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Rawvolution: Part II, Tips for Beginning Your Raw Food Lifestyle

Thursday, November 13, 2008 by: Kevin Gianni
Tags: raw foods, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Matt Amsdam shares on the challenges of beginning a raw food lifestyle.

Renegade Water Secrets with Matt Amsdam, the CEO of Rawvolution and owner of the Rawvolution café in Santa Monica. He's also the creator of "The Box," which ships raw foods directly to customers in the continental U.S. overnight.

Kevin: Let's move a little bit into raw food and the raw food lifestyle. What was the greatest challenge for you starting the raw food way of life? What were some of the biggest hurdles that you had to overcome?

Matt: I think it would probably resonate with what most people face, the actual physical addiction to cooked food, which I think anyone who tries to not eat corn chips or bread for a day will realize it is something that happens. That's just in the beginning though. After a couple of months of using willpower you don't have to use willpower anymore and it just becomes something that you're used to. But it's certainly tough for people at the very beginning.

Then I would say the fact that you're sort of stepping into another world from where other people are. It comes up a lot in social situations. You find people will say, "I was doing so well. I was really motivated. I did raw for two months and then the holidays and I didn't feel comfortable around my family and they were upset that I wasn't eating what was offered." That's definitely something that happens and I can empathize with that. But I will say, that too will pass.

These days the more you become comfortable with what you're doing the more people around you will become comfortable with it and they'll realize that you're not trying to be an outsider or anti-social, you're just making a choice for yourself. There's less offense taken and people start to realize it's something you really believe in and you're committed to and you can enjoy the holidays and whatever other dinner gathering it is in another way, just with company. You don't all have to be eating turkey to have a good time.

Kevin: Yeah. In some of the early days when you were dealing with this, with your family, what were some of the things you did? Did you bring your own food or did you just push it around?

Matt: In the very beginning I hadn't come up with any, or knew of any raw food recipes so it was just making a big salad. When you have a big salad on Thanksgiving or Christmas people look at you like you're somewhat strange. But like I said, it only has to be willpower-driven for a short amount of time then you start to feel comfortable with what you're doing. The benefits of doing it far outweigh the glares that you may get for the first little while.

Kevin: What do you think is a good way...you went basically 100% raw overnight. What's the best way for someone to start into it? Do you feel that that's a good way or do you think maybe it should be done more gradually?

Matt: I don't think it's necessarily the best way. It was the best way for me. I think it's kind of based on your personality. I'm the kind of person that I don't do well with moderation. I needed to totally separate from one world and totally just focus on the raw thing in order to get past all those hurdles. I was living in a place where I didn't even know a vegetarian, let alone anybody that was into raw foods. So I really had to sort of make the distinction really clearly so that I could get through the detox stage and all of the social hang-ups and things like that.

What seems to work for most people is introducing more raw foods into the diet as time goes on. The detox symptoms are lessened that way. Then you can still go out to dinners and partake in cooked food and things like that. And you may never get to 100% raw. It's not necessarily the goal. I think if you're motivated to go 100% raw overnight, why not? Give it a shot. It only gets better every day. If not, it's really just based on personality. Like some people quit smoking by going cold turkey and some people need to try a number of other things. There's no one right answer.

Kevin: Did you ever have a time where you kind of fell off track and then got back on?

Matt: No, I was really super-motivated, as I said, and I approached it with real fervency for doing it 100%. For ten years I haven't tasted a cooked food dish or anything like that, not even a little bit. Also a part of that was, not to treat it religiously, but knowing that I wanted to promote it as an idea I wanted to show that it was possible. These days there's a lot of precedence set that this is not only OK but it's actually really healthy. But ten years ago it was more of an experiment than it is now. I didn't want it to appear that, "Well, you're healthy but you eat rice once a week," or something like that. I really wanted to say, "I've been doing this 100% for X amount of time and these are the results." So it was kind of like not messing with any of the variables in the experiment. You know what I mean? Kind of keeping it a pure experiment.

Kevin: Interesting. Were there any challenges along the way that maybe set you back a little bit or that you questioned what you were doing a little bit?

Matt: Yeah. Like I said, the detoxing thing, especially from going from eating
McDonald's two times a day to 100% raw, the physical things that happen. I didn't need to lose any weight. I was a thin person at that time and I lost about 15 pounds. So here you are saying, "This is something I've learned about. I believe in this, it's the healthiest thing going," and I looked terrible. My parents and people around me were pretty worried and surprised and to honest with you they thought I was crazy. It was hard to defend the theory in the face of looking as poorly as I did. But the weight came back. It was hard to tell people, "I'm eating healthy now but I look terrible because it's a detox situation." That's a tough thing to swallow for a lot of people. So that was hard emotionally to go through, but I wouldn't trade it for the world now.

Kevin: And with the weight gain, how did you manage to gain the weight back? Did you add anything else into your diet?

Matt: No, it was just the natural process. The weight loss was just the natural process of the body cleansing itself of old stuff and then the weight gain was just a rebuilding, using the good materials. From the time I lost the weight till I gained it back I hadn't done anything particularly different. It was just a matter of a certain amount of time that the body needed to get out with the old and in with the new. It was pretty telling to me though because here I was eating a "low protein" diet and I gained 15 pounds of good weight on that kind of food.

Kevin: It's almost like laughing in the face, right?

Matt: Yeah, exactly. It was a nice little retribution in some way because it's like, yeah, I had to go through that period looking terrible and losing weight, but then it's like ah, I gained it all back, on vegetables. Take that.

Kevin: [laughs] I want to move into some of the food prep questions. We got a ton of food prep questions and there are a lot of good ones here. So I'm just going to kind of rattle them off and you can just answer them as long or as short as you want.

The first one is this: In your opinion, what do you think are the most nutritious
foods?

Matt: Greens, as a general, or a broad, category. I would say greens are the most nutritious food. They have the most protein, the most minerals. To get specific I guess I really like celery as a food. I really like any of the dark, leafy greens. Anything really, kale, a lot of people are, "Kale's the most nutritious green." No, they're all good.

Kevin: Salads, smoothies, juice, all three?

Matt: I think salad is the...you can't live without salad. It's interesting because I think there's two sort of processes that happen when you get into raw food. You start eating a lot of salads and then you say, "I'm tired of having salads" and you want to get into some of the gourmet stuff. Then after a while you realize the beauty of a simple salad. I've kind of gone back to that and I make sure to have a huge salad at least once a day. But the more greens you can get in, in any way, is great. I think the green smoothies that Victoria Boutenko promotes are a really great way to get more greens in, which everyone seems to need to do.

To read the rest of this transcript for free as well as access a full archive of information by health experts on abundance, optimum health, and longevity just like Matt Amsden, please visit http://www.renegadehealth.com/inner-circle.p... for a free 30 day trial.

About the author

Kevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.


His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit www.LiveAwesome.com.

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