While I have made several good health decisions in my life, becoming a raw vegan was probably the most advantageous. Although broadly defined, the raw vegan diet is basically one excluding food cooked at temperatures higher than 118°F. The diet also excludes animal products and includes items like raw fruits and vegetables, grain and legume sprouts, nuts and nut pastes, seeds, herbs, sea vegetables, fresh juices, and plant oils. My experience thus far on the diet has been profoundly positive, and I would love to see other people reap the mental and physical benefits that I have. In order to ensure that this happens, there are several pitfalls that you should avoid when you begin a raw vegan diet. Here are three:
This seems to be one of the biggest problems that individuals who begin the raw vegan diet have. As many health experts know, one of the benefits of starting a raw vegan diet is that you can generally eat more as a result of the fact that you’re consuming foods that are low in calories such as fruits and vegetables. Yet because many people who begin a raw food diet have developed dietary styles marked by limited intake of food as a result of its high caloric content, this eating style transfers over into the world of raw food. Thus eating behaviors that would seem natural to many seasoned raw vegans-such as drinking a smoothie with six or seven bananas for breakfast-seems strange to the newbie. Yet eating higher volumes of raw food is often necessary to attain the caloric intake you’ll need to maintain energy throughout the day. So don’t undereat!
2. Eating Too Many Nuts.
Although I used to love nuts, I’m not as infatuated with them as I once was. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that I tend to prefer sweet fruits. Anyway, many individuals who begin the raw food lifestyle allow nuts to comprise a large part of their diet because of the delicious taste of the foods as well as the nutritional benefits that result from eating them. Eating a great deal of nuts can be dangerous, however. Why? Because nuts contain a great deal of fat, a factor which can precipitate a slew of debilitating diseases. With this fact in mind, remember to limit your intake of nuts. In recognizing the negative effects that eating too many nuts can have, raw food expert Frederic Patenaude offers this dietary advice: ” As a general rule that can be modified depending on the individual, my recommendations would be to have a maximum of about 2 ounces of nuts per day, or 3-4 tablespoons of nut butter.”
One thing that can greatly impair your ability to have success as a raw vegan is being isolated from other individuals who are following the diet. As you may know, the majority of the world does not follow the diet, meaning that a plethora of uncomfortable social situations can arise once people learn that you don’t eat the same foods as them. In many cases, you may feel intimidated or dislike the fact that you stand out in social settings that involve food. Unfortunately, this can precipitate your decision to stop participating in the raw food lifestyle despite all the wonderful health benefits it affords you. To preclude this from happening, find a local raw foods group that holds meetings and/or social events that you can participate in. You can also go online and chat with raw foodies in community forums or message boards. I recently joined 30 Bananas A Day and I am liking it already!
As mentioned earlier, beginning a raw food diet can be one of the most beneficial health choices you ever make. At the same time however, there are several pitfalls you may run into as you make the transition. By following the advice I’ve outlined above, however, you can avoid encountering all the roadblocks that can slow down your journey towards optimal wellness and productive, positive living. Good luck!
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