Almost a raw vegan!
Almost a raw vegan!
I came across this website while I was looking online for raw vegan info.
A little about myself:
I’m from California, in my second year of university.
Over the course of the past five years (my high school years + first year of university), I went from being overweight and eating junk-food diet to leaner but calorie-counting diet, to finally what I am now: no processed foods, huge amounts of fruits, moderate amounts of vegetables, small amount of meats.
This summer, I am away from home, at university doing research and taking classes. I decided to stop eating the dining hall foods and start buying and preparing my own foods. One thing I noticed is how uncomfortable I feel preparing the meats. I’ve also noticed that meat does not taste very good unless I put loads of pepper on it. And plus, meat makes me feel heavy and doesn’t give me that “clean” feeling. Anyway, the point is, I am ready to make the leap to raw veganism!
I’ve done some research, but I still have a few questions I hope some of you can answer for me:
1. What is a good protein source?
From what I have been reading, it seems like hemp seeds are very good. What else is there?
2. I am taking a Nutritional Sciences class right now, and one of our assignments was to record our food intake for three days and enter it into their program. Anyway it says I have deficiencies in calcium and Vitamin E. What can I do to help this?
I’m not even sure if calcium is something I need to worry about. I’ve read about the “China Study” and the Chinese and other cultures eat way less calcium than Americans do, yet Americans are the ones who get the most osteoporosis.
Regarding Vitamin E, I think the program might be right. I have been noticing dry skin lately. I know sunflower seeds are great. Any other sources?
3. What about Vitamin B12? I know it’s only produced by bacteria. whfoods.com only lists animal products as high in Vitamin B12.
4. What about Vitamin D during winter when I’m not getting enough sunlight? Again, whfoods.com only lists animal sources.
5. How do you guys get your essential fatty acids? From what I’ve been reading, it seems like many plant sources that are high in protein are also high in EFAs.
Thanks in advance. And sorry for such a long post!
I am interested on protein information too, I use hemp seed protein but I am really eager for more information on the reality of our nutritional requirements.
Calcium info would be great too…
As far as d, if you live in california you should be ok with your d, as you can store it. Just make sure you get outside for 10-15 minutes on nice days.
Yay, someone already did a good part of the work for me – thanks, anngoingraw!
Welcome, Jason! Hemp seeds have the ideal omega3 to omega6 ratio, and a 2 Tablespoon serving of hempseeds supplies 1,000 mg of omega3s.
From what I remember, The China Study said that the countries consuming the most DAIRY PRODUCTS had the most osteoporosis – that doesn’t mean that calcium is bad.
Raw vegan sources of calcium include:
dark leafy veggies (kale, spinach, etc.), sesame seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, asparagus, broccoli
For vitamin D, it’s true that there aren’t any plant foods high in this vitamin, but yes, your body can store it, although I live in Utah & it is hard to get enough sun during the summer to last me through the winter. Sunflower seeds and mushrooms have some vitamin D, & I did better than usual two winters ago because I ate stuff made from sunflower seeds A LOT. This summer, I’m trying to get more sun regularly so I won’t be so deficient (I’ve had to take a supplement of it lately).
vitamin E: whole wheat, leafy dark green veggies, corn, brussels sprouts, watercress, vegetable oils (be sure it’s cold-pressed AND unfiltered if you want the really raw stuff – my favorite olive oil comes from www.barianioliveoil.com and is organic even if it isn’t certified yet)
On www.nutritiondata.com you can search for foods highest in certain nutrients, and even narrow it to searching within certain categories of foods. I just wish there was a raw vegan website like that so I wouldn’t have to search past all the other stuff :)
As for B12, bee pollen has lots of B12 AND is a good source of protein.
Also, ask your nutrition teacher about this – From what I understand, B12 is used my the body to break down proteins. So how much B12 do we need if we’re just consuming plant foods with amino acids already available instead of consuming whole animal proteins (meat, dairy, eggs…) that would have to be broken down first?
Thanks for all the great info guys!
Can I get bee pollen from the local grocery store?
I get bee pollen from the health food store, but the pharmacy sections of some grocery stores carry it, too.
My nutrition teacher says the last time she really learned anything about B12 was that it helped with nerve function. She says she hasn’t really been keeping up with news about B12.
Thanks for asking for me :)
I just found out that my university actually has a B12 expert. I plan on asking him a few questions soon. I’ll update with new B12 info when I can.
Anyway, I have been doing more reading about B12, and I’ve read that sources like spirulina might not contain B12, but rather, B12 analogues. These are similar in structure to B12, but don’t do what B12 does. It might actually compete with the absorption of B12 into the body, and further reduce your absorption of B12. However, I was talking to a friend yesterday, and he said that he read that your body can actually conver those analogues to the usable form. Anyway, this is all very confusing news. Can anyone shed some light?
bee pollen has the usable form. I have heard the conflict, too, but I’m not an expert.
jason – loved hearing your story! doesn’t raw food taste delicious the longer you eat it? i can’t even look at donuts or fruit roll ups without getting grossed out!
i followed a similar path to nutrition – my wake up call was that i had cancerous cells in my cervix – at only 21 years old! i had to fix my nutrition and fast! it’s so fortunate that you’ve found raw food before health problems really hit – because sometimes it’s too late to reverse them. it’s amazing how much we learn about nutrition as a raw foodist! if only folks on the standard american diet were so concerned with iron levels, body pH, calcium absorption, enzymes. it sounds like angie gave you a wealth of information. if you find out info about b12, please enlighten us.
jason, i have heard that about the seavegetables and B12. if you search this site’s forum you will see that there are lots of differernt opinions on it and even the vegan/raw doctors can’t agree on it. so i am one of those folks that takes a supplement. you can always get your blood tested periodically so you can see if you are running low in any nutrients.
oh i also just read my kombucha bottle. it has 20% RDA of B-12. and it’s so good for you in many other ways.