Healthy Kitchen/ Raw Vegan Cooking

Raw Food Diet: How to Get Started

Remember that your choices are abundant on this diet. You can eat a lot or a little. It works for everyone! And, I mean everyone! You can do this a variety of ways. These steps alone will get you eating about 50% raw foods and well on your way to superior health.

Here’s One Way to Do It

Adding raw foods to your everyday diet:

  • Start your day with 16 oz. of pure water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Then have a powerful, nutrient-packed green juice, or smoothie made with greens such as kale and fruit such as apples.
  • Begin lunches and dinners with a salad and some fresh homemade Raw dressing, maybe dress the salad up with avocado or soaked nuts/seeds. Another option is to have Raw soup as a starter before your meal.
  • If you snack, eat fresh fruit or raw vegetable sticks, and/or drink fresh, powerful nutrient-packed green juices as between meal snacks instead of other snacks. Drink pure water between meals.

Reducing or eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet:

  • Start by reducing or eliminating junk food, packaged snacks, fried foods, caffeine, alcohol, white sugar, and white flour. Here is the first step: Go through your cabinets and just throw them away. Don’t say, “I’ll just eat these but not replace them,” actually toss them out. Ceremoniously, if you like. Your life is about to change.
  • Then reduce or eliminate animal products, especially red meat and pasteurized dairy products.
  • Then reduce or eliminate cooked starches, especially wheat.

Another Way to Do It (This is the way that I found worked best for me.):

Start out by picking just one day a week to eat 100% Raw. You’ll see how easy it is and how amazing you feel that you’ll be excited to do that more than one day a week, maybe two to three days.

After that, you start increasing to one week straight, then two weeks, then up to a month (leaving a little wiggle room here and there, for times you just “can’t” do it, perhaps due to social situations). Just find what works for you. The reason this plan worked better for me, as opposed to the method described above for gradually adding Raw food into each day’s diet, was that I was finding it too hard to give up the addictive cooked food. I found that, if I had even just a little bit of cooked food in the course of a day, it was a slippery slope — it made me want to eat more and more cooked food, despite knowing how unhealthy it was.

I worked much better for me to completely eliminate all cooked food for just one day, initially. My ultimate goal was to eat 100% Raw most of the time, with an occasional cooked meal. To do that, I had to have days that were solid Raw. I noticed that it was during the 100% Raw days that I felt the best and I soon became addicted to that high energy, waking up without headaches, feeling so great that I couldn’t stop smiling. Over time, quickly at that, I became close to 100% (reserving a couple of percentage points for times when the situation still required some flexibility).

Finally, whichever way you choose that I just discussed, you’ll ultimately (hopefully) start living a predominantly raw lifestyle that will knock your socks off. It’s important that you learn how to make foods and meals that replace your current diet and learn how to make Raw food prep EASY! Saturate yourself with this knowledge — it’s a lifestyle more than a diet — and it will become second nature. You’ll be SO HAPPY you did! Everything in your life will improve! The words “fitness” and “health” will take on whole new meanings because you’ll experience them in ALL areas of your life. You’ll be physically fit, emotionally fit, and mentally fit. I promise!

Some smart next steps for you to follow would be to:

  • Check out my books (and ebooks if you want to save trees!). I’ve written them to make Raw food extremely EASY for beginners, but the books also cover a lot of exciting new ground for people who are more famliar with Raw. If you’re really excited about getting started and really want to understand the essentials, then I highly recommend you start with this one.
  • Also, you’ll want to get some basic equipment: a blender, juicer, and food processor. Also consider purchasing a dehydrator.
  • And, Nike says it best… Just Do It!

Kristen Suzanne is an accomplished Raw food chef and former competitive bodybuilder. Through radio, television, books, classes, and her blog, Kristen’s Raw,and email newsletter, Chef Kristen Suzanne helps people live life to the fullest with the healthiest cuisine in the world.


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  • Reply
    July 20, 2014 at 3:36 am

    My problem is my family refuse to go raw food vegitarian, I have a husband who is addicted to meat, How do I do this when we eat together and shop together, without hurting his feelings? So I keep slipping back into making ‘normal’ food.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Going for vegan is the best choice Really it helps for healthy life.

  • Reply
    February 29, 2016 at 2:49 am

    How do you substitute your daily requirements of protein?

  • Reply
    July 18, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Do you have any resources for predominantly raw, definitely vegan Japanese dishes? Thank you!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    I started a mostly raw food diet three days ago. It’s been a little wobbly but each day my goal is to fine-tune things and illuminate any processed or cooked food.

    My challengee are Nephrotic Syndrome and Gout. Send a frantic syndrome is in remission but dietary guidelines say limit protein intake for a healthy kidney function. I don’t know where the key out came from because I normally don’t eat much animal protein. Gout diet recommend limiting legumes, Organ meats shellfish and animal protein. They suggest getting my source of protein from dairy which I’m trying to move away from.

    I’m at a loss for a source of protein that is raw and healthy. If you can make any recommendations I would appreciate it.

  • Reply
    Caylie A
    February 18, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I went plant-based 2 years ago and eventually went fully raw for about 5 months. It was so easy for me. But ever since Christmas I’ve totally lost self control. It was my first time in years being with my family after I moved out, and they didn’t know about my new lifestyle; seeing how hard and how much money they all spent to make a huge holiday dinner for my return, there was no way I could say no. I told myself that I’d only eat a little bit of grains and that led to more grains and meats and dairy.. I was so ashamed, but ever since Ive been addicted to eating that way. It’s so hard this time around and I don’t know why and am feeling very depressed and alone in this journey back.

  • Reply
    Alexis Simone
    February 23, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Excited about going raw, but is the best time for me to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. What time to cut off eating/drinking in the evening.

  • Reply
    Maegan Jones
    March 17, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Hello Kristen,

    Healthline recently published this report on the disputed safety of raw water, a new product which involves companies selling water bottled from the source without typical treatments.

    We know you are tuned in to all things raw, and we’d love to hear your opinion on whether you think raw water is the way to go.

    We look forward to your feedback.

    In health,

    Maegan Jones
    Outreach Coordinator |
    660 3rd Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107

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