How to Transition to Raw: 7 Phases

The following is an excerpt from my book “From SAD (Standard American Diet) to RAW – how to transition to a high vibrational lifestyle”.

Its information I think everyone needs, and this is my honest advice. If you like this, please subscribe, like to stay in touch on Facebook, or watch for my book to appear soon – as it will include tons of recipes, transitional tips, and basically everything anyone could want to know who is interested in changing their life and adopting a predominantly raw foods diet.

How to Transition

This is a tough part for most people. If you’re transitioning from the Standard American diet, chances are you’ve been eating this way for a long time.

The reason detoxification can be a difficult process is because your cells and entire physical makeup are made up of what you have consumed in the past. Every 30 – 90 days all of the cells in your body are replaced, but releasing years of waste and toxic sludge from unhealthy foods can cause cravings, emotional detox, and physical withdrawals from these unpleasant foods.

The wonderful thing is, there’s no reason to fear detoxification. In fact, it is a wonderful gift to be able to regenerate and renew once accumulation is eliminated and real foods are consumed instead. The chance to physical, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally ‘rebirth’ are gifts which will allow you to really gain a new perspective or fresh start if you are open to it.

That said, there are many ways to transition to a predominantly or fully raw and vegan lifestyle. If you’d like to avoid strong detoxification ‘cleansing’ effects which accompany removing years of accumulated waste, it’s best to transition with foods that are of higher vibration, more nutrition, and easier to digest. You will still be removing acidosis, alkalizing, and healing, but at a lesser rate than you might experience with raw foods.

If a standard American diet is comprised of mostly refined, white, and starchy foods, high amounts of fake sugar, and little to no nutritional value, you have the option to start slow or jump in like the minority of individuals have.

Either way, there is no ‘wrong’ method to transition. Feel free to take these steps at a pace that feels right to you.

**Mentioned recipes will be available in my book “From SAD to RAW – how to transition to a High Vibrational Lifestyle”**

 

 

Phase 1) A great step is to first eliminate soda and fast food for two weeks. Go at a rate that suits you if you are embarking on this journey alone. I’m always a fan of going cold turkey, but there are times you need to listen to your body’s intuition and if you have to take a step back to take two steps forward in the future, do it! Never regret mishaps on the journey, as you are doing yourself the biggest favor you could ever do for yourself and your loved ones: finally embracing change. Never fear asking for help, either. There are reasons we are each called to do something individually suited for our talents – coaches like myself and other trained individuals can help coach you through the detoxification, teach you tricks to cope, and help instill an entire lifestyle change with positive reinforcement.

Many are fearful of eliminating foods because they feel they have to miss out. If you are a soda addict, use my recipe on page __ for Raw Cherry ‘Coke’, or the recipe for Orange Soda on page ___ for alternatives that you can drink as much as you want of. These drinks are not only delicious, but have great healing benefits and are wonderful alternatives.

Also, during this transition, you’ll have to start learning how to plan ahead, and if you’re not eating fast food, choosing more ‘whole food’ options that have not been cooked in a fryer will be necessary. The next step will include more changes to your actual dietary consumption.

 

 

Phase 2) Once that week or two is up, it’s time to move more into what you can start adding and eliminating. Three words: Eat REAL Foods. If it has an ingredient you cannot pronounce, don’t eat it. If the package contains chemicals your grandma would have no idea about, don’t consume it. If it was grown in a laboratory, not in the Earth’s crust, don’t ingest it. Catching my drift?                 Real foods aren’t boring! In fact, after I went vegan, I realized there were SO many more foods that exist on this earth than I ever realized! Varieties of heirloom vegetables, hundreds of grains, exotic fruits, nuts and seeds galore, and whole sources of poultry and fish can be consumed during this period.

The point is to get you to a point where you feel comfortable consuming real, wholesome, and healthy foods which have had little to NO processing, do not come in packaged containers, and are full of more nutrition and vitamins than most likely previously consumed.

A great tool to remember what to eat is that you should shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This includes all the fresh produce, optional –non chemically cooked – poultry or fish (very rare, perhaps 1-3 x per week in this phase), and bulk options – like grains, nuts, and seeds.

During this transitional phase, practice eating heartily of foods while experimenting with all the flavors and tastes that can be created from nature’s foods. A plethora of cookbooks are available to inspire your creative chef in the kitchen, and you’ll come to realize that vegetarian or vegan foods don’t have to be boring.

Take this time to experiment and dine out at a few of well-reviewed vegan restaurants. Just shifting your mindset that plant based diets are boring can really inspire creative flow and excitement to continue to make progress in your journey to well-ville.

This stage is very individual, no doubt it is much healthier than the Standard American Diet and because a lot of the main sources of toxicity are being removed, almost everyone feels better on a plan like this. However, inevitably there is a plateau of health benefits received, and that’s why it’s imperative to continue achieving vitality by constantly striving to a cleaner and more regenerating diet, especially if you are concerned with your health.

 

Phase 3:Go Vegetarian. No, don’t cry, this is a fun part. It’s actually very easy if you’ve been sticking to Phase 2 for at least a month of two (if you haven’t dived in like I did). It’s a very important stage to educate yourself on the benefits of going vegetarian are. This will help you stay committed to enhancing not only your health, but the health of the world. Some very important documentaries to view:

Earthlings

Food Matters

Forks over Knives

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Hungry for Change

 

And very imperative reads to further your strength in the science behind longevity and vegetarian/vegan diets:

The China Study by Dr. Colin T Campbell

Joel Furhman’s works

The Detoxification Miracle Sourcebook – Dr. Robert Morse

80/10/10 by Dr. Douglas Graham

 

 

Others may inspire you, like vegetarian or vegan bloggers, YouTube success stories (look up Bill Barlow as well as Dave the Raw Food Trucker), or you may find inspiration from people you know, your own realizations, or reviewing the plethora of scientific studies which continually support the benefits of a plant based lifestyle and utilizing food as medicine.

As you continue to change your lifestyle, you will inevitably start to feel like a mental fog or cloud is being lifted. Almost everyone experiences a burst of energy, improved ‘symptoms’ of a wide variety of illnesses, and renewed passion for life. By optimizing your diet, you are taking a stand against accepting sickness, and instead using preventative measures to reclaim your God-given right to a vibrant life.

If you feel you need meat-like products, opt for companies like Field Roast which is mainly a mix of vegetables and grains, minimal soy or tofu products, and hearty plant foods like legumes and grains.

 

Phase 4:Opt for 50% Raw

This is also another fun phase. I always recommend starting out Breakfast with a Green Smoothie, like the one found on Page ____. Include this EVERY day instead of your typical ‘oatmeal’ or toast, for example. Carry an abundance of fresh, ripe fruit as a snack, and plan ahead your meals for work and travel. (Excitingly enough, you’ll also notice an improvement of cognitive function and zest for life).

         Invest in a raw food demonstration class, where you get to view and get excited about creating your own foods. (See a list of helpful kitchen tools to have on hand on page ___) The more you learn, the more you’ll want to utilize your skill, thus creating habit.

      Continue in this phase working to a level where you are shooting for 60-70% raw. To do this, start by having Breakfast ALL raw, and then adopt an all raw lunch or dinner. Pretty soon you’ll continue to feel the urge to eat more raw foods. If it helps, keep a journal and plan ahead what you will eat, what you want to eat, and how you need to prepare to stay at a predominately raw level.

 

Phase 5:Cutting out Grains and leaping into 75% raw

Did you know that grains are highly acidic and irritating to the mucosa of the gastro-intestinal tract? Most people are gluten intolerant (found in grains such as wheat and rye) and automatically lose an average or 10-15 pounds when cutting them out.

Grains also cause the villi of the intestines to become clogged and thus stopping the absorption of minerals and nutrients through the gastrointestinal wall. Excessive thinness and malnutrition can result, also, bloating, and weight gain are linked to grains.

While certain cultures prevail with longevity from consuming grains, their success is linked to a high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein diet. Keep in mind, there is a difference between surviving and thriving, and we have reached a state that in order to regenerate and reverse genetic weakness, opting out of consuming destructive grains is essential, at least until the body has completely cleansed and healed itself.

 

Most find that after 2 weeks of no grains, their cravings dramatically diminish or reduce. I was an avid bread lover and thought I could never give it up, but after transitioning to eating Ezekiel (sprouted grain) bread, then raw ‘dehydrated bread’, then to no replacement at all, I found I never wanted it. It’s a journey, but you’ll find change gets easier at a pace that works for you.

 

If you decide you like the added punch grains give, sprout them and turn them into a vegetable! They develop a slightly sweet and nutty taste, are far easier to digest, and have way more nutrition.

 

Phase 6:Maintain an 80% raw, 20% cooked vegan diet for optimal health.

Keep in mind this is a journey, a transition which will not always be easy, but it will be worth it. The GOAL is to, over a period of time, maintain a diet which is high in raw, plant based cuisine, and low in dead, cooked foods. By all means, though, enjoy the 20% which you do choose to eat (which most people consume less and less of after they start to become one with their body’s intuition) because it digests far better if you enjoy it, rather than stress about not being ‘perfect’. It is not a competition, only a road to a place called ‘well-ville’, where you will experience amazing health.

                With an abundance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and leafy greens (as well as miscellaneous ‘foods’) it’s easier than ever to create alternatives of cooked favorites when staying raw. Pizza, burgers, ‘cheesy’ choices, and more are easier than ever to make. You’ll feel wonderful, develop a great sense of intuition, and really feel the change that can happen when you feed your body high vibrational foods that regenerate tissue and alkalize the body.

                I talk in the next phase the ratio for optimal longevity – but in this phase it’s great to try for a 60-70% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 15% fat ratio. 

Raw Burger, onion rings, and raw cherry 'coke'!

Phase 7:Simplify and beat the plateau.

I’ve talked on my website about overcoming the plateau stage most experience when on a raw and vegan diet. Because the ‘gourmet’ raw food world loves to emphasize nut-heavy dishes, lots of sweets, and bad food combinations, the ‘high’ from a raw food diet seems to last only 6 months to a year, and then health can stay at a level higher than the Standard American diet, but lower than possible with a simplified raw foods diet.

As I’ve mentioned, the book “80/10/10” is one of the best books regarding the optimal ratio of a raw food diet. This means that 80% of calories are consumed from carbohydrates, 10% from protein, and 10% from fat. You can not only thrive, but surpass many limitations that accompany a diet too high in fat. While I’m not completely in agreement with all lifestyle protocols recommended by Dr. Doug Graham, everyone can benefit from a lifestyle that is high in healing fruit, plenty of sunshine, lots of rest, moderate play (exercise), and low stress.

Because every individual does have a unique spin to their genealogy, feel free to experiment with the foods and ratios that help you feel your best.

 

Experience your best health with raw foods, and if you have any questions, always seek an experienced professional in the art of detoxification and raw foods to guide you through the various healing crisis’ that can happen on a raw food diet. Always be confident and at peace, realizing that these signs are your body’s natural way of cleaning and restoring what unhealthy lifestyle choices can cause.