General advice for rawpalaeodiet beginners
Some RAFers(short for “Raw Animal Foodists”), like myself, prefer to go cold-turkey and start going rawpalaeo immediately, but others prefer taking it easy taking a few steps at a time. Here are a few suggestions for the latter:-
1) First get rid of all chemicals and additives in the diet. If you live in an urban environment where tapwater is chlorinated/fluoridated, then I would suggest that you avoid drinking the tapwater and, instead, get hold of 5-litre bottles of mineral-water from natural springs, as that’s generally much cheaper per litre than buying several 1.5 litre bottles of mineral-water, each time. My own preference is for alkaline mineral-water with a PH value of 7.2 to 8.4, but everyone has different tastes.
It’s also a good idea to avoid contact with chemicals other than those in foods. So avoid swimming in chlorinated swimming-pools, if possible, go in for aluminium-free deodorants, non-fluoridated toothpaste, more natural soaps etc.
2) Get hold of raw organic fruits/vegetables instead of the usual nonorganic varieties, get hold of organic or naturally-reared 100%-grassfed meats instead of intensively-farmed grainfed meats , and so on – if you can get hold of meats from wild animals, that’s even better. (You can cook the meats at whatever temperature, at this stage). Make sure to include lots of fatty meats, as opposed to lean meats, so as to avoid rabbit-starvation. If there’s absolutely no way you can get hold of 100%-grassfed- or wild meats, then you should try to get the healthiest grainfed/grain-finished meats that are available and heavily supplement your diet with fermented cod-liver oil or krill oil(as raw and unprocessed as possible). Blue Ice has a raw, fermented cod-liver oil, for example.
*Tip:- Most commercially-raised/non-organic-raised lamb, worldwide, is fed on grass. It’s in the US, mainly, where lamb is usually fed on grains.*
Raw palaeo permitted foods include:- raw fruit, raw veg, raw meats, raw organ-meats, raw mushrooms(some varieties), raw nuts(limited), raw honey/honeycomb.
3) Remove Non-Palaeo foods like dairy and grains(even sprouted grains) and legumes from the diet. Many RAFers who eat lots of non-palaeo foods like raw dairy end up with various side-effects such as copper- and magnesium-deficiency and hormonal issues(due to opioid hormones in raw dairy) – it should also be mentioned that the consumption of dairy and grains has been repeatedly linked to a number of auto-immune disorders -plus, allergies to non-Palaeo foods are very common.
4) Gradually reduce the average cooking-temperature of your foods by 1 degree, every so often, until after days/weeks/months you’re eventually able to eat all the meats raw at room-temperature. You can start off with as many processed sauces as you like(Moutarde de Meaux is by far the best mustard for this by the way as it contains no artificial preservatives even though it’s processed), but you should gradually replace those with raw sauces. Eventually, you will get used to the raw meat to the point where you can eat it by itself without any sauces or spices at all. Some RPD newbies like to use Vitamixes/blenders etc. in order to get used to the taste of raw foods, but this is up to the individual.
5) The main reason why people aren’t easily accustomed to raw meats, at first, is due to past social conditioning and lifelong habits. One way to get rid of such conditioning is to go out to local restaurants and eat raw-animal-food dishes like beef carpaccio/steak-tartare/raw-meat kitfo/raw oysters etc – being able to eat raw-animal-food in a public place helps one get used to the whole idea . My personal favourite was to visit nearby Japanese Sashimi restaurants, and eat the raw-fish avilable there. I was already used to eating some types of raw shellfish, in pre-rawpaleo days, so the latter were easier to get used to than other raw-animal-foods.
6) Add in some raw organ-meats, especially the high-fat ones. These take a bit longer to get used to than the muscle-meats, but they are more nutrient-dense than the latter, so are very useful indeed for greater health – also, raw organ-meats do tend to be much easier to digest than raw muscle-meats, which is an important point to consider for those with digestive systems already wrecked by years of being on cooked-diets. You should start off with the standard organ-meats(ie liver, kidney, heart, tongue). More experienced RAFers/RPDers eventually opt for other organ-meats like raw adrenals, brains, marrow, suet, thyroid etc. Also, bear in mind that organ-meats are much cheaper than muscle-meats in price. Raw glands like adrenals/thyroid etc. are also often needed as a cooked diet can often lead to deterioration of one’s glandular system over time. Farms like NorthStar Bison http://www.northstarbison.com/ and Slanker’s http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/ supply these. If you can’t find a relevant farm which can offer such glands, then try websites offering raw glandulars from grassfed cattle such as http://www.drrons.com/ .
*I had a bit of difficulty eating raw organic, grassfed liver in the first couple of weeks or so of trying it. My own solution was to bolt down tiny slivers of it without chewing(you don’t need to chew much on a RAF diet, anyway), and then chase each tiny sliver with a big gulp of mineral-water. I then got used to the taste and started to enjoy raw liver, so it wasn’t necessary any more to gulp the mineral-water afterwards. Funnily enough, after a while, I started getting a gag-reflex to more and more cooked-foods. I guess that is partly because one’s dietary habits, to a large extent, dictate what our taste-buds experience.
7) One good reason why I was able to start enjoying the taste of my raw-animal-foods relatively quickly was that I was always keen on getting as much variety as possible in my diet. So I would visit every nearby farmers’ market(or ethnic-oriented market) until I found such exotic things as raw wild boar meat, goat meat, wild hare, mutton(which is far better than lamb and cheaper as well) – inevitably, I would find that a few of the muscle-meats tasted great the first time I tried them(eg:- raw goatmeat) while others(eg:- raw chicken) I couldn’t stand the taste of(indeed raw chicken is one of the few raw meats I still don’t like the taste of). I would also switch to quite different farms for the same type of meats, if those meats weren’t to my liking. Too many RAFers stick to just a few foods like pork or beef from just one food-source/farm, and then, unsurprisingly, complain of the lack of taste, which is really just a lack of variety.
I should add that, according to anecdotal reports, most RAFers get used to(and start enjoying) the taste of raw animal foods, in general, within c.8 to 12 months. This is, of course, complicated by other factors – for example, the more cooked-food you eat, the less likely it is/the longer it is that you develop a taste for Raw Animal Foods(60%+ is recommended, with most RAFers sticking to 85%+ raw).
8 ) While it’s very important to experiment with raw foods in a variety of ways so as to ensure your particular needs are met, I should point out that there can be a danger that one becomes too much obsessed with one’s diet, to the exclusion of other matters. For example, when I first started, I’d assumed(wrongly) that if raw animal food was good that the more I ate of it each day , the faster my health-recovery would be -but I found, that, actually, the body needs some rest from digestion from time to time in order to concentrate on healing, and that Intermittent Fasting also helped to aid my health-recovery, along with my RVAF diet(“RVAF Diet ” is short for ” Raw Animal and Vegetable Diet”). It should be noted, also, that as raw food contains far more useful nutrients than cooked-food, that it’s not necessary or a good idea to eat the same amounts of food as you did on a cooked-diet.
9) Type of diet:- Some people prefer doing a raw diet with only small amounts of raw animal foods and lots of raw plant-foods(eg:- Instincto), while others prefer a raw diet with lots of raw animal-foods and some raw plant-foods(the majority), and still others prefer raw zero-carb where no one eats any raw plant-food.
10) Enzymes and bacteria:- Many people, if they continue to eat a little cooked-food find it beneficial to supplement with enzymes before such a cooked dinner, so as to make up for the deficiency of enzymes in such cooked-meals. Others like to take probiotics like EM products(“Effective Microorganisms”
or bacteria-rich “high-meat” before such a meal, in order to reduce any detox-effects from eating any cooked-food. People whose digestive systems have been heavily wrecked after years of being on cooked-diets might find it beneficial to add in enzyme-supplements or EM-probiotics in order to speed up the repair of their digestive systems. “High-Meat” is a fermented food frequently consumed by the Inuit in their traditional diets and is quite often used by Raw-Animal-Foodists nowadays, though it is generally recommended for people to only try “High-Meat” once they’ve gotten used to fresh, raw animal foods in general, purely for reasons of taste. A”High-Meat” Recipe-Preparation Section is included in the Recipes forum:-
*Re chewing:- AV says that the ptyalin in your saliva retards the action of protein digesting enzymes so you should expose the least amount of surface area of your food to saliva in your mouth for optimum digestion, which translates to minimal chewing.In other words, unlike with cooked-foods which need to be chewed due to a lack of enzymes in them, raw foods can and should be bolted down with minimal chewing. * I mention this as some newbies claim that some raw meats can be too tough to chew.*
*It should also be noted that some RVAF diet newbies, such as myself when I first started, can be highly sensitive to any kind of processing of raw foods, even raw ground meats. I mention this as most rawpalaeo newbies start off with raw ground meats as they are more used to the idea of eating them(perhaps from eating steak tartare in former cooked-diet days). So those are best advised to stick to non ground meats instead.
Detox:- It’s quite common to experience a detox for a certain period if you switch suddenly cold-turkey to raw. This is due to the body finally being able to get rid of toxins from years of being on a toxic cooked-food diet.
*It should be noted that genuine detoxes tend to be relatively mild and short-term in duration(and they should get gradually reduced in terms of frequency, duration and severity until you don’t have them any more). At least, in my own case, I would have a mild detox(warm forehead, fatigue and slightly runny nose) lasting from 2 to 7 days, every 2 to 4 months, and these detoxes stopped completely after a couple of years on the diet. (I still experience detox after the very occasional cooked-meal but this is simply the body’s efforts to get rid of the toxins from that meal, not anything else).
*It should be noted that if a detox goes on and on ,increasing in severity, and coincides with the consumption of a particular food, then you can be sure that this is due to a food-intolerance or whatever, rather than a genuine detox. In my own case, I consumed raw dairy in the first few months of going raw and I became very ill – it took 6 months before I realised that I wasn’t experiencing detox but merely a food-intolerance towards raw dairy.*
Important info:- It’s a really good idea to gradually read through all the sticky topics at the top of the general discussions forum as well as the entire archives of the rawpaleodiet Yahoo Group as well, as that should provide answers to many of the questions you haven’t even thought of yet(to read the links etc., you’ll have to join the rawpaleodiet group):-
Also useful, is this Q&A archive from allexperts.com:-
French-language speakers may be interested in this site as well:-
*While many RAFers go all-raw, there are always people who can’t, for various lifestyle reasons/work/family etc., leave off unhealthy foods entirely 100% of the time. Here are some suggestions as to how to compromise:-
1) If you’re a smoker, get rid of the pipes, cigars and cigarettes, and replace them with snuff(raw tobacco powder).Sniffing snuff means that you still get a nicotine rush, but you don’t get the usual smoking problems re smoke-ash in the lungs etc.
2) If you can’t bear cutting out alcohol, then only go in for transparent, non-coloured spirits or real ale. The main things in coloured alcohol that cause hangovers are the congeners, artificial chemicals which are most present in such alcohols. So that means vodka, clear gin, white rum, non-flavoured grappa and the like. Real Ale is the best option as it’s raw, unheated, and is full of live, fermenting bacteria. Real Ale is called “cask-conditioned-ale” or “cask-brewed ale” in the USA. Fewer pubs than ever serve genuine real ale – so it’s best to look in on upmarket supermarkets and look for the phrase “bottle-conditioned” or “secondary fermentation” on the labels of beer-bottles – if the beer-bottle is one of the very unusual bottles with a thin metal wire circling round the bottle a few inches from the cap/cork, then it’s always genuine real ale.
3) When eating a cooked-food meal with non-RAF-eating friends, it’s a good idea to take some enzyme supplements and some “high-meat” before going out to the meal. That way, you’ll experience fewer issues re poor digestion of the cooked-foods, and the hangover-effect that happens when one consumes junk-food and the body then detoxes it out of one’s system.
(Oh, and here’s a quick resume, off the top of my head re what I, personally, eat – obviously everyone will have widely different sources, depending on their locality:-
(just a quick review, foods listed are eaten raw, organic/grassfed/wildcaught or free-range/grassfed etc.):-
wild hare carcasses-plus organs/ leg of lamb/mutton plus lamb organs, venison organs, goose-/quail-/duck-/chicken-eggs, sea-urchin-eggs, swordfish, giant tiger prawns, lobster, crab,mussels, kingfish, shark, beef organs, free-range turkey breast-fillets(whole goose and whole turkey at Christmas), wild boar muscle-meats/organs, horse-muscle-meat, heather honeycomb, samphire, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, bananas, wild mallard duck and organs, limpets, goat muscle-meat.
Organs would usually include tongue, liver, kidney, heart, plus, in some of the above cases, brains(rarely), suet and marrow. Some items are only eaten by me rarely or seasonally(eg:- eggs or sea-urchin-eggs))
*Addendum*:- It’s generally a bad idea to mix cooked and raw foods together. The 2 require different digestive processes(cooked-food requires the stomach to produce much more stomach-acid etc.), so, if one is suffering from digestive problems, it’s really best to stick to raw foods. If one is forced to eat partially-raw for social reasons, then the best thing to do is separate the consumption of cooked-food and the consumption of raw foods into separate meals, leaving several hours inbetween.
*Further addendum*:- While the following article has nothing to do with diet, it may be of interest to some as it involves palaeo-style practices:-
*1 other thing:- Raw Vegans often have problems adjusting to raw animal foods because their whole digestive system has been so attuned to eating raw plants(requiring different enzymes and bacteria), that they at first have problems digesting raw animal foods. So, if you’re an ex-raw vegan, take things slowly and up the amounts of raw meat a little at a time. HTH,