I am new to this site and am looking for some guidance. I am committed to being completely raw for six months. It's been about two weeks so far, and I still feel puffy in my body and I have not lost a pound! I'm struggling with the fats in the raw foods I'm eating in my recipes....cashews, almonds, avacados, buckwheat groas and wheatberrys, oat groats (in our flat breads) - I'm trying to "lose" my old mentality of EAT LOW FAT! because i know this this diet, the fats are needed and helpful - but what is too much?
Fats are indeed vital, but not in large quantities. There is of course debate in the health world and individuals needs and adaptations are different. Personally I would recommend getting about 5-10% of your calories from fat, which would mean lowering the amount of nuts and avocado. However it sounds like you've tried 'low fat' before and had a negative experience. Have you tried low fat raw vegan, or was it a low fat 'normal' diet?
Also, as I'm sure you're aware exercise is equally important in weight loss as food, has your regimen changed since going raw? I believe it's common for most people who switch to lfrv to lose weight(besides being healthier than their old diet, a likely cause is unwittingly cutting calories and doing more exercise due to having increased energy), but I think some have found that switching alone had no effect and they had to up their exercise level. Losing weight does take time, and it's important to account for what's fat, muscle, water, etc. Nuts are often salted so if your sodium intake has been more than normal, you may be holding on to more water than normal.
I agree with Hikuro and Powerlifter on this topic. Low fat vegans will recommend eating more fruit as one way (always good), but personally I preferred to have a little more fat to assist my transitioning.
Some practical things you can do is to soak or sprout your nuts and seeds. They can be hard to digest, especially almonds because of an enzyme inhibiting substance. Soaking or sprouting removes the inhibitor so that enzymes secreted during digestion can do what they need to do.
Making sure you eat foods rich in magnesium also help with that bloated feeling. This basically means chlorophyll (green foods), as well as seeds (especially pumpkin), bananas are also good. Bananas are fab when transitioning. I'm sure you have read alot on these pages about the power of green smoothies - they really do help.
Finally, try other sprouted alternatives to nuts such as quinoa (can sprout in half an hour!), buckwheat and lentils. They are easier on the digestion (quinoa and buckwheat are fruit seeds not grains), yet filling and nutritious.
Wow, thank you for all of your ideas and wonderful support! After having my second child two years ago, I developed planter fascitis (sp?) - basically pain in my heels when I walk too much or run, to put it simply - and I thought I would take this diet transition to take a rest from exercise, treat my feet, and then add it back in once I am feeling some relief.
All that to say, I'm not exercising right now! I do lead an active lifestyle, two young boys and I work with horses, but I am an athlete since I was little, so that is my therapy and my great outlet...................and it's missing right now.
So, I will take the advice (and you guys really validated what my instinct was telling me) to shift my balance with my diet, especially now that I feel I am past the initial transition and it does not take a lot to help me feel full.
We do love sprouting, juicing, and I am doing twice weekly enemas to help with the "cleanse".
I'll keep you posted!
Wheatberries and oat groats aren't high fat, neither is buckwheat, but I wouldn't load up on them. I have a goal of getting one green smoothie, one big salad, and one green juice in per day. That can crowd out the other things. You want to be sure you are basing your diet on FRESH things, not just nuts and seeds. That being said I am not fearful of fats at all! I tend to stick to the most beneficial fats like hemp, chia, flax, coconut oil, avocado, and keep nuts to a smaller ratio.
Something else you might want to consider is your water intake. When beginning raw, your body will start detoxing and it's best to drink more than the usual amount to help flush the toxins being released. While detoxing, I try to drink at least a gallon of water per day. I also add a dash of sea salt to help with hydration.
Hang in there, it's worth it.
As far as consuming fat, like RawKaren hinted, people transitioning from SAD to raw tend to eat more nuts and seeds in order to feel full. I did. Though I'm conscious of how many good fats I ingest in a given day I try not to limit myself. If we listen closely, the body will tell us what it wants. In time my nut and sprouted grain intake decreased naturally. I've also found that seeds--sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, hemp--are easier for me to digest than nuts. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.