Here are my thoughts for a friend who decided to go raw and had a lot of questions and asked for my input. My advice goes for anyone taking the raw plunge:

Ok, remember that YOU ASKED FOR THIS–here are some suggestions I have initially:

Don’t completely overdo it on the fats, but if you add in nuts and seeds they will make you feel full. And smoothies with coconut or flax oil, some kind of dark greens and a banana with water/fresh veggie juice are filling too. Watch vids on how to soak and sprout so that you get tons of protien and can digest nuts and seeds without getting acidic. I also suggest going to the any raw food place you can, just to get some ideas, and to get inspired. Plus it’s just nice to get a break and go somewhere where you can order anything off the menu! Also Cafe Gratitude in SF or Berkeley (and other places around the U.S.) is my all time fave, but you can’t go without me.

Ignore all the “super food” hype and just concentrate on eating raw. You can add stuff in later, but it’s mostly hype and marketing. I wasted a lot of time and money on that stuff, and just eating a varied, healthy raw diet is the most important thing. Just my opinion.

I don’t think I could do raw without my food processor, Vitamix and juicer . Do you have a food processor and good solid blender? You need them. At the very least you need those two things, otherwise it’s hard to get enuf calories. Just close your eyes and buy them. You won’t regret it. People who just do it with a knife and cutting board have a different metabolism than I do….I need tons of food. Plus on raw you should have a ton more energy, which then inspires you to want to do stuff that will require even more calories. Juicing will make sure you get a ton of nutrients. It’s an investment, but if you plan to stay high raw, it’s a good one. But initially I’d just get a food processor and blender. I have to say I would not go without my Vitamix blender, but I’m picky about that stuff. I need FULLY BLENDED smoothies, however, my raw food coach has sworn by her regular blender for years, so there you go. I didn’t have a juicer till my second year. I also have a dehydrator and I do use it, mostly for dehydrating sprouted nuts and seeds for storage, but you can certainly do without it completely, although its fun for the variety it makes possible.

I HIGHLY recommend just watching a ton of YouTube videos to learn basics and answer questions that will come up. I also recommend coach Natasha St.Michael, who I’ve worked with off and on for some issues–her website is rawradianthealth.com, and if you YouTube her she has hundreds of videos that are full of solid info. She used to do one a day which is so great. She is not all raw currently because she found out she was not absorbing B12 and was having some neurological issues. Anyway, she’s amazing and got me thru my first year, and continues to help me with things as they come up. You definitely need to have support, even if it’s just online. I didn’t have ANYONE else I knew who was raw except for Brooke, the chef at Green Boheme (local raw eatery), but I didn’t see her all that often. I YouTubed my way thru that first year no joke. Hey, at least you have me 😉

I would recommend getting a cookbook, don’t go wild with a bunch of them, at least for me that was overwhelming–Get this one by Alissa Cohen, called Living on Live Food (you can find it on Amazon)–it’s great because the first half is a how to about raw food, with her story, and a bunch of info you will want, and the second half is recipes. I wish I would have had it when I started, I use it constantly. I even re-read the first half periodically, just to get inspired again. It also has a 4 week program to get you started, and I still go back and do it when I’m tired of what I’m eating, or confused. it’s a little spendy but if you put out some cash upfront with a few things it will set you up for success.

You will do fine but you have to be persistent in getting out there and finding info, because no one knows about it, and everyone will tell you you’re crazy, where do you get your protein (see Where Do You Get Your Protein post), blah blah blah. Just remember that “normal” isn’t really normal, and eating whole, uncooked foods is way more normal than eating something someone flooded with chemicals and put in a box. It’s just that people don’t get that, they’re so used to the box. And I promise you, there comes a time when it all will feel easy and natural (for the most part–I still am learning how travel raw, for instance), but it’s a process and takes a while. Alissa says to think of it like you’re going to learn how to cook French food or something wildly different than what you know. It’s just a learning curve, and there are as many recipe options for eating raw as there are cooked (though not as many options in regular restaurants, unfortunately). Just concentrate on this: you will feel amazing.

Contact me any time! I’ve got a lot of resources.