As a high raw vegan, even just as a vegan, I get asked many of the same questions over and over again. People are curious, they’re often dubious because we’ve been so programmed to think, eat and live very differently, but they’re curious nonetheless. And curiosity is good. Dialogue is good. My life and health have changed dramatically because of the lifestyle and food choices I choose to put into practice, so I am always happy to share and chat about this topic. It is obviously one I hold close to my heart. So I’ve collected a few of the most commonly asked questions and gathered them here, but please keep them coming. I love answering them and will be doing more Q&A’s in the future!
Q: Are you 100% raw?
No, I am not raw 100% of the time, but I do feel at my best when I am. My diet shifts depending on the season, where I am in the world and what I have access to. I think once you’ve eaten a fruitarian diet for a length of time, the bar inevitably gets raised with what you consider good fruit, so it’s fair to say I’ve become a bit of a fruit snob these last few years and can get quite picky! I have gone months 100% raw, meaning 100% fruit all day long, but more often I am 90% fruit most days and maybe either a raw or cooked dinner. I have my bouts with cooked foods (especially when I go home to Canada when I am visiting family or in colder climates, like where I am right now) but I’m at the point where I know exactly what it does to my body and what will happen as a result. If I do indulge and choose to eat cooked I try my best to keep it clean, typically will make some steamed greens, sweet potato or potatoes. I do enjoy pasta, or a stir fry or pad thai on occasion as well. But now is a good time to say that it’s not so much about cooked vs. raw, as much as it is about clean vs. heavy/oily/fatty, it’s about what these foods are doing to my body, are they creating more mucus, more acid, more stagnation or are they clean, quick eliminators, low in fat. Generally, day to day I am mostly raw, at least until dinner. For me, it’s about elimination and working with my body as much as possible. If you’re eliminating, your body isn’t spending energy on digestion and working overtime to absorb and process and breakdown. But if I am fighting a bug or if I am in the midst of a healing crisis, I will be eating raw 100% or I will fast. Please keep in mind, that the goal isn’t to be raw so much as it is to feel amazing and be healthy, it just so happens that keeping it high carb, and eating as much fruit as possible are the best ways, that I have found, to do that.
Q: What are some staples in your current diet?
Bananas, frozen and fresh berries, dates are on hand always, that and vegetables make up the basis of my diet.
Q: What are some typical supplements or ingredients we’d find in your kitchen?
Apple cider vinegar, raw carob powder, Vitamin B12, Nutritional yeast, Barley Grass powder or a green powder of some sort, hemp seeds.
Q: What do you eat in a typical day?
I try not to eat until around 11 or noon most days. I’m a big believer in intermittent fasting. But this will also depend on how active I am that morning. If I have gone for a run, for example, I’d likely make a smoothie post-run or maybe 1L of freshly squeezed orange juice, sometimes or a green or celery juice too, but if I have not run that morning, I’d wake up and make myself a glass of ACV and water or lemon water to start the day off.
My first meal of the day, almost every day for the last 7 years, has been some variation of a banana smoothie. Typically, a 6-10 banana smoothie with frozen or fresh berries, I might throw some hemp protein or hemp seeds and chia seeds in there if I have them on hand with water as well.
Lunch generally consists of some sort of fruit – I could have 5 mangos or 6-10 cherimoyas, or a kilo or two of dark grapes, but if my fruit selection is limited or I haven’t gone shopping yet, it would likely be another smoothie or banana ice cream. I LOVE my nanner nice cream!
Dinner varies. On a good day, in the summer, I’ll just stay raw and continue with fruit and or fruit and a raw soup (which I absolutely love!). If I’m feeling the need for something heartier or warmer, I might have some steamed broccoli and lentils or sweet potato with a raw cashew dill sauce maybe. It all depends on the season, where I am, activity levels, etc. But ideally, I’m always keeping it high carb, eating fruit as Plan A and if not, potatoes or sweet potatoes as Plan B.
Q: How did you start on this path?
Well to keep this short, I’ll invite you to read my about me page for the full story, but in a nutshell, I was constantly sick and I wanted out. I wanted a new body, I wanted to feel free of what was keeping me down. I had a quiet, but constant voice inside that would tell me that there had to be more, and that I could do better, that I could feel better and to keep learning and experimenting until I found the answer. I had skin condition after skin condition, I was anemic, I had digestion and absorption issues, this led to hemorrhoids and irregular bowel movements, I had chronic candida, I was depressed, I first had shingles, then I had recurrent breakouts of hives, my asthma got worse, my allergies were almost unbearable. I wanted to eat and not feel like I was a prisoner to how my body would react to what I was eating. So I chose to learn as much as I could. I immersed myself in my studies and experimented on my own body. It’s been a constant journey that just keeps unfolding in front of me, there is no specific destination now, other than to continue raising my vibration, continue feeling better and better and to help others do the same.
Q: What your favorite recipe/go-to meal?
I never get sick of a good banana smoothie or a raw soup.
My go-to morning (or anytime) smoothie is:
1-2 cups of frozen berries
1 T of raw carob powder
*add 1T of hemp hearts or chia seeds or even a handful of fresh green spinach!
…and I saved the most frequently asked question for last.
Q: What about protein? Where do you get yours from?
The million dollar question. I get asked this more than anything else. My initial reaction and response to this is this; as with many other issues with regards to our health, detox and eating well, I say that we just need to look to nature. The largest, strongest animals on the planet are herbivorous and/or fruitarian. The silverback gorilla, the elephant, the rhinoceros, oxen – these animals eat leafy greens and berries but are completely solid and so strong. Yet somehow we don’t question where they get their protein from. Why is that? Why do we panic with regards to our own nutrition and health? Well, because of conditioning and programming. We have a very misguided understanding of how proteins form and are used in the body. But, once one unpackages the protein myth and digs deeper into how our organism and systems use it- we learn the dangers of protein consumption more than anything and see the harm too much of it can cause. Animal protein is one of the most acidic foods we can put in our bodies (disease thrives in acidic conditions). It affects our brain development, it increases testosterone and it affects behaviour. Too much protein undermines our health and interferes with our cellular activity and organ function. We are not carnivorous beings. Our digestive tract, the enzymes we do and don’t produce, the way our body absorbs and breaks down animal flesh, even our teeth all illustrate that we are not carnivores, but that we are frugivorous. So we need to be eating for our species. (Read more on that here)
So to bring it back to my response, proteins are just amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids, 9 of which are called “essential” amino acids because the body does not produce these ones naturally, the other 11 it does. But amino acids are found in all foods. So as long as you are eating a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables in high enough quantities, there is no need for concern as to where one would get their protein. I find most people don’t even know how much protein they need but are quick to assume that one wouldn’t be getting enough on a plant-based diet.
I’ll be writing more on the protein myth soon, so stay tuned for that!
Q: Advice for newbies or anything else to add?
For people just starting out, whether you’re just dealing with weight loss or wanting to rid the body of dis-ease or illness, my advice is to please keep an open mind and be willing to adopt and put into practice certain methods that will be new and seem like you’re going against the status quo. Because you will be. There is so much misinformation out there about how disease is created, how to rid the body of it and about nutrition. It’s important to listen to your own voice and do what feels right for yourself, no matter what anyone else tells you. Health, regardless of what we’ve been taught, is not just about what you eat or counting calories (I’d even argue the latter has no place in that conversation), but it’s rather about eating for our species, eating the right foods for our organism, it’s about gut health and elimination. And with regard to ridding the body of disease whether that is cancer, or lupus, or IBS, or psoriasis – it’s about detoxing at a cellular level with fruit and herbs, it’s about working with the body rather than against it and creating the right conditions for the body to heal itself, because it wants to and it can, given the right circumstances.
I’d say keep going. It’s not an easy path to take, but it is the most rewarding one! Keep going, push the noise and the misinformation and the fear and keep going the distance. You can and will get there. And for anyone that is feeling like they need some support or guidance or even just some more information, I’m always here, send me an email from my contact page and let’s chat.
Big Love, Deep Gratitude & Vibrant Health.