Part One) What is Raw Vegan Food?
Q: What is a "Raw Vegan"? I'm scared and possibly disgusted.
Don't let the "raw" part intimidate you! A raw vegan's diet consists of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Most raw food is unheated but can be heated (usually in a dehydrator) up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Meat, eggs, dairy, and animal-based products are not eaten on a raw vegan diet.
Q: Will eating raw vegan food make me sick?
Highly doubtful. You've eaten lots of raw vegan food without issue: salads, guacamole, salsa- all fundamentally raw. Just think of it as a different way to get more whole, unprocessed fruits and veggies into your diet!
Q: Why don't Raw Vegans heat their food?
Raw Vegan foods are also called "living foods" because they're still alive (!) and teaming with enzymes! Research shows a percentage of enzymes and nutrients are destroyed when food is heated to over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds corny but when you eat food that's alive, you're more alive!
Q: Can I lose a lot of weight on a raw vegan diet?
Not necessarily. Most people that switch to a diet of mostly plant based foods will experience initial weight loss, but you still have to balance what you eat. The numbers on the scale creep back up when I indulge in too many raw chocolates and pies just like it would when I'd have the cooked versions, but not as dramatically. (Bonus: raw deserts rock because they digest easy, provide nutrients, and help you feel healthy because they're made from plants based foods rather than refined sugar and flour.)
Q: Where do you get your protein on a raw vegan diet?
Nuts and seeds are rich is protein, minerals, and omegas. Many fruits and vegetables have ample protein as well. Something to consider: we don't need as much protein as is often taught. Too much protein is detrimental- source. And another good one here.
Q: Are you 100% raw vegan? I'm about 98% raw vegan. I travel, go out, and receive food from friends. I'll make certain exceptions for cultural and social experiences. You don't have to be 100% raw to feel and see a difference!
Part Two) How Do You Prepare Raw Vegan Food?
Raw recipes can be just as time intensive and complex as cooked ones, the creativity involved is addictive! I typically mix mine up salad style and blend delicious pâtés, soups, and dressings with my trusty vitamix blender. You can make raw version of everything: soup, sandwiches, smoothies, salad, cookies, pie, candy, sky's the limit!
Essential Tools include:
Blending: Blender (usually a vitamix or blentec), Food Processor, Citrus juicer, Juicer (machine), Blixer
Slicing: spiralizer, mandolin slicer, peeler, good slicing knives, cutting board
Food Prep: funnel, grater, strainer, measuring cups and spoons, dehydrator, mixing bowls, nut milk bags
Utensils: whisk, spatulas, tongs, ice cream scooper, ladel, mixing spoons
Part Three) So Tell Me About Those Health Benefits!
Guess the ages of the three beautiful raw vegan authors and advocates below. Got your guesses down?
Alright, the reveal!: 1) Ani Phyo: 45 3) Annette Larkins: 70 (!) 3) Mimi Kirk: 72 (!!!) Witches! Vampires! Aaah!
Mimi and are Annette nearly three times my age and they would easily beat me in a swimsuit competition. The proof abounds, the abundance of enzymes and nutrients in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds alkalize your body. It's literally anti-aging food!
I will continue to write on the science behind raw vegan eating, tools and techniques, and of course, with more delicious recipes. When I slip from eating mostly raw plant based foods I see and feel the difference immediately: I gain weight, lose energy, and my complexion looks dull. Eating raw keeps me energetic, lean, and happy! I never feel deprived, my skin glows, and it's creatively fulfilling and environmentally friendly. I want you to feel the same way and incorporate a few of the simple, healthy, and delicious raw recipes I share into your life. Increase yo fruit and veggie intake, you will feel the difference! I promise.