If you are interested in diet, health, raw foods, or any offshoot of the detox lifestyle, you must understand the beauty of simplicity. No matter what level of health you are coming from -- be it decades of raw or right off the hot dog cart--the quickest, most painless route to health and weight loss is extreme simplicity in your diet.
To practice extreme simplicity, you must ignore all the labels like "raw" or "vegan" or "vegetarian" and focus primarily on cleanly prepared foods that move through the body easily, or what I call Quick Exit Foods. This boils down to the following foods and food combinations:
• Fresh vegetable juices (ideally on an empty stomach either for breakfast or in the late afternoon)
• Fresh vegetables (as a raw salad, whole, or steamed with a little organic butter and sea salt if desired)
• Avocados (with a raw salad for lunch)
• Baked (and raw) root vegetables like parsnip, butternut squash, and sweet potato (try these wholesome comfort veggies for dinner with your raw salad with a little organic butter, sea salt, and agave)
• Raw goat cheeses (use it liberally with raw and cooked vegetables)
• Fresh fish (ideally wild/organic, enjoyed along with a raw salad and steamed low-starch vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, nightshades, and leafy greens)
These foods, while not all "raw" or "vegan" by definition, are the easiest to digest when properly combined (as described in my books), enabling the body to release the built-up waste that's causing your ailments and excess weight. I deliberately omit fresh and dried fruits, nuts, and grains because nuts and grains are very dense and difficult to digest, and fruits can create a lot of carbonic gas in a body that's awakening old waste matter. The discomforts and symptoms that come with transitioning to a raw diet are usually caused by abundant intake of these foods.
Moreover, don't get caught up in complicated raw, vegan concoctions like nut-patés, tempeh, soy foods, grain mixtures, and dense desserts -- all of which lead to gas, gas and more gas, along with reduced energy and a heavy burden on the intestines. This is not to prohibit you from enjoying these gourmet items in small amounts if you really love them. If you're sailing along smoothly while indulging in them, by all means continue. Just don't kid yourself into thinking they are healthy and energizing or support your weight loss efforts.
Whether you are a beginner or a lifelong raw devotee, if you're not seeing the benefits that the raw world promises, it is time to practice the beauty of simplicity. You don't need unusual, hard-to-find items that mimic mainstream fare in raw or vegan form to succeed. In fact, you can easily find the simple foods listed above at restaurants or prepare them at home. Incorporate them more and more into your diet over time, and they will come to nourish and fulfill you like no other foods on the planet can.
But until you are truly ready -- emotionally, socially, and physiologically -- to embrace a diet of 95% (or more) of simple fruits and vegetables, you are much better off bending to include steamed or baked vegetables, raw goat cheese, and even the occasional piece of fish. Do not place unrealistic pressure on yourself. Raw is not a race. Nor is it a goal unto itself. The goal is joyful, vibrantly oscillating cells, which comes from eating simply, eliminating fully, and treating yourself and others with loving devotion. Accept this, and you can overcome every dietary puzzle and experience the true bliss of a clean, harmonious, energized body!
Do you see the difference, my friends? Forget all the labels and health food dogma. Simple foods, whether cooked or raw, in simple combinations, is the fastest, most effective way to cleanse and rejuvenate.