For people who are trying to work out or “carb up” (i.e. avid gym goers or people with lots of muscle), a raw food diet can seem like and impossible task. People frequently ask us how they will be able to continue their workout routines while cleansing. They think that the diet is impossible because they don’t think they can get carbs or protein on a raw diet. We beg to differ.
Not all carbs are created equal. Carbs are typically blamed for the obesity epidemic, but it is really due to all the processed foods, refined grains, meats, meat products, and dairy products that are in the Standard American Diet. Foods that are rich in fiber, e.g. fresh fruits and vegetables, area actually great sources of carbohydrates. Those are the foods, along with raw nuts and seeds, which you will be eating while cleansing.
When you want to “carb up” on a raw foods diet, however, it is paramount to eat a lot of food. Most people don’t realize that they have to eat a lot more food on a raw food diet, especially if they plan to exercise a lot. You burn through raw foods a lot faster than you do other foods that you are used to eating, for example, meat, rice, quinoa, or bread. This means that you need to eat about five or six meals a day to have a sufficient carb intake.
Below is a list of great plant-based carbohydrates that you can eat while cleansing.
Bananas are incredibly popular and versatile. Typically, bananas are hailed for their potassium content, which helps to naturally lower blood pressure. One banana is made up of 23% carbohydrates. You may need to add two bananas to a smoothie, along with some raw almond butter, raw cacao powder, spinach, and homemade almond milk to get a lot of carbs for a workout.
Beets contain a lot of essential nutrients and plant compounds that help to improve overall health and physical performance. While one beet only contains about 10% carbs, they are rich in antioxidants and fiber, which helps you feel full. You can blend them in smoothies or thinly slice them to put in salads. You can also use the greens to get a healthy dose of protein.
When people talk about blueberries, they usually praise them for the antioxidants and their ability to help prevent cognitive decline. While they are rich in vitamins C & K, as well as manganese, roughly 14% of blueberries are carbs and the rest water.
We have to put these on the list because they contain a lot of protein. Don’t deny yourself several servings of green vegetables, not ever! Three servings of green vegetables every day are recommended for the average person, so double that if you are working out while cleansing.
Apples are great for their dietary fiber and carbs (roughly 15%). Containing a decent amount of vitamin C and other antioxidants, apples may help to control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. For a healthy, carb and protein-filled snack, try cutting up 2 apples and dipping them in raw almond butter before a workout.
Other “Raw” Carbs Include:
- Sweet potatoes (can juice them, but no cooking)
- Raw chickpeas, soaked
Even though taking part in the Full Body Cleanse means that you have to eat a raw food diet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get carbs or protein. Make sure that you are eating enough to account for what you will burn while exercising. Comment below if you have any questions.