Why are you not 100% raw?
Why are you not 100% raw?
After some time on a 100% raw diet, I didn’t feel quite right. I wound up returning my dehydrator and throwing out my supply of dates, nuts, avocados, and coconuts.
But I didn’t go back to my previous 12-yr vegan processed diet. I started sprouting and eating the most nutritious garden foods.
I basically build my diet now around sprouts. I sprout beans together in a 1/2 gal mason jar (chick peas, cow peas, lentils & mung beans all together), and in another jar I sprout grains (brown rice & wheat together). I get all this stuff from the health food bulk bins for super low prices.
I really like to grow my own food. I got my mason jars and sprout lids at Ace Hardware & Texas Best Unlimited (both online).
But, why you ask am I not raw? Because I cook these sprouts in water for 10-15 minutes. Otherwise, they would be mildly toxic & not taste good.
I also like grapefruit (a natural appetite suppressant), apples (in my spiral slicer), ground flax seed (thanks to my coffee grinder), and carob banana ice cream (ala food processor or blender).
This diet is high in protein with all the sprouted beans & grains. It’s high in water content (no dried foods). It’s extremely low in sugar (whole fruits only). It’s low in fat (no avocados or nuts). It’s somewhat decadent with all the chocolate ice cream (really bananas & carob). And it has ample Omega 3s with the ground flax.
So I’d call myself more of a living foods person, rather than a raw foodie. It also makes it easier to eat cooked vegan foods out of the home once in a while.
I also take lots of supplements – multivitamin, extra b12, extra vitamin D, and melatonin (for sleep). I don’t think it’s possible to get everything you need from diet. I had a vit-D deficiency and my b12 was low.
I was driving myself crazy by trying to cut out all these “healthy” lightly steamed foods. I even talked myself into giving up chamomile tea because it wasn’t raw. I’m back to this relaxing, no caffeine drink now & I like teeccino too (a carob/chicory coffee substitute).
In trying to go 100% raw, I was substituting foods higher in sugar, fat, and calorie content, and making myself physically and emotionally sick.
I think that I found what works for me. But it’s a continually evolving process. I’ve eaten slightly differently every year since I started the vegan thing back in 1995. I encourage everyone to experiment to find out what works best for their own individual biochemistry & emotional nature.
i think this is a good topic, and i like your take on things. i have been very close to 100% raw for almost 5 months now. the easy answer for why i’m not 100% is addiction, i just haven’t been able to completely give up coffee and tea.
i’ve done mostly a grain fee diet this whole time and i find myslef gravitating towards being fruitarian. supplementing with vegetables and occasionally with living foods like miso.
i think the key is just listening to our bodies.
Good topic! I find it impossible to be 100% raw for multiple reasons – which may change in the future. First, I have a family of 2 kids and a large husband who works outdoors (i.e. requires insane amounts of calories). When my entire family went 100%, we spent over $1000 a month in groceries, totally not feasible for our income level. That’s 3.5 times what I spend on our vegan diet. I could also never afford a dehydrator or Excalibur – which seems necessary to make real staples that travel well (crackers, breads, etc) for my husband’s lunches.
Also, I find it gets just way too intense. I do eat nuts and dried fruits, and those were staples to me at work. Then I start reading here that almonds are no longer raw, raw agave really isn’t raw, mangoes aren’t really raw, cashews aren’t really raw … even if it says “RAW” on the package, it may not be. I became so limited in what I ate due to constantly questioning, “is it REALLY raw?”
Last, my children did suffer from being 100% raw. They ate A LOT of fruit and green smoothies, took supplements, etc. Due to the high sugar intake from all the fruit, they both came out of it with 6 cavities each (had no cavities prior to the diet – they brush teeth twice – three times daily with baking soda). My youngest at 1 was the size of a 9 month old and delayed in progress of talking/walking etc.
Soooooo… we went back to vegan with high amounts of raw food. My youngest is doing wonderfully now – at 2, she has finally caught up to 50%ile in growth/height (she was -15% at one point in both). They still eat green smoothies in the morning and love them, I just usually serve them with toast and peanut butter.
I also got WAY skinny. I liked it, but when people starting calling me “skinny minny” and not in a necessarily kind way, I realized how truly thin I had become (went from size 8 to 2 in just about 2-3 months at most) I knew I needed to get more calories.
Will I ever attempt 100% raw again? Possibly. If I can get a dehydrator and begin growing a lot of my own stuff. Right now, it just isn’t feasible. I’m happy with my about 75% raw diet, and my kids are probably about 60is%.
Change is good. I just go with what my body tells me.
The time I started to be a raw vegan, I bought all the equipment and I had the recipe books, and the more I learned about being raw, the more I realized how much I was eating (such as certain nuts or agave) that were not raw. I am not a big nut person anyways, I hate consuming that much olive oil, and I love variety. My job stopped allowing us to do our homework when we were not busy and I started taking more classes. I would either go to bed late and/or be late in the morning to work because of homework and trying to prepare or put together some of the meals became tedious and did not help.
I got tired of the time it took, I also got tired of eating so much and carrying so much food with me. I also love beans, tea, raw almond butter (which isn’t really raw), baked asparagus, and tofu. I would rather have boiled bok choy with ginger than raw bok choy. I love chick peas the most. My favorite dish is chickpeas with cilantro, curry, garlic and cayenne pepper blended in the food processor. I prefer simple foods such as tomatoes by itself, avocadoes with a little sea salt, grapes by itself, cucumber and lemon with a little bit of sea salt, or cilantro, northern beans with onions salad. I am now huge on juicing since I did a juice fast. I do not have the time to prepare meals ahead of time. It is also cheaper for me. School is expensive, I need every dime, because no one is helping me. The dehydrator is now only used for flax crackers, which I tend to eat with my chickpeas and cilantro, mix.
I was going to eat a majority raw diet and eventually go 100% raw but I do not want to anymore. I am going to continue eating mostly raw foods because my body likes it more and most of my simplest meals are raw (such as fruits) but I will not deprive myself of my chick peas or tea. My motto is Do You. If it takes more than 20 minutes to prepare, I am not doing it. I am criticized for being a vegan and a picky one at that so I don’t care if raw foodist think I am wrong for not being raw. So What! Are you going to prepare my meals?
wow, i think the food prep is really easy!
i do strive to be 100%, i would like to try it for at least 4 months. i’m not saying everyone is like this, but i really have a cooked food addiction. the longer i am close to 100% the less i crave startches and sugars.
in the beginning it was alot of work, but i don’t feel like i need to eat as much anymore.
i mostly juice, which is the easist thing to do.
The hardest part of being raw (and what keeps me from 100%) is the social aspect. Not the social “pressure” to eat cooked food, but the lack of availability of raw foods in social settings, such as restaurants/parties, etc. especially around the holidays.
Stylistchick – I feel what you are saying about the addiction. It was so hard for me to sit at the Thanksgiving table with my family eating all of my favorite cooked foods while I tried to eat the raw versions I made. Although the dishes I made were tasty, they aren’t the same and I felt that addiction creeping in.
The other difficulty is that I do end up spending A LOT of time in the kitchen preparing meals (mostly just dinner since I have green smoothies for breakfast & salad or leftovers for lunch). This is my boyfriend’s biggest beef with the raw food diet is how much of my time is consumed. There are days where I just DON’T feel like cooking (or un-cooking I should say) and when my bf suggests ordering a pizza I am happy to so I don’t have to step foot in the kitchen.
On the other hand, after I eat cooked food, I just don’t feel good, so that motivates me to eat raw food more often. I don’t mind “cooking,” actually I enjoy it. But not so many hours every day. I need to figure out how to keep it simple. (Especially since my dehydrator just died tonight!!)
It’s interesting, Ron, I could start out my story pretty similarly to yours, ie:
“After some time on a 100% raw diet, I didn’t feel quite right. I wound up [not using] my dehydrator and [no longer purchasing] my supply of dates, nuts, avocados and coconuts.”
But that’s all I needed to do! Minimizing the fractional and concentrated foods (dehydrated food, oils, salt, dried fruits…) concentrated sugars (dates, agave, honey) and the mega-fats (avocados, nuts, and coconuts) was all I needed to do to start feeling much, much, much better! I replaced all these fractional and heavy foods by more whole fruit so as to round out my caloric intake.
I do believe that we can get everything we need from our food, as long as we eat it in its natural state (ie. whole and not cooked or processed or mixed), in an intuitive way, listening to our bodies’ demands.
I also believe that it’s possible to develop something like an eating disorder trying to be 100% raw while eating “gourmet” food (you know, constantly worrying about tea or cashews or almonds or Braggs, poor food combinations, etc, not to mention trying to find the time or money to make and/or purchase such foods). So, my advice to anyone struggling with their raw diet:
Sit back, relax, rediscover all your old favorite passtimes (as long as they don’t involve eating SAD food :) and find out for yourself how good it feels to eat a big bowlful of whole ripe persimmons, then munch on a whole head of romaine while taking a walk through the woods. Now that’s the good life.
Happy holiday, friends!
ps. I love sprouts too, and the joy of growing them in my kitchen—like lots of little babies or pets, except of course they get eaten… but why would you base your diet around something that’s admittedly mildly toxic (read: probably best consumed in smallish quantities) and rather low in carbs when nature supplies us with apple-trees full of fruit this time of year, and the carbs in fruit are what gives us energy, with which to feel good and jump in big piles of leaves!?
This is a great topic. I have been about 95% raw since September. Prior to that I ate a lot of raw food, but also some cooked vegetables and fish occasionally. While I initially felt great when I started, I have noticed lately that I’m tired a lot. I’m also too thin at this point (5 foot 5, 102 pounds). I want to add more protein to my diet (not nuts), and will be adding supplements because I do feel I am deficient at this point. I have noticed that when I sample cooked food now that I don’t feel well afterwards. So I feel a little stuck. Any suggestions in the protein department?
1) why do you think you need protein?
2) wild-caught alaskan salmon, sashimi-style
Generally in the past when I have felt depleted, I have felt better when I’ve added the very thing you suggested—wild caught Alaskan salmon. Because I’ve had a guilt issue with eating fish, I would like to find an alternative. However, if I can’t, I’ll go back to it.
I also love this topic! Thank you to each of you for sharing your health journey. I too feel we can bog down in the minutia of getting it all just right! Then the joy goes out of the journey!
Just listened to Victoria Boutenko’s son (RawSummit 2), and he really was an exciting speaker! He recommends LOTS of greens for protein ~
This is a wonderful topic, and very timely to me. I have been pondering my diet a little lately. For me, it is not why I don’t want to be 100% raw, but why I can’t seem to STAY 100 raw. I LOVE the way I feel, the way I look, and how empowered I feel on a raw diet, but…I think I can’t stay on it for more that 1-2 weeks at a time because a) I am bored with alot of the foods I used to love and b) I am trying to help my family transition. So far, they have gone from SAD to 75 raw and when the food is cooked it is generally cooked veggies, brown rice, or a baked potato. But, just having those cooked foods around is hard, and I do end up indulging. But, right now, I think I am o.k. with that. I made a commitment to myself to “let it go” and trust that everything will be o.k. If I am supposed to be 100%, and stay that way, I will get there eventually. I have made so many strides from a year ago, that I can’t complain. A totally SAD diet to a 90% raw diet is a HUGE accomplishment! I just have to keep remembering that.
Alive4sure, thanks for passing on the info from RawSummit2. I eat a ton of greens (especially kale) daily, so perhaps protein is not the issue for me. I actually think I have to be more consistent with the supplements (I tend to forget and sometimes just get lazy). Spiritedmama, I really appreciate what you wrote. I too find myself getting bored at times, even though I still prefer this way of eating to the way I ate before. I also admire for you for getting your family on board; my husband will try some of it and often like it, but is a confirmed SAD eater. He is going through some health problems right now, and while I try not to proselytize, I keep hoping he’ll at least add more greens and fruit to his diet. But I also believe that we are all on our individual paths and journeys. When he is ready to make a change, he will. He respects my choices and I greatly appreciate that.
This is a great topic, and a very timely one. My thoughts and feelings resonate with so many of you. I have been eating a high percentage of raw for only a very short time and have gone through all kinds of changes in the way I eat (more recipes, no recipes, a few recipes). I love joesc’s “Do You”. Sergei Boutenko said in his Raw Summit interview that guilt serves absolutely no purpose. With that in mind, I’m finally not going to worry about all the little stuff, and come to a place that feels right for me. I am certain it will continue to evolve as I become more clear with what it all means for me, but I’m not going to feel guilty and I’m going to choose to “Do Me” with happiness, humor, joy, and peace!
A couple more comments Seems like every time I turn around one of the raw gurus has something more to say we are “doing wrong”.... So, I too have to temper the need to have to be “exact” in this way of eating. Just recently I purchased Tonya Zavasta’s new book Quantum Eating… I feel she is nearly starving herself! She doesn’t even recommend drinking water. Rather an interesting book, but seems to work for her. No food of any kind after 1 or 2 pm. no oil of any kind. Then I listend to Dr. Young on RawSummit2, and he says we need to eat lots of fat to alkalinize also important on his list is getting enough salt… Sometimes I get a little confused and feel over the edge since there are so many discrepancies even among these raw food gurus ~
I’m onboard with all of the above!
Sometimes I feel guilty for even looking the posts knowing that I’m not 100%, and I really don’t think I ever will be.
One thing I have learned about the raw lifestyle is sprouting, but now I’m concerned since reading the above about them being toxic. I don’t cook them at all. Sometimes during rinces I eat some. I eat sprouts daily. I love them, and I love tending to them. Sprouting is something I can actually do! Everything else I try to grow, i.e., potted plants don’t thrive. Should I be concerned?
I have been dealing with skin outbreaks, such as blisters and unexplained sores, small cut-like places on my skin. I’m afraid I’m missing a vitamin in my diet. Or, perhaps this is some sort of detox. I’ve been a veg for 2 1/2 years, and for the most part have eaten alot of fruits and veggies, tofu, and canned beans.
Sometimes I get so scared that I’m not doing something right. Sort of paranoid at times. I live in a major city in the South (beef country!), and we are so behind on the times when it comes to health and especially raw lifestyles.
I’m just looking for some reassurance or direction.
I find it’s easier for me to stay raw when I include adequate amounts of fats in my diet. Low fat raw didn’t work well for me. Once I went from 10% fat to 30% fat I felt better, had more energy, and the cooked food cravings disappeared. Also I found it easier when I ate more greens. Now I eat around 30% fat, 60% carbs and 10% protein.
i agree with lovefoodlaughter- that is definitely the solution i found, rather than throwing “RAW” out the window… maybe i needed to shift my idea of what RAW was.
one thing i get from all these posts: this takes time! i won’t generalize since i don’t know how old YOU are, but i am in my twenties. So… it took me 23 years to figure out i didn’t like the SAD diet. after 6 months of being raw i can’t expect to completely reeducate myself of 23 YEARS of misinformation! take things slowly and don’t take anything as a given… your body is different everyday.
i think some of people’s frustrations (i assume, because i’ve had to deal with them) is that we are having to acquaint ourselves with OURSELVES in a very primal way and there is absolutely NO precedent for this because no one quite like you has ever existed before.
without a doubt in my mind RAW is right for me, but it’s going to take me A LONG time to figure out what that means exactly…
I am most of the time...: ) I guess technically I am not then. I know intuitively that eating live foods is the absolute best diet ever. I feel it. When I eat life I feel alive. When I eat dead foods I feel sluggish. Its no longer a question for me what the healthiest diet on the planet is.
I grew up on meat and potatoes. Our favorite foods included steak, pasta pasta pasta!!, chicken and rice, cereal cereal cereal!, cheese cheese cheese...and the list goes on. I have managed to purge my cravings of these foods very successfully. I still crave things that do not give my body life though. To most of my friends and family these foods that I crave are healthy foods. These foods include nuts, cacoa, dried fruit, dehydrated foods, popcorn, agave, honey and the list goes on.
Why am I not 100% raw? Because there are some foods that are soooo delicious that are not raw and I am surrounded by temptations! If there weren't temptations in life and we only craved things that are good for us life would be way too easy. I have learned to control my temptations by treating myself to healthy alternatives and surrounding myself with healthy people and foods as much as I can. I have incredible self control when it comes to food but I'm not perfect. When I eat something that is not good for me my body lets me know right away. It doesn't feel very good so I listen. I understand when others say to me..'I could never stay on your diet' Not everyone can completely change their diet and then control their cravings long enough to start craving healty foods. I do not judge others by what they eat and I forgive myself immediately when I eat something that makes me feel less than exuberant.
So....in a nutshell that is why I am not 100% raw. Thanks for all of your posts. I really enjoyed reading them.
Stay Happy...Stay Raw
Food addiction for sure!
I am really addicted to food, if I'm eating cooked, it's snacking all day long. If I'm eating raw, I end up getting just enough calories, whereas when i'm eating cooked my non-stop eating puts me at risk for fast weight gain and patterns of addiction
This is actually the reason I feel I would really benefit from being 100% raw
Wow, lots of great wisdom in this thread.
For me, it was really important to go 100% raw (or at least 99%, with the remaining 1% being the odd salad dressing at a restaurant, etc.) so that I could "retrain" my tastebuds and get rid of all my cravings for all the junk that I used to be addicted to.
I have been 99/100% raw for almost two years now, and I do sometimes wonder how long I will go. I am still strong and planning to continue, but I really like the wisdom in the above comments. Lots to take into consideration.
PS: OMG why have I never thought of spiralizing apples??????? What a great idea! Gonna have to try that one :)
I think my idea of RAW is evolving with my move towards sustainability and self-sufficiency (in addition to my own health). Right now I am 80%.
That means knowing where my food comes from and being a part of that process as much as possible--foraging and storing food for winter (which is not always a RAW solution), growing my own fruits and vegetables, and sprouting.
It means reflecting over my choices--realizing that buying locally is a better environmental choice than getting the best pineapple from South America (I live in Sweden so that means that bought and cooked potatoes is my best local choice at this time of year!), not buying and throwing away food simply because it is on sale, having a plan when I go shopping.
It means not feeling guilty if I eat something cooked if it is the best choice for all of the above reasons.
I think that the next step in the the Raw movement should be putting it in a more sustainable context--not just as a dietary choice.
I love raw foods and would be entirely 100% except for: warm miso soups (which I cook at 175 degrees for 3 hours), kefir, and circumstances I run into. I live in a very rural place, the nearest (healthy) grocery store is an hour away so for example - if someone comes to visit and I didn't get to plan ahead and I end up fixing them food, I may be out of some key ingredients before the next trip to the grocery store. So - I may warm some buckwheat pasta with dehydrated veggies....things like that.
I don't beat myself up over it anymore though :) Balance, health and happiness are most important!
Any reason you cook your miso soups so long Zenforest, one of the great benefits of miso is that its fermented and supplies good bacteria but only if not overcooked.
Still great for you though.
I didn't know that - thank you! Typically, when I start a soup - I go about doing other things and end up back to the pot about 3 hours later. I keep the stove dial on "2" so not very high temp at all. But I have to say - it is nice on cold evenings :)
It's important for me to be 100 percent vegan, but not 100 percent raw vegan. Many important nutrients are better absorbed through cooking such as lycopene and lutein from tomatoes, carotenoids from carrots and feuric acid [a potent anti-carcinogen] from sweet corn [non-GMO]. I think about 80 percent is optimal, with the remaining 20 percent cooked food for soups and stews that are wet cooked and simmered. Remember many foods such as mushrooms, and many beans cannot be eaten safely raw, including soybeans. I think part of the problem with a percentage is the idea that more is better. 100 percent sounds better than 80 percent. But it isn't necessarily. I think if some want to do 100 percent to kill cravings or just feel better, you can't argue with someone's personal experience. If they do better on 100 percent than anything less, then that is their personal truth and nothing to argue. My personal truth is I want to keep my mushrooms and beans. They are great vegan foods and do not detract from what enzyme activity I get from my 80 percent raw veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds all eat raw. oh and a few sprouted legumes and grains, mung beans, lentils, buckwheat and quinoa. Best to all.
I couldn't have said it better... excellent perspective. Thanks for sharing!