Raw Vegan during the Holidays: How To Stay on a Healthy Raw Vegan Diet in the Holiday Season
How can you stay on a raw vegan diet during the holidays?
I have spent the past 7 days on a family trip on the beautiful island of Tenerife with 10 members of our family who eat a standard diet, while my diet is a bit different. I have been eating a vegan diet since 2005 and a raw vegan diet since 2012.
Even though my diet differs from the standard diet that other family members choose for themselves, this little (or should I say significant?) difference does not stop me from spending quality time with my family and create memorable moments.
And this is exactly what I want to teach and inspire you with this blog post:
Stay true to your own life principles, while still being part of the family despite the different view points.
You can see exactly what I ate during this family 7 day family trip in this 1-minute video:
Before we move on with this topic, let us see why would anyone be even interested in eating a raw vegan diet.
What Are the Health Benefits of a Raw Vegan Diet?
A raw vegan diet offers a myriad of health benefits, making it a popular choice for those seeking a wholesome lifestyle. Here are key advantages:
- Nutrient-Rich Goodness
Consuming a variety of raw, plant-based foods ensures a rich intake of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients promote overall well-being, support immune function, and contribute to radiant skin and hair.
- Enhanced Digestive Health
The abundance of fibre in raw vegan foods aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut. Improved digestion can alleviate issues such as bloating and constipation, fostering a more comfortable and efficient digestive system.
- Natural Energy Boost
Raw vegan diets are known to provide a sustained energy boost. The natural sugars in fruits and the complex carbohydrates in vegetables offer a steady release of energy, reducing reliance on processed foods and artificial stimulants.
- Weight Management
Many individuals turn to raw veganism as an effective way to manage weight. The emphasis on nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods helps maintain a healthy weight, while the abundance of fiber contributes to a feeling of fullness.
- Disease Prevention
The high intake of fruits and vegetables has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. The powerful antioxidants found in these foods contribute to cellular health and may offer protection against oxidative stress.
- Environmental Impact
Adopting a raw vegan diet aligns with eco-conscious living. By reducing reliance on animal products, individuals contribute to lower carbon footprints and sustainable food practices, supporting a healthier planet.
Remember, before making significant dietary changes, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure your nutritional needs are met.
Embracing a raw vegan lifestyle can be transformative, providing a path to holistic well-being and a more mindful approach to nutrition.
#RawVeganBenefits #PlantBasedLiving #HealthyLifestyle
What I ate in a day on a raw vegan diet during the holidays?
For sure, I am not eating the very same meals each holiday season year after year, even though I have to honestly say that my meals in general are very much predictable for every month. So… it is true that the daily menu you will see in this article, is pretty much my daily menu in December every year. The nuances may arise here and there depending on where in the world I am exactly in the given December. But in general, it is more or less the same.
I am eating very simply and have been doing so since I have transitioned to a low fat raw vegan diet, which happened in February 2012.
My first and second meal of the day is always, with very few and rare, if any, exceptions, mono-meals. While my third meal, the dinner, is usually composed of a couple of different vegetable ingredients plus some fatty source like avocado or nuts or seeds and sometimes some fruit as well.
What is a mono meal?
A mono meal is a simple 1 ingredient meal in which one eats enough of the given food to satisfy his or her calorie needs for that meal. Mono-meals are usually meals of 1 type of some fruit. Or let it put it this way: since fruit is our natural food, fruit is the very food that is most practical for making a mono meal of.
Examples of mono meals:
- a mono meal of clementines is a meal in which you eat just clementines, but you eat enough clementines to feel satiated.
- a mono meal of bananas is a meal in which you eat just bananas, but you eat enough bananas to feel satiated.
- a mono meal of melons is a meal in which you eat just melons, but you eat enough melons to feel satiated.
And so on… almost any fruit can be eaten as a mon meal, with the exception of very low calorie fruits, like berries for example. Why?
Because you would need eat an uncomfortably big amount of berries to get in enough calories. The same goes for vegetables which are in general very low calorie food sources.
What are the health benefits of eating mono meals?
Mono meals, which involve consuming a single type of food in a meal, can offer certain health benefits:
- Digestive Ease
Eating a mono meal simplifies the digestive process, as the body focuses on breaking down a single type of food, potentially reducing digestive stress.
- Improved Nutrient Absorption
Mono meals can enhance nutrient absorption as the digestive system efficiently processes and absorbs nutrients from a concentrated source.
- Balanced Blood Sugar
Consuming a mono meal that is low in fat can help regulate blood sugar levels, reducing fluctuations that may occur with more complex meals.
- Enhanced Hydration
Some mono meals, like water-rich fruits, contribute to hydration due to their high water content, supporting overall health and well-being.
- Increased Awareness of Hunger and Fullness
Eating mono meals may help individuals become more attuned to their body’s hunger and fullness cues, fostering mindful eating habits.
- Simplicity in Food Choices
Mono meals simplify meal planning and preparation, making it easier to make healthful food choices and potentially reducing the likelihood of overeating.
Now I will lay out for you exactly what I ate in a day during our family holiday trip in December 2023.
What I ate for my raw vegan breakfast on our family holiday trip?
The first meal for me was about 1 kg / 2.2 lbs of clementines, which is about 500 kCal.
In the picture below you will easily recognise my plate on the dinning table filled with all sorts of different foods that other family members like to eat.
And let me right away answer the question that I most often get: Did I want to take some of the other foods from the table?
My honest answer is NO. I honestly loved those juicy and sweet clementines so much, that for me, my clementine meal was the best meal I could have enjoyed!
What are the health benefits of eating clementines?
Clementines, small and sweet citrus fruits, offer a range of health benefits:
- Rich in Vitamin C
Clementines are a excellent source of vitamin C, supporting immune function, promoting healthy skin, and acting as a powerful antioxidant.
- Boost to Heart Health
The potassium content in clementines contributes to maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, supporting overall cardiovascular health.
- Dietary Fibre for Digestive Health
With a good amount of dietary fibre, clementines aid in digestion, promoting regular bowel movements and a healthy gut.
- Antioxidant Properties
Clementines contain antioxidants, including flavonoids, which help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
- Hydration Support
Comprising mostly water, clementines contribute to overall hydration, vital for various bodily functions and skin health.
- Low in Calories
Clementines are a low-calorie meal option, making them a guilt-free choice for those watching their calorie intake.
- Natural Sugars for Quick Energy
The natural sugars in clementines, such as fructose and glucose, provide a quick and natural energy boost.
- Rich in Nutrients
Clementines contain essential nutrients like beat-carotene (precursors of vitamin A), vitamin B-complex, and minerals, contributing to overall health and well-being.
What I ate for my raw vegan lunch on our family holiday trip?
The second meal for me was 1 kg / 2.2 lbs of persimmons, which is about 700 kCal.
In the picture below you will easily recognise my plate. We would usually have a lunch in some restaurant as my family loves going to restaurants. Usually, we do not go to a restaurant specifically for the sake of going to a restaurant. Rather, we leave our accommodation after breakfast for some sightseeing and then we just go to a restaurant that happens to be the most practical place to eat at the lunch time on the given day.
I would just wash, dry and pack my persimmons before hand and take them with me in my little lunch bag.
When we arrive to the restaurant, I just kindly ask the staff if it was alright that I ate some fruit that I brought with me while sitting at the same table with the rest of the family who will order food at that restaurant . In most restaurants so far, I was allowed to eat my own fruit. And I would even get a plate and utensils!
There are some restaurants though where this option is out of question. On those occasions, I simply sit with the rest of the family while they are having lunch, and later on I eat mine in the car.
What are the health benefits of eating persimmons?
Persimmons, with their sweet and vibrant flavor, offer a variety of health benefits:
- Rich in Nutrients
Persimmons are a good source of vitamins, including beta-carotene (precursors of vitamin A), vitamin C, and several B vitamins. They also contain minerals such as potassium (K), manganese (Mn), and copper (Cu).
- Dietary Fibre for Digestive Health
High in fiber, persimmons promote digestive regularity, prevent constipation, and contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.
- Antioxidant Power
Loaded with antioxidants, including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, persimmons help the body combat oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Heart Health
The potassium content in persimmons supports heart health by helping regulate blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Some compounds in persimmons, such as tannins, exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, potentially contributing to reduced inflammation in the body.
- Weight Management
Rich in fibre and high water content, persimmons are a satisfying and nutritious food that can aid in weight management.
- Improved Vision
The presence of beta-carotene that turn into vitamin A in the body, as well as antioxidants, supports eye health, contributing to improved vision and reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Boost to Immune Function
The combination of vitamin C and other antioxidants in persimmons enhances immune function, helping the body defend against infections and illnesses.
Do you like persimmons? If you are new to this wonderful fruit, I encourage you to read THIS ARTICLE in which you will learn all you need to know about persimmons.
What I ate for my raw vegan dinner on our family holiday trip?
The dinner for me was
- 1 large papaya
- 3 heads of baby romaine lettuce
- 1 tomato
- a couple of mini cucumbers
- 1 small avocado
which totals about 800 calories.
The powerful enzyme papain in papayas
The key nutrient in papaya that helps break down proteins is an enzyme called papain.
Papain is a proteolytic enzyme, meaning it has the ability to digest or break down proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids.
This digestive enzyme is particularly beneficial for aiding in the digestion of protein-rich foods and can be helpful for individuals with certain digestive issues.
The powerful vitamin K in romaine lettuce
One of the key nutrients in romaine lettuce that is very beneficial for health is vitamin K.
Romaine lettuce is particularly rich in vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in blood clotting, bone health, and supporting cardiovascular health.
Image by: Terry Jaskiw @ Unsplash
The powerful lycopene in tomatoes
The key nutrient in tomatoes that is beneficial for health is lycopene.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives tomatoes their vibrant red color. It has been associated with various health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain cancers and supporting heart health.
Additionally, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, potassium (K), and folate (one of the B vitamins).
Image by: Hamed omidian @ Unsplash
The powerful silica in cucumbers
The key nutrient in cucumbers that is beneficial for health is silica.
Silica (Si) is a compound found in cucumber skin, connective tissues, and joints. It contributes to skin health by promoting collagen formation, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and hydration.
Additionally, cucumbers are low in calories and rich in water, making them a hydrating and refreshing addition to a balanced diet.
Image by: blackieshoot @ Unsplash
The powerful oleic acid in avocados
The key nutrient in avocados that is highly beneficial for health is monounsaturated fat.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which is known for its heart-healthy properties. This type of healthy fat is associated with improved cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation, and overall cardiovascular health.
Additionally, avocados provide various other nutrients, including fiber, potassium (K), vitamin K, vitamin E, and a range of antioxidants.
Image by: HaYaTT ZW @ Unsplash
There you go, now you know exactly what I ate in a day on my raw vegan diet on our family holiday trip to the beautiful island of Tenerife in December 2023.
As you could have seen from the video and photos provided in this blog post, my family members eat a standard diet. My sister does not eat meat though.
And this is my, I believe the most important, message I want to share: let not the differences in diet, or any other different view point in some aspect of life, be the reason to stop going to family gathering, or even worse, seclude yourself from those fun times when everyone sits down to the same table.
Feeling alone on a raw vegan diet?
You are eating differently than the rest of your family or friends? So what? It is NOT a reason to feel, let alone, BE alone and lonely. Be part of the family gatherings, make memorable moments together while at the same time staying truthful to yourself and your own principles.
I have created a GIFT for you that will, hopefully, help you in your attempts to stay on a raw vegan diet during the holidays. Please, take this gift from me to you through the form below.
I hope this blog post was beneficial to you. Please let me know in the comments below, do you eat the same or a different diet than the rest of your family? How do you go about it?
Thank you for reading and sharing this blog post!
For your healthy holidays,
Marina from Health Glows
As a certified raw vegan diet and healthy lifestyle coach, Marina helps her clients and followers to transition to a raw vegan diet in a proven and sustainable way, along with incorporating an exercise program for staying fit long term, in order to get rid of health problems and build a high level of health.