Raw diets: What you need to know
By Echelle, Pure Matters
So … how about we switch that whole 85% raw thing to 15 or 20 percent? If the title and previous line didn't already give it away, allow me to now confess that my August raw food experiment didn't quite work out the way that I'd planned. Let me explain.
In anticipation of Rawgust, I prepped, I shopped, I psyched myself up to no end. I chatted it up with my raw foodie friends; they chatted me up in return, and got all excited to welcome me into the raw food fold. I carefully planned out what I was going to eat and drink for the entire week, and made my veggie purchases accordingly. I made sure all of my "raw stuff" was organized on the countertop and in the fridge.
I put on my game face and was ready to rock this raw show. I even cleaned up -- who am I kidding, I went all out and *polished* -- my super cool juicer, and pulled out a raw food cook book that I quickly got intimidated by and returned to its revered spot on the shelf. But you get the idea; I was pretty serious about the whole thing.
On my first day, this is what I ate.
Breakfast (after my steaming hot cup of tea):
Green juice: kale, carrots, ginger, banana, apple. Survey says: delicious & filling.
Mixed greens salad with strawberries and tangerines on top, with a side of fresh apple juice. Pretty yummy, but I don't think I ate enough.
- Cut broccoli, carrots, salad, plus a glass of water. I wasn't exactly excited about this, but it was alright. (I generally don't like eating a ton at night because my stomach is very sensitive to foods around that time; If I don't have enough time to digest, I get nightmares or cramps. On doozy nights, I get both.)
- A "cherry pie" Lara Bar. Thank goodness for Lara Bars. They're raw and they're yummy.
Overall mood for the day: Excited
The rest of the week went pretty much like that, with a couple of variations in the meals. Then on the morning of Day 5, I woke up to a surprise on my chin. One of the biggest, baddest, most evil looking pimples I have ever seen. Oh, the horror! And to top it off, I also had one of the WORST headaches I have ever known shy of a migraine.
After my medicine (that hot cup of survival tea), I called a raw foodie friend to inquire about the craziness that I had just encountered. She said, "Oh honey, you're just detoxing." Detoxing?! I couldn't believe it. I thought I was a pretty clean eater in general. I couldn't fathom that I had enough toxins in my body to warrant such a public display of truth on my face. And the monster headache wasn't lying either. I still don't know how the raw foodies feel about taking supplements or medications, but I reached for the ibuprofen bottle and didn't let go until two tablets had been swallowed.
Alright, I guess it's time for the whole explanation-for-raw-food-diet-failure part. Let's just say things spiraled downward at an accelerated rate after the sushi rolling class I attended on Day 6 ….
During the first half of the class, we learned a ton about the history of sushi: how it was actually a necessity before becoming a delicacy; all about the sushi revolution in the U.S. After some mouth-watering demonstrations by the master chef, we were asked to practice our rolling techniques by making our own rolls. Then we were supposed to sample our own rolls so we could judge them. In the end, the catalyst to my demise was nothing more or less than sushi rice.
With the gentle prodding of the master chef to "taste my creation," it was all over with one quick pinch. The chef then had us pair the sushi with our wine of choice. Oh boy. After two sips of that tasty red, the fish started to seem OK to sample because, well, it's raw too, right? Right ….
The next day I ate chicken. Cooked. Game completely over.
I must take my hat off to the raw foodies out there, but for me, lesson learned: I love my fire. I'll keep the juicing, salads, and smoothies up, but going completely raw doesn't look like it's in the cards for me anytime soon.
I understand how healthy and vibrant a lot of people who swear by the raw food diet must feel. Maybe some day when I have more time, creativity, and feel less intimidated to create amazing raw meals, I'll give it another whirl. Until then, I've got to roll.