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Raw Food Challenge – Day 11 Update

Today is Day 11 of my Raw Food 30 Day Challenge. I really didn’t expect it to be this easy. I feel absolutely fantastic and have absolutely no detox symptoms to speak of. In fact, this transition from my vegan diet to a 100% raw food diet is easier than my transition from lacto-ovo vegetarian to vegan.

I think difference is that I am both far more educated and also have connected into a support system of people that I have learned a ton from – from various raw food online forums like Give It To Me Raw and 30 Bananas A Day, and through a few friends (like Darrick) who have been walking down this path for a while. I’ve also been reading a ton of books and online resources (including Dr. Doug Graham’s 80-10-10 and David Wolfe’s Sunfood Diet).

When making any life shift, it helps not to go it alone!

What has shifted for me in the past 11 days? A lot! Here is a run down on what I am currently experiencing.

  • I weight myself at the same time every day. I started this experiment at 142.0 lbs and 12% bodyfat. This morning, after 11 days I weighed 136.5 lbs and 11% bodyfat. So I have lost almost 6 pounds in 11 days. In fact, I lost the entire weight in the first 6 days, since then my weight has stabalized. I am not trying to lose weight, but it is happening.
  • My strength levels feel the same on an absolute sense, but I feel a lot stronger relative  to my own body weight. This becomes obvious to me during my yoga practice.
  • My cravings for coffee, hot teas or any other cooked food has diminished. At some points I do crave some crunchy snacks or vegan pizza/pastas, but these pass by quickly and are no more pronounced than when I was eating my standard vegan diet.
  • I think far more clearly! Really it is hard to explain, but I can think a lot better and focus on a single topic without distraction even easier than before.
  • I am less attached to others people’s comment and feedback: be it praise or criticism.
  • My yoga practice feels incredible, my flexibility is improving on an almost daily basis. In fact, certain parts of my body (like my hamstrings) that have been tight for a decade (despite 8 years of yoga practice) are starting to loosen up in pretty deep ways.
  • Perhaps most noticeably, my skin is super clear. My face especially, no blemishes at all. The rest of my body also looks far more clear. Even my hair seems to be thicker and my nails are stronger.
  • I do not smell! At all…in fact, even before on my vegan diet, I never had any issues with body odor. However, now on a 100% raw food diet, I have no odor whatsoever. I don’t wear deodorant (actually haven’t for the past year or so) and have no need to! If you don’t like the way you smell – change your diet!
  • I sleep incredibly well. I’ve still been sleeping the same amount, though I do notice that I can wake up earlier if I need to (to teach a yoga class for example) and feel wide awake. No groggy feeling in the morning.

So what does my diet consist of? Keep in mind that I both have a very active lifestyle (I teach and practice yoga every day) and also a very busy lifestyle (I have a career in high technology/software). So my diet focuses on getting enough total calories while also fitting into my work and yoga schedule. Here is what I do on a typical day. It goes without saying that everything is always organic!

  • Breakfast: almost always my breakfast is a large fruit smoothie. Typically this would include 2-4 large bananas with some maca root powder, hemp seed protein and perhaps some cacao powder. Sometimes I will just stick with the fruits (usually bananas) and sometimes add some greens in (like kale).

  • Snacks: I’ll usually eat 2-4 pieces of fruit during the day, usually a couple things in mid-morning and a few more in the afternoon.  On a weekend, I will eat even more. For example, below are 4 navels I ate before a two hour walk this afternoon.
  • Lunch: A large bowl of field greens – a really massive bowl! This could be equal to half a large head of romaine; an avocado, a carrot and some nuts or seed either in raw form or in a raw food seed bar. I have a bag of goji berries and cacao seed next to my desk at work. I’ll usually have a small handful of goji and about 10-15 cacao seed during the day.
  • Dinner: I’ll usually make a large vegetable soup smoothie, and eat this with some flax crackers or some other raw food cracker made from seeds. For my veggie soup, I’ll really throw the kitchen sink in the Vita-Mix! This includes typically a hot pepper, some green onions, broccoli, carrot, ginger and some avocado. Blended together it makes the most incredible creamy veggie soup ever! Just add some chunky salsa for some texture. In addition, I might eat some other fruits or greens (I love eating bok choy) later in the evening if I am still hungry.

In total, I shoot for 2500 calories per day. At first I was struggling to get enough, but now I am pretty happy with my overall caloric intake. I am never hungry!

I’ll post another update next week. In the meantime, if you have any tips for recipes I should try. Please let me know in the comments!


  1. Ravi Raman says:

    Hey Darrick! I read your blog and saw that you were having some cravings. The biggest thing is to not beat yourself up about it. We are always learning and growing….even if it seems like we are taking a step back at times!

    BTW…I watched the last rocky movie and just love this clip:

    I do hope to come visit you sometime soon. I also read a lot of harley’s posts on 30-bananas-a-day forum and youtube…he is a big motivation for me.

    As an aside – are you eating enough leafy green veggies? Maybe that is why you getting cravings? Make sure you are loading up on nice leafy greens!!!!

  2. darrick says:

    You are inspiring to me….when I read your blog title about your 30day raw challenge i said to myself, “that sounds like Ravi, the type of guy that practices CANI, one who keeps learning and growing no matter what. It is so great to know you and watch you grow in so many areas.

    I have had a few challenges on Raw lately. I Know in my heart that fruitarian is the most nutritious and healthy path for me. So if i succomb to cravings at times, i practice forgiveness and know I’ll be back to what is right.
    Like you I did notice that my cravings for cooked food are usually about the same whether I am eating cooked food or Raw food. Sometimes I feel that if I eat the cooked food cravings, they will go away, this is a totally illusion driven by the addictive nature of the cooked food demons!! However, its all a journey and I am always doing the best I can with the knowledge i have. I do wish i would never eat cooked food again, that would be sooooo amazing if I could push a button on my head and was 100percent pure fruitarian for life. We have so many years of conditioning to unlearn.
    I am soon to meet many raw fooders here in SE Asia…Harley is heading to Chanthiburi next week for one month! I can hang with him and other leaders in the Raw world and regain some massive ‘momentum’…. Bring your bicycle if you decide to come too, or you can simply buy one for about 300us in Chanthiburi, We can show you where.
    peace Brother!!!

  3. earthmother says:

    Hmm, favorite soups…okay, here’s two extra yummy (and colorful) ones for you:

    Curried Coconut Soup

    meat & water from one young coconut
    3 C carrots, grated
    1 onion, chopped
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    2 Tbsp curry powder
    1 tsp grated ginger root
    cayenne to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

    Tickled Pink Soup

    2 large beetroot, sliced
    meat of 1 young coconut (reserve water)
    1 lime, juiced
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp ground star anise

    Combine beetroot and coconut meat in a high-powered blender, slowly adding coconut water until smooth. Add lime juice and spices until well blended.

    • Ravi Raman says:

      Nice! I need to try that this weekend. I just had a wonderful salad – romaine with tomato and sprouts. I blended avocado and pinneapple salsa into a nice dressing for it. Added some sunflower seeds for crunch.

  4. earthmother says:

    Sounds as if your Challenge isn’t presenting too much of a challenge for you. With all the shifts you’ve experienced in just the first 11 days, I suspect this “challenge” may become a lifestyle for you. 😀

    Blended soups got me through a very looooooong winter here. LOVE the idea of throwing in some chunky salsa to the mix. Thanks!

    • Ravi Raman says:

      Hey Earthmother, thanks for visiting my blog! Yes – I am amazing at how good it feels to be raw. I still have craving now and then, but it is totally manageable. Still am not set on keeping this up beyond 30-days, but I already know that my eating habits will be forever changed for the better!

      BTW…any recipe tips I should try? What is your favorite soup?

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