Raw Results! - originally posted June 3, 2007
Two weeks have passed since I started my raw food lifestyle. I have refrained from posting about it, because I wanted to make sure I made it past the first week. On low carb diets, the first week was easy, and after that it got harder. But on raw, it's still just as easy. Let me start with the fun stuff: results!
In two weeks I have:
- lost 10.2 pounds (most of it the first week)
- eliminated my insomnia
- gotten deeper sleep every night
- almost eliminated the need for naps, even on only 6 hours of sleep
- virtually eliminated my depression
- eliminated my anxiety
- become more patient with my children, and I'm yelling a LOT less
- suddenly become happier, even giggly on occasion
- gotten softer skin
- significantly reduced pain from some kind of groin muscle that was giving me trouble
- stopped needing to use the scooters at Walmart (boy was that embarrassing!)
- eliminated the stiffness I got whenever I sat or laid down for too long
- significantly reduced my back pain
- increased my energy ten-fold
- stopped getting super-sleepy when driving
- virtually eliminated my cravings for carbs, soda, fast food, and yes, even CHOCOLATE!
- had some improvement in my breathing while in bed
- had a big increase in libido (enough said)
Now, onto the less exciting information. Keep in mind I'm a newbie and this information is what I have gathered on my own...I may not get everything exactly right. Also, there are some variations in what each raw foodist believes is the right way to eat.
What is raw food? Raw food is any fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, or grains that have been prepared without heating of any kind over about 105-118 degrees farenheit. Basically, nothing is cooked, although sometimes it may be warmed, or dehydrated (at 105 degrees or less). Most raw foodists are also vegans (meaning they don't eat any meat, fish, or dairy products). Anyone who is 100% raw is almost always vegan.[New edit: a very small percentage of 100% raw foodists might eat raw meat, eggs, and other dairy--I wouldn't recommend eating raw eggs or meat, at least not unless you raised the animal yourself, or are well-acquainted with the person who did.] A lot of people only eat 80-90% raw: this is considered "high raw". Some eat 50%-80%. These people (on 50-90% raw) may eat some meat or dairy, but a lot don't.
Usually the people eating a lower percentage of raw are trying to eat whole foods when they do eat cooked food...meaning their cooked food may be cooked whole grains and legumes (possibly soaked or sprouted first, a la "Nourishing Traditions" style), and possibly some all natural meat and/or raw dairy products. If you eat at least 50% raw (and absolutely everyone should do at least that much) you will see improvement in your health, and probably your weight. On high raw, you will definitely feel much better, and on 100% raw, you will feel amazing.
What do you eat if you are all raw? Many people have fruit or fruit smoothies for breakfast, fruit or a salad for lunch, and usually a more elaborate raw vegan meal for dinner. To drink, they'll make fresh raw juices from fruits and/or veggies, nut milk, or water. They usually don't use soymilk, from what I've read, because of all the health concerns lately with soy.
I had planned to start out 50-60% raw, but quickly got to 70-80%. Lately, I have been more like 90%, as I have cut back on the whole wheat crackers and hummus, and the egg salad pitas I had been having once a day. Now, usually the only non-raw food I have is ranch dressing, cheddar cheese sprinkled on my salads (trying to phase this out), and every few days 2-3 ounces of cooked chicken breast or fish. I've chosen not to go 100% yet, because several people have suggested it wouldn't be a good idea to go through "detox" while pregnant--I'll explain more about that in my next post.
The great thing about raw is you can eat as much as you want, and you can still eat this way while you are pregnant or nursing, and still have a healthy baby. I've met several people online who are all raw, and pregnant or nursing (they were already raw before, and had already been through detox). Some people who are wanting to lose weight have to be careful how much avocado or nuts they eat (high in fat and calories), but not everyone does.
This way of eating may sound crazy to those who are addicted to cooked foods, particularly dairy and meat. You don't have to give up dairy and meat, you can still eat some if you want, just not as much, and try to buy organic/all natural, and prepare it properly. [Edit: I strongly recommend looking into raw, organic dairy at RealMilk.com. If you can't or won't use raw organic dairy, or organic meat, then I believe you shouldn't consume it at all.] However, you will probably eventually start cutting back on it, once you read about the good effects of eliminating it from your diet. If nothing else, do some reading, and start out eating 50% raw. I know you'll feel the difference fairly quickly. Try it for a week or two...what have you got to lose?