What does raw vegan mean?

Throughout August I decided to challenge myself to eat raw vegan for a full month (aptly named Rawgust).  Whilst completing the challenge I got quite a few questions from you guys about the process and foods I was eating, and so I thought it would be helpful to answer them in an FAQ style post!

So here goes:

What does raw vegan mean?

Eating raw means consuming nothing that has been heated above 42 degrees c (118F). So lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, juices, salads, smoothies etc.

What are the benefits of eating raw food?

I have done a whole blog post on this which you can find at the bottom of this post.

What did you eat?

Lots and lots of fresh fruit and veggies! Salads, lettuce wraps, dips, courgette noodles, sauces, crackers, pickles, juices, smoothies, shakes, dehydrated foods, raw desserts – the list goes on. Although initially I found the diet a little restrictive as I felt like I was cutting a lot out, by the end of week 1 I found eating so easy and all my meal prep was under 10 minutes!

I would also recommend taking snacks wherever you go! Bananas, dates, nuts, avocados, crackers – anything that you can reach for if you need something to eat at short notice.

Can you eat hummus?

Unfortunately no. Hummus is made from chickpeas and tahini which are both cooked, however I made an amazing raw hummus from cashews, raw tahini & sundried tomatoes – you can find the recipe here.

Can you eat tofu?

Nope. It’s processed and cooked.

Did you lose weight?

Yep I lost weight but I also ate more food than I normally would! So I didn’t lose weight because I was restricting myself in anyway. I lost around half a stone in 31 days.

Can you drink tea/coffee?

I think it’s really up to you where you draw the line, but I opted to only drink peppermint tea and cut out soy milk (as it’s processed and heated) – I also wanted to cut out caffeine. Coffee is generally roasted, so I avoided this too, although I’m not a big coffee drinker anyway.

My adding a tea bag to water just under boiling you’re stewing the dried leaves rather than cooking them, so herbal teas are just find!

Can you eat oil?

Yes! Just make sure it’s cold pressed oil!

Did you miss warm food?

Initially yes, but after the first week no. I felt like my diet was really varied so I didn’t get bored of anything I was eating. If I needed something warm I would have a tea or hot water.

But another trick is to stir warm water into soups and sauces or pour it over courgette noodles to warm them slightly. The trick is just not too hot and make sure you’re not actually cooking anything.

What did you miss the most?

Tofu, beans, cooked spinach, steamed broccoli, potato, pizza.

How did you manage 31 days?

You can see my weekly updates below. But a lot of willpower and amazingly supportive friends, family and boyfriend also played a huge part. 

What was the hardest part?

I felt limited going out for dinner – or I felt like this could have been a limitation if following a completely raw diet. I find eating vegan out really easy, but raw dishes tend to be limited to salad. 

Also people thinking it’s next level weird to just eat raw food. But hey, you do you!

Do you need any special equipment?

The short answer is no – you can easily eat raw with no special equipment. However to make things more interesting and to ensure you’re getting an many vitamins and minerals as possible, I would recommend have juices and smoothies each day. I used my juicer and NutriBullet almost daily – this included making sauces and dips as well. I also used my spiralizer to make vegetable noodles – mine was £5 from TKMaxx, so it really wasn’t expensive and allowed me to make more creative dishes.

Can you eat peanut butter?

Nut butters tend to be roasted, so I bought a selection of raw nut butters by Raw Health which were delicious.

Did you go to the bathroom all the time?

This was the question I potentially got the most! I’m not going into detail, but let’s just say everything was very healthy and I felt cleansed on the inside. But no, I didn’t spend the month hovering around the bathroom.

Did you drink alcohol?

I personally did drink alcohol yes, around once a week.

To read about my raw challenge, hit the links below:

Rawgust Week 1

Rawgust Week 2

Rawgust Week 3

Rawgust Week 4

Photos by Ottr.Works.

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