How to Start a Raw Vegan Diet (Starter Guide)

cups of blended fruit and vegetable juices

What is a “RAW” vegan diet?

A raw vegan diet is the same as a vegan diet, only everything now has to be raw. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, this kind of thing. It’s best to eat mostly raw sugary fruits, and I’ll explain further down below. So how to start a raw vegan diet, and why would anyone do it?

Who is it for?

There are a few common reasons people choose to start eating a raw vegan diet, some of the reasons include wanting to lose weight, eating for optimal health, and the desire to detoxify the body. I have written more on the reasons and the benefits of starting a raw vegan diet here.

When is the best time to start a raw vegan diet?

You can start at any time, anywhere. I mean, it’ll likely be harder during winter because you’ll miss the warm cooked foods, but going raw is doable even in the cold winter months. At the time of me writing this post it’s late June here in Canada, summer is around the corner, all the good fruits are in season, and so now is a very ideal time to go on a raw vegan diet.

How to start a raw vegan diet

Focus on the fruits

The human body is designed to use sugars aka carbohydrates as it’s primary fuel source. So in order to succeed on the raw vegan diet, it’s important you get the large majority of your calories from high carb foods, so that’s sweet juicy fruit. The simplest way to start is by eating raw fruits and greens in their whole form. Just find whatever fruits is in season where you live, and eat an abundance of it until you feel full.

Blending and Juicing

Blending your fruits and drinking smoothies is a great way to get in more calories. Because people tend to under-eat when they go on a raw vegan diet, the most important thing is to make sure we eat till we’re full. Drinking an 800 calorie banana smoothie is a lot easier than eating 8 bananas. The blender also break down the food for you so it’s easier to digest and for the body to absorb more nutrients.

If you like your smoothies with no lumps, then you’d want a blender that is powerful enough to churn your ingredients into a smooth and consistent texture. If you haven’t got a blender already, I recommend you consider one of the NutriBullet blenders. They’re personal-sized blenders that can make batches of smoothies for 1-2 people at a time. The NutriBullet 600 is very popular and is rated very high by users, it has 600 watts of power and can easily make your smoothies smooth the way you like. If you’re interested in more power and got more dollars to splurge, you can also check out it’s successor, The NutriBullet Pro, and NutriBullet RX which is the most powerful model in the series.

I have done a full product review on all 3 NutriBullet models. Read them here:

My Review: NutriBullet 600, NutriBullet Pro, NutriBullet RX.

Juicing is great for people who don’t like or don’t have time to eat a lot of greens. When you juice green leafy vegetables, you are extracting the vital vitamins and minerals into a liquid form that you can easily drink. Because many of us have limited time, drinking your greens would save you a lot of time as opposed to chewing on a big bowl of salad for 40 minutes. Ideally you would eat a big 1 pound bowl of salad every night, but this is too much for most people to eat. A lot of people prefer to juice greens, mixed with fruit juice, and one cup of green juice is much easier to drink than to eat a big bowl of salad.

A masticating juicer is a type of juicer that is designed for juicing leafy greens like spinach, kale, lettuce…etc This type of juicer rotates really slowly and works by crushing your greens over and over till all the juice along with the nutrients has been extracted. The Omega J8006 stands out as one of the best masticating juicers on the market today and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good quality masticating juicer. I’ve done a full review of this juicer, you can check it out here:

My Review: Omega J8006 Masticating Juicer

You may not need a masticating juicer If you’re just looking to juice soft fruits like oranges, peaces, apples, pears..etc. A centrifugal juicer is a type of juicer that spins and rotates at a much higher speed, it’s very good at juicing fruits, but not so much greens. They are quite a lot cheaper than masticating juicers, If that is something that suits your needs, I recommend you check out The Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Extractor.

Dehydrated stuff, sprouts, raw vegan nut desserts..etc

It is best to get most of your calories from sweet juicy fruit, because that is what’s gonna supply your body with clean burning fuel and make you feel great. But eating a raw vegan diet doesn’t have to be monotone, there are thousands of raw vegan recipes online you can find to create something different and fancy. Make kale chips with a food dehydrator for example, make your own raw sprouted bread, or try out one of the raw vegan cakes and pies such as the FullyRaw Chocolate Pecan Pie:

When people first go raw vegan, they may take notice of all the different gourmet-type foods that are available and end up eating lots of that. The problem is that these foods are often made with lots of nut-based ingredients and can be very high in fat. When you’re stuffing your face with this kind of food day in and day out, you can easily gain weight. The best way to ensure you don’t gain weight and feel crappy is just to smash in the fruits and raw greens, then once in a while on a special occasion you can indulge in some fancy gourmet treats.

Raw Vegan Kitchen Tools

While you technically don’t need any tools to be a raw vegan (Fast food: just pick up fruit and eat it!) these tools are good to consider having in your kitchen if you’re serious about incorporating raw vegan into your long term lifestyle.

  • Blenders
  • Juicers
  • Dehydrators
  • Big bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

Examples of raw vegan breakfast, lunch, and dinner

The longest I’ve ever done raw vegan was for about 3 weeks straight. I felt really great and lost about 10lbs, even though my meals were really simple, I didn’t feel deprived in any way. Here is an example of what my meals looked like:

Breakfast:

I start my day with at least half a liter of water before I eat anything, water is needed for digestion so this preps the body to digest food. I usually have about 8 bananas (approximately 800 calories) for breakfast, and I’d eat them in the form of a smoothie. I’d just blend them up with water and I usually drink it all in about 20 minutes.

Brunch:

Because fruit digests really quickly, I am soon hungry after drinking the banana smoothie. Usually around 11am I’d have brunch, it would be fruit again, but a different kind. I like mangoes and usually I get them frozen in the store, I’d normally have 2 bags of (defrosted) mangoes which is about 500 calories.

Lunch:

Lunch would be another big meal of high sugar fruits like bananas, dates, figs, raisins, and persimmons. I’d usually go to the market and shop for fruits every single day to see what’s on available or on sale. A lot of people often complain about being hungry all the time when eating raw, if this is you I would suggest you start counting calories when you eat, and aim for at least 800 calories per meal. If you are eating enough, you will not be hungry. 

Dinner:

I personally love sweet foods and I have no problem eating them all day, but I do sometimes crave savory and salty foods somewhere by the end of the day. Dinner is a great time to eat a big giant bowl of salad. Get 1 whole head of lettuce and shred it up into a big giant bowl, toss in a cup or two of spinach, kale, purple cabbage, shredded carrots, celery, sliced up some tomatoes, avocados, and spread on some pecans or toasted almonds for some crunch. I usually make my own dressing, I just throw in a few dates, mangoes, and a tomato into a blender and blend away till smooth, and pour it over the giant salad and mix it all together. You will have a food baby after eating all this food, and you will feel amazing.

Final Tips for Success

Doing a raw vegan diet even for a couple of weeks have opened my eyes to the powerful benefits of raw fruits and vegetables. It can be very difficult to pull yourself away from the comfort of cooked foods that you are used to eating, but eating raw vegan is worth it because it makes you feel light, energetic, and amazing.

The majority of people who fall off the wagon in the first couple of days do so mostly because they fail to eat enough calories, they end up feeling hungry and weak, so this would be my biggest tip to anyone who wants to try doing a raw vegan diet – eat enough calories! A sedentary man should aim to eat about 3000 calories a day, and 2500 calories for women. These are just rough guides, obviously just eat until you feel full and satiated, don’t force yourself to eat a certain amount.

Writing this post have sparked my own interest into doing raw vegan once more, I am currently planning on doing raw vegan for 11 days, once I do this I will come back and give this post an update. If you’re doing raw vegan too, I wish you well on your journey, and please leave a comment down below to let me know how it’s going. If you found this post helpful, please like and share it on social media!

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