Posts Tagged ‘Raw Food’
(Breakfast! 1 Whole Organic Honeydew Melon)
I’ve reached the final point in my Raw Food 30 Day Challenge. It has been a great adventure. While I experienced some incredible increases in my overall health and wellness, I was also happy to break the 30-day streak with a dinner at a favorite vegan restaurant of mine with some friends last night!
In my previous updates, I wrote about the benefits I was experiencing through this way of eating. Those benefits continued, and if anything became even more pronounced throughout the last 10 days of the challenge. I feel incredibly light. I think clearly. My skin is clear and I really feel great overall.
In terms of body composition, here is where that ended up. Keep in mind that throughout this entire challenge I had no intention to lose weight. I am already fit and slim enough. I also made a point to eat a significant number of calories (mostly through fresh, organic, ripe fruits!). My goal was to try to keep my caloric intake similar to what my previous diet was (roughly 2300 calories per day). I think I struggled to do this for the first 10 days or so, but then got the routine down and was eating plenty.
Wow, time really does fly by! It seems like just a few days ago I was contemplating this little experiment. It really has not been anywhere near as challenging as I thought it would be. My food cravings for cooked foods have diminished even more as I’ve gotten smarter about eating more total calories and also eating the right types of foods.
Over the past week, I’ve started to experiment with some new foods and recipes, and have started to cultivate a keen taste for my morning fruit smoothies and evening veggie soups (un – cooked of course)! I actually look forward to these!
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).
Starting tomorrow morning I will be embarking on a 30-Day Raw Food Challenge. I’ve done the raw food thing before, most recently as part of a 3-day fruit feast and also for a few months last year as well.
The issue is, last year I wasn’t 100% raw, I did cooked food meals now and then – usually at dinner time. I also wasn’t nearly as educated in terms of what to eat, and such ended up not eating enough calories or nutrient dense superfoods (like goji berries, cacao, maca root, acai, etc.).
This time I am more educated, more motivated and have experience at my side from past successful and not-so-successful experiments with my diet.
I’ll also note a few of the reasons why I am doing this challenge. At the end of the day, I am a big believer that the motivations for doing something are the true driving force for any positive and lasting change.
So why am I doing this 30-day Raw Food Challenge?
- There are numerous studies and articles that point to raw or mostly raw food diets as a key factor in positively impacting overall human health and longevity.
- I personally know several raw foodists that are not only surviving, but thriving on a raw food diet.
- During my last raw food experiment, while I had some breakthrough and positive experiences – right now I am much more well-informed and better prepared to not fall into some of the traps/issues I ran into last time.
- Primarily raw and water-rich foods are important factors in helping the body naturally cleanse and detoxify.
- My diet right now features a high percentage of raw foods – about 30-50% on most days. Moving to 100% will be a big challenge but is doable – and will help me dislodge some unhealthy eating habits that I have developed lately (eating too late, eating fried foods, eating too large meals, etc.).
- During past experiences with fasting or eating raw foods, I experienced a profound heightened sense of mental performance and a deeper ability to meditate and connect to the present moment. I am interested to see how the 30-Day Raw Food Challenge impacts my meditation practice.
- I am curious to see how my yoga practice is impacted through a Raw Food diet. In past experiences, I’ve noticed increased flexibility and a higher strength-to-weight ratio when eating a raw or mostly raw diet.
For reference, my current body weight is 142.0lbs and body fat is 11% (as measured by a Tanita-brand body fat measurement scale). I’ll be tracking this throughout the challenge.
So there it is. The journey starts tomorrow. If you have walked down this path before and have any tips, please do share in the comments! If you are willing to take this journey with me (even for a few days, a week or the full month) – that would be cool as well!
Those who don’t believe that you can be strong and healthy on a plant-based diet need to take a look at Robert Cheeke. Robert’s a good friend of mine, and is living proof that you can really achieve outstanding physical health as a Vegan.
I’ve been on a 70% raw food diet for the past 1 week. I feel absolutely amazing. I have a lot to learn to get my diet really dialed in, but so far so good. I have no intention of keeping a 70% raw food diet forever, that seems a bit extreme for where I am in my life right now, but I do want to sustain a 30-50% raw food diet for the near term and see where it leads me.
Why am I doing this?
I have been lacto-ovo vegetarian for essentially my entire life. It was really the only diet I have known, and I suppose I have felt fine and am fairly healthy. A few years ago I was inspired to go-Vegan by a yoga teacher (Sharon Gannon) and after having educated myself on the issues of sustainable agriculture and mass-market egg and dairy farming, decided to give it a try.
During this period I lost quite a lot of weight, given the fact that I was already quite thin. I went from 145lbs to low 130′s. Many of my friends and family thought that I was getting too skinny. Looking back at pictures of me from that period lead me to believe them now, though at the time I was convinced that I was as healthy as humanly possible. I had insanely high energy levels compared to my vegetarian days, and completed two Ironman Triathlons and a few other ridiculous endurance events during the 1 and ½ years I was vegan. I was also working like crazy.
I eventually decided that vegan was not the best thing for me. The straw that broke my back was going to my sisters wedding, and feeling that I couldn’t eat any of the food (many Indian foods use clarified butter). I decided that I would be a responsible vegetarian, buying only organic eggs and cheese, and not stressing out if I had a piece of non-organic cake or some cheese pizza at Papa Johns.
That was about 3 years ago. It is amazing how subtle changes can cause major shifts over the long term. It had gotten to the point where I was really struggling to get back into good shape. Throughout the past three years, I have run a few half-marathons, and done some other long distance events (swam across Puget Sound), but I never really felt like I had the energy levels that I had when I was vegan.
Slowly reintroducing dairy into my diet had, over a few years, made me feel like crap. I gained about 20 pounds (some of it muscle as I was lifting) and while I felt much stronger, was more lethargic than I had ever been. Waking up in the morning seemed harder to do. I started drinking coffee to wake up and keep myself awake. I ate food but never really felt satisfied. When you start to think about it; if you sit down and have a Super Burrito at noon, should you really be starving by 5pm? Of course not. It just doesn’t make sense.
A few months I decided to make a change. I started to go back to yoga, and have been increasing the amount of aerobic activity I’ve been doing.
Last week, I made a radical change to my diet.
While I want to get back in peak shape, I want to avoid going to some extreme just for the heck of it. I want to eat in a way that gives me more energy than I have ever had before. I also don’t want to turn into a walking stick of skin and bones. I’ve been searching for the right answer to this question for a while. I don’t know if I have found it, but I feel like I am getting close.
Tomorrow I’ll talk more about the diet I followed for the past week, the effect it has had on me and the science behind it.