Raw Food Vegan Diet Questions
Is a raw food vegan diet the only way to eat raw? What are your options on a completely vegan raw food diet?
Is the Raw Food Diet Mostly Vegan?
A lot of people assume that if they are to follow a raw food diet, their food choices will consist of mostly fruits and veggies with zero consumption of animal products. While this may be true for some raw food eaters, it is definitely not true for all.
Many people end up eating mostly vegan on a raw food diet, whether that is an intentional, conscientious choice or not. But you should know your options of all of the raw foods available out there, so that you can create the diet that best suits your body’s unique needs, and so you will not get bored from a perceived lack of choices.
What Foods are Available on a Raw Food Vegan Diet?
Some people have an image in their head that a raw food diet means that they will be confined to eating only bland lettuce and some carrot sticks for the rest of their life. That could not be further from the truth!
In fact, many raw food eaters claim that they eat a much larger, diverse variety of foods since starting a raw food diet. How many people in the world do you know that eat the same cereal every morning, washed down with the same coffee and cream, then rotate a dinner menu between the same 4 or 5 dishes that they always make? Or they stop at the same lunch place day after day?
A fully vegan raw food diet never has to be dull. It can contain every fruit and vegetable known to man, in many forms such as dehydrated, preserved, or fresh. This provides you with an endless assortment of colours, tastes and textures. All sorts of grains and legumes can be soaked and eaten, and can also be sprouted. There are endless varieties of seeds and nuts that provide important protein. Seaweeds can be sprinkled onto foods to add critical minerals to your diet.
You can add variety by making creative salsas, dips, spreads and dressings. By using inventive condiment recipes, even staple foods that you will consume all the time like veggies or salads can always seem new and exciting. There are even ways to make pasta while adhering to raw food guidelines.
So do not worry that you will be bored or severely limited on a raw food vegan diet – in fact, you may be so overwhelmed with choices, you may not know where to start!
Why Are Most Followers of a Raw Food Diet Vegan?
Some are vegan by conscious choice, because they do not feel comfortable, for health or philosophical reasons, eating animal products. Others only consume vegan products because they are not aware of the large variety of raw animal products out there that still adhere to raw food guidelines. Some people start out eating raw meats if they have concerns about being able to get sufficient protein on a diet without meat, but then they drop the meats when their body adjusts and they have more confidence in their ability to provide their body with a healthy vegan raw food diet.
Raw Animal Products
Even if, like me, the thought of raw fleshy meat is too much for you, there are many animal products that comply with the definition of raw. These include raw honey, raw milk, cheese made from raw milk, kefir, sashimi, raw fish (also known as ceviche) and carpaccio (raw meat).
Most people fail to remember that for most of human history, people from many cultures had diets that consisted of raw animal products. Many still do, including the Inuits, people from Siberia, and many Middle Eastern cultures (with a tendency towards raw goat), and Asians (with a tendency towards raw fish).
Modern day raw meat diets, such as the Primal Diet made popular by its leader Aajonus Vonderplanitz, have taken hold in the last few years. It is estimated that over 20,000 followers in North America alone follow his diet. The Primal Diet claims to take people back to the foods that one might have eaten in prehistoric days. It emphasises foods that were common over 100 years ago, and shuns newer foods, such as vegetable oils, all processed foods, and many recently developed grains.
Some people have concerns over the health of raw meats, with scares over bacteria and disease such as E. coli and salmonella. This is an understandable concern. Just like with any food, it is critical to know the source. Obviously fresh wild game, or organically farm-raised meats are better than hormone-laden factory meats. Grass-fed animals are usually much healthier than grain-fed animals. And to help kill bacteria, consider using alcohol-based dips or marinades that revolve around port or red wine or vodka. Citrus marinades can lessen bacteria slightly, but are not nearly as reliable as alcohol-based ones.
What About Raw Honey?
Honey is an animal product that can be consumed and enjoyed by raw foodists who are not following a strictly vegan raw food diet. Be aware that most of the honey found in grocery stores is not raw. It has been flash heated during pasteurisation, followed by fast cooling. It’s then filtered so that yeast cells are killed, it is more consistent in texture and easier to package.
But when honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are almost completely destroyed. Raw honey, on the other hand, is a healthy option to integrate into your raw food diet.
Do I Have to Eat a Completely Vegan Raw Food Diet?
So, not all raw food diets are completely vegan. You could try experimenting a little between a vegan diet and a raw food diet that incorporates a number of animal products to see how your body responds. Some people find that the extra protein from animal products helps them to maintain weight and to keep from running chilly, which is one of the issues people on a raw food vegan diet occasionally complain of.
Listen to your body, and remember that whether you choose to incorporate animal products or not into your raw food diet, there is a never-ending assortment of healthy raw foods out there for you to nourish your body with.
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