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Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: pborst ()
Date: March 14, 2012 04:33PM

What defines being on a raw food vegan diet? We've talked about what being vegan is or isn't on other threads. For this thread, I'd like to talk about the criteria, mainly weight of food or calories, usually calculated as a percentage. For someone at 100 percent, it's sort of academic and doesn't make much of a difference.

In "Becoming Raw", Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina offer a definition of a raw food vegan diets based on 75 percent or greater based on the weight of food. They then suggest the phrase "high raw" for anyone eating in the 50 to 75 percent range again based on weight of food.

Since cooking decreases weight and concentrates calories, I would suspect applying similar percentages using calories instead of food weight, some people who would be raw under food weight would not be under calories. In other words, I'ven't got data. But I would think calories would be a more rigorous criteria than weight. Does that make sense?

I remember Prana asking this question of me and others in times past. And at the time, I couldn't give a rough estimate under either criteria. I assume Fitday or some other software would allow me to give a precise answer. But for myself, I'm ballparking at 75 percent by weight raw but only 50 to 60 percent by calories. I could do a whole lot better.

The last thing to mention obviously is seasonality. Many eat a higher percentage raw in the summer and lower percentage in the winter when it is colder

Why does it matter? I'm just curious about how everyone else defines raw. While I acknowledge Davis and Melina's definition, it's just one. And as far as I can tell, there is no consensus apart from an obvious 50 percent or greater under one criteria or the other. Thoughts?

Paul

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Re: Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: Molli ()
Date: March 15, 2012 04:06PM

I have wondered the same thing. Right now my goal is to eat 100% raw until my evening meal. If I feel like I want something cooked in my evening meal I will do that. For me, I either have a 100% raw day or I don't. Have no idea how to successfully measure the ratio on a partial raw day.

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Re: Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 15, 2012 04:20PM

This fluctuates so much for us, depends on what's in the house, if we're out and about, visiting friends and relatives, etc. In summer it's very easy to be high raw, so simple to walk to the corner stand and pick up fresh local produce. Instead of lunch the kids and I will eat a whole bag of cherries or fresh peas in the pod before we even get home, ha.
Winter is much more difficult. In the interest of following a sustainably local diet many of the foods available are things like roots or are dried and require cooking. We can do some sprouting but I keep the house fairly cool and sprouts don't exactly love that.
I would say that in winter we hover around 50% raw while in the warmer months it's 75-100%. I don't anticipate this will change very much, to me a watermelon that flew to me from Chile in February tastes like jet fuel and I just can't stomach it. My own personal health isn't more important than that of the planet to me. Just MHO there, not a critique of others who choose differently.

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Re: Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: Tamukha ()
Date: March 16, 2012 01:06PM

Paul,

Although I subscribe to the by-calories theory, I do think this can be a gateway to neurosis. Say you eat a small serving of vegan curry with coconut oil and peanut butter in it at the end of the day. Suddenly, in spite of the large volumes of raw fruits and greens you've had for breakfast and lunch, you are down to 60% raw because of that cooked meal. Commence to feeling bad about yourself.

Like coco, in the summer I am almost 100% raw; most days, 100%[caveat: I don't know for sure what of my produce may have been irradiated--neurosis catalyst #2]. In the colder months, I eat as high raw as I can, but this depends more on availability of calorific produce and my increasing sensitivity to global shipping costs to the environment than to attention to a "program."

As yet, perhaps because I have not been 100% raw for years and reverted to eating occasional cooked meals in winter, I do not feel ill effects from cooked vegan low fat meals. Thus, while I always strive to eat as high raw as I can calorie-wise, if I meet only the by-volume standard, that's good enough for me. I know that I am moving toward being 100% raw by-calorie most of the time. Eventually I will have the lifestyle where this is possible, and in the meantime, just focusing on eating as many raw fruits and vegetables to fullness is the goal.

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Re: Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: pborst ()
Date: March 16, 2012 06:57PM

Tamara,

I hear you. That maybe why Davis and Melina use weight rather than calories.

Paul

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Re: Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 19, 2012 01:59AM

I use weight Paul, as like many have indicated, by calorie can be misleading smiling smiley

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Re: Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: pborst ()
Date: March 19, 2012 01:06PM

I think most do define by weight. It's certainly easier to estimate. My goal is to use both informally. I aim for 90 weight and 80 calorie from where I am currently. I wonder if fitday or cron-fit would me estimate calories. I would just run what I ate raw on one calculation and anything cooked on another???

Paul

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Re: Calories or Weight? Defining Raw
Posted by: michal123 ()
Date: May 09, 2012 06:42AM

Calories can make you gain weight, but it depends mostly on two things. The amount of exercise you do and the amount of calories you consume. If you earn calories more than your body requirement, you just need to exercise. So always take calories in proper way because our body needs calories but in limited quantity.

Beyond diet Review

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