This week of eating raw has been a week of detox for my body. I have felt pretty lethargic, my face broke out, my brain has had some major foggy moments…feels a lot like being pregnant all over again (which I am not, by the way).  So, what did I do this weekend?? I broke the diet and it all started with some amazing deep dish roasted veggie pizza from this place.  And then homemade rhubarb dessert from a dear friend.  I plan on getting back into my raw food groove for another week (maybe two) starting tomorrow morning!

I have a close friend who has walked the raw food road in the past and she has graciously given me some insight that I would like to share with you! After reading her experience, I feel like I could extend my raw food adventure another week to see if I can benefit from all the great things this eating lifestyle has to offer.  Here is Carrie’s experience…

                                                                             image cred

“It’s all Michael Pollan’s fault. He started it. 
 
In 2007, when I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma , I thought I was plodding slow and steady through a history of food.  Sounds innocent enough, right?  Instead, Pollan’s journalistic investigation into the source of our nation’s food crashed through my previously held paradigms, utterly trampling the option of ignorance.  Pollan’s extensive research on factory farmed cattle and the (over)use of corn in the US led him to pay attention to how food makes him feel, and that’s where it led me, too.

 After absorbing a handful of documentaries, presentations, books, and blog posts, I was left asking myself: what in the world am I supposed to be eating?  Chasing a toddler around all day made me desperate for energy, and when Sara at the blogs Happy Foody and Walk Slowly Live Wildly  starting evangelizing a raw vegan diet, I was smitten.  Articles I had come across described how plants that haven’t reached temperatures above about 110 degrees Fahrenheit still have all their enzymes intact.  (Wikipedia’s description of raw foodism explains the concept well.)  In essence, an apple uncooked has all the enzymes necessary for digestion.  Therefore, the body’s store of digestive enzymes doesn’t get depleted when the apple enters the body, and there is more energy left for other things — like playing with your one-and-a-half-year-old son instead of wishing for an early and long naptime.  Never one to sneeze at perfection, raw veganism seemed like the most pure diet I would ever come across.

So I jumped into raw foodism full-force in the summer of 2008.  The first week was the pits, as my body did its job in ridding me of the poisonous foodlike substances I’d been feeding it for years.  Grogginess, acne outbreaks, and headaches are often common symptoms of detoxification.  But after they were over, the results were undeniable.  I woke up in the mornings refreshed and rested on less sleep; I was able to avoid energy crashes throughout the day as I continued to eat necessary nutrients; and my complexion looked better than it had since puberty.  I got to indulge in things like raw pad thai, raw taco nut “meat,” salads, and green smoothies galore.  I felt like a regular chef in the kitchen, and everything had so much flavor!
 
The catch came on weekends, when to be socially polite, I joined in standard American fare with friends, paying dearly all day Monday as my body went through detox again.  Ugh.  It was like a roller coaster, and what eventually led me to abandon the raw vegan diet, at least in the extreme I’d been eating it.  I lost lots of weight, too, even though I hadn’t needed to.
 
When I stopped eating raw, it wasn’t because I didn’t believe in it anymore.  I do and always will.  When it’s a longterm diet commitment, it’s wise to research what few nutrients are scarce in raw diets (DHA and Vitamin B12, for instance), and find ways to supplement them.  And being unhealthily thin isn’t a necessary fate of eating raw either; healthy virgin oils like olive and coconut as well as plenty of nuts and avocados help you get those necessary fats.  Being prepared with probiotics in case you do indulge in something nutritionally destructive can help offset nasty side effects.
 
In short, eating raw gave me a very real respect for food.  Even off a high raw diet, the boost of energy a green smoothie gives me is sooomuch better than caffeine and sugar rushes.  And eating raw for a couple weeks would be the perfect detoxification diet.  So does it work?  Does it ever.  Untampered food is downright miraculous.”
 
 
 

If you would like to read more about Carrie’s raw food experience, hop on over to her blog

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About marisd

I want to love well.

One response »

  1. Liam says:

    “Make food simple and let things taste of what they are.” –Curnonsky

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