Hi there, I am completely new to this group and have "tried"-( I am a chocolate fan!) the raw lifestyle. I still follow it loosely, but find that i work best when sticking to a lifestyle plan and scheduling my meals etc. Could anyone be so kind as to tell me how they start with this crazy journey?
-work out a budget for food needed
- work out the calories of food required
- plan and prep?
P.S I have checked out the Q and A area etc. Just want the unique perspective of fellow members.
Peace and love
A long story to how I came to this lifestyle, but here is how I started once I found it.
#1 took one weekend with some fruit and made a smoothie for breakfast each day. Playing with combinations to find what I liked.
#2 - Bought more fruit, did breakfast smoothies for a week.
#3 - got cronometer.com account, started eating smoothies for breakfast and lunch, added greens to the smoothies and finding I needed to eat more.
#4 - Set a date to be 100% vegan about 2 weeks away. Worked hard on trying different fruits, vegetables, and vegan foods to create a good number of options to eat and tracking everything so I could understand how to get different nutrients from different foods.
#5 - Go Vegan. I started out with fruit smoothies for breakfast and lunch. Usually bananas, frozen mangos, and then something else like strawberry, pineapple, dates, kale, spinach. Dinners were pasta, potatoes, some processed vegan foods, salads.
Steps #1 and #2 are when I started figuring out how much food I would need to make sure I added that into our budget. #1, #2, #3 all were working out how much food to eat to get nutrition. Following nutrition was more effective for me vs calories as if you get all the nutrition you need, you are almost certain to get lots of good plant based calories. If you want to get the nutrition you need, you can't restrict calories.
I also started a Youtube channel when I started the lifestyle to log my journey which I still do.
It has been recommended by many to keep a daily journal as well. I didn't. The point of the daily journal is to note what you eat, what you do, and how you feel. As you experience new foods you may find some that disagree with you. By having a journal you can more easily identify which foods created what feelings, be them digestive or otherwise.
For me the key to sticking to the raw diet is to plan ahead and have enough fresh fruit and vege on hand at all times to satisfy the highs and lows of energy and sweet tooth as well as fat cravings and crunch cravings. I say have on hand because I live out of town a far way and for me the local markets are a god send due to good price and quality of fruits and vege on offer.
The other thing is to eat enough so you are not hungry. If you are not fully raw then this is easy enough if you supplement your diet with cooked such as rice, pasta or potatoes
How I got started was on what was called Freelee's transition diet that allowed me to have store brought OJ and as much potato and store bought pasta sauce as I wanted. These concessions made it easy to make the leap to vegan while working a full time job and a half.
Go with it. Persist and if you fall off the wagon as I have many times, don't for heaven sake waste time and energy beating yourself but rather just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and mount your horse again and get riding.
This is my fourth year and I would never ever go back to the ill health or lack of conscience eating animals or dairy.
this is me for live - do or die.
Thanks Haven, thats really helpful.
I don't really remember. I had been vegetarian for about 13 years and had halfheartedly tried to get my dairy-consumption down several times. But never really thought about actually becoming vegan.
Then some day I saw an issue on: xkcd.org/1338
I was shocked by this. Some time after that, I just said: Let's try eating only vegan for some days and see how long I can make it.
Thing is: Once I commited to that, I started to google it and... well I obtained all that knowledge about things I didn't know before. I was consuming every youtube-video on the topic that I could find. Seeing all these healthy-looking folks and doctors talking about its benefits and the ethics sold this lifestyle to me. Gary Yourofsky, Freelee, Melanie Joy, Dr. McDougall and such.
4 days after I started my "Let's try it", I already decided that I never ever want to go back to consuming animal-products!
At first it was quite a cut from the culinaric point of view. My meal-plan was like: Strawberries with buns.
Then I experimented with cooking. Extremely easy meals. It tasted awful at first but I quickly discovered "Combino"-pasta-sauces. I know it's not really cooking either but with that stuff everything tastes delicious.
I just throw random vegetables together with rice or pasta, put the sauce on and it's a meal that tastes better than most vegan stuff I've eaten at restaurants. 8[
My favourite is lentils+pasta+lamb's lettuce+al arrabiata-sauce. The Lamb's lettuce is not cooked but instead added raw after the cooking!
Other than that I eat lots of fruits. Currently it's mostly persimmon. In the summer it was mostly melons and before that it was mostly strawberries. But also grapes, apples and bananas. I don't do many smoothies anymore and rather prefer fruit that I can eat right away.
At work I sometimes eat canned "Chili sin carne" from the microwave. It's okay but not as good as my cooked stuff!
I don't calory-count or cronometer or whatever. Simply not necessary. My weight is in normal healthy-range.
Oh, and I also eat simple bread and buns with vegan bread-spread and maremelade or cereals with soy-milk.
I'm really not good at working out stuff and planning things. I simply always keep a relatively good stock of the stuff that I use the most which is lentils, whole-wheat-pasta and combino-al-arrabiata of course! For fruit and vegetables I shop almost daily as I cannot really stock this in larger quantities before going bad.