I recently started eating Raw Vegan, following the 80-10-10 nutritional plan. This way of eating is described as consuming mostly all raw fruits and veggies. The percentage of calories from plant food is 80%, from plant based protien 10% and from plant based fat 10% or less. To give you an idea of how little fat that is, 24 grams of fat is all that I can have in one day (which equals half an avocado). I actually find I eat less than 10% most days (around 5%). I do not add fat, oil, nuts or anything of the sort to my food. I eat 1 Brazil nut a day for the selenium and every other day I add 2 Tablespoons of Flaxmeal or Chia seed to my morning smoothie for the Omega-3. Just those two items brings my fat intake to 5% for the day.
Before starting to eat “80-10-10, Raw Vegan until 4pm”; I had tried to loose the 20 extra pounds I had put on from my 2nd pregnancy. I had tried and failed for over a year. I was a gym rat, doing cardio intervals, weight training, watching how many calories I ate and still the weight wouldn’t come off. I was feeling slow, feeling old, feeling fat and hating myself for being such a failure. After the birth of my first child, I had bounced back rather quickly to within 3 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. But this time was different. The weight just wasn’t budging. I had to try something different. What had worked for me between babies was not working for me now. Only an idiot would keep up with the same old routine that wasn’t working in hopes that it would one day magically work! Time for a change…
My husband and I decided to start the Plant-food based diet together on a Monday. We shopped that weekend for all the fresh produce we would need. I put together a family friendly dinner plan for the coming week and we dived in. We decided to eat “Raw ’till 4p” because we wanted to eat family dinners together and the best way to include our kids in our diet was to have a cooked vegan meal. Typical dinners might be: rice, beans and veggies; an asian dish; sweet potato oven baked fries with something else; a soup with veggies and white beans; raw tacos with rice; spaghetti (using quinoa or corn noodles) and mushrooms. You get the idea. Low fat, low salt, high carb, focusing on veggies, beans and a starch. I started a Pinterest board for all the great recipes I am finding. You can follow it here.
Eating raw plant foods means I eat a lot of hydrated fiberous foods. This usually means I need to eat a lot of volume to get enough calories in for the day, which always keeps me feeling full. Right now I eat between 2500-3000 calories per day, depending on my activity level. At first I used Cronometer.com to track everything I ate so I could learn my percentages of carb-protien-fats and the amount of calories I needed. It was also useful to make sure I was getting enough Iron, Calcium and all other crucial vitamins and minerals from the plantfoods I ate. My numbers for Iron and Calcium were always at least double the daily recommended amount, usually triple for Iron, especially when I juiced a lot of greens that day.
Kristina from Fully Raw explains the Raw Vegan plan:
Changes I noticed the first WEEK:
- I lost 4 lbs
- I drank the same amount of water but urinate almost twice as much. I intake so much water from plant food now. I realized how dehydrated I was before, even though before I drank 2+ quarts of water a day.
- Our household made much less trash, 1/3 of what we did eating processed foods before.
- We grocery shop twice a week instead of once a week
- We realized how little fruit and veg we really ate before, now that plant food is the majority of what we eat.
- I finally came to terms with how wrong I had been about carbs, protein and fat. I always thought that carbs were evil and everyone needed gobs of protein. I thought there were “good fats” and I could eat as much of these as I craved. Eating a high fruit, low fat nutrition plan has proven these ideas totally wrong. Plants really are good for you, even though they are in the carb category. They are complex carbs, which for metabolism and nutrients is a huge contrast to eating processed carbs and sugars.
Changes I notice after a MONTH:
- I lost another 4 lbs. After a month, I am just 7 pounds away from my ideal weight.
- I feel like I did when I was 20 years old. No joke. I didn’t think age reversing was possible, but I sure feel it.
- My chronic knee pain (Chronomalatia Patella) is completely gone. Before my knees would always ache, so much that I would ice them every night and felt unable to stand by the end of the day. Now, I feel like I have the knees I had when I was a kid.
- My skin is more moisturized, doesn’t crack like before and I use no lotion to maintain healthy skin (Before I had very dry skin and was always applying moisture and using heel socks overnight to avoid cracked heels).
- My libido has increased
- I sleep more restfully
- I am not hungry after dinner. Before I started eating 80-10-10 Raw Vegan till 4p, I would always get hungry before bed. Now, I eat a big dinner around 6p and don’t feel hungry even if I go to bed 4 hours after dinner. I suppose this is why it is called “sunshine diet” because people find they only want to eat during the day and not binge eat at night.
- I no longer have sweet cravings. I don’t crave sugar, chocolate, even fatty foods. I feel satiated. I feel I have what I need and more.
- My energy level is up tremendously. I rock at the gym. I only go to the gym twice a week for interval cardio and weight training and twice a week for yoga. But I give more during those work outs, and I don’t feel spent at the end.
- I have realized that this is a sustainable lifestyle for me. I can do this 24/7. Whatever nutrition plan you choose, it must be sustainable, something you WILL do 100%. If it is just for a while to loose the weight and you dislike the method, it will never stick. You’ll be a dieting yoyo, and nobody likes riding on that ride.
I don’t believe in most supplements. They have been proven to be mostly ineffective (especially vitamins) because the molecules manufactured in the lab are a mirror image of the same molecule found in nature in fruits and veggies, etc. This is called Chirality and you can read about it more here. Basically, the body cannot absorb mirror image molecules of vitamins and most minerals. Taking a vitamin is basically useless, in most cases. I think it is best to get the vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat whenever possible.
There are two essential things to health that one cannot get from eating a plant based diet in today’s world. B12 and Iodine. If we ate fruit and veg right out of the ground without washing it, we would get our B12. Needless to say, we don’t do that (unless it comes from our own garden where we know our garden practices are clean). Eating a high plant food diet, our family supplements with B12 liquid drops that go under the tongue. They taste like cherry and the kids love getting their drops. We also supplement with Iodine (said: eye-o-deen). This is important for all people, no matter what diet they follow. Most people are Iodine deficient because the soils our food grows in is so nutrient depleted. We use liquid Iodine drops, because the dried Kelp pills are likely not as Iodine rich as they should be because of the evaporation process. To learn more about Iodine and how important it is for bodily function, this article is very extensive.
Some information on Iodine from Dr. Don Bennett: