I'm a Raw Food Dude. I Drink My Greens!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Linda Wooliever of Vermont Fiddle Heads and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

What I love about the raw food movement is that it teaches people to eat locally, from their own garden, local farmers or community supported agriculture, as well as wild harvested foods, and to prepare and eat minimally processed whole foods. I love that raw foods are some of the best food I have ever tasted, jam packed with water and flavor!

But I don't necessarily like all aspects of the raw food movement. It can be strict and somewhat purist and the message that you can eat whatever/whenever you want so long as it is raw. I took a lot of the messages to heart even though some didn't intuitively make sense. I wanted to believe what I read. I said to myself, "Well, it seemed to work for other people, so why not me?"

I like experimenting with new foods and ideas, so I gave myself a green light to eat WAY too much fat on the raw food diet. I also gave myself the go ahead to eat a lot of raw chocolate, which can also be high in fat and while it is very fun to use wild with raw cacao, I don't recommend it for daily use. Long story short, I began to gain weight on raw food.

Despite having a relatively low caloric intake, most of my calories were coming from fat. After 8 years and much experimentation with my raw foods diet, I started to feel a bit run down and I was a little perplexed about what to do. The books that recommend a low-fat raw food diet, don't really explain how to do it because when it comes time to show recipes, these recipes are nut-rich, very dense and heavy.

Thankfully my friend gave me Dr Fuhrman's book to read as a gift and I really felt grateful for it. His message was very similar to some raw food dudes that I applaud who also extol the importance of a low-fat, minimally-processed, vegan diet. What I REALLY appreciated was actually spelling out the daily food intake goals per day, i.e. a pound of raw greens and other veggies, a pound of cooked greens, etc.

This helps a lot of people, I think, and it helps a person like me. I can very easily adapt how I eat to this daily plan and I make it easy and delicious. I finally felt like I was getting some guidelines that seem doable and sensible. This is a lifestyle and not a diet.

Image credit: mikaela_

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diane lassen - April 14, 2009 10:09 AM

Linda, I agree with you. Guidelines help so much because it is so easy to go crazy on all of these supposedly healthy diets and in so doing, eat totally unhealthfully! Knowing that we are trying to consume a large quantity of green veggies daily allows us to do so in whatever means is attractive and delicious to us. One of the first things I explain to my clients is the need for nutrient-dense green foods. raw, cooked, in smoothies, this is something I put at the forefront of my healthy living program. And I change with the seasons, eating more cooked veggies in cold months and more raw in the warm months as our bodies need help with the cooling and heating systems!
ANd I still recommend a healthy dose of organic, fair-trade, magnesium and flavenoid-rich dark chocolate! Good for the body and for the soul!
Diane Lassen, RN, HHC

Linda Wooliever - April 14, 2009 1:39 PM

Thanks Diane! It seems to make a world of difference to give these guidelines to people that are making such a shift in their diet/lifestyle. I've read a great number of raw food books out there and they all have merit. There is only one book that I know of which really spells out how to eat a low-fat, raw food diet but it is centered around fruitarian ideas. For me, that doesn't work. I tried it for a few weeks and it just didn't work - period. I'm much more of a greens person. Greens are the healers - they are the things that help my husband's asthma - they give me great energy - my skin looks great - they help my kids stay healthy, etc.

I'm really having lots of fun incorporating LOTS of green smoothies each day to get my pound plus of greens a day. My friend is following a point-system diet plan and I told her to get on board with the green smoothies because it's a lot of fiber-rich food that is very little points. I just took a walk with her today, in fact, and she's totally loving feeling so stuffed on these smoothies and she's losing weight feeling full and satisfied. You can't beat that!

And believe me, I'm not knocking raw chocolate - it's got a lot of great things going for it and it's hella delicious. I'm writing from the perspective of a person who has had an "addictive personality" with regards to certain foods. For me, raw chocolate was getting way out of hand and so once again, this idea of the guidelines of keeping it in the 10% part of the day or week totally works for me. Kudos to Dr. Fuhrman on that because it was just the right medicine I needed. :-)

Keep up your great work!

Cecilia - April 14, 2009 5:43 PM

Great post Linda. Thanks for the book recommendation. Sounds interesting. I don't think dogma has any place in our diets/lives. When I went all raw for nearly 6 months it worked well for much of that time period. Toward the end I was craving fats and sweet dried fruits like dates, and realized that using a small amount of cooked food including a little bit of brown rice helped immensely. I think it's all about what feels right.

Linda Wooliever - April 30, 2009 7:41 PM

Thanks Cecilia! I think you are right about dogma. I'm curious as to what you ate overall when you went all raw for 6 months. When I first went raw, I had no time to crave fats and dried fruits because that's what I ate! ;-)

Yes, I think doing what feels right is great providing that we know how to key in to what feels right. So much of what we've gotten accustomed to eating in much of our society just creates addictions... So a lot of times--I think--we feel "right" about our comfort foods - you know what I'm saying? After about 8 years on this journey with raw foods, I have a really big understanding of what emotions I've tried to stuff away in the past with foods like pastas and cheeses, etc. I know you are referring to something else - about balance in your own life with your diet. It just got me to think about how a lot of people, it seems, don't necessarily know what feels right...

Thanks for your comments. They get this gray matter working!

Take care Cecilia!

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