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OTHER ITA SITES:
10 Essential Steps to a Natural Diet
Learn how to transition to a healthy diet now (Part 1).
In this article, I'm going to go back to some basics. I will be giving you specific, concrete action steps you can take right now to transition to a healthy, hopefully raw or mostly raw diet. Even if you're a seasoned raw-foodist, I'm sure you will find some key insights in this article that will help you refine your diet and improve your program. These steps are in no particular order.
STEP #1 - *Workout and Exercise*
It's not possible to be healthy without being fit. We know that, at least intuitively, even if we tend to forget the importance of fitness in a healthy lifestyle, by focusing too much on the importance of diet.
But more importantly, your physical condition has a major impact on your digestion, assimilation, and overall “nutrition.” For example, your ability to uptake sugar, called “insulin sensitivity,” is greatly influenced by your level of fitness.
If you are sedentary, insulin sensitivity is greatly reduced. Therefore, sugar is not carried as rapidly as it should to the cells. This can lead to or worsen blood sugar problems of all kinds.
If you've read my book “The Raw Secrets. ” You are aware of the importance of hunger in health. One problem is that most people do not eat when they are truly hungry, and mistake “appetite” for hunger. Once they learn how to make the distinction, they soon realize that they are rarely if ever truly hungry!
By exercising on a daily basis and eventually engaging in cardio-respiratory activities (jogging, cardio machines at the gym, cycling, etc.) every day, you will awaken that forgotten sense of hunger.
So exercise is very important, and the lack of a fitness program may be one of the reasons why you have difficulty eating a healthy diet.
STEP #2 - *Eat Fruit Before Each Meal*
One of the easiest ways to transition to a raw-food diet is to start eating fruit before every meal, including lunch and dinner. The idea is to eat fruit when you are the most hungry, which is at the beginning of the meal. Eat as much fruit as you desire then, and you will find that you will eat much less of the meal itself!
This is what I call an “automatic transition strategy.” Just start getting the raw-food in by eating fruit before each meal - just what your mom told you not to do when you were a kid. But now that you're a grownup and that the Standard American Diet didn't work for you, you need to go back to your natural instincts and satisfy your natural sweet tooth by eating as much fruit as you want before every single meal.
STEP #3 - *Learn to Make 7 Raw Food Recipes That You Enjoy*
It's been found that most people know about 7 to 10 good recipes very well, and just rotate them throughout the months, adding in other stuff occasionally for variety.
Or look at when you buy a recipe book. You might try many recipes but eventually you'll only retain a few that you'll continue making for the years to come.
So what I want you to know now is to find 7 simple raw-food recipes that you really like, that are easy to make and that are properly combined. (INSIDER TIP: My recipe book “Instant Raw Sensations” is just about that: )
Ideally, I'd like you to know:
About 2 dressings
About 2 great salads
2-3 smoothies you really enjoy
1-2 more gourmet recipes
Those 7 or 10 recipes should be things you can make often, with ingredients that are easy to find, and some of them should have an instant appeal to your friends and family.
You'll find that once you know what those recipes are, and you can make them without opening a book, that you'll be wondering a lot less often “What should I be eating now?”
STEP #4 - *Get Rid of Cheese and Dairy*
Improving your diet isn't about the things you ADD IN. It's mostly about the things we LEAVE OUT. I know this reality is hard to take, but even if you eat all these fruits and vegetables, drink those fresh juices and make those huge smoothies, you won't really feel great until you remove those offensive foods from your diet that are hurting you.
There's one thing you need to say goodbye to forever, and it's milk and cheese. In a previous article, I talked about the top-5 worst foods, and cheese was one of them.
Really, I see it all the time. People have this thing for cheese. They still eat it occasionally, and they still are addicted to it. (Actually, cheese contains some compounds in it that make it addictive for real, not just in your imagination).
If there would be just one category of food you could remove from your diet and feel much better for it, it's got to be cheese and milk.
STEP #5 - *Eat Fruit in the Morning or Skip the Morning Meal*
The morning meal is the easiest to switch to raw. Most people find that once they start listening to their body, they are actually not truly hungry in the morning.
I've watched how many children generally don't eat in the morning if they are left to themselves and not being force-fed.
My suggestion is that you can skip the morning meal altogether or replace it with a smoothie or some fruit. I know that this goes against all the advice you've heard about “never skipping meals” or that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” What I'm telling you know is that this advice isn't based on any solid facts.
The “breakfast” is when you break the “fast” of the night, and this doesn't have to be at noon. In fact, the French word for breakfast means “lunch”, because for thousands of years the French didn't eat in the morning. When they started doing so, they had to come up with a new word for that meal so they called it “small breakfast” (petit dejeuner).
Skipping the morning meal or eating some fruit will help you get in touch with your true sense of hunger, which will make it easier to eat raw. Plus, it will be good for a while to help you detox and lose some weight (if that's an issue for you).
As you start exercising more, you will eventually get hungry in the morning, believe me!
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