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10 Raw Substitutions for Newcomers

Posted Apr 10 2010 7:44am

Making the leap to raw food is tough for a lot of people. They know it's a smart idea and a great way to radically improve their diet and begin to live a healthier and balanced lifestyle, but they can get bogged down in the logistics of changing every food in their life into something else. Put simply, it's tough to make such a drastic overhaul, and the task can feel daunting for many.

But if you're looking to make the switch to raw, take heart. I've put together a list of substitutions and suggestions designed to let you know what to do and how to transition your diet to a raw one. It's a great place to start getting your raw life on track.

1. Soda: This can be a tough one for people to give up, thanks to a national obsession with soft drinks. But sodas are choked with acid and sugars, and the diet versions can be just as bad thanks to the presence of artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Your best bet is to ditch the fizzy drinks altogether and switch to homemade smoothies, or lemonade sweetened with stevia.

2. Coffee: For a pick-me-up in the morning, make yourself a hot cup of raw chocolate milk (there are multiple recipes online), or stick with smoothies. 

3. Bread: Sprouted grain bread, (like Ezekiel Bread) made from grains that have been allowed to germinate is a good choice for those transitioning over to raw, but you can also use lettuce wraps for a crisp, healthy alternative.

4. Salt: Instead of the table salt you're used to, look for sea salt or Himalayan salt, or make your own organic salt made from plants, like dehydrated celery salt.

5. Pasta: If you're looking to enjoy a noodle dish on a raw diet, use a spaghetti squash instead. You can make strands with a peeler or spiralizer.  Or, check out kelp noodles, they are amazing.

6. Meat: Obviously, processed meats and cold cuts have to go if you want to live raw. Instead, go with vegan meat pate or faux-meat balls made from nuts and seeds.

7. Cheese: Organic, raw cheeses from goats and sheep are a great start, but don't be afraid to go all the way and experiment with making your own nut cheeses.

8. Milk: Rice milk and coconut milk are great substitutes for cow's milk, and there's also raw milk make from almonds and other nuts.

9. Water: To avoid unknown additives or chemicals, look for distilled water or harvest your own spring water. 

10. Cookies: Just because you're eating raw doesn't mean you have to give up treats. Raw chocolate chip cookies are a fantastic dessert and a way to feel like you're still able to enjoy all the foods you used to love. 

That's not an exhaustive list by any means, but it should give you an idea of how to start swapping out items in your diet for raw alternatives. Ask your grocer for more information about raw products, too. After a while, you'll wonder how you lived without raw food.


This guest post is contributed by Donna Moore, who writes on the topics of massage therapy schools .  She welcomes your comments via email:

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