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30 Days Raw

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30-days-rawThinking about doing 30 days raw? It’s a great experience,and a good way to cleanse, boost your energy, and lose a little weight.

Before you start, you will want to get prepared, not just with the right equipment and food, but mentally as well. If you prepare well, your chances of success will really improve and you will maximize the benefits of your experience!

It is also highly recommended that you get checked out by your physician before you begin your 30 days raw, especially if you have any health problems!

So without further ado, here are the 5 preparation basics:

1. Recommended Reading – Before starting out I recommend you read or skim the following raw food books:

These books have some great recipes – a number of which I have tried and modified on the Raw Vegan Recipes page. More importantly though, they describe some great preparation techniques such as how to make nut cheeses and grow sprouts.

Blender with Raw Veggies for Soup2. Equipment – Although there is an impressive array of raw food equipment that will help you create lots of yummy recipes, you should start with the basics. All you really need is a decent blender and a good food processor.

Even if you even if you decide not to continue after 30 days raw, I still recommend getting a Blendtec or Vitamix high speed blender. These machines are just amazing and so perfect for someone who is busy! You can use them to whip up smoothies in seconds, and you can even make raw soup in under 10 minutes that is warmed to just the right temperature!

3. Raw Nuts – You may want to order some raw nuts – this is not essential for a 30 days raw program, but if you want to make milk-based smoothies or raw patés and spreads, you’ll need some.

Raw AlmondsYou should know that raw nuts are actually not very easy (or cheap!) to come by these days. They are not available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or any other supermarket for that matter, except in small, expensive bags. That’s because in 2007 California, one of the major exporters of nuts, passed a law making pasteurization of all nuts mandatory.

Pasteurization involves heating the nuts at high temperatures, which kills the enzymes and effectively renders the nuts "cooked."

So if you see nuts in regular supermarkets that are labeled as raw, it is very likely that they have actually been flash pasteurized and are not really raw.

Some companies have been able to develop approved methods for cleaning nuts without destroying the enzymes inside, but the nuts are then more expensive. I recommend starting with almonds and walnuts as they are the most commonly used in raw recipes and the least expensive to buy in larger quantities.

Please check the Pantry section of the Raw Food Equipment page for more information about where to buy raw, unpasteurized nuts.

4. Detoxing – Even if you’ve been following a clean vegan or vegetarian diet, your body will still go through a detox on a 30 days raw program, and it’s important to understand what you might experience. If you are eating meat or dairy, the detox may be a little more intense and may go on a few days longer.

Detox can take many forms. The first thing you will notice is that you may be spending a bit of extra time in the bathroom for the first three to four days. So you might want to plan on starting your journey when you have the luxury to do that!

You may notice that your stools are loose and they might sometimes feel hot as you pass them. That is actually a sign that you are expelling toxins. You may also experience cramping in the lower intestines.

Other detox symptoms that may arise during the first 30 days raw, but should not last more than a few days include:

  • Breaking out on face, neck or shoulders
  • Joints or muscle aches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability or mild depression
  • Fatigue and/or lethargy

Most of the time, detox symptoms are uncomfortable and unpleasant, but can be tolerated as the toxins that have been stored in your tissues are released. Although detoxing is not pleasant, you will feel fabulous afterwards!

Remember, you know your own body best, so if you should experience any symptoms that seem extreme or that worry you, please contact your physician immediately.

5. Menu Plan – So what should you eat on your 30 days raw? The easiest thing to do – at least to begin with – is to stick to smoothies, salads and soups. They can all be made in the blender with very little effort. And if you make at least one of your daily smoothies a green one, then this approach is actually about the healthiest you can take.

Here is a rough menu outline to follow for the first week or until you have come through the peak of your detox. Once you have done that, you might want to replace the afternoon smoothie with a raw food meal.

  • Breakfast
    A green smoothie made with one banana, 1/2 cup of raw or frozen blueberries, at least three different types of greens (you might want to start off with Kale, spinach, and dandelion greens), two carrots plus their greens, 1/4 cup Dulse, and 2 cups of water. Add Wheatgrass juice if you can get it too.

  • Mid-Morning Snack
    3/4 cup hemp hearts with some almond milk and agave nectar. You can eat them like a cereal with the milk. This will give you almost all the protein you need for the whole day, along with plenty of Omega 3.

  • Lunch
    A green salad with plenty of red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce or spinach as a base. Make sure you include 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado and plenty of your favorite salad veggies!

  • Afternoon Snack
    1 -2 pieces of fresh fruit or berries – organic of course!

  • Dinner
    A nut milk-based smoothie with raw chocolate, or fruit. Be sure to include some flax seed and a little nutritional yeast. Try not to eat after 5 in the evening to allow your body to properly digest the food. (It’s a great weight-loss technique too!)

This is just a guide of course. You will need to do what is most comfortable for you. You may not want to launch into 30 days raw right off the bat. It’s fine to ease yourself into it. For example, you can substitute the evening meal with a cooked vegan dish.

After a week or so, and if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can begin to transition your evening smoothie over to a raw food meal. Try one or two new meals in a week at first – that should be enough to provide you with some exciting new experiences and plenty of leftovers!

More Resources

Superfoods
For more fabulous raw food recipes, and lots of great information about superfoods, please visit my friends at Superfoods-for-Superhealth.com!