First, a 4th of July Update…
For Fourth of July dinner, our family had the usual hamburgers plus Salmon and Chicken Wings. I baked these for a bit, then put them on the grill outside.
I ate Vegan Sliders, and I had about 5 of these little guys. They were the Beastly Sliders from Beyond Meat, and I had some pretzel slider buns (unique but tasty). And that’s all I remember having for dinner. Earlier in the day I had a couple of Raw Cacao Banana smoothies and an Ezekiel Raw Vegan Sandwich.
I consider the Raw Cacao to be a transitional food. Once you go on a cleaner Raw Vegan diet it’s not necessary to have the Cacao, and it can be an unhealthy food if abused. Still, that’s the way to go. Ultimately, I should end up on a high carb, low fat, raw vegan diet; plant based and with lots of whole foods (whole apples, whole oranges, etc).
But for now (and having gone back to being a Vegan at the start of 2015) I will allow some processed Vegan foods like those Beastly Sliders and some healthy whole breads. The Ezekiel Low Sodium Sprouted Organic Bread is what I’m allowing for the most part, and I went through this Sourdough Bread thing last month but realized on Cron-o-meter that it had a lot of salt, and I’m trying hard to bring my sodium intake to below 1500 mcg (to keep the blood pressure lower).
So, I’m so glad I’m Vegan. I’ve had a few “down times” so far but I think that’s because I simply wasn’t eating enough calories. I’m trying to keep the total caloric intake between 2000 and 2500 calories, and lower if I feel good.
4 Strategies for Thriving on a Raw Vegan Diet
1. Connect with the Ethical Side of Veganism
I watched a recent video on YouTube that covered going on a Vegan Diet to lose weight, versus going on a Vegan Diet for ethical reasons. The notion of going on a diet to lose weight can be harder as a goal if that is the sole purpose of going on a diet. In the end, many people may lose the weight, only to gain it back once the goal has been achieved. On the other hand, having a firm commitment to not eat animals for ethical reasons is a stronger goal, because once you have firmly made that commitment, then you’re like to stick with it in the longterm.
2. Baby Steps are Key in Transitioning to Veganism
Many of us Vegans were raised eating animal products. Well, that’s most of us and the meat industry has perpetuated the myth that you can only get your protein from animal foods. And since we were raised eating animals, our commitment to change can be a long uphill battle in acceptance and in achieving complete success on a Vegan Diet. A slow, steady approach is most likely beneficial to most of us switching to a Vegan Diet. Sure, one could do it overnight, but there are a lot of psychological things that come into play when switching to a plant based diet for the long run.
In addition, there are a lot of societal obstacles when transitioning to Veganism, one big factor is getting acceptance from family and friends, and the awkwardness of them knowing you are different now that you are Vegan. It could generate debates against Veganism, which are unfounded simply because you are the one going Vegan and more than likely much more educated about Veganism than they are. This is the typical quandary when people ignorant of a Vegan lifestyle are hyper-critical when they haven’t had the firsthand knowledge and personal experience.
3. Use Cron-o-meter or Another Online Food Tracking Tool
I am totally sold on the use of Cron-o-meter in keeping track of dietary intake, calories, protein, calcium, etc. If you truly are honest with the foods you are recording (the more accurate, the better), then you will know exactly what you are getting, nutrient-wise, every day!
And with this additional knowledge you will know just what is going into your body, whether you are a Vegan or a Carnivore! I have found it a truly invaluable tool for helping me to know just what I’m eating.
4. Make Sure You Are Eating Enough Calories
When I was a Raw Vegan I went through a period when I was feeling not-so-good, even while eating the healthiest of raw whole foods. I was confused and wondering what was happening, and why? The only thing that I could reason out, was that I was either not getting the correct balance of nutrients, or I was simply not getting enough calories. I believe the later was true, because there were times when I was feeling the same way while on this current Vegan Diet. Just not enough calories (and Cron-o-meter will take care of that problem now).
A more specific reasoning points toward a lack of carbohydrates. In today’s society, we are being told that carbohydrates should be reduced and proteins (and in some cases, fats) should be emphasized. The problem with this is that we need carbohydrates in order to function, and our brain needs carbs to perform as well. Many of these low carb, high protein diets can actually be very dangerous to our health. Carbs tend to be treated as the villian, but to be specific again, it’s process carbs that should be avoided, and carbohydrates from whole foods that should be emphasized!
So, getting enough calories from carbs is key to succeeding on a Vegan Diet, and we need carbs that are from whole foods and good clean, plant based energy.