It has been my observation over the years that many people looking to transition from old habits to new ones overlook a few key components. The tendency for many of us is to overcomplicate the health equation by placing our focus on the influx of new information bombarding us every day. I invite and encourage those who are in a transitionary phase to exercise ease, grace, and flow in their lives by focusing on one thing at a time. I offer these three simple and fundamental transition tools from my book The Life Food Peak Performance System as bridges each of us can cross right away.
1: Understanding Food Cravings: The reason people on raw food diets (or any diet) sometimes binge on plant-based ice creams, cookies, fudges, macaroons, pies, and other snacks is because it contains a lot of fat, protein, and sugar. These options are head and shoulders above the snack foods we had available in the old days, but understand the concentration of these ingredients together over a short time will lead to constipation and lymphatic stagnation. Be mindful of when you are shopping at the health food store and see that packaged raw snack or ice cream. Take a moment to evaluate the context of the attraction before you immediately throw it in your cart. I can say this because I have been guilty of this scenario far more times than was physically comfortable. These are transitionary tools to help us move along to the next phase in our health progress and can still be enjoyed from time to time. Make sure to create the distinction between an old food craving showing up as a plant-based replacement and a genuine desire to have a healthy snack.
Remember, it is far better for the body to softly steam some vegetables than eat too many nuts, seeds, and heavy fats to fill all of your caloric needs. In your pursuit of nutrition find your balance point. I find when many people get wrapped up in being 100% raw they will resort to clogging foods in order to refrain from cooked options that may provide more health in any given scenario.
2: Hydration: The number one rule of health is hydration. The answer to most health quandaries begins, and many times ends, with hydration. The most common cause of malnutrition, constipation, brain fog, low energy levels, and hunger pains is a lack of hydration. The first action of your day besides tongue scraping should be drinking ½ to 1 liter of clean water. This reenergizes the body by increasing the electrical voltage of your nervous system by the conductive nature of water. This allows enzyme production to take place as well as increasing peristalsis for keeping stool flow consistent for elimination. When in doubt about what to eat next, simply drink a glass of water and wait 10–20 minutes for signs of genuine hunger. You will then know if you were really hungry or simply dehydrated.
3. Food Allergies: A rule of thumb is to avoid the most common allergenic foods which are corn, soy, peanuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, and refined sugar. Some people may find they are allergic to common nightshades which would include potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, hot peppers, pimentos, huckleberries, goji berries, tomatillos, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Finding foods that can easily replace allergenic foods are important. Look for foods that share the resemblance of taste, shape, texture, and preparation for easily replacements, an example would be trading in white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Trading in cheese for avocados. Trading in milk for nut/seed milks. When we upgrade one option for another it empowers us to keep making profound changes in our lives. Examine the current foods that do not agree with you and step by step begin replacing them.