A great many things await you when you start eating a diet with Raw Vegan food. Common experiences include easy weight loss, increased energy, soft skin, clear and bright eyes, silky hair, better sleep, mental clarity, major health improvements, a peaceful mindset and much more.(Yay!) A common question I’m asked is, “How ‘Raw’ do I have to be to experience these things?”
As with many things in life, whether it’s diet, religion, etc., there are many different schools of thought as to which is the best plan when following a diet of Raw Vegan food. This can be confusing for people (I know it was for me when I first started). There are people on the far end of the Raw spectrum that are classified as “Natural Hygienists” and they lead a fairly strict lifestyle. Many of them don’t use salt, garlic or even ginger in their food. So, you can imagine that their position on something like agave nectar will not be favorable. On the other end of the Raw spectrum is where you find people eating anywhere from 75% to 99% of their diet as Raw and they classify themselves as “High Raw.” And, of course, there are people who call themselves “100% Raw” and they eat anything (plant-based) that is Raw (superfoods, agave nectar, raw cacao, raw nuts and seeds, etc). Really, that’s just to name a few of the categories of Raw.
For the most part, I think labels can be difficult unless you know hard and fast how you will eat and that you’ll stay that way. I find that many people evolve until they find what works best for themselves and their family. If you eat 100% Raw every day of the month except one or two days, does that suddenly mean you can’t classify yourself as 100% Raw? That would be harsh in my opinion. And, what if it changes over the years? Or, you might be like me. I enjoy eating a 100% Raw Vegan diet for weeks, months, or a season at a time and I’m happy following the HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) lifestyle during other parts of the year. I also throw in a week here and there of just drinking green juice along with some weeks of eating fruitarian style. Oh yeah, and what about that period where I was chugging down green smoothies for days on end (was I a green smootharian?)? Hhhmmm… What the heck does all that make me?
There are a lot of books available with plenty of different opinions about Raw food and how you should go about it. My meta-position: I don’t take any one position all the way. Everyone is different and might react differently to certain foods and this might happen at different times of your life. My best advice is to “listen to your own body” because you’ll figure it out and notice what you like, what is easy for you, and what makes you feel the best. Being flexible will be one of the keys to your success with this lifestyle.