It’s officially Spring and it’s the best time of the year to detox. Eating a high percentage of raw food is considered to be one of the best ways to detox. But, if you don’t already eat a high raw diet you may be wondering how to get started on a raw food detox.
Karen Knowler, raw food coach, has been writing a series of articles that are aimed at people who want to go raw. She confesses that it took her 5 years to go completely raw but it does not have to take that long.
She explains that you should decide how much raw you want to eat. I believe that it’s often easier to ease into a new diet rather than jump into it with both feet. For one thing, if you are not used to eating a lot of raw food your digestive system is likely to rebel. For another, you may not be able to keep it up until you are used to the amount of produce you need to have ready and learn how to sprout.
Karen rightly points out that you should decide what you are going eat before you start. “You have to ADORE what you are eating”. It’s no good following a particular raw food detox diet plan if you don’t think you will like the food. Of course, there is nothing to stop you trying out a new food if you want to. Some new tastes take a bit of getting used to but your taste can and will change over time.
She give a list of foods that you might want to eat:
Tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, Brazil nuts, watercress, kale, lettuce, onion, avocado, nectarines, raspberries, bananas, mesquite powder, dates, nori sheets, coriander, Nature’s Living Superfood, macadamia nuts, almond butter, tahini, white cabbage, carrots, broccoli, red bell pepper, cashew nuts, almonds, hemp seeds (hulled), sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, sunflower greens, pumpkin seeds, Udo’s oil, olive oil, lemons, pure water.
You should eat as wide a variety of food as possible to get all the nutrients needed. Karen advised that you should make sure that you have at least 2 items from each of the following food groups on your list:
Fruit, green leafy vegetables, non-leafy vegetables, herbs, sprouted beans and seeds, Omega-rich seeds or oils, Nuts and seeds (soaked or unsoaked), Sea vegetables or algaes.
Here are Karen’s ideas of how to put it all together:
A good rule of thumb for breakfast is fruit (unless you have candida) – however much you want, whatever type/s appeal, until satiated. If fruit doesn’t fill you up enough or you’re looking for something else, then try a filling smoothie or nut milk.
Or how about soaking some large dried fruits (like prunes, apricots and apple rings) in water until plump and pouring on a nut milk or rice milk? These are good standard choices that are quick to make and result in minimal clean up.
A green smoothie is a particularly great way to start your day if you are up for it. Try about 5 or 6 large handfuls of baby spinach blended with 1 mango and see how delicious and easy they can be! After just 3 minutes of chopping and blending you’ll have in your hands one of the most potent things you could possibly take into your body (so it has to be organic!). If you eat/drink one green smoothie a day your cells will be singing in no time!
For lunch, I’m assuming you’re easing in, so try for 50/50. That would be something like a good quality sandwich made from wholemeal organic bread with a delicious raw filling such as avocado, tomato and cucumber. This was one of my favourite transitioning staples way back when.
I also loved banana sandwiches – no butter, just bread with lots of ripe banana laid between the slices – very filling and very delicious. Or if you’re eating out, then a good choice is a large jacket potato, no butter, but with a fresh coleslaw and side salad. I used to love smearing avocado inside my potato instead of butter – mmmm!
For dinner, again, try for 50/50 if you can. Select one favourite cooked item such as pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, cheese, veggie burger or whatever, and serve with a large salad or some lightly steamed vegetables with a raw dip. It’s really very easy when you think about it!
One of my favourite meals along these lines was a large bowl of cooked wholegrain rice mixed with chopped avocado, tomato, red bell pepper, onion, cucumber and sprinkled with lemon juice – absolutely scrummy! I ate it night after night after night.
Another favourite was boiled organic baby potatoes swirled in a mixture of olive oil, crushed garlic, finely chopped basil and lemon juice and served in a large bowl of green leaves with all manner of salad items around it. Both are delicious and filling and, in the grand scheme of things, very, very virtuous.
Raw food helps you to detox because it contains all the nutrients and antioxidants needed by the liver detox system. It’s high in fiber which helps with colon cleansing , a vital part of a raw food detox diet. When you eat fresh, light, easy to digest food your body can put all its energy into detoxing rather than digesting.