Last October, when I wanted to lose a stubborn 10 lbs and put my poor eating habits in check, I embarked on 30-day raw food diet. It was my first time trying raw foodism, and eventually I did go back to cooked food. My goal at the time was to not necessarily abandon cooked food, but to jump-start a healthier lifestyle and see if it would help me shed the extra weight I had put on from pregnancy and the recent junk food indulgence.
Now that all the dead leaves from the fall season are starting to clear away and spring has sprung, I really want to do my own cleansing process and shed some extra poundage. That said, I’ve decided to embark on another 30-day raw food challenge. Except this time, I’ll be blogging about it to let all of you and my friends inside what happens to a person’s body as they’re going through that diet.
Just so you know, I’m not doing a very strict raw food diet like personal development blogger Steve Pavlina documents here. But I will be avoiding cooked food for the most part, and consuming mostly fresh fruit, vegetables and water. But I will allow myself non-caffeinated tea, for instance.
Raw food proved to be a great way for me to lose weight, in particular. But it’s important to note that this is not just a way of eating or diet, this is a lifestyle for many people. Raw foodists, as they are called, are very passionate people when it comes to living the raw vegan lifestyle.
I am more of a novice, but I respect and adopt many of their viewpoints.
Raw foodists, in general, believe in the practice of consuming uncooked, unprocessed, and often organic foods as a large percentage of the diet, which is what I subscribe to as well.
The lifestyle of a raw foodist differs widely. Many raw food diets consist simply of raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, including sprouted whole grains. This is more of the diet that I’ve adopted. (I personally like to keep spinach, avocado, watermelon, oranges, and apples around the house or on-the-go to munch on.)
However, there are some raw foodists who also eat raw eggs, certain raw meats, and non-pasteurized dairy products. Because of concerns about salmonella and other contaminants I don’t eat the latter foods.
Raw food adopters have varying reasons to support this lifestyle, of which, many I agree with. According to an article on Wikipedia, for instance:
- Digestive enzymes in raw foods aid the digestion process in the human body. In fact, raw food experts argue that heating food above 104-120 degrees Fahrenheit (40-49 degrees Celsius) degrades or destroys these enzymes in food. (Agreed.)
- Some experts claim that raw foods have higher nutrient values than cooked and processed foods. (Agreed.)
- Processed food and fast food, for instance, often contain chemicals, such as flavor enhancers, which can cause excitotoxicity. (Agreed.)
- Stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and tobacco can irritate the internal organs. (Agreed.)
- Heated fats and proteins like fried oils and roasted nuts are to be avoided on a raw-food diet, as they are deemed by raw foodists to be carcinogenic. (The jury is still out; I’ll have to do more research on this.)
That said, I’m not anti-cooked food. Even some raw foodists, or advocates of the raw food diet, will emphasize that you must listen to your body when transitioning from cooked to a primarily raw food diet. In some instances, you may find that your body will run more optimally if you feed it a healthy cooked food.
Therefore, if you’re considering this diet, please note that your body may react somewhat negatively.
As for me, I endured headaches and fatigue. This kind of withdrawal period –usually lasting anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks– is similar to if I were a heavy coffee drinker and then suddenly stopped drinking coffee. The withdrawal feeling is very common in transitioning to the raw food diet. So be aware of that.
Thankfully, those withdrawal symptoms will eventually subside and the results of eating raw food will start to shine through. In addition to the weight loss, for example, I also experienced increased energy and clarity of mind.
If you’d like to learn more about this diet, make sure you keep following the blog. I’ll be journaling my experience periodically and will give you an update on my weight loss progress along with some of the other intrinsic benefits.
Here’s the rundown as I kick this off:
My starting weight was 161.2 pounds on 3/22/2011.
On 3/23/2011 (today) I weighed 160.8. pounds so I’m already seeing results! (Of course, this could just be water weight, but every little bit counts.)
In the meantime, check out the video below where I introduce you to my raw food journey and provide more details!
If you’d like to discover some easy raw food recipes, this site offers some tasty ones.
And if you’d like to learn more about raw foods in general, or even to order foods and products to get you started, I suggest checking out the Raw Superfoods Superstore. (affiliate link)