Hej Paleo folks. Are there paleo people coming from a raw vegan background? Do you have raw vegan friends? What do you think on raw vegan lifestly and diet? For whom is Paleo, for whom is raw food?
Did you learn something from a raw vegan Diet? Why did you stop doing Raw Vegan diet, if you did? What thing you like or liked at a raw vegan diet? What are raw vegan myth, which are busted for you?
Does have paleo diet a different effect on your daily life and workout? Running faster, feeling heavier or lighter? Different kind of muscles? Different feeling when waking up? Or something else. Different skin, different body odor.
What kind of raw vegan diet did you go for? More greens, more fruits, fruitarian, raw vegan superfoods, David wolfe style, longvity style, sweet raw vegan ktchen, green smoothies, fruit and vegetable juices, wild edible plants, algae/ chorella, spirulina afa,....
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Seems like a combination of the two could be a good diet; we ought not to be so dogmatic about these things.
I was a raw vegan for about a year. It was actually great. Lost weight, felt great, skin never looked so good. I just ate as much fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds, all raw as I wanted. I ended up stopping because I lost a lot of muscle and it was very hard to socialize. When you are strict raw vegan, it's tough to go out to eat. I think a lot of people get overly involved in "creating" raw dishes, much like people do on paleo with the paleo cookies etc. I don't think the point is to eat raw vegan "pie" etc...but to stick as close to nature as possible. My raw diet evolved to mostly fruit and nuts as I got tired of raw veggies.
So huge swing to Paleo now (didn't go direct, went back to eating cooked foods and then added fish and eggs) and then after a long period trying paleo.
On paleo, I've gained weight, but it's all muscle, am definitely stronger, have more energy and it's easier to eat and remain "normal" with friends.
I think both are pretty extreme, but it's the idea of eating naturally that is consistent. I didn't eat meat because my concern was treatment of animals, so now I'm just super strict on eating only free range, grass fed "happy" beef.
I was raw vegan for a year, then low fat raw vegan (fruitarian 811 style) for a year, then raw ovo/lacto six months, then raw paleo with red meat and without eggs/dairy for 3 months, and fat heavy paleo since then. There is nothing in raw veganism, in my experience. Yes, you're switching to unprocessed whole foods, great. And you're cutting out grains, sometimes nuts, and CAFO animal products. That's all awesome. Unfortunately it's simply not sustainable. Like Queen mentioned, it's a starvation diet, which is why most of the popular and slightly more sustainable appearing methods of raw vegan require a calorie uptake upwards of 2500 for a non-active female (so, baseline). Except for those wacky guys that live on 1000kcal a day of avocados, nuts, and greens.
Paleo is, essentially, raw veganism without the shortcomings. It has all of the good: whole foods, focus on organic, removing gluten and most vegetable oils, introducing coconut oil as a health food; and non of the bad: lack of protein, lack of animal fat, focus on either sugar or omega 6 dominant fat, agave nectar, and teaching people to see anything cooked above 118 degrees as, literally, poisonous.
Admittedly though, I still use recipes from the Pure Food and Wine books. Serious noms. Good for cheats because they're gluten free. And I still make courgette pasta, only now I don't have to eat it cold.
I was a raw vegan for about 6 months and a raw "paleo" for about 6 months. The unprocessed aesthetically beautiful raw vegan food really appealed to me. The Pure Food & Wine cookbook and Charlie Trotter's Raw were influences. I did pretty well at first, probably because most raw diets are gluten-free, but when winter came around it was pretty rough. I had circulation problems, fainting, and just absurd stomach aches. I started blending most of my food to help keep the bloating down, but I was still messed up. Maybe I just never adjusted to the massive amounts of fiber? I did tons of "superfoods" and green smoothies.
On paleo I feel more energetic, sensual, and my stomach doesn't get bloated all the time.
low-fat raw vegan diet destroyed my itestines.It's just propoganda.
I found both diets have similarities. A lot of Raw Vegan dishes can be considered Paleo, since they were gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free, and they both use whole ingredients with minimal processing. However some Raw Vegan dishes still use legumes, and grains like buckwheat, and a lot of fruits and TONS of nuts. Almost every Raw Vegan dessert I came across whether it be pies or tarts etc, had a nut & coconut-based crust. I did a month of Raw Vegan and I found I was very bloated at the beginning, but after a few weeks I adjusted, and my skin looked the best it had in years! Overall, for me, I think I prefer the Paleo diet because socially, it's a bit easier to maintain and the there isn't so much prep-work involved. Raw Vegan dishes are very rich and lots of them have so many ingredients, which requires a lot of prep-work.
I'm a Physician and I have had lots of raw vegan patients. They usually do very very well for about a year and then I start seeing some loss of muscle, signs of mild nutrient deficiencies and often some emotional imbalance. Usually they are vegan for health and moral reasons. If it is for moral reasons, I don't try to convince them to eat flesh but do try to get them to eat eggs or a little raw grass fed dairy and they do much better. I know dairy isn't paleo but most people do well with raw goat milk. Dairy was not readily available during paolithic times but I assure you that hunters did make use of it if a prey happened to be lactating just like predator animals do. The milk is actually the first thing a predator will go for in a lactating prey. So the question is, just becasue something isn't availble, does that mean it isn't healthy? I don't think so.
I do well doing raw vegan for short periods, like a week or two, especailly if I go somewhere like The Ann Wigmore Institute. But beyone a week or two, I start to feel terrible. With me and most of my patients, it is the fat that seems to have the biggest effect. I eat largely paleo, raw and cooked with small amounts of non pakeo foods like raw milk or occasional freshly home ground sprouted sour dough bread. The one area that I feel like Paleo eaters and authors have wrong is that the peleo diet was never low fat, at least not if fat was available. Two modern groups that are almost identical to paleo are the Austrailian Aborignes and African Bushmen. It's true that wild animal muscle meat is leaner than commercial grain fed meat but natives avoid overly lean meat. They take the fat from around the organs which is always abundant and add it to overly lean cuts of meat. I have read that Peleo hunters probably did that too. I feel absolutely horrible on a low fat diet. Even if I am eating raw vegan, I need plenty of coconuts, nuts and seeds.
When I made the transition from lacto/ovo vegetarian to a mostly raw, mostly vegan diet, I felt more energy and zing for life. The bloating, gas, and constipation went away. I could hike up above timberline with so much more vigor and speed. I got inspired to start swimming with the local masters program. I felt very happy and light. But then the cravings for red meat came in, during the winter. I gave into the cravings once a month and felt great for a while, for about a year and a half. But then the raw glow and energy was not sustained. I felt a bit depressed and needy while on a raw vegan diet through the winter, and these symptoms would suddenly vanish within twelve hours after eating bison. On the third winter being mostly raw, mostly vegan, I was just tired and hungry. One of my teeth developed an infected root which would periodically throb and then drain. I starting eating more gluten-free grains, beans, and potatoes. I got more tired, the bloating/gas/constipation crept back, and then got diagnosed with low thyroid and adrenal fatigue. At first I thought it was due to emotional trauma since my father had died last year. I am sure that contributed just as much as did eating millet and beans.
When I made the switch to paleo, I simply replaced the grains and beans, nuts and seeds (nuts now give me a tummy ache with bloating), with more meat, eggs, and animal fat, more coconut oil. My digestion immediately got better. My blood sugar stabilized and I didn't feel starving and ravenous most of the time. The transition was a relief, actually. Easy. However, I don't yet feel the same "high" that I did while on the initial phase of eating high raw vegan foods. It has been a month of eating paleo. I have been having worse bad breath (probably due to infection in the tooth's root that won't go away without it being pulled--it is beyond a root canal at this point, yet there is no pain! I am going to try healing it with the paleo diet, including organ meats) and different body odor.
I have a good raw vegan community--however some of them (the ones who are ethical/moral vegans) are rather appalled by my change to paleo. It is amazing how many of the "raw vegans" eat raw cheese and eggs and seafood. I also have friends who eat paleo. I was not mainstream SAD before paleo, so switching to paleo is not that big of a deal. When I went raw vegan, I maintained the same friendships as before because our friendships were not based on food. I could wow them with the raw desserts anyways. My family and friends are used to me doing something "different." I am still a "brown bagger" and taking my own food with me wherever I go. So socially, I am doing ok. I still use the Vitamix to make smoothies (which now contain liver:), the Cuisinart, and now in addition to using the Excalibur dehydrator for nut/seed crackers and dried veggies, I can make jerky and pemmican. My veggie spiralizer still churns out the awesome zucchini noodles. I use my stove, oven, and crockpot more. I still love to play with food and its preparation. I still make kombucha, sauerkraut, and water kefir.
Now the thing for me to decide is the proportion of raw paleo to cooked paleo that works for me.
It seems like almost everyone here has the same story, with small variations: raw vegan is great for awhile, then you need animal products (at least a little). I've been faux-vegan for my whole life, and mostly raw for my adult life, and the result is radiant health. There's no label for people who eat like me, ditto for the others who have found an equilibrium for their bodies. For me, it's raw, mostly, hardly any grains (occasionally some) with fish anywhere from zero to a few times a month (local wild-caught non-threatened trout or sea bass), dairy/eggs never, nuts very seldom. Lots of walking in my lifestyle, but no gym, giant piles of greens and no supplements, no calorie counting, lots of herbal and root teas. People, do what your body tells you is right, and when it stops being right, change. When you talk about animal rights, don't forget that you are an animal too, and you have the right to radiant wellness. No label or inline community should influence your diet just to fit the description on the banner ad. Congratulations to everyone who has discovered what exactly makes them function optimally!
I was a 100% raw vegan for 2 years, and then went gluten free vegan for 6 years, then found paleo. Being raw vegan was the most detrimental thing I have ever done to my health or body. It took years of being vegan to fix what those two years did, + I dropped down to 70 pounds on that diet- I'm a 5'6 and a half tall woman! Paleo is now fixing what being vegan did to me... and I'm stronger and healthier than I have ever been.
I can so identify with so many comments here. I had been doing raw vegan off and on for about 10 years. At first I always felt great on 100 percent raw then the benefits would start to slowly disappear after about 2 months. I'd start craving savory foods, getting bloated, gaining back the weight, eyes and skin would start losing their glow, feeling tired, cold, depressed, moody, and isolated to boot (I don't really like the raw food crowd much, too weird, dogmatic and hypocritical) so that didn't help. Anyway, I always ended up adding some cooked vegan food back into my diet which made me feel more bloated, more tired and more run-down and ultimately lead to major cheating and binging, then go back to raw vegan and start the viscous cycle all over again. I was also tired of this constant pro-occupation with food. It was on my mind constantly and it was hard to focus on other things in life.
Finally, after about 10 years of going back and forth between these two extreme and unsuccessful lifestyles, I decided to try a modified version of paleo. I added some raw dairy and a little cooked wild-caught fish to my diet and eliminated most of the fruit (except wild berries) and nuts. I felt better immediately, much happier, more energetic, more connected, just better overall. Gradually I added a bit of meat but still keep that to a minimum. Well it's been about two years now and I'm still feeling great. My stomach is flat, my skin looks great, my weight is stabilized plus I really enjoy my food! it's also so much easier. I feel very healthy and vibrant all the time, no mood swings and no fluctuations in my weight. I had a tremendous amount of guilt when I first tried some meat but gradually got over it. I still keep that to a minimum though and try to only eat certified humane when I do. Anyway I feel and look so much better now that I found my the diet I can happily live with. I still eat mostly raw organic foods, mind you, but adding more animal products really made all the difference in the world for me.
What about meeting in the middle with a Pescetarian/Paleo/Raw focus?
I was a raw vegan for 3 years, 2 years following 80/10/10. I'd say the biggest differences from raw vegan to paleo was obviously eating animal products again and feeling better in general. My ulcerative colitis started to flare badly when I started fruitarianism. I am still healing from that phase of my life. I'd also say all the carbs made me pretty fat and puffy looking. I could never actually see muscle definition in my body. Now that I have been following paleo for over two months, I have visible muscle definition in my abs for the first time in my life. I have a four pack and my biceps and triceps look killer.
After my fruit meals, I always felt weighed down for hours afterward. My stomach would get so full and pregnant looking from my 15 banana meals or 5 lb salads. I would need a nap after every lunch of dinner. Now, I still have energy after my meals and no bloating.
Only thing I've noticed that isn't great is more acne on my face since starting Paleo. My face was crystal clear on raw veganism.
"i am surprised people see raw food as a weightloss diet especially when a lot of raw people eat tons of fructose. wouldn't eating tons of fructose cause metabolic derangement just like eat large quantities of twinkies?"
Most if not all raw vegans I've seen, including Fruitarians - 80% fruit 10% protein 10% fat- are incredibly lean, no matter how much food they put in. ITs like.. thay can't get fat on their high sugar/starch/fructose diet with hardly any fat in it.
Its interesting. But I dunno if it would cause metabolic derangement, DurianRider seems to be doing well enough on it - though you can tell having to eat that much food just to meet your calorie needs is crazy (pounds & punds of mostly fruit).
I tried 80 10 10 for a month, at first I felt horrid, then I felt GREAT, my constipation issues went away, my skin looked better. But I never felt satiated. And the amount of fruit I had to eat was ridoncolous. But I was craving cooked food like crazy. After that month I ate at a restaurant with my fiance. It felt GOOOD. Then I tried to get back on track but then I couldn't get back the same feeling of wellbeing I had previously. Maybe cause I ingested too much fat? Also my teeth were very tender all the time. I had to start water brushing.
Now im still eating fruit and green smoothies, but added cooked tubers, salads, meat stews. I feel better. My mind/brain feels better is how it feels. No more dizzyness.
The title make me think of the TV show Deadliest Warrior.
(In dramatic voice) "Paleo vs. Raw Vegan, who is the deadliest warrior?" ;-)
Hi. I'm a female, 30 y.o. I've also tried a raw vegan diet for a while (about a year). The benefits of that diet were: better digestion, the best skin I've ever had, my period was shorter, lighter, and with no pain, I had lots of energy during the day, no headaches (and migranes), my hayfever is gone forever, and the best of all - I've managed to heal my ulcerative colitis (the "incurable" disease of intestines). However, I felt 'fermentation' in my intestines most of the time because of all those fruits and veggies, and I also gone first really skinny and then I put on a bit of fat around my midsection. I did the Paleo Diet in the past (although not strictly), but my muscles grew like on steroids (I like lifting weights in gym). I was leaner and had lots of energy too. I'm gonna give the best shot to the Paleo Diet from the 1st of June (so far, I'm doing it half the time) for a month, so I could compare the rest of the benefits with the raw vegan diet.
If you are looking to lose weight then - as it says in "Catching Fire" - raw is best because raw is much harder for our bodies to digest - our guts are too short basically. Eating nothing but raw vegan food would effectively be a starvation diet over any length of time. So nothing wrong with raw food in combination with Paleo; some things are more palatable raw and if you are trying to lose weight then eat salad with your steak rather than, say, cooked spinach.
I think one of the main reasons people drop meat for a raw and vegan diet is the scientific fact that we are herbivores. It had ben a few months since i had ate meat until this past week. From a vegetarian perspective on meat, there are a number of reasons why i was convinced not to eat it Besides the moral mistreatment of animals, our bodies are designed for eating plants. We don't have fangs or claws for tearing apart food, we don't have legs like a cheetah to catch prey. Our intestines are longer than other carnivores and our stomach acidity is much lower.
This convinced me that raw and organic was great, with some leeway on certain grains and legumes. I recently learned of anti-nutrients in most grains that are just as bad as gluten so I'm brought my grain intake to a hard stop. I too found that veggies, berries and nuts can not sustain a 190lb man unless i was grazing all day like a horse.. But i have a life and I'm not a horse. Most problems caused by meat intake can be countered with excersise. I'm sure paleolithic man had quite a bit more physical activity than we do today too. Just stay active and eat natural and you should be ok.
I ate both ways for a couple years, having more experience along the low carb side of things, I have to say eating raw vegan made me feel better then eating Primal, however, both didn't have me at 100%. After many years I finally learned that cutting grains was really all that I needed to do, with the exception of a sprouted bagel or a cup of rice every now and then :) When I had long term success, I focused on keeping meat and carbs separate from each other, eating animal protein and carbs together is a digestive nightmare. I made sure to eat right around my BMR in calories, + or - depending on if I was building muscle or loosing fat. I found that eating primal was good in the winter to go on sort of a cutting phase, and to bulk up in the summer by eating more carbs, but the yoyo thing was hard on me.
From what I've gathered, a 'Raw Vegan Diet' can be great for a cleanse, giving people that 'glow', great skin and reduction in inflammation; do it for a few months maybe. It seems clear though that for long term health a 'Paleo Diet' is the best choice.
I'll be eating within the paleo boundaries but will eat most of my fruit and veggies raw. The ability to eat food hot in the winter keeps me sane though.
I did 21 days raw vegan (plus cooked white rice after workouts) after my college football season this year, and I haven't stopped. I feel great. My skin is so clear and my BO is nonexistent. I have so much energy thoughout the day, and I think more clearly (could be the season is over haha)...I love it! Now, my friend wants to "convert" me to paleo (as if we were talking about religion), and I will as an experiment - in fact, I am starting tomorrow. Hence why I am on this site. In terms of weight loss...I went from 184 to 176 but have still been making small gains in the weight room. However, I am the meanest form of cut I have ever been in my life because of the 10 lbs of fat I cut. I am 5'7" and squat - bench - clean 415 - 295 - 258, respectively. (I play DB if you are wondering) I have been feeling lighter on my feet and quicker, though I have no numbers yet to back that up. I love my morning shakes (I don't juice) and nuts and fruit and seeds. I do eat a lot - dried fruit, too. It was extremely difficult at times, especially financially (I have never shopped before, and I definately learned fast after my wallet was empting faster than I could fill it) On a side note, I study nutrition and biology in college and hope to make it to med school. Thanks for having a site where I can share!
Hi! Sorry, LOOONG post but wow, I'm so happy to have found this site, it is EXACTLY what I was looking for! I did a raw vegan diet for 3 years and I LOVED it. It was an amazing experience! Prior to raw vegan, I had tried many different diets, and I loved healthy food. I tried low-fat, vegetarian (with fish), Okinawa program (which is kind of like macrobiotic), Atkins. I did low-fat when I was in high school (I was 5'2, 125 lbs to start) and ended up too thin, anorexic, oops- I never intended to get that skinny (95 lbs) and it scared me but I just couldn't figure out how to maintain the healthy slender weight that I wanted (about 115). The Okinawa diet (from the book by the Harvard researchers) was very nice in that it encouraged lots of steamed dark leafy greens, which made me feel GREAT. However it also had what I would now consider to be too much grain (albeit brown rice). It was a diet that felt good though, and I stuck with it for years. Then I started looking bloated so I did a liver cleansing diet which was very successful, and which introduced me to low-carb. From there I tried Atkins, although I never gave up fruit because I refused to believe that fruit could be "bad" in any way. And also because I found it difficult to digest meat without eating fruit with it. So I did Atkins with a high level of greens, fruits, and vegetables. My body shape completely changed on Atkins! Whereas previously I had even weight distribution from top to bottom, on Atkins I got skinnier from the waist up, and fatter from the waist down. And one day I looked in the mirror and saw TONS of cellulite on the back of my thighs. I've never had cellulite before, so this was alarming. I was getting most of my meats & fats from Whole Foods, though, so I'm still perplexed by this because I've now come to believe that cellulite is caused by toxins. I was eating a lot of cheese though, which never seems to be bode well for me. But, through all of these diets, for like 10 years my weight stayed stubbornly in the mid-120's, which was exasperating. THEN, I discovered the raw food diet, not for weight loss, though - b/c I was getting sick all the time. It was AWESOME! I wasn't sick anymore, my skin glowed, I effortlessly lost weight, I had plenty of energy to make it through the day, and I constantly wanted to go running and lift weights. It was a joy and a pleasure. I looked FANTASTIC and reverse-aged. My weight stabilized around 116-118, which I was THRILLED with, and I lost the weight everywhere except my boobs. My boobs got bigger! From a 34 B/C to a 34D/32DD. I felt really sexy. This was the diet I was sticking to for life. It was the easiest diet for me, and I got the best results. My teeth looked yellow but it was a small price to pay. And then one day something weird happened, I felt this buzzing in my head and I was kind of freaking out. I went to four different doctors and the holistic one told me to take zinc, that I might have a zinc deficiency. Anytime I ate a vegetable the buzzing in my head got worse. I felt like crap. I had to force myself to eat meat, because that's the only thing my head wasn't buzzing on. I have to admit, I ate quite a bit of chocolate on raw vegan, and this could've contributed to a copper toxicity. Did I have copper toxicity? Probably. Maybe. I don't like to think about it. My skin became painfully sensitive to sunlight. The zinc and the meat sure helped though. I wonder sometimes, whether my symptoms were partially the physical manifestation of the emotional trauma I was experiencing in my job. Tough to say, as everything is interrelated. Ever since then, which was about 3 years ago, I've been doing a modified raw diet with cooked meat. I have more steady energy throughout the day, and when I supplement with B vitamins I really feel the energy boost. On days when I do mostly raw, my waist gets skinnier (meat makes my waist thicker). Greens are key for me. I'm curious to try a raw food diet with animal fats, like on salads, and see how that goes. I eat too much junk at work, because it's there. I'm worried about going too-paleo, though, and getting fat cellulite thighs again like on Atkins. For now I'll continue to eat some meat, as it seems to agree with me. I've been searching so long for the ideal diet, it's frustrating that I'm still searching. I find that when I drink green juices, I want nothing to do with meat. I def would prefer to do raw vegan. So I'm going to do a combo of raw vegan and paleo, leaning towards fruits and veggies (esp greens b/c they make me feel full). I envy people who've been raw vegan for 30 years, what's their secret to success on the diet? I'm also going to school to study nutrition, so I'll have plenty of time to devote to solving this dietary mystery. Good luck to you all! And keep posting if you have interesting stories to share! I'll let you know what I find, as well.
A great read and compliment to the paleo diet would be Raw Food Detox by Natalia Rose. She's not at all dogmatic and actually eats meat (fish primarily) occasionally. She advocates eating lighter to heavier foods as the day progresses. Fruits on an empty stomach, then go from there. Her concepts are based upon food combining, which would occur in nature if we were moving along picking from tree and hunting animal. Her premise is that proper digestion (regardless of food type) is the key to improved health and vitality...raw foods aid in cleansing the colon.
This is an interesting discussion. I am tossing up between raw vegan and paleo, but I think it makes more sense to take aspects of both. Eat raw foods (plus meat) and cook only when I need to. I have been looking in to raw for a week or two now and I like the new tricks (dehydrating for example) which I can blend with paleo.
I see this is an old thread but I am hoping to revive it! I am BRAND NEW to paleo (started 11/6/12-election day! LOL)....BUT, I have been a raw vegan pretty consistently since August, 2005. For the first couple of years I FELT AMAZING! I became a "pro" at RV recipes, taught classes at our local HFS and easily maintained my weight at 140 pounds effortlessly (something I struggled to do MY ENTIRE LIFE!) I was "living the life!".....After a couple of years I noticed various "little things"---I was in denial because I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to believe in this lifestyle...I felt so vibrant and carefree---MOST of the time....until I didn't....Mood swings, social isolation, my old insecurities....all came creeping back in....I still wanted to BE a raw vegan- Others "expected" it of me. If I strayed I was admonished "you're going to eat THAT?" (maybe it was an egg or a peanut butter cup-anything not RV)....So, what did I do? Closet ate NON raw foods OR the alternative-overate the rich raw vegan foods that simulate other foods ("pizza", etc...) Weight crept back on....then I would go through the cycle of RV DIETING which I never intended to do!
Let me backtrack....Worse than the weight gain was the shame + social isolation. I was the one bringing my own food wherever we went...or just opted not to go anywhere. As a teeneager I had a weight problem tagged with a great deal of shame. Those "old feelings" resurfaced.......THANKFULLY around that same time i became affiliated with a church, met a whole new circle of friends, and became a born again Christian....So, dealing with the spiritual side of food has gotten easier. Emotionally, I am beginning to feel better already on paleo. I do not feel "deprived"...As a matter of fact I am excited to know that I have quite an arsenal of RV "tricks up my sleeve" that can help others get used to the "no grains" aspect.
I craved MEAT. and if I ate it I felt GUILT....Now, I am excited and looking forward to ENJOYING all the foods provided in nature that I have not eaten in years. I plan on monitoring my food & mood and am optimistic that I will see positive changes. I hope I can learn a lot from this forum too. I am sorry if i rambled on in this-my first post. I am just happy to see I am not the only one who has gone the route from RV to plaeo! p.s.I DO still eat a lot of RV dishes which I am finding fits nicely in with paleo eating.
Why is it that almost everyone in the U.S. – including our esteemed doctors, nutritionists, clergymen, governmental leaders, showbiz folks and policy makers prattle on about the dangers of fat and meat and bear the banner of fruits, vegetables and grains?
The answers will shock you as they did me.
Many years ago in New York, I met with a retired and highly venerated university professor of anthropology, H. Leon Abrams. He directed me to the works of Dr. Marvin Harris, the Pulitzer Prize winning anthropologist and suggested I read Harris’s many books, particularly Cannibals and Kings.
In the Stone Age, Harris tells us, everyone adhered to a high protein, low – starch diet. Today, he claims two – thirds of the earth’s population is an involuntary vegetarian because of the scarcity of meat. Bands of people living thousands of years ago lived entirely by hunting animals and collecting wild plants. Recent studies also show that Neanderthals were effective predators of animals and that the bulk of their dietary protein came from animal and not plant sources.
Basically over time, meat became scarce and nutritional standards fell – animals were becoming more domesticated and served a valuable purpose in the production of plants and the emphasis was now placed on producing more plants because the net calorie return was about 10 times greater for the cultivation of plant species than it was for the raising of animals.
Dr Harris explained that meat gradually disappeared from the daily diet of common folk of the ancient states and empires. Animal flesh was a luxury and in time “eating animal flesh was forbidden altogether and in areas of the world that experienced the largest amount of meat depletion, meat itself became ritually taboo. For the first time in history, religious doctrines were recruited to inculcate in people the belief that eating plants served a religious function”
There you have it – vegetarianism was wedded to religious beliefs which had been ordained in response to economic needs and pressures. Let’s also not forget that this also ensured that the ruling classes (of society and church) had their quota of meat, while the poor commoners went without!
They are very different, but they both are much superior to the SAD diet because of these: soaking grains or not eating grains at all, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetable oil free. The foods of paleo and raw vegan are different, but the principles and practices are more similar than different. They are both full of health-concious people who are willing to learn and think outside the box. I've had a great start with raw foodism (not vegan or vegetarian, but raw foodist nonetheless) and I have learned many things from them. I did have a problem losing too much weight though. I think Paleo makes more sense though.
This is a great discussion because I've been on and off the raw vegan diet for five years. It has its advantages. At least at first I always feel amazing. It's a great anti-disease diet, very alkalinizing. The problem is that I cannot eat a lot of high-sugar foods, and I am in fact allergic to virtually all grains, so the only way to gain weight on a raw diet is through eating a lot of fruit. I can't eat that much sugar. So I invariably end up very skinny and very unhappy on the raw diet. It's a source of some chagrin: overall, I love the raw diet and I love the idea of it. But no matter what I do, it never works for me. People say to eat more nuts but fat never makes me gain weight.
The paleo diet is a good bridge into getting rid of the gluten and grain; there are enough calories so that I don't end up emaciated like I always do on the raw food. BUT, I hate eating so much meat. Also, I get hot flashes on the paleo diet. Those go away on the raw. Can anyone comment on that?
A note about digestability: the raw food does become easier to digest over time. I would actually like to go back to the raw diet at some point, and it does seem to work for a number of people, but I've never made it past the first few months. I wonder if the issue, at the bottom line, is grain (and gluten) and not cooked/raw or vegan/nonvegan? I am pretty certain that grain is poison to humans.
I spent a lot of time learning about sustainable farming, and I visited the website Plants for a Future as much as I could over the summer. They advocate a vegan diet as it relates to the practice of alternative food crops. This was before I had any awareness of the high-fat part of paleo. I ate a Cordain-style diet and I probably did not get enough calories so I felt tired a lot. I could sleep for 12 hours and still have weak-feeling muscles.
So I tried a very lax raw vegan diet, mostly subsisting on kohlrabi and herring...This was in Poland so these things, which I usually do not get to eat (because they cost much more here) at least felt novel enough so I stuck with the diet for a while until I realized that I felt worse than ever before.
Eventually I started looking for more information about paleo (I felt confused that the diet had not worked for me- the evolutionary approach always made sense to me). I found my way to PaleoNu, probably by way of MDA. Then I found Paleohacks. So it worked out.