Are you new to the raw vegan dietary approach? Or maybe you’re just exploring the concept to see if it could benefit you. Either way, you probably have some questions (you’re not alone). Here are the top five questions I hear over and over again from those interested in this lifestyle. If you have any additional questions, leave a comment down below!
Definitions vary, but for our purposes here, going raw means building your diet around fresh, whole plant foods such as fruit, land and sea veggies, juices, smoothies, nuts and seeds, as well as sprouted and raw-cultured/fermented plant foods.
From these highly nutritious, versatile basics you can create countless entrées, salads, meals, snacks, beverages, desserts and more. Raw or “living” foods may comprise up to 100 percent of your diet—though closer to 80 percent raw foods, often referred to as “high raw,” is generally more common.
2. Are all raw vegan diets alike?
No, there are different types of raw vegan diets. For example, many raw foodies are actually fruitarians, meaning they live mainly on fresh fruit, often consumed as “mono meals.” For example, lunch might consist of a huge plate of grapes, or numerous bananas.
Other raw vegans rely on a more comprehensive menu of fresh produce, nuts and seeds, sprouts, juices and smoothies. The addition of nuts and seeds may increase the odds that you stay raw over time as these nutritional gems keep you feeling happily full and nourished for hours.
Nuts and seeds are also incredibly versatile in meals, snacks, sauces, dressings, dips, milks and more. The most viable raw foods approach is arguably one that incorporates the widest array of vitamins, minerals, protein and moderate amounts of healthy, whole food fats.
3. Is it difficult to switch from a cooked food diet to a raw diet?
If you are used to eating mostly cooked food, cutting it out abruptly may feel drastic. Behavior change is typically most successful if flows with your daily lifestyle, which in this case is about making a healthy raw diet work for you
That means minimizing discomfort along the way, while also ensuring that you enjoy your meals as you learn new planning and preparation skills. Since new habits typically take at least 21 days to form, be patient while your taste buds and digestive system adapt.
To ease in, start incorporating more raw salads and smoothies while you gradually phase out cooked/processed fare. As you start feeling better, it will be easier to continue this positive trend.
And if you just need some ideas to get started, here are several healthy no-cook dinner ideas for busy weeknights.
4. Is a raw plant-based menu realistic for long term?
Assuming your diet is varied and nutritionally balanced, the answer is yes! And that’s easier than you think, since there is no essential nutrient or amino acid we require for optimal health that is not available in fruit, vegetables, sprouted grains and legumes, sea veggies, nuts and seeds.
The colorful world of fresh plant food is bursting with gorgeous variety, flavor, antioxidants, nutrients, phytochemicals, protein and more, and can be ideal for those who value optimal health and longevity, a trim body, natural energy and a radiant glow.
The real trick for those in transition is to re-sensitize their taste buds to better appreciate natural food flavors, enhanced with herbs, spices and mineral-rich pink Himalayan crystal salt as desired.
5. Are coffee and wine off limits on a raw vegan diet?
That’s a valid question as many health-conscious people enjoy these items on a regular basis. The reality is that you will have the best success going raw if you customize it in a way that suits you—especially if you want to create a regimen you can maintain over time, as opposed to a short-term cleanse or fast.
And there are numerous medical studies showing that coffee and resveratrol-rich red wine are good for you in moderation, which generally means about one cup of coffee and/or glass of wine daily. So, if you enjoy them, you should be able to include them if you wish. Stay tuned for more information about living healthy and raw!
Ready to get started now? Check out our vegan meal plan featuring 3 days of detoxifying high-raw vegan meals!