I’m a vegetarian but I don’t like to cook. Are there any raw foods you’d recommend for an active person’s diet?



Nuts and seeds are a good source of energy if you don’t want to cook legumes or wish to consume tofu, canned beans, hummus or other “processed” beans. Even dairy and eggs need to be pasteurized or cooked.

Truly raw foods may be harder to digest, and it may be difficult to obtain sufficient protein from them. It is possible to meet your nutritional needs on a raw diet, but it takes a whole lot of produce and chewing! All fruits and vegetables are fair game and can be used abundantly in salads. Also, freshly sprouted grains and legumes are good alternatives to their cooked counterparts.

You can also try combining ingredients into trail mix, bars and smoothies. For bars and trail mix, you can make quite a few combinations for on-the-go eating using agave nectar, cacao, dates, dried berries and nuts. For smoothies, avocado or banana can serve as the base for creamy fruit and/or vegetable blends. Apples, greens, cucumbers, oranges, berries, carrots, beets and lemon juice are also welcome smoothie ingredients.

What are vegetarian things I can eat that contain a lot of protein?

“Raw” protein powders and packaged “raw” food bars contradict the straight-from-a-canister approach that raw eating is about. It doesn’t make sense to allow these processed foods but forego hummus, does it? Again, I’d suggest grinding your own fresh blend every week from hemp seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds (optional maca or carob powder) and using it as a high-protein base for smoothies, bars, etc.

– Debbie J., MS, RD
Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

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