Should You Give a Raw Vegan Diet a Chance

September 12, 2012 · 19 comments

If I am ever diagnosed with cancer, I will become a vegan. Maybe I’ll ever become a raw vegan. What bothers me about my own statement is that if I feel so strongly about the benefits of a lifestyle, why wait until I find myself in a problem? As the speaker of the lunch I attended said today, “We have to be disturbed to change.”

Photo 4I was invited to attend a lunch at the Eastern Standard today to listen to Dr Brian Clement speak in regards to the benefits of a raw and vegan lifestyle that has been proven to medically benefit ailments as serious as cancer and diabetes to non life threatening problems like autism, ecsema and asthma. I’ve heard the vegan schpeal before and each time, I give it more more thought. We were served a variety of foods in accordance with the diet provided at Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida. A place where people with serious medical conditions go for an all natural approach to healing.

I loved the Sunnie Tempuraw Chips. The “tempuraw” tasted like the “cheese” on my favorite Rhythm Foods Cheesy Kale Chips. Sunnie makes kale chips as well but if you’re going to buy a bag of raw chips for 6.95 (that is actually the same price as whole foods for a bag) then why not try a red peppers, zucchini and red onion version. I also tried my first wheat grass shot! It was much sweeter than I thought.

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Our lunch was a large bowl of salad greens and veggies. The protein we were informed was in the form of sprouts placed in the middle of the table. I was not aware of this but apparently Sunflower sprouts are a perfect protein. They are the greens on the left.

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It was awkward to eat in front of a room of strangers. I felt like I was I had greens hanging out of my mouth no matter how I loaded my fork. We used a special dressing from the institute that ES tried to recreate. Photo 2There were also some raw food crackers on the table like flaxseed crackers. I tried these recently from Whole Foods and already knew I liked them. There were three kinds but I only liked the flax ones (as seen below on the right). The others were too hard for me to chew. It hurt my teeth to be honest.

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Some notes that I took include the following statements:

  • According to Dr Kessler, former of FDA commissioner, there are opiates in the mass produced, processed foods we eat so that we become addicted to them.
  • The wire in our bras are causing breast cancer.
  • Synthetics and plastics are causing cancer, including the ones in the clothes we wear.
  • Children today will die 5 years earlier than their parents are predicted to live.

He shared stories about how the diet cured his life long struggle with eczema and asthma in 3 weeks. He also spoke about women seeking treatment for fertility in their late twenties, and patients going through menopause at age 45 when it 55 used to be the norm. Did you know the number one killed of children younger than age 5 is cancer?

I have not yet fact checked these statements. I’m sure there is research to refute and agree with all these statements. Like political speeches, I’ve learned to always do my own research when I hear some one speak. Similarly, if you believe I’ve made an inaccurate statement, I welcome the correction. We should be held accountable and we also owe it ourselves to do our own due diligence. I’ve heard enough discussions regarding the medicinal benefits of a vegan diet to believe it works when it comes to treating diseases. I haven’t heard enough reasons why grilled chicken, Greek yogurt, whey protein powder, or salmon are harmful to your health. I also enjoy nachos, s’mores, red velvet cupcakes, mussels, and other treats too much to say, “good bye” right now.

I’ll give Dr Clement credit for looking about 20 years younger than he actually is in person. He also could have just had botox and I would never have known it. Perhaps I will try to be a vegan for a full week and see how hard it actually is to maintain. Is it possible to me a maybe-vegan? Only do it when you can in the comfort of your home?

There was so much information shared at the lunch that I can’t go into it all on this blog. I will admit, I am tempted and that should be enough to spike your interest in researching a raw vegan diet. Have you gone vegan?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krissy September 12, 2012 at 4:44 am

Seriously? Not the “bras cause breast cancer” argument again. The other statements are suspect too, but I’ll limit my rant to this point. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that bras (underwire or not) cause breast cancer, and no reason to suspect that they would.

See these two explanations written for non-scientists:
A New York Times piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/science/16qna.html?
An article from the Susan G Komen Foundation (scroll partway down the page for the info about bras): http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/FactorsThatDoNotIncreaseRisk.html

To my knowledge there is only one legitimate study that found that women who wear bras have a higher risk of breast cancer (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Hsieh%20CC%2C%20Trichopoulos%20D.%20Breast%20size%2C%20handedness%20and%20breast%20cancer%20risk.%20Eur%20J%20Cancer.%2027%3A131-5%2C%201991.) But, even the authors of this study do not claim that wearing a bra increase your risk for cancer (because that would be ridiculous). Instead, they suggest that the increased risk of cancer is due to increased body weight. Obesity is an established risk factor for post-menopausal breast cancer. Heavier women tend to have larger breasts, and therefore require the support of an underwire bra. These women are already at an increased risk of breast cancer due to their weight.

I would be incredibly skeptical of anything said by a doctor who makes bogus claims like this. He should know better. Sorry for the rant, but the promotion of pseudo science as fact drives me absolutely crazy.

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2 sonja September 12, 2012 at 5:38 am

have you read the book skinny bitch?.. they list a couple of reasons why products influence health. I guess for going vegan one should be pretty informed.. at least for me that is true… by now I am a vegetarian and once I find enough meals I can prepare in some minutes I want to live as a vegan.. but I see how more and more of my meals are actually vegan

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3 Jo September 12, 2012 at 6:23 am

I will never, ever go vegan EVER! :) There is a difference in grass fed beef. My husband’s grandparents lived to be 97 and 100 respectively and they were dairy farmers who drank their cows’ raw milk and ate the meat from the cows they had butchered. They lived in a small town, away from city smoke, etc. They lived a clean life (no smoking or drinking).

To each his/her own. :)

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4 Sam September 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

But back then there probably weren’t so many antibiotics, hormones and toxic substances like pesticides from the grass crops to infiltrate the meats. Farms were probably smaller and ethically different – more intimate than a slaughter warehouse. Specially family run farms!
And just to put it out there – meat production is one of the most water expensive processes, especially those that are grass fed. One cow will drink up to 30 galleons a day and a large sum of water goes into growing the grasses for the cows to eat. The meat eaters collectively consume twice the human population in animal meats per year – that’s a lot of precious water.
Fruits and veg use water, but their nutrition is more dense than meats and lower in fat, they use less water than a cow.

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5 Sam September 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

But I do agree to eachs their own! Just putting some facts out there :)
I get a little passionate!

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6 Patty September 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Very interesting points indeed. I did not know that a vegan diet was recommended for people facing cancer. I have not tried vegan, would need to look into it more. Thanks for the great info.

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7 Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb September 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Great post Sarah! I went vegetarian in 2008 then vegan in 2010. I have since dabbled in raw eating on and off, sometimes a month at a time. I will admit when I’m raw I feel my best. However, the challenge of a raw lifestyle is dealing with society norms. Although it’s possible to go raw and eat out (by finding raw restaurants or by bringing your own food) it isn’t always easy to choose that route.

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8 Rodi September 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I went to a vegan nutritionist last fall and tried a raw vegan diet for 3 weeks. I lost like 15 lbs, and the energy I had was great. The diet wasn’t something I was interested in maintaining fully though, because, like you, I haven’t heard enough reasons why ALL non-raw-vegan foods are detrimental to my health. I have incorporated a lot that I learned into my diet, though, and I agree that a lot of health issues can be treated by diet.

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9 Lindsay Ford September 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I am vegan. I don’t believe vegan-ism is for everyone though. I chose to be vegan for my health. After researching for months on animal proteins vs plant proteins and all the health benefits that come with being vegan it was an easy choice for me. I have hypo-thyroidsim which makes it hard to eat anything without gaining, weight, my metabolism sucks, as well as a number of other annoying health issues. Ever since starting to eat vegan I have had energy that I haven’t had since I was 7 years old, my nails and hair aren’t as brittle, my skin glows, my eczema is gone. I feel just all around happier when I eat vegan food. It makes me happy when popular bloggers like you bring to light the health benefits of eating vegan food :) Thanks Sarah !

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10 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Thanks Lindsay for sharing your experience! I too get eczema and wish I had more energy so perhaps I’ll give it a try. How long have you been a vegan?

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11 Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy September 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I love eating raw meals occasionally, but you can get cancer regardless of having a vegan diet.

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12 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Me too and SO TRUE!

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13 Cindy September 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Sara,
Before you give this a try, you should read a little book called “Eat to Live” it talks a lot about veganism but goes a step further. It talks about being a “nutraritarian” which means being vegan but not consuming processed foods and occasionally eating fish and eggs. It’s not just about cutting out all animal products, it’s more about making your diet plant-based and using animal products as condiments as opposed to the main part of your meal. I’m curing my rhematoid arthritis this way. It’s worked and it’s much less daunting than you’d think.
Cindy

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14 Laura September 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Being a pescetarian, this is interesting. I’m gonna look into this. Thanks!

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15 Diatta September 13, 2012 at 12:14 am

Honestly _ I started researching a raw lifestyle when a co-worker of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and beat it. I asked her what she did at 55? She said – started eating more RAW veggies and fruits. I was convinced!

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16 Jess September 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Really interesting post! Have you ever read the China study? It is really fascinating and supports the vegan diet. I tried it for a month and my skin cleared, I can’t religiously stick to it but I have definitely incorporated more vegan meals into my diet.

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17 Maria September 14, 2012 at 4:24 am

Hey Sarah! Wanted to send a quick comment: I was vegetarian for 2 years and a strict vegan for a year. I developed a lactose intolerance and now consume zero dairy, but after a little over a year of eating vegan, I started back with free range organic (local) eggs and fish and eventually added white meat back into my diet. Now, I follow a Whole30-style diet and I can say this is the best I’ve ever felt. As a vegan I was pleased to have lots of options when eating out around southern California, however most of those options were highly processed products containing soy. Eating a ‘vegan cheesesteak’ in my opinion is just as bad as eating a bag of cheetos – you’re still getting all the processed crap sans animal. I found that at home it was easy to maintain a vegan diet, but I was consuming way too much soy, which started to get me concerned (and effected other aspects of my health). I was also overdoing it with grains – mainly quinoa, using that as my source of fulfillment, I started to feel weighed down and sluggish, which was unusual considering how many vegetables I also eat. I am by no means bashing a vegan diet, I just am sharing my experience. I learned a lot as a vegan, mainly about eating real food and limiting processed foods. I went from eating a lot of beans and soy to no legumes or soy (I also avoid gluten and now grains) it makes me feel MUCH better. I think diet / lifestyle is personal – I think if we can learn anything from a vegan approach to eating it’s to eat fresh, local produce, lightly steamed or raw (or dehydrated) and to balance that with a healthy protein and fat (whether that be lean animal protein or nuts and avocado). Just wanted to share my experience.

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18 Sarah September 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I love this! Thanks Maria for sharing. I honestly love all the comments you and the other readers leave on my blog so much. You make the posts so much more valuable because everyone really is different, and all the experiences combined are amazing. I need to get a deyhydrator I think. Do you have one or have you used one?

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19 Maria September 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I bought a juicer and a dehydrator on Craigslist and love them both! I make green juice probably once every two weeks or so (whenever I get on a kick) and I love the dehydrator for making kale chips, dried apples, sweet potato chips…. and I am trying strawberries for the first time (they are in there right now!) I’ve been looking for good natural fuel for my training runs / rides / swims so I figured dried fruit w/no added sugar is a good place to start :) Both my dehydrator and juicer are on the lower end, but they do the job! If you decide to get one or the other you should definitely post about it! Love what you’re doing :)

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