Happy Herbivore Blog

February 25, 2010

Closing Thoughts on Low Fat Raw

A huge part of my motivation for doing raw week was curiosity. Despite my struggles this week, I feel it was still a successful experiment because I learned quite a bit and have answers to all my lingering questions...

* Is a low fat raw vegan diet possible? Yes, absolutely. I'm not the first to try it. There are plenty of low fat raw foodies out there (such as Steve PavlinaFrederic Patenaude and this guy). There's also a book called the 80/10/10 diet.

* Is it expensive? I spent a comprable amount of money but came home with double the bags. This is not surprisingly, leafy greens and produce take up a lot more space than a can of beans. Had I bought raw nuts, raw seeds and some of the more specialty items, though, I would have easily overspent our typical budget.

* Does it live up to the hype? I expected my digestive system to hum along smoothly this week and it didn't. I felt burpy and gassy -- and I never feel that way normally. On the upside, green juice gave me a huge boost when I drank it!

* Was it "easier"? The foods were definitely easier to make and fairly "instant" to prepare, which I liked. What I didn't like is all that I had more dirty dishes than normal and I was constantly dirtying up things I loathed cleaning like my Vita-Mix and food processor.

* Is it practical? For me, no. But maybe for someone else. I've never been a calorie counter, so I found it annoying to have to monitor myself every day. I'm also not a planner. I buy the same staples at the store every week and make meals on the fly. It cramped my style to have to plan a week's worth of menus and also plan for meals days or hours in advanced (stuff needs to soak for hours, or dehydrate for days, etc).

* Is it greener? I think it depends on where you live. This week I had to buy produce that came not only from different states, but different climates. I live in cold New York, we just don't have much growing locally this time year. To have only bought what was local would have left me with only a few foods to eat! (If I was still in LA, where there is an abundance of produce in season year round, well, that would have made all the difference!)

* Is this for me? An obvious no. But, I knew this going in. I love cooked food and I've always been a carbohydrate addict. I do love salads, smoothies and fresh juices, and they will always be a part of my diet, but not my whole diet.

* Would I recommend this diet/lifestyle? Absolutely. If you're interested or curious, I highly recommend you give it a try. Just because it isn't right for me, doesn't mean it's not right for you. Two friends of mine, Gena and Mike, are both raw. They're thriving and they love it. Even in my little raw week circle there have been great successes. While I've had my struggles, others have been very successful and are really enjoying the high raw regimen.

* Where will I go from here? I'm still really excited about low fat/fat-free raw food; I want to continue explore it and try my hand at more recipes -- just at a sporadic and more gradual level. Maybe this summer, when it's way too hot to cook, I'll get a chance to do more un-cooking!

I'm also looking forward to sharing recipes for raw chili, raw ice cream and raw pasta bologna with you next week!

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