View Full Version : Newbie with Raw Questions/Boredom
08-24-2005, 08:51 PM
Hello Beautiful People,
I'm transitioning from a completely organic/almost vegan diet. and I'm almost done my third day of eating 100% raw. Now, I need some ideas on mixing things up a little. Here's what my diet has been consisting of....I've been starting my day with a cold glass of Flor-Essence herbal detox, then after an hour I have some fruit, usually a plum and a peach with some raw nuts. For lunch I'll have a plate of veggies (broccoli, carrots, snap peas and celery). I go back to work and have a few nuts and some more veggies throughout the afternoon. When I come home, I'll have one or two cobs of raw corn, a spoonful of crushed hemp seeds and perhaps some squash or something in that family. I usually munch a few more nuts and seeds and then another Flor-Essence before bed. The first two days were tough, but today I'm starting to feel more alive and energetic. I have a few questions and concerns. Please bare with my inexperience in this department. If you feel it would be easier directing me to somewhere that I can read the information for myself, that would be also helpful, as I have never read anything on Raw Fooding, nor do I know anyone who does it..(besides all of you wonderful people!) I intuitively felt it was something I needed to do and in doing a search, this is the first place I've come. My questions are:
1) I am 6'3" and 200 lbs, and find myself hungry a lot. What kind of things can I eat so that I am not as hungry between meals? Or, is it okay to eat all day long?
2) I've had lots of stomach cramps and diarrhea, is this normal? (I've been eating raw almonds without soaking, could this be why?)
3) I've read a lot about food combining, is this relevant to a Raw Fooder?
4) I am very bored with the way I am eating and I am only continuing because of the benefits that I am feeling spiritually and mentally. Is there a way to make my meals a little more exciting without the extensive amount of prep work that goes into a lot of raw food recipes on this site? (I don't mind the work, just have three kids and not much time) Even ideas for easy to make dressings or sauces.
5) Fortunately, my wife works at a Wholefoods store, so I do have access to discounted organic materials....what are some essentials (spices, etc.) that raw fooders should keep on hand at all times?
6) What "hardware" should I look into definitely investing in? (food processors, juicers, etc.)
7) Is all natural peanut butter considered raw? Ingredients are just Peanuts and Salt. (forgive my Newbiness!)
I look forward to continuing this way of living for as long as I can and I can definitely see this forum become quite the refuge for the days when I struggle.
Thanks in advance for you help!
PS Any comments on my existing diet would help as I really feel a little overwhelmed and lost.
08-24-2005, 09:49 PM
Wow, you didn't mention much fruit! I think that may be your first issue :).
Peanut butter is not raw.
Eat a LOT of fruit: there is so much variety in that food group, you should not be bored. Especially, you are lucky to have a spouse at Whole Foods.
Next, lots of veggies.
And eat fats moderately -- nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, etc.
Eat till your satisfied. If you feel cramps or digestive issues, you may then want to consider food combining; but for now, work on getting your body used to raw foods -- it takes time to transition, take it. Eat
I don't have combining issues but I do tend to mono-eat, which is eating one type of food at a time; it comes naturally to me, with fruit, that is.
You may want to consider green smoothies (whole green leaves, blended with fruit [60:40 to start]) as these are highly alkalinizing and nutritious. Best way to get your greens, which you don't seem to be getting ;).
08-24-2005, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the advice! I will definitely start working in more leafy greens. The smoothy in a AM sounds like a good plan. I guess a lot of trial and error is key.
08-24-2005, 10:38 PM
I must agree about eating fruit. You really need to increase your caloric intake, and fruits are the way to go since they're low fat and vitamin packed.
Don't forget all your leafy greens and veggies for minerals & amino acids, too ;)
I try hard to follow the food combining rules because I'm sensitive to combining fruits with nuts/fats. But everyone's body's reacts differently.
I like to read up on the raw food lifestyle, too. Check out Frederic Patenaude's website: www.fredericpatenaude.com. He answers tons of questions (almost the exact same one's as yours) and has a very informative weekly e-zine. From there you'll find even more links to research.
Try raw almond butter, it's much more pricey than peanut butter, though. It seems that most of us here use a juice and/or blender. If you're interested in learning more about blending a bunch of tasty smoothies (fruits with or w/o greens) just let me know. I've been crazy about blending for the past month :D
08-25-2005, 02:07 AM
Welcome Beyond Syntax,
I'm still somewhat new to this but here is my advice regarding your questions.
1) You'll need to eat much more food on raw than you did cooked, especially at the beginning. Most raw food isn't very calorie dense, so up your serving sizes, and yes, eat all day long if you need to. Your body will adjust, and in time you will be satisfied with less because your body will better nourished by these nutrient-dense foods. Some filling foods I eat for sustained energy are mangoes, bananas, and avocados.
2) The significant increase in fiber on raw foods can take time to adjust to, but there are things you can avoid in order to be more comfortable. Yes, unsoaked almonds are very difficult to digest. Try soaking them overnight and peel them if you have time. Your body will thank you.
3) Some people are able to eat any combination without discomfort, but many do follow some rules. The most general guidlines I've read are to eat fruit first, (which digests the fastest), then veggies, then nuts/seeds/sprouted beans & grains last. Eating fruits with nuts often causes discomfort for people.
4) My favorite dressing/sauce is one mashed avocado mixed w/ the juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon and a sprinkle of dulse flakes or sea salt. I also like apple cider vinegar mixed with braggs or nama shoyu, ginger, a little agave, and sesame seeds for an asian dressing. Very good on cabbage. Try experimenting with your favorite foods and spices- it's really fun! Also, you can find some simple recipes online and in raw food cookbooks (check your local library).
5) I would say my essentials are: dulse flakes (salty), braggs apple cider vinegar, cold pressed olive oil, raw tahini, celtic sea salt, cumin, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, coconut flakes, raw honey, raw agave, lemons & limes, fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, etc. and large quantities of my favorite fruits and veggies- organic as much as possible.
6) A blender, food processor, and juicer are my essentials- but if you want to make more gourmet type foods an Excalibur or L'Equip food dehydrator will be very useful. Also, I highly recommend getting glass jars, cheesecloth, and organic sprouting seeds and making your own sprouts. It's cheap, easy, and very nutritious.
7) Sadly, peanut butter is not raw. Raw peanuts have a naturally occuring fungus on them called aflatoxin that has to be killed by heat. I've heard there are "raw jungle peanuts" available on the Natures First Law website, but I haven't tried them. Raw almond butter is very tasty though.
Hope that helped, and congratulations on going raw!
08-25-2005, 02:54 AM
First, I'd like to say congratulations on embarking on your raw journey!!
<<1) I am 6'3" and 200 lbs, and find myself hungry a lot. What kind of things can I eat so that I am not as hungry between meals? Or, is it okay to eat all day long?>>
I agree with the others that you need to add a lot more fruit and greens. And yes, it is okay to nibble all day long, especially in the beginning. It will help combat the absence of feeling as full as one does while eating cooked food. I often drink a very large fruit smoothie in the morning and it keeps me full for a few hours at least. Baby carrots are also filling. So are dried fruits.
<<2) I've had lots of stomach cramps and diarrhea, is this normal? (I've been eating raw almonds without soaking, could this be why?)>>
I'd say it is normal. Your body is adjusting to your new way of eating. And yes, it could be the almonds. For many people, they are difficult to digest when not soaked.
<<3) I've read a lot about food combining, is this relevant to a Raw Fooder?>>
Most people don't worry about this in the very beginning, unless they have digestion problems. When starting raw foods, the main goal is to *keep* to raw foods, however you manage to do it. After one starts listening to their body, and fine-tuning their diet, they usually turn to proper food combining. If you are having digestion problems (the aforementioned cramps and diarrhea) you may want to look into this further from the onset. It really is quite simple. I don't know if you've purchased Alissa's book yet, but she has a food combining chart in it.
<<4) I am very bored with the way I am eating and I am only continuing because of the benefits that I am feeling spiritually and mentally. Is there a way to make my meals a little more exciting without the extensive amount of prep work that goes into a lot of raw food recipes on this site? (I don't mind the work, just have three kids and not much time) Even ideas for easy to make dressings or sauces. >>
There are TONS of recipes in Alissa's book, on this site, on other raw boards and all over the internet. If you go to the banana at the top of this page, you can search for whatever you're craving. You can look up dressings or sauces or crackers or desserts-whatever you like. And most are so simple! (I don't make salad dressing-only use a sprinkle of olive oil-so can't help you there.) I only sometimes make complicated recipes or those in which I have to pre-plan soaking, sprouting, etc. There are so many more that you just whip up in the food processor in less than 5 minutes and viola! Also, lettuce/green leaf veggie wraps, fruit and/or fruit & green smoothies, 2-fruit "puddings", fantastic juice combos, soups, etc. In the beginning I didn't know what to do with all the free time, since I had been spending about 1/2-1 hour before making dinner and now it was ready in 5-10 minutes. :D
<<5) Fortunately, my wife works at a Wholefoods store, so I do have access to discounted organic materials....what are some essentials (spices, etc.) that raw fooders should keep on hand at all times? >>
Wow are you lucky!!! I'd say Organic Alaskan mentioned a good starter list. The only thing I can think to add is dates, since I use them a lot.
<<6) What "hardware" should I look into definitely investing in? (food processors, juicers, etc.)>>
A food processor, blender, dehydrator, juicer, spiral slicer/mandolin. I'd say in that order too, or at least that was the order of importance to me. YMMV. OH! and a good knife set. We spent $800 on our knives 4 years ago and never regretted it. I used several of them every single day. I am also going to get a Magic Bullet one of these days. There are a lot of threads on this forum about the various food processors, blenders, etc. on the market and the pros and cons of each, depending on your budget.
<<7) Is all natural peanut butter considered raw? Ingredients are just Peanuts and Salt. (forgive my Newbiness!)>>
Nope, sorry. Peanuts are not really nuts, either. Have you tried raw almond butter?
08-25-2005, 05:34 AM
Welcome to the forum~
Would have to agree with the other posts...you are a big guy and you need more food.....a peach and a plum for breakfast is not nearly enough.....some people eat 6 bananas or 5 oranges as a sitting...the smoothies are a great idea. I make one every morning with a mango, some fresh pineapple, maybe 2 cups worth, 2 frozen bananas, a big handful of baby spinach, parsley , either almond milk or coconut water and ice.....makes a huge amount and keeps me till lunchtime w/ no problems. I use a Vitamix and swear by it~
As for your stomach problems.......could it be the Flor-Essence herbal detox??
That would be my guess.
There is tons of info on this site......use the search function in the upper right corner......I've been reading for weeks.....wishing you the best~
08-25-2005, 07:29 AM
You all are just amazing people. Thanks so much for taking the time to offer advice. It helps more than you could ever know. I'm going to have a big breakfast now. I'll check in this evening and let you know how I'm doing.
Thanks again and have a beautifully raw day!
08-25-2005, 09:52 AM
I just wanted to say welcome and what a GREAT adventure you have ahead of you.
You are already off to a great start being 3 days raw already.
I would up your consumption as well, fruits, veggies. Eat til you are satisfied, but not stuffed. :)
Oh, watermelon is a big big one in this household. Bananas are as well. It fills you up and is so good.
You are lucky to have your wife work at a whole foods place and get discounts!
Are your children going to be going raw with you as well? If so, I'd suggest getting the recipes off of Alissa's site. I don't find preparing the raw dishes any more time consuming then fixing food for the SAD.
Unless you're like me and don't have the proper tools to make the Raw Ravolies! :)
Oh I don't recall you mentioning a salad. That was my life saver when getting back on track! I'd eat a HUGE bowl of salad and would go through a 64 ounce bag of cut up romaine lettuce in a week!
Add whatever to your salad that you like! And my favorite dressing is lime, garlic powder, and Braggs. When I was at a stand still with eating my salad, that is what got me loving them again.
Anyways, good luck and you will do great!
08-25-2005, 12:34 PM
Adam, welcome to the forum! I am glad you found us.
I would like to suggest to you, right off the dot to order Alissa's book "Living on Live Food" from her website www.alissacohen.com
The reason I suggest this is that her book is the most complete raw food book I have found. It has everything you need to know from the whys to the hows. It really walks a beginner through it all in a light, fun, easy to understand manner. There are 300 recipes, many quick and yum.
There is a shopping guide, an equipment list, a menu plan, testimonials from people including what their daily diets are like. She explains what is important at the beginning, how to deal with your mind, detox--just so much!
I cant imagine doing this in the dark!
A question you asked--is it ok to eat all day-YES!
Eat anything you want that is raw, whenever you want to and at first, do not worry about food combining etc. This is important as you get used to a new diet and a new way of relating to, and preparing food. Do not deprive yourself or allow it to get boring. Down the road, as your body detoxes and cleans out, it will begin to signal you when changes should be made. But that is a natural progression. Also, eventually your body will want less food. Again~a natural progression. Just listen to your body!
It is normal, btw, your elimination changing. Your body is getting used to a lot more fibre for one and is cleaning some serious house.
You may be able to find raw almond butter at your wife's work. It is so yum just spread on a banana, or spread on Alissa's banana flax crackers with raw honey.
You can have raw ice cream, raw pies, raw cookies, raw burritos, raw stir-unfry, raw crackers, raw crepes, a variety of salads , smoothies, frozen smoothie pops etc etc. There is SO much.
Oh and check out this thread on the forum:
It is helpful also to read some of the journals in the 30 day challenge forum, as people list what they eat every day. This can help with ideas for variety and inspiration.
I hope some of us were able to help you. Again~welcome aboard and may your raw journey ahead be blessed! :)
08-25-2005, 05:26 PM
Thanks Sweetgodess. I will look into getting that book tonight. I had a great 4th day! Ate a bunch of bananas for breakfast which held me over 'till lunch. For lunch, my wife made me a killer banana pineapple canteloupe and hemp seed smoothie and an incredible salad with portabellas, avacado, cucumber, tomato with a lime, olive oil and sea salt dressing with crush hemp seeds on top. It was the best thing I've had in a long long time. I'm about to make a big salad with mixed greens, etc. My wife is so sweet...she looked online and found a recipe for raw ice cream, which she whipped up for my late night snack!!! I can't wait because that was always my biggest weakness. You all really put me on the right track and definitely gave me the motivation to keep going with a sense of excitement instead of boredom. I'll be investing in some of the "hardware" I need this weekend. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions then.
BTW, today was filled with tons of RAW energy. I could barely sit in my seat at work and started to feel like a kid again.
-raise a toast to longevity!
08-25-2005, 06:29 PM
Thanks new guy i'm totally craving Flor-Essence now! I love that stuff! Welcome to the board!
Edit: I just brewed up a pot! mmmmmm... My 2 year old likes it as much as I do!
08-25-2005, 06:33 PM
Adam, what a wonderful post. I can feel your enthusiasm and energy. I am glad you have such a sweet and giving wife.
"started to feel like a kid again" ~ beautiful!
Have a wonderful, energy filled weekend.
08-25-2005, 06:38 PM
All the people here are amazing! I am 8 weeks raw, and am NOT bored at all. There are so many choices once you start investigating all the great things you can make.
I really like banannas and eat a few every day. They are filling and highly nutritious. HEY you can make an easy banana "ice cream". I eat some nearly every day. Do you have a blender? There are great recipies on this site. To search, use the bananna at the top of the page and type in "ice cream". Try the pecan one first. I also add walnuts. Get some ripe banannas, peel them and freeze them. You won't believe how good it is.
WELCOME! You will never be bored here!
08-25-2005, 09:26 PM
I'll tell you what.... two days ago I was thinking this was going to be a hard thing and take a ton of self discipline to go raw, but now it's feeling very exciting. It's like opening the door to a new world of opportunity and experience. I am a person who is very connected to my energy and the spirit of my Mother Earth and to partake of her most sacred of gifts to us in it's more pure form, just feels right. It's starting to feel like I've finally found the final piece of my complete balance. I feel alligned with everything that is living. I am finally taking just to live instead of living just to take. Years ago when I still ate meat, I used to feel aggressive and violent and would have thoughts of hurting people I didn't like and at the same time didn't care a whole lot about my own life. When I went vegetarian, I felt those feelings gradually fade and I became a more peaceful person and I made great strides in every aspect of my growing life, but there was still something that I could not shake. Perhaps a slight disconnection to my soul. Or maybe a dull disappointment in mankind, something along those lines. As I went vegan, things became a little further into focus for me and sense of connection was getting there. BUT NOW that I've stopped putting dead food in my body for a few short days, I feel almost a divine fulfillment of sorts. I feel a oneness and sense of peace that is like nothing I've ever known. It's quite beautiful. I feel like I've finally come home to lye in the tender arms of my gracious and giving mother. The food I am putting in, completely raw, completely organic, living food is sweeping the connecting link between myself and the oneness that is the essence of nature itself. I feel like I'm an infant, yet infinite all at the same time. As I am at this moment is how I wish to always be. Alive, humble and complete. At this moment I am no better than any living thing. We are all the same. ....and I will forever be grateful.
On another note.....I've decided that I am taking my microwave oven to the recycling center on Saturday!
08-25-2005, 09:44 PM
I feel so late coming in this thread now as you've already received a wealth of wonderful advice and suggestions.
I just wanted to welcome you and let you know how motivating and inspiring your posts (as few as they may have been) have been to me.
You definitely don't have to be bored with this. As for the food combining, you'll find that many of the raw gourmet recipes ten to "break the rules" of food combining. But in the beginning, just eat raw! If you eat raw desserts with nuts and sweet fruits combined and it doesn't make you feel bad, then have at it. But as your body gets cleaner and cleaner, you will learn to hear what your body is telling you and you will find yourself gravitating towards whatever it is your body requires.
So for now, enjoy your raw foods...whole fruits/veggies as well as recipes!
08-25-2005, 11:19 PM
Syntax I LOVE what you just wrote!!! http://tinypic.com/b66bs7.gif
08-26-2005, 01:06 AM
I also am sorry I haven't responded sooner, I've been so busy today.
But please let me welcome welcome welcome you.
And let you know that you are a dear and wonderful soul, I truly am glad that I will be knowing you here.
As far as recipes, let us know what you used to like cooked, and we can give you some ideas on what you can eat that is raw that is similar.
Lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, burgers, meatloafs, etc.
Here are some links to good raw food pics on this site:
08-26-2005, 09:20 AM
Adam, you're post was very beautiful. What a lovely place you are in.
I imagine often, that this is how we are all meant to feel.
Such a joyous, divine gift.
Thank you for sharing with us what you are experiencing. Last night, after walking the 3 acres we live on ( called goddess grove, ;) ), I stopped at the apple tree and discovered they were ready to be picked. When I picked that first living apple, I was so overwhelmed with the connectedness of it all and the gifts and spirit of Mother Nature.
"I feel like I'm an infant, yet infinite all at the same time"
Oh, That is exactly it. You have a gift with words, they are so uplifting.
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