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My foray into raw eating

Hello, goneraw community. =)

I'll try to keep the background information brief, but I am a 15-year-old, male, highly interested in nutrition (as of now I plan to be a dietitian when I'm older). As I'm sure that all of you reading this can attest to, there is a lot of conflicting evidence out there--on the internet, in books, on the news, from various leaders in the nutrition field--about what the optimal diet is. On one extreme, there is the raw vegan diet, and on another extreme, there is the completely carnivorous diet. Then there is the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, the vegetarian diet, the low-carb diet, the cooked vegan diet, the food pyramid diet...etc.

If you've taken a look at my screen name, you'll probably figure out that, as of now, I don't believe that the raw vegan diet is the optimal diet for human health. I've reviewed a lot of literature, and it doesn't seem to me that there's anything in humans' evolutionary past that would suggest that we should be a raw vegan species.

Personally, I feel great off a diet that includes fatty cuts of meat, poultry, fish, loads of milk and dairy, eggs, as well as fruits and vegetables. But it's hard to ignore the people on various websites and forums who claim to feel healthier, have more energy, etc, while consuming a vegan diet.

The easy thing to do would be to pretend that such people are either lying, or are somehow exempt from the normal rules of human nutrition; but I've decided to not to do that anymore, and instead, find out for myself what the raw vegan diet is all about. (By the way, I know that not all raw vegans claim that their diet is the best for absolutely every person on the planet--I'm doing this for personal reasons. If I'm going to walk around thinking that I couldn't possibly thrive off a raw vegan diet, then I might as well justify my thinking.) That's why I've decided to drop all personal prejudices against the raw vegan diet and try it out for myself. (My parents are quite used to me trying out radical diets, so that shouldn't be a problem).

If the moderators of the forum don't mind, I would like this thread to also double as a log for my foray into raw eating.

Here's the diet I've devised that I will adopt. I am open to any advice for foods that should be added, removed, or changed in quantity.

-8 bananas

-2 avocados

-2 cups broccoli

-2 cups spinach

-4 oz almonds

-2 apples

-3 oranges

-2 cups baby carrots

-1 cup berries

-1-2 brazil nuts

I'll also probably drizzle a home-made dressing of olive oil and raw ACV over vegetables to make them more palatable.

I will also be blending a lot of this every day. I've been making green smoothies for a while now--they're wonderful, aren't they? Such easy sources of nutrition.

TOTALS:

Calories: 2,584

Fat: 114 grams

Saturated fat: 13 grams

Carbs: 398 grams

Fiber: 90 grams

Protein: 51 grams

Interestingly, the fat content (once I add the olive oil) is about the same as my old diet, but the carbs have increased by about 60% and protein has decreased by at least 70%. If I ever crave protein, I will add raw hemp, but I think I'll be okay after a period of adjustment.

As far as vitamins and minerals go, the diet is strong in all of them, except for the obvious ones like B12 and Vitamin D, both of which I will supplement. It was also very low in selenium, which is why I added the brazil nuts. It's a bit deficient in zinc, which I'm not too worried about for the time being, but it's also very, very low in sodium. I will definitely be adding some unrefined sea salt to counteract that. Calcium is more than sufficient at 700 mg.

Well, Day 1 starts tomorrow. Feedback would be highly appreciated!

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Comments

  • Are you going to eat the same thing every day? Or is that just what you plan to eat tomorrow? What if your body craves cucumbers?

  • pixxpixx Raw Newbie

    You really do need to change up what you will be eating day to day; you won't get the full benefit of the experience (nor of nutrition) if you eat the same things every day. And, IMHO, that is way too much fat for every day.

    Enjoy your experiment! :~)

  • I would also suggest more variety (versus eating the same handful of things every day), and additional greens (kale, chard, kale, dandelion, kale, collard, kale, romaine, and did I mention kale?).

    You also have no seeds and no sprouts on your list. Is there any reason you're avoiding nightshades? Where are the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers? Where are the roots - beets, radish, carrots? What about fennel and celery? Sea vegetables?

    Two avocados daily seems extreme to me, but deelish.

    Go with a pink or gray salt if you're concerned about minerals.

    Good luck to ya - generally speaking your experiment may not extrapolate well to other people. As a growing teenager, a diet that works for you may not work for a 35-year-old woman or a 60-year-old man.

  • More variety -- noted.

    I'm due to run out of spinach on Wednesday, so I will pick up kale, cucumbers, and other leafy greens then. I also just remembered that I like kiwifruits rather a lot, so those will probably be replacing the apples every other day. This is actually a pretty fun diet to plan. :)

    [quote]You also have no seeds and no sprouts on your list. [/quote]

    Almonds qualify as seeds, no?

    As for sprouts, which ones do you recommend?

    [quote]Is there any reason you're avoiding nightshades? Where are the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers? Where are the roots - beets, radish, carrots? What about fennel and celery? Sea vegetables?[/quote]

    Tomatoes, I absolutely despise; cucumbers, I will be picking up; carrots, are already in my diet. I guess it's just a familiarity thing--I'm not really used to eating zucchini, beets, radish, or fennel, but so long as I'm on this diet, I will try as many things as possible. I guess I'll take the diet I made up as more of a guideline, than as an absolute.

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

  • i agree with everyone else, you might get bored if you eat the same thing everyday. especially at first. although some prefer the simple type of diet. i enjoy a more complex one that's still raw.

    but you are right to plan, i planned like crazy at first to make sure there was enough food. don't worry about the amount of fat, you will adjust to the right amount when you get more of a feel for the diet.

    I personally would forfeit the broccoli and add more greens instead. my daily intake is about 2 cups greens in a smoothie, 2 cups in a salad (or more) and 2 cups in a green juice. at minimum. i would also not do those gross baby carrots in the bags. they have been washed with some sort of bleach or something i remember reading.

    as far as seeds, i would add hemp or flax, don't WAIT until your body needs it. it's hard to tell at first if you crave protein, and you need the amino acids and EFAs more than the protein. for sprouts, i like clover and sunflower the best. you can sprout your own if you want.

  • skeptic, It would help if you read up on the Sad American Diet and what it is doing to the American people. Also look up on how most animals are raised and how they are slaughtered. Then find out what all those names are on products that are hard to pronounce. Then when you are filled with all this knowledge, find out what really happens to our fresh organic or conventional foods when they are heated above 106.

    I am with bitt, you need to be soaking or soaking and sprouting seeds and grains.

    One more thing. I believe raw vegan is for every one, but for most, it has to be tweaked a bit. Like I distill my own water. If I drink well water or other good water, my legs will pull. Our body can not absorb rock minerals so we can not absorb minerals from water. WE CAN absorb minerals from raw plants! Though I seem to need more. So the distiller takes out the rock minerals and I put in minerals that my body can absorb. So you see, we must listen to our bodies and tweak now and then..

  • PamPam

    I applaud your efforts. We might be able to provide more useful information if you tell us how tall you are, how much you weigh, and whether you have specific health issues you are addressing (like diabetes, an eating disorder, drug use, etc.) What's your activity level? Do you compete in sports?

    Lots of good advice here already. Generally, I would say you probably could add LOTS more leafy greens. Two cups is not much at all. I typically consume a HUGE salad of leafy greens (like about 6-8 cups), as well as greens in my smoothies, juices and wraps. You may need to work up to it, however.

    I'd cut down on the bananas in your quest for variety. In my early days of raw, I, too, got a lot of my calories from avocados and bananas. You're consuming almost 60% of your daily caloric intake in bananas and avos. That's okay on occassion, but if you do it for very long, it may lead to nutritional shortfalls. I speak from experience.

  • Rawskeptic, where do you live? If you live by a vegetarian restaurant that serves raw food, or by a raw food restaurant, please go try the food! You don't need to eat raw gourmet every day, but it definitely helps to keep cravings at bay. It's also a great tool to get more variety in per sitting; for example, it's a lot easier to eat a cashew based hummus based veggie burrito with a flax wrap stuffed with 5 different vegetables and greens in one sitting than a serving of cashews, a serving of greens, 5 different vegetables eaten seperately and some flaxseeds sprinkled on a salad of greens.

    I know you're only in it to see how you feel and for nutrition experimentation, but one cannot deny the human need for variety, flavor, and the entertainment value of food. Food is social, food is nourishing on levels beyond biological.

    I'd really reccomend trying out some of the recipes listed on here; you're already doing smoothies, so why not try some soups? Maybe a pate, to dip vegetables in? Something simple to start.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks for all the replies, everyone! =D

    I'll respond one by one.

    @bitt:

    "i agree with everyone else, you might get bored if you eat the same thing everyday. especially at first. although some prefer the simple type of diet. i enjoy a more complex one that's still raw

    That might be me--my normal diet is actually quite simple. But, there are lots of odd fruits/veggies that I always see but have never tried. I can drop the simplicity aspect for the sake of getting the most out of the diet. I've heard that in Japan, they teach in elementary school that it's best to eat a wide variety of foods (100 unique foods a week, I heard, though I'm not sure it's true).

    "I personally would forfeit the broccoli and add more greens instead. my daily intake is about 2 cups greens in a smoothie, 2 cups in a salad (or more) and 2 cups in a green juice. at minimum

    Yeah, I realized today as I was munching on broccoli that I don't think I could eat it every day (although I find it to be quite a nice smoothie component). I'm looking to partially replace it with kale, collards, mustards.

    would also not do those gross baby carrots in the bags. they have been washed with some sort of bleach or something i remember reading.

    Even the organic sourced ones? I don't mind switching to regular carrots at all, though. It's fun doing a Bugs Bunny impression every time you eat one, but I guess that's the 6-year-old in me.

    as far as seeds, i would add hemp or flax, don't WAIT until your body needs it. it's hard to tell at first if you crave protein, and you need the amino acids and EFAs more than the protein

    Noted.

  • @beany beegan:

    skeptic, It would help if you read up on the Sad American Diet and what it is doing to the American people

    I've done lots of research on different diets and nutritional aspects, and yeah, I concur that the Standard American Diet is pretty far from the ideal. We might disagree, however, on what's so bad about it: I think it's the added fructose from colas and sweets and processed food; the refined, rancid vegetable oils used not only in fast food restaurants, but also in homes; refined flour; and a departure from traditional foods like organ meats and full-fat milk. I think that in those regards, my preferred diet is much, much better than the SAD.

    Also look up on how most animals are raised and how they are slaughtered

    I have some knowledge in that area as well. I try to get my meat/milk/eggs from sources that treat their animals well (and I pay for a lot of my own food out of my own enjoyment of diet). Ultimately, though, I feel it is ethical for humans to eat meat, but not for us to confine and quietly torture the animals we use for their food product.

    I am with bitt, you need to be soaking or soaking and sprouting seeds and grains.

    I am already soaking raw almonds, but am open to suggestions for any more seeds/grains that I can sprout. I have some quinoa laying around (not literally, of course); can you sprout quinoa?

    One more thing. I believe raw vegan is for every one, but for most, it has to be tweaked a bit. Like I distill my own water.

    I have a water filter in my kitchen sink (and also my shower) to filter tap water, as I generally don't like the idea of fluoride.

  • Rawskeptic, where do you live? If you live by a vegetarian restaurant that serves raw food, or by a raw food restaurant, please go try the food! You don't need to eat raw gourmet every day, but it definitely helps to keep cravings at bay. It's also a great tool to get more variety in per sitting; for example, it's a lot easier to eat a cashew based hummus based veggie burrito with a flax wrap stuffed with 5 different vegetables and greens in one sitting than a serving of cashews, a serving of greens, 5 different vegetables eaten seperately and some flaxseeds sprinkled on a salad of greens.

    I know of a couple great vegan restaurants near my house, but I unfortunately know of no raw ones. =(

    That burrito sounds great though. I am looking through various raw vegan recipe websites to get some ideas.

    Just one question--I'm not completely sure, but aren't all cashews technically not raw? Kind of like how olives need to be heated before human consumption? Maybe I'm just completely misquoting whatever I heard...

    I'd really reccomend trying out some of the recipes listed on here; you're already doing smoothies, so why not try some soups? Maybe a pate, to dip vegetables in? Something simple to start.

    Raw soup sounds odd, but good. I will look one up and see how it goes!

    ---------

    Okay, my fingers are about ready to fall off from typing, but really quickly, my first day of raw vegan eating went okay. I made a lot of smoothie for breakfast/lunch and ate bananas and almonds for afternoon snacks. Dinner was kind of bland--oranges, spinach, and more almonds--and it is absolute torture eating spinach when you can smell my mom's chicken. But I'm sure I have enough willpower to last through the week, and now I have some better ideas for what to do tomorrow for dinner. My goal is to make my parents jealous of MY dinners by the end of the week!

  • oh yes coconuts are great for you! the young ones are amazing!

    yes we like our veggies but greens are typically considered to be their own category, not lumped in with the other veggies. have you heard of the book "green for life"? it's pretty convicing and she likes her raw food simple so i think you would like it.

  • @Pam:

    I applaud your efforts. We might be able to provide more useful information if you tell us how tall you are, how much you weigh, and whether you have specific health issues you are addressing (like diabetes, an eating disorder, drug use, etc.) What's your activity level? Do you compete in sports?

    I'm about 5'11'' and 155 pounds. I used to have binge eating disorder (and my weight peaked at about 190 pounds), but through self-therapy I am now free of it and I lost quite a bit of fat (I'm now about 12% body fat). I have a morning jog, I weightlift 3 times a week, and I frequently play sports during/after school with friends but don't play on any team sports (orchestra playing is my main extracurricular).

    Lots of good advice here already. Generally, I would say you probably could add LOTS more leafy greens. Two cups is not much at all. I typically consume a HUGE salad of leafy greens (like about 6-8 cups), as well as greens in my smoothies, juices and wraps.

    Lol, you guys really like your veggies here. I will be sure to increase veggie intake.

    I'd cut down on the bananas in your quest for variety. In my early days of raw, I, too, got a lot of my calories from avocados and bananas. You're consuming almost 60% of your daily caloric intake in bananas and avos. That's okay on occassion, but if you do it for very long, it may lead to nutritional shortfalls. I speak from experience.

    Are there any high-calorie fruits/veggies you can recommend to replace them partially? I included so many bananas because they're tasty, high in calories, and inexpensive, but I'd be glad to varietize more if I could be insured about the same number of calories.

    About the avocados--do you think coconuts could replace them every once in a while? There's this Asian market near my house that sells these great coconuts pretty cheaply.

  • There are two main schools of thought when it comes to raw food. One is a high fat diet. And the other is a low fat high fruit diet. I personally switched from the high fat to the high fruit (maybe you would be interested in googling 80/10/10). Diets high in fat are linked to a ton of diseases and from what I've experienced it slows down the body's digestive processes and lowers overall energy.

    I used to eat a diet high in cooked fat when I was young but all of a sudden my stomach stopped digesting it so be careful and don't damage your stomach! Energy drinks and fried food did me in.

  • regarding cashews: there's always freaking something in the raw community...some people don't eat agave any longer because it's breifly heated during the extraction process, and for that matter almonds are all pasturized now if you're buying them in the united states, so a lot of rawists have boycotted them. pretty much any shelled nut has been heated, because that is how they separate the nuts from the shells. Unless you shell it yourself, it's not trully raw in a purist sense.

    I have had bingeing and ED issues like you, so I definitely know the dangers of black and white thinking. For me, if the nut is not roasted, it's raw. I'm not going to start trying to assign black and white labels to gray areas; I feel healthier that way.

    PS raw soups are GREAT! You can warm them in the dehydrator; thats what we did at the restaurant I worked at. Also, if the idea of cold soup ever sounds weird, just think gazpacho.

    The best part about raw for me was the fact that I could eat as many desserts and treats as I wanted, and I wouldn't gain weight. And I wasn't just eating plain fruits greens and veggies; I was drinking chocolate shakes, eating cheesecake, eating burritos and eggplant jerky, we even found a great raw rendition of a BLT on buckwheat 'bread'. I was eating ice cream sundaes every day. All of this stuff was raw, all of it was made with healthy ingredients, and I never craved or wanted for anything else. My eating disorder completely went away along with the self imposed need to limit myself. I was completely free!

    So, I would suggest to you to go to a raw meetup. www.meetup.com, type in 'raw food' and your area in the search criteria, and I'm sure there's a group of raw people meeting around you right this very moment and you never knew it! And the best part is, you bring a raw dish and you get to sample everyone else's fabulous creations~! The first meetup I ever went to, I was skeptic not of the health benefits of the food, but of the flavors and the interest of it; I was thinking 'of course if you ate veggies all the time it would be healthy, but it would also be very boring!' Well, when I got there, there was pizza, ice cream, chocolate pudding made with raw cacao and avocados, mango spinach wraps, burgers, truffles and more! And the tastes and flavors were to die for; I was a pastry chef at the time, but I was thinking 'if raw desserts taste SO good, why ever eat anything else??'

    Good luck on your foray! As you know, we at goneraw.com are always here to help, too!~

  • There are two main schools of thought when it comes to raw food. One is a high fat diet. And the other is a low fat high fruit diet. I personally switched from the high fat to the high fruit (maybe you would be interested in googling 80/10/10). Diets high in fat are linked to a ton of diseases and from what I've experienced it slows down the body's digestive processes and lowers overall energy.

    I don't believe that fat contributes to disease, except for trans fats and rancid vegetable fats. So many cultures have eaten traditional fats with no negative consequences--think of all the places that coconut is consumed in large amounts. Look at the long life span enjoyed by places like Switzerland, France, and Iceland that have diets high in fat. In my opinion, refined carbohydrates are the driving force behind disease, particularly fructose-sweetened beverages, which directly contribute to obesity, diabetes, and, through extension, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, and cancer.

  • Quinoa and buckwheat are alkaline. Buckwheat will be slimy when soaked. I only soak them for 2 hours, many soak less. Then rinse, rinse, rinse. Quinoa can be sprouted, too. Due to the flavor, I rinse these seeds copious times. This seed is also a complete protein.

  • PamPam

    By the way, here is some additional info on fat. Dr. Doug Graham is one raw vegan who believes that you CAN eat too much fat. Not many of us are able to follow his 80/10/10 diet to the letter, but it's worth taking notes of what he says.

    This is from an interview with Kevin GIanni of RenedageHealth.com:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/022837.html

    "I have on tape several different raw food leaders proudly proclaiming that they eat 80 percent of their calories from fat. And that is just fine. If you are eating 60 or 70 percent of your calories from fat well then, you are going to run into issues with sugar metabolism. And the simplest breakdown of it, and I am sorry, if I leave out a few of the details here. If you need more let me know.

    "But essentially, your blood sugar is monitored by your brain. Everyone has blood sugar, regardless of what they eat. I mean, Eskimos living on blood sugar levels that are roughly the same as muscle heads living on protein powders or people following the 80-10-10 diet. It doesn't matter whether your predominant calorie or nutrient is protein, fat or carbs. Everyone has roughly the same blood sugar levels in health but when those blood sugar levels start to vary, it's a sign that the body can no longer maintain the homeostasis that it strives to maintain for us at all times. So, our primary method of controlling our blood sugar level is through the function of the pancreas. The pancreas picks out some extra insulin if blood sugar levels rise, because insulin functions as a doormat to escort sugar out of the bloodstream to the cell.

    "It's rather simple but as everyone knows, oil is a lubricant, oil coats things and if there's more fat in our bloodstream than we're designed to handle, it not only coats the blood sugar molecule, it also coats the insulin. Well, when the insulin is coated and the sugar is coated, it's very hard for the insulin to link up with the sugar. They don't recognize each other. Not only that, but the portal where sugar exits the bloodstream becomes clogged with fat. Then, so it's hard for sugar to get out again. Well, the blood sugar level continues to rise so as the brain and eventually, more insulin is produced and the insulin's job is to find sugar. So, eventually it's going to, but now there's twice as much or three times as much insulin in the bloodstream as there are supposed to be and eventually your blood sugar crashes.

    "Kevin: And that's because the blood sugar's still high and the insulin isn't able to find the sugar and escort it.

    "Doug: But eventually, the insulin does find the sugar but it's slower at it and it should have been until the body puts out a second and a third rush of insulin.

    "Kevin: Right.

    "Doug: Okay. Well, as we know, with any muscle in the body, the key to training is not just training but also recovering. What they call overload, overload recover cycle. This is the same for any part of our body. You can develop a tan by giving a little bit of sun overload and then recover. You can develop calluses on your hand by giving a little bit of a work overload using a rake or a shovel and then allow for recovery. But if you take too much in any given time, there's a crash, there's a blister, there's sunburn, or you will end up with what is called the visceral failure. In the case of the pancreas, visceral failure takes the form of diabetes, hypo and hyperglycemia and other sugar metabolic disorders. The pancreas can no longer put out sufficient insulin because it has been putting out too much insulin again and again and again without ever getting a break. Because the average person is eating triple, quadruple, five times, you know, the fat that is recommended at every single meal and so the body never gets a break and eventually the pancreas fail as well."

  • Just a side note first : when I was 15 and 16, I felt great eating McDonalds once a day and smoking two joints a day. So... just know that a body over the age of 21 starts to get tired, starts to show the signs of bad eating and living habits.

    And like everyone else said, I think it would be great to have some recipes in there, if you are just eating carrots and broccoli, you are going to have one irritated stomach.

  • yeah seriously lol, carnap I agree with you 100%! It will be hard to determine if you 'feel better' on raw at 15; lord knows I felt GREAT at 15 living off of Tofutti Cuties and frozen meals!

  • I don't know if anyone has suggested this because I didn't have time to read all the replys but if you are seriously interested in nutrition, I would recommend reading The China Study. It's the bigges and most comprehensive sudy on nutrition ever done. It took about 20 years to compile all the info. I haven't finished the book yet but it gives a really well rounded look into nutrition. Good luck to you.

  • @Pam:

    Thanks for the advice about the bananas (mangoes--how could I forget about those???) and for all the great recipe ideas. I am loving all the new things I'm eating.

    "It's rather simple but as everyone knows, oil is a lubricant, oil coats things and if there's more fat in our bloodstream than we're designed to handle, it not only coats the blood sugar molecule, it also coats the insulin. Well, when the insulin is coated and the sugar is coated, it's very hard for the insulin to link up with the sugar. They don't recognize each other. Not only that, but the portal where sugar exits the bloodstream becomes clogged with fat.

    I would need to see a source for the statement that fat in your bloodstream "coats" blood sugar and insulin before I could comment further.

    Remember, the levels of fat in your bloodstream are NOT only determined by what's in your diet. A diet highest in carbohydrates has shown in many studies to actually increase the triglycerides in your blood stream. If we are to accept the theory that fat in your bloodstream coats insulin and causes insulin resistance or whatever, then we would also have to accept that solving or causing the issue would not be as easy as simply decreasing or increasing the amount of fat in your diet.

  • Just a side note first : when I was 15 and 16, I felt great eating McDonalds once a day and smoking two joints a day. So... just know that a body over the age of 21 starts to get tired, starts to show the signs of bad eating and living habits.

    But I used to feel like crap on my old diet. I eat my current diet because it makes me feel better, and because I don't binge on food any more. And my diet isn't comprised of McDonalds and two joints a day, it's comprised of whole foods with minimal added ingredients and as little added sugar as possible. There's no further comparison that can be made between my diet, and the diet you described.

  • I don't know if anyone has suggested this because I didn't have time to read all the replys but if you are seriously interested in nutrition, I would recommend reading The China Study. It's the bigges and most comprehensive sudy on nutrition ever done. It took about 20 years to compile all the info. I haven't finished the book yet but it gives a really well rounded look into nutrition. Good luck to you.

    I've read it, and I believe that the author makes use of some pretty sketchy science. The best example I can think of is that he tests the effects of pure casein protein and rats, and then makes the conclusion that all animal protein is bad for humans in any amount. His conclusions would hold more water with me if he tested real protein instead of isolated proteins from dairy. If you want, I can link to you a few good criticisms of the book.

  • PamPam

    Rawskeptic, you sound wonderfully deliberate and thoughtful in your approach. You're pretty slender and it may be difficult for you to maintain your body weight with your youth and level of activity. (It's difficult for me to put on the high calorie hat as I have the opposite issue but my daughter had a similar concern when she was raw.) While I think in the long run any weight you lose will be rebuilt with better, healthier tissue, you have to consider how you might feel about dropping 10 or 15 pounds. Also, I sure you don't want to return to binge eating behaviors prompted by not getting enough calories or nutrients.

    I can see why you're opting for so many bananas.. they are quick, convenient and definitely cheap. There are other higher calorie fruits like grapes, mangos, pineapple and durian, though they are pricier. Maybe replace 2 or 3 bananas with greens and other things. (That's why we have to LOVE our greens... takes a LOT of greens to equal one banana!) It's probably not so much the number of bananas that causes concern as it is the lack of greens. You may have to drown them in dressing initially, but get them in! You might also consider sprouting buckwheat, barley, and lentils to get some denser calories. How about green popcorn (made with cauliflower; recipe on this site)? You don't need to dehydrate it... just eat it as is. Yes, coconuts are a good idea.

    Check out recipes for raw granola. You can make it with soaked buckwheat, nuts, seeds and dried fruits sweetend with agave and dried in the oven with the door open (assuming you don't have a dehydrator), or just have it un-dehydrated. Serve it with sunflower seed milk (just blend the sunflower seeds with water really well; don't bother straining). Or eat it out of hand.

    A superfood to consider is chia seeds. Search for them on this site and you'll see how they are used. Great source of Omega 3 and protein, too, I believe. I put them in smoothies.

    Nutritional yeast, though not raw, is used by some raw foodists to provide vitamin B. It also is an additional source of calories. I sprinkle it on salads or in salad dressing, or use it in green popcorn.

    Anyway, just a couple more ideas. Good luck with your journey! Keep posting....

  • PamPam

    Rawskeptic, check out Doug Graham's book 80/10/10. He is the source and one of the raw "gurus" if you will. The jury is still out for me on the issue of good fats. I do believe that Omega 3s can help prevent cardiovascular disease. On the blood sugar issue, though, I'm still investigating. However, I have done quite a bit of reading on insulin resistance and insulin response as I am boderline diabetic. In lay terms, fatty meals (whether good or bad fats) do muddy up the blood. It's insulin's job to clean it up and convert everything you consume to sugars that the body can use. We can, through SOME dietary choices, make it easier or harder for insulin. And the longer the blood sugar is elevated, the higher the toll on your body.

    But, of course, I've left out a good deal of information and it would require someone with far more knowledge than I have to do the debate justice. You sound like someone who wants to do your own research -- as you should. I'd encourage you to check out Doug Graham's web site and book, as well as a couple of videos, Rave: The Diet, and 30 Days Raw at some point along your journey. I would be interested to know what you think if you do the reading. I would LOVE to be able to eat all the avocado I want without worrying about it.

    Like I said, the jury is still out for me as I can't wholesale buy psuedo-scientific arguments.

    Edit: Doug Graham NOT David Wolfe

  • rawskeptic i don't think carnap was in anyway insinuating that because of your age, you live off of mcdonalds and joints...I think carnap meant that younger bodies can take more abuse, so it will take longer and more abuse for the abuse to be apparent. Not that you're incapable of feeling bad because you're young; lawd knows that ain't true!

    in any case, I feel the same way as you about the China study, but I also really feel that way about the 80-10-10 diet. Full of pseudo-science, that one is. It's like a fruitarian manifesto, full of theories and whatnot, but I had trouble swallowing the 'science.'

    Just so you know, not all raw foodists are vegan. I myself eat raw dairy (mainly aged raw cheeses), and a lot of people throw a couple raw eggs into their smoothies and eat raw sashimi grade fish and even raw beef (carpaccio, i think is the gourmet term?). In my studies, I have found that evidence of leukocytosis is present in the blood certainly after eating cooked meat, and vegans say this a lot, but the truth is leukocytosis is also present when you eat ANY cooked food, including cooked and canned fruits and veggies! If you ate a slab of raw beef, leukocytosis would likely not occur!

    Personally, I am vegetarian for sustainability, compassion and ecological reasons, but on a nutritive level I have no problem with raw animal products being consumed. I think it's healthy. The only thing is, you have to be WAY careful about your sources. This means find a farm nearby where you can go there yourself and see how the animals are treated and what they are fed. Eggs from chickens who spend their days dust bathing and roaming around outside having the chance to be CHICKENS are less likely to carry disease, and have eggs with stronger shells that contain higher levels of nutrients. Make sure your grazing livestock is grass fed, as grazers have no business eating grains. These animals will be chemical, horemone and antibiotic free, and you can feel safe eating those products.

    Check out some of the books by Carol Alt; she is raw but she is not raw vegan. I think she's like the only one right now in the raw community who has a raw book that's not vegan at the moment; could be wrong. A lot of times rawists who aren't vegan go under the name 'paleolithic diet'.

    It's worth a look, if the vegan aspect is the main thing holding you back from raw.

  • Rawskeptic,

    While I agree (due to my own fair amount of research due to my dream of becoming a nutritionist) with you on the fact that there is not a lot in man's cultural history that would suggest a raw diet be to the optimum diet. I still believe though that if you can become at least 80% raw minimum, in todays world, you are doing your body a HUGE favor.

    People of ancient times may have eaten a lot of cooked foods, due to the significantly less amounts of pollution (air, soil, gmo, msg, highly processed boxed and canned foods), that all the foods they cooked had a higher nutrient density, therefore even though they cooked the food, it still retained a more significant amount of nutrients. If you notice that as man started dying younger and younger as the history timeline gets closer and closer to present day. Our cooked food became more processed and polluted, thereby losing its nutrient density. The only reason people in modern civilizations have started living longer again is because we became more medically advanced in life support and chemically based drugs that extend peoples lives (but there not really living anymore they are just breathing).

    In today's world we need more LIVE foods (organic if possible) in order to receive a higher quantity and quality of nutrients. I could go on and on about this (in fact I am writing a paper on this topic for my health class in school) but you get the basic principle of my belief.

    If you disagree I don't mind (LOL). I just wanted to express that. :)

    Oh and if there are any errors in this post (which there probably are) I apologies.

  • Rawskeptic, check out Doug Graham's book 80/10/10. He is the source and one of the raw "gurus" if you will. The jury is still out for me on the issue of good fats.

    It's a rather difficult thing to interpret. There have been major studies that have found that fat isn't bad for you, but also major studies that found that it is.

    On the blood sugar issue, though, I'm still investigating. However, I have done quite a bit of reading on insulin resistance and insulin response as I am boderline diabetic. In lay terms, fatty meals (whether good or bad fats) do muddy up the blood.

    Again, I would need a source. I will look at Graham's 80/10/10, but I doubt I'll get an opportunity before this weekend.

  • rawskeptic i don't think carnap was in anyway insinuating that because of your age, you live off of mcdonalds and joints...I think carnap meant that younger bodies can take more abuse, so it will take longer and more abuse for the abuse to be apparent.

    S/he didn't imply that I live off of McDonald's, but by saying that "Know that a body over the age of 21 starts to get tired, starts to show the signs of bad eating and living habits", she implied that I have bad eating and living habits, when in actuality I strive for very good eating and living habits. I didn't mean to be vehemently defensive about it but I needed to make myself clear.

    Just so you know, not all raw foodists are vegan. I myself eat raw dairy (mainly aged raw cheeses), and a lot of people throw a couple raw eggs into their smoothies and eat raw sashimi grade fish and even raw beef...

    Oh, I know. It seems that most raw sites on the web don't condone the consumption of raw animal products, though, and some forums go so far as banning you if you talk about such behaviors.

    It's something I'm definitely willing to try--it might be something I could naturally transition to after I feel I've gotten the hang of the raw vegan diet.

    It's worth a look, if the vegan aspect is the main thing holding you back from raw.

    There's nothing holding me back from raw except for my own personal inhibitions--either I feel good/better from this lifestyle, or not.

    Thanks for the book suggestion, and the info about leukocytosis--highly interesting.

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