I’m sitting here, enjoying a delicious bowl of HOT oatmeal. I can’t believe my 30 days raw has come to an end. I remember the feeling of beginning this new adventure, wondering how the heck I was going to survive this and what I was going to eat!! I was concerned I would feel faint or weak without eating cooked carbohydrates. I have done “low carb diets” in the past without lasting a couple of days because I couldn’t function without them. In all honesty, the last 30 days were nothing like I expected and NOTHING like a “low-carb diet”.
During the first week or so of my raw journey, it was somewhat of a challenge, but not one that I couldn’t handle. I was suffering with a pounding head and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep for the first 3 days. When I watch YouTube videos of “raw foodies”, all they talk about is the amount of energy, vitality and clarity they have. I was beginning to think that they were all nuts…or maybe I was eating too many nuts and not enough greens. Then I struggled with thinking I should eat fruit and forget about greens, or juice more, or have smoothies, or take enzymes, more probiotics…the list goes on. You hear so many opinions, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to do and who to listen to.
The most important thing I learned during my 30 days raw was to listen to my body and not always what everyone else had to say.
I’m not saying that it’s not important to take the advice of others (I definitely spent hours, and still do, listening to many people online talk about eating a plant-based diet). God made me, he made you, he made her and him too – we are all so unique that there cannot possibly be ONE WAY of eating that is right for everyone. Maybe you need to eat more nuts and seeds and I need to eat less (yes, I probably do need to lay off on the cashews a bit…). Listen to your body and see how it responds to certain food. YOU are the only one who really knows how you feel. Although I didn’t “feel great” for the first few days, I stuck to it because I knew it would get better after the detox phase. Needless to say, my headache went away after 3 days and I began to feel like a new person.
If you decide to go raw, get ready for people to think you are crazy. Also, get ready to be in awkward or uncomfortable situations (aka, trying to explain why you are going raw to most people or why you can’t eat what everyone else is eating). It is probably best to avoid social gatherings at first until you really get the swing of this lifestyle and develop the willpower to say no. I was tempted many times during my raw journey to eat the food that everyone else was eating around me, but after feeling sorry for myself while I ate my boring salad (instead of a juicy steak), I began to realize that I am POWERFUL. I saw that I was more than capable to do this, and nothing was stopping me – Yeah!!
I didn’t just develop better health over the 30 days, I developed a LOVE for myself and the food I was eating. I took joy in creating healthy meals, and I also began to appreciate everything I put in my body. I found that by going to raw food restaurants, or simply listening to raw foodies on YouTube, I was able to stay motivated and on track. If you don’t have access to a raw food restaurant, this was only the cherry on the cake for me and not really necessary. I was blessed to be able to visit Rawlicious and Live Restaurant to add a variety to my diet (with foods far too complicated for me to attempt at home). Again – not necessary, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there.
You might be wondering, “so what do you eat at home?”…
To be honest, I am a bit weird and can eat the same things over and over, especially when I find something I LOVE. Once I get into a routine, I don’t often change. I found myself eating my garden green wraps or eating an avocado with a spoon for a snack often. I just LOVE avocado and could eat 3 a day if I wanted (but I didn’t). I tried to limit myself to 1 avocado/day since I didn’t want to over-do the fats and wanted to also enjoy some nuts/seeds and salad dressings that were high in fat throughout the day as well. I became slightly addicted to cashews, and this was a bit of a problem (at least for my waist line). Yes, it is definitely possible to gain weight on a raw diet, but most people lose weight. I really didn’t care about weight gain/loss since I wanted to enjoy being raw.
For the first 2 weeks, I literally ate/drank only greens. I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone, but I was pretty determined to do a “sugar-fast”and I felt incredible when I finished. I then began to introduce coloured veggies and fruits into my raw diet on week 3. I couldn’t believe how much food I had available for me to eat! After eating only greens, a whole new WORLD of food became available to me and the variety seemed endless. I was never bored with my food, and never hungry. Most think that a raw diet means less variety, but I think this is slightly because we have too much of a variety of food available to us. Walk down the canned food aisle and you will see what I mean!
Here is what a day in the life of Raw Melanie looks like:
Fresh Juice: ex, celery, cucumber, dandelion greens, parsley, cilantro, lemon and ginger).
Breakfast: 1 banana, scoop of hemp protein, almond milk and chia seed (in the blender)
Snack: apple and/or nuts
Lunch: Huge salad with homemade dressing (olive oil, lemon, tahini & garlic)
Lunch #2: (yes I would like more than a salad for lunch most days) garden green energy wrap
Snack: fresh juice (I love carrot juice with chia seeds)
Snack: More fruit/veggies and glass of almond milk. *I also purchased raw snacks from Natures Emporium and snacked on them throughout the day often…(I love these nud food crackers)
Dinner: Big salad (or sometimes I would order Rawlicious and bring it home with me)
Snack: soaked almonds or homemade cultured almond/coconut yogurt.
**I also drank herbal tea. Even though this is not considered “raw”, I didn’t care and I enjoyed every sip!!
As you can see, I ate a lot throughout the day. I never felt hungry because I wouldn’t let myself get bored. I enjoyed everything I ate and made sure I felt satisfied. I was filled with nutrition and also filled with energy! Besides having natural energy (without a cup of coffee), I was able to think clearly. I don’t handle stress well, and while eating only raw, I felt like I could tackle the world. It was awesome!
I was also really happy with my glowing skin. I felt beautiful (inside and out) because the food was nourishing every cell in my body. I didn’t feel like wearing makeup most of the time, but after one day of wearing foundation, I woke up the next day with new zits. I wasn’t too happy about it, especially since my skin was so great before. But on the bright side, I was able to pinpoint exactly how my skin reacts to makeup without wondering if it was something I ate. I enjoy wearing makeup, but for now, I don’t wear it often anymore.
I can honestly write so much more on here about my journey, but I don’t want to bore you with too many details. All in all, I would definitely recommend this to everyone. It is empowering being able to finish 30 days of eating only raw food, and the time flies by (I didn’t want it to end). After doing this, I no longer desire to eat meat like I did before (I still haven’t had any, even on Easter when I finished my raw diet and the turkey was hot out of the oven). I’m sure I will again, but for now, I feel incredible and have transitioned to mostly vegan. I am doing fresh juice everyday still and I still feel great. I don’t have a desire to go back to my old habits. Instead of reaching for a coffee, I wanted to reach for my wheatgrass instead :). I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know that I will be eating more plant foods and as much raw as possible. I love this way of life and I am excited to try this again in the future.
Bye for now and chat soon!