I'm Not Vegan, or 100% Raw: Update on the Raw Food Diet

I want to thank everyone who has supported me and given me their input on my decision to incorporate more raw foods into my diet. However I think I need to write a separate post which includes information about how I’m going about it. I didn’t completely share enough information in the previous post, so hopefully I can shed more light on the diet.

I’m not going 100% raw – Although I believe we should eat many of our foods uncooked to save the nutrients, I also believe that some foods allow their nutrients to have better absorbability when cooked. I’ve mentioned before that goitrogens are contained in many cuciferous vegetables like brocolli and cauliflower, but didn’t mention it in the last post. Thank you Erica for reminding me to say that I will still be eating these vegetables cooked in order to destroy their thyroid harming compounds.

I still eat meat. That will never change. Healthy, organic, grass fed and free range meat is a very important to my diet every now and then.

Oxalates are present in raw spinach, and need to be cooked to destroy these harmful compounds. An excess of oxalates in the blood and urine can increase the risk for kidney stone formation. Sometimes I will put raw spinach in my smoothies, because I theorize that blending them into a liquid will break down the oxalates. There is no research to support this, however.

I’m not going Vegan – I don’t mind having a vegetarian day, as long as I can still have some eggs or dairy for my daily intake of complete protein. However, I would never resort to veganism for my own health. I have known (and still know) people who tried the vegan lifestyle but couldn’t maintain it due to  health concerns which arises after starting that kind of diet.

Ann Marie over at Cheeseslave.com recently tweeted a blog story about a vegan who has turned a new leaf. She is now incorporating eggs and some meat in her diet due to her body’s declining health after being vegan. It’s a very interesting story that I invite everyone to read with an open mind. (Read it here).

I still enjoy cooked food – Cooked food has that warming, homey quality that I don’t necessarily see as being bad, and I’m not in any position to move to a 100% raw diet any time soon, if ever. Like I said before, some food needs to be cooked to destroy any anti-nutrients or other compounds, like goitrogens or oxalates. Please don’t get me wrong, I love raw foods, but I’m still a cooked food kind of person (you’ll see this with some of the holiday recipes I will post soon!).

Hopefully this quick post provides an expanded view of the diet I’m transitioning into. In all honesty, it’s not quite different from my former way of eating, I’m just incorporating more raw vegetables and healthy nuts and seeds.

By the way, I’m hoping to start a series of holiday recipe posts after finals are over. If you want to join in and create a mini-holiday blog carnival, let me know! I can’t wait until the holidays–there my favorite time of the year!

This is The Healthy Advocate.

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6 Responses to “I'm Not Vegan, or 100% Raw: Update on the Raw Food Diet”
  1. Lillea 2 December 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    That sounds like a good balanced approach. From what I’ve learned so far, historically the healthiest cultures usually cooked their vegetables or fermented or sprouted them.

    And oh yes, cooking vegetables that are goitrogens is best! I know the consequences of eating too many raw crucifers (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli) for an extended period of time. My hair started to fall out and I got realllllly cold. Cassic hypothyroid!

  2. Brandon May 2 December 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Yikes Lillea! I experienced almost the same thing with soy milk, with some additional side effects. Soy has those goitrogens as well unless fermented, so I stay far away from that. Were you able to reverse the effects by avoiding raw crucifers?

  3. Lillea 2 December 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    I reacted badly to soy too! I don’t eat any soy at all now. I got weird temperature changes that matched what they say about hot flashes after eating organic tempeh (made properly by a good company). And, according to Chris Masterjohn’s research, the goitrogens in soy *aren’t* reduced with fermentation!

    He has a paper about this which I bought. It’s awesome – it has historical info and guidelines for eating


    Yes, after I stopped eating the raw crucifers my hair stopped falling out thankfully. I’m glad I figured out what the problem was! That was many years ago, before I knew as much about food/nutrition as I do now.

    • Brandon May 2 December 2010 at 10:41 pm #

      Thanks for sharing about the fermented soy. I have never had tempeh or any fermented soy, however I do recommend it to those eating the non-fermented version. I just may have to retract this recommendation with this up-to date research. You learn something new every day!

  4. Lillea 2 December 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    You’re welcome! I learn a lot from Chris. He’s a careful researcher. His knowledge about the health benefits of things like saturated fat is awesome. He has a good blog too:


  5. Olive Johns 19 March 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Great post, my gf is now more serious with her health food, over the last few years so we are constantly in local fruit and veg markets, vegan restaurants and even the odd vegan bookshop. Its interesting even if you aren’t a vegetarian yourself, theres so much nice food around!

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