Sunday, March 08, 2009


I have been asked many times about the “expense” of raw foods.


I made about this in mid-January. You can check it out here. I will reiterate and elaborate on my answer here:

I spend a little over $100 on fruits and veggies a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It all depends on the season, what kinds of sales were available, and how much I am training and eating.

Right now I don't limit what I am spending because my parents buy most of it. (I'm still a kid… jealous!?) Next year I will be in college so i have to figure out what I'm going to do... I’m sure I will get by though.

I truly believe that if you want something bad enough, you WILL FIND A WAY to get it. I believe in the law of attraction which states that thoughts attract like thoughts. If I am focusing my mind and energy on buying cheap fruit and buying an abundance of fruit, IT WILL BECOME REALITY. When I first went raw, I had a negative mindset when it came to affording food. I would always tell myself, “OH I can’t afford this. I want this but I can’t afford it. Raw food is expensive.” Well, guess what?! IT WAS TRUE! But as soon as I accepted the idea that thoughts become reality, it changed my life. I would tell myself (and BELIEVE) that raw food was cheap. I tell myself that there are amazing sales everywhere I go. I dream about buying really cheap and free fruit and I use creative visualization to picture an abundance of fruit in my house. Guess what?! As soon as I changed my mindset, something INCREDIBLE happened: It became REALITY! A fruit shop opened up a mile away from my house and gave me really good deals on fruit. I would receive lots of text messages from friends who told me of good deals all around town. People started giving me food from their garden, FREE. People started buying me fruit just to make my day. There were sales on all my favorite fruits at the stores. THIS IS REAL.

Even when I am buying all of my own food, it will be worth it because it is for my HEALTH.

My health is on the top of my priority list. Why waste any money on cooked, processed or refined foods just because they are cheap!? I would rather spend a few extra dollars and buy some healthy, delicious, nutritious fruit. It truly helps me in the long run. In my opinion, it is TOTALLY worth it.

I am saving money in the long run. I most likely won't be paying for hospital bills when I am older. I will not be paying for medications or vaccinations. I will not be paying for chemotherapy or other cancer treatment. I believe in living naturally! My chance of developing disease is minimal due to my pure diet. Even if I do get cancer due to the toxic air we breathe or something, I do not believe in medications or pills. All in all, I will not be paying for the expensive doctor bills, treatment, or drugs.

Speaking of drugs, there is really no need to buy drugs on a raw vegan diet. Most of my friends drink, smoke weed, roll on ecstasy, and trip on acid and mushrooms.... On a raw vegan diet, there is no need for drugs! I feel high enough! The difference between the raw high and the drug high is the after effects. I do not get drowsy, burnt out, or negative after I feel the high from eating raw foods. In fact, I feel an abundance of energy and an ongoing buzz of happiness! I am not lying when I speak about the raw high. Trust me! I remember when I first went raw, I was SUPER giddy for about 3 weeks straight! The smile could not be wiped from my face! I am very happy all the time and I evolved into an optimist. No money needs to be wasted on drugs.

Supplements also are not needed on a raw vegan diet. Since I am eating the HEALTHIEST foods on the planet, what is the need for a supplement!? I receive all of the vitamins and minerals I need from the foods that Nature gave us to eat: fruit and veggies. I eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables so I get an abundance of nutrition. Supplements are for people who don’t get enough nutrition. I am thriving from a raw vegan diet so there is no need to waste my money here!!!

I also do not spend money on cleaning products or makeup. I do not use soaps or deodorant except for Dr. Bronners, which is a totally natural soap/shampoo. I eventually want to eliminate this too, and I have before, but I am just taking one day at a time! I am not lying when I say that I do not smell bad. Ask any raw vegan following an 80/10/10 diet. Body odor is almost totally eliminated because we do not have food FERMENTING in our bodies like many other people do. You see, when you eat cooked foods, processed foods, meat, or dairy, it often takes a while to digest. Because of this, it starts to ferment while still in your stomach. In the book, Rawvolution, he talks about how in order for something to be digested, it has to be turned into a liquid state. What is more easily turned to water – a cucumber or a porkchop? That pork is rotting in your colon! It wants to escape so the odor comes out when you sweat. On the other hand, when I eat fruit in SIMPLE mono-meals (like most other species), I achieve OPTIMAL digestion and the fruit has no time to ferment. The only exception to this is if I ate lots of nuts. Since I follow a low fat raw vegan diet, I try to keep my nut consumption to a minimum. Nuts also take a while to digest so eating fruit on top of this will only cause problems. In general, I do not have to spend my money on cleaning products because of my pure diet. This lifestyle works well in so many areas of my life!

Another aspect of spending money on food is GOING OUT TO EAT. On a raw vegan diet, I never eat out. I will go to restaurants with my friends and family, but I just order water or MAYBE get a salad with just tomatoes or something. While many people I know eat out every week and spend a good amount of money, I am saving that money by eating at home.

I find good deals at different stores. I quickly learned that finding cheap food takes some skill. I had to browse many stores and get a feel for the prices around town.

In the spring / summer / early fall there is a produce shop near my house that opens. Since I buy a LOT of fruit, they usually cut me really good deals. They sell me bananas for 33 cents a pound! (3 pounds for a dollar!) I buy the bananas that are REALLY RIPE and many people consider them rotten. I get really good deals this way!

I also discovered the international market. I go a market called K&S (for all of you in Nashville who were wondering.) I buy fruit by the boxes and it saves me money. I buy mangos in cases of 18 and young coconuts in cases of 9. They also have a sale rack where lots of fruit is packaged and sold for REALLY cheap! When the fruit shop near my house isn’t open, I buy bananas there for 39 cents a pound! I highly advise everyone to search for an Asian market in your town to find some amazing fruits (such as durian!) and some great deals!

Not to mention, I tend to buy fruit that is IN SEASON and ON SALE. This truly helps with the money issue. If I go to the grocery store and strawberries are cheap, then I will load up! The same goes with every fruit. However, if something is out of season and expensive, I will usually pass, no matter how bad I want it. I feel like eating in season is the most optimal way of eating. I feel a true connection with nature when I eat this way. I try my best to be in tune with Nature, my mother!

Raw foods can definitely be expensive if you are buying lots of transition food (like lara-bars), gourmet food, oils, and superfoods. You do not need to buy this stuff! Many times these foods are helpful in transition but the more fruit you eat, the less you will need to eat gourmet foods and transition foods. I follow a simple raw vegan diet: fruit and leafy greens in mono-meals (one fruit at a time until satiated.) This works best for me and it saves me money.

Finally, in the summer I grow some of my own food! Last year I tried growing watermelon (but I planted them too late and they died after they were only babies.) I also grew red pepper and tomatoes. This year I hope to grow much more (since it will be my first PLANNED summer of being a raw vegan!) Growing your own produce will save you LOTS of money!!! If you have a backyard, I highly advise growing your own food. If I can do it, you can do it. It’s really easy!

In general, this diet is not just a way of eating. Raw veganism is a LIFESTYLE. I save my money in SO MANY OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE that I can afford the fruit I eat. It is worth it to me above everything else. I am paying for my health, and that is very important to me! I will always find a way to afford this lifestyle. =)

I will end with this myth I found here: Myth #4: The raw food diet is more expensive than other diets.
"Any diet can be more or less expensive, depending on your tastes. Some of the most expensive foods on the planet are certainly not raw foods, or even vegetarian or vegan for that matter! Filet mignon and caviar are not raw foods! Certain pre-made raw items will be rather expensive, but some of the best bang for your grocery buck will be found in the produce section of your grocery store. Apples, bananas, salad greens and many vegetables are all a bargain compared to steak and lobster."

Here are a couple links related to saving money with raw foods:

I advise anyone still in wonder to go online and read about ways to make raw food cheaper. There are also many YouTube videos about it.

If you want to be raw, YOU CAN BE RAW! Don’t use money as an excuse!


Sarah said...

I'm almost 32 and I would have loved to have been your friend in high school. Just saying. You're awesome :)

Evelyn said...

Wow, great post! You are an inspiration. :)

yardsnacker said...

Honestly Ashley, your energy is amazing. I love the vibe I get from your words, you have an amazing life ahead of you. Thank you for being pure inspiration

fruity said...

Great post. At first, when I spent more money than I wanted to on groceries/fruit for the week(I am on a budget), I would get depressed and wonder if it was worth it. Then I realized that every dollar extra I spend helped to improve my health and that is a postive thing!

Anonymous said...


I recently moved to South Korea and unfortunately I have let my raw-eating slide (being that this culture is based LARGELY on eating rice/cooked vegetables). It has been EXTREMELY hard to even stay vegan (I'm still doing it though!! Minus a piece of crab that accidentally got wrapped into a meal-gross!)but I know that I am not physically/mentally/emotionally thriving as I had been while eating mostly raw back home.
Reading your blog has offered SO much encouragement and truly is a reminder of why I wanted to become raw in the first place.
It may be a challenge, but I know that if I continue to stay,think and live positively, the doors will only be opened :)

Thank you...

Anonymous said...

Ashley thank you so much for being so inspiring. How did you get so wise!? If you were my daughter I would be so utterly proud of you.


badash said...

Sarah- Thank you. The cool thing is that AGE is just a number so we can TOTALLY be friends now too. =)

Evelyn - thaaaank you!!! i appreciate it!

yardsnacker - You rock. Thank you so much. You helped me stick to raw when i first started! Even before i started talking to you, i watched your vids and they truly inspired me. YOU are an inspiration too, man! Thank you for your comment, it was really nice!

fruity - I totally feel ya! Good health is worth the money though, right!? =)

anonymous #1 - Exactly! Stick to it! You can do anything you put your mind to. Stay positive and open and use creative visualization! If you wanna be raw, YOU CAN DO IT! =)

anonymous #2 (Michele) - Me? Wise? ha... thank you!!! Many people have told me that I am "wise beyond my years." I have my friends to thank for this. I never really connected with people my age... My friends have always been at least 10 years older than me. My friends are all very intellectual and some of the coolest people ever. I am so lucky to have them and they are the ones to blame for any "wiseness" i seem to have. =)

HiHoRosie said...

I am so impressed with you on so many levels. Your passion and dedication to your health (not to mention climbing) astounds me b/c so many people OLDER than you are not this wise. Keep it up Ash. You're on the right path and are inspiring so many of us to stay true.

Anonymous said...

Hello, again!! (Anonymous 1...haha)

I just wanted to thank you so much for your encouraging words!! South Korea has been amazing, but I have yet to meet anyone who even knows what a raw diet is (or even what vegan means...). It has been hard, lonely, and frustrating..but your words were incredibly refreshing!!

People only tell me that I need to give up my vegan lifestyle (I have been vegan for almost 2 years and had been in the process of transitioning to being raw over the last 6 mon) and not to even attempt at being raw anymore.

Keep encouraging...keep motivating.. and keep loving! You never know who might truly need it... thank you again :)! You are awesome!!

Wendy said...

Hey Ashley,
I totally feel you on the b.o. issue. The macros believe in chewing your food until it's liquid. Many Americans do not even take the time to chew--the first step in digestion. It's sad.

I'm super excited about our garden this year as well. We're planting 13 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, 8 varieties of sweet peppers, and various herbs, etc. Last year we tried to do a little too much--eggplants, watermelons, and blackberries (ironically, we discovered wild blackberries in our yard!). This is my third year of gardening and I'm going to try to focus on the two veggies and expand as I get better at the act of gardening.

Tha Dragn SourceRa said...

Hi, I was reading this, pretty cool, I really like your writing and energy. I saw the part about deodorant. I use a natural rock crystal. You wet it and apply to clean skin. It works really well. If you'd like to find, go to any health food store and ask, or use the law of attraction, as you seem keenly aware of. Recently, I ended up finding a huge one with aloe at my local Grocery Outlet for $3. It's probably about $10-$15 elsewhere.

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