I’ve been thinking about raw food again.
The weather’s been warmer, and in February I stopped keeping my pantry totally stocked. Instead I’ve just been buying fruits and vegetables on a regular basis (and other staples, when I run out – oatmeal, canned beans, etc). My fridge has been emptier. I stopped buying bread again.
In fact, these days, the only thing in my kitchen that isn’t vegan is grass-fed locally-grown beef from a farm that I visited last autumn. The only things that aren’t whole, unprocessed, natural foods in my kitchen essentially boil down to gluten-free brown rice pasta, greens powder and vegan protein powder.
I’ve been having lots more oatmeal again, particularly in the form of oat cakes (also known as “breakfast cookies” to you bloggers out there). I’ve been making lots of sweet potato chips to enjoy with homemade ketchup and such. I’ve been focusing more and more on vegan, lightly-cooked food, and I’ve come to the realization that now that winter is behind us (sort of ;)), I’m ready to try an entire summer of eating a high-raw, mostly-vegan diet.
I’m really excited to try this again, and to do it for longer than a month. Starting on April 1st and going until September 30th, I plan on eating a high-raw mostly-vegan diet. That’s six whole months!
My plan is to basically eat this way when I’m at home or at work. When I’m with other people, I’ll relax about eating meat or animal products and I won’t worry about the raw part. This is mainly because I don’t want to deal with the difficulty of food choices in social situations, and also so that I can avoid dealing with food judgment. Much of the reason why I wasn’t eating very clean this past winter was because I just got tired of the attitude that I’d get from others. Plus this will also give me a way to deal with cravings if my body wants eggs.
I’m going to focus on dehydrating foods and lightly steaming or baking them. I’ve also scouted out some “pre-packaged” raw foods, such as cheezy kale chips and raw granola bars, to help me make the transition if I feel I need it. I think it’s important to have those kinds of options on hand at the beginning of this journey to deal with cravings and such.
I’m also more concerned with eating a natural vegan diet, more so than the raw part. If I find the raw part to be problematic, that’s okay – I’ll focus on the veganism and gradually phase in the raw. But the most important thing is the natural part. There are so many vegan processed foods, like fake ground “beef” and such. I believe more in conscious eating… I’d rather, for example, be eating the locally-grown grass-fed beef from a farmer whom I have met and whose farm I’ve visited than eat fake “vegan beef” that was made in a factory thousands of miles away and has all kinds of strange ingredients in it. Raw pre-packaged products are, by definition, natural foods, so those ones are generally going to be better for you (and possibly for the environment) than vegan pre-packaged products. That being said, I want to use the raw pre-packaged foods for transition purposes only – ideally I’d prefer to not use them at all, and my hope is that by the end of the summer I won’t need any of them.
I’ve spent the past month working my way up to this, by having oats as my whole grains, and fruits/vegetables to make up the majority of the rest of my meals. Since I’ve been pretty good with making those three items my mainstays, the next part of my “project” is to reduce portion sizes.
Lastly, I don’t want to rely too too much on the protein powder in my oat cakes, so I’m thinking about adding a little ground flax or chia seeds to my green shakes for that extra protein/fat in my diet.
What do you think? Are you interested in trying out eating a high-raw, mostly-vegan diet for the summer of 2011? Do you have any advice for making the transition? Would you like some suggestions for how to transform your diet? Hit me up in the comments section!