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How important are grains/beans/legumes?

mewmewmintmewmewmint Raw Newbie

I’m just switching over to the raw vegan diet from a vegan diet with cooked food… I noticed from reading the daily and weekly diet threads that raw vegans don’t eat a lot of grains compared to other diets. (For example the food pyramid.) Also it seems they don’t eat a lot of beans/legumes.

Is there any guidelines to the minimum and maximum of each food group I should eat when I become raw vegan?

Also, I’ve tried soaking lentils and also rice and they didn’t turn out very well… the texture was very rubbery for the lentils and the rice wasn’t very soft.


  • i don’t much care for sprouted grains, except buckwheat, and only as part of a recipe. and i find sprouted beans completely nauseating and would never recommend them to anyone.

    raw vegans definitely don’t follow the food pyramid. most raw foodists agree that the healthiest food to have at the bottom of your pyramid is leafy greens. lots of protein, and the vitamin & mineral content is off the charts. but if you’re just starting out, it can be hard to eat that many greens, as your body isn’t used to digesting them. once you get used to them it is soooo awesome!

    the next level would be your other veggies and fruits, then nuts & seeds, then seaweed & other superfoods, with oils & sweetners at the top, just like the old food pyramid.

    but if you’re just starting out raw, i encourage you to try out what you enjoy, and not worry about minimum & maximum, blah blah. go ahead and eat nuts and dried fruits, and see what works for your body. I still recommend getting your greens in, and drinking green juice, or green smoothies if you like them.

    so the point is, people tend to advocate beans & grains for fiber, vitamins & minerals. well, you’re going to be getting SO MUCH vitamins & minerals from all the glorious produce you will be eating that you will not need those beans & grains!

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    beans/grains/legumes aren’t important. They can be used for variety if you enjoy eating them sprouted. I enjoy raw buckwheat pizza crusts, but nothing else from that category (so far). eventually, greens can be the bulk of your diet (50% ish), then veg/fruit, then 10% fats-nuts, coldpressed olive oil, avocado fats. I like Dr. Graham’s book about the way to eat – visit http://foodnsport.com/joomla/ for ideas about proportions. However, I’m new to raw, and i’m successful so far (99% for 5 weeks and counting!) because I enjoy 1 to 1 1/2 cups of nuts or avocado every day, plus fruit or veg every 3 hours, plus a big green smoothie in the morning, plus any other salads/veggies that I want to eat. In other words, I wouldn’t worry just yet about food proportions -once you’re on the raw wagon for a few months and it’s easy to eat raw always, then you can start refining your diet/listening to your body/ etc. WELCOME to raw foods!

  • I eat bean sprouts everyday, I am not a big fun of fruits, so i put sprouts in all my salads. I also eat alfalfa sprouts and i’m trying to find seeds of broccoli, cabbage etc to make more. I have not sprout grains yet, i eat essenian bread (but i’m not sure if it is really raw :-S).

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I just remembered something… sprouts are very important. Sunflower, alfalfa, broccoli, all kinds of sprouts.

    Ann – Essene bread isn’t raw unless you make it yourself. Just a heads up.

    we’re having a discussion related to this on another thread: http://www.goneraw.com/forums/7/topics/4819

    Check it out!

  • :-( I don’t, I buy Sunnyvale spelt sproted bread… I must try to do myself but it seems difficult sine i have not good blender either a dehydrator… (I will check it rigth now -i mean the thread).

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    Protein: i know that veggies have protein in them. cooking it actually reduces the amount of protein in them. Also NUTS have a lot of protein. I think I am swtiching from eating too much soy protein to eating a variety of nut proteins and some sprouted beans. garbanzos are pretty easy to sprout.

  • Soy I find is always a great portein to turn to

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    i’ve read a lot to suggest soy has negative health benefits, except when traditionally fermented (which means cooked, which means i am a doubter). i’ve also read that soy is highly mucus causing and can cause thyroid problems (which i’ve experienced first hand).

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    oh, and i second, third, whatever all the info here. mandelicious is right about the food pyramid. it’s interesting to know that it is a political tool, not a nutritional one. meat and dairy lobbyists have more to do with how it turned out than any sound nutritional awareness.

    what i did when i became raw was tried to figure out WHY you would want grains, legumes… what is in them that makes them KEY? well, fiber, complex-carbs, certain minerals, vitamins… etc. these are all found in higher concentration in greens and other fruits and veggies. greens are your “complex carbs” and your fiber. consider them your grains. greens and nuts/seeds are jammed with protein, consider them your “legumes.”

    i’m not against grains and legumes per se, it’s just that they are somewhat second rate nutritionally compared to fresh stuff like greens, veggies and fruit. but again, if you are transitioning they can be a great source of innocuous calories.

    i’m pretty sure rice is steamed though, which might be why it tasted weird. lentils will not get soft… they should get crunchy like other sprouts.

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    I don’t eat any beans or grains. I eat buckwheat, but it’s a fruit, not a grain. I do occasionally eat alfalfa sprouts (legume), but rarely. I eat fermented soy (nama shoyu, miso), but in tiny amounts for the taste, not the protein.

  • I hear a lot of great things about buckwheat, what are the most common recipes that use that??

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    Breads, crackers, granola (my favorite). I sprout it, dehydrate it and mix in various seeds, nuts, and fruits.

  • I’ve been having a bit of the Ezekiel sprouted grain bread and tortillas. Not absolutely raw, but close enough not to mess you up.

  • elizabethhelizabethh Raw Newbie

    i like sprouted buckwheat and lentils…i don’t really eat any other grains or legumes. (technically buckwheat is a fruit, not a grain). they make great staples for low-glycemic and cheap meals.

  • Hullo – I’ve found the only sprouted grains and beans I can enjoy and seem satisfying, tasty and digestible, are wheat, oats, lentils and mung beans.

    Wheat and lentils make a great tabbouli base, whole oats are great for Bircher muesli, and mung beans good in salad. I have to eat these sprouted things whole and chew them well – more satisfying and much more digestible than grinding them up. These are the most satisfying for me, but still not as grounding and satisfying as Essene rye bread, which I seem to need badly – long story, I’ll post separately about that!

    I cant handle quinoa – in theory I would like buckwheat but there’s something about it that I cant digest just eating it whole – however, if I was making something fancy the nut pie crusts are ridiculously rich, and the idea of a buckwheat crust is an excellent one, I think (as well as a lot cheaper!). The Dr Bass mice experiments are very interestingn I think – the mice still have more of their survival instincts for what is good for them (at least if given a choice of healthy foods only!) , and I think we can at least set some store by their choices, because they have evolved with humans for millennia, eating our foods!

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