Raw Food Challenge

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!

30 Day Raw Food Challenge

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)



  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.beveridge Andy Beveridge

    Hi Emily,

    Great to find a blog where people are sharing their ideas on raw food. I started mine on the 1st, so just day three as I write this. I am to am going to record and document everything on my blog. http://30dayrawfoodchallenge.com I hope its alright to leave a link because I need all the encouragement I can get. So far so good, and have lost a couple of pounds but like you say in your post that could just be water.

  • http://www.fitconcepts.com/rancho-cucamonga-boot-camp.html rancho cucamonga boot camp

    Hey Emily …
    That is pretty nice advice. I want to start raw food detox diet doing some homework before going through it. Is there a difference between detox raw diet and simple raw diet.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure if there’s a difference between the two, but I imagine there is. I’m not an expert in this arena, but in my experience your body will go through its own natural detox when transitioning to a completely or partial raw food diet. Mine sure did. How bad and for how long you were on the SAD (Standard American Diet) will determine the extent of your detox symptoms. Mine lasted for about a week or so and consisted of fatigue, headaches and cravings — similar to feelings I had when I stopped drinking caffeinated coffee.

      That said, good luck with your lifestyle change, and don’t beat yourself up if you decide later it’s not something you’d want to do long-term. Raw food diets may not be right for some people, especially when you’re the type of person who’s genetically hard-wired to need certain foods like meat and dairy. Your body will typically tell you what you need; only we have to do is listen to it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QEM3CFXCYFT7Y6CXUSOBC6W5SA Kids Behealthy

    Switching from the normal diets into a raw food diet has a lot of considerations. Some may experience a withdrawal symptoms and some may not get used to it for a couple of days. Healthy eating is very essential in our health. We can never go wrong wit eating healthy. Healthy foods are also foods that saves families budget on consumption.

  • Tasheka78

    Ok, so this means I have to go grocery shopping today if i’m going to start this raw food diet. The only draw back I see with this for me is that my husband LOVES meat and since I will be mostly cooking his meals, I am going to get tempted to eat it with him. I will keep you posted on my progress!

    • Anonymous

      I can understand that dilemma. You know my husband loves to eat meat too… and everything else! But, surprisingly, it hasn’t been very difficult for me to avoid eating the same foods, even just for tasting purposes. I know what helps me is just staying focused on the end goal. I envision a smaller, more energized me. And that’s what stops me from indulging in the bad foods. You can do it!

      • Jesseybell1012

        I really like this, and your videos are great. I a am doing this also and I started on the 31 of July 2011 so this is my day 5. I am doing great so far and considering doing this as a lifestyle change.

        • Anonymous

          Good for you, Jessey Bell! Good luck with the transition; I hope you can make it a long term commitment. It definitely requires a lifestyle change, but so doable. Keep me posted!