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Anybody else find "raw" time-consuming and "difficult"?

As I said before I try to make every day between 60 and 80% raw. In the mornings I make my juice which takes me upwards of 20 minutes between making it and cleaning up. Shortly after I have to eat fruit cos of course the juice doesn’t stay down for long, so on to peeling and eating. I can not eat a big amount of fruit in one go so I have to eat often. At lunch-time I make a salad and a different meal for my family. I find that I spend a lot of time of the day eating/preparing food. Before, if I was hungry, I ate a sandwhich (5 min prep time and 2 min to wolf it down) and it stayed down for at least 3 hours. Also, if I go out, I can hardly fill myself enough to last me for the few hours that I might be out. I sometimes take a snack with me like carrots, or nuts or dried fruits or something but again that will only last me for a few hours. So going out most of the time means I end up getting a sandwhich somewhere if I go out for any lengh of time.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this lifestyle is awesome and i can not believe how much more energy I have because of it. But i find the “logistics” of it a bit hard. Anyone else or am I doing something wrong?



  • iknikn

    Hi goinghealthy. In my transitioning period I was prepairing meals constantly. My mind was revolving around all those wonderful recipes I wanted to try, and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Now, I am eating very simple. I don’t do juicing, I hate the clean-up part. so I just have a piece of watermelon for breakfast. Mid morning a piece or two of fruit, whatever is in season. something that doesn’t require peeling. For lunch a simple salad, takes about 5 minutes to put it together. I don’t do any fancy dressings, nutmayo etc. just simple raw olive oil, or flaxseed oil, lemon juice. I always have somthing to snack on around 3-4 o’clock, like a banana, carrots, berries. Dinner depends on my mood and schedule, but usually something really simple. I don’t mix too many things together. Hope this helps. BUt in the begining I did feel overwhelmed. So just take it easy, eventually you’ll get to a point that you want to eat simple. Whatever works for your lifestyle, just don’t be hard on yourself. Enjoy eating raw!

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    I agree with ikn. I juice rarely and only when I just need to keep my digestion from working to hard.

    My day generally goes like this….. breakfast:a piece of fruit that doesn’t require peeling snack:a piece of fruit Lunch:a piece of fruit(see a pattern?haha) Dinner:a simple salad Snack:maybe a cracker and dip or a mango or something. Or juice

    I spend almost no time preparing anything

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    it sounds like a lot of the time-consuming part is because you ALSO have to COOK for your family. there’s really no way around that. but, i do agree that as you do this longer it gets a lot simpler in some ways. i realized the other day that somewhere along the way i started to consider salad “DINNER.” or a bunch of tomatoes, eaten like apples, one after the other, “lunch.”

    i don’t ever peel fruit though… unless it’s a banana.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    I also cook food for my husband and it’s easy now. At first it was hard to do both but now I just prepare a salad and then dinner just as if it was a part of dinner (It is since I give my husband some salad too). So no extra time there:)

  • I know what you mean! i think about food all the time (what I’m going to have for lunch, or what I’m going to take if I go somewhere, etc), because I don’t want it to get boring and make me feel like going back to cooked food. But I realized that I save a looot of time when I plan ahead of time.. That way I can go to the store and buy only what I need, so not much waste, and I can make my schedule to have everything on time..

  • MOTHMOTH Raw Newbie

    It eats so much easier the longer you go…now dinner is a salad or fruit. I think you just naturally shift after being raw for awhile.

  • I’ve been raw for about 3 weeks, and I am totally preoccupied with food, but I have a life, so I have had to figure out a few things I like and make them in bulk so I have them on hand.

    I’ve found that if I just eat fruit in the morning, I’m raging with hunger by 10am (and I do get mean when I’m hungry). So, I make a batch of granola bars and have one or two throughout the morning. Granola is great because it’s so easy to make and you can change the recipes really easily so you don’t get bored. I’ll make 2 kinds at a time and they last a week. The nuts are good for keeping me from burning off the energy too fast, and my 3-year-old likes the ones I put cacao sauce on – always a plus. I also make one ‘fancy’ dessert a week and slice it and have it in the freezer. That way, I’m only dehydrating once/week (granola and dessert – maybe some chips). Here’s a typical day:

    Breakfast: Granola bar and fruit juice w/ spirulina

    snack: banana or granola bar

    Lunch: Salad (if I want it to be filling, I put in some avocado)

    Snack: fruit or chips & salsa

    Dinner: Salad and a marinated portobella mushroom

    Dessert: a slice of cake, pie or sorbet.

    Good luck!

  • I would go for a green smoothie for breakfast. It’s quick and easy to make, you can take it with you, and it’s filling. Many days I am not hungry again until 1 or so.

  • troubles, how do you just eat a a piece of fruit for breakfast and then one for lunch. I’ve been raw for about 5 months and there is no way i can survive on one piece of fruit for a meal. I have to consume like a giant chopped fruit platter for breakfast consisting of several fruits & yeah food prep is time-consuming. But I do have an athletic body type with more muscle mass but i am thin! I also have a large salad, green smoothies, protein shakes (i know not raw but i am transitioning), and other assorted fruit throughout the day, plus coconut oil, coconut butter as supplements. Just wondering how others get by with seemingly consuming so little when i am struggling to not lose too much weight which i don’t need to do in the first place. Want to keep my muscle mass.

  • hi Goinghealthy,

    I have similar issues. A couple of things that have helped me:

    I try and prepare multiple dinners (for the other members of my family) on any given day an refrigerate or freeze to just re-heat later. (I can prepare 3-4 dinner meals in just a couple of hours to freeze)

    I prepare my hubby’s lunches in 1 or 2 go’s for the whole week. He eats sammies and stuff, so I get everything organized, bag it up and he can assemble the sandwich at work (so as to not get all soggy!). All other snacks are in the bag, too. Fruit, chips, drinks, whatever!

    For me, when I buy my veggies, I wash a dry them for storage, that way when I do want to eat or I am SO hungry I can’t wait, everything is mostly ready to go. Just assemble and eat.

    Make a couple of yummy dressings for the week. Most of the time, they’ll keep for that long, easily!

    I do juice. I make double and drink 1/2 one day and 1/2 the next. I know that is not IDEAL…but it is better than juicing/ clean-up everyday. but, honestly, my 2 1/2 y/o LOVES to juice with me. SO even if I do it everyday, it’s ok. She drinks more veggie juice and it is an awesome activity for her. Not to mention a great lesson for her in eating and drinking well!

    It IS more time consuming to eat raw, but…what do you do? It does get easier the simpler you allow your diet to be.

    My daily food intake:

    a.m. lemon water

    fresh juice (fruit/ veggie) “green lemonade” style

    fresh fruit

    lunch: salad or wrap or something

    snack-green lemonade, raw chocolate or fruit

    dinner: salad, soup, raw bread or crackers…sometimes some of my family’s “cooked” food.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    rawflower you’re not alone! there’s no way i’d survive on 2 pieces of fruit and salad. Today I had a cantaloupe, 6 peaches, 2 tomatoes (in tabouli), 4 carrots, 1 1/2 cups cashews, 1/2 a watermelon, 1 head greens, 2 Tbsp dressing, 1/2 head of celery with 2 Tbsp cashew butter.

    goinghealthy – i spend 1/2 hour prepping lunches for the next day. i spend 1/2 hour prepping my dinner. when i cooked food, it took me MUCH longer to make food. I agree that part of the problem is that you’re cooking for your family too. Also, the longer you’re raw, the quicker it seems to be to prepare food. You get in a rhythm and learn to take shortcuts. For example you wash and chop everything on the weekend, so you can grab and go. this works with melons, some greens, pineapples, mangos, etc. Keep pate ingredients around to whip up a 10 minute pate to rawp in lettuce.

  • JDJD

    I definitely find it time consuming. By the time I wash and slice up my lettuce, tomato, cucumber, zicchini or squash and mushroom for my salad, I feel like I’ve spent too long in the kitchen already. Maybe it’s the wash and slice slice slice all the time? Dinner soups always have at least 4 ingredients and once again it’s wash and slice…arggg sometimes! Even if I make a mixed fruit bowl for breakfast…same thing…wash and slice. Smoothies are no different…they have a few ingredients as well. Aside from healthy digestion benefits, I can see why many would go mono with their food choices.

    If I’m going to be completely honest, it was much faster when I cooked a SAD meal. No, I totally would not go back to that, I just think it was faster.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    pundee – what did you eat as SAD? I just don’t see how it was faster. Unless you bought ready made stuff. I typically ate food made from scratch, so it involved all that chopping and peeling produce, but then i had to take 1/2 hour to cook it too!

  • About cooking for your family – it depends on how flexible and supportive they are of the raw thing. My husband keeps hamburgers and chicken in the freezer and just grills one when he gets a meat craving. Other than that, he eats what I make for myself (usually a hearty salad with portobello and avocado) and I also boil some brown rice in broth for him and my little girl at dinnertime or bake some tater tots. So, I don’t have to make a whole separate meal for them. My little one will eat salad with us for dinner and fruit and rice. If you’re preparing entire meals for them, you just won’t have time to do the same for yourself.

  • chicorychicory Raw Newbie

    it takes me the same amount of time… I was baking gluten free breads, and preparing all meals from scratch while I was SAD. Much less dishes to wash..less electricity used, no baked on grease now! no funky smells lingering in the house either. After you buy your produce, wash it and store it for convenience immediately. If you like heartier foods, pick one day a week to dehydrate stuff like breads, crackers, which can easily and creatively compliment salads and other dishes like pizza :) for the rest of the week. also, planning meals for the week ahead of time, SAD or raw, saves a lot of time.

  • JDJD

    For me, the benefit of cooking a SAD meal was

    1) It took little prep time and cooking was largely unattended in the oven or stove top.

    2) Always having left overs for a couple of days so all I had to do was use the microwave

    Now, it’s everyday in the kitchen for every meal because I never have left overs. Everything I make is for that meal only.

    Juicing…hahaha…yes, that is a long process and I would say 20 minutes is about right. I switch on and off…one week juicing and one week smoothie. Love the juicing and would not give up on it. It’s just a lot of work.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    I don’t know why it doesn’t take much to feed me. I’m average size (130lbs at 5’5”). Maybe because I drink TONS of water. I feel satisfied after a plum for literally three hours.

    I’m curious, did you guys have any digestive issues in the past? I struggled for a long time with them and when I went raw they got better. The point is, before raw I ate around the same amount of calories but as soon as my digestive tracts started working again I lost twenty five pounds. I haven’t ever changed how much I eat and I still have tons of energy. Is my metabolism really slow or something?

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    You can’t compare any kind of meal preparation, whether it be raw or cooked, with making a sandwich. I don’t get it when you talk about the logics of raw eating. I think maybe you really have never cooked to begin with or you would know it takes a couple of hours to prepare and make a true cooked meal. Sure, you’re right that some of the raw recipes here can take a long time to make. But they are not intended to be the meals a raw eater would consume three times a day, every day.

    It takes minutes to make a fresh salad with just a knife and cutting board. Most of your meals will be salads and fresh, whole fruits. That takes very little time. IN addition, you will save loads and loads of time NOT having to scrub pots and pans and clean out the oven, stove and microwave. That is a bonus!

    When I juice, I make enough for 2 days. The same for blended soups, drinks and vegetable dips. I don’t make the last couple of things often, but I make a load because frankly, I despise washing dishes!

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    I totally don’t mean this in an offensive way or make assumptions, but reading the posts of some of the people that have to cook all this separate stuff for their partners/families…barring being in a single parent household, um, don’t your partners ever help? If they want to share what you’re eating, cool, but if they want something different, aren’t they capable of making it themselves, and splitting the work of making the meal for the kids if you have them? Or taking turns every other night of cooking duties or something?

    Call me a bleeding heart liberal feminist (‘cause I am), but we’re in not in Victorian times here…shouldn’t we be fairly dividing household duties? I would never stand for my partner expecting me to do all the work all the time. My fiance and I don’t live in the same place, but when we are together and cook, we are on very different diets. We’ll share stuff but I don’t expect him to make a whole different meal for me, and he doesn’t expect me to make a whole different meal for him. We’re both adults and can care for ourselves, it’s fair.

    My apologies if I’ve offended at all, but it upsets me when I see what seems like women getting kind of walked on or anything. :(

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    haha brawyn32, I totally see your point. The main problem with me is that I LOVE to cook. It was my passion before raw and I still enjoy it alot. Of course my husband offers to do stuff in the kitchen for me but quite frankly that’s my domain and I can’t handle anyone in there. He does other stuff for me like laundry(at least he does most of it but he seriously can’t fold things right so I do that part) and does all the vacuuming as well as trash taking out and whatnot. I do my part by cleaning and cooking. We have a great helping relationship and do things together whenever we can.

    If I was a stay at home mom I would definitely make cooking and cleaning my contribution since my husband would be providing for the family by working. I see nothing wrong with the wife doing all the housely duties if she’s not working it’s not demeaning in any way to me. I think it’s amazing actually.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    I do understand what you gals are saying, and absolutely if one partner decides to be a stay at home parent while the other provides financial support, it’s totally fair, as the domestic stuff becomes your job, so to speak.

    I like to cook to and do LOVE cooking for others, I come from a very culinary family and it is very much gesture of love as you said, lulushka. I just want there to be a fair and equal give and take is all. :)

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    well ya’ll, i HATED cooking. Just to add my little opinion. Even when I made something good, it made the kitchen hot and sweaty from the oven, it took SO LOOOOOOOONG waiting for the oven, etc. I hate the idea of marriage and cooking for anyone and caretaking, hate the idea of husbands and kids too. So I’ll never be in the situation where i have to make cooked food for anyone, ever. Thankfully!

  • steviostevio Raw Newbie

    I am definitely spending less time waiting for food and cleaning up since going raw. I make a big blender full of smoothie for breakfast (about 50 ounces) and another of the same size for lunch. I supplement lunch with seeds, and will generally bring some easy to eat fruit to work in case I need a snack before and/or after lunch. For dinner, I have either some more green smoothie and some fruit, or just the fruit or some salad.

    Total time in the kitchen, including cleanup: 20 minutes per day.

    Shopping on the other hand is still time consuming for me. Fortunately, I only have one department to shop in (produce) but as I am just learning about this raw lifestyle, I can’t buy more than a few days worth of food at a time, as I am not that organized yet. So the grocery gets a visit from me 2-3 times per week. Even that is a 15 minute chore on the way home from work.

    So 45 minutes per week shopping, 2 hours 20 minutes per week preparing food. About 3 hours per week total dealing with food shopping and preparing. COnsider that since going raw, I have at least 2 extra hours of productivity every day, and I come out with 11 hours of extra time for stuff than I had even when eating take-out for every meal, which required no time for food prep or shopping.

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    I love cooking and choose to do virtually all of it in my household. I totally agree with Troublesjustabubble in that the kitchen is my domain. I get stressed if my boyfriend is in my way trying to make a salad or something while I’m taking care of the rest of the meal. As for raw vs cooked, I think I’m spending less time un-cooking. A lot of my prepared meals involve the blender or food processor, so I don’t have to be nearly as precise with my chopping. I can smash a garlic clove, rough-chop most of the veggies and throw fistfuls of herbs into the blender/food processor, blast them and serve in just a few minutes. Even spiralizing zucchini takes less time than boiling water and cooking pasta. I think the key is organization. I’ve made a batter for dehydrator crackers/bread in 10 minutes or less. I go back to work, then flip the stuff after a few hours. Several hours later, it’s ready. It’s not like a stew that has elements added throughout the long cooking time and requires constant attention and temperature adjustments. I’m fortunate in that I work from home, so I can do 15 minutes of prep during the day, throw something in the blender, wash it, then do the last-minute stuff later. No meal seems overwhelming that way. I’m all for convenience gadgets. A mandoline slicer makes big slicing jobs easy. Spiralizing is fun. My julienne slicer is handy too. I have good knife skills, so I can slice and dice pretty quickly. Cooking is a passion, so I don’t care if it takes time to make something great, particularly if the rest of my day consisted of whole fruits, a simple arugula or spinach salad, plus a handful of seeds or nuts. I especially love the fact that since nothing has to be served piping hot and fresh from the pan, dishes can be made earlier in the day. There’s no last-minute stress. A little garnish of fresh herbs and dinner’s on the table.

  • My, this is an interesting thread. My experience is with the people who said they spend less time in the kitchen, I try to stay around 80% raw and I’m also one who cooks for a SAD partner (he tries, but he’s a TERRIBLE cook,and he mostly refuses to grasp the raw concept, he finds it threatening). I also love to cook, or un-cook, as the case may be. My main problem is the refrigerator, which is always stuffed to the gills – my produce takes up a lot of space, especially the greens, competing with his meats & cheeses & ten zillion bottles of weird condiments, sodas & Gatorade mixed with Coke (gross! He also eats Snowballs – ever had one of those? congealed chemical gelatinous GOO – he loves them, He talked me into trying a bite.TOTALLY GROSS!).My bags of kale, collards, parsley, spinach & lettuce take up a lot of space, he doesn’t think it’s fair, but he also doesn’t give me a hard time about it. I juice frequently, my favorite is Granny Smith Apples, mixed greens, and 1/2 lemon – I have a Sampson single-auger & it takes about 5 minutes to clean up. It would be even quicker & I’m sure, healthier, to just make this a smoothie, but I love it as a juice so much, I can’t quite go smoothie yet. I buy the produce for the week, wash it, pat it dry, & store it in ethylene-absorbing bags (these really work, BTW). I shred up my salad staples of carrots, cabbage & celery with my Salad Shooter into a tub to last the week (other ingredients are chopped on preparation). I keep a bag of frozen bananas at all times for breakfast smoothies or late night sweet cravings (homogenized with some kind of berry on hand for an “ice cream” – tho I do this rarely). Sunday shopping & washing & chopping for the week takes maybe two hours, tops. I have almonds soaking almost all the time, for almond milk, which is the base of my breakfast smoothies or just a drink for a quick snack. We have a local natural foods store which PROMISES it carries really raw almonds – and I believe them, maybe just because I want to. They also carry really raw oats, which is my favorite breakfast, soaked in almond milk with dried coconut, chopped dates & raisins overnight & mixed with chopped apples in the morning, but the smoothie is the usual. It’s quicker, and filling. Almond milk & frozen bananas, and then – whatever’s on hand, berries, or maca & cacoa (can’t handle the maca without the chocolate). I always add granular lecithin (not raw) & 1-2 tbs of ground flax, which I grind in my Tribest & keep in the freezer in a little yogurt container. Salad dressings are pretty simple, flax oil or olive oil & lemon. tho I keep a generic sunflower, almond or cashew puree on hand to fix up as a dressing or a dip for veggies. It takes five minutes to make after soaking, and keeps for a week at least, and I can throw a couple spoonfuls in a mini-bowl, and season it as desired at the moment. Fruit is easy – I don’t like to do much of anything to my fruit except just eat it. (Exception: banana & berry smoothies, described above). I run the dehydrator maybe once or twice a year for dried peppers or limes to use as seasonings. Then once or twice a month for my staple raw “bread”, – I pop the “bread” in the fridge or the freezer, for those occasions when I really want a sandwich. Typically, avo, romaine, tomato, & cashew cream cheese – but I find I don’t really want a sandwich very often anymore. Since I make the bread from almond pulp and flax, and I use way more almond milk than “bread”, I take the “bread” to parties or non-raw friends, who almost universally love it, especially with a simple seed cheese spread. But it’s kinda heavy for me to eat on a regular basis, tho the fiber in the flax will sure keep you regular – eat flax everyday & you will experience the principle of “one in, one out”.

    My partner is increasingly accepting my version of dinner, as long as I slap some piece of meat or vaguely meat-based dish into the mix for him, and braise his cauliflower or broccoli. The less of a deal I make about it, the more he just tries my stuff on his own, and decides he likes it. I try not to make a big deal out of it.

    Simple is better. When I started out on this raw experiment 6 years ago, I was obsessed with food & complicated recipes, and equipment (well, I was always obsessed with kitchen equipment, I can’t blame raw for that!). Now,I rarely use more than my big white dollar-store bowl, my favorite knife,my juicer and my Vita-Mix. When I pull out the spiralizer or the mandolin, I’m usually puttin’ on the dog for some SAD friend, or it’s a special occasion, or I’ve seen some really great recipe on this site, and I want to try it! BTW, it’s a little bit of a downer seeing the generic grey silhouette attached to my profile, contrasted with all your lovely colorful photos & avatars. But I can’t upload a photo, I understand it’s something that won’t be fixed until the new release of the site. Anyway, simple is better, I guess I got a little complicated in trying to explain my version of simple – but try it, you can keep it simple and easy, and I’m always impressed by the intelligence & creativity of the members of this site; there are so many good ideas in this thread. My guiding principle is: eat food close to the ground whenever possible, and keep it simple.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    To save time, I do things all at once. IF I’m adding veggies to my salads, I like to chop up a whole head of cauliflower, and/or at least two or three of whatever other veggies. I make big batches of anything that will last more than a day (salad dressing, seed cheese, dessert, etc.), so I have it left over. Saves a lot of setup & cleanup time doing things all at once.

    To stay full longer, I eat seed cheese &/or avocados &/or hemp seeds in my salads. I eat 1/4 to 1/2 of a raw pie as a meal. I eat LOADS of filling fruit (mangoes, bananas, etc.). I also like to have raw snacks (crackers, bars, bananas, etc.) with me any time I’ll be gone very long.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I haven’t read all the posts, but I just wanted to say that raw isn’t time consuming for me at the moment because I’m in a simple phase, but it has been in the past. With me, it is either just a means of eating, I’ll grab a salad here and there, and that will be all the time I spend on ‘being raw’. And then other times I really get into it and make recipes, go shopping for exotic things and read books, come on here a lot etc, but when it is like that for me it is a hobby. I don’t need to do any of those things, I just do all the ‘extra’ because I enjoy it.

    I think about people who go fishing for hours on end, or the guy down the street who spends every weekend polishing his cars, or the teenage boy next door who sits on his computer playing games all day and night. I think raw food is a good hobby to have.

    Also a decent juicer like a green star or a champion makes juicing really quick. You don’t need to clean it every time you use it, just once a day.

  • springleafspringleaf Raw Newbie

    wow, I like this thread, loads of good ideas. I especially like the sound of redemmas raw oat and almond milk etc breakfast. I had also never thought of making enough juice for two days and putting it in the fridge, – dur. I am getting the picture that people who say they have little prep time eat simply and do their prep in advance. I like spending time in the kitchen – but not too much time… My only tip is that I make salads for me and my partner to take to work, mine has more leaves in it and his has some chicken/cheese in it whereas mine has pumpkinseed nut butter or sunflower seeds.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    I agree durianrider, but, isn’t that kind of totally way too much fruit? lol?

  • dogsuponhotcatsdogsuponhotcats Raw Newbie

    It is time consuming & difficult, but I’m hoping that it’ll be worth it. All I have is a disgusting, moldy, rusty blender that’s older than I am, & I don’t even want it touching my food. I had a Jack Laine (sp?) juicer, but I won’t go into what happened with that…wasn’t good, never again. Sure there might be better models, but let’s face it, I’m a broke college student LOL. I look at all the raw food recipes and drool, but then I look at all the ingredients/appliances/time required, and I’m just like, fuhgettaboutit. So I just eat whole fruits, like an apple here, a peach there, and my HUGE “elaborate” meal is a salad with just lettuce, sliced avocado and carrots. LOL.

    I can only afford the basics, so I live off of 7 apples, 7 peaches, 7 avocados, a bag of grapes, a bag of shredded carrots, and lettuce per week (1 apple a day, etc). Oh, and $4.99 olive oil is my huge splurge. LOL. I kid you not, I listed EVERYTHING I eat within one week. No more. I can’t afford the time or money for anything else. Hope it’s worth it, because I’m ALWAYS dizzy and tired…

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