Dogmatic Diet Guidelines and My Typical Daily Raw Vegan Meals

I’ve been on the raw food path for six and a half years now. Do I follow 80/10/10 low fat raw vegan diet? Sort of.

I have followed it strictly in the past. At times I have adhered to many people’s “instructions” even if they made little sense to me.

I like Bruce Lee’s advice (and it applies to everything) – Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. Eliminate the non-essential.

Do you need 3000 calories a day just because someone says so? Unlimited calories! It makes SO much sense, right? Come on. Eat what you USE. Figure out what is absolutely necessary for you to function at your best and fuel you through the activities you love. Otherwise you are taking in calories you do not need, and you are spending money on food which you could spend on other things you enjoy doing. Don’t make your whole life about food.

A lot of people who come to raw foods are so transformed that they want to make every aspect of their life about it (myself included – I was a zealot at first)! They want to be gurus, open a restaurant, coach people, or be youtube celebrities – and that’s fine if it is not making you forget other things you were previously passionate about.

Being healthy is the catalyst to help propel you towards the things you love with ENERGY and INTENSITY. The healthier you are, the more you will be able to go after your dreams. Health and nutrition are far more important than a set of rules or dogma.

I’ve read so much about different ways to be raw over the last 6.5 years. I continue to experiment but also stick to what I know works as my base and I advise you to do the same. Nutrition is fascinating, and also confusing. This is why you have to try things for yourself and see what happens. You should be energized, strong, clear headed, slim, satisfied, hydrated, and with great digestion.

So what have I learned? No one knows everything, and if they claim to, take what makes sense and then THINK FOR YOURSELF. Remember, things like 80/10/10 are “more like guidelines than actual rules.

Don’t let anyone dictate to you what is right or not right for you. Ethics are always important to keep in mind, and there are set beliefs I have that will not change, but they make SENSE to me. If something does not ring true to you on a DEEP level, then question it. Research. Keep open. Do not take what anyone says to you as gospel. When this sort of thing happens it is dogma, and it is cultish and extremist. Being rigid allows you to easily break and be taken advantage of.

Every time I had issues with something I learned from a raw food “leader” I tried something else to tweak what made sense.

When I had awful dandruff, skin rashes and dryness on 80/10/10 I was convinced it was an allergy, or that I was not drinking enough water, or that it was the overdose of sugar causing it even though I felt good otherwise. What was it? I found out it was LACK of sodium – this took me about 2 years to discover on my own by eating some cooked food over the winter and having my skin miraculously turn soft and beautiful again. Lack of sodium probably causes a lot of people on low fat raw vegan to turn to cooked foods as they may demonize salt as I used to do (and many people do not eat nearly enough vegetables or greens on a low fat raw vegan diet). It is not failure, it is lack of knowledge and listening to people who claim to know EVERYTHING, when they do not.

So what do I eat these days? I am not as rigid as I once was, and I will have something cooked once in a while (usually hummus) but I accept the consequences (headache, runny nose) and try to keep it rare. It is a CHOICE for me, and not a failure or a binge.

I am 100% raw most of the time, and that’s what matters (to ME).

Typical Daily Food:

1. I start out with a glass or two of water, depending on how thirsty I am. I usually wake up once to pee in the night because I hate being dehydrated. Usually it’s just plain water, and I have more throughout the day.

2. I have a smoothie. It is usually 1-2 bananas with 2-3 ataulfo mangoes. I might put a date or two in there. Sometimes I use berries, sometimes I now use a tsp of acai powder. I add in 2 tbsp of Warrior Force protein powder (raw vegan) – I am doing this as an experiment because I am wanting to gain more muscle. If you are not trying to gain any muscle mass, you definitely do not need more protein. But if you do want more, then a raw vegan protein is better than anything else. I also add in 1 tbsp of Vitamineral Green.

3. Sometimes, but not every day, I will have a piece or two of raw chocolate. Why? First of all, I really like it, and a small amount of fat after breakfast keeps me going longer without getting hungry. It also gives me magnesium which alleviates my awful menstrual cramps. When I have this almost daily, I get no cramps. Nix it and they come back – doesn’t matter what else I do, this has worked, and I’d rather eat this than take a mineral supplement. Plus it makes me a little extra happy through the day!

4. For a snack I might have dried mulberries or other berries since it’s the season!

5. Lunch I will have a bunch of grapes or another smoothie 🙂 Or sometimes I will gorge on berries. Another snack I have been having is blackberries – I go out and forage for them because they are everywhere right now.

6. For dinner I will sometimes have some fruit (not always) and then a big salad, which generally has a head of greens (arugula, kale, spinach, spring mix), 6-10 campari tomatoes, kelp noodles, some kelp and dulse, cucumber (1/2), zucchini noodles (1), and then a dressing made of tahini (about 1/4 cup), 2 oranges juiced, 1 lemon juiced, a few green onions, and either rosemary or dill. I also add a small amount of cumin and Himalayan salt (very little, only for sodium – I can’t afford to juice tons of celery every day). THE BEST. Once in a while I make guacamole and have that with cucumber slices (instead of the big salad). Sometimes I will have some kombucha.

Other supplements I now take are: cranberry/D-mannose (I am prone to UTIs and this has worked well – it’s the only thing I take daily), probiotics (I was on antibiotics for a UTI early this year and continue to replenish my natural bacteria), B12 sublinguals, D3 (mostly in winter), K2, vegan DHA, zinc. Having the right nutrients is far more important to me than following an extremist diet, and if I can get it through food or sunshine, I do.

So far, out of the last 6.5 years, this is what has made me feel and look the best. I am becoming much more lean and less bloated since doing this. I feel good. If you are miserable on 80/10/10, Raw til 4, or 90/5/5, then TWEAK it. Don’t go overboard with sodium and fat but add some back in! Don’t be scared of it because some OTHER person says to be. Don’t SMASH the calories because someone else does. How do YOU feel? If you only need 2000 cals, then eat that much! Don’t restrict either! Restriction means DEPRIVING yourself. You also don’t need to STUFF yourself. Eating what satisfies you and provides you with the nutrition you need is ENOUGH.

I would say my ratios are about 70/10/20 (carbs, protein, fat) right now and I feel awesome this way. But I am open to changing things again, because I have lost my dogma. Remember – you are a smart individual with INSTINCTS and INTUITION. USE them.

Recommended Reading:

Raw food and health books

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Dropping Labels and Dogma

So, there has been a lot of drama lately in the raw food community, and it has raised some questions for me.

Who’s side do I take? No one’s. Instead, I am questioning labels in general. The labels people put on themselves AND others, and what I want to use for myself, if anything.

I have thought about this before and was comfortable with certain terms, but now I even question those because in certain people’s eyes you will not be enough.

Do I want to be called a raw foodist anymore? A fruitarian? A VEGAN? I don’t know. And I don’t think so. I know what I stand for and that is what is important, not what someone ELSE thinks of me based on what I call myself.

I know that I do not want to contribute to the harming of animals. But what if I wear my old leather belt or shoes? That I bought years and years ago? Does that make me not a vegan? I give a shit about the planet. I always want to adhere to my basic ethics and will work around them, even if I can’t be perfect, which is impossible anyway.

What if I eat a gourmet raw meal? Does that take me out of the fruitarian club? Fine. Whatever. Do I get my Raw Foodist Card revoked if I eat nuts or miso or dried fruit? What if I get sick to death of bananas? What if I WANT to eat a whole whack of avocados in a day? Funnily enough, I felt and looked best on a high fat raw diet, it was only when I upped my fruit intake ALONG with it that I felt shit – so it’s one or the other, really.

I do feel best on a high fruit diet, but there are times when I question it – like when my skin is super dry or I got horrible dandruff, or other weird personal issues I don’t want to discuss on here. They are minor issues, sure, and I dealt with them for all the other benefits – but during my first two years raw, where I was eating whatever I wanted in whatever quantities  satisfied me, I felt great, grounded, happy, and looked my BEST.

And so now I am thinking of dropping all labels entirely, and just saying I eat a plant-based diet, live as ethically as I can from day to day, make the best choices I can, and eat almost entirely raw plant foods with an emphasis on fruit. My main focus is to be as healthy as possible, and I lost sight of this to cling to a label, or aspire to attain the status of “fruitarian” because I like the idea of it. But does anyone I know give a shit if I’m a fruitarian or not? No. The only people who seem to care are other fruitarians/raw foodists, and the ones who DO NOT care are the ones I admire the most, anyway.

I want to stay honest, and seriously, if everyone did this, there would be a lot more solidarity between everyone, less hatred, etc – it’s ridiculous.

My decision now is to not follow anyone’s protocol in particular – not that I ever did. Over the last 6 years of me being interested in and following a raw lifestyle I have learned from multiple people with differing views, and taken knowledge from all of them – of course 80/10/10 has made the most sense to me but even that I do not agree with entirely.

I keep questioning it all. I stick to my ethics and beliefs and even if something I try doesn’t work, I will keep seeking out what does, and it is not necessarily what one or two people claim is the best way.

I actually feel horrible for being judgmental – this rubbed off on me from particular people in the raw food movement. Before following certain people I was really passive in my approach and just did my own thing and only shared my experiences out of pure joy and not judgement. I was also influenced a lot by the negative attitude of my ex who slowly dragged me down over a period of 3.5 years into becoming kind of mean for a while. I started hating people! And I don’t! I take some responsibility of course. It was a set-back, and part of the reason I left is that I was turning into a person I didn’t like when I was with him.

I am done with labeling myself for the same reason I stopped labeling my sexuality ten years ago. When you label yourself you are ripe for criticism, guilty-feelings, and if you are on a JOURNEY, as everyone is, and things shift, you don’t have to feel BADLY or like you are not ENOUGH. Life is FLUID. You shouldn’t have to feel bad if something didn’t work out for you, and I don’t want to contribute to people feeling bad about their choices!

I like to look at all sides of things and make my own assessments – I don’t want to like or dislike someone based on what they eat or how much they weigh or how fit they are or if they smoke weed or trip balls in the woods. I want to live it up and do my best and be open-hearted. I want to be around POSITIVITY and I want to be REAL.

Being a happy, goofy person does not equal fake, and being a judgmental, ego-driven, aggressive, critical person does not make you “real.” Everyone, especially online, has their schtick, it is not necessarily fake, just like how you behave at your job to the public does not necessarily make you fake – it just makes you conscious of how you want to present yourself, how you want to be seen. Just because someone isn’t making videos when they’re in a bad mood and showing that side of themselves, does not make them a fake person. If I stay home when I’m in a rotten mood so my friends doesn’t have to see me like that, does it make me fake? Or should I go anyway and ruin everyone’s fun?

I will always be real. What I post is going to be reflective of how I feel in the moment. Sometimes I may seem serious and sometimes I might seem ridiculously happy and positive and vibrant. It’s called BEING HUMAN. My emotions shift! How I feel about something today might change tomorrow based on NEW INFORMATION I get. I am no better than you or anyone else. I don’t want to be put on a pedestal. I want to be relatable and set a good example of healthy living and what it can do for you. If I ever feel phony that is a warning sign that something in my life needs to change, and I take it seriously and make the changes necessary. I have tried being fake and it never ever works. I suck at it. Because of my inability to be a phony, I have lost a lot of jobs and people tend to take me the wrong way.

I will always adhere to a raw food diet, or a high raw diet – I don’t know how I will feel about certain foods from day to day! It depends on my mood! Right now I am all raw and have been for ages. That could change at some point, as it has before for brief periods of time. I still believe raw foods are the ultimate, that a human diet needs the bulk of calories coming from whole fruits and vegetables, but I really don’t give a shit what you eat as long as you’re a nice person and you’re trying your best. I’d prefer if everyone left animals alone and didn’t eat them, but I am not going to make you feel like a pile of shit for it.

I have been going towards this way of thinking for a while now, but all the drama going on has just cemented my decision.

Love to all of you.

Lorra