Why Would Someone Go Raw Vegan?
Today we’re tackling the concept of raw veganism.
I’m not a raw vegan, but I’ve always been in awe of the lifestyle. When I was introduced to one of the raw vegan community’s most well-known mascots, FullyRaw Kristina, I admired how much she made the lifestyle appear appealing and magical.
Most people have the opinion that being a raw vegan is too extreme and something that only health nuts can succeed at.
Others embrace it and run head first into the lifestyle when they learn about the health benefits.
I’m probably somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, but a tad closer to the raw vegan end. I say that because the older I get and the more I learn about the healthful nutrients we get from nature, the more I want to treat my body in the best way possible. I’m not sure I’d ever go entirely raw vegan, but it’s not completely off the table.
Let’s cover the basics of this lifestyle and see what you think…
What is raw veganism?
Raw veganism emerged out of a vegan diet and the raw foodism movements. Vegans abstain from eating any animal products and raw foodies don’t cook or heat any of their foods. According to the all-knowing, reliable Wikipedia, raw veganism maintains the following guidelines that the food consumed:
Is not altered from its original, natural state
Hasn’t been heated or cooked above 118°F/48°C
Does not derive from animals or animal by-products
What would I eat on a raw vegan diet?
Since we can’t cook, steam, bake, fry, grill, sauté, microwave any food on a raw vegan diet, we’re left with hearty, raw:
The cool thing is, though, that there are an infinite amount of combinations for raw food eaters that will shock you into a state of rawesomeness.
The key to this diet: the more color, the better!
Why eat a raw vegan diet?
Aside from the “ethicalities,” health implications, and environmental connection to veganism in general (read more here), raw vegans believe that raw food has more nutritional value than cooked food. According to The Spruce Eats, cooking food above 118°F/48°C can eliminate certain enzymes that have “proper” nutrition.
Plant Based News clarifies that:
Enzymes, which are proteins that serve as catalysts for specific biochemical reactions in the body, can indeed be damaged by heat.
Just so we’re clear, cooking food doesn’t destroy it, it just makes some things more edible than others. I mean, humans discovered/invented the process of cooking, which excelled our intelligence as a species, so it’s obviously doing something for us.
This article states how some food’s nutritional value is actually released when it’s cooked in a certain way. In fact, it has a few more interesting facts that demystify the raw vegan diet. Check it out here.
What are the benefits of eating a raw vegan diet?
While some studies vilify the raw vegan diet alluding to low bone mass densities, osteoporosis, and amenorrhea, when done correctly, the raw vegan diet can be tremendously beneficial to the human body. Raw vegans need to eat A LOT of food and often to ensure they’re getting enough calories for their daily intake.
The first few weeks of a vegan diet have been known to cause a tired jaw — literally — because there’s so much chewing going on! The first diet that encourages you to eat all day every day! Maybe these raw vegans are onto something, ‘cause I freakin’ LOVE eating.
When practiced correctly and sufficiently, Plant Based News claims that the known benefits to eating a raw vegan diet are:
Less inflammation in the body
Lower levels of IGF-1 - which in high amounts can lead to breast and prostate cancer
Alkalizes the body
Less chance of food fermenting in the gut
Lower risks of some cancers
Better blood pressure control
Lower chances of stroke, heart failure, stomach cancer, and kidney disease
Before committing to a raw vegan diet full time, do the research (yes, I admit this blog post is not enough) and speak to a qualified nutritionist. I’m not an expert, so I’m not advocating for or against it. I do know there is scientific backing that a vegan diet is one of the best diets out there, but I haven’t found enough research to prove a raw vegan diet is suitable for all body types.
What recipes and meals should I make on a raw vegan diet?
Smoothies, juices, salads, bowls, soups, sandwiches, dips, pizzas, wraps, dressings…they can all be made raw vegan.
If you’re trying out the raw vegan lifestyle or practicing it a few days here and there, be open to experimenting, trying new things, using your kitchen gadgets and meal prepping. The best way to maintain a raw vegan diet is to plan ahead for your week. It’s rare to find raw vegan food in most restaurants, so if you’re eating out, call ahead, eat before you go, or ask to bring your own food. It might be considered weird, but if you don’t want to starve, you need to be honest about what you need to eat. I love being weird, so if you’re feeling brave, embrace your differences and be proud of the lifestyle choice you’re living.
Remember: if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing.
Since I don’t have any raw vegan recipes on this blog [yet], I’ll point you in the direction of some experienced raw vegans and other websites loaded with raw vegan recipes.
Would you be open to trying a FREE one week raw vegan challenge with me?
On January 1st - 7th, we’re doing a FREE raw vegan challenge and I’d love for you to be a part of it!
If you join us, we’ll provide:
A one-week shopping list
7 day meal plan & recipes
Health tips & facts
Personal messages from me all week
CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO SIGN UP:
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