The Journey to Rawdom can be a very long and winding one, especially if you don't have an experienced guide accompanying you. In fact, my own journey took five years to go raw in the first place (it doesn't have to take this long!), and I've spent the remaining eight years analysing and making sense of all the ins-and-outs so that I can distill them into simple wisdom and how-to steps and hand them over to others walking this path.
As spring is very much in the air, many of you now, especially those of you new to raw food or those who have been dabbling for a few weeks, months or even years, may be feeling particularly inspired to get going or put more effort into finally going raw.
With this in mind, I have decided that it's the perfect time to offer you the opportunity to work with me (free, through this blog) to start the journey towards making raw food a part of your life forever.
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting a coaching exercise every Monday through Friday (we all deserve the weekend off!) which will help you create - step-by-easy-step - a raw food lifestyle that works for you and your life the way it is today.
In the first part of this special coaching project, we'll be starting right at ground zero. The early questions may appear basic but your answers will be far reaching - just trust the process!
2) How many meals you want to eat per day (more important than it sounds!).
What follows today and for the days and weeks to come I see as central to making your raw life work for you, this is a project I believe every aspiring raw food fan should set to work on – it can literally make all the difference between going raw and staying raw, or flailing around making the same mistakes and hitting the same brick walls for months or years to come, as I did. By Friday, providing you do each exercise the day it comes in, you will be have completed Stage One and be clear on the following...
What follows today and for the days and weeks to come I see as central to making your raw life work for you, this is a project I believe every aspiring raw food fan should set to work on – it can literally make all the difference between going raw and staying raw, or flailing around making the same mistakes and hitting the same brick walls for months or years to come, as I did.
By Friday, providing you do each exercise the day it comes in, you will be have completed Stage One and be clear on the following...1) Why you want to improve your eating habits.
3) How much of these you want to comprise of raw foods.
4) What foods you actually want to eat (as part of this we will also make sure that you are eating from a wide variety of sources.)
And once these foundational things have been established you'll be all set to move on to Stage Two, which is where things get really interesting!
In this first session of Stage One we’re going to begin taking a look at the basics. For this session you’ll need a pen or pencil, some paper or a notebook (if you're really serious about this you'll probably want to get a special book just for this project), or if you prefer to run your life electronically, a computer or similar.
You’ll need to allow 15-20 minutes of quiet, undisturbed thinking time to work effectively through this session. Ready?
Step 1: Ask yourself “why?”
Vision and motivation are two of the key ingredients for sticking to a new, improved habit or lifestyle choice. It’s vital that before you begin to get stuck into the what’s, where’s, how’s and when’s of this project, that you answer the why’s first. Quite simply, if you don’t know why you are doing something you are much more likely to quit.
On a clean sheet of paper take 10 minutes to answer the following questions:
1) What are my motivators? (Examples: Health, energy, ethical/moral/environmental concerns, no cooking, health of spouse or family, etc)
2) What specific benefits am I looking for? (Examples: Clear skin, strong nails, more energy, positive outlook, shiny hair, weight loss, more time, detoxification, etc.)
3) What positive affect do I see for my life overall as a result of making these changes? (Examples: Colourful living foods kitchen, tasty new meal options, experimenting with new recipes and new foods, healthy dinner parties for friends and family, learning a new skill or teaching others about healthy living, growing my own food, becoming a raw food chef, teaching my children about health, etc.)
Now you’ve listed those things that are pulling you towards eating more healthily, now take some time to think about the things that are pushing you towards your goal - those things that are forcing your hand whether you like it or not, such as: poor health, lack of energy, depression, boredom with food, weight issues, bingeing on junk food, your family’s health problems, cooking smells, and so on.
4) So with the above in mind, take another 5-10 minutes to list all those pushes pertinent to you.
Now you have all your pushes and pulls itemised, you should feel very clear about why you are doing this.
However, if for some reason, your reasons do not quite seem compelling enough, don't despair, you just need to dig a little deeper. In fact, this feeling is quite common, especially for those who have been raw before but who can't seem to get back there again, because often the reasons we list are for the most part generated by our *mind*.
Going raw, I have found, is about something much deeper, ultimately, than simply choosing to eat more healthily (a mind thing). If you really want to get the juice from the experience you need to enquire within your heart and soul to find what will take you there and keep you there. Bottom line: You need a big enough why.
I discovered this myself after almost a year of trying to get back to being 100% raw after 2 years off. I finally realised that my reasons had changed to what they were originally, way back when, but I had not made that connection and was wondering why I was struggling to make it happen. Quite simply, my why had become deeper, wider and taller than before but I had not excavated it. I needed to find and name my new BIG WHY before I could get going again - and it worked!
Realising this may be enough for you also to have that "aha" moment that we all long for when trying to move to another level in our development or diet. If you have got this far and do genuinely feel that you want to go raw, then something within you is calling you, and it may not necessarily look or feel as you expected, but it is there. Get quiet, go within, feel the stillness and listen for your why. It's there waiting for you. Once you've found it, you'll have the best talisman in your backpack that you will ever need - a burning desire to keep you moving forward when the going gets tough (and it may) - your big why.
So, further along the journey, if ever doubt should creep in, or when times get testing, you will have something to refer to to inspire you and push you on. Keep adding to this list as new things come to mind, not just today but over the next few weeks as well. It’s time very well spent.
And finally, your last step: Reward Yourself! So you may not be interested on a carrot at the end of a stick (me neither), but how about treating yourself to an alphonso mango? (These are the orange-skinned kidney-shaped Indian mangoes that have the most amazing, intense flavour). They’re now in the shops and are, as ever, looking and tasting really good. If you’ve never had one before, treat yourself today! Don’t you deserve it?
Get the idea? Are you feeling inspired and ready to go?
If you feel ready and want to work with me on this, then please print this page off, complete the exercise above and tomorrow we'll continue building the foundations by looking at your daily routine.
Have fun with this - that's what it's all about!