My Raw Adventure!

Okay, I have received a lot of comments & emails asking me more about my adventures into the world of raw veganism! I wish I had started a “raw journal” like Steve Pavlina did — I decided not to because I’m not eating 100% raw, so it didn’t seem worthwhile. But the changes in my body & attitude have been really pronounced, so I’m kind of kicking myself over that!

Here is an average day of food:

Breakfast: Smoothie — typically chocolate protein powder, soy milk, frozen mixed berries, dark chocolate, ground linseeds & spinach. The best thing is that you can’t taste the spinach, it just makes it green & gives you a major energy boost! But I change my smoothies around a bit, sometimes I will squirt some honey in there or use soy ice-cream or something too.

Lunch: Guacamole (avocado, lime, onion, garlic, tomato, salt, pepper, chilli powder) & corn chips, or avocado & hummus on toast, or a whole lot of dark chocolate. Eeee!

Dinner: Salad. My salads aren’t very adventurous yet, mostly lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, croutons & balsamic vinegar, but I’ll get there!

After-dinner snack: Um… dark chocolate? Or cupcakes?!

I know that sounds kind of boring, but actually, I’m really enjoying it. Everything I eat tastes so good, it’s so fresh & makes me feel amazing. I would like a little bit more variety in terms of getting a bit of different crunch, etc., but I kind of need to get my hands on a raw (un)cookbook, & some crazy ingredients which are proving hard to find…

I have been detoxing since I started, & I’ve had lots of weird symptoms. Headaches at night (not drinking enough water during the day, naughty — when they occur I slug back about a litre of water & they disappear), tiredness (more naps during the day than usual, though that seems to have subsided now), constant hunger (which I am now learning is either not actual hunger or just because I need more fibre/fat in my diet), restlessness (I think from getting so much energy from my food). I’ve also noticed that when I go to bed, I fall asleep in seconds — this is wonderful because it usually takes at least five minutes for my mind to settle down & allow me to sleep. I also feel that the sleep I’m getting is very deep & very serene, & I wake up feeling pretty good. I have heard a lot about people eating raw who require a couple less hours of sleep than they used to, which I am totally looking forward to!

In general, things have been very mercurial. Moods are up & down, so is energy, though I have had some amazing moments (funnily enough, mostly on the days where I eat all raw) where I am TOTALLY blissed out, for hours at a time. It is absolutely incredible, indescribable. I have had times where I am basically a bundle of energy — in fact, I had so much energy the other day that I went & did a second work-out, just to burn it off. That has never ever happened before. Also, the more raw food I eat, the clearer my skin gets. I’m noticing that the things that seem like they might turn into spots have just been disappearing. Très cool!

My boyfriend & I have both noticed that our bodies are looking more toned & defined, & we’re not doing any extra exercise. We seem to be dropping that extra fat that covers up our muscles, which is SO AWESOME! It is more pronounced on him than it is on me, because he is eating way more raw food than I am. I am not doing this to lose weight, but I am all for looking toned-up!

Really, when you look at it logically, it makes sense. How could it possibly be bad for your body to subsist on lots of fresh, healthy produce from the earth?

At the moment we need to go food shopping. We usually go to Queen Victoria Market for fruit & vegetables, it’s the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere & really close to our house! Because we haven’t had a lot here, we’ve been going out & getting food elsewhere. I have also been having insane carb cravings recently. Yesterday & the day before I ate almost all cooked stuff (pasta, pizza, baked beans on toast, porridge) & it made me feel BAD. It was really unusual — usually I am one of those people who is cold all the time, but I think eating raw has warmed me up. All the cooked meals made me sweat; I actually had to stop eating to take a breath, as if I was eating a curry. It was really hard work to eat something that was so warm, & it also made me grouchy & sleepy. It also made my stomach hurt, & it made weird gurgling noises which are absent when I’ve been eating all raw.

This morning my boyfriend said I looked like I had been sweating all through the night, which I never usually do. On top of this, I had terrible dreams & woke up with a sore throat & aching body. Weird!

I am getting really sick of soy. I am actually starting to loathe the flavour of it, which is why I have stopped using soy ice-cream in my smoothies. It just tastes nasty. It’s crazy, I don’t know why that’s happening, but I guess I am going to have to start using rice milk (or something?) in my smoothies instead.

When I first went vegan (years ago) & told my parents, they laughed at me! They said, between hilarious gasps, “But you… (guffaw) don’t like… (wheeze) vegetables! (titter)” They thought they were so funny. HA! Anyway, they were right — when I first went vegan, I didn’t like vegetables. But I learned to appreciate them, & now I enjoy them. My aims with raw are to start liking fruit & working more nuts into my diet. I think the main reason I don’t like fruit is because it’s so messy, all those juices, argh! I am too much of a princess for my own good! I want to up my rawness too — the more raw I eat, the better I feel, so it makes sense to do it as much as I can.

I also found some sprouted bread in the supermarket, which states on the package that is “slowly & gently” baked, so I think we’ll buy that if ever we feel we need some bread yumminess.

I had a girl write to me recently & ask what I was doing when I went out to eat at restaurants. We haven’t done a lot of that yet, since we are doing our best to prepare everything here ourselves, but I think basically if I was picking off a menu, raw food would be my first choice, then vegan food, then vegetarian food, & if not that, then I’d just eat whatever was on offer. I don’t think being militant about it is particularly useful, & the last time I was vegan, there were about 2 places in Auckland that I could go to eat — quelle drag.

Most of the raw foodists that I’ve spoken to seem to believe that going raw isn’t about being hardcore & mental about it, but just doing the best you can every day. If you slip up & eat a hot dog or feel like you’re craving a steak, then it’s no big deal. Every day is a new day, & there’s no sense in beating yourself up over it. I love this approach. It removes that whole “being set up to fail” thing. I tend to think that the reality of this society is that it’s almost impossible to eat raw 100% of the time, unless you just stay in your house or are super-organised. I am not really interested in structuring my life around what I eat, so I choose to be more lenient & forgiving of myself.

So, I guess that’s where I’m at right now. I hope you found it interesting. Do you have any questions for me? Also, do you want me to start giving weekly updates on my rawness? I could start keeping a food journal if you’re interested… ?

Extra For Experts:
Give It To Me Raw is an awesome community which I’m finding super-helpful
“I’m Still Hungry” on the Give It To Me Raw forums.
Getting Raw: Ten Steps To The Raw Food Lifestyle
Authors@Google: Matt Amsden & David Wolfe — I find David Wolfe mad creepy but he is kind of an interesting speaker.