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Exploring Raw Veganism the Easy Way
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Exploring Raw Veganism the Easy Way

Raw veganism brings together the vegan diet and the concept of raw foodism. Essentially, raw veganism eschews all foods of animal origin and all cooked foods. Even if you’re open-minded, adventurous and actively want to explore raw veganism, it can still be difficult to know where to start. If you find the prospect of switching to an all-raw diet daunting, you may prefer to make the change slowly.

In this post, I share five steps for anyone who wants to begin exploring raw veganism. Whether your ultimate goal is to go all-raw, or you just want to introduce more raw meals into your vegan diet, this is the no-fuss, stress-free way to get started with raw foodstuffs.

1) Break the All-Cooked Habit

For many people, the concept of big, cooked meals is so ingrained that it’s difficult to imagine sitting down to a plate of raw food, day after day, especially when it comes to that all-important evening meal or Sunday lunch. The first step to breaking this habit is preparing your cooked meals as normal, and then either adding something raw to your plate, or substituting a cooked item for its raw counterpart. This might mean serving your favourite tofu scramble with vegetable crudités and a raw dip (try raw bean or avocado dip) or hunting down a raw version of your usual side dish of mashed potatoes or potato chips.

2) Raw Meals: The Easy Way

Preparing all-raw meals doesn’t mean a complete dietary overhaul. Most people are already eating raw meals and snacks without even thinking about it: salads, smoothies, or nibbling on raw veggies and fruit, for example. Simply make a conscious decision to feature these more heavily in your diet - it’s as easy as that!

3) Be More Adventurous

Now you’re eating more raw meals, it’s time to start experimenting with new ingredients. Do a bit of research and work some new raw foodstuffs into your meals. Try jicama, dandelion greens, nama shoyu, raw agave, or use shredded raw coconut flesh to give your salads extra crunch.

4) Prepare something you never thought could be raw!

It’s time to shake things up - raw veganism isn’t all about salads and snacking on fruit, after all! Branch out by finding a raw version of a popular cooked dish, such as raw soup, raw burritos (made with lettuce wraps) or raw sauces like sour ‘cream’ or raw ketchup. If you have adventurous friends, invite them round and wow them with some ingenious raw dishes. You’re more likely to stick at something if you’re having fun doing it!

5) Take the Plunge

You’ve probably heard about Meat Free Monday, where non-vegans and non-veggies are encouraged to give up meat for the day. Take this concept and apply it to your raw diet by setting aside one day a week where you’ll eat nothing but raw food. The benefit is that you’ll have a whole week to plan your menu, and because it’s only one day you’re less likely to feel deprived or get cravings. Again, you can make this day fun by preparing a raw meal for friends or family.

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  1. Dana Cherie
    Dana Cherie
    Hi Jessica, Thanks for sharing! Liked. I've been incorporating a lot more raw foods into my diet. I find that when I eat raw foods I feel great. Raw Mondays is an awesome idea. I'll have to try it! I totally agree with you about preparing something you didn't think could be raw. This one has been big for me. I went a long time without having cheese. Then I decided to try vegan cheeses. While I loved the taste, I didn't love how they made me feel. So I decided to try a raw cheese. It was a success! Now I make them regularly. They're such a great accent to my meals. I shared some of my favorite raw cheese recipes here. If you'd like, you can feel free to check out the article: http://www.theflamingvegan.com/view-post/Raw-Vegan-Cheese
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    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you, I'll take a look at your post!
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  2. dobema01
    Hi Jessica-I would say that's some great advice. I would add that those trying it out should focus on all-fruit smoothies in the morning and even for their lunch, and then dig into more fun/complicated meals for the evening with veggies and raw foodstuffs. A lot of people, including myself, struggle on a raw diet if there is not enough carbohydrate for the day. I used to eat a lot of nuts, thinking they were good for me in large quantities- how are you going to eat just FiVE almonds? :) I gained weyight, lost energy, and was confused about how to be healthy. I now eat a large proportion of my calories from fruit, and my energy and happiness are up, and my weight is going down slowly and consistently. I know- people are typically afraid of carbs, but really it is the high fat foods which make someone feel sluggish and lethargic- and gain weight! Our primary source of fuel for our nervous system is glucose, ie carbs. So, in light of personal experience, I would say starting out, aim for one to two fruit meals in the beginning of the day ( it digests faster than all other foods). For more information on eating fruit, check out Freelee Frugivore, princess Raw fruits Neet, Esperanza Vite, michael arnstein, douglas graham, Fully Raw Kristina, or Megan Elizabeth on YouTube.
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    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thanks for the advice - I love fruit smoothies for breakfast! I know what you mean about nuts though, I buy them as a healthy snack to have while I'm at work, and then end up dipping into the bag throughout the day - the calories can really add up that way!
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  3. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    Maybe there should be a raw day. And then work yourself further along. I guess I like sauces and flavoring too much. Voted.
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    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you! I think a raw day, like Meat Free Monday, would really encourage more people to give raw veganism a go!
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  4. Alex
    Alex
    Jessica, Thanks so much for sharing this. Enjoyed it. Will have to incorporate your ideas into my program. Voted. -Alex
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  5. Inge Scott
    Inge Scott
    I became vegan after a cancer diagnosis 2 years ago. I didn't think I was eating raw until I read your article. I drink green smoothies daily as part of my vegan diet. Who knew??? Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Namaste! Inge
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