My Week As a Raw Vegan

Nutrition Advice
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The challenge? Accepted. For the first time in my life, I spent one week as a raw vegan. Oh golly gosh!

Most of you know my food philosophy and mantra by now – I eat real wholefoods, nothing processed. I am sugar free and gluten free. I treat myself to foods I love, and I don’t like to put too many limits on myself. I believe in the power of mindful eating.

So when I heard Aro Ha, the wellness retreat I recently attended, was totally raw vegan food – I was excited by this challenge. And perhaps a little afraid. So many JSHealth readers as well as my patients in clinic are vegan. And in all honesty, as a nutritionist I am truthfully not the biggest fan. Many of my patients suffer from not getting enough of the essential nutrients you would normally receive from eating a more varied diet.

But it was only for a week, so I took up the challenge!

This was me on 7 days of only raw vegan food.

How I felt:

  • Fine! I was surprisingly energised!
  • I wasn’t as full and as satiated after each meal – a consequence of not having any animal protein. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient.
  • I didn’t fall asleep as quickly
  • I felt bloated and more gassy (there’s the honesty, ha!)

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What I liked:

  • So many interesting flavours – truly incredible
  • How creative you can be with vegetables and other plant-based foods
  • It’s great for a seasonal, short-term cleanse – your can really detox from eating these foods
  • In spite of bloat, I mostly did feel lighter




What I didn’t like:

  • Lack of protein, animal or otherwise
  • Less variety
  • Not enough energy to keep my blood sugar stable or to feel full
  • I got skin blemishes! I am genetically blessed with my skin – I rarely break out, and I started to get little bumps on my cheek. Remember, amino acids (found in proteins) help repair skin cells. I didn’t feel I was eating enough protein.

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My final nutritional thoughts:

  • If you suffer from digestive issues – raw vegan may not suit you. It could cause bloating and discomfort.
  • I don’t believe it’s sustainable – being so strict can cause people to have a complicated relationship with food
  • For some, it can cause complexion issues
  • In the short term it’s great as a cleanser
  • Long term, it may have negative effects on the body as you may miss out on certain vitamins and minerals.

I know that a lot of people choose to live a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons. I want you to know that I really respect those who make this choice, however as a nutritionist my advice is that it’s important to educate yourself in the right way to be sure you can get the nutrients you need from a plant-based lifestyle. If you are vegan, I truly believe you need to monitor your B12 and iron levels and supplement appropriately with the help of your physician or naturopath.








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JSHealth Vegan Meal Plan


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14 Day Slim Down Plan - 2 weeks to a leaner you!


The JSHealth Shopping List - Stock up on these foods for a healthier household


Nutrition 101 - A step by step nutrition guide to optimal health


Emotional Eating Guide - Learn how to rebuild your relationship with food and your body


The Clean Life - An Expert Guide To Health From The Inside Out


Restart Plan - Cleanse your system in 2 - 4 weeks & reveal a slimmer, healthier you


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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.