If you feel you’re in need of a detox but the lack of solid food with juicing seems a little too hard core then a 7 day raw food diet plan may be the one for you. I regularly get asked about the raw food diet and this dietary movement certainly seems to have gained momentum in recent years, no doubt in part due to our increasing awareness of the connection between what we eat and our health.

The premise is simple – raw foods have a higher nutrient value than cooked meals. Indeed it is a peculiar thing that us humans are the only species on the planet who ritually heat our foods before consuming them. As any raw foodist will tell you, unfortunately the use of many modern day cooking methods destroys the natural enzymes that help us to digest our food properly.

Cooking or high temperature processing such as pasteurising can also deplete the content of micronutrients like vitamin C as well as important phytonutrients such as beta-carotene which is vital for our eye sight and a healthy immune system.

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Even more worryingly, the exponents of the raw food diet claim that heating our food often creates toxins that we cannot deal with effectively since we are in a constant cycle of consuming hot meals.

Personally I think I would struggle to be a full time raw foodist but I have definitely felt its benefits for myself over occasional shorter spells which I would summarise as follows:

Weight loss

Eating only raw foods for several days is a sure fire way to shed a few unwanted pounds. By eliminating stimulants like caffeine along with sugars and refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta our blood sugar levels will stabilise and your body will begin to burn off unnecessary energy reserves i.e. body fat.

You’ll be feeding your body with a higher level of nutrients so as the week goes on you should notice your appetite actually starts to shrink.

Detoxify

Many toxins within the body are fat soluble so as we lose the body fat we flush out the toxins too. Critics of detox diets argue that the human body is more than capable of detoxifying itself naturally. Whilst this is true, our modern diets and lifestyles tend to throw more at the body than we can always cope with meaning that our detoxification pathways are often overworked and end up not working as well as they should do.

The body requires good levels of nutrients in order to detoxify properly so it can only be a good thing to look after our vital organs by giving them a helping hand every now and then.

Re-balanced blood sugars

Eliminating added sugars and refined carbohydrates from our daily diets is crucial for regaining control of your health for several reasons. After just seven days of raw foods you should notice your cravings for sugary foods will subside as well as for stimulants like caffeine. This in turn will leave you with better energy levels, improved concentration and more balanced moods

Nutrient boost

Most average western diets are deficient in some way or another so by significantly boosting your intake of vital nutrients you’ll be giving your body what it is truly craving. With an optimised level of nutrients all the body’s processes should become more effective.

One of the most important benefits raw foods can offer is a boost to the immune system which is great for recovering from an illness as well as acting as a preventative measure

The re-set button

This is perhaps the most important benefit for me personally since whether you need to lose weight or sort out your cravings or not or sort, this programme offers a great kick start to get you back on track to a much healthier lifestyle.

It is inevitable that we’ll fall off the wagon from time to time. Life happens! But remember you can always get yourself back on track with my 7 day raw food diet plan, followed by a sensible, balanced diet.

So here is my 7 day raw food diet plan, bringing together some of my favourite raw food recipes, all of them simple to prepare without compromising on taste. It may look like a lot of preparation but be remind yourself of the total absence of cooking time. You can get yourself organised and make your next day’s breakfast and lunch the night before if you’re short on time.

It is worth investing in a couple of good quality glass / pyrex food containers to store your meals. Glass does not leech potentially harmful chemicals into foods or liquids unlike some plastic containers and will also go cold much quicker when placed into the fridge to keep your food fresh.

Feel free to swap any of the dishes around some days but ensure you always eat one breakfast, one lunch and a dinner option. If you need to snack between meals simply stick to raw veg sticks (peppers, celery, cucumber, carrots etc) and a handful of nuts and seeds. Avoid all stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol for maximum results as they will be counterproductive to the benefits of the diet.

Your essential kit for the week will be a good quality food processor and a blender along with as many organic fruit and vegetables as you can find!

Day 1

Breakfast: Berry smoothie

Ingredients:

– 1 small handful or blueberries
– 4-5 strawberries
– 1cm thick wedge of pineapple, skin removed
– ½ glass of dairy free milk e.g. almond or coconut
– 1 tbspn of natural yoghurt, ideally from goats or sheeps milk
– 1 tbsp milled chia or flaxseeds
– 2-3 ice cubes

Method:

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Lunch: Avocado and mango salad

Ingredients:

– 100g mango, chopped into small chunks
– ½ ripe avocado chopped into small chunks
– 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
– 1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped
– 1 garlic clove, crushed
– Juice of 1 lime
– 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– Pinch of sea salt & black pepper
– Sprouts to garnish e.g. alfalfa or bean sprouts

7 day raw food diet plan_02

Method:

– Toss the spinach with one table spoon of olive oil, lime juice, salt & pepper and arrange as the bed of the dish in a bowl.
– Place all other ingredients into a separate mixing bowl and combine with another splash of olive oil, holding back a little coriander for garnish. – Place this mix into on top of the spinach leaves and garnish with the sprouts and the remaining coriander.

Dinner: Raw mushroom curry

Curry base ingredients:

– 1/4 cup cashews
– 1 cup water
– 1 teaspoon curry powder
– 1/4 cup diced white onion
– Sea salt or Himalayan pink rock salt rock salt and black pepper

Marinated mushrooms & onions ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
– 1/4 cup diced onion
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon soy sauce
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped coriander

Method:

– Firstly marinate the mushrooms and onions by tossing them in the lemon juice, soy sauce and coriander. Leave them for at least an hour, stirring once or twice to ensure they’re well marinated.
– Next blend all of the curry base ingredients together until smooth. Season to taste and place in a bowl before adding the marinated mushroom mixture on top. Garnish with a couple more sprigs of fresh coriander.
– This can also be served on top of cauliflower pilaf rice for which you would simply need to finely chop ½ a cauliflower in a food processor (see the recipe for the cauliflower tabouleh, day 3) and add ½ cup of fresh garden peas stirred through it.

Day 2

Breakfast: Super green smoothie

Ingredients:

– 500ml spring water
– 2 handfuls spinach
– 1 pear
– 2 dried pitted dates (pre soaking them overnight in water will help get a smoother consistency)
– 1 tbsp almond or cashew butter
– 1 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid state)
– ¼ ripe avocado
– ½ cucumber, peeled
– Sprinkle of cinnamon
– 1 tsp Honey or Agave to taste if required
– 3 ice cubes

7 day raw food diet plan_07

Method:

– Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve in a tall glass

Lunch: Nutty rawslaw salad

Ingredients:

– 2 carrots
– ½ red cabbage
– ½ white cabbage
– 2 green spring onions
– ½ cup of mixed sprouts to garnish

For the dressing:

– ¼ cup of cashews, pre-soaked in water for 4 hours
– 1 tbsp tahini
– 1 tsp English mustard
– 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
– 1 large clove garlic
– Juice of ½ lemon
– 4-5 good sized sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

Method:

– Chop all of the vegetables individually in a food processor before placing them into a large mixing bowl.
– Blend the dressing ingredients in a blender then stir it through the shredded veg.
– Add a little more lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste before garnishing with the sprouts.
– This dish will keep for at least a couple of days in your fridge should you want to snack on it another time.

Dinner: Raw corn chowder

Ingredients:

– 1 can of sweet corn (approx 200g)
– 1/2 cup cashews, ideally pre-soaked for 2+ hours
– 4-5 Sun-dried tomatoes (must be rehydrated so can be from a jar in oil)
– ½ white onion
– 1 cup still mineral water
– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 2 tsp paprika
– 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
– 1 tbsp freshly chopped dill to garnish

Method:

– Hold back half of the sweet corn before blending all ingredients together in a blender.
– Check the flavours and season accordingly.
– Once you have a smooth soup like consistency stir in the remaining corn kernels and serve with the dill as garnish

Day 3

Breakfast: Cashew mocha milkshake

Ingredients:

– 1 banana, peeled, halved and frozen
– 1 cup almond milk
– 2 tsp fine ground coffe beans
– 1 pitted date, chopped
– ¼ cup cashews
– 1 tsp ground nutmeg or cinnamon as you prefer
– 1 tbsp cacao powder
– 3-4 ice cubes

Method:

– Pre soaking the cashews and chopped date in the almond milk overnight should give you a smoother consistency.
– Simply place all ingredients into a blender and blend down until there are no lumps left.
– You can sprinkle more nutmeg or cinnamon on the top to serve as you wish

Lunch: Cauliflower and pomegranate tabouleh

Ingredients:

– ½ 5 cauliflower, the larger stalks removed
– 6 large tomatoes, flesh and seeds scooped out then finely chopped
– 2 finely chopped spring onions
– ½ large cucumber, finely chopped after seeds scooped out
– 80g pomegranate seeds
– 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 3 large bunches of parsley, finely chopped
– 3 large bunches of mint, finely chopped
– Juice of ½ lemon
– Sea salt or Himalayan pink rock salt rock salt and black pepper

Method:

– Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until you have the fine consistency of couscous. Leave to one side.
– Halve tomatoes and scoop out the flesh. Chop finely into very small pieces.
– Peel the cucumber, halve, scoop out seeds with a spoon, then finely dice.
– Finely chop the parsley and mint.
– Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and mix well.
– Season with salt & pepper to taste

Dinner: Spicy gazpacho

Ingredients:

– 1 large red bell pepper,
– 1 large tomato, cut into two halves
– ½ white onion
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 1 small Jalapeno chilli, deseeded
– ½ teaspoon ground cumin
– ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped into large chunks
– ½ cup still mineral water
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– Bunch of freshly chopped coriander
– Juice of ½ lemon
– 3 ice cubes
– Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
– ½ avocado chopped to 1cm chunks to garnish
– Handful of chopped coriander to garnish

7 day raw food diet plan_05

Method:

– Blend all ingredients apart from the avocado together in a blender.
– Add a little more water or ice if necessary until you get your preferred consistency.
– Serve in a large soup bowl and garnish with the avocado and coriander

Day 4

Breakfast: Chocolate breakfast smoothie

Ingredients:

– 4-5 pitted dried dates, chopped
– 6 almonds
– 1 tbsp Cacao powder
– 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
– 1 tbsp Porridge oats
– ½ banana (tastes great if this has been frozen)
– ½ glass of dairy free milk
– 1 tbsp milled chia or flaxseeds
– 1 tsp cinnamon powder

Method:

– Pre soak the dates and almonds in the dairy free milk, ideally overnight to allow them to soften a little.
– Then simply combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve in a tall glass

Lunch: Cherry tomato and pesto with avocado, coconut and mint salad

Cherry tomato and pesto ingredients:

– 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
– 1 cup spinach
– 1/2 cup walnuts
– 1/4 cup pine nuts
– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
– 1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
– Pinch of sea salt or Himalayan pink rock salt

Method:

– Add all ingredients minus the tomatoes to a food processor and process until everything you have a smooth pesto consistency.
– Combine the pesto with the tomatoes in a bowl until they are well covered.

Avocado, coconut and mint salad

Ingredients:

– Half a head of cos lettuce, shredded
– ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
– 1 ripe avocado, chopped into 1cm chunks
– Sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds to sprinkle over the top
– For the coconut dressing
– Juice of two limes
– 2 tbsp raw honey or agave syrup
– 1tbsp coconut oil (in liquid state)
– 2 large bunches of mint, finely chopped (this can also be swapped for coriander for a rather different but equally pleasant taste)
– Pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

– Scatter all the tomatoes, avocado and seeds over a bed of shredded cos lettuce, then blend all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the top.
– Serve together on a plate with the cherry tomato and pesto.

Dinner: Raw pad thai

Ingredients:

– 2 courgettes, cut into long strips (first cut the courgettes lengthways into thin slices before using a peeler to cut down finer strips from top to bottom)
– 3 carrots, shredded (use the food processor to shred all the veg here)
– Half a red cabbage, shredded
– 1 red bell pepper, sliced
– 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
– 1 cup bean sprouts
– 1 cup of spring onions, finely chopped
– Large handful of pistachios, de-shelled and crushed or chopped crushed for garnishing

7 day raw food diet plan_04

For the dressing:

– 1 tbsp dark tahini
– 1/2 cup fresh apple juice
– 1 Large handful of coriander, finely chopped
– Freshly squeezed juice of one lime
– 1/4 cup tamarind sauce
– 1cm thick chunk of fresh ginger, shredded or finely grated

Method:

– Blend the dressing ingredients down until smooth.
– Prepare all the main veggie ingredients by slicing and shredding, etc.
– Combine with the dressing in a large bowl before serving onto plates and topping with the crushed pistachios.

Day 5

Breakfast: Chocolate chia pudding

Ingredients:

– 2 tbsp Chia seeds, left to soak in 1 cup water for at least an hour. You may need to add a little more water if it becomes too thick
– 3 tbsp Cacao powder
– 3-4 tbsp Agave (or Honey)
– 1 Avocado (or you can also use 2 Bananas instead)
– 1 tsp Vanilla essence
– 3 ice cubes

Method:

– Once the Chia are soaked and soft enough simply throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
– Serve in a ramekin, mug or small bowl.

Lunch: Courgette hummus with veggie batons

Ingredients:

For the hummus

– 2 courgettes, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– Juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
– ¼ tsp Cayenne powder
– 1 ½ tsp Paprika powder
– 3/4 cup raw dark tahini
– 1 tsp sesame seeds to garnish
– Large handful of freshly chopped coriander to garnish
– Freshly ground sea salt to taste

7 day raw food diet plan_03

For the veggie battons

– 1 carrot, peeled
– ¼ cucumber
– ½ small red bell pepper
– 2 sticks of celery

Method:

– For the guacamole blend all ingredients bar the coriander together in a blender until smooth, without any major lumps. You may need to add a little more lemon juice and a splash more oil to help with this.
– Serve into a large bowl and garnish with the coriander and sprinkled sesame seeds.
– Cut all of the remaining veggie ingredients into 4-5cm long batons. Dip them into the hummus and enjoy. Be careful who’s around, this dish rarely lasts long in our house!

Dinner: Mediterranean summer style soup

Ingredients:

– 1 small can of sweet corn (approx. 200g)
– 1 red bell pepper, chopped into small chunks
– 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into small chunks
– 1 medium courgette, chopped into small chunks
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
– 1 garlic clove, crushed
– 2 sundried tomatoes
– Large handful of freshly chopped basil
– 2 cups mineral water
– 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp honey or agave syrup
– 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
– Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

– Combine all the sweet corn, peppers, courgette and tomatoes into a mixing bowl
– Hold back around 1/3 of the veggie mixture to one side before placing all remaining ingredients into a blender
– Blend down to a thin soup consistency.
– Add the other veggies back in and ideally chill the dish in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving to allow the flavours to develop.

Day 6

Breakfast: Probiotic fruit crunch

Ingredients:

– ½ cup fresh berries (can be any combination of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, chopped strawberries or anything else you like)
– 2 tbsp porridge oats
– 1 tsp pumpkin seeds
– 1 tsp sunflower seeds
– 2-3 tbsp organic live (bio) yoghurt
– ½ tsp ground cinnamon
– Honey or agave syrup for drizzling on top (optional)

Method:

– Use a large glass tumbler to serve this from.
– Start off by layering a little fruit followed by porridge oats then a sprinkling of seeds.
– Add a little yoghurt as your final layer and then repeat the process until you fill the glass, sprinkling a little cinnamon into each layer.

Lunch: Stuffed avocados with cashew mayo

Ingredients:

For the avocado filling

– 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
– ½ apple, chopped into small cubes
– 1 large handful parsley, finely chopped
– ½ cup sunflower seeds
– 1 red onion, finely chopped
– 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
– ½ cucumber, finely chopped
– ½ small can of sweet corn (approx. 100g)

For the cashew mayo

– 1 cup unsalted cashews (ideally pre soaked for up to 1 hr)
– 2 tbsp extra virgin oil
– 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
– Juice of ½ lemon
– 1 clove of garlic, crushed
– Pinch of freshly ground sea salt
– 2 tsp Chipolte seasoning
– ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
– ½ cup of still mineral water

Method:

– Firstly make the mayo by blending all of those ingredients down gradually until you get a good smooth consistency.
– Add more water as necessary. Leave to one side to stand.
– Mix together all the ingredients for the stuffing in a bowl then pour in the mayo and stir right through to make sure the mixture is well covered.
– Cut your avocados in half and carefully remove the stones. If they are still very firm you may need to scoop out a little more of the flesh from the middle and cut diagonal lines down into the flesh to make the stuffing part a little easier
– Spoon in the stuffing mixture and enjoy!

Dinner: Vegetable satay stir fry with celeriac rice

For the rice

– 1 celeriac, cut into large cubes
– 1 clove garlic
– Freshly ground sea salt to taste

For the stir fry

– 2 sticks of celery, chopped
– 1 red bell pepper, chopped
– 1 green bell pepper, chopped
– 3 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced into long thin strips
– 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
– 4 baby corns, halved lengthways then cut in half again across the middle
– 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped

For the satay sauce

– 1tbsp dark tahini
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– 2 tbsp soya sauce
– 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional depending on your tolerance for spicy foods)
– Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Method:

– To produce the rice blend those ingredients together in a food processor until the celeriac is chopped so finely it resembles grains of rice
– Combine all the vegetables and mushrooms together in a mixing bowl
– Blend the satay sauce ingredients until smooth before mixing into the veggies
– Serve on a bed of the celeriac rice and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Day 7

Breakfast: Almond butter and banana smoothie

Ingredients:

– 1 glass almond milk
– 2 tbsp almond butter
– 1 banana, cut in half and frozen
– 3 ice cubes
– ½ tsp cinnamon
– ½ tsp of either cacao or maca powder
– A small pinch of freshly ground sea salt
– 1-2 tsp maple syrup or agave depending on taste preference

Method:

Blend down all ingredients in a blender until you get a deliciously smooth taste

Lunch: Strawberry, avocado and mint salad

Ingredients:

For the salad

– Mix leaf salad or alternatively simply 1 Large handful of rocket and 1 Large handful or spinach
– 1 large handful of mint, freshly chopped
– 1/2 Avocado, sliced
– 6 strawberries, sliced
– ½ red onion, finely chopped
– 1 tsp pumpkin seeds to garnish

For the dressing

– 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
– 1 tbsp Walnut/Avocado or extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tbsp pitted black olives, chopped
– 1 tsp honey, maple or agave syrup
– Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

7 day raw food diet plan_06

Method:

– Combine all salad ingredients apart from the avocado together in a large salad bowl
– Whisk the dressing ingredients together and slowly drizzle evenly over the salad
– Top with the avocado and then sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds before serving

Dinner: Raw burrito’s with guacamole

Ingredients:

For the guacamole

– 2 ripe avocados
– 1 small red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
– ½ red onion
– ½ tsp ground cumin
– Large handful of fresh coriander, chopped
– Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed

For the remaining fillings

– ½ small can of sweet corn (approx 100g)
– ½ cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
– ½ can of kidney beans (ok these are not strictly raw since kidney beans contain toxins in their skin in their raw state and therefore need to be cooked but we can make an exception here!)
– 1 iceberg lettuce, the largest outer leaves removed individually and rinsed

Method:

– Your kidney beans can be the ones already flavoured with some basic Mexican style spices if you wish to cut corners. If not you can simply mix them into the beans in a bowl yourself.
– Use ½ teaspoon of each of the following: chilli powder, paprika, cumin, coriander and garlic powder
– Blend the avocado, chilli, onion, cumin, coriander and lime juice together in a food processor.
– Add the lime juice slowly, using ½ at first then adding more gradually until you get a smooth enough texture. You now have your guacamole.
– Next place a generous tablespoon of the guacamole into each the lettuce leaves that will form your burrito wrap.
– Pack in the chopped tomatoes, beans and sweet corns alongside the guacamole and wrap the lettuce around the filling to form your burrito.

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