Being Raw Vegan: Is it even healthy?

Happy June, everyone! It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking about traveling and looking good in that swimsuit. You may have tried out a new diet, but you did not get that cover model look you were after.

 

I will admit it. I am a bit obsessed when it comes to looking good, being healthy. The two should go together.

 

One of my raw vegan friends recently asked for my advice about raw veganism, since I strictly followed that diet for more than 18 months. Today, I decided to share that note with you, so you can see where I came from. In my video episode this Thursday, I will share more about my past “crazy diets.”

 

My hope is that you will find the eating plan that suits you and your body type…right now. Throughout life, your eating style may change, but your health compass and guidelines should remain constant.

 

Okay, enough jabbering. Here’s the note…

 

  

Hi Serena [name changed] - I'll be completely transparent with you about my raw vegan experience. Not sure how you came to follow that lifestyle. Some are focused on saving the planet, some are all about avoiding cruelty to animals, others on health, others just read about it somewhere.

 

When I started, it was all about health for me. Long story short, I ended up getting quite ill in the hospital after nearly two years of eating strictly raw vegan. I did the 80-10-10 approach for a while, which definitely destroyed my immune system (maybe doesn't do that for everyone?) I also did a stint where I did not watch my macronutrients. As long as it was raw vegan, I ate to satiety. At first, I felt amazing on the diet, but it started declining after several months. I actually got less healthy. I do believe there are some people who may be able to be vegetarian/vegan for longer periods, but I chalk it up to genetics.

 

Not sure how you came to being raw vegan? If it was health, you might want to read Denise Minger's blog. She also was a strict raw vegan before adopting more of a real foods lifestyle.

 

If you're raw vegan for environmental/animal cruelty reasons, I respect that. I source all my meats from farmers who treat their livestock and poultry well.

 

If you are dead-set on staying raw vegan, I would have some ideas for recipes and such. There are healthier ways to do it than what I did.

 

Some Tips:

·         Get a Vitamix for making green smoothies.

 

·         Get an Excalibur dehydrator for making yummy snacks/entrees.

 

·         You will also want some good ceramic knives to avoid oxidation when cutting your fresh fruits/veggies.

 

·         Make sure to eat enough protein, though your body really does not need as much as a lot of carnivores tell you. (If I'm lifting in the gym, I bump it up to 20%, but otherwise, 10% of pristine protein is fine.)

 

·         Eating unlimited amounts of fat is the key to being successful. I still eat a ton of fat right now (75-85% of my diet). Avocados, coconuts, butter (though that's definitely not vegan), MCT Oil, etc.

 

·         Don't overeat fruits.

 

·         Make veggies as easy-to-digest as possible. For non-raw vegans, they cook them lightly. If you're strict raw vegan, you may need to find other ways (blending, digestive enzymes, fermented food condiments).

 

Okay...I'll stop there for now, as I could go on and on. Let me know what—if any—other information you'd like.

 

 

There you have it: my brief opinion on the raw vegan diet.

 

Your Turn: What “crazy diets” have you tried? Did they work both in the short-term and the long-term?