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Jim here... Whenever I want to learn how to do something new, here's how I go about it:

>>> I practice. <<<

I mean, everyone does this, right? ?Or, maybe I just have an obsessive personality. I really don't know. But, from time to time I decide that there is something new I want to learn -- usually some dexterity trick, or maybe something musical -- and I just keep practicing it. Juggling, for example... A clown taught me that when I was 16, and I practiced constantly. Lately, I've been thinking that I might enjoy learning to walk on my hands. I'm not 100% sure yet, though. But, once I set my mind on it, you can be sure I'll practice it.

In any case, it occurred to me yesterday while driving home from Home Depot (my second home these days) that diet is kind of like one of these tricks. Raw foods, nutrition, natural health, or any body of knowledge is really just a trick to be learned. I used to be amazed at hearing stories of people going raw overnight. But, now that I'm really thinking about it, having lived it for so many years, I do NOT personally recommend such a transition. After all, if someone asked me to teach them how to juggle, I wouldn't just toss three balls at them and say, "Okay, now just juggle!" ?That would be crazy!

So, today's message is this: ?Practice going raw.

How do you practice? Well, you begin with the easy moves, just like with juggling. The easy moves of raw food are salads. Everyone has pretty much mastered this one already. But, by being a little more conscious about it, you begin actively practicing it. Being more conscious means focusing on the raw food aspect more, reducing the non-raw items in your salad. For example:

  • Sure, those croutons are tasty, but you don't need them. Toss a few raw walnuts in instead.
  • That processed bottled dressing? ?Get rid of that, too. Maybe start with a little extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressed) or, if you're a little more intrepid, maybe just some lemon juice or no dressing at all. ?(Pure Jeevan does have, by the way, a great Raw Salad Dressings eBook. You can get that for free just by "Liking" our page on Facebook! So, you could get that if you want some tasty raw dressing recipes, or you could also search our blog, which turns up quite a few good ones.)
  • Add in some other things you may rarely include in a salad: Slices of apple or orange or pear, a handful of raisins, some raw pepitos, veggies you forget about like fennel or radishes, or maybe some beets.

That's a pretty good start. I'd recommend replacing one meal per day (either lunch or dinner) with this salad. That will be your practice. Now, don't go nuts and eat three salads per day, every day. That will surely lead to burnout. Just do one per day for a week or so. ?When you're ready for another easy "move" in this new dietary juggling routine, that's when you can start getting into smoothies. I won't go into that now, but would add that additional "levels" of practice would include getting some raw foods recipe books (in addition to the free ones you surely have signed up for here!), getting involved in some raw online communities, and of course starting to build your raw kitchen piece by piece (knifes and chopping board, food processor, blender, dehydrator, etc.)

The thing is with practice...After a while, you look back and you're blown away with what you know and what you can do! A little over a year ago, I decided to start doing 100 push-ups per day, 5 days per week. I thought that sounded like something I could keep up indefinitely, once I got going. ?At first, doing 100 push-ups seemed absolutely insane. I was exhausted, dripping with sweat, sore, and disillusioned about the whole thing. But, guess what? ?Sure, it was tough for a while, but it soon got easier -- much easier. Today, I knock out those 100/day in two quick sets of 50, and only break a sweat if it's hot outside.

Raw foods is the same thing. You're only going to be exhausted, dripping with sweat, sore, and disillusioned for a little while. ?And then you get into the swing of it -- maybe you go 100% raw, maybe you don't. It doesn't really matter. What matters is: Have you learned the art of raw foods? My wager is that, once you do, you'll stick with it for life, at least to one degree or another. I transitioned for 2 years, then lived exclusively on that diet for 2 years. Now I'm still at around 90%, and can't imagine living at much less. Just like juggling, when I find something that's great fun, I stick with it for life. :-)

Keep juggling,

-Jim

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On October 26, 2010, KC Rossi wrote:

Thanks for the gentle wisdom! Perfect timing.

Blissings...

kc

On October 26, 2010, debbiedoesraw wrote:

hey Jim, This is so true.. when I first started I was so .. green! now I can just whip stuff up and know how to make it taste just right. Practice makes .. better!

deb xo

On October 26, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

I know... it just becomes second nature! :--)

On October 26, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

Thanks, KC! :-)