Human beings aren’t perfect, and even though some of us may have stronger will power than others, we may still on occasion slip up.
If you have been eating mostly raw foods for a while, people sometimes do go back to cooked foods. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as: travelling, family or friend pressure, illness or just plain boredom.
So I’ve listed a few of the main reasons for going “off” raw food…so now how do you get back?
Firstly, ask yourself, “do I really want to eat mostly raw foods again?”
This is the most important bit because if you have no willpower to do it, you will struggle. Begin by noticing, just like you did at the beginning, how does cooked food make you feel compared to raw food. Feel that heaviness in your stomach after you have had a big cooked meal, feel how tired you get and/or how bloated and gassy. Now recognise how light and full of energy you are after a raw meal. Was this simple exercise enough to convince you?
If you are travelling, it is often the case that you feel like you have no choice in food matters. When I recently went to Peru, I practically lived off potatoes, pasta and cheese (as our guide told us not to eat raw under any circumstances) and ended up putting on 5kg in 11 days and couldn’t wait to come home…I dreamt of the taste of fresh cucumbers! If it’s a short holiday, it’s ok to slip up once in a while, you obviously want to try the specialities of the new region and that can be an exciting part of the trip. You will most likely get back into raw food easily when you get home since little time has passed and you will feel quite heavy and crave salads.
If you have moved country, it can get tougher if you are the kind of person who likes to try traditional foods. This is what I’m like, and when I moved to Bali 2 months ago, I kind of went crazy with all the AMAZING restaurants and ended up putting on even more weight than in Peru. I even started eating sugar again, which I haven’t done for years.
The first thing you need is a wake up call.
Yes, you notice yourself feeling heavy but for some people that may not be enough. The trigger could be seeing a photo of yourself in your swimming costume and realizing how much weight you put on, or it could be a stranger on the street congratulating you on your “pregnancy”, or it could even be an acne breakout or an illness – let hope you don’t get to this stage!
Next, stop buying stuff in supermarkets that isn’t raw!
This is my #1 rule – if it’s not in your kitchen cupboard, you will not have such a strong urge to eat it. Making sure it’s not in your kitchen in the first place, greatly reduces your chances of munching on chips instead of flax crackers.
Thirdly, start calling yourself a raw vegan again
By saying it out loud, it makes your body believe it is true, plus it somehow helps psychologically.
Make a visual reminder for yourself
How about putting a post-it note on your mirror with a nice positive quote about raw food or health. You can even have a reminder to take with you, for example, pick a bracelet and associate it with raw food, so every time you look at it, you will think of raw food.
Call on your friends for support
If you’re out for lunch with them, get them to remind you to order living foods and pick restaurants with good raw options. Support from our friends and family can really make a huge difference. If you stopped eating raw because of your friends to begin with, then maybe it’s time to eat out with them less, or build up the courage to explain to them that your health is important to you so you will order raw food every time you guys go out. They will give up trying to change you after a while, and if they don’t, maybe they are not the best people for you to be hanging out with. Our true friends are those who have our best interest in mind, even if they don’t understand or agree with our choices.
Another way you could go about it is by going cold turkey
Just stop eating all cooked foods and stick to it for at least a month (after a month your body develops a habit out of the thing that you repeatedly do). This is what I did because Im the kind of person that has little willpower when I feel like I can eat anything I want…I also set up a food diary with the idea of posting my results on the blog, which gave me extra motivation to stick to it.
Last but not least, watch motivational raw food videos and read some raw food books.
Go on YouTube and find some speakers that you resonate with (e.g. FullyRaw Kristina or Russell James for some recipe ideas) and listen to them as you’re getting ready for work in the morning. Watch films such as Food for Thought or Forks over Knives that will really help motivate you to stick to being raw. We all know this stuff, but sometimes it really helps getting a reminder once in a while – it will make you go “YEAH thats why I started in the first place!”
Best of luck to you on your raw food journey, I promise that you will start to feel the difference after just a couple of days, so you will no longer need to find motivators. Enjoy your food, enjoy your life!
I am now on my second week of my raw food detox and its going great. Second time round it was so much easier giving up cooked and sweet foods, it only took about 2 days of really trying to beat my cravings. I’ve noticed that Ive lost some weight which has greatly boosted my confidence levels and made me want to continue with my detox plan. I still don’t feel like Im limiting myself to anything, I know I can eat what I want but I just choose not to. I must confess I had one cooked meal (super healthy) since I began and it gave me a headache RIGHT away, so I think from now on, if I have something cooked, I will make sure that at least half of that meal is raw.