Some of us like a structured life. We were raised that way. So the words ‘diet plan’ resonate as parameters to control our food intake. The rest of us balk at being restricted if only by ourselves and our limiting thoughts.
We are feeling beings, we are not meant to make ourselves unhappy nor beat ourselves mentally for ‘breaking’ a diet. There is a vast variety of raw food recipes to awaken, satisfy and feed the body, so there’s no need to feel restricted.
Where Do I Start?
A velvety smoothie is most definitely a mainstay of a raw vegan lifestyle and a great way to begin your raw journey. As dairy is out of the question when you’re raw vegan, there are wonderful tasting nut milks available unless you have a nut allergy, in which case you may be able use coconut milk for creaminess. According to the American College of Asthma Allergy and Immunology: “Most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut.” So if you have a blender you can easily make your first meal of the day raw by making a great tasting smoothie.
100% Raw? Sounds Scary…
Dr Paul Kouchakoff found – happily for those transitioning – that if you consume at least 80% of your daily food in its raw form, you can avoid the adverse bodily reactions to a cooked diet.
The raw vegan lifestyle falls between 80 – 100% raw, and you can be the one to decide how much cooked food to incorporate.
Raw Food Pyramid
The base foods of this raw vegan diet plan and thus ones to be gobbled in large quantities are green leafy vegetables, and please do not groan until you have tried these in smoothies or juices! You will find if you eat raw then the best quality is essential. This means uber fresh and organically grown. So source your green leafy veggies well. Broccoli, for example, should be crisp not bendy, and certainly not leaning towards yellow.
The next food group to be eaten freely and readily from consists of all fruit and the other colored vegetables. Some people thrive on a high fruit intake, others not so much. This is the personal experiment you make as you try new foods. We are all unique and bring our past experiences with us, which in turn affects how our body responds to various foods.
Sprouted foods and legumes come next. Sprouting neutralizes anti nutrients and turns an acid forming food into an alkalising one. The life of the plant is in the sprouted seed, so avail yourself of this! Sprouts don’t have to be eaten only as an alfalfa topping on your salad. For instance raw hummus can be made with sprouted chickpeas.
As we ascend the raw vegan food pyramid, the next section contains nuts, seeds and fats. There will be crossover here, as the avocado is a green fruit but also a fat. Nuts are high in fat so this is reason to eat sparingly. Fats are essential, yes, but they are meant to be eaten as part of the balance not as sole nutrition. However, once again if nuts are soaked (some refer to this as sprouted), it changes the composition of them. All oils should be cold pressed and the king of oils for me is coconut as it lends itself so well to many recipes.
Super foods such as wheat grass, spirulina, and seaweeds, need be consumed sparingly, as they are by their very name SUPER and a little goes a long way. The same principle applies to herbs. Raw garlic is considered to be medicinal, so one or two cloves in your salad, not ten.
Finally the pinnacle: this section includes the not- quite- raw such as nutritional yeast and balsamic vinegar, alongside goji berries, maca, moringa and cacao as all these need to be eaten with thoughtfulness.
How About Recipes?
When we start on raw we tend to mimic cooked recipes, which is a natural response. This might last months or years as you bring balance to your body. However at some point it is likely you will become so aware of the effects of foods on you, that you will seek simpler meals. You will happily have raw cake once a week, not every day. Happiness is key and this lifestyle is joyous.
You will also find that the more raw food you eat, the greater the impact of the vibration of truly fresh food. When I walk past market stalls where I live, the fruit and vegetables virtually leap into my arms, bouncing such as they are with unpolluted energy. Supermarkets become places where you go in, walk down the aisles and come out the other end clutching only a packet of toilet paper. The foods in there quickly lose their appeal as even the fresh produce is dead.