The raw food diet is one of the best ways to obtain a wide variety of dense nutrients and improve your health in many ways, whether you choose to eat all raw or even high raw.
But these days, many just watch a few episodes of a popular YouTube channel and decide to have a go at eating raw without reading any literature and doing the necessary research.
I have been coaching people eating a raw diet for over 5 years, and I see people making the same mistakes over and over again, so I decided to compile a list of those issues in an effort to save you time, health, and money.
1- Not eating enough
The first and most obvious mistake is that people often do not eat enough when changing to a high raw food diet.
If you change to a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables, you have to eat slightly more volume, because generally speaking, plant-based raw foods have less calorie density than most cooked foods.
It’s critical to understand exactly what makes up a healthy raw diet and then learn to get sufficient calories from those meals.
Fruit is a healthy source of carbohydrates in the form of natural simple sugar and should form the basis of the raw diet in terms of providing your calories.
2- Overeating nuts and seeds
When switching to eating a raw food diet, it takes a while for people to get into the habit of eating enough fruit to pick up their entire daily requirement of calories, so they tend to compensate for the lack of calories by binging on calorie-dense foods, such as nuts and seeds.
For this very reason, I don’t recommend trying eating 100% raw from the start.
I believe the best approach is to replace eating unhealthy cooked food by eating healthier “low fat” and plant based cooked food alternatives, until you get used to incorporating more raw food into your diet.
This way, you will not binge on nuts and seeds and you will have a smooth transition.
3- Eating insufficient quantities of greens
I do not recommend a diet exclusively made up of fruit, nor have I ever.
This is because everyone I have ever met who attempts to sustain him or herself exclusively on fruit for an extended time runs into serious health challenges.
Fruit is a great source of energy and vitamins, but it doesn’t contain enough minerals to be a balanced food.
Plenty of green vegetables must be consumed to provide those essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
4- Sleeping too little
Not getting enough rest, sleep, relaxation and time to recover is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make when trying eating a raw food diet.
A proper raw diet will result in improved health, but I must emphasize that it is the body, not food, that ultimately creates health.
It is important to listen to your body. If your body asks you to rest, you should rest. You can’t compensate lack of sleep by consuming stimulants.
Lack of sleep compromises all other human functions, including physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social ones.
5- Doing insufficient physical activity
Physical activity is so intricately linked with nutrition that failure to master one aspect will automatically lead to failure with the other.
Our bodies develop through use, and they waste away through disuse.
Let’s also stress the fact that a raw-food program is actually a high-energy diet. It is compatible and really works if we add plenty of physical activity to our daily routines.
6- Consuming unnecessary supplements
Eating a healthy raw diet should provide you with all the nutrients you need. If, for some reason, you’re going through undue stress and need more vitamin B, for instance, you could correct the problem by taking some supplements and then making the necessary lifestyle and diet chances to correct the underlying problem.
Supplementation should not be used regularly, but rather as a supplement in exceptional cases and only if necessary.
Health is the natural outcome of living healthfully. Health has to be earned – it can’t be purchased in a bottle.
Raw drugs include various supplements and super-foods, which are sold in the raw food movement for their “energy-boosting” properties, just like various caffeinated drinks are sold for the same purpose.
We must emphasize, however, that energy doesn’t come from stimulation. It can only come from sleep and as the outcome of healthful living.
7- Being obsessed with “perfection”
It is too common in the raw-food movement and in the natural health field to see people completely obsessed with their diet, stressing over it, and forgetting about the other important aspects of life.
Eating raw is not the only criterion when it comes to healthy living. You must remember that in order to thrive in good health, there are other elements to our wellbeing that are as important as food, such as good rest, exercise, mental balance, and so on.
Therefore, you should never be fanatical about food alone, because you will be missing the point.
In Natural Hygiene, we say “your health is as strong as its weakest link”, which means that you can eat the most perfect raw food diet, but if you aren’t getting enough sunlight, for instance, you’ll suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, which could kill you!
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