Rawgust: August’s Raw Plant-Based Challenge

For many, the beginning of August represents back to school and summer ending. Still, for others, the first day of this month is the beginning of bringing awareness to the abundance of harmful processed foods consumed with a Rawgust-inspired challenge.

Rawgust is a month-long awareness campaign that asks people to cut out unhealthy processed meals and consume various healthy raw plant-based foods. And this year, we want to challenge you to try a few of these raw, vegan recipes even if you’re not ready to go natural for the entire month.

Rawgust Raw Vegan Challenge

What is a Raw Foods Diet?

What is a raw food diet, you say? The most straightforward definition is consuming foods in their purest state, sacrificing none of the available nutrients. A raw vegan diet consists of mainly unprocessed, plant-based foods that are eaten either fully raw or heated at extremely low temperatures. When following a raw diet plan, the goal is only to eat raw and unprocessed foods. A raw vegan food plan combines the concept of veganism with the principles of a raw diet. The main difference is no animal products, such as milk or eggs, are included.

Rawgust Raw Vegan Challenge

Benefits Of a Raw Food Diet

Many people consider a plant-based, raw food diet the healthiest one to follow, and science shows they are probably right. Raw food diets offer several health benefits; even eating raw food part-time has been shown to provide significant health benefits.

Around 90% of humanity’s food is processed in one way or another, even though overly processed foods can be terrible for long-term health. Consuming unprocessed foods is much better for overall well-being.

Here are a few of the better-known benefits provided with raw food.

Increases Energy

Many individuals on a raw food diet claim that they have significant increases in energy. They also report requiring less sleep and find getting out of bed in the morning much more effortless.

Fewer Diseases and Boosted Immune System

Raw foods’ vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber can prevent many diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Fruits and vegetables have both been linked to a lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, the high fiber content of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes has been shown to lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity.

Heart Benefits

Raw foods have an abundance of phytochemicals, fiber, and minerals that work to lower triglyceride levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Studies have consistently linked fruits and vegetables, integral components of a raw vegan diet, to improved blood pressure and decreased heart disease or stroke risks. Further studies show that foods such as nuts and legumes contribute to lower cholesterol and better heart health.

“Observational studies report that vegans may have up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.” – Healthline.com

Better Digestion

Natural enzymes and healthy bacteria found in raw foods facilitate the digestion process. Whole plant foods are also high in fiber, which is essential to good digestion. They are also thought to lessen or improve symptoms from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Glowing Skin

Many who try a raw food diet find their skin glowing and radiant, with a more youthful appearance. Raw food contains many more beneficial enzymes than cooked food. These enzymes “help to purge toxins and repair cells, leaving your skin brighter, smoother and clearer.” – berry abundant life

Weight Loss

Numerous studies have linked raw food diets to lower amounts of body fat. Study participants were also found to have a lower overall BMI. One study indicated that individuals following raw food diets displayed 7-9.4% lower body fat than those consuming a typical diet.

Rawgust Raw Vegan Challenge

Raw Vegan Recipes for Rawgust

Some may consider a raw food diet boring if they mistakenly believe that this diet is limited to plain smoothies and salads. Many raw, plant-based recipes are available online or from the vegan cookbook section in local bookstores. Unprocessed does not always mean cold, either. Food as warm as 118 degrees can still be considered raw. To help you get started, here are some raw vegan recipes to sample.

Rainbow Pad Thai Zucchini Noodle Salad from Get Inspired Every Day

Inspired Every Day’s raw veggie take on a traditional Pad Thai is beautiful and tasty. While this version may not match the classic dish 100%, it is easy to see how the original inspired this recipe. This salad-inspired meal is the perfect dish for warm summer days.

Mojito Energy Balls from Vegan Richa

These vegan, gluten-free, soy-free energy balls by Vegan Richa are delicious with or without alcohol. The raw bite-sized snacks are so easy to make and include a variety of healthy ingredients, including dates, lime zest, mint, nuts, and seeds.

Easy Vegan Broccoli Salad by Make It Dairy-Free

Make It Dairy Free’s broccoli only takes a few minutes to prepare, which is excellent for lunch or supper on a busy day. Apples, grapes, and cranberries give this salad a pop of sweetness.

Raw Asparagus Salad by What Great Grandma Ate

This Raw Asparagus Salad from What Great Grandma Ate is low-carb, vegan, and paleo-friendly.

Vegan Hemp Seed and Greens Smoothie from Marisa Moore

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Marisa Moore’s Vegan Hemp Seed and Greens Smoothie is refreshing and great for digestion.

Double Wrapped Black Bean and Corn Salad Tacos by Rainbow Plant Life

You do not have to decide between soft or crunchy tacos with Rainbow Plant Life’s delicious double-layered taco.

Raw Vegan Sushi from Healthier Steps

Sunflower seed pate’ replaces fish in Healthier Steps’ raw vegan sushi.

Frozen Pineapple Margaritas by The Real Food Dietitians

Live it up with The Real Food Dietitians’ four ingredients Frozen Pineapple Margaritas.

Vegan Collard Green Burritos from Minimalist Baker

These gorgeous 30-minute collard green burritos are stuffed with vegan meat and cheese.

Portobello Mushroom Cashew Burger by This Rawsome Vegan Life

Portobello mushrooms stuffed with crispy spinach leave and cashew cheese make This Rawsome Vegan Life’s recipe a hearty addition to any meal.

Tomato, Basil, and Artichoke Picnic Sandwich by Love and Lemons

Edamame dressing replaces cheese in Love and Lemons’ take on a Caprese sandwich.

Cold Watermelon Soup (Gazpacho) from AleCooks

AleCooks’ cold soup is packed with raw, blended veggies.

No Bake Protein Balls by The Clean Eating Couple

The Clean Eating Couple’s easy protein balls taste like cookie dough without the cruelty of eggs.

Healthy Popsicles by Cook Eat Well

Cook Eat Well sweetens their popsicles with fruit instead of artificial sweeteners for a chilly, healthy treat.

Vegan Tuna Sushi Bowl by Live Eat Learn

Live Eat Learn’s easy tomato tuna poke bowl uses tomatoes to make plant-based tuna.

Create a Rawgust Challenge

Rawgust Vegan Raw Diet Challenge

August is too hot for warming up the house while cooking, especially this year. Give your ac unit and oven a break in celebration of Rawgust. Rawgust is the perfect motivation to mix things up and try out new recipes that are healthy and delicious. Give a few of these raw recipes a taste, substitute meat or animal products for fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and replace sugary, carbonated drinks with smoothies, plant milk, or pure fruit juices.

Please send photos of your favorite meals or share your experiences here on The Farm Buzz.

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