Am I getting enough nutrients?
Am I getting enough nutrients?
I am new to this but for the past month I have been following and 80% raw food diet. I have researched it a little bit in the internet but have only read one book, the Natalia Rose “Detox Diet” one. I don’t know enough about nutrition or raw nutrition and therefore I am worried that I might not be getting enough nutrients, specially protein and calcium. This is my daily diet:
- 20 ounzes of green and fruit juice, comprising of 4/5 pieces of fruit and over half a pound of green vegetables (chard, celery, spinach, romaine, kale, cabbage)
- about five pieces of whole fruit: bananas, melon, watermelon, berries, pineapple, mango, papaya, pear, apple, kiwi, etc (I put oranges and occasionally lemon in my juice)
- Most days I would also have a salad: half an avocado, 1-2 tomatoes, more lettuce, carrots (I eat this on their own as a snack as well), mushrooms, beetroot, corn, a bit of cider vinegar and some cold-pressed olive oil. I make sure I always have my half an avocado a day even if I donā€™t always have my salad.
- I nearly always have a haldful of nuts, some seeds and dried fruit for snacks during the day, 85% chocolate for dessert and some coconut as well.
- At night time I almost always have a cooked-meal, mostly fish but some days cooked beans, chick-peas or lentils, and the very occasional piece of chicken, sometimes a couple of boiled potatoes and steamed or boiled vegetables to accompany the above. I also have some dairy, as I am pregnant and am afraid of missing out in my calcium intake too much.
I know nothing about sprouting grains, have heard you guys talk about granola, goji berries, hemp seeds, etc but know nothing about it all. What would be a good book for me to get a complete picture of the whole nutrition matter so that I know that I am doing the right thing? Does it seem like my diet above is particularly deficient in protein/calcium? Is there anything I should ideally add to the above?
Thanks for reading and excuse the very long post!
I would say the only downfalls in your diet are the fish, chicken, dairy, and lack of sprouts. Cow milk is not a good source of nutrition for humans, and all of the animal foods you are eating have toxins in them that you will then pass on to your baby. I’d eat more greens if you want calcium. Protein is easy – get enough calories, enough colors, and you’re set.
Hemp seeds and flax seeds are wonderful sources of protein! And they contain lots of omega-3s too. I usually like to grind up a couple tablespoons of hemp seeds and put them in my green smoothie every morning. It’s fabulous. Just remember not to get too caught up on the idea that you need to eat a lot of protein. That’s a common myth. Most Americans actually eat way too much protein on a daily basis.
Hopefully some other people will have suggestions on books. And, I know there are a lot of raw mamas out there, so they might be able to give you more specific advice on being a pregnant/nursing raw vegan!
Thanks so much for your answer. I only plan to eat dairy until I stop breastfeeding, and even at that most days I do not eat it and then I feel bad for not having done so, cos I am afraid I won’t take in enough calcium. I also take calcium suplements. If I look at nutridiary for example, it says that 200 grms of spinach have 20% of your daily calcium needs, and spinach as it is is one of the vegetables that has the most calcium. I am going to have to get an awful lot of veggies to make up 100%, not even taking into account that I supposedly need extra calcium during pregnancy.
How will I go about sprouts? I know nothing aboout it.
Thanks again :)
www.nutritiondata.com is a good resource for me – nutrition info. about all kinds of foods, and you can even put in recipes to find out nutrition info. for one slice of raw pie, etc.
Sesame seeds (soak & blend with a little sweetener to make sesame “milk”), almonds, & sunflower seeds are all sources of calcium.
Lentils are the easiest & quickest thing to sprout – soak 6 hours, drain, rinse & drain twice a day. They are done in a couple of days, & they hardly ever go bad. Once they’re done sprouting, you can keep them in the fridge for a couple of days in a ziploc or a container with a lid.
First and foremost, I would recommend you consult a certified dietician or a nutritionist (a doctor of nutrition) that follows naturopathic/holisitc approaches for dietary assessment purposes. NO ONE here can completely do that for you. Your assessment must include your bmi, activity level… then there are things to be looked at like any health conditions, food allergies and sensitivities, mental health and attitude towards your weight goals, body fat percentage, blood work and lipid panel, urine analysis, etc. We cant do that here. We can provide advice based on knowledge and experience.
If your body is properly digesting and absorbing these nutrients, you would be getting a good amount but because I don’t know any of the info I just listed above, I would never ever say you are getting what your body needs. EveryBODY is different. Please take this advice into account from someone who has studied up on nutrition for many years now… personal and in school.
Superfoods: Learn about them and include the ones your body can tolerate. I would also recommend you look into sea vegetables… seaweeds and algaes. They are very healing and provide a powerhouse of nutrients. You mentioned hemp, it’s amazing. Start using it. And you can easily replace your cooked legumes with sprouted ones once you get the hang of sprouting. There are many resources online that will give you soaking and sprouting time based on seed, legume, grain… google for some and follow the directions so you can get optimal results.
Calcium: spinach, kale, collard, turnip, black sesame seeds – are some of the many high calcium foods. With every nutrient there is the question as to it’s bioavailbilty and what your body is actually able to get from it… I would recommend you also eat foods high in magnesium… and get your daily dose of vitamin D to help with calcium absorption. Ps. Grind your sesame seeds and flaxseeds – they body can’t probably take in the nutrients if it can’t probably masticate and digestively break down the food.
Best of luck to you and please consider seeking advice of a professional who can further assist you with better suggestions and mathematical calculations to meet your nutritional needs.
If I look at nutridiary for example, it says that 200 grms of spinach have 20% of your daily calcium needs, and spinach as it is is one of the vegetables that has the most calcium. I am going to have to get an awful lot of veggies to make up 100%, not even taking into account that I supposedly need extra calcium during pregnancy.
Hey again. Don’t forget that your body is not made to consume cow milk, so it shouldn’t even be on your radar as a source of calcium had the Dairy Industry not figured out it’s a way to make money. Also, after weaning, a human should be on solid foods (that includes you but obviously not your little one! :))
Fruit also has calcium. You SHOULD be eating a lot of vegetables per day. Don’t think of it as “a lot”; just recognize you weren’t eating enough before and you can always improve.
Good luck! :D
What else can I sprout as well as lentils? And then, how do I eat it, in salads or something? Is there any raw ways of eating kidney beans/chik-peas? Should I be including some grains as well?
Thanks for the pointers towards hemp, flax, sesame and sunflower seeds. At the moment I am only taking pumpkin seeds (should have specified this).
TheRawDance thanks so much for the advice about visiting a professional nutriotionist. It is difficult for me to part with the money right now but I will do it cos I think it’s the right thing to do. In any case I was asking generally regarding protein and calcium :)
I will look into the superfoods stuff. Aren’t there, however, detractors of these, and also people who think that legumes and grains are not at all neccesary? Was it Dr Douglas Graham or am I getting confused? Or was it the higienists? I’m not bothered about these last ones anyway, I think they are far too extremists for my own taste (no disrespect for any higienists that might read this)
Anyway thanks everyone for your good advice.
You can do quinoa sprouts; quinoa is very high in protein and calcium! :)
I usually get alfalfa, broccoli, radish, etc. sprouts, and you can also do sprouted garbanzos. Those are very crunchy. I eat them in a salad or by themself, and you can also do a raw nori wrap or something with them.
Just do the best you can and you’re seeking information, which is awesome – some people shy away from it! Sometimes new ideas or ways of thinking seem “radical” but it’s just because we’ve been cultured and raised in a world where packaged/processed is the norm and people question you if you eat healthy…..which is strange, but just the way it is.
What I consider “superfoods” are greens, especially kale.
Hi, I agree with TheRawDance. You should go see a nutrtionist-it’s the best investment for your overall health. You especially need to since you are now caring for two people:)
I suggest adding a handful of sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and/or hemp seeds to your salads for sure. In addition, you can sprout wild rice-I make a srouted rice salad with avocado, bell pepper, peas, shreaded carrots and a orange vinaigrette dressing. For cereal in the morning, I make sprouted buckwheat cereal with flax and pumpkin seeds then I add berries and raisins and coconut flakes or whatever I feel like and pour almond mylk over it. The buckwheat is an excellent vegetable protein b/c it contains all eight essential amino acids and it contains calcium as well, and the seeds add aditional protein and amino acids. I make a yummy raisin flax bread that is really easy to make if you have a dehydrater and i use it to make almond butter banana sandwhiches-that would give you a good amount of calories which you probably need. You can sprout raw oat groats and blend up with dates and banana and make oatmeal which would be good b/c oats contain calcium and are good for the bones and connective tissues. Also a really easy snack for if you get hungry and need something fast, dates filled with almond butter or coconut butter or walnuts sprinkled with cinnamon are really delicious and a good source of energy. And I just remembered, figs are full of calcium too!
Anyways, I hope that helps a little…how far along are you in your pregnancy?
Hi Goinghealthy – Congrats on your quest to improve your diet and health.
You’re off to a good start, just keep reading and researching. Gabriel Cousens and David Wolfe are good raw foods authors. There are plenty of others.
You probably have too much protein in your diet. The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to get rid of dairy and animal products completely. You will see why over and over again as you do your research, but in a nutshell, a high-protein diet will leach the calcium from your bones to try to balance the acidic pH of your blood from the animal protein. Even the dairy products give you a net calcium loss – the high protein overcomes the benefit of the calcium, that is, it causes more calcium to be leached than you get from the dairy itself. No other animal on the planet consumes milk after weaning, and no other animal on the planet consumes the milk of another animal. The proteins required to raise a thousand pound animal in two years is a lot different than that to help a child grow to 50 pounds.
You get plenty of calcium and protein from a plant based diet – look at our closest animal relatives, the primates: all vegetarian, and of course, not many animals are stronger than the 100% vegan gorilla. What are other veggie animals? Horses, oxen, rhino, elephant, steer. All they eat are plants.
Be wary of advice from nutritionists. They are trained in the status quo. Nutrition instruction has not kept pace with advances in research and the reality of modern diet. Some of them promote Atkin’s Diet (still!) and Miami Beach and a bunch of other crappy trends. We just need to see how our closest animal cousins eat and go back to what got us here (and it’s not hunting and meat-eating, believe me). The advice of nutritionists is not working. We will be the first generation in a long, long time to NOT live as long as our parents, even with all the advances in science and medicine. I wonder why? Could it be that we are eating even more meat and dairy than we did 20, 10, or even 5 years ago? It looks that way.
Want a quick read with plenty of references and good, sound advice? Read Skinny Bitch. Really! Although not raw foodists, they touch upon enzymes briefly and fully explain why meat and dairy are the worst. They are putting out a book any day now for expectant mothers.
Lots to learn. Don’t be overwhelmed. Read, learn. Eat fruits and vegetables. Enjoy!
Mickmaster is right about the calcium, but more specifically, our bodies cannot properly metabolize the protein in cow’s milk. So, it leaches calcium from your bones to help digest it. You are losing calcium by consuming cow’s milk. I actually read a study once (don’t ask me where I found it, I can’t remember. You might be able to find it through a google search though.) that was done by the national dairy council itself. It wasn’t supposed to be released because the findings weren’t what they wanted, but it leaked or something of the sort. Anyway, the study showed that an increased intake of calcium from cow’s milk actually leads to higher rates of osteoperosis. Why do you think so many women get it despite drinking 3-4 glasses of milk their entire lives? (My grandmother for instance.) If you want info on raw vegan pregnancy, breastfeeding, and raw kids, check out www.shazzie.com
The countries consuming the most meat and dairy have the most osteo. This is the Scandinavian countries and the U.S., where we also down loads of (useless) calcium supplements. Calcium is notoriously inefficient to get in a supplement because it’s not a good form and doesn’t have all the other stuff it needs to assimilate. Vitamin D in supplements is often of animal origin. Cal supplements are generally about 11% efficacy in assimilation. You’ll get plenty (of the best form) from food.
The NDC study and others are at got osteoporosis? from Milk Sucks <—-here