How to Eat Raw Foods


by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy

If you are not used to the idea of eating raw, you might think that it all sounds like a wonderful idea - less preparation time, more vitamins and enzymes that make it into your body, more energy, better health, and all those benefits - but you can’t help but think that all you are going to be doing at meal times is picking at salads and crunching on whole veggies. Luckily, that is far from the truth. Eating raw can be as exciting as you want to make it.

If you want to eat a raw diet and want to make it simple, sure, it can be done. You could have a cut apple for breakfast, a handful of almonds for a snack, a salad for lunch and dinner, and some other random veggies and fruits as you feel hungry. It will feel a little primitive, but some people enjoy this feeling that you are eating as we were meant to ñ simple foods, with little to no preparation involved. It is about as close to grazing as people can get. This is likely what people will expect when you tell them about your raw diet ideas, so you certainly won’t be disappointing those who are watching you. Of course, this way of eating is not for everyone. It can get very repetitive and boring, driving some people to give up on the whole raw food idea altogether.

If you cannot stand the thought of this simple hand-to-mouth existence, there are of course many options for you. The raw food diet can also offer a complex array of prepared meals that would impress the savviest foodie. From custom smoothies and dehydrated nut crackers, to uncooked meat replacements, to actual raw meats, and almost everything in between, raw food can be everything you want of it. Craving brownies? There is a raw food recipe for it. Maybe you have a hankering for hamburgers? There is a raw recipe for that. Perhaps a piece of pizza is more to your pleasure? Yep, there are raw pizza recipes to be found. Of course, if you expect these recipes to exactly replicate the original items, you are bound to be disappointed. These are replications, duplicates, fill-ins. They are fancy and fun, but different, to be sure. And for most, the prep time will be as much or more than their cooked friends.

Of course, most people are not simply going to take one of these extremes or the other. Most people who want to start in on a raw diet are going to fall somewhere in the middle. The busy types will likely be more of the foraging kind, while the more social and sophisticated eater will be more likely lean towards those complex recipes.

The key is to remember that there is no right and wrong way to approach a raw food diet, and to do what feels right for you. That might mean a simple bowl of fruit one day, and a complex multi-course meal the next. But if it makes you happy and healthy, what’s the harm in trying every way of eating raw?



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