I just watched this video: Why Deficient Raw Vegans Become Meat Eaters
It was perfectly timed for me because I've been thinking the same thing lately, "Why don't I eat meat in moderation to balance out my diet?" The overarching theme of the video was that meat is never the answer because it creates more problems than it solves. Most (if not all) deficiencies come from dietary imbalance, not lack of animal products.
They discussed cravings for certain specific components like salt, iron, protein, and fats. They suggest swinging your pendulum back from a restrictive, raw vegan, super low fat diet to a moderate vegan diet including some cooked beans and lentils, to balance out the overeating of fruits. One of the misconceptions I personally can see coming from the 80/10/10 diets touted on YouTube would be the amount of leafy greens these folks are eating. They're so busy using the shock value of "30 Bananas a Day" to get our attention, that they don't mention how amazing it would be for most Americans to simply switch to Vegan diets of any combination.
In this video, I really enjoyed that they frequently clarified that the same diet does not work for everybody. Some people can't handle grains and some people can't handle soy. The secret is to find what works for you and don't beat yourself up over cooking foods that still have vast nutritional value, with the goal of maintaining a label of 'Raw Foodie'.
For me, I'm already cooking at least one meal per day and I'm re-energized to balance out my diet with more than bananas. Lately, I've been eating (drinking) a green smoothie for breakfast with about 2 cups of kale or turnip greens, some berries, ground flaxseed, and some chia seeds. Lunch has been cooked potatoes with fresh herbs but no fat OR veggie fajitas. Other meals are bananas by the bunch with an occasional apple or handful of almonds thrown in.
My concern was getting enough calories and how to add some calories without using grains too heavily. I like the raw vegan approach that you have to eat large portions, because I like to eat. I've never been consistent in eating a big leafy green salad every day, but with my Nutribullet, I get plenty of greens first thing. not feeling bad about cooked foods is going to really give me more options. Thanks for the clarity, guys.