So it’s day 22. All bets are off. I can have ANYTHING I like for breakfast. What do I have? A green smoothie. Why? Because I’ve been doing it for nearly 3 weeks and I’m in a routine now. Exercise, meditate, green smoothie.
I heard somewhere that it takes three weeks to make a new habit. I have no source for that, but I believe it to be true. There is power in doing something every day. It’s called discipline – the basis of all spiritual (and non-spiritual – musicians, artists, sport people do this too) practice. I learnt that with exercise. If I have to decide on a day-by-day basis to drink green smoothies, exercise and meditate, well, to be honest I’d probably just do it tomorrow. You know THAT tomorrow. The one that is always tomorrow so it never actually comes. So I have learned that I need to do things today, and if I treat every day the same – not, oh it’s Sunday I should have a day off – it’s easy to create good habits.
It’s also really easy to stop doing good habits, especially when life gets busier, or perversely, when going on holidays. I tend to think a holiday means a holiday from everything, even the habits that make me feel good. Next thing you know I’m lying on the beach feeling fat and bloated like a whale. Not very relaxing!
So if creating and maintaining good habits is the key to success with eating raw, let me share with you a few I’ve picked up so far.
My helpful habits for eating raw.
1. Plan ahead. One of my friends commented yesterday on the long preparation time for raw meals. It’s true, especially if you want to sprout or dehydrate things. On the other hand, grating a zucchini and blending a sauce takes 5 minutes, quicker than cooking pasta.
So it depends on what you’re eating. I cook every day whether I’m raw or not. I just have got used to cooking and eating straight away. I think over time I had become lazy with pre-prepared sauces and meals. If something took longer than about 20 minutes to prepare, I wasn’t interested.
The idea of 2-day bread, or 3-day pizza is an anomaly to us convenient food types. However if I plan ahead, I can be soaking and dehydrating while I’m in the kitchen and preparing food for a couple of meals at once. It just means a bit of forethought and organisation. (This from the least organised woman alive, if I can do this, ANYONE can!)
2. Keep your staples soaking. I have some buckwheat bread in the oven dehydrating, and the next lot of buckwheat is soaked and ready to sprout, so in a day or two when I want more bread I can make it straight away. I keep nuts and dried fruits like dates soaking because I use them almost every day.
3. Keep searching for new recipes and ideas for food preparation. Variety is the spice of life. Getting bored is the number 1 reason for not sticking to any eating regime.
4. Related to point 3 and boredom: keeps snacks stocked and on hand. If you get peckish and there’s nothing to eat but carrot sticks, there’s going to be trouble.
5. Buy a variety of fresh foods. I know, the V word again. But this is not just about boredom. Eating the same foods over and over is what creates intolerances and toxic levels in your body. It’s really important to rotate your foods and not eat the same things every day.
The great thing about creating healthy habits is that the people who watch what you do benefit also. I’m a huge believer of the power of example when it comes to parenting. My son has told me several times in the last few weeks that he is so happy and proud that I’m doing this challenge.
I found his enthusiasm really quite puzzling. I mean 12 year old boys appear to pay no attention whatsoever to their mothers. I realise now that he may not always LISTEN to me but he observes my behaviour. He saw me setting a goal for myself and following through, and he was impressed. Every time I said “no, I can’t have some ___” (insert delicious and tempting non-raw food here), he would tell me he was impressed with me sticking to my commitment to raw food. One morning he even made me a green smoothie and drank some himself.
So, monkey-see, monkey-do, for the last two days he has been making his own banana smoothies with raw cashew ice-cream and soy milk. I finally got to taste it today and it was delicious and really healthy (if not 100% raw because of the soy milk). Fear not, I have included a raw version below.
As an aside, I bought a box of organic vegetables on Thursday (yes, I’ve been converted to organic – the money I save on processed foods more than pays for the difference in cost and they taste and feel so much better). I finished them off this morning. A WHOLE box of vegetables. I haven’t even eaten this much veggies in all my vegan life. There was a bunch of kale, carrots, zucchinis, chard, spinach, salad greens, tomatoes, mushrooms and beetroot. Just thinking of all that goodness floating around in me makes me feel this is all worthwhile.
I’m a happy raw camper!
Banana Caramel Smoothie