Crying in the name of raw...

Hello all.

I’m new to all this, and have been trying my best to adapt to the raw foods lifestyle, but I’m struggling a little bit. I’m limited financially, so I haven’t been able to go out and buy all the ingredients that would be most helpful in this diet… the prices for olive oils and genuinely “raw” foods seem to rival those of brand-new DVDs; twenty dollars for this, fifteen dollars for that… it’s all a little more than my wallet can afford to stretch.

Any way. For at least the past week, I’ve been eating primarily “raw” foods, despite lacking most of the ingredients pertinent to majority of the recipes I’ve come across. My problem is this: I’m having much difficulty feeling inspired/satisfied… and I attribute part of that to the fact that I don’t have things like olive oil and nuts and grains and bountiful mounds of green vegetables to use, uninhibitedly, in large quantities (as in all the “green juices” that are reputable to be so healing); I haven’t once yet made a meal that I’ve liked, for all I’ve been able to do is puree what I have into mush or chop my vegetables into bland piles.

Another issue I seem to be having is my intense craving for sweets! Which I think may have to do with the fact that fruit is naturally very tasty, and since I haven’t been able to prepare any thing else, I’ve resorted to craving fruits because it’s the only thing I can think of to eat that doesn’t leave me feeling as if I’ve swallowed air. The sweets are not leaving me feeling so well. Eating nothing but bananas and raisins and apples (etc) is dizzying. AND, eating sweets makes me want to eat more, even if I’m already full; the more sweets I eat, the compulsion to eat more and more sweets just sort of takes over, which of course isn’t very nice feeling. But, I don’t even feel like eating any thing else… I have no desire to eat vegetables… well, I would like to, I have the desire to eat vegetables… I just don’t have the urge to eat them, I don’t crave them, and when I do eat them, it has to be with some thing sweet.

I just feel so discouraged! I really want to stick with this, and most of all, I really need to stick with this… I’ve relinquished all other hope for my miserableness and physical woes, and after hearing all this diet supposedly can do, how it can invigorate and energize, I need it to be true, I can’t even describe how much I long to just feel well, I need this…

I plan to go to a natural store and get the ingredients I think I need to be more successful… like oil and maybe some grains and nuts… even though I’m sure it’ll be more expensive than I wish it to be.

I was wondering if any of you would be kind enough to give me advice on kicking my sweet-addiction, and if any one knows of a good recipe book that includes recipes that are fairly simple, that don’t require tedious preparation, with pretty basic ingredients?

I need all the motivation I can get, and I am so grateful for discovering this support network. I look forward to getting past this bump, and appreciate any one who can help…


  • Hey there!!! good job on deciding to try raw. I’ve only been doing it about a month now, and I too sometimes have problems with motivation. I was doing really good, but have been getting off trackthe last few days. I’m hoping to start fresh tomorrow!! I found the book Raw Foods for Busy People, by Jordan Maerin in my local health food store and the recepies are all pretty much simple. I personally love the dressings! good luck!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    i think at first it probably is expensive, because you are trying out new things and figuring out what you like. the same thing happened to me when I first became vegetarian then cut out gluten. my first week of all raw I was at the grocery store almost every day. then this week I went once with a plan and ingredients from recipes. I don’t think you should buy everything new at once. just buy some produce and use up the other stuff you have like oil even though it is cooked.

    do you have a blender? green smoothies are great and the greens really balance the fruit and do not make me dizzy. If you don’t have a juicer, maybe go get a fresh juice somewhere to see how your body reacts to it. I spent $1.75 on a wheat grass shot today and it really cut my appetite. i also love carrot/celery/apple combo. but i have been drinking fresh juice for years and it can be an acquired taste.

    As far as recipes, I like the ones on this site because they are easy and the comments tend to show how they are. I have made the cinnamon rolls and loved them! I plan to try the falafel.

    be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. I remember when I first went vegan and threw out all my leather shoes and wool sweaters. Now I think that was wasteful. I should have worn them out and then replaced them. The same can go for oils and such in your house.

    As far as how to prepare veggies, look at this as a chance to try out some new dressings. I mix lemon juice and olive oil or tahini. Miso can be good to. Then think of some wraps. Like a cabbage leaf or nori.

    Try a goal of one or two new recipes per week and then you can add them to your repertoire. I have been struggling lately because I have mono and cannot muster up the energy to cook at night. So I prep a good lunch in the morning to take to work (today it was kelp noodles with tahini and jicama and red leaf lettuce salad) and a night I had a smoothie.

    Also, look at the threads that describe what people here eat. It has helped me see the options. I have found there is actually MORE to eat than less on this diet.

    I have experimented with adding raw foods to my diet for years so maybe my palate it more a tunned to some flavors, but I also know I wasn’t ready before. It just wasn’t the time for me. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You are trying which is better than most people!

  • southernloversouthernlover Raw Newbie

    Buy seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower, whatever you like. Soak them, and then enjoy. They are usually about 2-4 dollars a pound, which is really quite cheap. That’s what I do!

  • kevin7197kevin7197 Raw Newbie

    “Alive in 5” is a wonderful little book. It was a lifesaver for me as I was feeling very discouraged with all the unique ingredients and equipment that was required for so many recipes. Although I have gradually accumulated ingredients and equipment, I still like my meals to be simple.

    As for taste excitement, I would suggest experimenting with herbs. It’s quite surprising how much flavor can be pumped up with a dash of this or that!

  • Thanks for all the tips. I’m sure this will all get easier and I will feel more confident, once I have more experience and once I’m able to delve into all the scrumptious recipes I’ve seen (but sadly, haven’t been able to try). I’m sure my intense cravings for sweets will diminish once I know of some flavorful ways to prepare vegetables. I looked at a cookbook called “Raw in Ten Minutes” by Bryan Au, the reviews for it on Amazon were pretty excellent, so I’ve been considering buying that one. Some of the reviewers gave brief examples of a few of the recipes, but the book-description didn’t list any that would give me an idea of what kind of stuff this cookbook has in it. Does any one here have this book?

    Any way, thank you mallorymoore707, bitt, southernlover, and kevin 7197 for responding, I really appreciate all the encouragement!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    rawbeginner~ If you don’t have access to the book at your local bookstore, see if your local library has a copy. Also, Bryan Au has a website and has some vids on youtube that will give you a “taste” of what he offers…

    Happy exploring!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    bluedolphin, that is good advice but everyone seems to be doing it. i looked up green for life at my library (which has a database for all the libraries in seattle) and there are 29 holds on it for 9 copies. wow!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    bitt~ Looks like a good news/bad news type of deal… Good news is that there are many people who are wanting to look at the book… bad news, there is a waiting list. Is the checkout period 2 weeks like it is here? If so, then if you put your name on the list right now, it will take about 6 – 8 weeks if everyone takes 2 weeks. However, it has been my experience people will put their name on a waiting list and then pass on whatever they are waiting for so the wait will probably be less… might even be less if you are persistent in checking back.

    Also, check at local college libraries that you have access to… at least for a look-see if you don’t have checkout privileges or cooking or health food stores that carry books.

    Lots of other books to check out while you are waiting… 8o)

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    rawbeginner~ i totally feel you! i started this and felt like i was spending SO much money. but they i figured out how to eat within my budget. i also figured out how to “decode” raw recipes to be affordable for me. for ex, i substitute any nuts in a recipe for seeds. i don’t buy nut or seed butters because if you are just using them in a sauce or spread, why not just use whole (and cheaper and more fresh) seeds and nuts and put a few in the blender with everything? also, some greens like parsley are super cheap and nutritious.

    compare shop to see what you will need to buy at different stores. trader joe’s has better prices on citrus, but whole foods has better greens, etc… also, you may be able to find a local farm on that you can pick your own veggies from…

    i get REALLY REALLY raw (and organic) olive oil from marshalls (don’t judge!) for $10 for 750ml. that should keep you going for a little while!

    i’ve also been told that whole foods throws out a lot of good stuff and to dumpster dive… i’m working up the nerver.

    don’t get discouraged! it takes time to undergo this much change.

    to spice up your recipes simply, use a cool hand tool (like a mandoline slicer, or julienne slicer) to make cool shapes with your favorite veggies. radish, fennel and carrot would be a great thinly sliced salad for example…

    most of this is just getting into a groove with it… it’s like learning how dance. you accumulate a whole bunch of frustration and then one day it’s like BAM i get it, let’s tango!

    hope we’ve helped. =)

  • Hi rawbeginner – I’m currently in my 5th day of another attempt at going “raw”, and it’s much more successful than my previous efforts, so some of my ideas may help you!

    Well, in fact I’m not totally “raw” because I need to eat Essene ryebread every day (which is sprouted but baked at too high a temp to be “raw”), after 4 years on a no-grain diet which (It hink) may have caused some unexplained health problems (neuropathya nd palpitations).

    I therefore decided to try a raw diet very high in GRAINS, and as sweetcorn and whole sprouted grains are both CHEAP and satisfying, they may help you adjust to raw as well!

    I dont like to eat too much fruit as it creates cravings, I find – I have pink grapefruit and blueberries for breakfast, then either 2 slices of the Essene bread (you can have avocado on it, but I dont need to) or my raw Bircher muesli. I also grind some brown flaxseeds in a little cheap coffee-grinder, and just eat it dry – I like it that way, I just have some liquid afterwards!

    The Bircher muesli is made from soaked whole oats (the longer you soak them – under plenty of water in the coldest part of the fridge – the more tender they are), then blend up some soaked almomnds and sunflower seeds with a piece of lime and enough water to make a thick pourable cream. Blend in a nice crisp red apple, washed and peeled, JUST long enough to make it like grated apple – pour it all oevr the oats, mix through and eat – delicious! (bear in mind that if you are used to cooked grains, thes oats are slightly chewy, but the chewiness is very satisfying and delicious I find)

    Later,I have a green smoothie WITHOUT fruit, which is sweet enough for me due to the beetroot – I love it and the ginger is warming too: I make it from beetroot, cucumber, kale, ginger and lime.

    Later I have lots of celery, one or 2 sweetcorn cobs, and one or two bananas depending if I’ve exercised.

    I have a super-salad I make for dinner nearly every day – build up on a dinner plate these layers:mesclun and watercress, then grated purple cabbage, then grated carrot (I have a good quick method I’ve perfected, of grating these with a hand-peeler, the vertical rather than horizontal type – so I dont need to mess around with a food processor or grater), then chopped red capsicum, then avocado, then 2 torn nori sheets – top with any dressing you like, but I think a creamy one is best (say, soaked sunflower seeds + almonds blended up with water and lime) as it’s then a complete meal!

    Another easy thing is a tabbouli made with sprouted grains (I like rye, but you could also use buckwheat, quinoa, wheat or oats) and the other usual ingredients (p[lenty of parsley, tomato, red/green onion, cucmuber if you like, lemon juice, olive oil). This is a good, filling and cheap meal with a green salad, plus hummus made with sprouted lentils (the little green or borwn ones) blended with raw tahini, garlic, lemon juice.

    The tabbouli meal is perfect for non-raw family members (they can add a bit of fish or meat to their plate if they need to) and so is the salad – they can have a non-creamy dressing and add whatever meat/fish they want to have with it.

    Just by buying a sprouter (we have the 3-layer “Bio-snacky” here in Oz), you can sprout lots of grains and then use them to adapt any of your favourite cooked grain dishes. Sprouted grains and lentils keep really well at the back of the fridge if covered in lots of water.

    The only equipment I have is a cheap hand-blender and cheap coffee-grinder!

    Hope this helps….

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