Today, I’m continuing with suggestions to help you stay full on a raw vegan diet.
I find that the most easiest way to avoid hunger is to make meals consist of both types of carbohydrates (carbs). Complex and simple. The more meals you have with such combination throughout the day, the better. So, not just in the morning.
However, they do require time for soaking, fermenting and sometimes dehydration, so plan ahead of time.
Shortly explaining why this works. Complex carbs are digested slower and thus provide you with glucose, which is converted to energy, at a slower pace. Whereas, simple carbs are digested fast and thus provide you with instantaneous energy. When you have both at the same time, you get the following. First, a right away burst of energy to satisfy hunger immediately. Second, a continuous energy which is going to be released at a slow pace for the next 3-4 hours keeping your hunger away all this time. Complex carbs are mostly starch and fiber. Especially, resistant starch is a biggy on this diet (I don’t think I could stick to raw without it). Complex carbs are found in grains, tubers and fruits. Some that are palatable and tasty in raw form include teff, tigernuts, coconut, rye, flax, naked oats. Simple carbs are mostly glucose and fructose. They are abundant in any sweet fresh and dried fruits, honey, some root vegetables.
Here are some examples of such meals:
- Soaked naked oats with honey (check these ones; from Armstrong, BC)
- Soaked coconut flour with raisins
- Soaked teff flour with dates
- Soaked tigernut flour with berries
Combinations are endless. Juggle with the ingredients and come up with your own favourites.
As for tigernuts, I don’t think there is a need to sweeten them. They naturally have lots of both: resistant starch and glucose. For this reason, they are great as a snack. Just soak whole tigernuts overnight and air dry them. For this reason, they are great as a snack. Just a dozen or two curbs hunger for good. Plus they are convenient to carry around.
And five other suggestions:
1 Complex and simple carbs should be 70-80% of your diet. Fat should not be more than 30%. A raw vegan athlete, Dr. Graham recommends even less – 10%. The more complex carbs you have, the fuller you feel. On the opposite, the more fat you eat, the more hungrier you are. Remember, fat messes up with insulin. But, note, I’m not saying to avoid fat completely
2 Don’t eat by a clock. Only when you start to feel a little hungry. Animals in nature don’t have meals at 12 pm every day. In this regard, we are not different. Having said that, remember, that it’s optimal to have the bulk of your calories before 6 pm. Listen to that quiet wise voice inside you. And resist the temptation to bite in just because it smells awesome. Having a bit of something without feeling hungry can actually make you feel hungry for real! The reason behind, is secretion of digestive hormones and juices following the ingesting of that little piece
3 Don’t eat fruits and veggies all day. Because they are low in calories and mostly composed of simple carbs, they fill you up only for 1-2 hours. They are very good as snacks. Or as part of the post-workout meal. When you have too much of them often, you expand your stomach. This distorts the feeling of fullness. Not only biochemically. But mechanically as well – larger stomachs simply need more food
4 Don’t try to quench serious hunger with only fruits and veggies. Eventually, you would get only more hungrier. Prepare a meal, like I say above, out of complex and simple carbs. However, when you are very very hungry immediately have some high-glucose foods like ripe bananas or dried fruits and then follow up with complex carbs
5 Eat with attention. Preferably alone or at least not talking. This way you satisfy not only physiological hunger, but the one that has been triggered by stress and emotions as well. I agree, this alienates you from socializing. Your call. At the very end, if you are thinking about adopting this lifestyle, certain sacrifices will have to be made anyways. You can’t chase several rabbits at the same time…
Hopefully, the above things will prevent you from starving. Gradually, try to turn them into habits.
In addition, here is one more. You may have noticed that the less you eat, the less you want. Yes, counterintuitive. This, in fact, has been confirmed and explained by numerous studies. I won’t go into the details. But in your battle against hunger, you may want to put this into use as well. Might be hard though.
The thing to always keep in mind is to go slow. Introduce new habits one by one. Penduluming between extremes like drinking green smoothies all day and eating Lay’s is a route towards you giving up. If you need to eat some cooked food like steamed potatoes or rice just to overcome hunger, do it. Better than going back to pseudofood like chips.
Finally, think ahead: have those simple-and-complex-carbs breakfasts and lunches ready beforehand.