In our social media driven culture, many people feel pressured to reach the extremes of perfection in whatever they are doing - just as they see their favorite social media personalities demonstrating.
However, it’s very important to keep a proper perspective and context around what we see from people on social media - as most of us know, we are only seeing what they want us to see. Most people don’t want to share their struggles or down days.
As a social media content creator myself - I know this first hand. And while I do my best to be as transparent with my audience as I can about my life, I am not one to put absolutely everything online - I wouldn’t have time to even if I wanted to.
With that in mind, I will be sharing my top 3 pros AND cons of trying to be a 100% raw vegan in the world we live in today. While there are certainly some challenges to this lifestyle, I do believe that we can choose to look at these points as opportunities to grow and deepen our understanding of how to move forward in a more effective way.
I’ll start with my top 3 pros to being a 100% raw vegan:
- Health Freedom
Growing up I always thought that health was mostly the luck of the draw. I had an idea that “you are what you eat” but for the most part I thought we were either born with good genes or we weren’t.
Thankfully once I got into this lifestyle and unlearned most of the “health education” I received in school and from mainstream media - I was able to see just how powerful and self-healing my body is.
My skin issues, asthma, seasonal allergies, yearly colds and flu, excess weight, depression, and so much more resolved themselves. On top of that, I was meeting people online that had healed their bodies of similar things and even issues that were much more severe.
The more I dug into the principles of natural living and studied the anatomy and physiology of the human body, I no longer felt like a leaf blowing in the wind when it came to my immediate or long-term health. It was the more empowering thing that this lifestyle has given me and I hope you are able to say the same.
- Increased Body Awareness
It might sound strange to put this as a “pro” because it could be interpreted as an annoying side effect - however, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Before I transitioned to a raw vegan way of living, I would use a cologne, body wash, air fresheners, drink tap water, wear new clothes without washing them, etc. When it came to diet, I would eat and drink all sorts of crazy combinations of processed foods, soda, and animal products without thinking twice.
However, after living this way for a short amount of time, I was no longer able to do these things without immediately paying the price. I remember the first time I tried drinking soda after I had gone through several months of detoxing and cleaning out my body. The first sip tasted like chemical-filled syrup - I could not believe how disgusting it tasted to me - I had to dump it down the drain.
My skin and sense of smell are also shockingly more sensitive to synthetic chemicals. Smelling perfume or air fresheners gives me an immediate headache or sore throat. Touching brand new clothing from a store immediately irritates my skin.
Some people might feel this is an inconvenience, but you wouldn’t want the check engine light of your car to delay letting you know there was a problem until it was too late would you? No! You would want to know if there was a problem right away so you could eliminate the cause as soon as possible.
That is precisely why it is so important to clean out the body so that its alarm systems can alert you to any potential damage as soon as possible so you know that you need to change something in your diet or environment.
- Great Poops
I hope you don’t mind a good poop discussion! Bowel habits are something that everyone needs to learn to talk about. Elimination is such a critical part of our overall health - it’s truly connected to everything that goes on in the body. What we don’t eliminate, we accumulate - so if you’re not eliminating cellular and metabolic waste products, then they will build up in the body and cause inflammation.
I used to go multiple days between bowel movements before I got into this lifestyle. I had no idea that was a problem - and that is exactly why it needs to be a dinner table conversation for every family that wants to keep everyone healthy and happy.
These days I have 2-3 very enjoyable bowel movements each and every day (with few exceptions). Because of this my digestion improved, my mind is clearer, and my toxic thinking patterns that I had earlier in my life have drastically subsided. The gut is the hub of the body and is directly linked with how well the brain functions. If you want to feel better in body, mind, and spirit - I suggest that you give some tender loving care to your colon.
A great way to improve the condition of your colon would be to get a copy of my book, “5-Star Digestion” which offers you a comprehensive approach to gut health that is easy to understand and simple to implement. This book will be available in paperback form on Amazon within the next week or so (today is 6/3/22) - or the ebook is available on the website shop right now.
Now let’s go through my top three challenges that someone might run into on a 100% raw vegan diet:
- The Ego Trap
When someone watches the raw vegan YouTube community they will most likely come across a faction of the community who promotes raw is law, and that you must maintain a 100% raw diet to be healthy because cooked food is poison. Usually, the people that support this approach are relatively new to the lifestyle.
Also, what I have noticed over the years is that many people with this mindset don’t last very long on this path. This sort of mindset leads people into being raw just to be raw, rather than being raw to be healthy. And because the world doesn’t always make it easy to eat a healthy raw vegan diet, these people will frequently end up compromising on their food choices with packaged and gourmet foods that are labeled “raw.”
Raw vegan diets that have a significant amount of gourmet, high fat, or packaged foods being consumed do not lead to long-term vibrant health. So, unfortunately, the people that choose to eat store-bought kale chips and cashew cheesecake for dinner rather than a big leafy green salad and some steamed vegetables - usually end up with poor outcomes. Being humble and flexible in our pursuit of vibrant health and longevity is a virtue worth striving for.
- Requires More Planning
Maintaining a 100% raw vegan diet certainly requires more planning than most other dietary approaches. You need to make sure you have a proper rotation of ripening fruits at all times. You can have mountains of unripe fruit in your home but if an adequate amount of it isn’t ripe enough to satisfy you, then that is when cravings can come out of the woodwork - so make sure you keep on top of your fruit stash and maintain a good rotation of ripe vs unripe.
You’ll also need to plan ahead if you are going to attend any social gatherings that center around food - such as holidays or birthday parties. Eating before you go to the party is one of the best ways to avoid giving in to temptation or peer pressure while you’re with your friends and family. But the number one way to successfully make it through a social gathering is to be proud of the way you eat and bring your own fruit along with you to share with others.
If you’re traveling, make sure you bring along fruits and vegetables that travel well, such as melons, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.
- Less Enjoyable Restaurant Experiences
Don’t get me wrong - there are some really good raw vegan restaurants out there - but you’re going to pay for it. The vast majority of raw vegan restaurants serve very small portions at a premium price - so you typically need to order multiple entrees if you want to leave feeling satisfied.
The majority of the entrees at raw vegan restaurants are usually heavily nut or seed-based. This is good for someone that is brand new to the lifestyle and is transitioning away from the conventional heavy, dense meals of a standard diet. However, after you’ve gotten settled into this lifestyle for a while and have designed your diet in the way that I describe in 21Day Raw Transformation Program, then you will likely not feel your best after eating out at any restaurant - even a raw vegan one, if you can find one.
Raw vegan restaurants are of course much harder to find unless you live in or near a larger city. So, you will probably have a harder time finding a suitable establishment to visit unless you’re willing to travel.
The good news about having fewer options to eat out, is that you are more inclined to learn how to make delicious raw vegan food at home that is much healthier and much less expensive to make. So, when you are in the mood to put on your raw vegan chef hat and have something a little more gourmet, you’ll eventually be very comfortable and capable of throwing together a delicious and satisfying recipe.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my top 3 pros and cons of being a 100% raw vegan. If you would like to hear more of my pros and cons, as well as those of my close friend, Ms.FitVegan, you can check out Episode 4 of The Raw Misfits Show where we discuss this in much more detail.
Leave your comments and questions below about what you thought about my list and what would go on yours.
Till next time, always follow your raw intuition.