Q. I am trying to go raw and juicing for only two days now and I am soooo hungry and I really don't quite understand what to eat. I went out and bought a bunch of raw vegetables but I am lost on exactly how to prepare the meals and I'm so tired of being fat. Can you direct me to a simple start of book or can you give me some simple recipes or what you did to get started on your first month? Thank you.
Frustrated and Fat in Virginia
A. Dear LOVELY BEING,
I refuse to call you frustrated and fat, as you signed your email. You are a lovely being who happens to be in a body that isn't as healthy as she'd like it to be. You are so much more than what you look like or how you feel. I am sending lots of HUGS to you.
Please know that going hungry is something that should NEVER happen on a raw food diet, even if you are juicing. If you are hungry, please feed your body as much raw foods as it desires. In the beginning, I found that it was important to eat, eat, eat--my body was starving for nutrition, even though I was obese at the time.
For my first few months I concentrated on eliminating some things (wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, rice--I already didn't eat meat), but I also concentrated on adding in lots of yummy raw foods (especially raw food desserts).
If you are buying veggies and fruits and thinking you don't know what to do with them, it's probably a good idea to find some raw recipes that look tasty to you. Did you receive my free recipe eBook? That will help you with some recipes that will be quite tasty and easy to prepare. I also have a lot of free recipes here on our blog (look in the right column and click on "recipes"). There are so many wonderful raw food recipes available either by purchasing raw food preparation books, finding some through your local library, using the free recipe eBook I give to everyone, finding recipes here on this site, as well as looking for raw food recipes on the Internet (you can search the recipes section of the All Raw Directory, as well as through Web search engines).
Q. I've been eating raw foods, but I'm still not losing weight. Help!! [I receive this question, in various forms, a couple times a week.]
A. Please know that it sometimes takes longer than we like to release the weight. It didn't happen right away for me, either. It's important to know that even though our bodies may not be releasing weight as we'd like them to be doing, they are still working on healing other things that aren't obvious to us.
My weight loss was very gradual, while others have released a lot in the beginning. It's really unique for each one of us, depending on our bodies (physical, emotional, etc.), what we are currently eating, and how different our new way of eating is from our old way. Please be loving and patient with yourself. Eat more and more raw foods and your body WILL heal!
Many people tell me they don't feel satisfied when they are switching to a raw food diet, or that they are hungry all the time. When someone isn't satisfied, it could be from all different causes (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual). It's important to become introspective and try to figure out what's going on with you and your body.
If someone is truly hungry, then I'd guess they aren't eating enough calories. Please note that I'm not a doctor and can't advise anyone. I'm just sharing what I've experienced and observed. I never ate enough calories, even though I was obese. My body was literally starving to death (hard to believe for anyone who saw how large I was).
I know it doesn't sound like fun, but tracking your calories for a few days can let you know if you are getting adequate calories for your body. I wrote a post last year about easy-to-use calorie counters. I have found, more often than not, that most overweight individuals are NOT eating ENOUGH! If you think you're eating a lot, or unsure, a few days of tracking your food intake can be very informative.
Another thing to consider with hunger and feeling satisfied: Your body is always trying to give you signals for what it needs. If you are feeling like you are still hungry or unsatisfied after eating, your body may be saying it's not receiving certain nutrients that it needs. One thing I always suggest is that individuals walk up and down the grocery store produce area, seeing what looks attractive to you. You may be surprised at what your body is actually asking for! For me, recently, it has been cauliflower.
Q. Can you guys share what to keep in the Frig. I had no idea you should keep hemp seeds and nut butters in the frig......oops. Thank you
A. Yes, I often take the knowledge I have for granted. I've been living an alternative lifestyle for many years and have acquired a lot of tips and tricks that are now just a part of my daily life. I forget that there are things I can share to help others. ;-)
For what to keep in the fridge, it's important to keep nuts, seeds, nut butters, and oils in the refrigerator. If you don't, they can quickly oxidize (which eventually makes them rancid and they mess with your body, giving you a greater risk of cancer). If you are going to use those items up rather quickly, leaving them out won't be too harmful (but I keep them refrigerated if there is enough room in the fridge). Some things should always be refrigerated, however, like flax (seeds, powder, and oil) because of how quickly it oxidizes.
If you are still using flour and rice, whole wheat flour and brown rice should be refrigerated, as well, for the same reasons as stated above.
Q. One very random q, I'm not sure if you have the time or inclination to advise me on this kind of thing, but I have a turnip, 3 leeks, 2 zucchini and an eggplant that I need to use for dinner!? I am just sure that there is a great meal in there... but I am just staring at them and not getting it. Thanks either way :-)
A. Here's what I would have done with what you have:
1) Thinly slice (on a mandoline, preferably) the turnip and eggplant into very thin rounds.
2) Puree the zucchini with some lemon, spices, garlic, and salt (and some nuts or seeds, if you have any).
3) If the puree is very watery, drain some of the liquid from it.
4) Marinade the turnip and eggplant rounds in some olive oil, salt, and lemon. When they are soft/pliable, rinse them.
5) Finely chop the leek and stir into the puree.
6) Create a rawvioli-type meal by using the turnip and eggplant slices as "pasta" and the puree as the filling.
7) Drizzle with olive oil and some finely chopped leek, serve and enjoy!
How's that? Personally, I've never eaten raw eggplant. From what I've heard it's important to let it marinade and then rinse it, or else it could be quite bitter.
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On March 18, 2009, wrote:
For those who are not losing weight on a raw food diet: Remember, although extremely important, what you eat is not the only thing that counts. I did not lose one pound in 2 years on a raw food diet, but I did figure out after some time that my hormone levels were out of whack because of stress, which effects metabolism. Once I learned the interconnections between stress, hormones, and body fat, it was clear to me why I did not lose weight, because no matter how healthy I ate, it did not matter if I did not deal with the stress! So maybe examining health in ALL areas of your life is beneficial. A good naturopath will be able to help you and he/she can do hormone testing as well.
On March 19, 2009, wrote:
I know are not a doctor and cant diagnose someone but I have been going off and on with the raw food world and will be quite good for a time like maybe a day and even just a part of a day. Recently I had what seems to be flu but it lasted longer that expected an I got soooo sick a was almost delirious. Not wanting to go to the doctor or hospital and leave my 3 cats at the house alone, I looked at Dr. NW Walkers book about doing only water for 3 days and then going into vegan foods from there. Since I have come out of the whole long deal (5) days. I have not had anything but raw but I am nervous about why I got so sicK?
On March 21, 2009, wrote:
Thanks so much for your helpful comment, rawprodigy! My hormones were
always out of balance, too. The longer I'm on raw, however, the better my
body becomes balanced and healthy. I agree that it's always helpful to get
tested/checked by a professional to find out what's going on. You don't
necessarily have to follow their advice (I think following our own
instinct is best), but it's helpful to have some indication of what's
going on inside the body.
Thanks so much for reaching out and helping others through your comment!!
Lots of love to you,
On March 21, 2009, wrote:
I'm sorry you haven't been feeling wonderful on the raw diet. Many of us
don't feel that great when we switch to a raw diet right away. I did it
very gradually and didn't experience a lot of physical discomfort.
I have no idea what's going on with you. I could guess that it's your body
healing itself, but that would be only a guess. I strongly suggest that
anyone starting a raw diet goes to a doctor to get a checkup beforehand.
This isn't to see if they are healthy enough to do a raw diet, but to get
some sort of proof of what they are like before the diet. Then, periodic
checkups can show a positive direction for health, proving that the diet
is indeed helpful and healing.
If you don't want to see a doctor, then you should listen to your
instincts/intuition. What are you feeling--do you feel like eating a raw
diet is good for you, or not? Don't eat it just because others say it's
good for you--only do what you feel is right for your own body.
Lots of love and health to you,