All posts by Anthea Frances

Salty Crunchy Cravings on a raw vegan diet?

I used to get terrible cravings for salty, crunchy foods on my fruit-based low-fat raw vegan diet. So much so that I would binge on crackers and chips, and this would completely derail me.

In today’s vlog I share about how I resolved them…

Cravings generally mean that you’re body is missing something in terms of nutrients. If you don’t have one already I put together this free one page Raw Vegan Balanced Nutrition Checklist, which you can use to make sure you’re getting all your nutrient needs met on a raw vegan diet.

But basically, if you’re not eating enough greens in your diet you’re likely to crave salty foods because what you’re really craving is sodium.

Greens like celery, cucumbers, zucchinis, leafy green veggies are very high in sodium so try to include them at most of your meals. Greens combine beautifully with fruits of all kinds.  Put them in smoothies, juices or simply mix them in with your fruits in a salad.

Sometimes simply by adding a little tamari or miso to your salad dressing you can really satisfy those cravings for salt.  I have found that including a very small amount of these types of foods has allowed me to stay on track eating my high raw vegan diet.  I used to try to avoid them altogether and it just ended up making me crazy for unhealthy cooked salty vegan foods.

To satisfy the craving for crunchy foods, try mixing up a big bowl of chopped celery and apple.

How have you handled your cravings?  Let me know your thoughts on this topic below. Feel free to ask any questions too!

Optimum Nutriforce Extractor Review

Watch me make banana mylk and ground flax meal in my new Optimum Nutriforce Extractor!

I really like the simplicity of this machine, which makes smoothies, sauces, plant-based milks, nicecreams and ground nut and seed meals.

It has a ‘suction-cup’ base so that it never moves around on the counter when it’s working hard.

It comes with two different sized canisters, a small and a large, and two different styles of blade assemblies, one for blending and one for grinding (nuts and seeds, coffee beans etc).

I love that there is a small-sized canister because this means that you can make a small amount of something, like a salad dressing.  In a large blender it’s difficult to blend a small amount because the ingredients need to cover the blades, and sometimes you don’t have enough to make it work.

I also love that you can use the same canister to make your recipe and then put a lid on it and take it to work with you, to save on extra washing up.

It’s also compact enough to pack away, so that you don’t have to leave it on the counter top if you prefer clutter-free spaces in your kitchen.

Hope you enjoy my video!  Let me know what you think and if you have any questions, please post them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.

Recipe – Raw Vegan Porridge

This week I’m bringing you a recipe for my favourite raw vegan breakfast indulgence. 

Honestly, after you’ve tried this you’ll never want to eat oatmeal again.  This is just so, so good.  This recipe is one of my Fresh Start Program recipes, but it’s so good I’d love to share with all my beautiful people 🙂

But before I get to that a quick announcement.  Real Raw Nutrition has landed placement in the top 17 raw vegan blogs!  The list is actually for the Top 50, but we’re in the top 20 – Woohoo!  You can check out all the other blogs HERE.

Low Fat Raw Vegan Porridge

Raw Vegan Porridge

So, so, so good.  You’ll need a food processor for this recipe or you could just use your blender on a pulse setting, but you don’t want to over blend it.

Ingredients:

3 bananas (chopped)

2 apples (chopped)

1-2 stalks celery, trimmed (optional)

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cardamom

½ tsp mixed spice

1tbsp Ground flax or chia

Toppings of your choice – Coconut yoghurt, Dried coconut flakes, chopped cucumber (My favorite!).

Directions: 

Put 2.5 of the chopped bananas and 1.5 of the chopped apples in your food processor with the spices.  Add in the chopped celery if you would like.  Process until it is the texture of porridge, not completely smooth.  Pour into a pretty bowl.  Now add some finely chopped banana and apple from the remaining fruit to the top and also any other toppings you favour.  You will never feel like you need hot cereal again.

How would you make this raw vegan porridge even better?  Feel free to share your ideas below in the comments section.

If you know someone who’d love this recipe please feel free to share it with them.  Sharing’s caring 🙂

Iron Deficient on a Raw Vegan Diet?

Did you know that 40% of Americans are Iron Deficient?  That includes people eating meat, which is meant to be the preferred source of heme iron.

People are often concerned that when you start a vegan or raw vegan diet you’ll get deficient in iron, but as you can see eating meat does not necessarily protect you.

I have suffered with iron deficiency anaemia at a few different stages in my life –  When I was a young adult, then again when I was pregnant and then more recently as a raw vegan.  The first two times I was eating a diet rich in animal products, including meat.  Eating red meat doesn’t insure you against Iron deficiency anaemia, and in fact, if you’re eating dairy products and caffeine, or you have poor digestion, these things can all prevent absorption of iron.

I suffered with chronic digestive problems for years and this played havoc with my absorption of both Iron and Vitamin B12, the lack of which is also a primary cause of Pernicious Anemia, a specific kind of anemia.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Below is a chart showing just how much daily iron you people in various categories need to be getting per day.  If you don’t get enough iron, whether from plant or animal sources then you could find yourself with any of a number of symptoms:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feeling out of breath with mild activity such as walking up stairs
  • Pale skin (pressing on your nails or bending your palm back can indicate whether you have good blood flow and therefore decent iron levels.
  • Poor appetite, or conversely, overeating
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Depression/low mood

Iron is essential to the body in order to make hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues.   Among the very important functions that rely on adequate iron levels are certain brain activities, breathing, and even cellular respiration, which is the process by which cells harvest energy from food.

Iron deficiency effectively means that your organs all get less oxygen, and this will have subsequent effects on all the organs of your body. 

A body deficient in iron must steal it from the bone marrow.   Iron from animal products, known as ‘heme’ iron, is easily absorbed by the body.  Iron from vegetable sources, known as ‘non-heme’ iron, can for some people be a little more difficult to absorb.  Phytates and tannins—contained in wheat products and coffee or tea—and especially lead (from ground water and soil in some areas) can also counter iron absorption.

What about Iron Supplements?

Iron pills or supplements can be risky business. Iron can be stored in the liver and that accumulation becomes toxic to the body over time, so long-term supplementation is definitely not recommended. Make sure you are consuming foods that are high in iron—beetroot, stinging nettles, broccoli, spinach, red berries, watermelon, parsley, raisins, and leafy greens such as kale and collards, for example.

Don’t Forget Vitamin C

Vitamin C is often the missing link to aiding iron absorption, so be sure to also consume foods high in Vitamin C, alongside foods high in iron.  Leafy greens are particularly helpful as they are both high in vitamin C AND iron.  However, too much of those containing oxalic acid (such as spinach, and swiss chard) can interfere with iron absorption, so the best answer is to rotate your leafy greens often . A true iron deficiency is rare.  When it does occur, it is easily resolved by merely consuming the correct foods and tending to the other health needs of the body.  To ensure adequate iron levels on a raw food diet, be sure to eat a wide variety of foods high in iron, along with high Vitamin C foods.

Iron Requirements

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following: 5

Infants and children
Younger than 6 months: 0.27 milligrams per day (mg/day)
7 months to 1 year: 11 mg/day
1 to 3 years: 7 mg/day
4 to 8 years: 10 mg/day

Males
9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day
14 to 18 years: 11 mg/day
Age 19 and older: 8 mg/day

Females
9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day
14 to 18 years: 15 mg/day
19 to 50 years: 18 mg/day
51 and older: 8 mg/day

Raw vegan sources of iron

Iron in my food plan today. I’m hitting the mark!

Greens
Spinach (3 ounces) 3.1 mg
Dandelion greens (3 ounces) 3.1 mg
Kale (3 ounces): 3mg
Beet Greens (3 ounces) 2.6 mg
Red leaf lettuce (3 ounces): 1.2 mg
Turnip Greens (3 ounces) 1.1 mg

Veggies
Sauerkraut (1 cup): 2.1 mg
Peas (1 cup): 2.1 mg
Pak-choi (1 cup): 0.6 mg
Broccoli (1 cup): 0.6 mg
Tomato (1 large): 0.5 mg
Onion greens (1 ounce): 0.5 mg

Seeds and nuts
Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg
Sunflower seeds (1 ounce): 1.5 mg
Almonds (1 ounce): 1.1 mg
Sesame seeds (1 ounce): 0.7 mg

Fruits

Mulberries (1 cup) 2.6 mg

Plums (1 cup): 2 mg

Black currants (1 cup) 1.7 mg

Blackberries (1 cup) 0.9 mg

Watermelon (1 wedge) 0.7 mg

Blueberries (1 cup) 0.6 mg

Apricots (1 cup): 0.6 mg

Peaches (1 large): 0.5 mg

Grapes (1 cup): 0.5 mg

Pears (1 large): 0.4 mg

Get yourself tested for Iron Deficiency.

If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms it’s really important to get yourself tested for iron deficiency.  But you need to test for both B12 and Iron deficiency.

Iron deficiency tests are fairly standard, but doctors don’t always think to test B12. 

It’s important to test for Serum B12 as well as Homocysteine (an inflammatory marker which is often elevated when B12 levels are low.  The Serum B12 test is not always accurate so it’s better to get a Urinary Methyl Malonic Acid (uMMA) test which would need to be done at a private lab.   If getting a UMMA test is out of your budget, then a combination of serum b12 and homocysteine can be fairly accurate in helping detect if you need to supplement or not.

What to do if you find you are Iron deficient…

Well, you have options, as a raw vegan or high raw vegan, without having to go back to eating red meat.

  • You’ll definitely need to increase your consumption of greens – juice them, blend them, eat big salads.  Any way you can get them in is great.  Try to rotate your greens though.  The Oxalic acid in some greens such as spinach and beet greens can prevent absorption of iron.
  • Take an iron supplement.  If you’re very low in iron this may be the only way of bringing your levels up quickly.  Find a good non-constipating iron supplement.  The great thing is that, if you eat a plant based diet, high in fruits that it is unlikely that you’ll ever find yourself constipated, even while taking iron supplements.
  • Athletic pursuits can further deplete your iron reserves, so take a break from heavy exercise for a bit until you resolve this underlying issue.
  • Supplement with Spirulina and Barley Grass Juice powder.  Spirulina is very high in iron.  Barley Grass Juice powder is very high in all minerals which provide the cofactors for proper iron absorption and health. 

Exciting news – We’re in the top 20 Raw food blogs!

I got some very exciting news recently.  That we made it to the list of Top 50 Raw Food blogs worldwide.  And actually Real Raw Nutrition is in the top 20!  How cool is that?

I’m wearing my badge of honour with pride.

Here it is…

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to check out the Top 50 Raw food blogs and get other awesome tips on eating and living a raw food lifestyle then you can go HERE.

Overcoming Eating Addictions and Healing on a Raw Vegan Diet

Have you heard the story of my food addiction and compulsive overeating recovery?  In this interview, Jade Tornquist of The Rawsome Truth Youtube channel,  interviews me about my healing journey.   I turn 46 this year and it has taken me roughly 30 years to find healing in this area.

I found many, many solutions through a low-fat raw vegan diet, but even this way of eating has not fully resolved my binge-eating behaviours.  In this interview I share about what is really working for me now and allowing me to find freedom from food obsession and relapse, one day at a time.

I so hope you enjoy this interview and find value in it.  Please share about your own experiences with food addiction and compulsive eating, any future videos or blogs questions or topics you’d like me to address.

If you want to hear more about my experiences with binge-eating and compulsive eating you can also check out the following articles…

4 Ways to stop compulsive eating overnight

How I combine Bright Line Eating with my raw vegan diet

What I’ve learned About the secret to stop overeating in it’s tracks forever 

This specific website has been absolutely invaluable for my being able to find deep and lasting recovery.  Check out the Special Edition recordings.  There is incredible long-term recovery there – So much hope and so much to learn.  http://www.avision4you.info/special-editions/