I have been eating more raw foods as of late and have seen some pretty awesome results. Not only have I felt lighter and have trimmed up the waistline a bit, but I have more energy and feel better overall. Now I am not an advocate for a raw foods diet nor do I follow one myself, but I do believe that the bulk of our diet should consist of foods in their most natural form. This past weekend, I binged on bread, and lots of it, with a side of chocolate, pasta, and processed vegan meats. By Sunday night, I felt extremely weighed down and lethargic. I justified my poor eating decisions by it “being the weekend”. Now that the weekend is over, I am ready to jump right back into clean eating.
So what does it mean to eat mostly raw? Now don’t go to the kitchen and rip open that pack of raw chicken breast or start drinking your egg yolks unless you want Salmonella or E. Coli. In fact, just throw that away and never buy those things again. You’ll thank me later. Eating a mostly raw diet pertains to eating plant based foods in their natural form and without cooking them. There are ways to dehydrate your food and lightly cook them, but for the purpose of this post, I am referring to completely raw foods (raw fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, etc.).
Now just to be clear, I speak from personal experience and what has worked for me. There is no one size fits all to how we eat, what we eat, or how many calories you should have in a day. I have tried every single fad diet out there and none of them work for the long haul as most of them are very restrictive. Nobody thrives on a restrictive diet, and it just isn’t sustainable. The key to any sustainable diet is to find balance that works for YOU and turn that diet into a lifestyle.
What if I told you that you would never have to count calories again? What if you could eat as many carbs as you wanted? Yes. I said it… carbs. I have not counted calories or carbs since I adopted a vegan lifestyle 3 years ago. So throw away your Weight Watchers point book and delete those calorie counting apps. For the record, I have been on Weight Watchers and spent many years of my life counting calories.
Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this lifestyle. I’m not going to overwhelm you with facts and a lot of information (yet… stay tuned for the extended version later). It can be overwhelming. Here’s what you do: focus on eating raw foods in the early part of your day and cooked meals later in the day or just for dinner.
How will this help you lose weight? The first thing you will notice is you will lose a significant amount of water weight because raw foods are naturally low in sodium. When you reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, you naturally drop water weight. Furthermore, raw fruits and veggies are lower in calories, but very high in nutrition. Lastly, your taste buds will shift towards craving more healthy foods, and less junk.
Raw fruits and veggies digest very quickly, so it is important to plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of raw fruits, veggies, and nuts to snack on throughout the early part of your day. But guess what? You don’t have to cook your prepped raw foods so yay for saving time!
Now I know what you’re thinking, well what will my meals look like? It’s simple. Don’t overcomplicate this by thinking you need to go out to the store and buy tons of ingredients. You don’t. Keep it simple. You likely already overwhelm your body with too many ingredients, so the simplicity of this meal plan will give your digestive system a much needed break. Still confused? Don’t worry. I’ve prepared a 5 day meal plan and grocery list to help make this easier for you!
- 10-15 ripe bananas
- 1 bag spinach
- 1 bag frozen fruit of choice
- Fresh fruit of choice (I love watermelon and pineapple)
- Raw nuts of choice (cashews and almonds are my favorite)
- 1 bag or container of spring mix
- 3 avocados
- Veggies for salad (suggestions: cucumber, peppers, onion, tomatoes, and celery)
- Vegan dressing (I like Tahini Goddess)
- 1 lb bag of brown rice
- 2 bags stir fry veggies (I get the precut stir fry veggies from Kroger)
- Vegan chocolate bar
- Optional: Coconut water
- Optional: Low sodium soy sauce
Breakfast: smoothie with 2-3 ripe bananas, handful of spinach, 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen fruit, a handful of ice, and 1 cup of water. You can add coconut water if you’re feeling fancy. Blend in high speed blender.
Midmorning snack: Fresh fruit and a handful of nuts.
Lunch: Large salad with veggies of choice topped with avocado and vegan dressing.
Afternoon snack: Fresh fruit.
Dinner: Veggie stir fry with brown rice. Follow cooking instructions on package. Add salt and low sodium soy sauce sparingly.
Dessert: 1/4 vegan dark chocolate bar. I REALLY love Endangered Species vegan chocolate. It’s okay to indulge a little!
Note: I purposely did not add exact measurements because we are all built differently and require different amounts of food. Listen to your body. Eat what feels right. These are good foods, so if you’re still hungry, eat more. No deprivation here. This meal plan is open for you to eat as much as you want until you are satiated.
Please leave comments or questions below! I will answer every one of them.
(Disclosure: Please consult your doctor if you have any concerns with switching your meal plan. I am not a certified nutritionist or dietitian.)