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Any disadvantages of eating all raw
Vegan vs Raw vegan
ID#: 74316
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9:18:38 AM on 06-02-2007
Yeah, I saw all the raw food forums with questions about calories and stuff.. I found it ridiculous. The day I start worrying about CALORIES of all things is the day I've truly become someone I'm currently not.

So, how does the pasta/rice situation work? I think I could eat almost entirely raw but on cooked rice. I know there's no rules or whatever, I'm just asking YOU personally what YOU do with rice etc. Like I said earlier, I think there are parts of my diet that already resemble raw veganism. I prefer the taste.

ID#: 74319
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9:31:17 AM on 06-02-2007
Hi Silverfire, do you think you could guesstimate the proportions of your dippy thing above? Just a rough idea would be fine, I can be a bit of an eye-baller myself when cooking. Would you use 1 cup of sunflower seeds?

Do you pre-soak seeds and nuts before blending them? If so, for how long?

ID#: 74326
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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10:03:04 AM on 06-02-2007

Hey Vegree,

I too have my concern with a raw diet for kids, but there are kids that seem to thrive on it.

Calorie, fat and other nutritient wise I'd say it would be fine for toddlers and babies (keeping in mind that 'breast is best' for babies, and we generaly tend to ween babies too soon in the west).

There are 'gentle' raw foods for toddlers, like banana (often recommended as a first food for babies) and avocado etc. And I do believe that raw foods aren't actually harsh on the system (this is complex, I'd have to 'flesh' this thought out a little later).

Just for reference, below is the website that actually got me really interested in raw. It's a raw family (2 parents, 4 children). Jinjee, the woman has had four raw pregnancies and all the children are raw from birth.

Storm, the dad is almost 60, see his photos, it's amazing! And see Jinjee's post partum photos, her figure is amazing! And the kids have so much energy. I can also link some youtube vids of these guys her as well.

Hey I'll,

I've moved a lot away from pasta and rice (which if you had known me before, you'd have said that was an impossible thing to happen, I LOVED pasta!).

I use 'zucchini pasta' where you finely grate zucchini with a 'saladaco' or spiral slicer as they are often called. I have a $10 grater that does the same trick.

I cover this in a bit of olive oil, mix in some herbs of choice, maybe a bit of salt and top it off with a raw pasta sauce.

You can also use grated carrot like this, or a mixture of both. I also sometimes grate up veggies, marinade them in oilve oil, salt, pepper, raw stock and garlic and put them in the dehydrator and use this as a pasta base as well (it's also great to add to salads).

There is also a veggie called jicama that can be grated in the same way.

I do sometimes have cooked pasta, but I notice the negative health effects of cooked foods on me since going high raw and pasta, rice and bread are the main culprits in making me feel heavy, gluggy, block up my digestive system and make me ahem... pass gas very frequently...

But it's like drinking, you love the taste and immediate effect, you know full well there'll be ramifications but you reckon sometimes it's worth it. You just try not to do it often!

Hey canny,

now your asking difficult questions! Let's see:

sunflower seeds: maybe a cup and a half?

lemon juice: maybe half to a full lemon juiced.

garlic: I adore garlic, a clove, or clove and a half, less if you want it milder.

celtic salt: a pinch or two to taste

Olive oil: maybe a quarter cup?

Next time I make it I can measure it. Hopefully the above will be helpful. Rememebr to grind up the sunflowers first before adding the liquid ingredients, this makes the dip much creamier.

I don't soak the sunflower seeds for this recipe, but usually soak nuts for most other recipes (like nut miks etc.)

If you want to soak the sunflower seeds for this recipe, you can soak them and then dehydrate them in the dehydrator, or in the warm direct sun.

I generally soak seeds and nuts for half an hour at the least, usually a couple of hours or over night.

BTW, you don't need a dehydrator to do raw, its a 'nice to have'. As is the spiral slicer.

'Handy to haves' include a blender and a food processor.

Essentials include a good knife, a chopping board, nice big bowls and a fridge (and a freezer if you freeze food).

Luxuries include a fancy juicer (to make ice creams and creams as well as juices), a fandangle 9 tray dehydrator, a big sprouting multi tray contraption, an ice cream making machine, etc.

And remember this is all my opinion, not set in stone, and I'm definitely not the world's most knowledgeable raw food enthusiast!

ID#: 74327
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10:15:34 AM on 06-02-2007
Thanks Silverfire, I would definitely like to up the amount of raw food in my diet. Since quitting smoking, I think my body has been trying to chuck out toxins left, right and centre, so some nice clean "in" would not go astray. I still don't have a good level of energy back, despite eating fairly well. I guess 20+ years of inhaling poison takes longer than a few weeks to reverse. ;)

I love dips and things for a quick snack, and yours sounds very healthy. I have all the ingredients on hand.. so off I go!  
ID#: 74332
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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10:50:35 AM on 06-02-2007

He he, a funny word twist happened when I read your post canny.

After reading the first bit about giving up smoking, instead of reading 'would not go astray' I read 'would not go ash tray'. Funny!

I hope you like the dip, and remember, you can flavour it however you like. I also finf it gets better sitting ovrnight in the fridge. You may even want to blend it again after it has sat in the frideg overnight, might make it even creamier.

If you are looking to have a 'clean out' of your system, I'd wholeheartedly recommend heaps of greens.

And seeing as though you like dips, here's another idea for you to try, I got this idea from a demo at one of the raw food gatherings here in Melb:

Green curry dip:

washed greens of any sort (asian greens of any kind, spinach, green leafy herbs, etc.) maybe a bunch and a half altogether?

water (enough to get the greens blended in the blender)

celtic salt (to taste)

lemon juice and rind of half a lemon

olive oil (maybe quarter cup? less?)

powders of cumin (most important I reckon), coriander, ginger, cardamon (maybe a teaspoon of each for a good kick) or fresh of the above.

Put the greens in the blender (or food processor if no blender), add a bit of water and blend. Add more water and push greens down if they are not blending properly.

Once greens are fairly blended, add some salt, spice powders and the rind and juice of the lemon (you may need to chop the lemon rind finely if using a food processor or a not very powerful blender).

Blend, then add the olive oil. Blend thoroughly until a smooth consitency is reached.

Dip is ready to enjoy! You can also use this as the base to a nice raw curry (chop or food process vegies and add).


ID#: 74333
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11:06:13 AM on 06-02-2007
Think it would work ok with rocket and sunflower shoots? (Have to say, the thought of processed greens is not appealing, but I imagine you wouldn't post this here if it wasn't delicious.. LOL!!)
ID#: 74337
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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11:23:23 AM on 06-02-2007
He he!

The demo guy was making fun of me when he was demonstrating it. Apparently my face had a look of absolute disgust on it.

Everyone thought this was hilarious!

Of course I'll give anything vegan a try, and of course everyone got stuck into ribbing me when I asked for seconds....

I generally use dark green leafy stuff for this recipe, and I love rocket, so yep, I reckon it'd work (though rocket seems so hot to me, maybe other greens such as baby spinach as well?). Not sure about the sunflower shoots, but I reckon you could put pretty much anything in this and blend the heck out of it and it would be good.

Of course you might just find it vomitous! :)

ID#: 74338
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11:40:32 AM on 06-02-2007
He he he.. yep, I might. My Auntie used to give us all dark green outer lettuce leaves (you know, the really tough ones that are usually discarded?) sprinkled with raw sugar and rolled up to eat as a treat when we were kids...omg.. I never ate more than one bite. My cousins loved it.. weirdo's. It was nauseating to me. It is only recently that I can eat raw greens again (last couple of years).
ID#: 74340
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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11:47:44 AM on 06-02-2007

wow... that's seriously strange...

I'd say you're doing well to eat greens at all then!


ID#: 74341
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11:50:23 AM on 06-02-2007
*cough cough*... that was also the JW side of the family. Making more sense now? LOL.. now that I think about it, I think I actually had a greens "phobia" for quite a while because of that. :) Nearly cured.
ID#: 74346
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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12:05:12 PM on 06-02-2007
Yeah, we had weird * like that as mormons, no hot drinks, no caffeine etc. Stock up on packaged non perishables for the end of the world (because canned food pleases the Lord or something...).

I'm kind of grateful for the wacky side of my upbringing. Makes you more worldy when you finally 'wake up'.

I still get laughed at because I haven't seen this childhood movie  (only saw ET for the first time a couple of years ago), or know about that piece of trivia, as a result of being a cloistered little mormon freak! Pretty funny.
ID#: 74355
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1:04:14 PM on 06-02-2007
I've often considered eating more grains and things in a home-made muesli instead of bread and stuff. I don't eat it too often anyway.

ID#: 74358
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1:12:55 PM on 06-02-2007
Ok.. here's a question... what about Bircher Muesli.. does that count as raw?
ID#: 74368
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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2:54:50 PM on 06-02-2007
I could soooo do raw food. Raw veg and salads are my favourite foods and I eat a big salad twice a day and make my own veg juices that sort of thing.
I only buy raw nuts too.

I would love to find out what foods are considered "raw" that are not the obvious ones. Like is soy yogurt raw or are the beans cooked? that sort of thing would be great.
Can you get raw bread type things?
ID#: 74371
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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3:22:52 PM on 06-02-2007
Pretty much everything that's processed (bircher muesli, soy yoghurt, etc.) is not raw.

Cooking is so entrenched in our society that most products have at least something in them that has been cooked, or had additives put into it (also not considered raw by most people).

But I suggest just starting with the basics, reading up on the information available, maybe get a raw general info and uncook book (if you can afford it or could be bothered, I just did some serious net searching).

Try starting with a few simple recipes, using just fruit, veg, herbs, spices, salt, nuts, seeds, etc.

Learn the basics, it's kind of like learning to cook over again. The theory behind raw food prep is different than cooking, the chemical reactions different (no high temp reactions). You eventually learn to make basic sauces, recipes, etc. and expand from there.

Someone mentioned a raw food day, what a great idea! You coudl plan an entire raw food menu, including dessert.

Read up heaps and ask questions before you go cold turkey though I think. Otherwise, if you have diffculties you might not think you could ever do it again.

Just enjoy raw food and don;t restrict yourself at the start. You may not get all the benefits of raw, but you'll be doing yourself a great favour.

ID#: 74373
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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3:32:11 PM on 06-02-2007
Sorry Shane, you can get bread type things called Ezekial bread from health food shops. It's basically sprouted bread.

It isn't actually raw though, it does get baked on the outside, many say that the inside remains raw. People consider it a 'transition' food, for people who miss breads.

You can also make your own raw breads and crackers.

I use avocado on crackers and breads instead of margarine. Tastes great.
ID#: 74380
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4:49:28 PM on 06-02-2007
Much admiration, Silverfire :)

I have also made raw hummus using sprouted chickpeas, lemon, garlic, tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum!

When I was doing the raw thing basically I ate lots of greens, carrots, sprouts aplenty, lots of nuts (except peanuts and cashews) and seeds, almond milk, seaweeds, olives, salad fruit - cucumber/avo/capsicum/tomato, low G.I. fruit - lemons/grapefruit/apples, a bit of sugary fruit, vege oils, fresh herbs and apple cider vinegar.

After a while it really is what I craved - delicious!
ID#: 74381
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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6:21:52 PM on 06-02-2007
Thanks for the info Silverfire. Yes I love avocado on bread and anything really and have never eaten butter or margarine.

I started to realise reading through here that most of my diet really is raw. I could never give up my homemade soups in winter and probably wouldnt want to. I figure my diet is extremely healthy as it is as Im one of the lucky ones who loves healthy and hates junk.

Lots of great info on this thread too.
ID#: 74382
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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6:25:39 PM on 06-02-2007
This is a fantastic thread.  Thanks Silverfire for writing so much about it...I look forward to the release of your recipe eBook.  It's great reading from someone here rather than the "gurus" who preach the no nuts and avos on the same day, no spices etc.  It makes it sound so much more achievable.

My son is pretty keen to go raw when we get back to Australia and I thought it could be a good time to start since we'll have to completely restock the kitchen from scratch.  I thought after my one day failed attempt I wouldn't be able to do it, but after reading this thread, I must say I'm much more inspired.  I think the 30 day challenge is a good starting point.

A lot of it is about being creative with food, isn't it, rather than just munching away on a piece of celery or a carrot and feeling this great deprivation.  It's like anything; if it tastes good, then you don't miss other things.

I like what you said Silverfire about being on the other side of vegan and not thinking it possible to give up cheese.  Now here I am almost a year later and I can't ever imagine eating cheese again.  I don't miss it at all.  So I just have to imagine I'm sitting on that side of raw and maybe when I do the challenge, I'll have the same epiphany you did.  If not, I'm sure I'll be healthier for the experience anyway.  Thanks for the inspiration.  :-)
ID#: 74390
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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7:25:52 PM on 06-02-2007

I'm so glad you guys like this thread!

I'm so impressed by the openmindedness I've encountered here!

I reckon with the positive attitude you all have you could  get really creative with raw and really enjoy it.

Hippyheather, how do your sprouted chickpeas go? I've never actually tried to sprout chickpeas, I hear they are a bit difficult, any pointers with sprouting them? Can you give us some pointers about your stint with raw foods?

I'd be happy to help anyone with any questions they have if I can. And if any of the others can help, maybe we could get together a bit of a VVSQ raw foodie support group!

And I'll get onto finishing off the ebook to give to everyone. The recipes are off the net, but they are pretty scattered and so I thought I'd just get some of the best into one file and give it away.

Go people go! Hope everyone's health benefits immensley from adding more raw to their diet!

ID#: 74393
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7:52:53 PM on 06-02-2007
I would love to try some raw food and see how you put it all together!! Also, do you shop more frequently because you are using less packaged food? If so, how do you find this?

ID#: 74394
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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7:58:57 PM on 06-02-2007
There are some good recipes here (which I'm sure you've stumbled across already):

A VVSQ raw support group would be brilliant.

A few questions:

1. Sprouting.  I constantly fail whenever I try to sprout.  I have one of those little dome covered contraptions and follow the instructions religiously, but always end up with a smelly, mouldy batch of lame looking half-sprouts.  Any advice?

2.  Does a mandolin do the same job as the Saladacco and is the $10 grater a special one or a standard one?  I'm not very good at using my mandolin; can never get the vegetables to cut the way they're supposed to.

3. While in the trial phase, would it be possible to make things such as flax crackers in a really low oven?  I'd like to be able to try with a full range of food available, but don't want to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a dehydrator if it's not something I'll continue using.

I think I'm pretty well set up otherwise...have a blender, food processor, sprouter (if I can learn to use it), juicer with the ice-cream and nutcream/butter making attachments, and mandolin, knives etc.

I'm going to start straight after Easter (April 9) and try and just eat cooked food at the VVSQ monthly dinners.  Any takers?
ID#: 74416
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2:30:41 AM on 07-02-2007
dr john mcDougall provides an interesting perspective on raw diets in the last item of this article:

a large - and funny - site providing information on drawbacks of raw diets is

it covers cooked veg diets as well as raw.

some of the articles and other items can be very confronting, but useful to 'keep you honest' ie check you have good reasons for doing what you are.

ID#: 74450
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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11:28:09 AM on 07-02-2007

We do tend to shop more frequently, but it's helpful that there are three adults in the house, one that works right next to the Victoria Market. I just put in an 'order' with him and he picks it up at lunchtime from the market.

I'm having a bit of trouble at the moment juggling the fresh food, it doesn't pay to get too much at a time if you don't think you'll use it up or be able to either dry or freeze it. I guess that is one of the disadvantages of fresh food, it doesn't have the additives and preservatives and is not overly processed so does have a definite lifespan.

I buy lots of in season fruits and freeze them, currently I'm buying lots of blueberries and freezing those. We have a small stand alone freezer that we pack full of fruit and other stuff.

Also, we have one of those little plastic things that absorb fruit and veg gasses to keep the fruit/veg fresher. They extend the life of the veg in the fridge.

Swami, currently I'm also having trouble with my sprouting. I find that in the hot weather, my spouting grains especially are more likely to start fermenting and not sprouting. I don't seem to have this problem in the cooler months. I don't have a fancy sprouter, just do it in bowls (except for alfalfa, which I sprout in jars with a cloth over the mouth of the jar).

All I can suggest is to try and keep it in a cooler place and have less of a layer of grains/seeds than usual.

There are heaps of sprouting sites on the net, Wiki has a troubleshooting list as well, which included temperature (my biggest problem):

A mandoline I think is best for finely slicing veg into thin layers, it has a julienne function yes? Where it can shred the veg into strips? I don't think they are as fine as the saladaco, which slices very finely and also allows the veg to be cut into long thin 'noodles' by spirally slicing them, check the image below:

My grater is called a strip slicer and you can see an image below. Mine seems cut the veg more finely than pictured though. But it doesn't create noodles, only thin semi long strips.

You could use your oven for dehydrating, just set it on the lowest possible temp. This may still be above the highest temp for raw food though. The drawbacks are that you can't adjust the temp the food gets to as well, and the oven does not have the dry air function the dehydrator uses along with the temperature to dry foods, but some people do use ovens to trial raw food making. Just be aware that the food may not technically be raw. I think you also need to leave the oven door ajar.

When I didn't have a dehydrator, I used to sun dry things like fruits and tomatoes in direct sunlight with a 'cake protector' thingy on top, like a fine cloth triangle with wires to hold it up. It worked really well on hot windy days.

ID#: 74453
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11:43:36 AM on 07-02-2007

I haven't had much trouble with sprouting - I can't even remember learning how to do it! I basically just use glass jars and a piece of muslin or cheesecloth (although for larger seeds your hand is fine). I have never tried the domes. I have sucessfully sprouted many mung beans, chickpeas, lentils, brown rice, sesame seeds, aduki beans, fenugreek, alfalfa, buckwheat, and sunflowers(using the dirt method). The technique is similar for most but the times needed are different. Basically:

*I soak a few tablespoons of the seed/bean/grain/nut, in a far larger glass jar, in water that covers it a few times as they will swell, overnight usually, except with buckwheat which only needs 15 mins (and sprouted for 24 hours for little grainy sprouts, not the big purple ones sold - these are done with the dirt method). A dark place is best, say in the cupboard as long as you won't forget them! Otherwise try on the bench not in direct sunlight.

*In the morning, rinse and drain, either holding the seeds back with your hand or buy rubber banding in place over the opening a piece of muslin or cheesecloth. the cloth is a good idea because it also prevents insects from getting into the sprouts and getting killed.

*It is best to leave the jar upturned, say at a 75 degree angle in a bowl to leave any excess water to drain away.

*Continue this process, rinsing once or twice a day (twice is good if it is hot, but if you don't have time one should be okay, once only if it is wet otherwise they will become mouldy) until they are at the desired length and age. You can raid them in the mean time! If you leave them for a few hours in direct sunlight on the last day of sprouting the chlorophyl will develop (good for ya!). Store in the fridge, ideally in a clean (glass) container to prevent growth of bacteria.

Silverfire, I haven't had trouble with chickpeas, but felt that they neded to be soaked for a fair while, and they took longer than others to sprout, same with other legumes I have tried like aduki beans.

The raw food I ate was many salads - a special love of mine is a dressing of tahini, umeboshi vinegar (or apple cider or lemon juice), flaxseed oil with raw pistaccios, red raw sauerkraut, pepitas, kale or lettuce, sprouts, avocado, grated carrot, capsicum etc. mmm I am craving it now! I used to make raw sauerkraut every week which is good for friendly bacteria. Will gladly give the recipe.

I also love a "granola" for breakfast made from nuts and seeds soaked in orange or grapefruit juice overnight with buckwheat sprouts and chunks of seasonal fruit with cinnamon maybe and a glass of freshly pressed almond mylk!
Almond mylk makes amazing smoothies, just with pawpaw or banana or peach and spirulina maybe. The meal left from making the mylk can be used to make raw patties or "yum balls" with citrus juice, tahini, carob powder, nuts etc. I gave one of these to my old boss and he was delighted!
I too love the lemon juice in water in the morning. Apple cider vinegar can be a replacement.

And beautiful raw miso soups (just warmed slightly, not cooked at all). I beat the warm cravings and the idea that raw food is cooling therefore damaging in TCM by having warm herbal teas.

I have too been inspired to eat much more raw, and will continue to increase my intake yet again so thanks :)
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