Question:

I am a raw vegan. I don’t eat any processed foods such as bread, pasta, crackers, etc. I also cook my food at a certain temperature (not over 120 degrees). I fast (for religious reasons) very frequently. Currently, I am fasting from 8am-8pm for the next two weeks. Goals: To lose weight. Maintain a consistent diet whether I’m on a fast or not.

– Cassandra D.

Answer:

Hi Cassandra, if you’ve been following your raw vegan lifestyle and practicing fasting for some time, I’ll admit you have one up on me! I am no stranger to helping someone plan a nutritionally adequate raw vegan diet, but your situation is intriguing since you also want to lose weight while maintaining consistency around fasts.

It seems to me that achieving consistency, fasting or not, necessitates consuming the same volume of food daily/weekly but in the acceptable time parameters. Eating everything one would normally during the day but doing so before 8am and after 8 pm means two bigger meals. Certainly attainable if you really need to avoid the weight fluctuations that typically accompany fasting. Better that than overnight or end-of-fast binges that overcompensate for what’s missed!

We don’t provide personalized diet plans here, sorry. In addition, I would need to meet with someone one-on-one for individualized meal planning with the appropriate combinations and portions for her nutritional needs. A search at www.eatright.org/find-an-expert can locate an available Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in vegetarian nutrition, although you may have to dig a bit deeper to find one that can help with your situation. Overall stick to the foods you’re comfortable with which I hope include a lot of leafy greens, sprouts, soaked grains, sprouted legumes, nuts/seeds, vegetables, and fruit, plus avocado, coconut, fermented foods, and cold-pressed oils. Of course, drinking a sufficient amount of permitted beverages during daylight hours while fasting is a must.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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