"New" approach to raw...thoughts?
Hi there! I discovered green smoothies 2 years ago, and since then I have played heavily with raw foods - being anywhere from high raw to 100% over the past 2 years. I have never been able to stick with the 100% because I tend to get bored eating fruit, smoothies and salads. As a self-admitted fat-phobe, I never experimented with any of the gourmet raw recipes... I've shied away from most of the nut- and seed-based meals.
This past winter my eating went very, very far south... I was eating wayy more processed foods than ever (still always vegan, mind you). I decided I wanted to go all-out 100% raw and give it a good go this time. But I wanted to take a new approach. I figured I would make some of the meals I avoided in the past, and use this time as a transition into a more committed raw food lifestyle. I brought out all my recipe books and actually started preparing some of the yummy recipes. My boyfriend bought a dehydrator this week, and we've been playing with that.
I have noticed that it is FAR easier for me to be on this "diet" eating this way. I have always loooooveeddd to cook - it is a passion that my boyfriend and I share, and we love to spend time together in the kitchen. Limiting myself to simple foods (fruits, smoothies, salads) took this away from me, and was one reason I could never view 100% raw food as a perminant lifestyle. Also, I got bored eating the simple foods day after day after day, and I would begin to crave cooked food - even junk. Not so much now. If there is something I want, I can create a raw version. Simple as that.
HOWEVER, I have noticed some things that are making me a little apprehensive: sometimes the more dense meals sit a little too heavily with me. For instance, I just whipped up a "cookie batter" in the food processor - a banana, handful of walnuts, groud flax seeds, raisins, dried coconut and raw cacao powder. I ate some of the batter before I threw the cookies in the dehydrator, and now I'm sitting with a heavy stomach...almost a sick feeling.
Also, I've been feeling a LOT more thirsty, which is how I get whenever I eat a lot of junk or processed foods. Orrr maybe I am finally beginning to connect with my "true thirst" and I just simply wasn't drinking enough water before....?
Lastly, whenever I've gone 100% in the past, I've always noticed I drop weight pretty quickly. Or at least I notice a more stream-lined look to my body. That isn't really happening right now. I could stand to lose about 20 lbs (especially with bathing suit season lurking around the corner), so I am a bit afraid of putting on weight eating like this. If I had to guess, I'd say I was eating 1 cup - 1.5 cup (max!) seeds/nuts per day. Other fat consumption would include olive oil (maybe 1-2 Tablespoon/day).
Typical day is as follows:
green smoothie - spinach, 1 banana, 1 c blueberries, 1-2 Tablespoon chia seeds, some maca powder...maybe some hemp protein
lunch is typically a salad with oil/vinegar dressing or a nut spread
snacks are fruit.. or a Pure bar...sometimes kale chips...sometimes a green juice if I'm at home and have the time
dinner is zucchini noodles, about 1/2 head of kale, other veggies and lately dehydrated veggie patty (leftover pulp from juice + some nuts, dehydrated) or a thin seed cheese (I usually water it down to make it more like a dressing than a thick cheese)
desert - either some fruit or a pudding of 1 banana, chia seeds, coconut butter, cocao powder
I am asking for your thoughts. Anyone's comments or advice is welcome and totally appreciated. THANK YOU!
first--unsoaked nuts are hard to digest. and some unsoaked seeds. have you considered that factor? a lot of people have told me they are sensitive to walnuts unsoaked.
i find seeds much lighter than nuts. hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax.
another heavier food is young coconut. it will add some more calories but not be a nut.
that is a lot of fat in your diet. if i'm guessing, i'd say it's about 45-50% of your diet. now i'm not against fat. if you said you felt fine eating that much, then i wouldn't say anything, but i think you need to eat more fruits and greens. that's definitely why you are so thirsty! fruit has so much water in it. also, if you're eating salt that will make you thirsty, too.
I would make your smoothie with just fruit, greens, and water. Fruit for lunch and maybe some leafy greens. No salt, no nuts, no oils, no vinegars. No crap. :p
Dinner would be more fruit and/or salad and 1/2 avocado.
Soak nuts over night then make milk (almond milk). After you strain the milk save the nut pieces, let them dry then grind them to a fine grind and use them to hold and bind other foods. Like a raw pie crust. I don't throw any food away I always find somewhere else to use it.
A suggestion: In smoothies you really shouldn't mix vegys and fruits as they each use different enzymes to digest and going raw means getting the full load of nutrition from your foods.
Erin fo raw, I say give it a try! There's been a turning of the tide it seems away from gourmet towards the high fruit and greens (high fruit/low fat). If that didn't work for you, try the higher fat. Listen to your body, and adjust accordingly. You can always have a big salad with your gourmet dishes. And, you don't have to eat the high fat every meal or every day. There are different "camps" of theory on the fat issue. And, when you read them, they both sound convincing at times. There are some very passionate people on both sides of the aisle on the fat question.
I love fruit and big salads, but sometimes I want to blend flavors more without it being just smoothies, fruit or salads too. I understand what you mean.
Thanks for the replies!
First of, Bitt, you're definitely right about the soaking. Thinking back, the nuts/seeds I had soaked didn't bother me, but the ones that weren't soaked did. So I'll be mindful of that moving forward.
Joanna, I am eating more fat now than ever before. I guess it's just more of an experiment to see how my body reacts. While my greens are still very high, must fruit consumption is currently lacking, so I'll up my fruits.
Superfood2, I appreciate your sentiment but I ate 811 last spring for awhile and my disordered eating came rushing right back. I was having bulimic episodes and I am not willing to return there. That way of eating is far too restrictive for me right now. If you read my post you would have seen that the fruit/greens/water/salad WASN'T working for me...it was only causing me to want to eat cooked food, and didn't really jive with my love for food prep. I think sisterbecky is spot-on when she says "Listen to your body, and adjust accordingly." Very, very good advice. I often have a difficult time trusting myself, but I think that is what I must do here. Trusting myself and what my body is telling me is paramount.
I am of the school of thought that everybody is different - every BODY is different - and so we will all react to foods differenly. Right now I will play, and just take good care to LISTEN. Thank you, sisterbecky!!
erin go raw... would it be possible for you to follow a diet that consists MOSTLY of eating fruits, leafy greens, and only a small amount of fat (avocado) but sometimes having a special treat and making a gourmet raw meal, so that you can still indulge in your passion for "cooking" and not feel so restricted?
I ask if it's even possible, because I do realize that sometimes it's tricky to do these things in moderation for someone who has struggled with eating disorders. I've been there, done that, and know that I have serious trouble finding the grey areas.
But, if it's possible, maybe that would be an option.
One thing you might want to consider... maybe you have a history of eating issues, partially due to your food sensitivies? I personally believe that I struggled much of my life with eating issues largely related to the fact that my tummy doesn't tolerate a whole lot (that most people seem to be OK eating) --I mean. If most of what you eat, physically makes you feel bad, it's probably going to mentally make you feel not-so-great either.
I hope you can find a good balance!! I'm here for support, if you ever need it.