It’s absolutely true. Raw food can be an amazing adventure that gets more incredible every day… or it can be one of THE most boring ways to eat and make you feel like running to the nearest take-away, dessert aisle or biscuit barrel.
So if you’re not really feeling the raw food love right now, read on to discover the first five of 10 most common causes and what you can do to turn them around 180 degrees!
BOREDOM FACTOR 1: Salad-and-Smoothies-Only Syndrome
If your raw food diet has become a boring routine of the same ol’ salads and smoothies, I’m not surprised you’re bored, bored, bored!
Yes, for sure, we can go a couple of days on this kind of raw food diet, but speaking personally and speaking for most people I know, even after a couple of days, unless there’s a specific weight or body goal tied into it eating this way and we can see the weight falling off or whatever we’re aiming for, well, let’s just say that mealtimes start to feel a lot less exciting, to say the least.
HOW TO DO A 180
While smoothies can stay (as long as they get mixed up a bit), the usual plain go-to salads need to be banned for a few days. This forces us to use our imagination and start exploring other things to eat and other meals to make. At the end of that period, sure, you can bring the old faithful/s back in if you want, but keep them to once every few days rather than being the front and centre of your raw food repertoire.
BOREDOM FACTOR 2: Not Having “Treats” or “Naughty” Foods
Rare is the person who can subsist on a plain, uneventful diet day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month. While it’s entirely possible, especially if someone is a thoroughbred Functional Eater or a Focused Eater, for most of us, it just doesn’t feel like any way to live. While I personally am quite a purist in many aspects of my raw food diet, what I know about myself is, if I don’t have specific “treats” to mix things up a bit or to add some “fun” or interest, I do start to feel as if life has got a little bit dull and that I too have lost my spark (or “naughty”!!), and it really doesn’t feel that good to me.
HOW TO DO A 180
While the transformation is pretty obvious here – i.e. bring in the treats and foods that feel naughty – there are definitely some things to bear in mind before making the change. First of all, choose those foods wisely – it’s no good being virtuous in your raw food diet, only to then go and gorge on something sickly and unhealthy. While you might feel better for a moment as you give yourself full rein to be a health nut rebel, you know as well as I do, that freedom feeling won’t last long, you’ll end up feeling bad, and this is what causes the perpetual yo-yo’ing that so many aspiring raw foodies fall prey to. Instead, I recommend that you choose raw food treats that feel especially decadent to YOU. This might be shop-bought raw cookies, macaroons, cakes, chocolate or whatever, or it might mean making your own, but whatever it is, get to know the things that tick this box for you and nourish that part of you that needs to let loose and find a different kind of pleasure in your food. The second consideration is the frequency and percentage of your diet that these foods make up. It hopefully goes without saying that these foods should still remain the much smaller percentage of your raw food diet, and by no means should be meal replacements, or at least not on a regular basis. For me, I find that I want or crave treats somewhere between three and five days of the week. It depends on what else I’m eating and how well that’s taking care of my needs. So, for example, if I eat frozen cherries, grapes or strawberries, which are all perfectly gorgeous and healthy and not at all naughty (but still tick the non-boring box for me) I’m far less likely to want to eat raw chocolate or a heavy raw dessert, than if I don’t. So for me, there’s grades of “treat” and naughty and I have found my happy place and know when I do and don’t want/need to eat them.
BOREDOM FACTOR 3: Trying to Eat According to Someone Else’s Plan
I’ve seen this so many times I’ve lost count… it’s where someone has read a book or heard a lecture, they’re then totally sold on a specific eating “plan” and off they go, convinced that this time they’ve found “the way”. I liken this syndrome to trying to wear someone else’s closet and expecting to look great in it… what suits one person may look and feel completely wrong for you. And even if it’s a near-fit there’s still going to be some tweaks and edits that need to be made for it to be anything like a perfect-fit for you.
HOW TO DO A 180
Recognise that just as someone else’s closet wouldn’t be a fit for you, nor will their diet – unless we’re talking bout a specific medicinal approach where following it for a period of time will really get you where you need to be. It’s worth bearing in mind that anyone who is passionate about their diet or “their way” is generally passionate because it works great for THEM. Just as I adore the way I eat because it works great for ME, but I wouldn’t dream of telling you to the way I eat, because there are so many factors at play that make someone’s diet a perfect fit for them. How you do a 180 with this is to stop listening to anyone else and start listening to your own body. Pay attention to what tastes great, what feels great, what is giving you the results that you’re looking for. While this may take some time to totally master, in the long-term it will be a lot less time than most people waste jumping from guru to guru and never finding their own way.
BOREDOM FACTOR 4: Not Experimenting with New Foods, Drinks or Ingredients
In any diet it’s easy to get into a groove and rotate mealtimes around the same fundamental ingredients week in, week out. This means the weekly shopping list doesn’t change from one week to the next, and so, even if the meals themselves are diverse, the same foods are finding their way onto the table over and over again. If the last time you tried something new was more than a month ago, you have some experimenting to do! Even just one or two new foods can be enough to bring a new lease of life to mealtimes, especially if those foods become new favourites! I can’t imagine my life now without durian, young coconuts, jackfruit and kale – but at various points in history these foods were complete unknowns to me, and ones I had to consciously seek out and bring into my diet on a regular basis one way or another.
HOW TO DO A 180
The ultimate challenge here is not to buy ANY ingredient that you would normally buy on a weekly basis. Yes, imagine! Try this just for a week, and you’ll find it’s not actually that hard to do and will open up a whole new world for you in the process. For example, with greens, there are so many to choose from you’ll be absolutely fine. If you normally buy cos lettuce, watercress and alfalfa sprouts, next week try rocket (arugula), pea greens and Battavia. If you’re used to buying baby plum tomatoes, red bell peppers and cucumbers, try celery, carrots and courgette (zucchini). Also look for new nuts (ever tried pili nuts?), new seeds, new superfoods, exotic fruits, frozen fruits, ferments, raw desserts and pre-made drinks – you’ll be amazed at what’s out there when you open your mind and agenda to the exciting and new.
BOREDOM FACTOR 5: Trying to Do it Alone
It’s not impossible to go and stay raw solo, but let’s face it… most things are much more fun when experienced and shared with at least one other person. Even if you’re quite happy to do your own thing diet-wise, regardless of what others around you may be doing, life will be so much sweeter if you have a raw buddy, community or group to belong to where you can share recipes, experiences, tips and even meals out.
HOW TO DO A 180
You can go from feeling alone, lonely or isolated in your eating, to feeling part of the in-crowd or anything in between by finding the right community. There are plenty of raw food communities online, including my own, where you can meet new friends and gain inspiration, support and recipes, and even websites where you can find a raw mate or date – so it’s up to you how 180 you go! You have absolutely zero reasons to feel lonely today as a raw food enthusiast, so if this has been part of your “rawing is boring” story, thanks to the power of the internet, that can end right away, this moment, today!
So, dear reader! Which of the above have you fallen prey to recently or currently and which of these tips are you going to use to turn things around? I’d love you to share it with me in the comments below 🙂