1. I AM GOING TO STARVE.
This isn’t the case, says raw food author Alissa Cohen. “You can eat incredible food— brownies, sundaes, calzones. You can really eat what you want and not worry about it. You can have dessert for breakfast.”
2. I WON’T BE ABLE TO GET ENOUGH PROTEIN.
According to the U.S. Recommended Daily Intake of protein, a 140-pound woman should aim for 51 grams of protein a day, while a 190-pound man should take in 69 grams. If they exercise, that same 140-pound woman now needs approximately 76–89 grams of protein per day, and that 190-pound man needs 104–121 grams, says nutritionist and author Patricia Bannan, M.S., R.D.N. Ways to get protein include raw protein powders, raw meat (if you’re up for it) and nuts, which can be integrated into meals—blended and made into cheese, used on a salad or blended with water to make nut milk. But keep in mind, nuts are also high in calories. In addition to nuts, leafy green vegetables also provide protein, Cohen says. And although nuts and veggies may have less overall protein than meat, it is more readily available for your body to digest. This, Cohen says, is partly why a raw diet can be energizing: Your body isn’t working hard to digest foods, which can leave you feeling tired and sluggish.
3. YOU ONLY EAT LEAFY GREENS AND DRINK SMOOTHIES.
In reality, raw recipes abound. You make soups, from gazpacho to Vietnamese pho. With the dehydrator, Cohen makes flaxseed crackers, plus flatbreads or raw pizzas. She blends nuts to make cheese-like spreads. Cacao can be mixed with dates to make chocolate-like desserts. “I just made an unbelievable cheesecake and nobody knew it was raw,” Cohen says.