Raw Food Potlucks: Helpful or Harmful?

Are raw food potlucks helpful?

One of the first things I learned about when getting interested in raw foods was the raw food potlucks. They were recommended to me to learn more about the lifestyle, meet other raw foodists and learn new recipes.

After a few months I did learn those things; met others at all points of their journey to better health, learned new recipes, resources and lifestyle ideas.

Over the years, I made an important distinction. Long term raw foodists don't normally eat the foods brought to a raw food potluck.

Why?

I've determined that raw food potlucks are most beneficial to those new to the lifestyle, those looking to make a change for their health, making new friends or those curious and wanting to learn more.

Long term raw foodists can be helpful to those that are new and provide guidance, although do not normally eat much at the potlucks. Since many who attend are new, they create dishes that are high in fat, lack proper food combining principles or are gourmet style recipes (all of course are great once in a while). For those experienced in raw foods, this type of meal is affectionately called "combo mambo" since the food combining is not the best and there are all sorts of foods mixed together when you try a little of this and that.

I noticed after about a year that eating at potlucks was no longer pleasurable. It often brought indigestion, gas and uncomfortable feelings. You see, as you progress in eating raw foods, you start to prefer simpler meals and normally combine foods naturally. Eating a combination of different foods that are normally high in fat (nuts, pates, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, etc) and normally more than just a bite can easily upset a digestive system that has been already cleaned and prefers simpler foods.

In fact, as I now bring simpler dishes, interestingly enough, they are not as popular as the more 'gourmet' meals I once brought. Most seem to enjoy the fancier foods that resemble cooked food dishes - just with raw ingredients.

So are potlucks helpful?

Absolutely!

First, they are a great support network for those interested in learning more about better health, raw foods and recipes. Second, as you learn and become more experienced, you can be helpful to others just starting out and looking for answers. Many long term 100% raw fooders I notice don't eat much at the potlucks and spend most of the time sharing with others. I've learned to do the same, and often eat prior to attending and bring a simpler meal for others to enjoy.

You also make new friends and can build long term relationships with like-minded individuals in your area... which can be very helpful when making changes like this in your life.

You can learn more about the potlucks in your area by visiting: http://www.livingnutrition.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodnetwork.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodinfo.com/directories/dir_rawpotlucks.html

To your best health!

Mark

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How To Stay Raw During The Holidays

Posted on December 25th, 2005 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on How To Stay Raw During The Holidays

With all the parties during the holidays, there are many temptations and opportunities to get cooked.

I like to look at it a little differently.

Since this time of year is for celebration, giving and appreciation, I see it as an opportunity to grow stronger in your convictions and celebrate them... celebrate your path to awesome health through a vegan raw lifestyle.

By growing in your healthy relationship with yourself, you not only grow into better health, your relationships with others blossom as well.

And in addition to sharing gifts with friends and loved ones, what better time to give yourself a gift... the gift of awesome health (only you can do it).

Here are some ideas to thrive during the holidays:

  • instead of attending a party, throw your own. Include raw and healthy alternatives to the normal heavy and fattening dishes.
  • when attending dinner parties, bring your own dish. You can always eat your own dish if there are no healthy alternatives.
  • if the topic of why you may not be eating something comes up, mention that this is what you feel like eating (the raw and healthy alternative).
  • eat more fruit!
  • focus on the social part of the events rather than the eating.
  • take some time out for yourself and celebrate your life and raw journey.
  • have plenty of fruit and salads handy to eat and share during the holidays.
  • find raw potlucks or meetups in your area and visit with link-minded friends.
  • eat a raw meal or snack before attending an event so you won't be hungry. Gives you more time to visit.

Celebrate and enjoy the holidays, vegan and raw!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours!

Mark

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Vegan/Raw Benefit #12, Anti-Aging

Posted on December 14th, 2005 in anti-aging,raw diet,raw food,skin by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Vegan/Raw Benefit #12, Anti-Aging

OK, I know this is a topic usually reserved for women... but it's important to guys too :).

Now about 6 months after transitioning to raw foods I've noticed something interesting. Very smooth skin. Especially my hands.. normally they're dry during the winter months but not this year.

Others that I've spoken to and read about report similar experiences... a glow to the skin, more elasticity, fewer wrinkles, youthful look. It's the ultimate anti-aging diet.

Just another benefit of a vegan, raw and whole food diet.

To your best health!

Mark
The Vegan Raw Diet

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Key To Raw Success: Fruit

Posted on December 10th, 2005 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Key To Raw Success: Fruit

In talking with many people that have tried to transition to raw, much research and personal experience I've found a central theme around why many people don't successfully transition to a raw diet.

And that theme is Fruit.

Many that try eating more fruit stop because it causes an upset stomach or digestive tract. Some stop because they get hungry right away and don't feel full.

Interestingly enough, the reasons for these difficulties are not related to eating fruit, but most often a different reason. They think it's fruit because it's usually the last item they ate.

Many transitioning to a raw diet consume a large amount of fat from nuts and oils to get that feeling of satisfaction. A high fat diet combined with fruit is a recipe for failure and one of the reasons for digestive difficulties.

Eating fruit and not feeling filled up is many times because not enough of the fruit (calorie wise) was eaten. Additionally, once you start eating larger amounts of fruits regularly, you will begin to lose the feelings of hunger shortly after eating them.

I've found that after a few months of eating mainly fruits throughout the day, my cravings and hunger have gone away. When I am hungry, it's subtle and peaceful. The important thing is to eat a good amount of fruit throughout the day, not just one or two servings.

Frederic Patenaude discusses this at length in The Raw Secrets and cleared up some questions about hunger, fats and how to choose the best selection of foods on a daily basis.

All the best for your health!

Mark
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