There is a considerable amount of debate when it comes to the subject of the innate human diet.
Are we meant to be omnivores, pescatarians or herbivores?
Above all, this question was the one I wanted the answer to when I first decided to study nutrition. There were a number of convincing arguments from all sides, but in the end, I never got a definitive answer. Like all nutritionists, I was to collect the data that was either provided to me, or that which I found through independent research, and I was to formulate my own opinion–which I ultimately did. That said, I am open to the idea that I may one day change my theory, as we are constantly learning more and more about the human body and it’s intrinsic design.
No matter what side of the fence we are on, we all seem to collectively agree on one thing…. We are consuming way too much meat. The Earth and our bodies were not designed to consume animal products at the rate at which we are consuming them now. Even those who follow the hunter-gather diet (paleolithic diet), understand that our ancestors were highly unlikely to successfully hunt and kill an animal on a daily basis, let alone at every meal. The prevailing belief among paleolithic eaters is, that the diet was mainly comprised of plant-foods, while animals were captured and consumed less regularly. Fast-forward only a few-thousand years, where over 92% of the estimated 7.153 billion people on earth, are eating meat, some of whom, eat it at every meal. We are exhausting our resources at a rapid pace, making the task of raising all these animals in an honourable or wholesome manner, a near impossible feat.
To add fuel to the fire, there is a fair bit of dispute in the vegan world if we are in fact even meant to cook our food. Raw-veganism, if practiced properly, can provide us with all the nutrition the human body needs–including protein. I have heard every argument you can possibly think of, as to why a person believed they could not ever practice raw-veganism. I usually dominate that argument, but don’t worry, I am not writing this post to convert you. Well, not completely…
I am not 100% raw-vegan, but I am about 95% of the time–usually consuming meat about one day a week and it’s a personal choice that when I do choose to eat animal flesh, I prefer it comes from an organic, free-range source. I find this diet to be the perfect balance for me given my current circumstances, as I consider all the factors that currently affect my quality of life–socially, financially, physically and spiritually. It’s a personal choice, ultimate up to each individual, where in the spectrum they would like to lie. This means you don’t have to belong to one side or the other to do your part to practice conservation of our resources, and you can reap some of the health benefits of being a raw-vegan without completely giving up meat. You can choose to simply be a raw-vegan, even just one day a week. It doesn’t matter who you are, what kind of schedule you have, how much you are addicted to animal flesh, or how much you worry about meeting your protein needs, it’s easy to sustain from it for simply one day per week. Over time, just as it happened to me, you might find you actually prefer it, at which point you could decide to increase it 2 or 3 days a week. Either way, the idea is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be all or nothing, the whole world can benefit from at least one day a week.
The most common question I get when I pitch this idea is… Where will I get my protein?
Okay, first of all, chances are if you have been eating animal protein for your entire life, you will not develop a protein deficiency after just one day. None-the-less, this is one of the many reasons why it may be wise to practice your 1 day, as a RAW-food vegan.
Proteins are just various chains of amino-acids. Within the human body, there are 22 different animo-acids that are needed to make up these various chains. When we eat animal proteins, our bodies break them down into the individual amino-acids, and then it uses those amino-acids to build completely new chains of proteins. Plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables-including sea vegetables, nuts and seeds) as long as they are raw, are full of these amino-acids, but if one heats these foods above 108 degrees fahrenheit, all the amino acids die. Eating a variety of live (raw) plant-foods can provide you with all the nutrients your body needs to make protein. Again, just like my last post “decorate your plate”, the key here is–variety
It is important to understand that word “vegan” does not mean “healthy”. A junk-food vegan diet, in my opinion, can be one of the worst routes that one can take.
“If only for one day” is part 3 of 5 simple ideas that completely changed the way I eat. I look forward to hearing your feedback on this or any other posts.