Oh, ho! I’ve been saying all along that you need to eat your fats even when you are on a raw or high-raw vegan diet. Along comes Frederic Patenaude, who has been espousing low-fat for years, saying that he is eating raw nuts and seeds and avocados, and, what’s more, he points you to Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s video, in which the good doctor denounces a diet with only 10% fat as unhealthy (now, I have never gone so far as to say that in writing, but I have told my clients who were having trouble sticking to 80/10/10 that, if they would only add some fat to their diet, they would vanquish the cravings and be able to get on with a healthy raw food diet.
My first personal vindication came when Ani Phyo came out with her 15-Day Fat Blast, in which she suggested a diet which is pretty much 40/30/30 (carbs/protein/fats). Now, Dr. Joel Fuhrman is weighing in on my side. Of course, he Is talking about *healthy* fats, and decrying high animal/trans-fat diets. So? When I say “high fat”, and, even when Dr. Atkins said “high fat”, what is meant is a diet that contains approximately a 40/30/30 ratio (carbohydrates/protein/fat), with the fats being good fats)
Dr. Fuhrman speaks against the Atkins Diet because too many people have conveniently ignored the part in his book where he explains how much protein a person should eat (you are supposed to divide your weight by half – or, conversely, multiply it by .5, and come up with the appropriate number of grams of protein to eat in a day, which is to be divided among 3 meals – and then you figure out what is 10% more than that, and what is the same number of grams of fat, and where they are coming from, i.e., will they already be in your protein source.)
I have never been good at math, so, since I hit on Atkins, and decided that it would help me, I’ve just made my meals be 30/30/30,and it has worked. Actually, if you are raw, it is almost impossible to eat too much. I started out at 250 lbs. (-so 75gr protein per day).
Wow! That’s a lot of protein! I did try getting that from raw nuts and seeds, but it was work, so I switched to a dumbed-down version of Atkins called 40/30/30, put out by the Daouds. In that plan, whatever I ate, no matter when, had to be a “meal” containing a 30/30/30 (yes, I stuck with that number) protein/fat/carb mix.) I mean, I could eat just protein if that’s what I wanted to do, but, if I was eating carbs, first I had to eat an equal number of grams of protein before I could enjoy my carbs (the fats tend to come in the protein in raw vegan diet – I mean, when have you met a nut that did not have fats in it?)
Usually, if you eat your proteins first, you aren’t going to want much else, as proteins will fill you up. Fats of the type that you can get on a raw food diet (fats from raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and whatever oils (extra virgin olive oil or raw coconut oil, for example) you add to what you are preparing will help avoid cravings.
Actually, it is really hard to OD on raw carbs or raw fats unless you are preparing those time-consuming fancy designer recipes you see in many raw food recipe books. 2 C of raw spinach are only 4 gr of carbs — 2 CUPS! That is a heck of a lot! Can you eat that much in a salad for lunch or dinner? Even if you combine 1 C of raw spinach with 1 C of cashews, and then spread it on tomato slice for dinner, you are not going to be able to OD in one meal on carbs or fats, even if you add in a raw cabbage/wakame sea-vegetable salad with onions, red bell pepper, garlic, and some extra virgin sesame oil or olive oil.
What is dangerous, in any diet, is figuring that you can eat anything and everything you want.
Atkins has an “induction protocol” which allows 25 grams of carbs in a day. Easy to manage, and stay full/satisfied , if you are eating raw vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and using extra virgin olive oil The problem is when people think that they can eat as much protein and fats as they like. For some reason, from the beginning, I have found that eating raw nuts and seeds, and using extra virgin olive oil, tends to fill me up before I can OD. From the beginning of my odyssey (I have taken off more than 100 lbs., and, today, stay around 130 lbs., at 5’9”), I have required myself to eat my carbs (and I am a weird raw vegan, in that I do not really like eating traditional salads) because I know that they contain vitamins and minerals that are good for me. Since I have to eat my protein first, I know that I have to leave room for the stupid vegetables, if I cannot manage to combine them with the protein, so it is really really hard to OD on protein and fats.
Sticking to 40/30/30, or, as I tend to do 30/30/30, for each meal, keeps me on the straight and narrow: keeps me eating healthy (I have to eat my vegetables), and keeps me from OD-ing on anything that would threaten my plan to keep my weight steady. (Okay, I will admit that I have found wondrous ways to combine my carbs with my proteins (I have a dehydrator – I can put or any vegetable in crackers! And I can make all sorts of vegetable/nut pates/burgers). I can make zucchini (or other vegetable) pasta with my spiralizer, and then have pasta-like dishes with cashew-crème sauces or almond marinara sauce.
Yes, you can be a raw vegan even if you think you don’t love vegetables as much as they say you should. The trick to doing it is to avoid the complicated “transition-type” recipes, and stay simple.
I will admit that one of my hobbies is reading raw vegan recipe books – but I recognize that I am not going to spend hours or days preparing a dish. Okay, I am willing to wait overnight for a batch of crackers, or kale chips, but breakfast and dinner have to be things that can happen within 20 minutes or less. Sometimes breakfast is down to a cashew shake with whatever is on hand, or just plain with some sweetener, done up in my Nutri-Bullet (the VitaMix died and I haven’t been able to afford to get it repaired yet), and lunch is always what I didn’t finish from breakfast plus what I didn’t finish from dinner the night before.
High protein does not mean that you knock yourself out eating lots of protein. It just means that you balance your protein/carb/fat intake. This makes sense if you consider that 1 slice of white bread has 25 grams of carbs – so you have already reached your carb count for the day with just one slice of bread (oh, gosh! but I want some spinach! I want a salad! Think about it!). If you get into eating a lot of dried fruit, you could run into a problem (Oh my gosh! I’ve eaten a lot of carbs, but I can’t figure out how to fit in my protein!) but, if you stick to simple recipe combinations, you will find that it is easy to stay raw and maintain your health and stick to a healthy weight (I’m still at 135 lbs. 18 years later!)