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How to Never Feel Hungry on a Raw Vegan Diet

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One of the biggest complaints leveled against the raw vegan diet is that it does not sate the appetite. Since protein is known to make one feel fuller and many people still believe that protein can only be found in fish, meat, eggs and animal milks, this argument has successfully discouraged many would-be vegans from removing animal products from their diet, but it is entirely untrue. I've already written in detail on this particular topic, Building and Maintaining Muscle On a Raw Food Diet. Now, I have no doubt that there are many raw vegan newbies who have struggled with the issue of hunger, but the fault does not lie in the plethora of whole foods that can be eaten raw, but in the meal planners themselves.

On the flip side, those who understand the basics of raw vegan meal planning often complain that they had the opposite problem, in the beginning – feeling overstuffed. Where a knowledgeable raw vegan will eat berries by the cup fulls, the uninformed will consume only a handful, if that. While an experienced raw vegan will eat 4-6 bananas in one sitting, perhaps with some other whole food(s), the newbie may have only one or two and feel that it's enough. It is not enough.

It is not just a matter of consuming a sufficient number of calories, though that is extremely important as well, one must also eat a variety of foods at each meal, balancing the heavy with the light, carbohydrates, protein and fat. What form this balance should take depends on the time of day.

Go fruit heavy in the morning, concentrating on fiber-rich produce like apples, bananas, watermelon and pears. Fruit naturally gives you more energy and the fiber-rich varieties insure a feeling of fullness that lasts for hours. With a high-fiber fruit heavy breakfast, one can eat leafy greens and other light weight protein-rich vegetables secure in the knowledge that there will be no gnawing hunger pains before noon, as well as meeting one's nutritional needs.

At midday, it is wise to seek a more equal balance of heavy and light foods, sweet and savory. Heavy, fiber-rich fruits as well as not so fiber-rich fruits will provide sufficient energy well into the evening, offsetting work fatigue, while lighter foods such as leafy greens and broccoli will help keep one calm and collected. A 50/50 ratio of fruits to vegetables and nuts/seeds is good. Making lunch the largest meal of the day is a good idea, as it allows for a lighter dinner.

Dinner should be fairly light, especially if you go to bed within three hours of eating. Lots of vegetables, some nuts and seeds and few, if any, high-fructose fruits. Eating a light dinner makes for a more restful night's sleep. This is especially true if you load up on leafy green vegetables, which are rich in magnesium – “the relaxation mineral”. Adding one or more root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and even low-carbohydrate, low-fructose fruits like pumpkin, buttercup and butternut squashes can help one feel satisfied without being too filling or energizing. Adding a little fat to the dinner menu – in the form of seeds and nuts, especially coconuts, which contain medium chain fatty acids, which, according to a study published in Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy, April 2008, are among the best type of fat for improving heart health.

Sample Menu:

Breakfast – ½ watermelon, 3 pears, 4 oranges and a mostly fruit smoothie with almonds.

Lunch – 4 to 6 Veggie Wraps composed of large cabbage leaves, tomatoes, avocados, bean sprouts, spinach, carrots, and zucchini and sunflower seed paste dressing; 2 cups blueberries and 4 apples.

Dinner – Large green salad with bean sprouts, walnuts, tomatoes and celery, butternut squash and pumpkin seeds.

These are just examples to illustrate what the ideal portions and balance of fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds might look like. One could never become famished on this menu, but your menu should be composed of the whole foods that you enjoy most. Once one knows how to plan a raw vegan menu to suit their individual palate and energy requirements they are never hungry. Quite the opposite. When shopping for next week's meals remember that a happy balance of fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts are the key to a consistently full belly and radiant good health.  



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