Many of us turn an initial toe-in-the-water grazing session, into a permanent lifestyle choice. Veggie, vegan, gluten-free, and raw among are decisions we make for our health. There are proven benefits but you need to make sure you fully understand the pros and cons of your endeavors.


Vegetarianism is the elimination of meat and fish products, while veganism is the elimination of all animal products—as in say goodbye to those goose-down pillows.

Removing animal products can have many cardiovascular benefits, but like any good diet you need to make sure you are getting a nutritionally balanced meal. A vegetarian/vegan diet is naturally low in saturated fats and cholesterol and leafy greens are high in fiber.  Make sure you are getting enough B-12 and complete proteins that you would typically get from meat. Legumes and lentils are a great source.


With Celiac disease (aversion to gluten or wheat allergy) on the rise, many people are taken on a gluten-free diet, and many supermarkets are stocking their shelves with gluten-free products.

The most obvious benefit is that you wind up eating less processed junk food, because crackers, cookies, bread, etc., are all made with gluten. You don’t’ fill up on empty calories. You opt for healthier snacks like fruits and veggies, and the starches you eat without gluten, like quinoa, can be really beneficial.

Potential crack in the plan—because markets are savvy to the gluten-problem, there are plenty of over-processed prepackaged foods. Gluten-free chocolate cake, is still cake.


Just like it sounds. A minimum of three-quarters of your diet should consist of uncooked food. Nothing can be cooked over 118 degrees and you can’t have any foods that are pasteurized or roasted. Enjoy snacking on that crunchy green bean.

If you don’t heat your food, you preserve natural probiotics and because you have to eat a high quantity of plant-based foods, your consumption of nutrients and healthy enzymes—raw foodists call enzymes the life force of the food—is high.

Most noted setbacks are that it’s easier to do in the summer months, it’s really hard to eat out, requires extreme discipline, and you risk potential toxicity from uncooked foods.


-Arianna Schioldager


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