Raw Vegan as a Guide, Not a Rule

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Jack Albritton is a Costa-Rica based YouTuber who has been blogging and v-logging about the raw vegan lifestyle since 2012. Alabama-born Albritton decided to strike out on a path away from an irresponsible, party-lifestyle diet of heavy alcohol consumption, grilled meat and lots of processed food, towards something healthier, which he hoped would help him feel better. What began by simply cutting out and avoiding alcohol on certain days, gradually transformed into a raw vegan diet of no cooked food, no alcohol, no dairy products and, of course, no meat. 

It is perhaps, thanks to this slow immersion into the realm of veganism, that Albritton has gained followers and become popular with groups who are not a part of the narrow vegan cliques that pervade the internet and the wider world. As someone who freely admits that he is still learning, he doesn’t try to impose rules or beliefs on others. One of his mantras is ‘whatever works for you’. He admits mistakes he has made along the way, such as not eating enough and losing too much weight after the initial decision to ‘go’ vegan. As long as you’re taking steps towards a healthier you, that’s alright with Jack. There is no guilt trip about newbies craving meat or dairy. In fact, he actually advocates breaking in the vegan diet slowly, by weaning oneself off of meat and dairy products at first, rather than diving in to veganism without having found what works for you personally. Switching from a cooked meat and dairy diet to a raw vegan diet as if you’ve flicked a switch can have the same blinding consequences – you become disoriented and set yourself up for failure. 

For anyone who wants to try the vegan lifestyle, a juicer, like these at Juicer Cruiser, is an essential piece of kit. You can, of course, choose to pick and eat your fruit and vegetables in the most basic way – grab a banana, eat it, grab and onion, eat it, grab some nuts, eat them. That way of eating is unfortunately overlooked almost completely these days, but it does have a lot going for it. Peel an orange and eat it immediately and you’re getting a blast of healthy vitamins, essential sugars and fibers, along with a richer flavor than any orange-flavored drink or sauce. The same goes for almost all fruits and vegetables. The problem is that we have gotten used to being able to control the flavors, textures and nutritional values of our meals and we like it. That’s where a good juicer and blender come in – you can mix and match the ingredients you want according to your nutritional needs and personal taste. 

One of the major criticisms that is often leveled at raw vegan diets is that they struggle to provide enough vitamin B12. This is a serious concern as vitamin deficiencies can lead to serious health problems and unpleasant symptoms. These can include circulatory issues, digestive problems, palpitations, nervous issues and mood swings. 

Jack Albritton says he deals with this by simply taking a vitamin B12 supplement. These are available in pill form, as well as injections and sprays. True to his own advice, though, he recommends that others do their own research – simply helping out by pointing them in the right directions to look – before deciding on which, if any supplement they will use. He doesn’t claim to be a guru and seems to actively distrust those who claim to be. Raw veganism isn’t just about the food – it’s an entire lifestyle, and self-education is a big part of that lifestyle. Simply ignoring the serious consequences of vitamin B deficiency is not a part of that lifestyle – we all have a duty to ourselves to keep learning how to take care of ourselves. 

Physical and mental fitness are also essential for our wellbeing. Jack Albritton has chosen yoga as his personal method of remaining alert and fit. It’s a great for the body’s circulation and overall flexibility. There is no need to compete, just take care of yourself. If you can find a group and a teacher that you like, you’ll find it much easier to stick at.