When I first started my Raw Vegan journey food cravings and food thoughts were very intense. From my favourite takeaway noodles to wanting hot chips with sauce a craving could pop up at any time. So I thought I would share with you some tips, tricks and hacks I used to get through intense food cravings at the beginning of my Raw Food journey in 2021.
Cravings are strong thoughts of highly stimulating foods eg junk foods, comfort foods & cooked foods that bring a high pleasure and arousal to a person when eaten. No two people have the same cravings, these cravings are usually very personal and emotional to a individual. Cravings can also be are linked to an emotional eating response in a person. This all makes cravings very consuming and stressful to a person when first going on the Raw Vegan Diet. I was well aware of this and new I needed to concur my cravings from day one (July 2021) on this diet.
I am going to be totally honest here and say that once I discovered all my medical symptoms had dramatically subsided by eating a raw vegan diet in 2021 my goal from this point was: 'I was going to do anything to only eat raw foods and stick to it'. This meant I would allow myself to eat any food that had not been heated above 48'c and was plant based. Many people would not agree with this method of transitioning as this can create bad food combining, a high fat diet and many people may eat too many processed or dehydrated foods this way.
Also note at this point that when I started as a Raw Vegan I found the diet by accident I therefore new nothing about this lifestyle or good food habits.I next want to say that the rule 'I was going to do anything to only eat raw foods and stick to it'. may not always be optimal as a long term Raw Vegan I will share more on this later.
Next for the big question I am sure your wanting to ask: What sorts of things did I do when I got cravings in the beginning of my Raw Vegan Journey? I ATE!! I ate yummy, satisfying, heavier, spicier, salter and fattier Raw Vegan foods. As I stated above my only goal was to not go back to cooked foods. I was well aware the greatest challenge for myself committing to this long term was the cravings. So all the foods I ingested when I had cravings needed to only tick one box. That box they needed to tick was: 'Is the food classed as Living Foods & Plant Based?' If it was and I stuck to these foods I continued to heal very quickly as you can see from other blog posts.
So you might ask why or how this method was so successful for me? I believe this is because when I first started this diet I realised many of the foods I missed had had a high food density to them (eg junk and processed foods). I had eaten mostly food with a high density for most of my life. So I believed that by eating heavier foods (eg nuts, dried foods) I could trick my mind into feeling full and satisfied. This was great at the start of transitioning and while I was re-writing and re- mapping my brain for health. I also felt that cravings could and might jeopardise my ability to stick with the new diet. I also believed by giving myself permission to indulge in anything raw when I started the diet was a good treat or incentive to stick to the diet.
What hat exactly was I eating when I got cravings?
raw nuts & seeds
Nori sheet noodles
Himalayan salt & black pepper to foods
add ground spices such a paprika and turmeric to foods
I have scattered some of the craving buster food combinations I made while healing through this post (some I of these foods I still use!). I hope these help you see how it can be fun going raw and fighting cravings. Another tip is it also helps to be a little creative when attacking cravings as we love to continue fun in our lives.
I do not eat most of these foods anymore that I spoke of above. If you follow my journey here on the Roar website and on Instagram you will be aware that I have not eaten nut butters, nuts, dried fruits (except dates), salt, pepper, spices or dried ground spices and herbs for over a year now. This does not take away from the fact that in the Raw Vegan community many of these foods are still classified as Raw Foods and you can enjoy most of these daily if you wish.
Lets talk briefly on the risks people might believe exist by eating the foods I ate and used for fighting cravings. Remember again that when I started this lifestyle I was unaware that high fat ie nuts, nut butters, avocado, coconut and/or some food combining were not optimal on this diet. For example I never realised until late 2021 that combining bananas (sweet fruit) with apples (sub- acidic fruit) could cause digestive issue in some people. Or that too much fat may be hard for the body to digest.
I should also state here that I never ate very much processed and dehydrated Raw Vegan Food to fight cravings (I still do not) .The reason for this is I did not have cravings all the time and therefore most of these foods were only eaten from once a day to once a week.
The thing people need to remember here is that the side effects most people experience if they do incorrect raw food combining or ingest too much raw fats does not usually cause death or hospitalisation to a person (unless of course you have a food allergy and in this case you would call emergency services if you ingested one of these foods). You will most likely get gas, feel uncomfortable, may feel a little irritable, have a change in bowl movement and/or a mild rash. In my opinion this is your body talking to you. If you do not hear your body talking at first when you ingest a food which is not optimal for your body you will eventually get the message. I believe by the 10th time you feel uncomfortable after eating a food that is not optimal for your body you will start to think about if that food is right for you. In time most people simply learn that like most things in life we need a balance and the right combination of things to feel our best.
What I am saying here is feel free to experiment with raw foods, especially when you first start your Raw Vegan journey. Remember to be kind to yourself when you start this lifestyle and go with what works for you. I am almost 1 and 1/2 years into my Raw Food journey I rarely get very intense cravings anymore. If I do get a craving now (2022) and the craving does not pass with in 15 min I will eat bananas, dates, nice cream, pudding or a sweet or savoury nori roll to ease it.
The main reason I chose to use food to help with my cravings is that sometimes if I try sitting with a craving it will become exacerbated and harder for me to handle. Though if sitting & breathing through cravings and emotional thoughts works for you then this might be a great option for you to use on this diet.
The greatest tip I can give you on your Raw Food Journey is to make it fun and create exciting NEW snacks from Raw Foods that you believe will help you feel satisfied. We all have different cravings so you do what works for you with Raw Foods. Remember always enjoy the process and let me know below in the comments which Raw Vegan cravings busters you use?
Finally if you do have cravings you might want to check out my ebook FAVOURITES as I created this ebook to help with cravings Also don't forget to subscribe to Roar for great Raw Vegan tips, tricks, guides, advice, shopping Recipes and more.