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Raw Vegan Food for Beginners

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Raw Vegan Food for Beginners

The first time you hear about raw food, it might seem daunting. Hard, tasteless, repetitive, and cold, are some of the adjectives most people use to describe this journey. But it does not have to be that way.

We are excited to guide you through the essentials of creating a meal plan for a raw food lifestyle, this journey will become something you look forward to.

 

1.  What to Eat As a Raw Vegan

What to look for when eating a raw vegan food diet:

  • cruciferous and leafy green vegetables
  • onions and garlic
  • mushrooms
  • seaweed
  • microgreens/ sprouts
  • fermented foods
  • low-sugar fruits
  • nuts and seeds (soaked)

Make a list of these raw diet items and keep them in mind when grocery shopping and preparing your meals.

The raw food meal plan avoids animal products, ultra-processed and processed foods, and added sugars. Remember, just because it is vegan, does not mean it is healthy!

2.  How to Choose the Most Healing Foods as a Raw Vegan

It is very important to learn how to read labels and to choose the best raw vegan foods. Some of the most important things to look for are:

  • Eat whole plants
    • Eat plant foods, whole, uncooked and unprocessed.
  • Organic/ Regenerative
    • Whenever possible buy organic raw foods, and ideally regenerative food. Regenerative agriculture, as stated by the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation, “It’s a vision for a future agriculture that combines indigenous knowledge with western science and technology, a future that re-establishes relationships between humans, crops, animals, soil, and ecosystems.” These raw foods are more nutritious and contain fewer
  • Local and in-season is even better
    • Local and in-season raw food is healthier and more energizing because it hasn’t been picked, handled by many people, or traveled long distances before reaching you.
  • Carefully read labels
    • Avoid hidden additives and sugars, things like MSG, colorings, artificial flavorings, sucralose, dextrose, acesulfame K, etc.
  • Avoid foods with higher chemical and toxin load
    • Check the Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list that provides you with a guide on pesticides found in food.
    • For produce with higher pesticide content (Dirty Dozen), always opt for organic. Produce with less contamination (Clean Fifteen) can be okay not to buy organic.
  • Avoid animal products, including dairy
    • Dairy promotes an acidic environment in your body.
  • Avoid vegetable oils and spreads
    • Including canola, corn, sunflower, peanut, and soybean oils, and margarine.
  • Avoid processed and ultra-processed foods, even if they are plant-based
    • This includes chips, crackers, cakes, cookies, store-bought dressings, etc.

Some apps and websites may also help you make better raw food choices when purchasing your food and body care products.

Helpful Tools for Food and Body Care Shopping


3.  How to Prepare for the Raw Vegan Lifestyle

The most important factor in being successful is being prepared.

Start preparing for your healthy raw food journey today by taking immediate action steps!

1.  Raw Vegan Kitchen Appliances

•  What appliances do you already have in your kitchen?
•  Check our list of recommended Kitchen Appliances and Equipment and preorder appliances that you don’t yet have and may be useful for your new journey. You do not have to have all of these appliances! Don’t feel overwhelmed, you can start your journey with just a kitchen board and knife!

2. Weekly Raw Meal Plans

•  Creating a raw vegan meal plan ahead of time will help you tremendously when it is time to get in the kitchen and get started.
•  Look at some of the recipes we provide with this guide and the many recipes on our website and design a weekly or daily meal plan that can work for your likes/ dislikes and available time for food preparation! That soon becomes very time-consuming, and unattainable.
•  Set yourself up for success by defining attainable goals. Maybe choose a meal, like a breakfast that you like, and repeat that every day with minor changes.
•  Having some things ready to use, like microgreens, avocados, nuts, and seeds, that you can easily throw in a salad is always a good idea.

The app Daily Dozen from Dr. Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org, may help you keep track of your daily intake of some healthy foods!

3.  Raw Diet Grocery List

•  With your meal plan finalized, make a list of the items you need to buy.
•  Start with all the produce and fresh ingredients, that hopefully you can find organic in a local Farmers Market or grocery store.
•  For pantry items, use the Grocery Shopping List – Pantry Foods we provide with this Guide to help stock your house with the healthy raw foods you are going to need to make the recipes you have selected.

There is also an app, OurGroceries, that can help you organize your grocery list and help ensure you don’t forget what you need to buy.

4.  Research and contact stores, local farms, and suppliers

•  Make sure you can find whole organic foods, supplements, and clean household and body care products.
•  Search in local stores and suppliers, but also online, where more health-friendly products are available and can be shipped almost anywhere.
•  Look for local farmers’s markets and CSAs in your area. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and “is an organized process involving the distribution and growth of organic produce. This connects farmers with the community at large.” Contact local farms to get fresh, in-season, and local produce, microgreens and mushrooms.

5.  Look for raw or vegan healthy restaurants near you

•  Raw vegan restaurants are not easy to find in certain locations. Vegan restaurants are more common, but not always exactly healthy.
•  Look around your area for the best possible options, and you can always go to a regular restaurant and order a salad, with no dressing. We know that eating out as a raw vegan is not ideal, but it will come up eventually, and it is better to be prepared by knowing the best options.

Some Apps can also provide you with good options when eating out:

  • Happy Cow app and web – vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants worldwide
  • Vegan Maps app – vegan restaurants in the United States
  • Vanilla Bean app – vegan, vegetarian, and “flexitarian” restaurants in the US


4.  Find More Information

Education is the pillar of progress and success. Even when wanting to start something seemingly “simple” as a new eating program, it is paramount to get knowledgeable about the why and what you are doing.

An Oasis of Healing blog is a great place to start. There we cover hundreds of interesting and useful topics, such as Raw Food Myths, How to Eat Warm Food on a Raw Diet, Fasting and Time-Restricted Eating, and several raw vegan recipes, among many other posts.

Following our founder, Dr. Thomas Lodi, @drthomaslodi and us @anoasisofhealing, on different social media platforms will give you a plethora of knowledge and tools to help you live a healthy lifestyle.

More than anything, read. Read good books on all of these topics! Learn, be curious, discover, be a little more curious, and become your own health advocate!

Our new recipe book, available for purchase online  Stop Making Cancer – A Raw Vegan Recipe Book, is also full of raw vegan recipes, time tested and delicious. So find your favorites and get started! 

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Vanessa Pinto graduated with a degree in Biology and Masters in Ecology from Lisbon University. After graduating, she underwent a series of professional and personal growth experiences, including being an officer in the Portuguese Army, working in countries as diverse as Iceland and Costa Rica.  Vanessa became certified as a Yoga and Meditation teacher in rural India.

Being a compassionate person by nature, Vanessa is able to bring her connectedness when working with others while enhancing the importance and practicality of a pragmatic evidence-based approach to facilitating lasting and permanent change. Vanessa is a certified health coach whose specialties are nutrition, exercise, and mind/ body connection.  She works both in Portugal, Thailand and USA, where she develops her work closely with people diagnosed with cancer, mainly in the areas of nutrition, movement and health education.

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