I am new to raw and I need to lose about 15-20 lbs for health reasons (diabetes/hypertension). I have trouble eating enough and I plan on making some basics to have on hand at all times to overcome that, but I still don’t think I will be taking in enough calories. How do I make sure I am eating enough WITHOUT having to track items/calories/etc??? The minute I have to start tracking everything I am NOT gonna be motivated to continue. I wanna make raw a way of life and wanna keep things as simple as possible (smoothies/fruits and veggies/nuts and seeds/mono-meals). I need to lose at least 10 lbs by mid-August when I return for a check-up. Please offer any ideas/tips you may have.
I am in this to change my life-style and improve my health NOT just for weight loss
If you eat when you are hungry and frequently you should get enough calories. occasionally I forget to eat enough and get tummy rumblings. that is when it is good to have supplies of things like bananas on hand. A good thing for me at first was to eat more in the beginning of the day so I would be sure to have had enough by the end of the day. I lost 10 pounds my first month of being raw with no counting of calories. just no cheating. always raw.
tell us more about if you are worried about overeating or undereating? the key to not undereat is to fill up on things like green smoothies, bananas (I sometimes have 3 a day), raw desserts, big salads, crackers with avocado. the key to not overeating is to listen to your body, eat for hunger not for boredom, drink plenty of water, eat fruit often.
hope this helps!
Consuming your foods as liquids, such as with smoothies is a great way to get more calories in. It’s much easier to drink a smoothie with 3 bananas than to eat 3 bananas, for example. I have plenty of smoothie recipes on my blog you can check out, and I’m sure there many here in this forum.
Other things to consume:
Hemp protein powder, seeds, oil, and butter
Cheers, Kristen Suzanne
I lost over 5lbs in my first month. I don’t think you will have any problems. Just eat all raw whenever you are hungry, until you are full. It’s so liberating
I hear you on not wanting to keep track! I am happier and healthier when I do what bitt & sarabethxvx said – eat all raw when I am hungry, until I am full. I like to have salad dressings, seed cheese(s) & desserts made ahead, and I often cut up a bunch of veggies all at once & store them in the fridge so they’re ready for salads or dipping, too. I also love to have LOTS of fresh fruit around. With these basics, I find I eat well and get a good variety, even when things get crazy & I’m not home for a day or something. Yesterday, I had 5 minutes to grab food to go to my bro’s house for a party. I had greens & dressing in the fridge, & I also ate some leftover seed cheese & fresh fruit. I had plenty to eat, tasty & good variety – this was waaaay better than when I used to spend half the day making food to eat for lunch and something else to take with me to whatever event I was going to attend that evening! It sounds like you’re making awesome decisions for your health :)
Thanks to everyone for responding. I just got back from the market and I made sure to get lots of fruits/veggies and salad fixings. I am definitely gonna be having some smoothies each day to make sure I am getting in extra servings of fruit/veg. I am also gonna make a few raw recipes BUT other than that, mainly mono-meals at night (the time I eat the worse). Thanks again for the help!
Just wanted to chime in that eating bananas when you have diabetes is probably not such a good idea to to their rather significant effect on blood sugar levels…My advice would be to watch the GL (glucose load) of your food very carefully, try to avoid lots of sweet fruit, eat a lot of greens and non-sweet fruit, sprouts, sprouted grains, etc.
Berries are also good from what I know, won’t spike your blood sugar.
Elizabethh…I have heard this before and it is WRONG WRONG WRONG…And I have noticed that you seem to have a “thing” for telling people to avoid large amounts of fruit, I really wanna know why? As someone who usually eats junk food, fast food, and sips soda constantly-switching to a diet of fresh fruits and veggies (some nuts), and water can only help my condition. My glucose levels are not extremely high to begin BUT I will keep a closer eye on them as you suggested. Thanks for responding and please let me know what information leads you to tell people to limit the intake of fruits (in case I missed something).
haha yeah, someone else was worried about their fruit intake earlier..(they were adjusting to raw, and felt they were “addicted” to sweet fruits.) I told her that when I was transitioning I ate a ton of cashews, which are obviously higher in fat and cals than fresh fruit! and I told her not to worry about it too much. but elizabethh disagreed and said not to eat too much unless super active. the way I look at it is, we all gotta start somewhere. going from the normal SAD diet to raw is a major diet makeover to begin with, we don’t need to make it even harder by taking out fruits too! I believe that they are perfectly healthy, and of course, and obviously, too much of anything isn’t good. but I’d rather be eating too many raw fruits than too many like, potato chips or something, you know what I mean??!!
and good luck to you tamisha, I’m sure if you stick with raw the weight will come off in time.. and besides losing weight, and probably more importantly, you will feel so much healthier inside and out. weight loss is just one of the many perks!! :)
If you want to speed up loosing weight you may want to try food combining rules if you are not afraid of adding an extra element of challenge. Good luck! BTW I believe fruits are very healthy! The idea that someone with diabetes and a very healthy diet cannot/should not eat fruits just does not make sense to me personally.
yeah, there are a lot of people on this site who try to bash fruit—i think bitt was saying the detox would be too harsh when i recommended someone eat more fruit—dont even listen. i live on all fruits…sweet, not sweet, acid, subacid, etc. just keep your fat intake on the low side, the blood sugar will be fine and the pounds will melt off. your athletic performance will take off also, if you care about that.
Hello there, welcome to the raw world. I think you will find a vast array of wonderful and knowledgeable individuals here ready to help at every point you may need or ask. Just to add in my two cents, tamisha, I was boarderline diabetic and way overweight after the birth of my children. Yes, fresh fruits and vegetables definitely rule over any kind of “junk”, however, elizabeth makes a valid point in simply recommending watching your sweet fruit intake. Transitioning to raw is quite an experience, and overloading yourself with sugar can have a negative impact on your system, especially if you aren’t extremely active. Fruit is so very healthy, no doubt about that, however, some have been engineered through years of growing to have up to 10 times the fructose the original fruit species contained. Your body will treat sugar as an immediate fuel source and either use or store it. In addition, the fluctuations in sugar levels will have a high effect for a moment which can lead to crashes in energy that may not only make you feel yucky, but also have a tendency to send you into a sugar frenzy. Chelsey09 I do agree we don’t need to make raw harder by removing fruits, but I hardly believe that was elizabeth’s intention. I may be the outsider on this one, but my recommendations have always been to listen to your body, keep your diet varied with numerous raw items and practice moderation with all of them. Total disregard of anyone’s well thought out and rational advice can come across as quite uncouth especially when it was solicited.
Woah, harsh! I’ll explain myself then.
I do not “bash fruit”, nor do I believe one should “avoid fruit” or “remove fruit from the raw diet.” I agree that fruit is extremely healthy, designed for humans to eat, and has enormous health benefits. And of course, there’s no comparing junk food and soda to fresh fruit! Let’s remember I did not suggest you limit intake of fresh fruit, but only of fresh sweet fruit (by far not all fruit is sweet), particularly bananas, dates, etc.
The reason I have a “thing” (:S don’t we all) about telling people not to eat large amounts of sweet fruit is because I believe fruit is designed for the natural, active human being. Many modern human beings are not nearly as active as we should be. So if we were climbing fruit trees to get our fruit, running around all the time, and so forth like we would be in nature, tons of sweet and tropical fruit would be perfectly fine, even necessary. Since this is not the case, and blood sugar does peak and then hit huge lows (this is a proven fact) when bananas dates etc. are consumed and not burned off, I believe its best to adjust the diet according to ones lifestyle and activity level.
This is coming from personal experience as well as large amounts of research on the topic. (Don’t be fooled by my age, I do my reading). I lived 100% raw on plenty of sweet fruit (even mostly sweet fruit) and experienced huge health benefits compared to the junk food vegetarian diet I was consuming before, but still inflammatory responses on my skin and some excess weight. As soon as I watched the GL of my foods, (as I said I still consume sweet fruit, only I try to pair it either with exercise or a protein and/or EFA), my skin is so much better and the excess weight has melted off.
I strongly disagree with the “if its raw, its good” mentality that many have. Although this is fine for transitioning, and if that’s where you’re at then that’s fine, abandoning this mentality later in my journey has allowed me to reap many benefits from my new, custom-tailored-to-me-mostly-raw diet. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, I eat mostly raw, but can only allow time for moderate physical activity. So I will take quinoa and steamed veg over a raw ice cream any day!
I’d like to say in conclusion that I’m basing all of this on the well-documented truth that balanced blood sugar levels are a very important key to good health, (not just for diabetics). And RawK, no offense (maybe this isn’t true for you if you are very active), but it just doesn’t make sense that for the average desk-bound person eating unlimited amounts of very high GL fruit would lead to balanced blood sugar levels.
So I hope I haven’t offended anybody, this is what’s worked best for me (and I’ve been the other way), and tamisha, I agree that a switch to fresh fruit and nuts is a million times better than your previous diet, but that doesn’t mean, again, that anything raw is healthy. I believe one can be deficient/unhealthy on any “category” of diet, so specific adjustments must be made to tailor the raw diet to a person’s lifestyle/environment/activity level.
Elizabethh, I didn’t say you were a fruit “basher”...LOL I have just seen many posts from you telling people to avoid eating tons of fruit and to make sure they do more greens and I wanted to know why is all. I am NOT desk bound and I don’t eat 15 bananas a day, but I get what you are saying about making sure the sugars don’t spike and then suddenly drop. I have been watching my sugars really close now that I am having smoothies with bananas in them and if I see any problem, I will make a change (been fine so far). I am glad you explained yourself, lots of good info you gave me( I wasn’t offended and wasn’t trying to offend or be harsh).
Thanks to all of you for posting!
It’s interesting to me to read everyone’s comments/responses/experiences and realize that we are all different. I have type 1 diabetes and am not super active, and my blood sugar levels stay balanced the best when I eat whatever I want, as much as I want, as long as it’s raw. I eat lots of sweet fruit, and I eat lots of raw fats. I don’t eat the same amounts of the same things every day – some days I eat tons of fruit & not much else; other days I eat tons of nuts, oils, avocados, etc. and other days I can’t seem to get enough greens. It all balances out, and I am healthier and happier as I listen to my body. I never try to eat a certain calorie level, or eat certain percentages of protein/fat/carbs, or worry about combination rules – I just eat what I want when I am hungry, and I eat until I am satisfied. I love it that we can share what works for us. Just because what works for someone else may not be what works for me, doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear it – it may be what I need tomorrow, and I wouldn’t have the answer I need if I hadn’t listened to that person’s experience today. Thank you to all who share :)
Great post Angie. Can’t wait til I am at the point where I know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Right now I am still learning and love hearing what others have to say.
I forgot to ask, do the superfood juices at the grocery store count as a green smoothie if I add some fruit and blend it OR do I need to make it myself? I find if I blend all the greens,etc myself I don’t have the smoothie BUT if I use 1 cup of the superfood and add fruit-I have two smoothies a day.
Also, I hear that Odwalla and Naked juice are being boycotted, Why? Is this because they are owned by Coca-Cola?
Well said Angie. Something that cannot be discounted is one’s genetic composition, which probably plays a big role in how we react to different ways of eating. Tamisha, I know you didn’t say I was bashing fruit or anything, I was more referring to other people who posted above.
I just think that there’s a tendency for people new to raw food (this may not necessarily be you, but its an undeniable tendency) to soak up everything raw food advocates and “experts” have to say, without mentally filtering it. Although there is much wisdom to be found in these sorts of resources, there is also an enormous amount of pseudo-science and similar inaccuracies that tend to be ignored by people new and enthusiastic about raw food. I think this transition state is important and usually unavoidable, but its also important to look past this and seek information from a wider body of sources. And as Angie said, listen and pay attention to one’s own body.
I’m sure many can identify with the fact that one tends to be hypercritical when reading a source that expresses a view different from one’s beliefs, but overly accepting and/or ignorant of errors or statements not supported by credible background in a source that expresses a view one agrees with.
The hybridization of fruit to be much sweeter than found in nature is one very important concept to watch.
@ elizabeth, thanks for elaborating. you make some good sense there. i am very active in training for a marathon. i think most people following a raw lifestyle have aspirations to become more healthy. imo, those two cannot be separated—to be healthy, you must be active. if you are desk-bound by day, then you can be a biker, runner, weightlifter, speed walker by night. everyone who has been raw for awhile knows you will have the energy do accomplish this without any trouble.
about the blood sugar problem, from what i have read….if you eliminate much of the fat in your diet, you let the insulin do its work unencumbered to stabilize sugar levels. someone can chime in if im incorrect in this statement, but thats how i understand it.
yeah girlie I wasn’t trying to say you were bashing fruits either! I mean, I don’t even eat dates or anything, and I definitely agree with you on the fact that not all raw is good for you.. the only raw food I even eat is fresh fruits and veggies, smoothies and juices. I haven’t even tried a date or a fig or anything!! lOl. I didn’t wanna come across as harsh either, but like Tamisha, I had seen a few posts by you saying to avoid a lot of fruit. I guess it’s what you mean by sweet fruit?? I mean, do you consider apples and oranges “sweet” fruit? Because all fruit seems pretty sweet to me! but yaa and I’m also active, going to the gym almost every day.. maybe not as active as a monkey would be though! :) but I do apologize if I came across wrong!
I just wanted to add in a recommendation for the book The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalie Rose. She explains changing your diet gently and gives you great guidelines. After just a few days following her suggestions I’m feeling very light and well.
RawK- I’m training for my first marathon in October. When is your marathon?
Oh my goodness I read that!! Yes, definitely, read it!! :]
I am gonna purchase that book this weekend!
tamisha – I hadn’t heard about any boycotting, but juices sold in stores are not raw. To get raw juice, you have to either get it fresh at a juice bar, or juice it yourself.
I was thinking vegan NOT raw (the important part) vegan. Thanks Angie.
Tamisha, I went to raw foods for the diabetes issue. All i can tell you is that my blood sugar stabilized in approx two and a half weeks when I went raw..No joke.. I also was just prescribed medication for it as well. But I had previously had medication for it and continued to eat my SAD diet, and my sugar remained sky high(300+). I have also lost 43 lbs as of this morning on my raw foods lifestyle. Now heres the deal.. I am also looking for weight loss and still need to lose around 70 lbs to be at ideal weight. You have to be careful in the raw food world if you get caught up in all the fancy dishes with plentiful nuts,fats, etc. Calories still matter to a degree. I use a great website to help me calculate how many calories a raw dish contains, and then I can at least make an intelligent, informed choice on my consumption. With raw, as well as SAD, portion control will always be my issue(this boy loves to EAT!) The website is myfooddiary.com. Unfortunately, they make us pay for it $9 month, but i have found it extremely helpful. I know this goes against much of the philosophy of raw food, but not everyone has a goal of weight loss on raw food. I have found that it can also help for those who are losing too much weight-they can see what they are getting and adjust up accordingly. I have really started to gravitate towards the “give my body what it craves” path and the weight is still coming off. I do watch the nuts as i can pound through 3-4 cups at a crack if i dont watch! I think that if you listen to your body, fill up with the right stuff—get tons of greens, you will be fine.. As for the glycemic index- of course it has merit, but I am eating so much fruit now and my blood sugar is perfect. I have cut back my meds to half and still good. I plan to stop them altogether by the end of July. I will let you know how it goes- And of course, It would be silly of me not to mention that one of the best things out there for blood sugar control is , of course, EXERCISE!—You gotta move and it will help a ton- with both issues. Best of luck to you-I’m rootin for ya!
I haven’t read all of these posts, but in reference to Elizabeth’s replies…Elizabeth-what do you eat? I am about 75% raw and the other 25% is PRETTY good. I do Mexican slip ups occasionally, but I am heavy on the shakes, these days focusing on WAY more greens, cucumbers, citrus and trying to go lighter on the nuts now that i am a little farther into this game.
I seem to have hit a plateau; both in weight loss and interest level and at this point I am scared I am going to fall off the wagon. Its been about 4 months and in the beginning I was so gung ho.
I la la love raw-especially how i feel, I just want to get excited about something other than the shakes and salads I practically live on. (Oh and Tamisha-I gorged myself on transitional foods, in the beginning, like dates, agave, raw honey, nuts, nut butters, cocoa nut butter and LOADS of sweet fruits. I am not diabetic, but it was the only way I could do it. I CRAVED what I now view as some of the less healthy -in quantity-foods in the raw lifestyle and I came out just fine!
@ Heartshaped—cool, my marathon is in September and another in October. ive done 2 marathons cooked vegan, but none raw. which one are you doing? we should start a marathon thread with updates on our long training runs. i did 15 miles yesterday around a lake and i wasn’t sore at all today.
have you experienced any difficulty? are you 100%? sorry, not interrogating—just interested. i dont know any raw marathoners.
Thanks geespen…I don’t care for preparing the elaborate raw dishes that requires tons of nuts,etc…I wanna just eat fruits, veggies, nuts, and my smoothies. Hopefully that proves to me enough. I think I am so used to my old ways of dieting that I think 1 piece of fruit is a serving and I don’t eat enough. Some days I don’t feel hungry and I get back in the habit of eating once a day. I need to work on eating at regular intervals and eating MORE (never thought I would be at a point of not eating enough).
RawK- I’m running the San Francisco Nike Women’s marathon October 19. It has been a bit difficult finding the right food combinations. After just a short time applying Natalie Rose’s advice I think I’m in a good way now. I’m eating a cooked dinner most nights and the rest of my day I eat raw. Always vegan! A marathon thread would be great, we had a running thread, I think awhile ago but it’d be great to renew it and specify! ~ami
heartshapedsky—My wife is actually folowing Natalia Roses’ plan and she is doing great- She has smoothies and salads for breakfast and lunch, and then a sensible cooked meal for dinner(fish, lots of steamed veggies-piles of brown rice) and she has also lost over 30 lbs. The dinner thing helps keep her motivated because she can eat a big satisfying meal, and she is still eating better than her previous SAD diet, and for her,that cooked meal really helps the train keep moving(if you know what i mean) So although her plan is not raw by any means, it still seems to have some merit and could be a great transition tool for lots of new raw foodists..Just a thought.