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Sheila
May 17th, 2006, 11:33 PM
I am curious. I have been thinking about going raw for about the past month or so. I have done some research on it and feel kind of lost. Something like when I researched veganism. It seems so complex at times.

I found a really good site last night through a link on a post here for the most awesome journal on this lady and her 6 year journey of being raw. I honestly feel like I want to try it. Heck I was only trying vegetarian for a week when I started and look what has happened! ;)

I am wondering if any of you have tried raw and how was your experience? If you are still raw could you shed some light on why you stay raw? If you tried it and couldn't or did not want to continue why?

Sorry for all of the questions but I feel so lost and really think I want to do this. It's just nice to hear some real life stories on experiences.

Thanks in advance,
Sheila

nobacon
May 18th, 2006, 02:42 AM
I've never heard of "Raw". What does it mean?

Tigerlily
May 18th, 2006, 02:43 AM
I've never heard of "Raw". What does it mean?

You don't eat cooked foods.

nobacon
May 18th, 2006, 02:47 AM
ah right, thanks. So you eat raw potatoes, carrots, etc etc? Sounds a bit minging

nobacon
May 18th, 2006, 02:50 AM
i take it there are supposed to be nutritional benefits to "Raw"? Presumably less nutrient loss?

chickendude
May 18th, 2006, 03:39 AM
I've attempted going raw vegan multiple times, although my girlfriend has objected each time saying she understands why I would go vegan, but raw vegan is just too extreme (and of course she has the final word :)). Actually, at the times that I went raw vegan, I wasn't 100% raw. I still drank soy milk and took my vegan vitamins. The whole purpose behind my going raw vegan was to eat a more nutritious diet.

If you'd like some samples of raw recipes, there are a lot of good ones on vegweb.com under the raw recipes section :) I ate a lot of salads with different peppers, tomatoes, cashews/other nuts, cucumbers, carrots, and onions. I also have a juicer, which is really nice for making drinks and sauces and such. Organic homemade apple juice tastes soo much better than anything available in the stores!

I also ate a lot of bananas, apples, and various other fruits (although many fruitarians avoid bananas, because, I believe, the fruit is picked before it has reasonably ripened and the trees are killed at the end of the season).

Hmm...I've read somewhere that cooking certain vegetables releases more of the enzymes, whereas cooking most vegetables kills their enzymes. I might try a semi-raw diet, eating some of those cooked vegetables. The other day I made this amazing dessert kind of thing using crushed cashews and water as a kind of crust and filling it with minced apples.

I'm no expert, for sure, but I have tried raw veganism before so if you've got any questions feel free to ask :)

DianeVegan
May 18th, 2006, 04:10 AM
Sheila,

We go mostly raw in the summer months for a number of different reasons. I don't personally believe a 100% raw diet is necessary for optimal health, so I don't go completely raw. The whole enzyme theory is sketchy at best, IMO. I mean, those enzymes are in the plant for the plant's purposes and our enzymes are in our bodies for our purposes - they are not the same enzymes needed to digest the plant. So the "science" behind raw foods diets is a bit lacking, again IMO.

However, raw foods are minimally processed and that appeals to me greatly. And I think juicing is a tremendous way to get more than 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day if you are also consuming lots of fiber. Also, I love experimenting in the kitchen so raw foods are a lot of fun.

I think many recipes rely so heavily on nuts, seeds and avocado/coconut that you can consume a lot of fats/oils on a raw diet, so be forewarned. Keeping it simple seems to make the most sense. And keep your mind open when you do try raw recipes - some of the names of recipes are similar to cooked foods but the end result will have much different tastes and textures. By sticking to very simple dishes/foods and not adding too many ingredients, you will be amazed at how you may have never realized the complex taste of certain vegetables. We are sometimes so accustomed to adding salt, fat, sauces that we forget what celery or a plain tomato tastes like. That's part of the draw for me.

If you live in the north like I do then raw makes sense (environmentally, financially) for the summer but not for the winter. In the winter I sprout 3 different trays at a time and otherwise rely on fresh foods shipped from the southern states or sometimes Mexico. In the spring/summer/autumn I at least know what is in season here since I can buy locally from farms.

I think being mostly raw is easier in the warmer months when we aren't looking for "comfort" foods and holiday foods. I would miss the textures of many cooked foods if I went totally raw and since I don't see the health reasons, I wouldn't do it. Again, just my opinions.

So, I hope that answered some of your questions. By the way, I don't usually rely on a dehydrator but might get a better one this summer. Recipes that call for a dehydrator change the textures enough that you might not even "miss" cooked foods. My favorite raw restaurant relies heavily on dehydrators and I could probably live off of their menu year round - it's just too difficult to prepare their dishes for 2 people on a daily basis.

Let us know if you decide to try going raw for a time.:)

eve
May 18th, 2006, 09:56 AM
You may care to check out http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/ or http://www.fruitnut.net/ :)

Sheila
May 18th, 2006, 04:02 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses. I know I feel better when I eat a really great salad with all the raw veggies and such in comparison to cooked pasta with sauce. In the summer I often eat so many cucumbers I think I'll never want to see one again!

I'm thinking that 100% raw would not be what I want but I do believe there is a benefit to eating foods in their natural state. I am more inclined to put vegan butter on a cooked carrot but don't often slather it on a raw one. So maybe by going 80/90% I could cut some of the fat out.

I don't have the patience to dehydrate anything so I know I'd have a hard time with that kind of prep. The juicing thing I could do though since often I don't eat enough good veggies and go more for starches like bread or a baked potato. I love refried beans and those would be really hard for me not to eat.

I'm going to do some more research and I think I'll give it a go in a few weeks.

Thanks again,
Sheila

Blix
May 18th, 2006, 04:34 PM
Look up Alissa Cohen's site. www.alissacohen.com (http://www.alissacohen.com). She makes raw dishes that are really good. Remember, that you don't have to 'join up' with any ones ideas, just do what is natural for you. There are tremendous benefits about eating raw. Just look into nature. What creatures have you seen that cooks it's food prior to eating it? Only humans. There is nothing wrong in eating food that has been lightly cooked, but raw retains all the nutrients. especially those that are lost in cooking. There was a test done on a group of raw fooders and it was found that although they were skinny, they were very healthy. But it was found that their bones were a lot lighter than normal. There is a site called www.hacres.com (http://www.hacres.com) They advocate 85% raw and one 'steamed' or cooked meal a day. They give instructions about what foods to avoid and how to get your proteins etc., They also found that raw has tremendous healing power. Healings from cancer, lots of common ailments. Raw, especially lots of raw greens, detox the cells of the body and gradually rebuild them into a healthier state. I recommend it. On a cold, wet, miserable day, its hard to be raw, but as long as a home made soup, for example, isn't heated to more than 118 deg., then you won't destroy the enzymes. Give it a try for 1 month and see how you get on.

chickendude
May 18th, 2006, 09:53 PM
Yea, I remember reading a study somewhere that showed that the raw foodists' bones were thinner, but not any more prone to osteoporosis. However, there's a lot of propoganda on either side of raw foodism/fruitarianism so it's difficult to determine how much is completely true. There are plenty of "studies" showing that breatharianism is feasible, but I refuse to accept their validity. Yet, really, I don't see how eating raw foods could be anything BUT healthier, as you cut out all of the processed foods (although you might still be consuming pesticides and such if you don't eat organic foods).

For a comprehensive analysis into raw veganism, check out this site:
http://www.vegansociety.com/html/food/raw_food.php
It's the least-biased article I've found so far. It lists pros and cons and looks at it from a health standpoint. It's good.

Tigerlily
May 19th, 2006, 12:33 AM
Make sure you eat enough calories. I used to lurk around this raw foodist "food list" community, and a lot barely ate anything!

ravenfire
May 19th, 2006, 03:04 AM
I'm not totally raw, I just tend to eat a lot of raw dishes in the summer since we don't have an airconditioner and using the stove/oven really heats up the house lol. But this is a really good site with lots of great recipes. http://www.rawfoods.com

DianeVegan
May 19th, 2006, 04:23 AM
And another great recipe site. (http://www.fromsadtoraw.com/RawRecipes.htm)

insubordination
May 19th, 2006, 02:38 PM
I went raw for two weeks and had insane cravings for refined carbs. I probably should have stuck at it for longer but my personality was getting out of hand and I was eating ridiculous amounts of macadamia nuts, peaches, avocados and dates. I even bought a dehydrator, though it seems to defeat the purpose.

However, I do believe raw food is better for you and I make sure I have at least a large salad and a few pieces of fruit and raw vegies every day to accompany my cooked (some say dead) food.

The best thing about raw is you don't have to go 100% until you're ready (if ever). You can stay at 50% or 70% - it's cool.

Alpha Jerk
May 26th, 2006, 12:53 PM
I am into day 4 of trying to be raw for 30 days. I actually am doing a daily blog about it here:

http://reedsrawfoodblog.blogspot.com/

sandra
May 26th, 2006, 01:20 PM
Hi, I just read your blog, hope everything is going well for you. I've been trying out eating raw [although not totally at the minute]. I can't wait to see how you get on, all the best, Sandra

terrace max
May 26th, 2006, 02:42 PM
Thank you everyone for this thread - I've found the comments and links really useful.

Although I share Diane's scepticism about some of the science, I find myself eating more and more raw almost accidently...it just seems to feel right at an instinctual level. I'd never achieve 100% since I love our homemade/handmade bread too much :o

One question - can anyone recommend a decent dehydrator available in the UK?

insubordination
May 27th, 2006, 07:34 AM
As far has dehydrators, get one with a temperature control as you shouldn't dehydrate at high temperatures if you want to retain nutrients.

(Thinking about getting dehydrator back out to make carrot and celery chips).

Patio34
Jun 1st, 2006, 04:28 PM
Hi Sheila,

I've been reading a bit about raw foodism just for the past two days. Here's why: several years ago I had bad GI troubles and couldn't handle eating, so starting mostly having fresh juices I juiced in the morning. Most outstanding was the energy level I felt! As if I'd had caffeine (which I never have anymore).

Then GI got better and energy enhancement was forgotten. However, this past Sunday, I awoke with a headache and felt sluggish. I had a big watermelon and ate a lot of it Sunday and Monday. Then I felt great on Monday and, after reflection, decided it may be the raw watermelon. That got me started.

A lot of resources seem to recommend 80% raw and 20% cooked. The big difference between veganism and raw foodism is that veganism seems to have a lot of science and peer-reviewed articles behind it and the raw foodism, while logical, doesn't seem to have much to support it.

But anyway I've been trying the 80%:20% ratio more or less, and have noticed an increase of energy, evidenced by straighter posture without thinking about it, planning/daydreaming about doing SITUPS without thinking consciously about it. It's only been two days now. I do have some bean sprouts going that actually are sprouting in the kitchen! That's exciting!

Cheers!
Pat

Sheila
Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the resources everyone. I have set my start date for June 12th. I tried it for a day or two but had a hard time with wanting crunchy food. I love whole wheat toast and that's what broke me. I'm doing a lot of research right now and am going to commit to 30 days at about 95% raw. I need to find some ready made raw crackers. I love the crunch of veggies but I really love crunch with chips, crackers, etc..

I think I'll blog it so I can see how I feel everyday.

Thanks again,
Sheila

insubordination
Jun 4th, 2006, 07:05 AM
By GI, do you mean Glycemic Index? Watermelon is very high GI and should be avoided by those trying to keep a steady blood sugar level.

Sheila, good luck on your adventure.

SeaSiren
Jun 4th, 2006, 07:08 AM
I am high raw, I may have 1 cooked serving a day and some of my drinks aren't raw (like coffee). I feel great on raw and do cardio and weight lift throughout the week.

My favorite site thus far is http://www.thegardendiet.com

Raw athlete Tonya Kay (dancer):
http://www.tonyakay.com/
High Raw athlete Brendan Brazier:
http://www.brendanbrazier.com/

coney
Jun 5th, 2006, 07:49 PM
http://www.thegardendiet.com

Yeah, that's a great site. When I need a little inspiration to eat better, I look on there. Lots of books and videos you can order also.

I'm going to try to eat as much raw food as possible this summer, since the stuff's in season.

I tried to eat mostly raw a couple years ago, but was SOOOOOo hungry all the time, I guess I wasn't taking in enough calories. I had to go back to eating bean burritos and falafel for lunch. If I knew how to create high calorie raw foods, I'd eat more that way.

SeaSiren
Jun 6th, 2006, 04:18 AM
http://www.thegardendiet.com

Yeah, that's a great site. When I need a little inspiration to eat better, I look on there. Lots of books and videos you can order also.

I'm going to try to eat as much raw food as possible this summer, since the stuff's in season.

I tried to eat mostly raw a couple years ago, but was SOOOOOo hungry all the time, I guess I wasn't taking in enough calories. I had to go back to eating bean burritos and falafel for lunch. If I knew how to create high calorie raw foods, I'd eat more that way.
Once your over the "hump" you don't require a lot of calories to maintain. The best advice I have ever heard was Tonya Kay saying she begins her day with something green (leafy) and ends her day with something green. Then she eats fruit in between. I am only about a week in to this particular advice, but so far this advice is gold, no hunger here....I'll keep you posted.