My travels in Baja Sur were fantastic. I got lots of sunshine, spent time at the beach, and ate a ton of fresh, organic, tropical fruit, and even picked some of it myself which was quite a treat. I ended up doing four health talks in Mexico and there were almost 50 people who attended the last one at a community garden in La Paz, Mexico. They asked a lot of great questions and expressed gratitude that I came to their part of the world to share this kind of information with them. What a great experience!
I’m currently in Oklahoma visiting my best friend who has two beautiful children, age 6 and age 3. She asked me to come to Tulsa and transform her family’s diet so we’ve spent the past week grocery shopping for organic produce (as well as many pantry items she’s never heard of), in addition trying a lot of new raw food recipes with familiar flavors in the kitchen. Tonight was pizza with an avocado base instead of tomato sauce, topped with raw marinated vegetables. The other night we had zucchini noodle pasta with a raw marinara sauce and raw vegan banana strawberry ice cream for dessert. In general, the recipes have been a hit with the family, but her three year old is a tough sell!
What I have learned after working one on one with a family that is completely new to raw foods, is that the thought process around food and eating has to shift, in addition to the recipes and ingredients. Here are my tips for anyone trying to wrap their heads around shifting their diet to include more raw foods.
Make Time For Food
For most of us, food has become little more than an afterthought. It’s something we fit in between doing other more “important” things on our schedule. There’s always the temptation to just grab something here or pick up something there, but eating fresh and vibrant foods involves a mental shift where you start prioritizing food and the process of making food, as an important part of your schedule and regular routine. Most people spend their lives sacrificing their health for wealth and then later in life end up spending their wealth to regain their health. Don’t get caught up in this familiar cycle.
Invest In Your Health
There’s nothing wrong with being cost conscious, but when it comes to feeding yourself and your family, you want high-quality and non-toxic food going into your body three times a day. Grocery items are usually cheap, because they are made with cheap and oftentimes toxic ingredients. And big box stores like Walmart and wholesaler distributors like Sam’s and CostCo specialize in offering large quantities of cheap (and often toxic) food for public consumption. It’s time to increase the line item for food and grocery in your budget and stop cringing at the thought of a higher grocery bill each week. You can afford to eat in a way that honors your body and your health. Consider this a short term investment in the long term health of you and your family.
Get Ready to Indulge
Eating “healthy” these days is often associated with weight loss, counting calories and obsessing over ratios of macronutrients (e.g. carbs, fats, protein). The fun part about eating more fruits and vegetables is that you can eat them in abundance and be assured that you are filling your body with tons of nutrients and that weight loss will naturally occur because raw foods have a high water content and are naturally low in calories. Abundance…indulgence…these are great words aren’t they? Many of the dishes I make include things like raw almond butter, coconut oil, and avocado and taste sinfully delicious. It’s hard for people to accept that anything that tastes so rich and good, could be could for you! So I’ve found that’s a huge mental hurdle people have to cross when transitioning their diet.