Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Build me up buttercup!

One of the Vegan Era Crew has started chemotherapy and so we've been very interested in how the vegan diet can support the body during this time. The usually high-raw vegan diet that we have become accustomed to, is not adequate for putting on the weight and protein that the body needs to handle periods of sickness and excess weightloss. Of course most doctors believe lots of dairy and meat are the key in this situation, so we have been researching ways to put on weight, vegan-style.

According to The Vegetarian Society, "In order to gain weight it is essential to increase the energy content of your diet. Also, in order for your body to make proper use of protein, you must ensure sufficient energy. The most concentrated form of energy in the diet is from fat. If you can tolerate fat then try and increase the fat content of your diet."

Have an Avo: Avocados are creamy and high in calories and nutrients. They are also soft and easy to eat during times when mouth ulcers and other nasty side-effects take hold.

Get Smooth: Smoothies are a great way to add extra protein in the form of a protein powder, and calories with the addition of soy or rice milk, soy yoghurt or ice-cream, nuts, seeds, bananas and even soft silken tofu.

Get Saucy: Have meals with a good sauce, made with pureed fried onions, perhaps with tomatoes or mushrooms. To increase the energy density of sauces use vegan margarine and add soya milk or silken tofu.

Beans: Cooked beans can be added to soups, stews, pies, salads, etc as well as being able to be pureed or used for dips such as hummus.

Soy Soy Soy: All of the over-processed soy products that we usually steer clear of are full of calories and protein. If you are looking to bulk up, delicious products such as Tofutti cream cheese will certainly help!

Go Nutty: Nut butters are a great way to get lots of the good fat and nutrients from nuts in an easily digestible way. Choose raw almond butter, sunflower butter, tahini, or hazelnut butter and add them to crackers, vegetable crudites, salads, deserts, baked goods or have them on toast.

Oily Goodness: Extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, etc are a healthy way to add good fats to the diet.

Rice, Pasta, Gnocchi, sprouted bread, vegan custard and yummy vegan cheese are some of the other things that spring to mind if you are looking to put on weight.

Unfortunately, there are not many vegan meal replacements, such as Sustagen, which offer all of the nutrients that the body needs in a liquid form for times when patients cannot eat. Vega Complete Meal Replacement is a powder that was formulated by a vegan triathlete and is available at, but it contains some natural products that pharmacists and oncologists may not agree to.

If you are looking to put on weight as a cancer patient, then there will likely be other challenges that need to be addressed also, such as dry mouth, loss of appetite, sore throat and mouth ulcers, nausea, constipation or diarrhea and loss or change of taste. The most important thing is to get some form of nutrients in to the body each day, so whatever is tolerable and appealing is often the only consideration.

While some of the Crew are enjoying pigging out on all of these vegan delicacies, we are looking forward to the end of treatment when a return to a healthy RAW vegan diet will help to detox the body!!

Here is a lovely recipe for Lemon Poppy Scones to get your taste buds drooling...

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in margarine until the mixture is the consistency of large grains of sand. I like to use my hands to rub the margarine into the flour. Stir in poppy seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Combine the soy milk and water, and gradually stir into the dry ingredients until the batter is moistened, but still thick like biscuit dough. You may not need all of the liquid. Spoon 1/4 cup sized plops of batter onto the greased baking sheet so they are about 3 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes the preheated oven, until golden.


  1. i'm a vegan who eats a high raw diet (between 80-100% depending on the day) but am finding it hard to LOSE weight - what do you recommend for the flip side of this article?

  2. Hey Jess,

    I guess it depends on what type of RAW food that you are eating. If you are having lots of green juices and salads - then your body really should lose weight and stabiles at its original size.
    But, like anything you can indulge and being RAW you can sometimes indulge a little more than usual. We found that you can still have a very high intake of natural sugars and fats - which to our body; if you eat a lot of (and you can sometimes fall prey to this on a RAW diet) high fructose fruits, and lots of high fatty nuts - you can actually find you put on weight.

    I am sure that over time you will find out what is right for you and your body. Not everyone is the same - and I am positive that you will the results you are after.

  3. Hi~!
    I think that you can heal the cancer without the chemotherapy.

    You can eat raw vegan food.

    Do you know Brian Clement?
    I think he can help you. His book "Living Foods for Optimum Health" is very good.!/pages/HIppocrates-Health-Institute/97128163419?ref=ts

    And also MMS can help you.

    God bless you~!


  4. Thank you Claudia,

    It is very true, leading a raw diet high in green leafy vegetables has had tremedous success in helping the body heal - espically when it is such a traumatic state. There are plenty of wonderful stories of people who have had amazing results with out having conventional treatment.

    The reason why the body is able to heal itself is through changing its physiology. Through this change, the body can heal.

    If we have learnt anything over this time - it is not to be too narrow minded and rule anything out. Amanda was leading an amazing high raw diet - no sugars, not even natural. At this point Amanda didn't want anything to do with conventional treatment and knew in herself that her body would heal.

    After doing this for over a year, her latest scan result was very scary and had to receive conventional treatment. If she had of stayed narrow minded things may be different now.

    Sometimes you must move with what is logical.