If you’ve been practicing yoga for years, you’re no stranger to its health benefits: increased circulation, stronger muscles and joints, and a more balanced mindset. To give your yoga stretch routine a nutritious diet is also a must. Most yoga diets focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, minimally processed foods, and little dairy or meat. But, have you ever considered eating a RAW diet? In as little as a month on a raw diet, you will immediately feel its positive effects: Your skin will be clearer, your mind will be more alert, and your yoga stretch routine will be even more dynamic. If following a raw diet is something you’ve thought about, try it out for a month and consider these tips.
Following a raw diet requires eating foods that have not been heated past 104 degrees. Set yourself up for success by going to your local farmers market or Whole Foods and loading up on raw nuts, seeds, fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Some raw ingredients that may be lesser known include chia seeds, bean sprouts, and hemp. To dive in slowly you may consider many of the great raw options at Whole Foods like “live enchiladas,” “raw lasagna.” These will be nice dishes at first when you’re missing their cooked counterparts. And, they may help you get some great recipe ideas of your own.
If you’re only trying out raw food for a month, a blender is the quintessential tool you need. With a blender you can make delicious smoothies, vegetable and nut sauces, and even desserts with raw cacao beans. If after a month you are in love with the raw food diet, other vital tools include: a dehydrator, mandolin, food processor, and a fine mesh strainer.
The positive effects of following a raw diet are numerous. However, in the first few days you may feel lethargic, nauseous, or experience an overactive digestive system. This is simply your body adapting to different blood sugar levels, higher levels of fiber, etc. This shouldn’t scare you but you should be forewarned. Don’t start your raw food cleanse when you have a big presentation at work or know you’re going to a big BBQ the upcoming weekend. Set yourself up for success by setting a start date that makes sense for you. Keep a journal of the foods that you eat and how you feel after you eat them. Take note of little things. After a week, take note of how your yoga stretch routine felt that day. Were you stronger or weaker? Could you hold poses longer than usual? Did you breathe well?