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The miraculous raw vegan diet: Experience greater health and happiness than you ever thought possible.

I've discovered the secret to greater health and happiness and I'm dying to share it with you. It's called the raw vegan diet and it's literally transformed my life. What's more, it's the greenest diet on the planet.

But first I'm going to clear up some of the confusion behind what constitutes a healthy diet and hopefully introduce you to some of the great literature that's out there so you can find out more for yourself.

My previous article What is a vegan, details the environmental cost of producing meat, not to talk about the health impact and ethical issues, and also introduces you to some information about vegan nutrition, but seeing as you’re here I’m assuming you know all that. If not, please go ahead and read it first here.

But let me say outright, my aim is not to convert you, to judge or condemn you. I would merely like to encourage you to eat more raw foods in your daily diet, and to reduce your consumption of meat. As they say, Rome was not built in a day. I certainly would have found the idea of raw veganism to be completely insane had I not tried it.

I remember my sister Nicky telling me to give the raw vegan diet a 30-day trial. My first reaction was “are you crazy?” followed closely by “I could NEVER do that”. Well I did try it. And I felt so fantastic that I carried on for three months. And I am still doing it, nearly three years later!

Although I have spiralled from 100% raw to 70% raw and all kinds of percentages in between, I know for a fact that being as raw as possible is the way I feel best. I run better, swim longer, am more enthusiastic, curious and enjoy life more.

What's more, I know that being a raw vegan is the best possible way to ensure the health of the environment.

But if you’re reading this, you’re probably curious to know what a raw food or raw vegan diet is. So let me tell you a little about raw veganism and the reasons to go raw vegan for better health and longevity.  

What is a raw vegan diet?

Raw vegans generally tend to eat uncooked, unprocessed, unheated and organic food, and of course no foods of animal origin.  The term includes people who eat 75% to 100% raw foods.

A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, and fresh juices. I tend to follow Douglas Graham's: The 80/10/10 Diet, also called the 811 diet, which makes me a frugivore. This means that 80% of my calories come from carbohydrates (primarily fruit), 10% from fat (nuts, seeds, avocado), and 10% from protein (available in every fruit and vegetable).

I avoid legumes, keep my nuts and seeds to a minimum (keeping it low fat) and don’t eat oil, salt or any condiments. I only juice oranges, as my juicer allows me to throw the fibre back in, and avoid sea vegetables, grains and legumes.

Douglas Graham developed this programme from having been a raw vegan for 32 years, working as an athletic coach, nutrition advisor and overall top performer athletically. He’s also president of Healthful Living International, the world’s premier Natural Hygiene organisation.

In the raw vegan world, the frugivores (or 811's) tend to be a minority, while most of the mainstream raw vegans tend to eat a high-fat, low carb, and high plant-based diet. I’m not here to say who’s right or wrong, just that my personal experience has shown that the 80/10/10 diet is the best for optimal health.

In fact, the very word itself "diet" is misleading. The raw vegan "diet"  is a lifestyle, one where you can eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables, which,  combined with exercise and enough sunlight, ensures multiple benefits including renewed health and energy.

Raw energy and vitality

One of the biggest benefits of the raw vegan diet is increased energy and vigour, and much faster rates of recovery. The reason that this diet gives your body more energy is that suddenly you are getting are the nutrients you require in exactly the right amounts.

All this without the toxins that come as part and parcel of most food, especially in today's world of convenience. Juicy fruit and vegetables are easy to digest and absorb, converting instantly into the fuel your body needs to perform at its best.

Meanwhile, meat and grains take ages to digest, using lots of your bodies valuable energy for the digestive process and slowing you down mentally and physically (think of that heavy, sleepy feeling you get after eating a big meal).

The body's natural state is one of health and abundant energy. If you're not feeling this in your current life, if you're merely surviving, perhaps it's time to consider changing to a diet that allows you to start thriving - in all aspects of your life.

Raw vegan health and nutrition

People often think that humans were practically born eating meat, that early civilizations ate meat from the start. Yet historically, evidence has shown that we only started eating the flesh of animals and experimenting with food such as tubers and other carbohydrates to substitute for unavailable fruit and vegetables when we moved away from the tropics.

In fact, Douglas Graham cites a study on the Origins of Agriculture – a biological perspective and a new hypothesis, undertaken by the University of Melbourne, where anthropologists state that the farming of grains, and civilizations’ reliance on eating them, came within the last 10,000 years, the same length of time researchers say man has been using fire to prepare food.

He continues, stating that in terms of human evolutionary history, 10, 000 years is an extremely short period of time, not nearly enough for our digestive physiology to have adapted to the kind of wholesale degradation that cooking causes to our food. Physiologists suggest that it generally takes 50,000 to 500,000 years or longer for evolutionary change to occur. Even then, we could not adapt in a healthful fashion to the nutritional losses or toxins created by cooking food.

By eating cooked and processed food (food that is unnatural or denatured), we constantly require our body to manufacture enzymes, draining us of our life force and leading to physical degeneration, illness, disease and premature ageing.

Raw veganism and the environment

Ok, so you're probably wondering why the raw vegan diet is healthier for the environment than veganism, or any other diet out there. If you're eating raw, locally-produced food, ideally sourced from your local market, then there's less or no packaging. Food is brought fresh and can be placed straight into your reusable bag.

Purchasing local raw food means creating substantially less of a carbon footprint than buying something that has been grown in one country, packaged in another and imported to you! You also use less energy by not cooking it. Lastly, raw vegans tend to gradually start growing their own food (though of course they're not the only ones to do so).

This to me is the perfect cycle, food is grown in your own garden or balcony, to be eaten by you or shared with your community. Everything is put to use so there is absolutely no waste, and best of all, you're living in complete harmony with nature.

Further information

This is just the briefest of introductions to the raw vegan diet to give you a taste of what's out there. Read the following articles to find out more.

Raw Food Health: Get passionate about raw food health and nutrition, learn how cooking food destroys its nutrients and how illness and disease becomes a thing of the past with a raw food lifestyle.

Raw Food Weight Loss: Imagine feeling full and satisfied all the time, and dropping weight! Learn how to eat right, be inspired by raw food diet weight loss success stories and get the top weight loss tips and guides.

Benefits of a Raw Food Diet: Get inspired! Learn what the top 15 raw food diet benefits really are.

The Health Benefits of Olive Oil: If you've ever thought that olive oil is good for you, or heart-healthy, or that you can eat as much good fats as you want, this article is for you. Find out the truth now.

Save the Earth with a Raw Food Diet: Adopt a raw food diet and reduce your carbon and water footprint instantly, leading to a more sustainable way of living that will ultimately save the earth.

The Human Omnivore or Carnivore Myth: Find out whether there is such a thing as a human omnivore or carnivore in this article.

The Longevity Diet: The longevity diet gives you a blueprint for health, happiness and long-lasting life. Discover the diet and lifestyle similarities between the world's longest-living tribes.

Raw Food Travel Tips: At last, Raw Food Travel Tips allows you to travel as a raw vegan without worrying that you're going to fall off the wagon. Find out the best strategies for remaining committed to raw food, anytime, anywhere.


Upcoming articles

  • Successful raw foodists
  • Raw food and happiness
  • Health and fertility: Implications of Pottenger's cats
  • Freedom from supplements and vitamins
  • The raw vegan diet and permaculture
  • Transitioning to a raw vegan diet: potential pitfalls

Return from the Raw Vegan Diet to Eco-friendly Africa Travel

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