habitual meat-eating.” (Dr. John McDougall).
46) Eat the best diet for the planet environmentally. Fruit trees give the highest yield of any food for the space they take up. This means much more food grown in less space.
47) Dramatically reduce the need for packaging
48) Use far less make-up deodorants and soaps.
49) No animals have to die or be fed to keep you alive. Instead your diet will promote the growing of more fruit trees.
50) Save energy because you don’t cook any more.
51) Inspire others with your healthy, vibrant aura and super high energy levels.
Conclusion – So if you’re in any doubt about why you should go raw, keep coming back to this amazing list. Better still, write your own list of personal reasons and keep coming back to it regularly, especially when those cravings for cooked foods hit.
What are your top 5 compelling reasons for going raw? Please share your reasons in the comments section below…
Don’t miss out on articles like this, recipes, tips and tricks for success on a raw food diet. Please subscribe to my newsletter.
If you found this article interesting or useful and would like to share it with someone in your life, or with the world, I’m more than happy for you to do that! I just have one request – please copy and paste the message in its entirety, including my details below.
Anthea Frances is an author, raw food health coach and host of the Raw Life Summit series. Grab a copy of her free Balanced Raw Vegan Nutrition Checklist and start improving your health today!