So, I went raw once and it didn't work for me. The bloating and gas were just too much! However, that's not to say that going raw isn't for everyone. I interviewed
Valedya of Earth Mama Medicine and this is what she had to say about her thoughts on veganism and the raw life. P.S If you're thinking about going raw, start slow, like super slow. If not, your digestion could get a lil' funky!
What are the top five most important things, in your opinion, to remember when going vegan?
1. Vegan is not a synonym for healthy. If you choose to indulge in processed foods & vegan substitutes of meat, cheese, milk; do it SPARINGLY.
2. Eat from the earth. Plants are all you need.
3. The more unaltered, the better. Raw foods are nature's medicine.
4. Remember why you made the change. Stay informed. Research, research, research.
5. Energy does not die, it is only transferable. Everything you eat is energy. Be mindful of what you're ingesting!
How do you view portion control in relation to good nutrition and especially with vegans? Those eating plant-based vegan diets with raw foods being the majority of their diet need not worry too much about portion control. Eat as much raw fruit, veggies and greens as you like! I only emphasize the importance of portion control when I have a client who is wanting to lose fat. In that case, it's mostly with grains and sugary/starchy foods. I have found that the majority of my clients have more success when they approach their eating habits from a place of freedom and self love instead of rigidity and boundaries. Calorie counting & portion weighing almost always backfire into an overactive and anxious thought pattern around food. Eat real food, clear the mind, really listen to the body and all will be well.
What are the top natural sources of protein you like recommending? Hemp is definitely number one on the list for me. It's a complete protein; meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids our body needs and cannot create on its own. Hemp is also a good source of all 3 omega fatty acids, iron, magnesium, manganese, B vitamins & zinc. I recommend consuming hemp seeds every single day. They're so versatile; I add them to smoothies, salads, sauces, and even make milk from them! I have a video on my Youtube channel showing how. Hemp powder is also available at most health food stores. It's great to add to smoothies & shakes. My other favorite plant-based proteins (in order) are spirulina, quinoa, chia seeds, garbanzo beans, alfalfa sprouts & spinach. I recommend spirulina and chlorella to almost all of my clients.
Do you have any tips or tricks on how to drink more water? Eat your water! Foods like watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, cucumber, & tomatoes are loaded with water. Eating watery produce is a great way to reach proper hydration because fruit hydrates you on a CELLULAR level unlike drinking water. This does not mean I don't think drinking water is adequate; it most definitely is. Specifically spring water (bottled at the source) and distilled water. Tap water & purified drinking water from common bottled brands is full of toxins & heavy metals like fluoride & mercury. I recommend everyone to be mindful of the quality of their water and to drink a minimum of 2 liters of water per day. If one is over 150lbs, perhaps try to make it to 3 liters, but most importantly, listen to your body. Some tricks that have worked for me are setting reminders on my phone, drawing lines on my gallon water jug to represent the hours in the day so I have to reach a certain level by every hour, and downloading apps that are specifically made to help track hydration. Now that I eat a 95% raw diet, I am less concerned about having a lots of drinking water. Balance is key.
What is your favorite vegan sauce to make? My favorite vegan sauce is cashew pesto! I soak half a cup of raw cashews in water for about 30 min. to an hour, then drain them and blend them with a cup of fresh basil leaves, garlic, himalayan salt, hemp seeds & water. It's so delicious. I also make a delightful sweet sauce using soaked dates, water & cinnamon.
What are the benefits of eating fruits and veggies when they are in season? Optimum freshness. Mother Nature makes no mistakes. If we had no supermarkets, we would eat what was given when it was grown in our specific regions. Everything ebbs and flows and I believe it's important for us to go with nature's natural cycle. Eating seasonally (and locally) is a great way to save money on produce. This is because the food is harvested closer to its' freshest, ripest time; unlike foods that must be transported from where they are grown. Less shipping means less money! You want produce that has the least travel time/distance and the least time sitting on the shelves losing nutritional value and flavor as well. We must remember that fruits and veggies are alive. You want to get as close to picking it out of your own backyard as possible. Eat organic & eat local.