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Why I Don't Eat 100% Raw Vegan Anymore

I get a lot of emails and message asking me what I eat in a day and how strict am I when it comes to a vegan raw food diet. I thought I’d take the time to write about my current lifestyle and eating habits and share what is working for me on an energy and fitness level. I started radiantly raw and eating a raw diet because I wanted to feel good. That’s why we do most things…to feel good. For a long time eating raw vegan worked for me…and then some things changed…

Food is such an interesting topic. It’s what brings us together, it can defines cultures, it sparks conversation, it can cause arguments, it can heal and it can harm. We learn from our family and close friends how and what to eat. We nurture with food and we also band-aid with food. Food seems to have so much power over our lives! I believe that each person must find their own perfect diet, we are all unique, there is not a perfect diet out there that will fit each of us like a glove. It’s important to use your good sense and instincts when it comes to finding a way of eating that fits your body and lifestyle.

Let me say that I’m still advocate and huge believer in the power and healing of raw foods, but I don’t think that the diet is right for everyone, and not all the time. I think there is a time and a place for a 100% raw food diet, maybe that time for you is now…I honor your experience and instincts. I’m a big supporter of eating a plant-based dominate diet, what I don’t support is obsessive dogmatic eating. My philosophy is to eat REAL food. No processed junk, if it has a long ingredients list, ditch it! I feel strongly that if you stick to this no processed diet with lots of veggies, low sugar fruits, nuts, seeds, superfoods and some organic pasture raised meats (if you choose to), you will be healthy, strong and energized.

“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”~William Londen

There was a time when I was 100% raw vegan. I ate this way at first for energy, the glow and to maintain my weight. I loved it for that 2 years that I did it; It worked for me then. When I became pregnant with my first son Henry, I made some changes to my diet based on what I intuitively felt my body and baby needed, I had been feeling like I needed an adjustment in my diet for a little while and being pregnant was a good time to make the change. I choose to stray from a raw vegan diet and introduced organic pasture eggs, a small amount of organic pastured chicken and some wild fish. I listened to my body the whole pregnancy and felt very healthy and strong. I ate a predominately plant-based diet with the exception of the above listed. Lots of greens, low sugar fruits, green juices, whole grains, nuts, seeds…It was for me, the perfect pregnancy diet. I had a healthy boy and felt so good after he was born. I’ve adapted my pregnancy diet now that I’m breastfeeding and 4 months postpartum (I also did 3 weeks of raw after pregnancy to help get my body gently cleansed and ready for the next chapter, please consult your doctor before doing any kind of cleanse while breastfeeding). Below I share what a typical day looks like for me at this point (ever changing, it’s all about fluidity). Again, this is what works for MY BODY, for MY MAKE UP, I don’t suggest you follow any diet, I suggest you follow your body’s lead and eat what makes you feel GOOD!


Green juice with celery, cucumber, fennel, lime, spinach, jalapeño and green apple

1/4 cup raw goat kefir or coconut oil

Later Morning

Banana Pancakes

Yerba mate tea


Hand full of soaked and dehydrated almonds

Carrots with raw tahini


Big green salad filled with all my favorite veggies, nuts and seeds


Tablespoon of hemp butter or hemp seeds

Another green juice if I’m feeling up to juicing or a homemade cacao and almond milk treat


Some kind of squash, or sweet potato, large green salad with tons of veggies, organic pasture raised chicken or wild coho salmon

*I only eat meat 1 to 2 times a week. I never consume red meat or pork, and never anything packaged. When I don’t eat meat, I do quinoa, sweet potato, stuffed squash, steamed veggies, raw salads, raw lasagna, raw zucchini noodles with marinara…I get creative and have fun with plant-based recipes.


Avocado cacao pudding or Raw goat milk yogurt with cinnamon

What I don’t eat:

Red meat


Packaged meats

Packaged foods

Sugar, maple syrup, rice syrup

High sugar fruits (besides bananas, and sometimes in moderation…intuitively!)


Dairy (besides raw goat milk and Ghee)


Most grains



Anything processed

What I’ve noticed since I added some animal products back into my life:

Lots of energy!

Cut my body fat (seriously trimmed up)

No more bloating

Low sugar cravings

No bread cravings (these used to sneak up on me and make me crazy!)

Peace around food

Not snacking all day long

Summer Sanders

Summer Sanders has long had a passion for holistic health and fitness. Growing up in Sedona, Arizona, her love of fresh foods, natural healing and fitness was nurtured by this forward thinking community. She trained at the Matthew Kenney Academy and eventually took a job as the head instructor of the online raw food educational program.

Summer now runs a whole food cleansing and health consulting company called Radiantly Raw Lifestyles. She is a certified personal trainer, weight management coach, prenatal exercise coach, and fitness nutrition specialist with National Academy of Sports Medicine. Summer splits her time between San Diego, CA and Sedona, AZ with her husband Mike. She's expecting her first child in October!

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