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I'm sure there have been more than one of these posts before

Right now, I have been 100% vegan for 19 months. I don’t eat hydrodgenated oils, refined sugar, “white” products, and I limit my caffeine. I would very much like to be raw. The idea has been in the back of my mind for about nine months, and then I remember things like pasta and bread and rice and being poor and I can’t do it. It is like my mind is divided into two sections: 1. “I can definitely do this. I really feel like I should.” 2. “How the freak am I going to do this? I love cooked things too much.”

I know that the second argument is weak, but it is there. Another major concern is that I live on a budget, and I am CHEAP. (I am cheap to a fault.) I don’t know if I could get over that enough to live completely healthfully as a raw person.

I guess what I am getting to is: How did everyone here decide to make the switch? How was the transition? Is it easier to go cold turkey or transition slowly?

I am a cold turkey kind of person, but with this I feel that I need to go slowly and trasition into 100%


  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Do you live near any farms? For a while now, I’ve been considering volunteering at the local farms. As soon as I get a car, I will do this. By volunteering every weekend, i’ll be able to get LOADS of free produce. This is an arrangement that most farmers would be DELIGHTED to work out! They typically have too much food, and not enough time to pick it all to send to market.

    Perhaps I should think about starting this next summer – volunteering with the farm a the market, that I can walk to.

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Winona~ If you are interested in starting volunteering at a farm before you get a car, there are two possibilities you might want to look into:

    • Contact the farm(s) you are interested in volunteering at and see if there is someone that is currently working/volunteering there that you might catch a ride with.
    • Contact the farm and see if they can use two (or more, wouldn’t it be fun to be part of a group?) volunteers… if so, see if people around you that has a car want to volunteer too. When you get a car, then y’all can alternate driving, if that works for y’all.

    Coordinating with another person(s) might pose scheduling challenges, but it also might be fun…

    Happy farming. :)

  • Meeghan~

    I did it cold turkey. I came across raw information one day, and my diet then already mainly consisted of fruits and vegetables with some whole grains, and I said, this sounds so much better than what I’m doing. And I switched. I already loved eating fruits and veggies, so that wasn’t hard getting used to. But I had days at first where I was 100% raw, and then a couple days later I’d get a major craving for cooked food. And I rationalized with myself that one cooked item/meal wouldn’t hurt my progress, so I would allow myself to eat something I was craving, but then later I paid consequences. My body was starting to get used to the changes that I became sick every time I ate cooked food. And as of now (I’m 4 months raw), I rarely have cooked food cravings, and if I do, I just think Oh, I used to really like that, and then my boyfriend would say, well why don’t you have a tiny piece, and then my mind decides no, because I know how i’ll feel afterwards—SICK! It’s hard to be 100% raw from day one, but quitting cold turkey with cooked food I think is the best way. Try going 100% raw for the first 2 or 3 days, really noticing and paying attention to the way your body feels on it, and then have a cooked meal for lunch or a snack. Pay attention to how your body feels on that meal. From there, your heart, soul, body, and mind will help you decide!

    Good luck!

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I transitioned slowly for 1 year, gradually eating more raw every few months. Then I took the plunge to all raw except condiments. That was six months ago, and it’s been super easy! I’m glad I took a year initially to transition.

    bluedolfin – good idea about commuting with someone! i’ll keep that in mind this year, and see if i can find someone who’s interested for next season. most folks in my age group are incredibly unreliable – i’ll see if folks who are a bit older are interested.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Crazy as it may sound, I went raw to save money – I spent about $200 more per month on food (less now because I buy in bulk & online), and within four months my medical costs (what they would be without insurance) had gone down by $500 per month! I still have insurance, but I want to be self-employed someday & that kind of increase in functionality, energy & happiness that have come to me from being raw. I tried to do raw cold turkey because I was “supposed to” and it didn’t last long. Several months later (when I consider my “real start”), I decided to take in only what my body wanted, and after about three weeks I was happily eating mostly raw foods. That was just over three years ago. I now usually eat all raw except for spices and some nuts that aren’t “truly raw” – and it’s a permanent decision & lifestyle for me. You’ll find your own path. :)

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    meeghan – I think the important thing to remember is to relax, enjoy, try new recipes. Raw will come to you. It’s fun, it’s easy, many of us at goneraw enjoy it immensely. It’s less of a challenge than a simple change.

  • Winona-That sounds like a great idea! I recently moved to Lancaster, PA, and it has a crapload of farms all over. I always wanted to work on a farm (I have a theory about it), and I didn’t even consider that I could volunteer at one! I was considering transitioning slowly as well. I went cold turkey on vegan, sugar, and wheat before, so I want to take this a little slower and give myself more room for “error” (error as in how exactly I want to do this.)

    eloisaweesa-Thanks for the advice. I have tried going raw for a couple of days at a time before, but I didn’t know what I was doing and ended up eating two salads and a huge amount of fruit everyday, which I hated. Then I found out that a lot of things other than fruits and vegetables are raw and felt like an idiot. haha

    angie-thanks for sharing! That phrase, “You’ll find your own path,” really inspired me for some reason.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Yay! You’re welcome! It helps me, too, to be able to share my feelings & experiences. :)

  • Hi meeghan!

    what a great question!

    You can also do a lot with micro-greens & sprouts, it’s very, very cheap considering the mountains of edibles that come from one small bag of seed. I live in a little apartment, and grow sunflower greens in containers I got at the Dollar Store. I hate alfalfa sprouts, but broccoli sprouts are surprising tasty, and I sprout various other things (check out SproutPeople.com – I love them). If I overdo the sprouts for eating purposes, I just throw them in the juicer, usually with greens, apples & lemons.

    Buying produce in season helps a lot,too. And cabbage & carrots. Cabbage & carrots are cheap year round, and I love them, so they’re a big part of my diet.

    I went from the “mostly” vegetarian version of SAD to 90% raw vegan “cold (tho not raw!) turkey” about 6 years ago due to an uncommon, debilitating and supposedly incurable form of psoriasis. I was on steroids & my doctor was telling me it was time to start looking into a wheelchair – the bottoms of my feet were so blistered, oozing & bloody I could hardly walk. Sorry to be so graphic, but it was such misery, and I was trying to storm through with my usual willful attitude – until the wheelchair suggestion really got my attention. When the going gets tough, the tough go to the library, and I fell upon Gabriel Cousens.

    I invited my neighbors over to raid my cupboards & refrigerator and take EVERYTHING that wasn’t raw. It wasn’t easy at first, it was frankly confusing, because I didn’t quite know what to eat, & didn’t have my usual fallbacks on hand. Dates helped a lot with sugar cravings. Rhio’s book was probably the most helpful thing I could lay my hands on – and I trusted her, even when the recipes sounded HORRIBLE, I tried them – and she was right, they were good. I always hated collards, but with her recipe for marinated collards -man, I love them now.Just plain & raw, no olive oil baths needed anymore.

    Within a matter of weeks, I felt SO good, even tho my feet were still bleeding, and walking was still very painful. I couldn’t believe the difference in my energy & mental state. And I had a lot more space in my cupboards, for sprouting seed and holding dried sea veggies (an acquired taste which is still taking practice). I did have times when I had huge protein cravings & I can’t overdo it on nuts. So I settled into 75% to 90% raw, mostly veggies, then fruits, then little bits of grain. For example: my favorite breakfast is: raw oats soaked in almond milk, mixed with sprouted quinoa, chopped dates, raisins & apples, & a drizzle of vanilla extract (BTW,rolled oats are not raw, and really raw oats will give you quite a bit of fiber. Be forwarned)!. I do occasionally eat tofu & cooked lentils, cooled & mixed with raw veggies. I’m not a purist.

    I also live with a man who is to-the-WALL meat & potatoes (tho he’s coming around, some – he really likes most of the stuff I eat, but he still thinks he needs to put a big hunk of meat in the middle of it;), He also has teeth problems, so he doesn’t like hard vegetables raw. I compromise with him sometimes, and braise the cauliflower for him when I don’t have time for two versions. But I feel best when I’m all raw, and hardly discernibly different, in fact, better, with my occasional tofu on the side. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to totally give up tofu, frankly. But I’ve learned to trust my body more. When I’m doing the best I can to take care of it, and flood it with fresh, whole nutrients, it will tell me what it needs.

    My feet have been completely healed for over 5 years; no more steroids, no more doctors. I also got benefits that I wasn’t even hoping for. Fibromyalgia I had since a bout of flu as a teenager – gone. Aching from sitting for extended periods from a broken tail-bone 25 years ago – gone. Mild acne – gone. Energy levels & thought clarity I never anticipated. I really encourage you to try this, meeghan – the litmus test is how you FEEL. Most people think eating this way is really weird, and what I always say is – yes, it may seem that way, but try it and see how you feel. That’s what matters.

    angie gave you excellent guidance – “you’ll find your own path” Try it and see how you feel – you can always go back to cooked if you feel bad! But I think you’ll find, once you make the transition, food tastes so much better, & your energy will amaze you. I think of this – I don’t know if you’ve done this, but my experience of eating a piece of dairy cheese months after I’d gone vegan – it tasted oily, heavy, rank, empty & vaguely rotten. It was pretty gross. Cooked food starts tasting kind of like that after you’ve been raw for awhile & had fresh, whole, nutritional & enzymatic density in your food. But,how you feel will help to guide you.

    Hope this helps, & sorry if I’ve been too long-winded. Try it raw and see how you feel; this site has GREAT recipes & support. I don’t think you’ll be sorry!

  • ungratefulungrateful Raw Newbie

    That was a great post Redemma! Inspirational. Thank you.

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    All those piles of stored grain got me thinking about the stuff at the bottom of the pile. Does it ever get to the store? Does it ever get used to make pasta/rice products? How many animals (rats) have pooped in hit and for how many years before it got to my store? That’s not why i went raw, but grains are stored for far too long (molds are the least of the concerns there). I like many here had a health issue. i happened to do a search on what would be the healthiest way to eat. i got one book and began to teach myself. 25 books and 2.5 years later, I’m still going.

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Meeghan…I’m new to raw, about a month in and probably about 70% raw, depending on the day. I’m also poor! And loved my bread/carby stuff.

    I’ve found that getting started is where the bulk of money is spent, it was a big chunk for me to get myself a raw pantry going and some equipment. But after that, so far I’m finding it cheaper than buying SAD food, especially if you eat in season, look into farmer’s markets, pick your own farms, and the volunteering thing. I know the Lancaster area and I’m sure there’s TONS of farms you could get your produce from directly, especially with Amish country right there!

    I started out with a green smoothie for breakfast, and a salad for lunch, maybe some nuts to nibble on, then whatever for dinner. That seemed to be working for me really well…all the greens kept all my cravings at bay. I’ve started to crave bread again alot lately though. I just got a dehydrator off craigslist for $25, so I made Zoe’s Essene Bread recipe from this site, and a little piece of that or some grawnola that I made from here takes care of it. So you can still have your starchy stuff, it’s just different. Grains in bulk are great…I bet you can find them at the farms there. If not, online ordering seems to be the cheapest route. www.azurestandard.com has the best prices I’ve seen, even better (by close to 50% cheaper on some items) than the organic co-op market I go to.

    If you’re a breadwhore like me though, a dehydrator will be your best friend. I know every book says to get an Excalibur that costs $12319284798745928342, but I think it’s completely unnecessary. The used Nesco American Harvest dehydrator I have does the same thing (if in a slightly more awkward shape) and I got it off craigslist, like I said, for $25. My blender is hand me down (free!), but it was probably about $60 new…if you don’t already have a blender, again you could prolly get a decent one used on craigslist for $20. Same deal with a food processor (which was the only thing I bought new…at Walmart for $30). My blender is not a $500 Vitamix…again i think that’s just obscene. It probably wouldn’t blend kale, but other than that it works just fine. I definitely recommend checking out your local craigslist site and local goodwill/salvation army/thrift store shops for the uncooking equipment.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    My first dehydrator cost $40 or so at Wal-Mart.

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