Five Practical Solutions For The Top Challenges to Staying on a Raw Food Diet Long-Term

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A vegan woman is standing in front of a bunch of fruits and vegetables.

questions-and-food-2Have you committed to a healthy raw foods, vibrant lifestyle, but find certain roadblocks along the way that derail your best intentions? If so, you are definitely not alone.

95% of people who go raw FAIL within the first few weeks. Why?

Over the past 27 years since committing to a raw food healthy lifestyle myself, and helping others to do the same, I began to notice repeating patterns of why most people fail with in in the long-term. So did my friend Nomi Shannon, author of The Raw Gourmet Book (and many others).

Together Nomi and I compiled answers to the most pressing questions people have about going and staying raw for the long haul, and we answered them in our new CD/Book combo

Raw Food: The Answers (How to Thrive Long Term)

Today  I ‘ll share share 5 of these strategies with you, right from the book.

Five Practical Strategies  for Thriving on a Raw Foods Diet

1. Supplements you probably need:

Get yourself a good B-complex vitamin (including B12), before it becomes a problem. The reason why it’s an issue for raw foodists in particular is because the best sources of B12 are animal-based. And if your diet is devoid of that, then a B12 deficiency can happen. So just prepare ahead of time.

The second supplement you need is Vitamin D (which comes from sunshine). Go out in the sun without sunscreen (but not so long to get burned) and let it shine on as much of your skin as possible. If that is still a challenge, then a Vitamin D supplement may be good to take as well.

Finally, make sure to get plenty of the Omega 3 EFA. My favorite source for this is chia seeds. You can take a small amount of chia seeds, to 5 parts water, and soak it. It will form a gelatinous type of pudding that you can season and enjoy in many different ways. All three of these are actually quite inexpensive, and it just so happens that sunshine is free!

 2. How to handle the “getting enough protein” situation:

There is much misinformation about how much protein your body actually needss. But you can rest assured that research study after study shows that your bodies actually needs the amino acids in the protein not the whole protein . And, the great news is that you do not need nearly as much as we have been previously lead to believe. Finally, the protein that your body does need can be obtained hrough plant-based sources, with the champion protein provider: sprouts! So add plenty to your diet, because they have already broken the protein down and released the highly bioavailable amino acids that the body needs the most.

 3. How do I stay raw in the winter?

Are you ready for the answer? You don’t have to stay 100% raw in the winter! In fact, most of the successful raw fooders do have some warming soups, herbal teas, broths, steamed vegetables and use warming spices like cinnamon, habaneros, ginger, curry, cayenne, and Chinese and Ayurvedic spices that are celebrated for their warming qualities.  Be easier and gentler on yourself! There are wonderful soups and stews that can be served at room temperature, or lightly heated, and imbued with warming herbs that will leave you feeling well nourished and warm. It is easier than you think to stay on track, even if it’s 80% of the time, and in the harshest of winter weather, when you have warming foods mixed in.

4. How do I handle those intense cravings for foods I used to love, but no longer choose to consume?

Cravings hit for a variety of reasons, but generally in two categories: an emotional need and an actual physical need (like, low blood sugar, for example). In the first instance, a client of mine did a little trick, if she determined it was an emotional craving. She would say, “okay you can have the Hershey bar but not until you have a green smoothie first.” So she would have the green smoothie and every time, the craving for the candy would go away. Having a quick green smoothie also addresses the second reason for the craving, which is a physical hunger or low blood sugar. You give the body a quick dose of great nutrients, with a green smoothie, THEN decide if you will pursue the craving. Most of the time, you will find the craving is gone.  Try it!

5. How do I know I’m getting all of the nutrients I need?

For this I will simply put one of my quotes right from the transcripts, because this issue causes so much stress. The stress is harmful! So just remember:

“When you eat a meal, just think about it being as nutritious as possible. Look around to what you have on hand. Choose the things that appeal to you at the time to put together. The cleaner you get, the more your body will gravitate towards what it needs at the moment.”

Now that you've got some real-world, practical solutions for how to thrive with raw food, you can get even more power-packed information and practical solutions!

These are just a few more of the issues that the book and CD set addresses: RAW-FOOD-BUNDLE

  • Boredom (smoothies and salads are great for a while, but even the most delicious ones will become boring over time).
  • Not getting enough calories and all the essential nutrients needed to thrive.
  • Confusion over what to bring to work for lunch and what to feed the kids.
  • Potential vitamin deficiencies (like B12 and D3).
  • What to eat when going out to restaurants.
  • Emotional cravings (this one is BIG).
  • Losing too much weight, too quickly.
  • What to eat in cold weather (and still be warm)
  • Handling detox symptoms
  • Worst of all, your social life has taken a huge hit and now all your friends think you're some kind of weird and crazy health-nut extremist.

The great news is that all of these and many other pitfalls can be totally avoided BEFORE they totally derail your healthy lifestyle goals. This is all the information you need to SUCCEED long-term (and it's so much easier than you can imagine…IF you know what potential pitfalls could come along, and how to handle them).

Between us, Nomi and I have well over 50 years experience on a balanced raw foods diet.  That's over 25 years each!  So I guess you could say we know a thing or two!  And most people wish they had the energy and could do as much as we do when they are in their 30's and 40's.  They can't keep up with us in spite of the fact that we are much older.   Benefit from our years of experience, and set yourself up to THRIVE in vitality, for the long term.

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With love and appreciation,


Dr. Ritamarie

What tips have you found helped you stay on track? Comment Below.

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1 Comment

  1. Irene

    I tried to go raw, but I did not succeed. I do eat vegetables a lot and if possible even raw. I liked your article.


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