For those of you that laughingly thought this would be a really short post with possibly no really cool things about being a low fat raw vegan, well, think again! Ha!
Far from being a pain in the butt, being a low fat raw vegan is not only a great conversation starter but also results in some pretty cool benefits. I love educating people about the many benefits of veganism and so should you! Going from vegan to high carb, low fat raw vegan is a big change. But with all these benefits, how could you not want to try it out?
You making banana bread with these? Yep, every time I buy my usual amount of bananas, which is 20-30, this is the question I get from every single person that rings up my purchases. Every single person. No, I say. I’m just eating them. Then they’re disappointed. Were they expecting me to bring them some banana bread?
Are you going to eat all of that? Ummm, yes. And I may even eat more. Yes, I eat a lot of food. It’s true. My own personal record is when I ordered 4 salads at a restaurant for my entree. Yep, 4. That’s $40 in salads, in case you were wondering. Raw vegans aren’t afraid to order up! I have a salad bowl that most people would use on Thanksgiving to feed 5 people. Nope, its just for my nightly salad. Since raw fruits and vegetables are so low in calories, you’ll have to increase your quantity in order to get enough.
Change your tastebuds. I know this seems a bit farfetched, but stick with me. The more raw, whole foods you eat, the more you will crave them. The less you eat heavily processed food with added salt, sugar and fat, the less you will crave them. Sooner than you think, you’ll begin craving fresh fruit rather than a cupcake or a cookie. Yes, most people think I’m crazy when I make this statement. But hear me out. I’m an example of this. Though I certainly look at a cookie and think, hey, that looks good, I don’t crave or want a cookie more than I want a piece of fruit. I think a fresh, juicy organic mango is every bit as good as a chocolate chip cookie. Plus, I know I’ll feel a lot better after eating that mango than I ever would eating the cookie. This isn’t an overnight change, certainly. It’s something that happens over time, as you accumulate more time eating a low fat raw vegan diet.
Everything I eat is compostable. Yay!
Digestion. So simple. Turns out the body really loves processing and digesting fresh fruit and veggies. You’re welcome, body!
Bowel movements. You knew this was coming, right? Well sorry, but I had to mention it. Because it’s easy. No straining. No worries. Fast and easy evacuation. P.s. that’s the way its supposed to be.
Awkward social situations. When your brand-new next door neighbors offer to have you over for dinner and then off handedly, almost absent-mindedly asks if you have any dietary restrictions. You can throw out the raw vegan thing and watch as their face scrunches up and they struggle with simultaneously how to withdraw the invitation and wait, what exactly is a raw vegan? It’s fun if you offer them no specifics and they’re left to google raw vegan diet once they can scamper back through their front door. The first recipe they bring up online will have no fewer than 20 ingredients and require at least 3 major kitchen appliances.
Hair. Want silky smooth hair without using expensive toxic chemicals masquerading as shampoo and conditioner? I used to have hair the texture of an SOS pad. Now it’s silky. Smooth. Oh, and I wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s hand soap only about once a week. Can’t get much more inexpensive and non-toxic than that.
Coupons. Ever see a coupon for bananas, watermelons or red leaf lettuce? Me neither. Plenty out there for soda, chips and cookies. All heavily processed foods. Quit the coupons. A good rule of thumb is if something you’re buying has a coupon, don’t buy it.
No cooking. With apologies to Martha Stuart and virtually every show on the Food Network, you’ll have no need to cook. No cleaning of greasy pots and pans. No preheating ovens or working the flame over a saute pan. You can even grow those arm hairs back!
Eating seasonally. Amazing how much better produce tastes in season. A navel orange right now tastes divine. A blueberry tastes horrible and is 3x as expensive. So eat oranges right now. They’re on sale. They taste as good as you’ve ever thought an orange could taste. No worries blueberry, we’ll try you again in a few months.
You get to hang out in the produce section. It certainly smells better than the meat and seafood areas of the grocery store. Plus, look at all the pretty colors! An added bonus, the produce section of my grocery store is usually empty. Meanwhile, the chips and cookies aisle is a bottle neck.
Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc. Sure, you can make Safeway or any of the other big box stores work but TJ’s and Whole Paycheck are certainly a much more enjoyable experience. TJ’s has a limited variety of fresh produce but their prices are awesome and quality is top notch. Whole Foods boasts a decadent salad bar and hot food area which is perfect for when you’re visiting a new town and need some grub. Also ideal for traveling with non-raw vegans or even carnivorous friends and family. Everyone can find something to eat at Whole Foods. Living in a town with no TJ’s or WF? Move then. Just kidding. Find your closest equivalent natural market.
Easy peasy food preparation. Someone asked me recently if being a raw vegan took a lot of time? As in, does it take a lot of time to prepare meals? Sure, there are some people eating a high fat raw vegan diet that do a lot of dehydrating and recipes and hours trying to mimic the taste of cooked foods. However, I don’t do any of that. My meal prep often times involves peeling a banana or an orange. I may spend 10 minutes chopping up items for my salad. That’s it. Anyone spending more time preparing food on a raw diet is doing it wrong.
Ease of travel. I always throw a few bananas, apples or dates in my carry on luggage. Since most raw food doesn’t require refrigeration, it’s easy to travel with fruits and veggies. They’re incredibly portable! Every road trip involves an insulated bag full of fruit to nosh on as we gobble up the pavement. One note on eating while in the middle seat of the airplane. Be careful that you don’t bite into a piece of orange and have it spurt onto your seat mate. Not that I’ve done that. That would be weird. But just in case.
Your new and improved immune system. Welcome to a world of not getting sick. I rarely got sick as a vegan, but going to a raw vegan diet seems to have amped up my immune system even more. I never worry about seasonal allergies, cold or flu season. What are these things you speak of? is what I feel like asking when friends tell me about being in bed for 4 days with a terrible flu. I often take it for granted that I don’t get sick but it feels pretty dang good to not remember the last time I didn’t feel well.
Boundless energy. No need for caffeine on a raw food diet. You won’t need it. I drank coffee for 2 decades plus, then last April I gave up coffee. Boom. Just like that. I went from 4 cups a day to none. I actually had more consistent energy without caffeine than I did with. If you nap during the day, need more than 8 hours of sleep or rely on caffeine to get up in the morning, try a raw food diet! Be aware though, you might need a few new hobbies to keep yourself busy with all that free time.
Athletic recovery. As an endurance athlete, both a runner and cyclist, I need to recover quickly from my workouts. With a training schedule that doesn’t typically include any days off, feeling sore and tired from yesterday’s workout really hampers my performance. Going raw during my peak training for the Boston Marathon in 2014 helped me set a new PR at that event and to make it though training without missing any time for injury, sickness, or sore muscles. I even ran my first ultra trail race in 2014, the Foothills Frenzy 50k. Running nearly 32 miles with no muscle soreness the next day is not something I’ve ever experienced. I used to be super sore after hard track workouts or long runs. Unless I’m doing hard strength training like box jumps or tons of push ups, I’m never sore the day or 2 days after a workout.
No post meal energy drain. You know the feeling after eating a big meal of tasty vegan food high in fat, salt or sugar. You feel drained and ready for a nap as your body attempts to break down and process all that food. You feel warm, your heart rate increases and that last thing you want to do is move around. You look for the closest large piece of furniture to prostrate yourself on until this unpleasant feeling goes away. Is that really the way you want your food to treat you? With a low fat raw vegan diet, your post-meal energy suck disappears. It’s replaced with a feeling of being energized, with all those fruit and veggie carbs fueling your cells. After meal walks, maybe including a certain adorable chocolate lab, sound better than lying on the couch. Something to think about next time you’re regretting a big meal of foods high in fat, sugar or salt.
You’re still reading? Well I’m out of amazing things about being a high carb low fat raw vegan for now. Wasn’t that enough?
Try incorporating more raw foods into your diet. Or heck, go all raw for a couple of weeks, or 30 days. You might experience some or all of these benefits. Or none. No guarantees. But at least you’ll have given it a try.
In the meantime, EatPlantsLiveWell!