“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”
~ Buddha

It’s been six months since I began eating a diet comprised mainly of raw vegan food. For those of you who are new to this way of living, raw vegans eat a healthy diet comprised of uncooked fruits and vegetables, nuts and nut butters, seeds, sprouted grains, plant oils, and fresh juice. Raw vegans do not consume animal products, dairy products, highly processed food, or any food heated above 115°F.

The intention of this article is not to persuade you to become a raw vegan; it is to inspire you to eat more healthily and more mindfully. I am passionate about encouraging others to eat well so they can savor each moment of their lives with a healthy body. Even those who are not willing or able to make major changes to their diets can incorporate a raw meal into their diet once in a while.

Benefits of the Raw Vegan Diet

The most common question I receive from people who discover I eat raw food is, “why the heck do you eat this way”, and although I could discuss animal rights, sustainability, or how cooking destroys micro-nutrients and enzymes in food, I find that the simplest answer is, “because it makes me look and feel great!”

Since I began to eat raw vegan food, my eyes are whiter, my hair is shinier, and my skin is clearer. I have more energy, feel more youthful, and sleep 100x more soundly. My mind feels “clearer” and I find writing blogs and articles easier. I also process my emotions more efficiently, because there are fewer foreign chemicals in my body that would otherwise suppress them.

Overall the most powerful advantage of the raw vegan diet has been the spiritual benefit – I feel much more connected to Source Energy and feel like I’m vibrating at a higher oscillation. This makes sense if you consider that all the food transforming into “me” is packed with high vibrational, nutritionally dense energy.

Raw Vegan Diet Appliances

I found it difficult to stick to the raw diet before I bought the appliances that make it possible to eat more than just fruit and salads. After buying a few appliances, eating raw was not only easy but also fun and exciting. I found myself making raw versions of all the standard American favorites – lasagnas, pizzas, pasta, pie, and brownies, to name a few.

Food Processor

The first appliance I bought for the raw food diet was a Kichenaid food processor. I decided on the Kitchenaid because it has some of the best consumer ratings and is very easy to use and clean.

The most important consideration when buying a food processor is the size of the work bowl. I bought the 7-cup model, which is fine for most recipes, but if I had to buy another one I would invest in the 12-cup Kitchenaid model.

I use my food processor almost every day to make guacamole, raw pie crusts, raw brownies, and sundried tomato hummus.

Dehydrator

I purchased a dehydrator in January and it’s the one appliance that makes it easy for me to eat 100% raw. With a dehydrator you can make all the food you might crave from a traditional diet, such as bread, crackers, pizza, lasagna, cookies, and more.

I invested in the Excalibur dehydrator because it is the most common dehydrator among the raw vegan community. The Excalibur dries food evenly and efficiently and features an accurate temperature control. It comes either as a 5-tray or a 9-tray model. I bought the 9-tray Excalibur and I’m so glad I did, because it allows me to dehydrate food in large batches. I use my dehydrator regularly to make bread, wraps, and kale chips.

Spiralizer

The Joyce Chen spiralizer is perhaps the most fun and least expensive appliance in my raw food kitchen. I use it all the time to quickly cut spagetti-like noodles out of zucchini. There’s also a setting to cut wider, ribbon-shaped noodles that are a fantastic accompaniment to white “fettuccini” sauces made from cashew or macadamia nuts. You can also use a spiralizer to cut sweet potatoes, parsnips, or any other firm vegetable.

Sprouting Jar

A sprouting jar is another inexpensive, fun addition for your raw food kitchen. This handy jar makes it easy to grow sprouts from raw grains, which you can either eat raw or use to make raw breads or crackers. Most of the time I use my jar to sprout buckwheat which I use to make raw pizza crusts.

Mandoline

A mandoline is not a crucial appliance for the raw food diet but it’s a great addition to your kitchen if you have the space to store it. It slices vegetables super-thin, so you can make sweet potato chips or zucchini “noodles” for raw lasagna. I bought a high-end, stainless steel mandoline exactly like this one on Amazon. I don’t use it all the time but when I have an urge to make zucchini lasagna, I’m always glad to have it around.

Juicer

A juicer is the only appliance I haven’t had to purchase myself as my friend David from Nashville sent me an Acme Juicerator! I use it quite a lot, especially near the end of the week when I need to use up any overripe fruits or vegetables. My favorite juice so far is a blend of carrots, oranges, and ginger, which I then pop into my Vitamix blender with some ice to make a healthy slushie.

Vitamix Blender

The Vitamix Blender is the most recent addition to my raw kitchen. After burning out 2 inexpensive blenders in 5 months with raw recipes, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the blender everyone raves about – the Vitamix. The Vitamix is one of the most powerful blenders on the market and comes with a 7-year warranty. It has a cult like following in the raw food world. :)

Many of my raw friends told me that after I bought a Vitamix, I wouldn’t know how I lived without it. I have certainly found that to be true. I’ve even decided to become a Vitamix distributor because I’m so excited about this appliance. You can check out the latest special deals from Vitamix here.

What makes the Vitamix so much better than other blenders is that it microscopically liquefies the ingredients, creating much smoother drinks, soups, and sauces. The consistency is much more palatable but according to Vitamix, it has nutritional benefits as well:

“The Vitamix machine ruptures food cells down to a microscopic level, making more of the health-giving nutrients locked inside readily available for digestion. Without breaking down the food cells with your Vitamix machine, more of the nutrients will pass through your body without providing you with any nourishment.”

The price of a Vitamix was the only reason I didn’t buy one several months ago, but I realized that if I continued with the pattern of burning out 3 consumer blenders a year, that in the long run buying a Vitamix blender was less expensive than buying a crappy one.

In general I suggest investing in high quality appliances because you will use them all the time. Honor your body by purchasing wonderful appliances to help you maintain a healthy body – it’s an investment in your well-being.

The Best Raw Vegan Recipe Books

My local library is overflowing with raw vegan recipe books and I’m pretty sure I’ve borrowed every single one. I sifted through the library’s stash to help me decide which books to buy for my own raw food collection.

The first raw food recipe book I bought was Ani Phyo’s Raw Kitchen, and this is still my favorite. Ani’s recipe for black sesame sunflower bread continues to be one of my staples… I also like the recipe for her sundried tomato hummus and raw “sun burgers”.

The other book I use all the time is The Art of Living Raw Foods by Doreen Virtue and Jenny Ross. I love this book because it’s full of beautiful photos, and features the best raw lasagna recipe I’ve ever tasted.
I also love the raw marinara sauce, sprouted kamut black olive bread, and baja burritos.

Drawbacks of the Raw Vegan Diet?

The only drawback to the raw food diet is the inconvenience that arises when traveling or socializing. Though I find it easy to eat 100% raw in my own home, trying to maintain a raw vegan diet on the road or when socializing with friends can be somewhat boring.

Though I’ve become quite proficient at preparing and packing food for trips that require me to be away from home for a day or two, in the future I intend to loosen the reins and make exceptions when I’m away for longer periods of time or when I’m socializing. This is a conscious decision to eat cooked vegan food when eating raw is inconvenient. In the long run I think this will make it easier for me to stick with the raw diet.

The Adventure Continues…

If you feel inspired to switch from a traditional diet to a raw vegan diet, be aware that for most people, lasting dietary changes are an evolutionary process. In my own experience, eating raw was something that took three years to implement into my already-vegan routine.

I’ve experienced my ups and downs along the raw food path, but I can say with confidence that I have no intentions of returning to my old ways of eating. Though I don’t see anything inherently wrong with cooked food, I simply have no desire to eat it. For the most part I find cooked and processed food lifeless and unappealing.

I hope this article has inspired you to feed your bod with radiant, life-giving food. Until next time, bon appetit! :)

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5 thoughts on “Raw Vegan Diet for Beginners

  1. Pingback: Health, Wealth, and Happiness » Blog Archive » Thoughts Become Things

  2. simmi

    I was just thinking about raw yesterday…after a 3 hour walk on the beach, to settle a very bad stomach. I was remembering the great benefits in my raw trial…the sense of energy and positive outlook on life, the skin, the hair, no stomach reactions etc and wondering why it’s such a struggle for me to get back there.

    I really love what raw does to ones body, mind and spirit.

    So thanks for the reminder.

    Reply

  3. Pingback: Benefits of Raw Vegan Diet | The Vegan Diet

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