Getting over the Raw Hump [30 Days in the Raw, Day 6]

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When my wife tells me her idea of eating raw for the month of October I say, “Count me in!” At least that is my initial reaction. Then I see her proposed menu plan for the first week and all I can think is…what have I gotten myself into?!

Growing up, I knew dinner was ready because the smoke detector went off. (True story.) My dad joked that my mom’s hamburgers were like hockey pucks. We ate animal protein with every meal and it was always very well done. Even the vegetables were overcooked, pale and mushy.

smoke alarm Now to be fair, it wasn’t my mother’s fault. She didn’t learn to cook until she was in her 20s and it was more a function than passion for her. That said, she also grew up being told that animal meat wasn’t safe unless it was gray throughout. And there was no awareness of the carcinogenic effects of charred meat.

How we are raised sets the precedent for our palate. Raised being shamed around eating? Then most likely you’ll be less of a risk taker with food. All your vegetables boiled, mushy, and plain? Then most likely you won’t have a taste for them later on.

Up into my mid 20s, I couldn’t eat animal meat, eggs, or fish unless it was well done. The crispier the better. Much of our relationship around food is set early on; it comes from our emotions, textures, smells, tastes, and familiarity. I love meeting clients that have built up a dislike for a certain food but are open to tasting the food prepared in a different way. It can take some time, but getting over the hump of our food conditioning is key.

Going raw primal has been a big stretch for me. Up until October 1st, I still had the “ick” factor around raw beef. My developed love of sushi had gotten me accustomed to raw fish, but beef is a whole other beast (literally). Our first day of eating raw, I thinly sliced some 100% grass-fed beef and although my face was scrunched, I surprised myself and enjoyed the meat. Three days in, I’m feeling surprisingly good. I’m eating less, I’m more satiated then usual, and I have solid, consistent energy.

Here are a few tips for working yourself up to trying some raw primal dishes:

  • When you’re at a restaurant, start ordering your meat medium rare, then graduate to rare.
  • Try making ceviches, where the acidity in the lemon or lime “cooks” the meat. Many assume ceviche needs to be made using seafood, but poultry can be used as well.
  • Once you graduate to raw, sauce it up so you can’t see the meat. The look of raw meat is the hardest part for many people. If you can’t see it, then you might find it easier to eat.
  • Take small bites. It’s not an accident that sushi is served bite sized, or that beef carpaccio is thinly sliced. It’s more aesthetically appealing and palatable in every way.
  • Health-wise, you can’t beat high-quality, raw foods. They are filled with all the nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins that are typically killed when cooking, and simultaneously void of the toxins created by cooking.

If you’re reading this thinking to yourself that you could never eat meat raw, know that I thought the same of myself until just recently. And, despite myself, I’m loving every bite of it!


  1. Pingback: Getting over the Raw Hump [30 Days in the Raw, Day 6] | Eat Naked … | Know What You Eat

  2. Wendy Miller


    So, what about parasites? That’s the part that worries me. I heard that the ginger served with sushi helps to kill any potential parasites. Is it all a myth?

    • @Wendy – good question and I have a couple of thoughts on this. For one, how you eat the meat is vitally important. As I shared in an earlier post quality is paramount, and freezing the meat for 14 days will kill pathogens. This is what takes care of the parasites (most at least). There’s another school of thought that parasites are actually beneficial to us health wise, if operating in a body being fed proper nourishment. It’s believed that they play a role in our detoxification. I’m still new to this concept and will share more as I learn more, but there’s an inner logic that that the body works in cooperation with all these things we fear (bacteria, viruses, parasites) that actually makes a lot of sense to me.

  3. Raw chicken too!?? I’d love to see recipe suggestions to how you’d serve raw chicken. Raw organic free-range of course!

  4. Pingback: Eat Naked-Friday Feature | The Skinny Pear

  5. raw diet lover


    is thispage still active?

    • Chef James



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