Updated: Aug 10, 2018
What's raw veganism? What did we eat? How did we feel? Keep reading and find out.
I've been vegan a few months now and I've been able to find an awesome repertoire of simple and yummy whole foods plant-based meals to eat on a daily basis. I follow a lot of cool vegan bloggers on different social media platforms, and I've recently been exposed the concept of RAW veganism (ex: FullyRawKristina).
What is Raw Veganism?
This is a form of veganism which excludes the use of food and products of animal origin (obviously), as well as any food that has been cooked over around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If there's anything I love it's a little change and a challenge, so my friend Kat (who is also vegan) and I decided to try eating entirely raw for the August long weekend. We did meal planning in advance, went grocery shopping on the Friday and started eating raw on Saturday morning.
So... What Did You Eat?
Breakfast: Green smoothie bowl (spinach, pineapple, banana, dragonfruit, cashew milk)
Lunch: 1/2 (very) large watermelon
Dinner: Collard green burritos with lentil walnut taco 'meat'
Dessert: A truckload of cherries and half-frozen mangos
Breakfast: Green smoothie bowl
Lunch: 1/2 large watermelon
Dinner: Garden salad and raw falafel style patties
Dessert: Raspberry nice cream
Breakfast: Chia seed pudding with fresh fruit
Lunch: 1/2 large watermelon
Dinner: Zoodles (zucchini noodles) with homemade avocado pesto
Dessert: More mangos
I honestly had a lot of fun trying this out! I learned that I eat a lot of raw meals by default, but eating three raw meals a day was definitely a change from the norm. In some ways eating raw vegan was almost easier. Making meals was really easy and quick and there was no cooking required at al, meaning all of the meals were ready within under 15 minutes (all I had to do for lunch was cut a watermelon in half)!
It's been really warm here in Edmonton the last few weeks, so we really did this (accidentally) at the perfect time because Kat's garden was full of vegetables, the fruit at the store was in season and it was too hot to use the oven or stove anyways. Eating super fresh, whole foods tasted like more of a treat than a sacrifice and I consistently went to bed feeling super satiated.
Although I felt incredible for those few days, there were a few reasons why I didn't feel like continuing to eat like this was sustainable long term:
I found it was definitely more expensive to eat this way. I normally only spend 40$ for an entire week of groceries, but all the products needed for just my raw vegan cost just as much as my usual weekly grocery haul.
I'm also a big fan of meal prepping and all the fresh food required on a raw vegan diet goes bad quicker than my normal staples like lentils, tofu and tempeh.
Finally, when I returned to the gym on Monday morning my energy levels were unusually low, which is something I really haven't experienced at all in the last couple months. We'd been doing a lot of yoga on the weekend, but after doing a hard workout at the gym I definitely wasn't feeling so hot. Thankfully this was soon sorted after making some oatmeal when I got home.
I think that after having done that I'm going to actively try to incorporate more raw meals into my life (like the green smoothie), but doing raw veganism full time as someone who's trying to build muscle and not spend all my money on watermelons, this isn't a lifestyle I'd adopt for more than a few days or a few meals at a time.
Already I've seen a lot of positive changes after going just from vegetarian to vegan, and honestly ya girl has got to have her tofu. If you're curious about my experience you can check out my other blog post here. If you're curious about raw veganism, I'd definitely recommend trying out some of the recipes and seeing how you feel (especially the smoothie and the burritos, I linked them above!) and if you go full force, make sure to do a bit of planning and that you're eating a large volume of food.
Note: Starting to eat vegetarian or vegan might be a good first step! I recognize that going from omnivore to raw veganism your body might adapt a little differently than mine did.
Edited by Julia Moran