Jenny's Raw Recipe Blog

Getting Enough Calories on a High Raw Diet

Posted on April 18 2013 | (9) Comments
Category:New To Raw Foods

Getting Enough Calories on a High Raw Diet

Nutrition and calories are topics that frequently come up with regard to a raw food diet.  So in this post from my New to Raw blog series, I’d like to talk about calories, raw food, and (for a change) cooked food, too.

Count Your Blessings, Not Calories

Raw food recipes have an abundance of nutrients to fuel your body, satisfy your appetite for a long time, and keep your blood sugar stable. They also have tons of taste, aroma, and texture to satisfy all your senses. 

Not everybody wants to lose weight with raw food.  And unfortunately, the sheer volume of raw food you need to consume in order to meet your body’s nutritional and caloric needs can make it difficult for some people to get enough calories when eating 100% raw food.

This is where healthy cooked foods come in. 

What’s Cooking in a Raw Food World

As many of you know, I’m a flexible raw foodie.  My approach to the raw food diet is that we should all be eating more fruits and vegetables, and that when you eat at least some of your fruits and veggies uncooked you're going to get a lot more vitamins, phytonutrients, and enzymes in your diet.

By focusing on raw foods, you'll also be automatically eliminating unhealthful cooked foods such as saturated fat, meat, dairy, flour, and sugar...along with the empty, unnecessary calories they deliver.

4 Cooked Foods to Enjoy & 1 Great Recipe

From a health perspective, including cooked foods in your diet isn't a problem as long you make good choices about the foods you choose for your extra calories.  Complex carbohydrates are high in calories and nutrition.  You get them from:

  • Baked or steamed root vegetables - sweet potatoes, beets, winter squash
  • Whole grains - brown rice, quinoa
  • Beans – black, red, garbanzo
  • Lentils – red, brown

Allocating 25% of my diet to eating these cooked foods will add to my caloric load, but still allow me to eat mostly raw.

My raw Zucchini Hummus recipe is lighter than the version you find in most Middle Eastern restaurants, and completely raw.  When I feel like I need some extra calories, however, I make a traditional Garbanzo Bean Hummus, replacing the zucchini with 1 1/4 cups of cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and a quarter-cup of water.

The Next Step—Join My Online Course

This is the end of my New to Raw blog series, but the chance to begin something even better:  a lifetime love affair with raw food. 

You can also join my virtual classroom where raw food is the curriculum.  In my online course, Ready for Raw, I’ll share my tricks for transforming food preparation from a task into a simple yet creative pleasure. You’ll receive:

  • Step-by-step instruction
  • Professionally produced videos
  • Interactive Q&A sessions, and
  • Lively online discussions

Sign up for my Ready for Raw online course, and school will be in session tonight.

Previous Comments

On September 03, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

I am a flexible raw foodie too and feel better when I incorporate some whole grains along with lentils, beans and vegetable soup (that I make myself).  I am reading The Starch Solution by John McDougall, MD which I believe has merit but is light on fruits on veggies.

On October 22, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

I ‘have been diagnosed before just one week with Diabetics type II. And I ‘m get a prescription for use of Metformine.I have already long time before changed my food habits, but that makes not a different in my Diabetics. Could you advise me how Raw Food can made a different? I would appreciate this a lot. Thank you very much.

On October 22, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

Thank you so much for your blog.  I have just returned to RAW foods and decided to incorporate some healthy cooked foods.  This article is right on time.

On October 22, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

That’s great, Denise. No reason to make raw an all-or-nothing thing in my opinion!


On October 22, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

Hi Adrienne,

I’m sorry about your diagnosis. I’m not a health practioner, so I really can’t give you advice in this, other than to say that a healthy diet based on whole foods, and low in sugar, whether some of those foods are raw or not is helpful when dealing with diabetes or any other health challenge.


On November 05, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

I am fairly new to raw foods.  My biggest concern is ensuring that I am getting enough of the required nutrients each day though I do take some supplements.  I am very interested in your course but need to know if that information is supplied

On November 05, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

Hi Ann,

In the course, the first session does give a nutritional overview of the raw food diet, and where to get various nutrients. This info is also woven throughout the course. However, the primary focus of this course is on practical culinary skills, not detailed nutrition. You’ll find it helpful to give you all the skills to eat a variety of delicious and healthy raw foods, but it isn’t primarily meant to have a nutrition focus.


On November 19, 2013 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

Hello Adrienne,

Dr. Joel Fuhrman has a book called The End of Diabetes, that fits perfectly with a high-raw diet.. You can really help yourself with a high-nutrient diet.

On September 03, 2016 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said...

Hi Jenny
I have all your books. There great!...I was able to stay on 100% raw for about 3 month I honestly felt much more energized ( I was a prior vegan) however,  I noticed I started putting on weight…. I’m past meopause I’m considering taking your course , so I can really get a handle on being raw…. So my question is how can you eat nuts, deserts along with the raw diet and STILL lose weight….it would be so boring if I could not eat those things.. I walk 2 miles daily… Either I am using way to many fats OR a slow metabolism? SO confusing!! especially since Ive read SO many testimonials of the raw foodists who lose tons of weight in mid life? Help! Your thoughts?

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