*this is an excerpt from Kristen's Raw website (www.kristensraw.com) on how to start transitioning to a high raw diet...and how easy it is!
Kristen Suzanne was a competitive natural bodybuilder in her early 20's and has been 100% vegan since 2002. At that time, she was approximately 50% Raw, with her cooked foods comprising mostly tofu, vegetables, and pasta. In 2005, Kristen migrated to being 75% Raw. Since 2006, she has been 95% Raw. In Raw Foodism parlance, this equates to somebody eating almost only Raw meals AND/OR attempting to always eat Raw meals that may contain very small amounts of an ingredient that isn't Raw (spices are a common example, as it's not always easy to ascertain how a spice was dried or prepared).
Some Raw Foodists are careful in their attempt to be 100% Raw, which we support. Wherever possible on the site, we strive to make clear whether recipes or other resources are 100% Raw or merely High Raw.
On this site, we recognize the value of incrementalism, and we're aware that all people are different, have different priorities, and that we're all at different places along our journey through life. So while we appreciate (and often personally strive for) being 100% Raw (at least most of the time), we know that sometimes that doesn't happen, despite the clear health benefits. We therefore embrace the notion of what is often called the "High Raw" diet, which typically refers to an all vegan diet (no meat, dairy, or eggs) that is 75-80% Raw or more. That said, we fully support 100% Raw Foodism.
How to Get Started
Remember that your choices are abundant on this diet. You can eat a lot or a little. It works for everyone! And, I mean everyone! You can do this a variety of ways. These steps alone will get you eating about 50% Raw foods and well on your way to superior health.
Here's One Way to Do It
Adding Raw foods to your everyday diet:
1. Start your day with 16 oz of pure water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Then have a powerful, nutrient-packed green juice, or smoothie made with greens such as kale and fruit such as apples.
2. Begin lunches and dinners with a salad and some fresh homemade Raw dressing, maybe dress the salad up with avocado or soaked nuts/seeds. Another option is to have Raw soup as a starter before your meal.
If you snack, eat fresh fruit or raw vegetable sticks, and/or drink fresh, powerful nutrient-packed green juices as between meal snacks instead of other snacks. Drink pure water between meals.
Reducing or eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet:
1. Start by reducing or eliminating junk food, packaged snacks, fried foods, caffeine, alcohol, white sugar, and white flour. Here is the first step: Go through your cabinets and just throw them away. Don't say, "I'll just eat these but not replace them," actually toss them out. Ceremoniously, if you like. Your life is about to change.
2. Then reduce or eliminate animal products, especially red meat and pasteurized dairy products.
3. Then reduce or eliminate cooked starches, especially wheat.
Another Way to Do It
(This is the way that I found worked best for me.)
Start out by picking just one day a week to eat 100% Raw. You'll see how easy it is and how amazing you feel that you'll be excited to do that more than one day a week, maybe two to three days.
After that, you start increasing to one week straight, then two weeks, then up to a month (leaving a little wiggle room here and there, for times you just "can't" do it, perhaps due to social situations). Just find what works for you. The reason this plan worked better for me, as opposed to the method described above for gradually adding Raw food into each day's diet, was that I was finding it too hard to give up the addictive cooked food. I found that, if I had even just a little bit of cooked food in the course of a day, it was a slippery slope — it made me want to eat more and more cooked food, despite knowing how unhealthy it was.
I worked much better for me to completely eliminate all cooked food for just one day, initially. My ultimate goal was to eat 100% Raw most of the time, with an occasional cooked meal. To do that, I had to have days that were solid Raw. I noticed that it was during the 100% Raw days that I felt the best and I soon became addicted to that high energy, waking up without headaches, feeling so great that I couldn't stop smiling. Over time, quickly at that, I became close to 100% (reserving a couple of percentage points for times when the situation still required some flexibility).
Finally, whichever way you choose that I just discussed, you'll ultimately (hopefully) start living a predominantly Raw lifestyle that will knock your socks off. It's important that you learn how to make foods and meals that replace your current diet and learn how to make Raw food prep EASY! Saturate yourself with this knowledge — it's a lifestyle more than a diet — and it will become second nature. You'll be SO HAPPY you did! Everything in your life will improve! The words "fitness" and "health" will take on whole new meanings because you'll experience them in ALL areas of your life. You'll be physically fit, emotionally fit, and mentally fit. I promise!
Some smart next steps for you to follow would be to:
1. Check out my books (and ebooks if you want to save trees!). I've written them to make Raw food extremely EASY for beginners, but the books also cover a lot of exciting new ground for people who are more famliar with Raw. If you're really excited about getting started and really want to understand the essentials, then I highly recommend you start with this one.
2. Also, you'll want to get some basic equipment: a blender, juicer, and food processor. Also consider purchasing a dehydrator.
3. And, Nike says it best… Just Do It!