Concern No. 3
It’s too time consuming.
As it turns out, preparation time is a variable wholly controlled by the individual.
“You can really get involved and spend hours and hours in the kitchen making raw taco shells, or you can just use a romaine leaf. It really depends on your time,” Slawson says.
Renate Wallner, a chef and instructor at the globally renowned Hippocrates Health Institute, echoes this sentiment.
“In normal life, we don’t make lasagna every day,” she says. “When I make gourmet meals, it’s a labor of love, and that takes a certain amount of time. In raw food, it’s the same thing. There are some dishes that are labor-intensive and there are some that are very easy and perfect for daily life. Leafy green salads with sprouts, veggies and some seeds take very little preparation and can become the core.”
“There are others who spend a lot of time in the chopping and food prep, but I’m not one of those people,” Lerner says. “Salads and beans, tons of fruits and veggies and lots of unusual spices. I don’t ever get bored of it.”
Concern No. 4
It’s more expensive.
Most of us own a blender and a food processor, which are the basics necessary for much of the raw food preparation. Those desiring to take it to the next level in terms of effort and money would probably need to purchase a juicer and a dehydrator.
In terms of food expenditures, there is no denying that organic produce is more expensive than conventional. However, when it comes to cost (whether equipment investment or ingredients), raw food advocates encourage focusing on the long-term view.
“Ill health is more expensive than buying organic produce,” Lerner says. “For me, it’s worth every penny.”
Lauro suggests joining an organic buying club to help defray some of the additional cost. “I belong to a group called Healthy Living Organics and get produce twice a month,” she says.
Concern No. 5
I can’t have a normal social life if I’m always eating raw.
Raw food is not an all-or-nothing proposition. To be considered a “raw foodist,” 75-100 percent of total food consumption must be raw food. However, achieving that ratio (or nomenclature) is not critical in reaping the benefits from raw foods.
“I never work with any figures and I don’t like to put any labels on myself,” Lauro says. “My body mainly craves fresh food, but if I am craving something cooked, I’ll eat it. I don’t think, ‘I have to eat all raw.’ I just think, ‘What’s healthy that I’m going to eat today?’”
“There’s a social aspect to eating as well,” Lerner says. “There is a wonderful exchange between human beings that occurs at a dinner table. Participating in that dance of wine or whatever is being offered is something I wouldn’t say no to. I eat cooked foods. I just view my food consciously.”
Concern No. 6
The transition will be too difficult.
While Hippocrates offers a Life Transformation Program where participants eat 100-percent raw from inception, Director of Operations Scott Josephson advises that introducing raw foods at home is more gradual.
“Slow and steady wins the race. This is a not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change,” he advises. “You incorporate it one step at a time.”
The key is to stick with it.
“When you do something 21 days, it can become habitual. For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t think about it; you just do it,” he says.
Lauro agrees. “Many people start with juicing and smoothies, because then they’re getting all their fresh produce that way. You have to stick with them, though,” she says. “Try them for two weeks, three weeks, a month and see how you feel. That will speak volumes.”