“I’m a raw vegan,” a statement usually met with curiosity, sometimes with disdain, and most often with wide eyed amazement. I could NEVER do that is the typical assumption accompanied with the view that raw veganism is a radical lifestyle for those individuals with magical and coveted powers of will that border on other-worldly. If you’ve never flirted with an alternative lifestyle, I could see how and why you might put raw veganism in the inconvenient, depriving and high maintenance categories, but as someone who has subscribed to, stuck with and grown to love and adore this way of living, I can tell you that it is none of those harsh descriptives and not nearly as “radical” as it is made out to be.
Choosing a positive outlook, focusing on what you are gaining rather then what you are lacking, is essential to enjoyment in all areas of life, but when making a sudden and dramatic move away from the Standard American Diet, it holds even more importance.
Below are some pleasant pluses of switching to a raw vegan lifestyle beyond the plethora of health benefits that are often noted.
Raw veganism can save time. If you are a raw vegan that eats simply, creating meals that are piled high with colorful, nutrient dense raw fruits and veggies, the time you spend prepping your meals and cleaning up after them will be cut in half. I have to admit, I’m lazy when it comes to food preparation. When I’m hungry, I want to eat, and I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time between the realizing of hunger to actual chow time. Throwing a bunch of vegetables in a bowl with nuts or seeds and a simple salad dressing never gets old. Call me lazy, call me busy or just call me a simpleton, but I’m not ashamed to say that after years off the Standard American Diet, I truly don’t crave much else.
Raw veganism can facilitate a greater spiritual awareness. Beyond the obvious dietary and health reasons to consume more raw plant foods, there are many lifestyle benefits to be noted when one dives whole-y and fully into this beautiful way of living. Love, compassion, empathy, mercy, non-judgment and equality for all sentient beings creates a profoundly beautiful opportunity to become more grounded in your spiritual practices, whatever they may be, as you attempt to live out those values in all areas of your life, including what you consume. Certain spiritual/lifestyle practices can accompany this excellent way of living, including but not limited to yoga and meditation. At its best, raw veganism can bring you greater spiritual growth and maturity, and at the very least, it can raise questions about what you value and where you stand on certain moral and ethical issues.
Raw veganism can foster a simpler life. I’ve been told more than once, “You live a very simple life, and you seem to be OK with it.” A succinct and valid statement. When breakfast, lunch or dinner can be a bowl of fruit and a big handful of raw cashews, I can see how that can be viewed as uncomplicated, but really, I like to believe I have simply moved back to the basics in many areas of my life (and raw veganism has facilitated that switch for me). Do I really need another handbag? Are regular manicures necessary? Do I really need to go out or will some silent alone time do more to energize me? I’ve become much more in tune with my whole bodies needs, mental, spiritual, physical and emotional, as I have settled into the raw vegan way.
I hope sharing my experiences can allow you to think about the subtle ways raw veganism can color your life oh-so-vibrantly versus looking through the grey lens of deprivation at a lifestyle that has the ability to energize and beautify many areas of your existence.
Image Source: Satoru Kukuchi/Flickr