The raw food reality – The Mancunion

Elena Gibbs imagines a more truthful alternative to the Raw Food health blog.


8:30 – Hurdle one. Something’s telling me this diet requires preparation despite its deceiving title. What is breakfast with no carbs? Is bread raw? Consider an egg, remember that it can’t be heated. Settle for a tomato and a banana.

9:00 – Think about toast while showering.

10:00 – Having difficulty concentrating, eat handful of raw almonds and Google search ‘raw food diet’. Leads me to a 4od documentary on Health Food Junkies, but I get distracted by recommended link to ‘Dogging Tales’.

11:00 – Feeling moderately disturbed, and momentarily relieved from the thoughts of my new raw life, I decide it’s meal time again. Or a caffeine hit. Wait, is coffee allowed? No hot drinks? I settle for a shot of tequila.

12:15 – I glance at the light and begin to see dancing spots of illuminations flash before my eyes. I remember something from childhood about carrots and night vision, so munch on two like a sick, sadistic reindeer with no Santa.

12:30 – Is there anything other than gazpacho on this regime that counts as a legitimate lunch? This soup seems to be the only thing even close to resembling a real human meal. If cold spiced tomato liquid is the beating heart of my life at midday, I’m already questioning whether I want to live.

15:00 – After excessive Googling, I’m pretty sure this diet is just veg and nuts. Unless I eat a raw steak, perhaps. Uncooked meat, broccoli and walnuts. I’m going to be popular in the office. Good bye friends, social life.

17:00 – Choose an aged rioja from the cellar to complement my 7oz rump and settle down with a nice book. This isn’t so bad.

18:30 – Still drinking.

19:30 – My husband arrives home with a takeaway bag of Chinese sweet and sour dumplings and sticky ribs with seaweed. My favourite! I smile, embrace him and mutter something about a brilliant new way of life I’ve found. He pats me on my grape-stained mouth and we tuck in. Perhaps I’ll just eat raw when I’m alone, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone with my dietary requirements.

Sum up: Might work with a little planning ahead. You’ll hit a wall mid-afternoon, but the trick here is to allow in some of those fermented foods to wake your gut up (think: wine, sake, grappa, or even a mouldy piece of fruit). Good luck trying it. And it’s also super great because no calorie counting!! And oh yeah, I now feel AMAZING.

Meet Ashley Hampton, the vegan blogger behind 'Raw in College' – USA TODAY College

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 8.16.20 PM

Photo: Ashley Hampton

University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore Ashley Hampton is, in many ways, a lot like other students on her campus. She’s in sorority, is steadily working toward a degree in community and nonprofit leadership, and loves to travel and spend time with friends.

But one thing sets Hampton apart from her peers: Her food blog, Raw in College, has a devoted following of nearly 25,000.

Hampton maintains a raw vegan lifestyle, which means she only consumes uncooked, unprocessed food that is free of animal byproducts. She shares her lifestyle on her blog, which has become wildly successful in the year since it launched.

She has also published an ebook of recipes separate from those on her blog, been interviewed by NBC and was featured on PETA’s website in an article raw diets. In between her classes and extracurriculars, Hampton documents her life and meals on three social media platforms: her blog, Instagram account and her Youtube channel.

The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

How did you begin your raw vegan lifestyle — was it a gradual introduction or did you dive right in? 

I became a raw vegan in the summer of 2014 and, before that, I was a vegetarian for a year and a half. So I was already health-conscious, interested in nutrition and veering away from animal products at that point.

When I went raw vegan I did it, ironically, cold-turkey and overnight. I just cut out everything besides fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and it really just stuck with me. Originally, I planned to do it for one week to see how my body felt, and then kept going with it.

So, why adopt a raw and vegan diet?

First and foremost, I will always advocate for veganism over anything else. I’m raw for myself, I like to say, and vegan for the animal.

Raw veganism prides itself on eating the most nutritionally dense, whole foods in the world and that is why raw works best for me. It’s a small sector the vegan world.

Eating food raw means that (the food is) in its nutritionally best form. Cooking food actually decreases the nutrition and enzymes, which are greater and more nutritionally dense when you eat them in their raw form. You (can) eat a very large amount because everything is low in calories.

It’s great for people who have a large appetite and like to eat, to not have a restrictive way of life.

What was your main reason for going vegan?

It’s been a transition over time from going vegetarian to vegan. I now consider myself an ethical vegan, and, over the past six months, that has really developed strongly for me.

But in the beginning, it was really more for health reasons and then I made that ethical connection with animals. I find that really making that connection is the best way to stay vegan.

Photo: Ashley Hampton

Photo: Ashley Hampton

What’s a typical day of meals like for you?

It definitely varies on a daily basis.

For breakfast, I’ll have something like a raw cereal, which is made of predominantly banana, apples and cinnamon, which can be found in my e-book 100% From The Earth. In between breakfast and lunch, I’ll have an apple, bananas or grapefruit. I also like to snack on vegetables. For lunch, I might make a smoothie bowl or a salad. In the evening I’ll have a more savory meal like a big salad or zoodles, which is spiralized zucchini that’s kind of a replacement for pasta.

I don’t track my calories, I just listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry.

What is the most difficult part of this lifestyle?

The most challenging part — not in a negative way — is being able to use social media to influence people to include more plant-based options into their lifestyle. How I go about that is focusing on the positives of eating this way instead focusing on the negatives of the standard American diet.

I’m thrown a lot of questions on a daily basis. I never like to answer something without being educated, so I do my research and then I answer. The hardest part, really, is the social aspect of it and embracing my own lifestyle and not worrying about what other people think.

For a lot of people, going vegan can be socially isolating.

Speaking of social isolation, have you received backlash or negative feedback?

I find it to be a very small amount in comparison to the positive attention. Usually, the negative backlash is people saying “it’s natural to eat animals” or “you’re probably very deficient in things.”

I always just answer them saying I get routine blood tests to make sure I’m healthy and balanced, and then I back up my ethical side of being vegan. Overall, it’s been a very positive experience.

Photo: Ashley Hampton

Photo: Ashley Hampton

How do you manage and maintain your lifestyle in a college environment?

Choosing to eat a healthy diet definitely takes some dedication and passion. If you’re not really into it, it’s very easy to fall off track.

Last year, I lived in the dorms, but I was not on the meal plan. I did all of my own grocery shopping. Although I could have made it work in the dining hall, but would have had less variety. I really enjoy making my own food and getting creative in the kitchen, so I would shop for my own groceries, stock up my mini fridge and prepare the food literally on my desk.

This year I’m in an apartment, and it’s much easier. I’ve found it to be more budget-friendly. In comparison to my peers, I’m always spending less.

How did you manage to gain so much popularity online so quickly?

I started my blog during my first semester of college and it has been growing exponentially ever since then. My social media growth is due to staying authentic, posting relatable and interesting content and sharing through other social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

Finding a niche that you are passionate about is the best way to reach out to other people who have the same interests as you. I never expected Raw in College to become what is has, but I am so grateful for it and excited for what the future holds.

Do people recognize you around campus?

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the culture is definitely not focused on veganism. That being said, fewer people know who I am here in the “land of dairy and beer” than in California or Australia, which is where the majority of my followers are based.

I have been recognized by a few people in my classes and at the grocery store on campus, especially after I was featured on NBC — it is always a shock to me when it happens!

Are you considering turning your blog into a full-time career?

I’m definitely hoping to turn this into my career. There are so many different directions that I can go with it, and I really hope at the end of the day to inspire people to go vegan, eat healthier and include more plant-based options — especially targeting college students who think it’s impossible.

I (want) the opportunity to travel the country and speak to students at different schools and (create) more e-books and just get the message out there.

Greta Bjornson is a University of Vermont student and a USA TODAY College correspondent.

Raw Vegan on $20 a Day

Raw Vegan on $20 a Day! Join me as I take you to a trip to the grocery store and make 3 delicious raw food vegan meals using these ingredients! I also VLOG and take you to the Rawfully Organic Warehouse space and give you money saving tips when purchasing your produce!

In this video we make an easy and delicious juice recipe for breakfast, a quick and fun strawberry banana smoothie for lunch, and a fullyraw rainbow salad for dinner along with a citrus pesto dressing on the side! Oh…and did I mention, there is even a snack in here for you too! If I can do it, you can too!

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Special thanks to my friend Tim Halperin from American Idol for sharing his music with us! Check out this song iTunes:

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Foods You Can Eat on the 80-10-10 Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet

You can eat lots of different foods on the 80/10/10 Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet which you might not have considered previously. Obviously, most of what you will eat on this diet, which reduces your fat and protein intake to a minimum, will be fruit. That’s the way it’s intended to be and there is no way of getting around it; and after a while eating on the 80/10/10 Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet, you won’t really want to. You’ll enjoy eating fruit so much, and feel so good after eating it, that you won’t need anything else.

However, you can eat a few other things which will give you satiety. One of these things is sweetcorn.

Sweetcorn is only recommended very fresh as the sugar in the corn starts to turn to starch with 24 hours of being picked. However, if you are just starting out on the diet and need an extra boost to help you stay 80/10/10 Low Fat Raw Vegan, then just go for it. Sweetcorn, even with starch, is a high quality, low fat raw food. The fat and protein levels are both around 10% of its calories.

Fresh raw peas are also great. You can eat them whenever you like after picking – even frozen if you really want, though they will be inevitably nicer fresh and unfrozen. Picking them out of the pod and eating them can be oddly therapeutic, rather like eating sunflower seeds (see below). They have about 20% of their calories from protein, which makes them a suboptimum food for the 80/10/10 Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet, but if you make them a single meal in a day you won’t go over 10% protein for the day by any means. They are a great food.

Carrot juice is a nice way of getting some extra calories from something that feels more grounding than fruit. This food is not recommended by Douglas Graham in his book “The 80/10/10 Diet” as he recommends against juices, but for a beginner to the diet juices can be a helpful way of getting more calories in. So if you want to have some carrot juice, don’t worry about it, just give it a go. They have about 200 calories a cup. (Eating carrots as is is nice too, but not a fast option for filling yourself up on calories).

Sunflower seeds are excellent raw foods. Eat them in-shell to make an enjoyable ritual out of it. They are high fat, but because it takes so long to eat them, you will feel like you’ve eaten a lot more; an excellent food for the 80/10/10 Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet for that reason.


There are more foods you can eat on the 80/10/10 Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet than you think. Explore, and remember, you are not “restricting” foods, you are just obsessing over others to the point of exclusion. 😉 80/10/10 Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet is so worth it.

'Before I started eating raw food, I guess I felt like everyone else; just, “OK”' –

Russell James, The Raw Chef

Russell James, The Raw Chef

We talked to Russell James aka The Raw Chef about the benefits raw (or accidently vegan) food can have on your body and how best to start out on such a diet if you want to give it a try.

Please tell us about your journey into veganism.

I’ve never really considered myself a vegan, it was really about eating raw food for my health. Raw food just happens to be vegan, although there are some people doing some raw dairy and eggs. For me, it started when I was a teenager, working for Burger King. Working there every day after college, in that greasy environment, eating that food every day meant that I started to suffer with acne. After 8 years taking strong drugs like Roaccutane, multiple courses of antibiotics, and topical skin creams that made my skin red and itchy, I came across raw food. The first time I heard about raw food, I thought it sounded extreme, so I ignored it. But after getting into juicing and going on a 7 day fast in Koh Samui, Thailand, I experienced some raw food dishes and I was hooked.

I just loved the vibrancy and creativity of it, and the fact that I could further clear up my skin with it, after having such success with the fast sealed the deal for me.

Why is raw food so important to our diet?

Adding raw foods in their most natural and beneficial form is missing from most people’s modern diet. Raw and living foods have a vibrancy to them that is transferable into our living bodies. It’s not that all cooked foods are bad, but a diet rich in raw and living foods gives us access to vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes that a lot of people are missing by cooking everything they eat. If I was to put a baked apple and a fresh, raw apple in front of you, then you’d intuitively know the raw apple has the most benefit to give. So all we’re doing is extending that out to other foods and making it fun and interesting.

How did it improve your life? How did you feel before eating raw food? 

I feel a lot more open to life in general. My life is very different now, to how it was then. I was working in a job I didn’t like at all at the time, but now I have a business I absolutely love, following my passion. Before I started eating raw food, I guess I felt like everyone else; just, “OK”. But looking back on it, I was struggling with my energy and my ability to really create the type of life that I wanted.

Why do you think there is such an extreme impression of what people who eat a raw food diet are like?

I think that taking proper care of yourself is becoming less and less extreme. It’s really a case of what’s become normal is actually pretty strange. When you look at the long list of ingredients in processed and packaged foods, you start to realise they’re food-like-products and not food at all. We’re in a time where convenience has become the most important thing, but that comes at a price. You only have to look at the increase in every type of disease over the past 30 years. So when someone you know says they’re taking control of their own health, even if it’s not convenient, they’re seen as doing something strange. But a person who has realised the value of their own health, has a big reason why they want to take the time and energy it’ll take to become vibrant and healthy, even if it means standing out a little.

Why do so many people think preparing raw food is difficult?

For just about everyone, it’s a totally new way of doing things. So when you come to prepare something raw, you’re not just preparing food, you’re learning something new. Some people just get too up in their head about there being multiple steps. Things like soaking nuts become a barrier, because people say they haven’t got time for it, but in fact, leaving a bowl of nuts to soak doesn’t take any of your time, it just takes a bit of forward planning.

You began to read up a lot on raw food in your spare time before you started up your business- so what surprised you the most?

I was surprised more people weren’t eating this way, and that I hadn’t really heard of much beforehand. With all the benefits raw food offers, and the stories I was hearing about people healing themselves, it was both surprising and exciting to me.

What is the best advice you can give to someone who is thinking of starting to eat raw?

Take a slow and don’t try to become 100% raw overnight. It’s highly likely that you won’t ever be 100% raw, because we don’t live in a society that makes it easy, or desirable. For example, London in the winter is not the best place to be all-raw; I usually want some hot soups and baked vegetables in addition to the raw food I’m eating. Start with breakfast and lunch, getting some recipes under your belt that you really love and are conformable making without needing to refer back to the recipe all the time.

Please tell us about your recent experience at The Tiny Leaf Restaurant.

I really loved being there on the 1st floor of Tiny Leaf, creating a beautiful raw food experience. It was really cool being in a place that has the intention around vegan, vegetarian, organic and zero waste. Serving people raw food and seeing them have an experience of how this type food can make positive change in their life, is one of my favourite things to do. All those smiling faces, some of them surprised how good raw food can be, makes me happy.

What is the dish you make the most for you and your partner?

We actually keep it pretty simple at home and it depends on what season it is. Just coming out of winter, I was making a lot of hearty salads with baked butternut squash. As we move into spring and summer I’ll no doubt be making plenty of kale salads, which are a real favourite.

What is next for you?

Because we get such great feedback and success stories for our online courses, I’ll be continuing to grow and improve those. I’m also really looking forward to doing more retreats and workshops for 2016 and beyond. We’ve been working on a published book for a while now, which we’re planning on launching in 2017. I’m really excited about getting that out in the world and showing people how they can bring raw food into their lives in a really accessible way.

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Is It Healthier to Follow a Raw Food Diet? – Glamour

raw diet

With the backing of celebrities like Gisele Bundchen, Amanda Seyfried, and a slew of fitness bloggers, it’s hard not to wonder if the raw food diet is something worth looking into.

Not familiar with the concept? The gist is that in order to preserve all the nutrients in your food, you shouldn’t heat it above 118 degrees. But how true is this concept, and is the effort of going on a raw food diet worth its benefits?

According to celebrity dietitian Isabel Smith, R.D., the raw food trend may be more of a passing craze than a nutritional necessity. “Although much attention has been on raw diets and their benefit, research is finding the benefit to cooked vegetables when it comes to nutrient availability too,” she says.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to raw food versus cooked food in terms of health and nutrition,” agrees dietitian Tali Pines, R.D. “Some foods are healthier when eaten raw, while others have nutrients that are enhanced through the cooking process.”

Whether you should eat your vegetables raw or cooked, for example, depends what nutrients you need. Vitamin C, fiber, folate (found in beets), and myrosinase (found in broccoli) are more present in raw vegetables. But if you want iron from spinach, lycopene from tomatoes, or lutein from greens, you’re better off cooking them.

There’s also the chance you might short-change yourself on important vitamins and minerals. “While some nutrients do get lost in the cooking process, the raw food diet comes up short on calories, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and calcium,” Pines says.

My Fit Foods Registered Dietitian Millie Wilson, R.D., points out that raw fans may also be at an increased risk of food-borne illness (since many types are killed off by cooking), so they need to make sure to wash raspberries, spinach, and lettuce thoroughly, and avoid raw meat and eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products. “Cooking…kills bacteria, which helps to avoid food poisoning,” she says.

Overall, experts say it’s fine to go raw, but it’s not really necessary in order to eat well. “A healthy balance of both cooked and raw foods is typically best for leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle,” says Wilson.

What Are the Risks of Raw Food and Vegan Diets?

Raw food and vegan diets offer enormous health benefits ranging from weight loss to expanded mental clarity. These diets are, however, relatively new, and offer some safety risks. In this article, we will examine some of the dangers associated with eating raw.

For explaining these risks, it’s easiest to think about food in three categories: macronutrients (proteins, calories, fat), fiber, and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.).

1. Insufficient protein/calories

A major risk associated with eating raw is that you will not get sufficient protein intake. When protein is not present in high enough levels in the diet, cells lack the raw materials with which to grow or repair themselves. The results of insufficient protein can appear on the skin in the form of blemishes and wrinkles. In the body, muscle aches and soreness will persist for much longer periods of time when protein is not being received into the diet.

Along similar lines, raw food and vegan dietary restrictions can often wind up dramatically lowering caloric intake. Decreased caloric intake can obviously result in weight loss. But over long periods of time, cellular energy reserves become depleted and stress accumulates.

2. Too much fiber

One problem that can occur on a diet full of vegetable smoothies and raw fruit and nuts is an overload of fiber. While healthy fiber intake offer excellent digestive benefits, too much of anything is not a good thing. Extremely high intake of fiber can paradoxically create inflammation and stress in the large intestine. High fiber intake can also result in substantially fewer calories being absorbed into the system.

3. Inadequate micronutrients

Studies have shown that vegans and raw foodists are at much higher risk for low bone mass, iron deficiency, and a number of vitamin deficiencies. While high intake of vitamins and antioxidants is described as a benefit of eating raw, several essential dietary components are almost impossible to get without eating meat. A good multivitamin is a baseline recommendation for vegans and raw foodists. Here are some specific deficiencies that show up:

Vitamin D: Is found in meat and often fortified into dairy products. Most people are deficient already. Without fortified dairy, vegans and raw foodists are at even higher risk for vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin B-12: Typically taken in from meat. In fact, animal variants of B-12 can inhibit dietary absorption. Deficiency can be severe, irreversible neurological symptoms.

Omega-3s: Vegans and raw foodists have been shown to have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

CoQ10 and Carnitine: These nutrients can be produced in your body, but typically not in sufficient quantities to meet demand. Both are antioxidants that improve brain function.

Raw Food Trick for Children & Mulberry Farm!

Check out this fun video where I teach you a trick on how to get your child to drink more carrot juice. We then go to the best mulberry farm on the planet.

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New York Raw Food Restaurants

New York raw food restaurants are attracting attention, as more people seek healthier diets and lifestyles. New York City consistently serves some of the best raw food cuisine in the world, and proudly hosts 10 raw food restaurants–including three vegetarian restaurants that are partially raw. The Big Apple is known for its diversity of cuisine and raw food restaurants provide a healthy and delicious alternative.

What Type of Food is Served?

New York raw food restaurants serve an assortment of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains–including raw desserts, raw pizza, raw “lasagna,” and more. Surprisingly, raw food tastes great–and best of all, it’s good for you. Raw food restaurants use several tools to prepare food for customers: a food processor, a high-powered blender, juicers, and variable-temperature dehydrators, among others.

Absolutely no microwaves, ovens, or stoves are used. This is done to preserve the live enzymes presents in all raw food. Live enzymes are destroyed when food is cooked beyond 114 degrees Fahrenheit.

Raw Food Chefs & Cooking Schools

The raw food trend has gathered steam in recent months, spawning “gourmet raw food chefs” and raw food cooking schools. Classic chefs are visiting New York raw food restaurants to discover a cuisine that offers surprising diversity, flavor and texture.

Popular New York Raw Food Restaurants

One of the most popular New York raw food restaurants is Pure Food & Wine, which opened in June 2004 and serves eye-catching dishes in an upscale setting. Other well-known New York raw food restaurants include Quintessence, Blue Green, and Bonobos.

People Eat A Raw Diet For A Week • LIFE/CHANGE

“I just paid $10 for this f***ing wrap.”

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