Beans – Improve Your Heart Health With This Protein Rich Superfood While the term “bean”…
Raw Food Diet Options – Vegan, Vegetarian and ‘Primitive’ Raw
If you are interested in switching to a raw diet for the health benefits, or to lose weight, or for any other reason, you will quickly discover that there are several paths that you can take. In fact, the options are sometimes confusing. There’s no point in starting out on a new and healthy way of eating if you are not going to be able to stick to it, so it’s best to be sure of your way forward before you start.
It’s not always possible to say which is the ‘best’ way with a raw diet because each of the different plans will suit some people. Here, you will find information on different options that you may choose to follow, including their ‘rules’ as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Vegan Raw Diet
A vegan is a person who eats no foods from animal sources. This means no meat or fish of course, but it also means no dairy products, eggs, or honey. Most vegans will also cut out regular wine, which uses fish products in the filtering process, as well as avoiding items made from animal skins like leather.
A raw vegan eats none of those foods and in addition, does not eat any food that has been heated above 118 degrees F. These uncooked foods are called living foods because the living elements and enzymes have not been heated to a point where they are killed. Most processed foods are not raw.
The raw vegan diet consists mainly of fruit, raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted beans and cold-pressed virgin oils. From specialty stores online you can also order some processed foods that are raw, including raw chocolate, grains, “superfoods”, etc.
Vegetarian Raw Diet
The vegetarian raw diet is like being a raw vegan except that you would add raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products to your diet. These carry extra risk of food poisoning and are not recommended for children, elderly people, pregnant women or people with lowered immune systems or chronic diseases.
Unpasteurized dairy products cannot be legally sold in some jurisdictions because of these risks. Nevertheless, some people following a raw diet choose to eat them, mainly for the calcium benefits.
Primitive Raw Diet
The primitive raw food diet or Paleolithic diet is based around the hunter-gatherer idea of human society. People following this diet eat only what would be available to a hunter-gatherer society without fire for cooking. This does not include farmed grains or dried foods like dried beans, or the products of farmed animals including dairy products and eggs. It does include some raw fruit, some vegetables, nuts plus raw fish and some types of raw meat.
It is not safe to eat raw pork or poultry because of the risk of bacterial food poisoning. In addition, most people following a primitive raw diet would avoid any animal that has been fed on grain-based cattle feeds. The ideal is to eat only grass-fed, organic beef, buffalo etc, along with wild (not farmed) raw fish.
The primitive diet is very restricted and raises more health issues than the other types of raw food plan. At the same time, a lot people are not attracted to the idea of eating raw meat. Others are strongly in favor of this plan and point out that all types of raw diet have some restrictions and health concerns. You should probably consult with a health professional before following a raw diet plan.
Your Raw Food Diet Plan
A raw food diet plan can be helpful for anybody who is interested in following a raw way of eating. Most of us think we know what foods are raw and what are not, but it is a big step to go straight into a 100% raw diet. There’s a lot to consider before you take that step.
You need to take into account several important issues when you are considering the raw food way of life, and the different options that you might choose as there are many ways to follow a raw food diet plan.
A Raw Food Diet Plan That Is Not Bland and Boring
Many people start on the raw food lifestyle full of enthusiasm, only to fall off the wagon after a few days. One of the most common reasons for this is that they are eating the same thing over and over.
To avoid this trap, be sure to explore your options before you start. Read raw food recipe books and check online websites. Join a raw food group in your city or an online forum. Take some training or go on to a raw retreat or festival. Don’t limit yourself to plates of fruit, nuts and salad, there are tons more things you can do.
A Raw Food Diet Plan That Is Flexible
Another reason for quitting the raw food path is that if you do not think laterally, you can end up believing that the plan is very inflexible. It may be fine while you are preparing food for yourself at home, but what happens when you want to eat in a restaurant, or at a friend’s house, or when you attend a wedding or go on vacation? All of these events need some planning, or you will find it very difficult indeed to stick to your raw food diet plan without cheating.
If you are going to a restaurant, check the menu ahead of time. If possible, choose a restaurant that offers plenty of salad options, and maybe take along some avocado and fruit to add to your meal. Eating at a friend’s home or at a special event is much easier if you take along at least one dish that you know will keep you satisfied if there is nothing provided that you can eat. Be prepared to share it and you may even convert others!
A Raw Food Diet Plan That Meets Our Nutritional Requirements
The human body was built on the assumption that we would eat from a wide range of foods. This means that our digestive systems are very flexible but it has also resulted in certain vitamin and mineral requirements. When you follow any kind of restrictive diet, including a raw food diet plan, you need to make sure that these nutritional requirements will be met.
Despite what many people think, this is possible to do on a raw food diet plan. Remember, our bodies were not designed to eat a diet based around hamburgers and fries! Vegetarian foods in their natural, unprocessed state are much more likely to give us a balanced diet than the type of foods eaten by many people in the US and other Western nations. You just need to check that you are getting the nutrients you need, which can be done by using an online diet tracking website like Fitday or MyFitnessPal.
Protein is a common concern for raw vegans. When you tell friends or family that you are following a raw diet, they will often ask where you get your protein. But in fact, our protein requirements are pretty low and it’s not likely that anybody eating plenty of raw vegetables would ever suffer from a protein deficiency. Fruit is lower in protein but even on a high fruit diet, a few nuts or sprouted beans every day will boost your protein intake.
We do not need to eat meat to get enough protein. A well-balanced raw food diet plan can easily satisfy your protein needs.
The Raw Diet For Health And Weight Loss
The raw diet for health and weight loss could be the way to go if you want to lose weight while also increasing your energy and switching to a more natural way of eating.
The raw diet for health and weight loss can help you to lose weight naturally without even trying. That sounds like the worst kind of ad, I know, but it’s true – in a way. You don’t have to count calories or run marathons to lose weight with a purely raw diet – your body should naturally settle at a healthy weight – but the diet itself is not easy to stick to. You need a lot of enthusiasm to stay with the raw lifestyle.
The good news is that many people find that eating raw gives them the energy and spiritual strength to continue. Once you have eaten a purely raw diet for health and weight loss for a couple of weeks, you will have sampled the benefits that raw food can bring and you will probably not want to stop!
Be sure to give yourself plenty of variety by changing around the raw foods that you eat and trying new recipes at least a couple of times a week (more often in the beginning). This will help you to keep on track. The raw way of eating is a restricted diet so you must also be sure to cover all of your nutritional requirements. The simplest way to do this is to log in to a site like Fitday.com and track your eating there.
You may find that it is difficult to satisfy all of the daily requirements for vitamins and minerals on a raw diet – but if you complete the diary with the average person’s regular meat-eating cooked diet, you will probably find the same is true. Many people assume that they get all of the nutrients they need on a standard Western diet, when in fact they don’t. The best solution to nutritional deficiencies, if you do not mind a slight deviation from the pure raw diet for health and weight loss, is to take supplements for any vitamins and minerals that are lacking in your raw diet.
Many people want to increase their energy levels, improve their weight and drop a few pounds without becoming a raw food fanatic. If you do not want to go 100% raw at this time, you may want to pick a partially raw diet for health and weight loss. Most people do this by eating 100% raw at one or two meals per day and then having some cooked food at dinner. This can still have a lot of the benefits of eating raw food but be aware that the benefits can vary hugely depending on what type of cooked food you eat.
If you have fruit for breakfast, a big salad or other raw option for lunch, and then have vegetable soup or a meat-free hotpot with rice and pulses for dinner, you should see some health benefits including weight loss if you are overweight. But if you are having two raw meals a day and then going out for a hamburger with super size fries every night, followed by a pint of ice cream in front of the TV, you are not going to lose weight so easily!
Of course, if you have any health issues you should consult with a doctor before starting on a raw diet for health and weight loss.
Raw Detox Possible Side Effects
A raw detox can be a great way to cleanse your digestive system. By concentrating on eating only raw foods for a period of 7-10 days, you may be able to recharge your whole system.
Many people find that they experience an energy boost from eating a raw food diet. Some people report feeling “cleaner” or more alive spiritually. In addition, it often helps with digestive problems. Nevertheless, there can be side effects.
If you are somebody who eats healthy all of the time, you should not suffer too many detox symptoms. However, most of us have not followed a healthy eating plan all of our lives and we do have some toxins stored.
If you have had a very unhealthy diet until now, or have been eating badly recently, you could suffer from “detox flu” or other symptoms. You need to be aware of some of these symptoms so that you are well prepared before you start.
Why do we suffer from side effects on a raw detox or other cleansing diet? Some experts say that when we consume a lot of toxins along with our food, the body cannot process and excrete them all. For safety, it stores them, often in a protective fat cell. When you begin a detox diet, it’s as if the body thinks, “Way to go! Now we can unload all of those stored toxins!” So it pours them out into the bloodstream for processing by the liver and other organs. With all those toxins in your bloodstream, you are likely to suffer from some side effects.
One of the most common side effects of a raw detox (or any cleanse) is headaches. Often these are caused by caffeine withdrawal. If you are used to having a lot of coffee or other caffeine drinks (including cola) then you are likely to suffer from headaches when you stop. Even stopping three cups of coffee a day can give you withdrawal symptoms.
The headaches from caffeine withdrawal can be annoying and you probably want to avoid them. But you will not want to take painkillers during your raw detox. So what is the solution?
The best thing to do is to cut down on your caffeine consumption slowly before beginning a detox or cleanse, until you reach the point where you are having only 1-2 cups a day. Then start your raw detox and you should have no caffeine-related headaches.
If you don’t want to do this because you want to start your raw detox right away, then you may have to drink some coffee during the time of your detoxification diet. This means that it will not be a 100% raw detox, but maybe that’s not so important. You will want to avoid adding pasteurized milk, sugar and sugar substitutes to your coffee, because these are not raw ingredients.
Other common side effects of a raw detox include tiredness, digestive upsets and cravings. These may be caused by toxins exiting the system or simply by the sudden change of food.
Provided these symptoms are only a side effect of your raw detox, they will not be dangerous. If you are concerned about the severity of your side effect symptoms, you can easily end them by adding some cooked or prepared foods to your diet at one meal per day. This will reduce the power of your raw food cleanse, but it may make it more comfortable for you.
If you are feeling very tired, ask yourself whether you are eating enough, and consider adding more higher calorie raw foods like banana, nuts and avocado. Try a banana and avocado smoothie with raw cacao powder – it’s delicious! If you are craving salty foods, go for foods that are naturally higher in sodium, like celery.
Of course, if you have any health issues you should be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a raw detox or any other special diet.
Raw Food Retreat – Plunge Into The Raw
For anybody interested in the raw food diet, a raw food retreat can be an awesome way to plunge into the raw lifestyle. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned raw food fan, a raw retreat is an opportunity to pick up new ideas and be enthused or re-energized by contact with other dedicated raw practitioners.
A Raw Food Retreat – What To Expect?
There are different types of raw retreats. Some are run at heath resorts and offer raw food cuisine alongside other regular health retreat offerings such as massage, spa baths, exercise and perhaps beauty treatments.
Others may be organized at a hotel or conference center by a raw food chef, where the emphasis is much more firmly on food. During this type of raw food retreat you will probably spend more time in class, learning to prepare delicious raw dishes.
Not all raw retreats offer food preparation classes, so if that is what you want, be sure to check out the program before you book. As well as learning to prepare some delicious meals, if you are a beginner you will probably want to have some training in issues like nutrition and balancing your diet.
Many people start out restricting themselves to very basic foods, but it’s not necessary to try to live on fruit and nuts alone. There are plenty of gourmet raw food meals that you can learn to prepare. A raw food retreat can give you the confidence to be much more adventurous when looking at raw recipes.
It is also possible to take a retreat or a residential course where you learn to teach others to prepare delicious raw meals and follow the raw lifestyle.
If you want the company of other raw food enthusiasts in a less structured setting, you might want to consider attending a raw food festival. The best known of these is Raw Spirit in the USA, but there are more and more alternatives being organized now in other states and countries including the UK and Australia.
You also have the possibility of leaving your own country to participate in a raw food retreat in a climate where plenty of raw food is grown locally. You can find these retreats in countries like Honduras or Costa Rica.
A raw food retreat offers you the opportunity to get away from it all. You can find retreats in a jungle, forest or beach setting. You can combine an internal food-related cleanse with a long, detoxifying break from the stresses and environmental pollution of everyday life in the city.
Most retreats offer yoga and other physical programs to help move those toxins out of your system. But the main benefit for most people is to have everything clean, fresh and natural going into the body: breathing clean air, eating pure raw food, avoiding stress and bad attitudes.
If you are hesitating over the cost, you can think of it as a once in a lifetime experience – but you will probably want to go back for more! Many people are so happy with their retreats that they go back year after year. A raw food retreat can be a genuinely life changing experience.