30 Days of Raw

May 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm 9 comments

Raw Veganism, a growing trend in America, has been cited as a diet of numerous health benefits: improved digestion, energy, weight loss, mental clarity, and stronger immunity overall are just a fraction of the side-effects flaunted by most raw vegans. Hoping to experience this level of health, the kind where they claim you only spend 5 hours a night on sleep, I decided to try it for thirty days. Jesus. Fucking. God.

First of all, raw veganism is HARD. Veganism means the exclusion of fish, meat, chicken, cheese, eggs, and all other animal products from ones diet. Some of them won’t even eat honey, a fight that rages on between the different sects to this day. To be raw, on top of all this, means to not consume foods that have been heated past 105 degrees farenheit. That means no boiling, baking, frying, sauteeing, fricaseeing, whatever. The only kind of “cooking” allowed (if you can call it that), is the process of dehydrating food. This consists of placing the food on dehydrator sheets inside of a sort of oven, where warm air filters over the trays at 105 degrees, drying the food. This way, the beneficial enzymes remain in tact. Despite beer and wine being raw, it is generally frowned upon due to the harmful effects of alcohol. Most fermentations like kimchee and pickles are more common. Things like bread, obviously, are banned. 

Yikes. With so many things gone, I had to adjust my eating radically. The diet itself wasn’t exactly overwhelming, it was just a matter of changing  my mindset. Eating things like avocados, bananas, nuts, oranges, and olives ad nauseum helped me combat my sugar and fat cravings. Other meals were supplemented with a ton of salad greens, fruit, and leafy vegetables. Smoothies were like candy, and I had at least one a day. Sprouted grains like chickpeas and lentils came in handy when I wanted a crunch, too. 

However, I found myself grazing the entire time, and always having food on hand since I never felt fully satisfied. That being said, I was eating a lot less crap, and never feeling heavy or too full. With all the fiber I was eating, I was literally emptying my system every day. I have never felt so empty and light in all of my life. My eyes began to clear up, getting whiter and whiter. So did my skin. My tongue, I noticed, was now bright pink. It was weird, because I have never eaten so much food in my life. My jaw was literally exhausted from so much work!

This would all sound great except for the fact that I had no energy whatsoever. I would barely make it past 9pm, and for some reason my lids felt heavy as soon as the sun began to set. I found myself waking up at 6, sometimes 5:30 am, only to go to sleep at the same time as the nearest geriatric home. Despite this healthier, more earth-friendly rhythm, I just couldn’t seem to adjust to my schedule and get these so-called 5-hour miracle breaks. It was frustrating, especially when hanging with friends.

After about four weeks, I had already lost about 10 pounds. It sounds insane, but the truth is that I was also losing some much-needed muscle tissue, too. My clothes were hanging off of me, and I could barely stay awake to enjoy the effects of a slimmer bod. Some people are probably thinking, “But isn’t this what you wanted, Olivia?!” Yes, of course, being slimmer rocked. But it wasn’t the nice skinny. I had no ass whatsoever, and I began feeling like a little boy. What can I say? I wasn’t ready for life without my jelly.

By the 26th day, I felt like I was going to throw up. I felt so empty and sick of eating raw, cold things all the time. I had been warned of how many raw vegans go through “the change”, when their body breaks into a cold sweat as they finally get rid of all the toxins in one last overhaul of cooked food remnants. I knew this must have been happening to me, but… I didn’t want it.

I finally succumbed, eating a fried egg and feeling much better. I don’t doubt that this diet works, but for me it just didn’t cut it. After finishing the 26th day in April, I’ve eaten a lot more vegetable since then. I’ve also stopped eating meat, just because it started to gross me out after eating unrefined foods. It’s a good diet if you want to detox, but the pros and cons of this life-style change just didn’t add up for me.

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Entry filed under: Fucking Crazy, Olivia.

field trip to the aftermath of obliteration of eternity. Diversions

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. neekaps  |  May 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    if I doesn’t suit you it doesn’t suit you.

    Reply
  • 2. tolduso  |  May 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    HI,
    I tried that very, very briefly. I can’t do Vegan, as I need meat!

    However, I have entered a new endeavor (as I’m sick of being heavy) After 2 kids and aging, I am just packing the pounds on right and left.

    I met a great gal a few weeks ago at a local YMCA health event. She is a Health Coach and I had to inquire what that was, and she was so full of life. I had to try the program

    I’ve been blogging about it since I’ve begun my weight loss project. I want my readers to see if the program really works. It’s a 5 & 1 program. 5 soy based supplement meals and 1 lean and green.

    The products taste fine. Some are good and others are okay. My first week, I lost 5.5lbs and I’m in the middle of my second week and I’m now down 7.2 lbs. My next blog isn’t due until Monday. I’m curious if I’ll hit the 10lb mark!

    Once the weight loss goal has been met, the Healh Coach assists you in removing 1 supplement meal at a time, and replacing it with proper real food. (Essentially teaching you the proper protein/fuit/veggie/fat ratios to keep you satisfied so you can maintain your weight.) They don’t expect you to be on supplement meals forever…and I’ve got ENERGY!

    I even went to the gym the last 2 days, and I haven’t been in a year!

    If you’d like to follow my journey, I’m posting weight, measurements, pictures, and my opinion. (good or bad)

    http://www.tolduso.wordpress.com

    Sandi Ormsby

    Reply
  • 3. seph  |  May 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

    I try to stick mainly to unrefined/unprocessed foods as well. Only I eat a LOT of (unprocessed) meat as well – it’s like 1/3 of my diet. The health benefits are just unbelievable = weight loss, strong immune system, energy, everything.

    One of the weirdest problems I’ve had is dehydration – which I finally figured out was due to lack of salt (most people these days get their salt from processed foods). I have to put salt on EVERYTHING now just to make up for the loss 🙂

    Reply
  • 4. parkrangerolivia  |  May 22, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Seph, what do you mean by unrefined meat? ….do you mean RAW? otherwise if it’s cooked, i think that makes it refined, right?

    fact: when i was little, i used to eat salt packets plain. now i just pour them into everything… i am also the thirstiest person i know.

    Reply
  • 5. Betty  |  May 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I’m guessing unprocessed= not hot dogs or lunch meat but, like, steaks.

    How many calories a day were you eating? It seems like it’d be really hard to get enough, hence the lack of energy.

    Reply
    • 6. seph  |  June 6, 2009 at 6:01 am

      Heh, sorry for replying so late on this.

      Yeah, I meant unprocessed meats, which I usually can’t eat anyway because of gluten. Also, I just don’t like eating meat that’s been liquid at one point. Ew.

      Betty, I don’t count calories, but it’s not hard to keep up the right amount if you include nuts, dark chocolate and alcohol like I do (um, I’m not saying that’s healthy, but the diet does allow me to eat lots of dark chocolate every day. I love chocolate!). I used to have trouble getting enough, but that’s another story.

      Olivia, I got advised to eat a lot of pickled foods to keep the salt intake up, as well as daily Berocca. That helps with the thirst 🙂

      Reply
  • 7. alisaurus  |  May 24, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    kudos on lasting 26 days on this. i wouldn’t make it though day 1. i don’t want to live in a world without dairy and shake shack!! and i think fried eggs might be one of my favorite foods.

    Reply
  • 8. parkrangerolivia  |  May 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    haha thanks alison. fried eggs are the best (especially with ketchup…)

    betty- as for the calories question, this is the part that confused me the most. i must have been eating at least 3,000 a day (eating multiple avocados, bananas, and nut butters add up) but they seemed to just pass through like water. some might argue that the high-fat diet is what made me crash, but I never had this problem with milkshakes or unhealthy candy bars!

    Reply
  • 9. A Bailes  |  May 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Yo, guess who has a blog now? Agnes.

    http://agnieszkabulanda.blogspot.com/

    Reply

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