Looking to add more nutrient- and enzyme-rich raw foods to your diet? Check out these tips from Ani Phyo, author of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials (Da Capo, 2010). “You’ll notice you feel better and better every day, not sluggish, slow, heavy, and tired,” Phyo says.

Start slow. Giving up your favorite cooked foods all at once may feel restrictive, so Phyo recommends eating what you want but supplementing with more whole, fresh, raw foods. Start with what Phyo calls the “gateway” raw food: dessert. You’ll feel much healthier finishing a meal with a sugar-, egg-, and cream-free dessert. Next, incorporate whole, raw foods into every meal. Because raw fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds fill you up—without weighing you down—a nutrient-packed smoothie or a veggie-laden salad often is satisfying enough to be your entire meal.

Begin now. Summer is the ideal time to launch a raw food endeavor—fresh produce is abundant and your body is craving cooling foods. When temperatures drop, make a raw recipe, and then warm it up on the stove.

Be prepared. Stock your kitchen with assorted nuts and flaxseeds, along with jars of herbs, spices, tahini, and nut butters. As for kitchen appliances, Phyo recommends starting with a blender and a food processor.