Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crossroads - What to do?

As you have probably noticed, I have not posted anything for a while now. This is because I've been busy, for one. The main reason however is I don't really know what to do about my diet - and hence what to do with this blog? I decided I'd write my thoughts down in hopes that you might be able to help.

In May my husband and I started really craving raw foods and the thought of slaving over the stove just didn't sound appealing. So we ate what we felt like eating, I would say 90% or more of our daily food was raw. This felt good at the time. Soon after, I noticed I was having a hard time maintaining my body weight (116lbs seems ideal for me). I also felt like was not getting enough protein and contrary to what people usually associate with raw diets, I also felt less energetic. End of July we started craving cooked food, like sushi (I replace white rice with millet, in the pic). So we went with that. I lost a couple lbs and got back to my ideal weight quickly after and also noticed a huge increase in my energy levels. It's not like we missed bread or any kind of junk (I'm still allergic to gluten and dairy), just some lightly steamed vegetables and cooked grains now and then. I also replaced my raw pizza crusts with a crust made of water and millet+quinoa flour. I think the reason that I gained weight on high raw was the large quantity of nuts we were consuming. Now that we've replaced most of the nuts with healthy grains, we both feel a lot better. And look better!

I would still like to eat as much raw as possible. I'm finding it hard to replace nuts in raw recipes - it would be a lot easier if I could eat gluten and just replace with spelt or wheat berries. We do still use a lot of sprouted buckwheat. I've tried using sprouted oats, but my body won't tolerate that too much/too often. Lightly toasted or cooked g-free oats I can handle, it's the raw variety that is pretty hard to digest. Lately I've also found that consuming a lot of legumes isn't too good for me either. So my question is, if I can't eat raw nuts or raw/cooked legumes, how do I get enough protein? I do eat raw chia, hemp and sesame seeds. But it doesn't seem feasible to get 50-60g protein (1g/weight kg) from those alone.

Is it so bad to eat cooked millet, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and oats? At this point I think not, because I feel significantly better eating the grains.  But what do you think? Are there others out there who can't handle a lot of nuts? Any gluten-free ideas how to replace them in raw recipes? Or any gluten-free, nut free recipe ideas altogether? Savory dishes are what I'm struggling with.

This blog never really was a raw food blog. It will still continue as it was when I started it, as a documentary of my "adventures" into the realms of healthy eating. I'm just still looking to find the kind of diet that works best for me. Hope you'll continue to follow me on my journey. :)

10 comments:

Yaelian said...

Nice to hear from you again. Interesting to hear how the raw diet affected you.A few years ago I was totally raw for 6 months, and what happened to me was that my energy levels went up,but I gained quite much in weight,which I still haven't managed to loose (trying very hard though..)Today I eat partly raw but not only;I eat fish(once a week at least) and occasionally cooked foods,like quinoa and other grains. I am not sure if I gained weight because of the nuts, as I did not eat them that much,as far as I remember.But I ate a lot of fruit,which have a high sugar content,so maybe that was the reason,as prior to raw food I did not stuff myself with fruit. What about seeds instead of nuts?high in fat as well but maybe you could substitute some of the nuts with seeds.Hopefully you'll find a diet that best fits you.

pinkkarma said...

I think we're all individuals and finding your own personal preference of what your body likes is the key for everything! And it can even change over time:) So for me it sounds pretty amazing that you've been able to listen to your body and not stubbornly stick to "one recipe" even though it's popular! Go girl! I think that as long as you do that, you can't go wrong:) You might be interested on reading Daniel Vitalis article of his dietary history, there might be some insights and similarities to your findings:)

http://www.danielvitalis.com/2010/03/hunter-safety-why-i-am-not-a-vegan/

I'm interested to read any recipes you come up - raw or not, so keep up the good work!

Okriina said...

Hi there! Nice to hear from you again. I think listening your body is the best you can do. At least when it doesn't tell you to eat white sugar and stuff like that. As said earlier we're all individuals and probably nobody really knows what is the ultimate best diet that is good for everyone. It is interesting how different we are. Unlike you I am a real nut lover and haven't had any problems what so ever. And the only problem with my high raw vegan diet is that sometimes I have hard time keeping up my body weight. I have always been like that, though, even when I ate mostly cooked food. The protein thing is also something I have been wondering. I feel my body can't consume all the raw protein form nuts, seeds and sprouts. So, I eat tofu and cooked legumes form time to time. So it is obvious I can't give you any better advice you came up yourself already. Hope you keep on blogging, however. It is even more interesting now :)

瑞陳彥 said...

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Aletheia said...

Yaelian, thank you for the insightful comment. I think the high sugar content from fruit was an issue for me too. Not only did I eat large quantities of fresh fruit, but I used quite a bit of dried fruit in raw desserts and as snacks. Your diet now sounds a lot like mine! I do use seeds, and will not stop nuts either. I'll just steer clear from recipes requiring large quantities of them.

Pinkkarma, thank you for that link! I hope I have enough time on my hands soon to read through it all. And thanks also from the words of encouragement! It definitely is understated that one diet does NOT fit all- we all have very individual needs that need to be addressed.

Okriina, I never thought of that! Thank you so much for pointing it out- that was probably the main reason I was lacking in energy and gaining weight, I was not absorbing the protein from the nuts well enough. Also glad to hear you too are listening to your body and adjusting your diet to meet your individual needs!

Sometimes it feels like certain diets gain almost a cult status and are touted as the only way to eat healthy. When in reality, like you all pointed out, this depends so much on our individual needs. I like to hear that there are people apply common sense to their dietary choices. :)

Theresa said...

Leafy greens have a huge amount of protein in them as do many other vegetables, if you are eating them in large quantities, it probably isn't protein that is the problem. If you page through Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live book, he explains the 'protein' myth pretty well.

I hope you aren't feeling "bad" that your raw blog isn't completely raw--if you are feeling great with what you are doing, do it. You have a wonderful blog! I am really enjoying reading it!

Theresa

Serena said...

The same sort of thing happened to me. I believe a high raw diet is great, especially for summer months, but I also believe that many raw foodists over-emphasize nuts in recipes.

I recommend you read the Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko. It is super informative and emphasizes greens.

eight3 said...

Have you heard of a book titled "The 80/10/10 Diet" by Dr Douglas Graham?

If yes, what do you think about it?

L. said...

Hello :) I am a vegan with a nut intolerance who eats a high raw diet. I get my protein from grains, green juices (2 pounds of kale juiced with a large beet, 1/2 an onion, and 15 carrots is not only one of the healthiest things you can eat but over 40 grams of protein and SUPER energizing!!), and spirulina as well. Plus I'll still add seeds to things or I'll have the occasional soy milk. I get more than enough protein every day and feel healthier than ever and love my diet!!!

L. said...

P.S: The protein in GREENS is the healthiest protein you can eat!!! :) But follow your body!! I still eat grains because I have ulcerative proctitis and I find when I don't eat them I get constipated. Maybe one day my body will be able to be even higher raw. Read Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko for more info on greens too :) And tons of raw foodists know full well that grains are far healthier than large quantities of nuts. Nuts truly are the devil. Wreck havoc on digestion, slow you down, don't provide energy...it's absolutely a healthier choice to replace them with grains or fruit for your calories and energy and maintain protein with green juices, spirulina/other protein powders (I buy mine in bulk for cheap on the internet), etc! :) I feel wonderful. Invest in a juicer or make green smoothies, it may be the best decision-making of your life!! :)