I Tried Raw Vegan and I Will Never Try it Again

As a part of the vegan community, it’s hard not to hear cries calling for an all raw diet. Benefits are said to include improved digestion, clearer skin, and a better immune system- so of course, I was interested. This week, I decided to put these claims to the test and see just how much a raw diet changed my health. I assumed it would be hard because, I mean, bread? But, as a huge fruit and veggie lover, I thought it couldn’t be too hard. When I was planning my meals for the week, I decided to maintain my usual approach of having lots of options and winging it when I was hungry. This was a huge mistake, because it turns out as easy as it sounds to not cook food, raw foods actually take a considerable amount of preparation for them to taste good. Had I spent more time planning, this week might have been less disastrous than it was.

 

Day 1-

Breakfast- 3 bananas, a handful of raspberries, a handful of blackberries, and black cold brew.

Firstly, I completely forgot how much I love bananas. This was such a yummy breakfast and it made me feel energized and ready for the day. Some raw vegans do have hot coffee, but I figured it’s only for a week so I can probably survive without it since it seems to be such a controversy in the raw vegan community. Also, I realize this isn’t a substantial meal, but if you knew how much I ate last night in preparation for this week, you would understand.

Lunch- 3 portabella mushrooms stuffed with guacamole, green beans, and more cold brew (this is by far the most expensive part of the week and I’m almost out of my first jug already- I’m making tomorrows myself).

Snack- a handful of almonds

Dinner- Dining hall “salad”- basically like 3 plates of veggies with vinegar on them.

Snack- A handful of raw oats? I’m already getting pretty desperate.

Day 2-

Breakfast- 3 bananas, a handful of raspberries, a handful of blackberries, and black cold brew. I’m now out of cold brew and need to walk to the grocery store to buy more- turns out making cold brew takes a while. Who knew?

Snack- 1 handful of almonds and a handful of cashews.

Lunch- Zucchini noodles with guacamole.

Snack- Literally so many nuts good grief.

Dinner- Raw berry tart from Sunflour Baking Company (where I work woot woot).

 

Day 3-

Breakfast- 3 bananas, a handful of raspberries, a handful of blackberries, and black cold brew.

Lunch- Smoothie with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, spirulina powder, and coconut water. (looked kind of gross but boiii this was good).

Dinner- Salad with mushrooms and a mushroom dressing? Kind of weird but this was the only dressing I could find that was definitively raw. I’ve got to admit I’m getting pretty sick of raw foods already. I never feel full, and everything I eat tastes kind of acidic.

Late night snack- So many freaking nuts good golly, this cannot be healthy.

 

Day 4-

Breakfast- I was still really full from all the nuts I had last night so I just had cold brew.

Lunch- Chia pudding and kombucha from Sunflour. This was the best “meal” I’ve had so far, and even so I was forced to watch my boyfriend eat the vegan muffin I love. Needless to say, I was suffering.

Dinner- Raw Pad Thai from Luna’s Living Kitchen. I’ve had this before and usually I think it’s really good, but this time it just reminded me of the zucchini noodles and guacamole I made, and it was pretty disappointing. I blame myself.

Snack- Gluten Free and Raw coconut macaroons from Luna’s Living Kitchen. These were exactly what I needed to survive the night, because let me tell you I have been starving.

~ On this day, I was working at the coffee shop, Sunflour, and I came to the realization that all coffee beans are roasted regardless of how you brew the coffee so no coffee is really raw. I wish I had thought of this before I spent almost $20.00 on cold brew. ~

 

Day 5-

Breakfast- 3 bananas and HOT coffee. I’ve decided I can’t go without it any longer. Also, I weighed myself this morning and have lost 3 pounds already. This was definitely not the intended outcome considering I’m already pretty thin. I can’t say I’m surprised though considering I’ve been hungry all week.

Lunch- This is where it fell apart. I went to Sunflour again, hoping to find either another raw tart or a chia pudding, but unfortunately, they had neither and I was forced to go with my old trusty vegan banana chocolate chip muffin. At this point I basically gave up on the raw diet (almost 5 days though, that’s not the worst).

 

Ultimately, I realized (for me at least) a raw diet is simply not realistic. I love muffins way too much to give them up. Additionally, I don’t have enough time to prepare yummy raw foods, and quickly got tired of the easy, grab and go raw snacks. One thing that surprised me about this diet was how expensive it turned out to be. I spent nearly $100.00 this week on groceries (almost 4 times what I usually spend).

As far as the claims go, my skin, body, and digestion didn’t seem to change much, though I can’t say I followed the ideal raw vegan diet, so this was probably my own fault. Honestly, the only positive thing that’s come of this week is it’s given me perspective on just how good cooked vegan food can be. In the future, I plan on savoring every muffin I have, and giving thanks to my oven each day. Amen.