How to Start a Raw Vegan Diet

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People start raw vegan diets for many reasons, including weight loss, the health benefits, and detoxing. A vegan diet contains only plant sources for food and nutrients, and excludes all animal products, and a raw diet is where no food is cooked. Because a raw vegan diet is full of organic fruits, vegetables, and superfoods that haven’t been cooked to eliminate the nutrients, it can give your body everything it needs for maximum health benefits. If this motivates you, there are ways to begin a raw vegan diet.

  1. Consider talking to a nutritionist. If you are serious about starting a raw vegan diet, talk to a nutritionist. A qualified nutritionist can help you plan meals, readjust your daily routine, and help you get all the proper nutrients you need.
  2. Start slow. Even if you are vegan, it can be overwhelming or difficult to transition to a raw diet. Don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, try doing it one day at a time, or one meal at a time. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t jump into the diet immediately. You will need an adjustment period. Try being raw until dinner time. This can be a great method if you are only going partially raw. You eat raw until dinner, then eat some cooked foods with your dinner.
  3. Make a list of raw foods you like. One way to get started with a raw diet is to make a list of raw fruits and vegetables you already enjoy. This gives you a basis to start building your list of foods and menu. Make a list of raw foods you’d like to incorporate more into your diet. What would you like to eat or to try? Add these to your foods list.
  4. Eliminate foods from your diet slowly. By transitioning to a vegan raw diet, you will eliminate a lot of foods from your diet, like sugar, salt, dairy, grains, and processed foods. Start slowly. Try getting rid of one food type at a time. This can help you ease into this new eating lifestyle.

Refined forms of sugar, like dextrose, corn syrup, rice syrup, and malt, should be avoided. You can substitute with raw honey, raw agave, maple syrup, raisins, or dates. Stevia, coconut sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon are best. Also don’t use artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and Splenda. Stay away from all white or processed sugars.

Salt should be eliminated from your diet. However, some people on raw diets use minimal salt. If you are going to use salt, don’t use table salt or salt without any chemical additives, like iodized salt. Instead, use unrefined sea salt, or organic salt from plants, like celery or seaweed.

  1. Use organic, raw-friendly herbs and spices. Not all herbs and spices are appropriate for a raw diet. When using spices, make sure they are organic and air-dried without preservatives and other agents. With herbs, grow your own herbs and eat them fresh. You can dry your own herbs and spices, too.

Check to see if the herbs or spices have been dried using heat. If so, it’s not raw.

Some people who follow a raw diet don’t use spices. They follow the idea that you can only eat something if you can make a meal of it, and since you can’t make a meal of a spice, you shouldn’t eat it. They also believe the spices are toxic because they confuse taste buds and give no nutritional benefit.[ You will have to decide if spices are allowed in your own personal raw diet.

  1. Get the proper kitchen appliances. A raw vegan diet requires different appliances than a traditional diet. You will need a juicer, dehydrator, blender, food processor, and hand blender. You may also want to get a mandolin or vegetable slicer. You also will need a food thermometer, cutting board, and knives.
  2. Consider a partly raw diet. Since a diet that is entirely raw and vegan can eliminate important nutrients, consider eating a partial or mostly raw diet. You need to make sure you get enough iron, zinc, B12, omega-3s, and vitamin D. Make sure you incorporate these nutrients into your diet.

Eating the Right Foods

Start with raw foods everyone eats. Everyone, regardless of diet, eats raw foods. An easy way to start the raw vegan diet is to eat what you are familiar with: salads, smoothies, salsas, guacamole, and fresh raw vegetables and fruit.

Make smoothies. Smoothies are one of the best ways to eat raw. Throw in all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Smoothies make good breakfasts and snacks.

Learn to juice. Juicing is another popular way to eat with a raw diet. After you invest in a juicer, you can juice almost all fruits and vegetables. Popular things to juice are celery, carrots, and greens like spinach and kale.

You can also juice most fruits, which adds nice flavor to your juice.

Buy organic. To get the most out of your raw vegan diet, make sure to buy organic. This ensures you are not getting any harmful toxins from your raw foods. This can be expensive, so you may need to start small at first.

Eat leafy greens. One of the major staples of a raw vegan diet are leafy greens. You can use leafy greens for salads, in smoothies, or when juicing. Leafy greens include kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, arugula, and lettuce.

Include soaked and sprouted grains. When you eat grains as a raw vegan, make sure to soak and sprout the grains. Grains you can use for this diet are amaranth, millet, barley, buckwheat, kamut, oats, wheat berries, and wild rice. You should also limit the amount of sprouted grains you eat since they contain irritants.You can steam grains, just make sure to keep it at a low temperature. Make sure the grains you eat are gluten free.

Some people believe you shouldn’t eat grains at all on a raw vegan diet.

You can also sprout some legumes. However, some people believe that larger beans, like soybeans, are not healthy. By sprouting them, you can eliminate what some believe are toxins, but they don’t taste the best. Generally, people on a raw vegan diet don’t eat legumes.

Sprouts, such as radish, clover, and broccoli, are safe raw.

Cook with healthy oils. Healthy oils are important to a raw vegan diet. They are a great source of healthy fat. You can use them for salad dressings, desserts, dips, and toppings.

Try using coconut oil, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, walnut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.

Snack on nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are great additions to your raw vegan diet. You can use them on top of salads, as snacks, in desserts, to make crackers, and in many other things.

Try almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds, among numerous others.

Find sources of omega-3 fats. Fish are not the only source of omega-3 fats. Vegan-friendly sources include:

Seeds, such as flaxseeds (golden or dark brown), chia seeds, or hemp seeds, which can all be raw

Leafy green vegetables, like the greens of beets, radishes, mustard, collard, Swiss chard, turnips, spinach, kale, Chinese cabbage (bok choy), cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, arugula, field greens, purslane, and romaine lettuce, which can also be raw

Eat sources of vitamin B12. Sources of vegan-safe vitamin B12 include fortified cereals and fortified yeast products. You can mix with nuts or seeds to make a snack mix.

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