Back Up Plans On A Raw Vegan Diet
Our world is not set up to help you eat a raw vegan diet all the day. Sometimes, you may be in a place in which it is difficult to get exactly what you want to eat.
So what are the back up plans for a raw vegan diet when you can’t get what you want? Before that, you should first ask yourself:
Do you really need a back up
First of all it’s important to note that it is very unusual to be in a place where you will not be able to buy fruits and vegetables. When people ask me where do I buy all the fruit I eat, I tell them that I buy my food the same place they buy their food!
Fruits and vegetables are a major part of the human diet worldwide and personally I have never been to a country or city that had limited access to fruits or vegetables.
However, there are certainly restaurants, airports other peoples houses to deal with. In most of these situations it is best to try to plan ahead. You can always cut up fruit and put it in a plastic tub. Restaurants will most likely not be happy for you to do that so you may have to ask them to make you a raw salad or simply a bowl of fruit. Usually they will be able to do this for you. They may even make smoothies or fresh juices.
Back Up Plan Options
In this blog we are going to start from the perspective that fresh fruits and vegetables are the best option. Fruit being the main option for getting most of your calories. If fresh fruits and vegetables are not abundant what are your options:
Dates, raisins, sultanas, dried apricots, prunes, dried figs…there are so many options for dried fruit. The positive side of dried fruit is that they are very available and they will not go out of date quickly. You can stored them for a long time and they also do not take up much space.
As a back up, they may be a decent option but they do have one downside. As dried fruit tends to stick to your teeth it can be a bad option for people with teeth issues. If you are looking to stay away from having problems with your teeth dried fruit should be kept to a minimum. As a one off, these can be an easy snack to get you through a moment in which you are unprepared and feeling a little hungry.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also generally consumed as a dried product. They can be very delicious and sometimes hard to limit. Once you pop, you can’t stop!
Are they a good option as a back up plan to fruit? The main issue with nuts and seeds is that they are very high in fat in contrast to fruit which is high in carbohydrate. As fat is not our bodies preferred fuel source, nuts and seeds are never a good staple for your diet long term.
As a snack to help you get over some cravings for something worse they are a decent option. But indulging in nuts all the time could easily lead to weight gain and for some people digestive discomfort.
I would not rate these as the best back up plan to fruits and veggies.
Most juices and smoothies that come in bottles have been pasteurised. This means they are technically not raw and have been exposed to heat in order to kill off the bacteria that would ferment the juice quickly if it was fresh.
However, I feel these are the best back up plan available most of the time. Juices are available almost everywhere and you can almost always get a juice that is 100% made from fruit. The negative side to juice is that generally fibre has been removed meaning that sugar and other nutrition can go into your blood stream quicker than they should. This should not cause a problem if you are in a good state of health.
Smoothies may be a better option if available as the fibre is still intact.
Another advantage to juices or smoothies is that they you will not get hooked on drinking juices. Most likely you will realise pretty quickly that fresh fruits or freshly made juices or smoothies are better so you are more likely to stick to your good habits that create a new bad habit.
Raw gourmet – Raw gourment snacks like kale chips and crackers are almost always made with salt and sometimes with oil also. They are not an ideal back up but much healthier than other snack options. A great option if you are looking for sometime to remind you of the snack foods you have just given up. Long term it is best not to make these things a regular part of your diet as they tend to remind you of the foods you are hoping to stay away from.
Cooked food – Some people have claimed they eat cooked food as a back up when raw is not available. Personally, I have found that it is hard to limit cooked and it generally takes over the whole diet. When I have asked other long term raw vegans they have said the same thing. Most raw vegans do not use cooked food as a back up plan as it rarely remains a back up.
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If you are interested in learning more about a raw vegan diet consider coming to UK Fruitfest. You can learn more about the event HERE.
A Menu From The Gathering of A Raw Food Society From 1921 in Cinncinati
You may have thought that the raw food movement is a fairly new thing. The truth is that raw food groups have been around since at least the start of the 20th century. Here is a great example:
A menu from a gathering of a raw food group in 1921 has been unearthed which tells us some interesting things about what people were eating on their raw food diet back then. Here is a picture of the menu:
As you can see, the group was called the Apyrtropher Society. I found this description of the group:
“The Apyrtropher Society was a Chicago-based group of the early twentieth century, founded by George J. Drews, for the promotion of “unfired foods and hygienic dietetics” as the best means of preserving health and the attacking of allopathic medicine and any consumption of meat, alcohol, salt, processed sugar, and other unnaturalness in the human diet. Among their efforts to service the public good was a sanitarium, Health Haven, which employed Dr. J. W. Wigelsworth, D.N., of Pathometric and Anabolic fame, as lead diagnostician, offering all the latest in radiational and biodynamo-chromatic analysis.”
Looking at the menu in more detail we see some interesting things.
- Firstly, the soup is a bit of an unusual recipe that I have never tried. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and lemon juice. I am not a fan of beet root so I will not be trying this soon.
- Secondly we move on to the “Aesthetic Synede”. I am not sure what this means and can not find a definition for the word “synede” please feel fee to let me know. However this is a very unusual combination. Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, bananas, almonds and honey. If this is a kind of salad it is certainly an unusual recipe. if you are willing to try it, let us know how it went!
- Thirdly, we move on to a Bromade. Once again, I can not find a suitable definition for this. Any clue would be good. The ingredients are: raisins, almonds and wholewheat flour. It is unusual to see flour used in raw food recipes today as it is generally not considered part of the raw diet. Potentially this tasted quite good, though I am not sure how palatable raw flour is.
- Fourthly, we have a Relish of Bananas, Cranberries and Honey. This is the second time they have used honey and they were clearly not vegan in the same way that people are today. Once again, an unusual combination of a sweet fruit, Bananas, with an acid fruit, Cranberries.
- Fifthly, Grape Drink, a mixture of Grapes, honey and water. Essentially this would taste like a sweet grape juice, probably quite delicious. Perhaps the grapes they had back then were not as sweet? Grapes on their own can make a sweet juice with out the need to add any sweetener.
- Lastly, we have the Unfired Pie. “Unfired Foods” was a common term for raw food back then. The pie contains:
Crust – raisins and flaked almonds, Filling – bananas, apples, almonds and coconuts.
This would probably be a delicious recipe if made today. It may be a little high in fat for some people but it would be a delicious one off treat.
We can learn a few things from this menu
- The concept of a mostly vegan, raw food diet was around as far back as the 1920s and there were enough people interested to host events at the Hotel Gibson (one of Cinncinnati’s best hotels at the time)
- They did not come across the concept of eating mono meals but instead ate unusual mixtures of foods.
- They did not eat meat or dairy but they did consume honey and therefore were not strictly vegan in terms of today’s definition of the word.
- They used dried fruits, nuts and whole wheat flour in some of their recipes
- They did not have a meal called a “salad”, unless that is what one of the unusual names means.
It is wonderful to try to make a connection through time with these old societies and communities of raw food eaters. Imagine what it would have been like to be there. Would they have been asking the same questions and having the same problems as people have today with this lifestyle?
Back then of course there would have been less processed food and fast food. The diet of that time would have been even lower in meat and dairy than it is today. Perhaps more people were open to the idea than now?
If you have any more information on this group or any other old raw food group feel free to get in touch.
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Looking to learn more about the raw food scene now? Why not come along to UK Fruitfest. You can learn more about the event at our registration page. http://www.fruitfest.co.uk/registration