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Craving bready/starchy food?

Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

I’m into my 3rd week or so of raw, I would say I’m around 80% or so. My diet hasn’t been too varied unfortunately, since I’m so new to this and VERY low on cash (I’m literally down to my last dollar today), and I know I eat too much fruit and not nearly enough veg. My breakfast is usually a green smoothie (spinach/banana/blueberries/strawberries/maca/water), lunch is a spinach salad with some nuts and sunflower seeds, a diced apple or pear, some raisins, sometimes some shredded coconut and just started adding carrots (also started tossing a carrot in my smoothie), dried cilantro and lemon juice/olive oil/ACV.

So I know I need to get more proper vegetables in. Soon as I get paid…

Anywho I’ve recently been getting bad cravings for bready stuff. I used to be like a grains addict, I love cold cereal, bagels, toast, artisan breads, and my guilty junk food pleasure was the starchy, salty cheetos. Gross right? I’ve been craving this stuff like mad lately, and really fell off the wagon the past couple days. I don’t know if this is just my compulsive eating issues (on top of I’ve just started working in an office again and there’s bagels and vending machines and such everywhere) or my body telling me I need something specific I was getting from the grainy stuff. If so, what do you think it could be?




  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    I Think many raw vegans have the bread and cheese problem. Here is what I recently read about cheese. Please don’t ask me where….. Cheese has a natural chemical which causes an addiction to cheese…. Now bread. All grains that are stored in silos get moist and hot, which causes fungus. We eat the bread which is made of grain that has fungus on it. So then the fungus in our bodies will crave the food it eats. Now only a few fungus are tested for, so most are still on the grains…. The best thing is to not eat grains that are stored for more than a year. Most of the grains like Kamut, Teff. Quinoa, etc. are stored short term, and pretty safe. We also soak and rinse our grains well. So this also helps. Another help to kill off fungus is to stay alkaline. Also, cut out natural sweets until your desire for breads leave.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    i have a recipe for buckwheat cereal if you click my profile. buckwheat groats particularly great if you are short on cash. also, it is considered not to be a “stored grain” if i remember cousens accurately.

    your body might also be trying to slow down your detox (or perhaps it’s your mind?). on a clean diet like raw, everything bad and old is being told to get the h*ll out of there, and often it’s not the easiest on the body. so it tries to protect itself, slow down the escape, by eating something a little “denser”... effectively making a little detox “dam.”

    cooked grains at night are perfectly acceptable as a transition food in my book. do what you feel comfortable with of course.

    bravo on your third week! =)

  • heyenglishheyenglish Raw Newbie

    The cravings might also be part of your detox! As your body flushes out all the crap it’s been holding onto for years, it re-enters the body, and I believe we re-experience a craving or taste for what our body is removing. I could also be speaking a whole lot of mambo-jambo, too.

  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    Oh yes, talking about re-entering. When I started out I took a detox formula to get rid of toxins in a hurry. This way they have less of a chance to re-enter. 1-2 tab. of flax powder would help to keep it moving. Like 2-3 movements a day…....heyenglish, don’t sound mumbo-jambo to me.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Thank you everyone!

    beany I didn’t know that about grains, that’s both fascinating and kinda gross/weird! I’m amazed I’m not craving cheese more…whenever I tried to diet for weight loss before, I’d get vicious cheese cravings, I’ve always loved cheese. (I’m an Italian…and a foodie…Anthony Bourdain is my hero…you get the idea) I haven’t had that bad of cravings for it on high raw though, I’m really quite amazed/baffled (in a good way). Do you have any suggestions on preparing the other grains? Quinoa is a bit meh with me…I’m not a huge fan and it seems to sit undigested in my system for a strange while (judging by the last time I ate it and my subsequent…um…restroom activities). I guess I can make lots of crackers and faux oatmeal type dishes? Oh I will try taking flax! You said flax powder…I have ground flaxseed…is that the same?

    pianissima found it, thank you! That sounds delicious, I will definitely give it a try. Where do you find buckwheat groats? I’ve never seen them. I think I recall someone mentioning in another thread actually going to a horse feed store for groats. I definitely feel that need to eat something dense like you mentioned…although afterwards I just feel like there’s a exactly what you said sitting inside me…a big heavy dam. Thank you for the bravo! BTW I see you’re a musician too! :) What is your music like? I saw piano, and looked at your photo and it reminds me a bit of the liner notes for Tori Amos’s album Boys For Pele...Tori is one of my all time favourites.

    heyenglish...doesn’t sound like mambo jambo at all! Makes perfect sense!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Try my cheese and bread, click on my profile, and there is a thread about the cheese somewhere. Yes it is so good someone started a thread about it! I have a bread recipe on there called ‘Zoe’s Bread’. It uses sprouted wheat, it might be what you need. Also the crepes and the Renee’s crisps recipes are terrific for starchy cravings.

    I always think that when you are SAD, most of your food is dry, pasta, bread, pizza, crisps etc But then when you are raw, if you don’t dehydrate, ten it is all wet, and we are just not used to it. We are used to eating dry food and feeling comforted by the “I have got a brick in my stomach” feeling we get from it! That’s when dehydrated food really helps so much.

    I think it is unfair that you can buy a loaf of bread for 50p, a bag of bagels for I don’t know, pennies, cake for a couple of punds, but raspberries cost £4 a punnett. I have had financially tough times on a couple of occaisions whilst raw, and it is so tempting to go and spend a fiver on cooked food that will keep you going for a day or two, rather than spending £20 on raw food for a couple of days.

    I don’t know if you have one or not but a dehydrator makes your diet cheaper and easier. Maybe there are some on ebay? You never know.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Thanks Zoe! I’m waiting w/baited breath to get paid so I can get pine nuts to make your cheese! I don’t have a dehydrator yet, hopefully I’ll be getting one next week (post paycheck!), so once I do I definitely want to try your bread. I have no idea where to get buckwheat groats or wheat berries though…i wouldn’t even know what they look like. I was in the bulk section of Whole Foods last week and I don’t recall seeing much in the way of grains either, except I think millet. I’ve got to get to a few more stores in the area. As to the flax seeds in your recipe…I have ground flax, will that still work ok? Should I still soak it first and attempt to drain it?

    I know exactly what you mean about the dry/wet thing…my diet has been mostly smoothies and salads with nothing dry and crispy and I’m starting to miss that and I’m messing up BADLY because of it. I can’t wait to get a dehydrator!

    The cost thing drives me crazy too! I’m dirt poor at the mo and have been pretty bad off before…it was always so much more economical when I was in college to buy a loaf of bread and peanut butter and jam than a bunch of vegetables. It’s not fair!

    BTW what part of England do you live in?

  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    beany back. To the flax for quick removal.smile. Put 1 Tab. ground flax in a full glass of water. Stir and drink quickly. Are you able to get to other health food stores besides Whole foods? The health food store I go to has many types of grains. I buy my grains through www.Azure Standard.com They are not in all states but sure worth buying from them if they go to your area. (Thats if you live in the U.S.A)

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Thank you beany! I have a big bag of ground flax so I will try that.I’m going to try to go to downtown Atlanta this weekend to a co-op and see what they have. Thanks for the linkage! Question…I see they have “hulled” and “pearled” barley…which one is the raw groats? I’ve actually seen both of those in stores here, but thought the groats were something different.

    PS does anyone know if I can sub rye berries for wheat berries? I always loved rye bread.

  • sweetpeasweetpea Raw Newbie

    Depending on where you live, if it is getting cooler you are most likely wanting more dense warm food to keep you feeling fulfilled. We have to adapt the raw diet to suit our climate and as Zoe said, having a dehydrator helps us get food in a form that is more satisfying and filling.


  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    You can make Zoe’s cheese without the pine nuts – still very good, & much cheaper! I sometimes put in the olive oil, but often I leave that out, too, & just use the sunflower seeds, lemons, green onions & salt.

    I was also going to say sprouted wheat. It is sometimes what my body needs. I thought recently that I was craving something dry (bread/crackers/cooked potatoes) – but I ate a bowl of sprouted wheat with raw marinara sauce, and my cravings vanished.

  • sweetpea. first of all i would like to mention that i have tried a few of your recipes and they’re absolutely amazing. you must be a great raw chef. also-can you please tell me what that dish is in your profile picture? i drool everytime i see it, it looks wonderful :)

    brawnwyn, is that your real name? i’ve never seen it spelt like that before. i know how you feel because i crave bread and starch pretty often. i’ve been raw almost 3 months and i still get those cravings. i dont have a dehydrator so it’s even harder. when i’m really craving a sandwich i usually just put all the sandwich ingredients in between two pieces of kale or lettuce and it helps my craving to subside. the one that really helps for me is raw homemade blueberry jam and almond butter on kale. i live in canada so it’s very cold in the winter.. i may decide to eat a steamed potato every so often when the weather changes.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    I forgot to mention cabbage. I eat purple cabbage sometimes when I’m craving something starchy/dense – it’s sounding good with sandwich-type fillings now. Thanks, bronwyn! :)

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    hey there,

    my music sounds like this:”http://myspace.com/portersinger”; Tori is my favorite! =) what do you play?

    buckwheat groats are in the bulk section of grocery store. super cheap. you’ll love them! (make sure to get GROATS, not Kashi, which is roasted)

    other great starch: eggplant!!! (makes fabulous bread, especially when you don’t have a dehydrator). just slice with a mandoline (or sharp knife) lengthwise, salt on both sides and let sit for about 30 mins (or more). squeeze out a little, or blot with a towel (or press between 2 plates) and VOILA!

    also, my cous cous recipe is surprisingly starchy… cauliflower is a great way to make rice. and when the winter squashes are available you can make rice from those too. super cheap as well. you do need a food processor to get the pieces really small though.

  • if you are craving starchy carbs, maybe all that fruit just isnt enough fruit to meet your calorie needs. starch is carbs fruit is carbs (in a much easier to digest form) try eating fruit till your hearts content, before eating your veggies. Veggies, while very nutrient dense, are low in calories. AS raw foodists we need to make sure that we eat enough calories for our body otherwise we will always be craving crap. Try to eat lots of high calorie fruit like mangos and bananas and avoid fruits like apples and pears, which have very few calories. I find a great way (and cheap right now) to get in those calories in by blending watermelon into a smoothie with a few ice cubes. I could drink it all day, and it gives a great energy boost. I am a carb addict, if I dont eat enough fruit it is all about potatoes and tofu (which dont agree that well with me.) Use an online tool such as fitday.com to track your calorie intake for a day and see if it is enough for you body. I did this recently after 4 years of raw/ vegan cooked yo yoing, and was shocked to see that I never ate enough calories to meet my needs…hence why i was always hungry.

  • bittbitt Raw Starter

    this is what i always did at first: every time i had a craving, i ate fruit. anytime it wasn’t mealtime and i was hungry, i ate fruit. it became a habit and now i just eat a lot of fruit! my body learned to adjust to it. don’t be afraid to eat a bunch of bananas in a day. sometimes that’s what it takes.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    sweetpea – I live near Atlanta, GA, so it’s not that cool yet, but I can feel it coming, autumn is my favourite season and I always loved all the cooked food that went with it, so now I need to start figuring out the raw options. Hopefully I will have a dehydrator soon!

    angie- I will give it a go, I do have walnuts and cashews. I do like pinenuts quite alot though! By sprouted wheat, do you mean wheatberries that you soaked and rinsed to sprout?

    bronwyn My name is Amanda actually. Branwyn is just the name I use in pretty much all of my online stuff. That was the first way I ever saw it spelled, in a Welsh mythology book, so that’s the one that stuck with me…though it’s earned me the nickname “Bran Muffin.” :) I like your PB&J on kale sammich idea! I’ll have to try that. How do you make the blueberry jam? Just put the blueberries through a food processor and that’s it? I love blueberries. What part of Canada do you live in? I have alot of friends scattered throughout the country. I was planning on immigrating there for a while.

    pianissima thanks for the linkage! I will have a listen when I get home from work. Yay Tori fans! I feel kinda bad, I haven’t kept up w/her more recent work. She kinda lost me with the Choirgirl album, I didn’t like the techno ambient direction she was moving in. I’m told her newer stuff is more like her older stuff, so I need to listen to the copy of Beekeeper I’ve had sitting around since it came out!

    I think I’ve found “hulled” buckwheat…looks similiar to short stubby grains of rice with a line down the middle…is that the same as groats? I never thought to try the eggplant, I definitely will! I’ve faved a few of your recipes and will try the couscous. I have a butternut squash sitting at home that I need to figure out something to do with, so I might try that tonight. I have one of those mini food chopper things but I need to get a proper processor!

    circlekitchen I do eat quite a bit of fruit, sometimes I think I shouldn’t be eating so much cuz it’s higher calories…I have alot of weight to lose so I try to keep my calories well under 2000/day and constantly worry I’m eating too much carbs. :( I have a tracking software on my comp called the Cronometer that tracks calories, fats, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, plus it has a huge food nutrient info database, so I just type in what I’m eating and all the nutrient content pops up automatically. It’s kinda annoying that I can’t just access it from work though, so I will definitely have a look at the fitday site. Thank you!

    bitt I did have a huge fruit, seed, nut and flax salad for lunch and that seems to have left me without any starchy cravings, so that helped. I’m still paranoid about my calorie/fat intake though! :facepalm:

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Branwyn you asked me where I lived, I live in Newton Le Willows which is in between Liverpool and Manchester. In the North West of England. A great place to live actually ;) But we’ll soon be leaving for good to Virginia USA.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Zoe Well an early Welcome to America! I may be driving to NYC soon so perhaps I’ll say hello on the way! What brings you here? I love the UK. My SO lives near Dartford, Kent.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    My husband is American and he has lived here for 4 years to be with me. I am returning the favour ;)

    And there are people and places we want to be around too. We’re looking forward to establishing our amazing monthly Potlucks in Virginia when we arrive.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Branwyn – Go to the Decatur Farmer’s Market!!! I used to purchase food there. It’s amazingly cheap – coconuts for $1.89 (we pay $3-4), org. parsley for $1, org green for $2 (we pay $4), and they have quite a few types of organic produce. Hope that helps to stretch the paychecks farther! Be thankful you don’t live upstate new york, where produce is 2 to 4 times as expensive as atlanta (especially in winter!) whew it’s SO expensive. I often pay $2.50 for ONE PIECE OF FRUIT. one. piece. of. organic. fruit. So expensive. ORG apples $3/lb, org nectarine $4/lb, org peaches $4/lb, org cherries $10/lb, org grapes $5/lb, org avocados $2, org tomatoes $4/lb. I spend around $170 per week to feed myself fresh produce and not really raw nuts (cause i can’t afford really raw).

    That rant had little to do with your original question. To avoid cravings, I eat tons of raw food. I don’t know any way around it. I use dehydrated foods to fill my starchy cravings too.

  • I find that greens and green smoothies help to take care of cravings. But i do struggle with wanting bread too. I could live off of bread. I notice that when im stressed i want bread in the worst way, so maybe your stress levels have something to do with it too.

  • sweetpeasweetpea Raw Newbie

    Thank you Bronwyn, I really enjoy creating raw food recipes and run workshops here in Scotland. I love to share the joys of raw food and how wonderful it can be.

    Branwyn, yes a dehydrator is helpful in transitioning and even beyond. We live in a cool, damp climate here and i find it an essential piece of kit! The picture is a wild raspberry trifle I made in the summer.


  • I’m a little late jumping on this thread but I know why cheese is addictive like beany said. It was mentioned in Skinny Bitch that mammals’ milk contains small amounts of opiates (similar to morophine) to keep the calf/child “addicted” until they are weaned so they can receive proper nutrition to grow.

    And I have the same problem as you, Branwyn. I am not 100% raw, and don’t intend to be though, so when I crave starches, I indulge my cravings. I’d like to get up to about 90% raw. Right now, I indulge my starch cravings maybe once or twice a week, but that’s usually the only cooked food I eat.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    yes, hulled buckwheat is the same i think.

    the beekeeper is the worst. well, of her cds. she’s amazing live though! have you seen her?

  • kaybee1978kaybee1978 Raw Newbie

    Branwyn—not sure if you got everything sorted, but didnt look like you got all your questions answered. heres a few tips

    1. you want HULLED Barley, not pearled. the pearled is too polished and will not sprout. the hulled should sprout little tails for you. i have found soaked, sprouted barley to be an EXCELLENT rice substitute in things like soups, as it is soft like cooked rice, once its been soaked and sprouted. (i chop up a bunch of veggie and herbs, add about a cup of sprouted barley, put it all in a big bowl and add some fairly warm water, soy sauce, miso, olive oil, salt, other herbs, etc; warm food helps with the cold rainyness here)

    2. using rye isnt necessarily what will give you the rye-bread taste, believe it or not, at least in my opinion. the key is really caraway seeds that have the taste that we most commonly associate with rye bread. i made ani phyo’s sesame sunflower bread (sorry, dont have the link but you can find it on rawfoodtalk.com; basically its ground flax, sprouted sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, veggies, seasonings, etc, and i added some caraway seeds. tasted like rye bread.

    3. the grain that you thought was raw buckwheat REALLY doesnt sount like buckwheat by your discription of it. the “grains” of buckwheat are almost pyramid-shaped; they do not resemble rice. make sure you get the buckwheat groats that are tannish-color with a bit of a greenish hue. these are the raw ones. the darker brown ones are toasted. what you described sounds like barley to me… buckwheat doesnt have any lines on it

    4. personally, i havent been satisfied making crackers or cookies or ANYTHING with grains like spelt or wheat. Ive made crackers with wheat several times, as well as trying alissa cohens poptart recipe that used sprouted wheat, and ALL of them went in the compost. ACK. uncooked wheat is very bland, starchy in a bad way, and to me just had bad taste. (what a waste of a pint of strawberries for the poptarts. honestly, i cant fathom how people eat some of these things; guess its just different tastes, but some of the recipes came out just HORRID with the wheat) i also made cookies with sprouted spelt and couldnt cover up the bitterness taste of them. You might end up having more luck using nuts and seeds—flax and sunflower, pumpkin, etc. or crackers with and almond pulp or ground hazelnut base. i have found these to be much better alternatives.

    good luck


  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    durianrider I eat ALOT of sweet fruit…my diet is typed in my first post: breakfast is a green smoothie, with spinach/banana/blueberries/strawberries or mango or pear/maca/hemp protein powder/water. Lunch is a spinach salad with 1/2 a diced apple or pear, raisins, some carrot if i have it, a sprinkle of walnuts or pumpkin/sunflower seeds, and some olive oil and ACV. Dinner was/is still up in there air at this point…sometimes it’s a salad, sometimes it’s a raw soup, sometimes it’s a small SAD meal (I’m not 100% raw nor apsire to be), sometimes now I nibble on Zoe’s raw essene bread and sunflower seed cheese with sliced cukes or tomato and such, sometimes I don’t really eat dinner.

    I’ve made that essene bread of Zoe’s and some grawnola since I first posted this, and eating a little bit of that either mid morning or late afternoon has really seemed to help. I think I really wanted something drier and sometimes more savoury than I was getting from the smoothies. I think somehow the hemp protein powder I’ve been putting in my smoothies has helped too…unfortunately it tastes like shit. :S So I’d like to find a better option for that at some point.

    kaybee1978 thank you! I was confusing buckwheat and barley! :) I did get the proper buckwheat though…damn that stuff sprouts fast! Works like a charm. I’d like to try using it as a rice sub…I was thinking of doing that with oat groats too. I’ve heard they’re steamed though? I’ve found I really love the taste of them though. They’re nutty and a bit sweet on their own…the buckwheat is fine, just stays kinda soggy after sprouting and doesn’t have much taste on it’s own. But I do still have quite a bit left so I’ll try some things with it. I will look up ani phyo’s recipe for the rye tasting bread, thank you for the recommendation.

    Thanks for the info/recs on crackers/cookies and wheat/spelt vs. seed/nut bases. I haven’t tried any raw cookies or crackers yet but would like too. I’m trying to stay more towards seeds so as not to overdue my fat intake with nuts, as I want to lose weight, so we’ll see what I can put together!

  • Branwyn32 and Beany: Cheese is addictive chemically. Dr. Neal Barnard talks about it in his book Breaking the Food Seduction. Milk has opiates in it to make the liquid addictive to the calf who needs to drink it to grow. All dairy is addictive, but cheese especially so because it’s so concentrated.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    branwyn, great to hear that you tried the bread ;) How did it go for you? Sometimes when people first make it they have trouble with the buckwheat, did you manage ok?

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Hi Zoe! No problems with the buckweat that I knew of? It sprouts uber fast! It wasn’t what I expected…I was thinking it’d be like regular bread…you know, fluffy and spongey, but it was more like a chewy cookie consistency. (Did I do it right?) I really like it with your sunflower seed cheese spread on it with slices of cucumber or tomato. I’m not really sure how else to eat it though! I keep wanting to spread something else creamy on it to moisten it up.

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