Health,  raw food

Conclusion of Raw Food Challenge

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Day 23

Breakfast: 7 bananas, 6 strawberries smoothie

Lunch: 8 bananas, 6 strawberries

Snack: 10 dates

Dinner: 3 zucchini squash (noodles/sauce, 1 package sun dried tomatoes, 3 carrots, 1/2 head of romaine, 10 pine nuts

  • Total Calories: 2,200
  • Ratio: 88:6:6
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Exercise: 20 minute walk. 100 squats

Day 24

Breakfast: 35 honey dates (700 calories)

Lunch: Coconut curry with tofu and rice. 1 vegan spring roll. (from a restaurant, guessed calories)

Dinner: Salad with tahini and lemon dressing

  • Total: 1895 calories
  • Ratio: 70:22:8
  • Sleep: 8 hours
  • Exercise: some arm weight and 50 squats

Day 25

Breakfast: 16oz honey dates. 1279 calories

Lunch: Restaurant salad: lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, corn.

Dinner: Huge salad, tahini dressing, and two pieces of falafel

  • Total: 2,400
  • Ratio: 81:14:5
  • Sleep: 8 hours
  • Exercise: None

Day 26

Breakfast: 7 banana smoothie. 850 calories

Lunch: 10 banana, 5 strawberry smoothie. 1260 calories

Dinner: 10 honey dates (200 calories). Followed by huge mega salad with some sunflower seeds, romaine, carrots, cucumber, dill, raddichio, cabbage, endive, onions, apples, celery and green pepper

  • Total: 2,750
  • Ratio: 87:7:6
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Exercise: 100 squats

Day 27

Breakfast- 7 bananas. 750 calories

Lunch- 14oz honey dates. 1100 calories

Dinner- 3 portobello mushroom “burgers”. Alfredo pasta- 3 zucchini, 1 serving pine nuts, etc.

  • Total: 2,650
  • Ratio: 85:9:6
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Exercise: none

Day 28

Breakfast: 8 bananas, 1c strawberries smoothie

Lunch: 8 bananas, 1c strawberries smoothie

Dinner: 14oz honey dates. Zucchini noodles- 4 zucchini, 2tbs pine nuts, garlic, lemon

  • Total: 3200 calories
  • Ratio: 88 carb:8 fat:5 protein
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Exercise: 100 squats

Observations

Detox

I didn’t go through any severe detox during this process, because I was already high raw before this challenge and because I decided to simply decrease my caffeine intake to one cup a day, rather than eliminate it. The major changes for me were eating raw dinners and all raw on the weekends, except for my two cooked meals a week. Before this challenge, I ate a raw breakfast and lunch every weekday, and cooked meals for most other meals.

There are a few things I experienced that I think were linked to detox:

  1. Severe stomach pain (in the beginning)
  2. Constipation (in the beginning)
  3. Hard time sleeping
  4. Very emotional the first two weeks
  5. After cooked meals – feeling extremely gassy and constipated for a day or so

Benefits

There are many benefits raw foodists claim you will experience on a high carb, low fat raw vegan lifestyle. I experienced some of these benefits in the last two weeks of my challenge:

  1. Clearer skin: I have been on three prescriptions for severe acne for the last year. I decided to stop taking the most potent medication, the 2x/day pill, but still use the two topical creams. The pills were giving me headaches, so I am glad to be off of them, and my dermatologist was impressed with the progress I made while off the medication. I have received compliments regarding my skin a few times a week.
  2. Better elimination: While I have a way to go, I have made huge progress at eliminating food more efficiently. In July 2012, I randomly developed extremely severe IBS, which involved periodic constipation and inexplicable severe stomach pain. I stopped experiencing stomach pain after one week on this challenge, and I feel that my body is processing food much better. I still have some healing to do (more on that later in this post).
  3. Better sleep: I have been so busy that I haven’t been sleeping much, but in the last week I’ve noticed that I am sleeping much better/soundly. I wake up regularly once a night, but am able to fall asleep more quickly.
  4. Self esteem: I am really proud of myself for not only sticking with this challenge, but doing it within the guidelines I created for myself. I didn’t do it perfectly, but I did it with integrity and despite the challenges it posed logistically.
  5. Weight: This is a minor benefit, but I am down 2lbs since starting on September 16th. Keep in mind, I was able to lose weight while eating 2400-3200 calories a day. My exercise has been minimal: biking 2x a week (or less) and doing squats every other day.

Challenges

This challenge came with several, well…challenges.

  1. Eating out. This was by far the biggest challenge. My boyfriend and I were eating out a lot before this little experiment, especially on the weekends. He has been very accommodating and flexible, but it has been frustrating at times to decide what we will do for meals. In an attempt to compromise, I ate a lot of salad for lunch on the weekends because that was what was available at a restaurant. Salad for lunch, as opposed to high carb meals, disrupted my happy digestion and forced me to start over every Monday.
  2. Eating enough. This was a bigger challenge than I thought. While I still feel uncomfortable eating as many as 3200 calories a day, I find that I am just THAT hungry. I have been to the store a lot these last four weeks. I ordered some honey dates online, and this has helped a lot the last week. It is my delicious standby when I feel too hungry to just eat salad for dinner, or when I know I need more calories before, during or after a bike ride. Dates provide quick, satisfying calories, even though they are not as hydrating as other fruits.

Now what?

My plan is to still eat all raw some days, but introduce some low fat, high carb, cooked meals. I will continue avoiding meat and dairy, and only eat fish products about once a week (or less).

I finished my raw challenge a couple weeks ago, so I already have a couple weeks of food diaries for the new eating plan. I’ll post those in a couple days to give you an idea on where I’m at.

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Comments or questions?