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By The Rawtarian

For the first three years of my raw food journey, I was 100% raw vegan.  I did not cheat.

Was I one of those weird, irritating people that just loves fruits and vegetables? Well, I am now, but I wasn't always this way. I used to hate vegetables!

Before I went raw, I absolutely loved chips and candy. I ate processed foods and loved them! I craved chips (All Dressed and Salt and Vinegar, mmm), donuts (apple fritters, mmm), muffins (lemon poppyseed or buttery blueberry, mmm), pasta (cheese please), candy (sour keys, Nibs, chocolates, mmm), and white bread products (doughy pizza bun, be still my heart).

But once I commited to going raw, I just gave everything up. Was it hard? Yes! Was it worth it, oh yes.........Because after a month of going 100% raw my tastebuds changed and I began to appreciate raw foods and vegetables.

You see, back when I wasn't raw and I ate all those very delicious (but kind of disgusting when you think about them) products, my tastebuds were used to all that processed food. I craved processed food, and food like fruit and vegetables just tasted bland, boring, and bitter to me.

Enter raw foods...

My journey into raw foods didn't happen overnight. I was vegetarian already, but, as you can tell, I ate lots of junk food. But one March I challenged myself to go 80% raw. I did it.  But then for the next five months I only ate about 50% raw, but I didn't think about food too much. Then one day I just decided that I felt like crap and I would go 100% raw, and I did.

When I was 80% raw, I was sort in a detox-state, and I didn't really know what was going on. Fruits and vegetables tasted alright, I guess. I didn't get excited about them though.

When I went down to 50% raw, eating fruits--and especially vegetables--seemed like a chore. I did it anyway, but I wasn't happy about it. I certainly didn't ever enjoy eating a salad.

When I went 100% raw (with absolutely no cheating) after about one month I realized that I actually liked--no, LOVED--some vegetables. That a tomato or an avocado with some sea salt on it was freakin' delicious. I realized that my tastebuds were changing. I was starting to get excited about the salads that I had for lunch. After my first month 100% raw I was actually craving salads.

Things I've learned:

  • Eating SAD (standard American diet) foods screws up your palate and tastebuds. Don't cheat and eat SAD foods! You are only shooting yourself in the foot. You have to give your tastebuds time to adjust and to forget the old SAD foods. If you keep eating SAD food you are making it harder on yourself.
  • You don't have to love eating raw fruits and vegetables. You won't love vegetables overnight. But you will discover them eventually. Trust me.
  • It's all about flavour combining. Do I love to eat carrot sticks? NO! BORING! Do I love to eat a salad with shredded carrots, olives, fresh romaine lettuce, flavourful tomatoes, a delicious raw salad dressing and slices of avocado? HELL YES! See the difference? It's about combining foods to make them tasty.
  • You've got to bring raw food with you whenever you go out. Make sure you have some trail mix or easy to eat fruit (bananas or apples) with you, because hunger strikes anywhere. Temptation is the worst for me when I'm out of my house.
  • Yes, temptation still exists. But it's not worth it! And don't forget that.

The #1 reason why I don't cheat and eat SAD foods is because I don't want to screw up my palate. I see my going 100% raw as an investment, and I don't want to throw it down the tubes for a bag of chips.

Comments

Top voted

19 votes
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Unfortunately I don't have much experience with trying to gain weight on raw. I have found for me that I am staying at a natural weight, but of course every body is different.

My first instinct is re: eating a lot of high-fat foods, such as avocados, coconut butter, nuts, etc.? But you might not feel good (healthy) doing that, you might get out of balance.

Perhaps try it one day at a time?

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Before I went raw I had to seriously ask myself how I could successfully transition into eating raw without hating what I was eating. I did so by juicing. Juicing gave me the taste for vegetables. before this, I hated beats, and now I LOVE them! I must have them in my juice or it is not complete. I usually juice with only 1-2 fruits, and a range 5-6 vegetables with lots of greens. After juicing only for a few days, suddenly those vegetables looked so incredibly tasty. My favorite salad now consists of avocado, broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, carrot, and thins strips of kale with a dash of tamari (the tamari isn't raw, but it is a live food with active bacteria in it). This salad is soo good to me! It is like eating rice with steamed veggies, but better!
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You are welcome, Hilary. Nice work with the 30 day juice fast! I have yet to do one of those. If you have any questions let me know.

All

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I happened upon rawtarian by accident... maybe...

See, I became vegan two years ago... and have GAINED 25 pounds!! Why? Because chips, oreos, etc are available in vegan, yet still unhealthy versions. although that happened.. I will never NOT be vegan again.. the thought of animal flesh or dairy makes me sick..
I have tried almost every calorie restrictive thing I can do.. with no success.. I like to eat! I actually got my feelings hurt once when I was introduced to a lady(she was told by my coworker that Im vegan) .. the lady looked at me and said "I thought vegans were SLIM!" ... I have always loved fresh raw veggies.. I just never knew how to make filling meals out of them.. until now.
I tried your pasta sauce on top of raw spiraled zucchini tonight.. and it was so AMAZING!! I liked it WAYYY better than cooked.. AND.. I FEEL good.. full.. and have energy.. I didn't fall into what I call my carb coma afterwards lol..
I'm not sure if I'll go 100% raw immediately.. but I sure plan to head toward that goal.. I need to lose the weight and FEEL good again.. I am so thankful I found your site...Thank You!!! :)

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Thank YOU, Cheryl, for sharing your raw/vegan experiences! I'm glad you found my site, too. Keep up the great work! :)

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Before I went raw I had to seriously ask myself how I could successfully transition into eating raw without hating what I was eating. I did so by juicing. Juicing gave me the taste for vegetables. before this, I hated beats, and now I LOVE them! I must have them in my juice or it is not complete. I usually juice with only 1-2 fruits, and a range 5-6 vegetables with lots of greens. After juicing only for a few days, suddenly those vegetables looked so incredibly tasty. My favorite salad now consists of avocado, broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, carrot, and thins strips of kale with a dash of tamari (the tamari isn't raw, but it is a live food with active bacteria in it). This salad is soo good to me! It is like eating rice with steamed veggies, but better!
Top Voted
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Thanks for this post! I am finishing up a 30 day juice fast and have decided that I want to stick with at minimum 90% raw diet afterward. This post was very encouraging. Your entire blog is packed full of yummy looking recipes that I can't wait to try once I've transitioned off the fast. Thanks!!

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You are welcome, Hilary. Nice work with the 30 day juice fast! I have yet to do one of those. If you have any questions let me know.

Top Voted
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Super informatitive. I think that the not going 100% yet has got me in a rut, like you described above. My commitment starts soon and I gathering my materials and stocking my pantry in preperation for my month. I can't wait to see the improvments in my mind, body, and tastebuds!! Thanks for sharing :)

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I am happy to be part of your amazing journey, Mallory.

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thank you for the wonderful recipes! i am planning on going raw, because like you (used to be), i am a vegetarian-junkfoodatarian... now that i'm starting to make raw, yummy food (cocoa almond butter!!) i realized how good natural, healthy food tastes, and how crappy processed "food" tastes.

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You're welcome, Karina. Yes, there are many of us junk food vegetarians out there. Too many of us, lol :)

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oh.. and i love the eggnog recipe. i love bananas.. :D lols!! i've been having it for a few days.. sometimes i add pieces of apple to it and have it like fruit custard!! <3

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That sounds tasty!

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I've been thinking about going raw too.. not 100% though. But I have always loved all kinds of fruits. And salad too if it has at least one fruit and some nuts. I also liked to eat raw vegetables since i was a kid because my mom used to eat a few of them raw when she cut them up for dinner. I actually miss salads and fruits because of the sweetness and coolness.
Thanks for the recipes. They're really great!!

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Wow Shalini. You are starting out from a great place! When I started out I seriously hated salads and most veggies. Even if you don't commit to going 100%, just incorporating some more raw recipes into your life can only make you feel better!

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thanks... :D
Liking the raw veggies is all thanks to mom, because she showed me its not really that unthinkable to eat them raw. But fruits i love since i don't love most overly sweet desserts.. i like the mild and cold ones.. also i where I live its so hot, anything cool is great!! As for the salads i accept it would probably be boring to me without the fruits and nuts..

Right now i have started with smoothies as breakfast.. regular cooked lunch, fruits or some drink as snacks and salads for dinner. :D

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I love cold, creamy desserts too, especially puddings :)

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Wow great post! its really inspirational! i mean i am currently a serious junk food eater but im looking into going raw,its something i have wanted to do for a while. problem is, im already really thin naturally, and have sometimes tried eating more on the vegetarian/vegan side (not raw vegan yet though!) but became scarily skinny, to the point my friends, family and work colleagues began to worry, and so did i, i was so fragile and became pretty sick.but i have always wanted to eat vegan and recently dicovering raw vegan, would love to get to that point, for my health (non existent immune system due to glandular fever at 16 and carbon monoxide poisoning last yr), wellbeing and connection to the earth, but im struggling to keep weight on, so im eating what i can when i can! i can totally relate to this cus my palette is just ruined at 21, it craves salt more than anything! pushing through that is seriously difficult, but does anyone have any advice for an aspiring raw vegan trying to keep weight on??
thanks and lots of love, love the site! :)

19 votes
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Unfortunately I don't have much experience with trying to gain weight on raw. I have found for me that I am staying at a natural weight, but of course every body is different.

My first instinct is re: eating a lot of high-fat foods, such as avocados, coconut butter, nuts, etc.? But you might not feel good (healthy) doing that, you might get out of balance.

Perhaps try it one day at a time?

Top Voted
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Hey Laura,
I would advise that whomsoever is interested in gaining weight on raw not just go out and eat a whole bunch of fatty foods. Even though we are trying to gain weight the healthiest way to gain weight would be to incorporate increasing weight baring exercises along with gradually increasing food uptake (still balanced: think "i'm eating 3 bananas instead of 2, 1.25 not 1 cup of seeds or nuts, and 1.5 heads of lettuce not 1). As you become more muscular you will require more caloric need and thus you will need to eat more, and conversly the only way to gain weight is to lift weights. Ladies, don't be scared of doing squats, dead lifts, pushups, and sculpting exercises for your arms, the only thing that will happen is that you will become leaner and more sexy.

Hope that helps, wasn't quite sure if the person asking was male or female but the message remains the same, more muscle not fat is what we want because it makes you leaner, also increase all macros so that you are still in balance. Natural is best.

Much love,
Christian
The_Raw_Texan

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Many thanks for sharing that, Christian. You have the right message - that you should gain weight via healthy eating AND exercise!

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Yep definitely laura, there are lots of good books out there for raw muscle and "building" muscle isn't the devil. Honestly, women especially don't want to drop below 15% body fat but at the same time don't want to be above 20% body fat. So best way to reach that happy medium is to do weight bearing exercises in conjunction with cardio 2-3 times per week. Seek out advice from the local trainers at your gym, training with them for a few sessions a week for 3 weeks or so should give you the fundamentals to do correct weight bearing exercises and sculpt your body to be lean and very sexy.

Hope that helps.

p.s. great gal to follow for advice in the realm of body sculpting for women is Crissi Carvalho @ veganfitnessmodel.com

In her 40s and still rocking a lean mean vegan body

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I am so glad I found your website! I am a newbie, only raw for about 3 weeks. Yesterday I gave in to my cravings for a slice of pizza. BIG MISTAKE! I had terrible cravings the reat of the day for junk, and nothing else would satisy! I came to this site and grabbed some raw dessert recipes and that helped alot. I will NOT make that mistake again! I feel too good eating raw to give in to cravings for junk. Please keep the encouraging articles coming!

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We have been long time meat/junk food eaters but we have just recently changed our ways. We are newbies but for the last 2 months, we have been vegetarian...certainly not raw or vegan, but vegetarian. It has been interesting changing our stash of recipes, finding places that even serve vegetarian meals (we are in meat and potato lovin' WV) and fighting off temptation. I noticed...almost immediately...that I felt so much better. I don't feel sluggish as I used to, I don't get heartburn, I don't have upset stomach after eating. It's been a great liberation actually and no where near as difficult as I expected. Our intent is to eventually eat vegan but we needed to ease into the change initially. Anyhow, keep writing...I for one need info and inspiration!

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One of the things that surprised me most about raw foods was all the lovely yet subtle flavors of fresh, whole fruits and vegetables. When you don't slather your foods in condiments and sauces, and give the natural flavors a chance, it's really an eye opener. Who knew celery had such a pleasant saltiness to it?

Chuck

P.S. Congrats on your new location! Good move. :-)

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Wow - That picture is crazy - where did you get it? I can agree. My tastes are changing. I can't say I love salad but I am definitely thinking about how awesome it will be to take a tomato from my garden and just eat it with some salt - or salt pepper and olive oil.

I love olive but, haven't found them raw - do you order them.

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So glad I followed over from Twitter! I love your blog!!! :-D

I've experienced all sorts of stages of raw. I've been 100% raw at various times but for the past few years I've maintained a minimum of 75%+ raw. The majority of the time, I'm 90%+ raw. Right now, I'm closer to 100% raw than I've been in a while. Of course, some raw foodies don't even drink tea. I do. I always will. Herbal tea is my favorite drink besides water. :-D

*smiles*
Michele

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