Saturday, August 25, 2007

To Go 100% Raw or Not?

I am trying to construct a raw vegan diet of practical foods that will give me upwards of 80 gms of protein per day without requiring me to eat uncomfortable volumes of food. By practical I mean affordable, tasty, and easy to incorporate into a meal/smoothie or to eat as a snack. Today I went through some raw vegan websites to get a list of foods that are a complete protein (or close to it). The best I've found so far are:

Spirulina, raw
hemp seeds
flax seeds
yeast extract spread
pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
whey powder
raw spinach

The other issue I'll have to contend with is the volume of food I'll have to consume to get 1400 calories a day. One of the reasons I eat Eggbeaters and tofu is because those foods are higher protein, are filling, and give me needed calories without having to eat a huge amount. Foods like those in the list aren't quite as satisfying because although they will provide calories, I don't see them filling me up like a meal would. And I'd have to eat LOTS of spinach to get a significant amount of protein from it. This makes me think I'll be relying on protein shakes more, but that's no good because even if they are the only non-raw thing I consume, I'll probably have to consume them twice a day to get about 40 grams of protein. I could add raw cheeses from Whole Foods; they didn't seem to hurt me last year.

My goal is not to be raw for political or spiritual reasons, but simply for health, so I don't feel like a failure if I consume protein shakes. Getting protein is more important to me than anything else on this raw diet, because the other nutrients- except fibers- are simple to acquire. The reason I want all raw is because I don't have food cravings when I eat that way. I'm not sure which non-raw foods I'm eating now are triggering the cravings, so I may eliminate them all except oatmeal and see how that works out. I will probably take B12 pills, as vegan sites warn about the low-B2 levels of vegetarians and vegans.


50todrop said...

I found you on You seem to have my thinking about this raw food thing. I'm not doing this for political or spiritual reasons either. So, although I may have 100% raw days I'm not going to be 100% all of the time. It can be very stressful and costly(especially since I was just laid off) and I found myself wondering if it was really necessary. I was interested to see someone who is eating whole cooked foods along with a raw food diet. I hope you can find a good balance. I'm still trying to find one for myself. I had been blogging about my journey too. I need to get back to it :)



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