Thank you so much for this forum and all the yummy recipes. It makes my decision to go raw a bit easier, although I'm still a bit whobbling if I really can do it. But I have been vegetarian for more than 15 years now and vegan for 5, so why should I have any problems with going raw vegan? Instead of making a radical cut like I did when I was 9 and 20, I now plan to go through a transition phase of 4 weeks in which I'll try to first consume 1 raw meal for 2 weeks and then 2 raw meals a day for another 2 weeks. If that suits me I plan to be fully raw in February.
But I'm not really sure that works out. The reason is that I have quite some health problems: My endocrin system is completely out of range and well, the diet advices I get are quite stupid. I was recommended the DASH diet (because I have a disease with which I should have high blood pressure but suposedly because of being a sugar-free vegan, I'm still okay) and well, they would only allow me 4 pieces of vegetables a day. On the other hand they were recommending 6 (!) servings of grains.. and although I'm quite pasta addicted at the moment (due to my insuline resistency..) and therefore severely over weight, I don't even have so much grains... and never could. That's why I came to raw food.. and well - why not try it? Maybe that way I will not only loose my weight, but also my health problems - but I hoped that when going vegan also.
What else is there to tell about me? I have a Vitamine B12-defency - but due to a lack of intrisic factor. That's quite funny, because the doctors spent weeks trying to convince me to go omnivore again before doing the test, and on the end - just as one other vegan I know who has problems with Vitamine B12 - it's not a problem of veganism.
Still, I love cooking, baking and due to my thyroid I'm constantly cold. I'm also addicted to herbal and fruit tea (infussions) and also I know you can prepare some of those with cold water, I don't know if that will be still raw.
As for the normal stuff, I'm 25 years old, German, an university student, a world traveller, married to an omni-vore who is severly underweight, eats mostly junk food, but is healthy and pretty much happy despite of being a medicinal sensation. ;). Let's see if I can change that to the better while going raw. It's going to be pretty interesting, because I'm having blood tests done regularly anyway (about once a month), so I might be the closest monitored raw-vegan ever.
Howdee! To tell you the truth I don't eat vegetables and feel much better eating mostly fruit. That's not to say don't eat vegetables, but don't worry if you don't eat a lot of them. Fruit is much more healing in the detox/cleansing phase. Then you can get into the vegetables. I don't think tea is your biggest problem - I still drink it sometimes and it prevents you from eating cooked food. To balance out the thyroid problem just try to drink less of it rather than shoving it out completely, like you said a gradual switch is better. Grains are a very harmful food, loaded with starch and lots of other indigestible things. Grains are the thing most likely that is impeding your weight loss if you eat a lots of them. If you really want grains sprout your own raw ones and eat them whole with flavorings. But eating a lot of fruit is best for cleansing. good luck!
Wow, what a story, how interesting that the docs told you to limit vegetables but eat lots of grains. Keep in mind that once you slow down your grain consumption you'll be craving something to replace it - try eating lots of fruit first before reaching for the high fat items.
Are you supplementing with B-12?
All the best to you on your journey, you will do great!
Thanks a lot for all the advice and encouragement ;).
First about the fruits: It's actually going to be a slight problem - I'm also suffering from adrenal gland problems and when my Cortisol gets too low (and it usually is those days) my mouth get's all open and infected. Then it's quite hard to eat anything acid or even drink juice, because it obviously hurts. Usually I only have cooked veggies then for a few days until it's over. I don't fancy going back on Hydrocortison any time soon - so I might just have to see how that goes. By the rest, I have adored fruits for all my life. I think one of the reasons that I lost weight while living in Chile, Georgia (Caucasian, not U.S.) and China was that each time I had an enormous variety of fruits for almost no money at disposal. I also was feeling far better then. Here in Germany it's always apples, apples, apples in winter - and bananas, oranges - brought from far, picked green. I know that it is possible to get fresh tropic fruits, but on my budget that's not really possible. Still, I'll keep it in mind and try to work something out with my Cortisol.. the doctors still haven't figured me out yet - so I have to do everything by myself almost.
Second about the tea: There's also a possibilty to keep herbs and especially dried fruits in water over night and it tastes the same - I did that in summer a lot - so maybe it will be an alternative for me. I also found a chart about "warm" and "cold" foods today - I haven't processed it properly yet (just too much to take in - yesterday evening I was -sorry- still concerning raw vegans to be nuts, and today I almost only had salad and am completely ready for doing it.. that's so typically me, first I'm so against something, and then I find out it's the right thing for me.). Anyway, the chart stated that if you consume food from the cold variety (such as most of the veggies or fruits) your body temperature would rise. And don't North Africans drink hot tea all the time against the heat? That works really good (I have tried it - try living in China, I suppose going back there as a raw vegan would be quite a challenge...) - so the opposite should also work.
Third about grains: I agree that they're pretty harmful. In an act of desperation I lived as a vegan low-carb for two month (in China again). I mostly had steamed or raw veggies with tofu, no rice, no noodles, no bread - and harmfully, almost no fruits. I felt better first, really light - but then when I reduced the fruits even more and more.. it was awful.
Fourth my favourite, the B12: I was taking 3 mikrogramm every day since I became vegan (early 2004), then my defency was diagnosed this summer and I had to try taking 1000 mikrogramm a day via pills for 3 months, because the doctor believed it to be my fault. Then my B12 level still hadn't risen but fallen to a critical level so now I'm on injections for the rest of my life - for now once a week, later once a month. I'm quite happy with that, it's far more comfortable then all those pills, especially now that I know how to do it myself. As I mentioned, the only other vegan that I know with a clinical vitamin B12 defency has the same problem (lack of intrinsic factor) - so I tend to think that they should check us up for that one better sooner than later, no matter if we are vegans or not - especially if we were substituting already. Sorry, I'm still angry about that one - they could have spared me 3 months of pain and depression.