Fed up of salads but don't want to become a raw food snack bar junkie either? Just a few key tweaks in your diet is all you need to take "OK" to great - I promise - and in this week's article I'm going to show you how!
One of the potential risks of going raw is that you buy into someone else's philosophy rather than evolving your own. Of course, it's oh-so-easy to do, especially when you're new to the subject and don't know where on earth to start, but beyond the short term it's like anything in life - if what you're doing is someone else's story, then you're simply not living and enjoying your own.
So while it's definitely important to make sure you know what raw food is and isn't about and how to get a well-rounded nutritionally sound raw diet, I would argue that it's just as important that you know what you like, nay LOVE, and bring as much of that into your diet as you'll allow yourself to.
Over the years I have come into contact with thousands of people at all stages of the raw food journey. One of the most common issues that everyone seems to encounter at one stage or another is boredom, especially when salads don't seem to hit the spot ALL the time. Sure, most of the time a good decent multi-dimensional salad with a great dressing can feel and taste perfect, and it's these that are one of the everyday keys to looking and feeling great, but what about those times where you just want something to get your teeth into, or something that feels really naughty or something that just tastes DIFFERENT? It's at these times that "know thyself" and "honour thyself" absolutely has to come into play. What follows is not a how-to article as usual, but a series of questions. Each of these will help you start the journey towards creating the perfect raw diet for you. There are certainly more questions to be asked, but these will help you get started in figuring out what's been missing for you and what you can begin to do about it.
So if you're ready, grab a pen and paper and prepare to excavate your foodie soul!
1) On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfying do you currently find your raw food diet?
2) If your score is less than 10, what would need to be true for you to bring it up to a 10? (TIP: Take some time with this, really get what it is for you).
3) What do you typically eat and drink in a day right now?
4) Next to each food or drink on your list, give it a score of 1 to 10, and highlight those items that you truly LOVE, noting down next to them exactly why. Next to those that scored really low, do the same thing, answering why.
5) Prior to the way you eat today, what did you used to eat or drink that you LOVED and sometimes/often miss?
6) What can you bring into your current menu that brings back or even improves on what you loved from the past, but in a more or all-raw form? (TIP: Don't just go on what you know is possible but also what you hope is possible - it probably is!)
7) What is your food personality or style? (e.g. fast or slow, does it have to look beautiful on the plate or does it just have to be good to go? Do you like some meals super quick and others much more fancy? Are you a sensual eater or a "just fill me up" eater?)
8) What elements do you think are missing from your menu? (TIP: Listen out for the first few words that spring to mind. They might be things like "warmth", "spice", "texture", "excitement", "crunch" etc.)
9) Anything else that is coming up for you as you work your way through these questions?
Finally - the fun bit - when you know what exactly it is you're missing, you can go looking for it! This means finding recipes or ingredients that you may never have tried before that fit your criteria perfectly, and the good news is, chances are you only need 5-10 new things in your life to make this true for you and they'll be so easy to find now that you know what they look like!
This step really is as simple as taking your raw food recipe book and/or your favourite online recipe resources and then selecting the recipes that meet your criteria. What fun you are going to have now, rather than flicking admiringly through a book never actually making anything! (Yes, I know who you are!)
Once you have your missing pieces of the puzzle, print them off and file them in a ring binder, ideally slipping them into a clear plastic file before doing so to protect them from spills. Give your binder a groovy name or cover it with mouth-watering pictures and you're all set for a whole new raw food reality!
The final step is, of course, trying the recipes...
I recommend you make a pact with yourself to try at least one new recipe per week, depending on your schedule. Literally block the time needed into your diary so you're committed and make sure you add the required ingredients to your shopping list.
Follow this formula and in no time at all you'll have a fully-rounded, whole-person-happy raw food diet that you LOVE. Just make sure you're 100% honest about what you enjoy and don't and how can this not be true for you?
This is how you take it to a ten.
© 2011 Karen Knowler WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at www.TheRawFoodCoach.com.