SAD boyfriend wants to try raw!

Hey all, my standard american diet bf has finally succumbed to my prodding and agreed to try out a raw diet! WOOHOO! So....................

I need your help! He needs a lot of protein, and not a lot of sugars, and I was wondering if any of you had a preferred diet/ recipie list you could recommend?




  • WHY exactly does he need lots of protein and not a lot of sugars? It sounds like these kinds of restrictions will set him up for failure. By eliminating "sugars" i.e. fruit, he's already missing out on loads of great vitamins and minerals, fiber and one hell of a great, easy snack!

  • Apparently sugars make him "blow up" (his words, not mine) and I suppose he somehow thinks he could possibly gain more weight by eating a bunch of fruit... ffft, I know. He likes fruit plenty, he's just worried about eating a lot of it. Even though that, too, has protein :P

    He needs a lot of protein because, well, he does. He's German (big, stocky German) and needs the protein for muscle mass. He currently eats a LOT of meat and eggs and such and wonders where the hell I get all my protein... I'm currently not raw (because he's a snob and buying the food on his budget) and I keep telling him I'm eating a lot of peanut butter, and he said he never sees me eat it... WHEN I SIT THERE EATING IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. Observant, this one ain't.

    He's particularly worried about ending up looking like all the vegan people he's ever met... though I have told him that just because he knows a bunch of non-raw vegans who look like sticks doesn't necessarily mean they all do... I mean, I was non-raw vegan for over a year and I was still kinda dumpy...

    Ah, he's just being paranoid about trying something he's looked down on his whole life (and has been criticizing me about since I moved in)...

  • Hmmm - I don't agree with sugars making him blow up since in raw it's quite the opposite but I'll respect the fact that you both feel this way.

    Good sources of protein are sprouted lentils/beans (if your body can handle them), quinoa, etc. Sprouting is easy and you can dump loads on salads, make them into burgers (which requires a dehydrator), grind them into a flour and put them into smoothies and drinks, and the list goes on. Another good source is nuts and seeds - it's easy to get protein from these if you make a raw granola out of fruit and seeds and then eat it with a raw, homemade nut milk. Make sure your nuts and seeds are soaked first to make them digestible. You can also make seeds into "bread", which goes great with your sprout burgers.

    Be aware that humans don't require NEARLY as much protein as we're lead to believe and a high-protein diet actually contributes to the leaching of calcium and minerals from the bones. It's actually healthier to consume a diet lower in protein. Like Alissa Cohen says: If meat and dairy were such good sources of protein, why would we need to eat SO MUCH OF IT? After meat is cooked and/or processed it loses a lot of its assimilatable protein and what's left can take up to 100 hours to digest, meaning it becomes toxic in the gut and doesn't absorb well into the body. It's MUCH BETTER to get little protein from rich, easily digestible sources so you actually absorb all of the protein of your food instead of a tiny fraction.

  • Moonlight,

    Give a gradual approach to it a try. You mention that he likes to eat a lot of meat and eggs. For breakfast, instead of eggs, toast, potatoes and bacon- try eggs and a bowl of fresh fruit salad. Then, he will still feel like he is getting something more "solid." Cooked brown or sweet potatoes are good foods, whether he simply uses them to slowly transition to all raw or continues eating them on a high raw diet. I agree with the one suggestion to try sprouting beans and such- he may like them, he may not. I personally don't care for quinoa and beans sprouted, but many do. If he doesn't like them sprouted, serve those with a nice salad. Fresh cut veggies and a healthy dip are great for people trying to learn to like veggies. (Yes, we ought to all be able to like veggies for just themselves without anything, but I'm trying to be realistic:-)

    Make the meat portions smaller, and the veggies, salads and fruit servings bigger. I'm assuming he's like most people who eat just the opposite. Try to get him away from burgers, and toward chicken, turkey or fish (though sometimes fish can have mercury issues.) If he someday becomes vegetarian or vegan or all raw that's great. If not, he can certainly improve his health by eating better and that's the goal- not being a certain catagory.

    A slow transition will be less likely to cause digestive upset. If he ends up spending all day in the bathroom, he's likely to decide this raw thing isn't so good.

    Good luck. Also, don't push. I know that's hard. I watched my husband struggle to quite smoking for about 17 years. Nagging does NOT help. Even nagging for a good cause:-)

    I have gone to a wonderful alternative healthcare practitioner to get my back and knees "realigned." He does a combo or pressure points, Chi Quong, and myofascial release. He also dispenses very strong opinions about healthy diet. I've actually taken much of his advice (it was actually free dietary advice, I wasn't there for dietary couseling) and it actually has helped me a lot. Unfortunately, many people that I know who have gone to him get what's wrong fixed and get out quick. His passion about the subject is so intense that he turns people off. Very unfortunate, because if he suggested a more gradual transition he might get people to try his suggestion.

    So, just go gentle. I'm sure you will truly benefit your boyfriends healthy by your concern for him.

  • BushCrazyRaw - good point about the amount of protein actually needed by the human body... When I was able to eat raw, I realised that I didn't crave protein as much as when I eat cooked food... not like I crave it much when it's cooked, mind you, but that's because my current diet has so little nutritional value period. He was very worried about me not getting enough protein, but really I always drank a smoothie a day and had some sprouted beans and almond ricotta in the fridge for snackies :) I'll pass along that info, it does remind me of when I went vegetarian then vegan, realizing that I really don't need that much protein. He's looking for a decent amount in the hopes that in addition to losing his chubb he might also rebuild muscle. LOTS of smoothies for this boy! And yeah, I'll up his fruit intake too, even though I'll have to convince him it's good... b/c he's also worried about looking like a stick (silly boy, completely clueless about real food)

    sisterbecky - Oh yeah, it probably *is* a good idea to transition him so he doesn't spend all day on the potty... lol :P I went high raw all at once, so my body of course detoxed really quickly, but I personally liked the quick cleanse... however I am a considerable amount healthier than most people I know, and most people I know would freak out at a rapid detox from SAD... So yeah, great advice, I'll keep that in mind and transition him. That will also have the benefit of slowly fazing out the foods he's used to and giving him new ones gradually vs. just taking all his food away and giving him a bunch of "rabbit food", as he calls it :P And will help him get used to shopping differently, not freaking out that we don't leave the produce isle lol :P

    I'm actually very blessed, he decided this of his own volition! I really haven't tried to get him to go raw with me, hell, I don't even ask him to be vegetarian, he usually makes fun of us "rabbits" and argues that humans are meant to eat meat. I honestly don't know WHAT I said to make him express interest, possibly the fact that every time he asks me why I feel bad I say it's because I went straight from raw vegan to standard vegetarian for him because he somehow thought raw is more expensive and he's on a tight budget. Although soon he'll realize that it's cheaper b/c you really don't need to eat as much!

    Thanks guys! I'll let you know how it's going as soon as we get more grocery money!

  • camiheartsrawcamiheartsraw Raw Newbie

    I'm just jumping back into raw veganism again myself...I was really good about it earlier this year and ended up in the hospital a couple times with unrelated health issues (bacteria from food I had eaten PRIOR to going raw vegan). Anyhow, I'm tired of being tired and climbing back on the wagon. I went to the Raw Vegan Source store in Redmond near me, and got a wonderful pep talk from the store owners and some fabulous info for my non vegan husband. My husband is a long distance runner and had similar concerns as your boyfriend. We know some non raw vegans who don't make the best food choices, but he has seen how much raw food helps my lupus and other health problems (I actually maintain proper weight on raw - I get super skinny with cooked food because I don't absorb it), and because of this he is open to it. I got him Brandon Brazier's training book "Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness." It isn't Brandon's book on the vegan diet, although I'll be buying that next. My strategy was to get him a book that proved you could be vegan, have impressive muscle mass, and be able to compete in endurance sports. He reviewed his training methods and was impressed with his competition results and we're going to try some of his endurance and recovery smoothies. It also has pictures of Brandon, and he is a really muscular guy who looks very healthy. The book was recommended by a climber I was talking to - his climbing times improved 15-20% after going raw vegan.

    My husband was raised very meat and potatoes, minimum non starch veggies and very little fruit. Now he's "stealing" from my fruit stash, adding more vegetables to his meals, and downing smoothies with me (thank you Vitamix!). He's agreed to incorporate more raw vegan foods into his life, but he's still eating meat and dairy for now. We all have to start somewhere, but he has an open mind, and as long as I feed him the tasty recipes only, we might get somewhere :) I think you may want to consider viewing the weight training/endurance aspect and give him healthy examples of raw vegans competing in sports.

    Good luck! Maybe we can learn from eachother's struggles ;)

  • freewitheftfreewitheft Raw Newbie

    Moonlight & cami, this convo reminds me of the strategy I always give to folks who are looking to change their diets for the better, lose weight, detox, or whatever. I always say to "give your body what it needs first". In other words, add the stuff you think your diet needs to be healthier without necessarily restricting anything that you are used to eating. If getting all the good stuff in first is the goal, they automatically start having less of the other stuff. I think it's a great way to start the transition. :)

  • Cami: I agree with you on the feeding him only the tasty stuff... some of us like the "not-normal" taste of some healthy food, but I dun wanna scare him off, so I'll feed him a bunch of yummy food for a while hee hee

    Free: That's what I was thinking of, starting him off with a bunch of fruit and veg along with the meat he'll be eating twice a week for a while, then when I get another dehydrator(last one was lost in my last move boohoo), making him protein-packed goodies like cookies and burgers and my favorite raw food EVER, Brownies mmmmmmmmmm...

  • Hey Moonlight,

    I am new to eating RAW but not new to eating vegan. My husband is a martial artist and does crazy weight training sets, runs, katas and forms ... you name it, he does it. When I first introduced vegan eating to him, he expressed big concerns about losing muscle mass and wanted to eat alot of protein. He ate lots of tofu and soy based foods and eventually got sick from eating so much of that. When he finally let go, he reached the lowest body fat and highest muscle mass ever ... far better than eating BAD (basic american diet).

    I found this website with hints and information from RAW and other vegan athletes (check out the forums): A gradual introduction might be the best approach and seeing other big, beefy guys who are vegan (many of whom I just learned are also RAW vegan) might be exactly what he needs. Best of luck to you and keep us posted!


  • Keep in mind that an 800 pound male gorilla maintains his mass eating fruit, veggies, and nuts/seeds :) I'm sure the boyfriend won't wither away...rather get fit and trim...

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