Why Are You Doing This, Jayne?
One day I was minding my own business at work when my coworker walks into my office, stands there and says, “I dare you to go raw vegan. If you do it, I’ll do it too.” I responded with a cocky and curt, “Sure, how long, 30 days? How about 108 days?” Thinking he would never agree to so long on such an extreme diet. He agreed instantly. We both looked away and were quiet, taking a moment to comprehend what we just agreed to. I was like “Hold on a minute..” and he was like “Holy shit that’s so long.” Then I realized 108 days is almost a third of a year! I won’t be drinking alcohol, which is good, but what will my boyfriend think of this? Will we still be able to go out to eat? What about our anniversary dinner at the Thai food place, I want to eat Thai food just that one day! My thoughts were racing.
So we made our parameters for the challenge:
108 Days Fully Raw Vegan
- Edamame Hummus is ok as training wheels
- Miso soup broth only is OK
- My Anniversary Thai Food Dinner is OK
- NO Tofu
- No processed foods whatsoever
- No bread
- No caffeine
- No alcohol
I was instantly excited by the idea of this diet! I had done it before in a very half-assed way when I first went vegan, but didn’t look into recipes and couldn’t keep it up. I did lose a lot of weight quickly, which was appealing!
I decided I was going to do this completely, and do this right. I have a lot of trips coming up and I want to feel amazing this summer. A drastic change will bring drastic results. I was totally excited! I decided to not even eat the warm miso broth or hummus. Fully raw with no exceptions!
I instantly looked up ‘raw foods’ on my Podcast app because I’m obsessed with podcasts. I found The Rawtarian and fell in love with this cute Canadian lady named Laura Jane. Her podcast is very clear, friendly, respectful, comprehensive and completely friendly for beginners. She has an adorable personality and the recipes sounded so insanely easy. Three or four raw ingredients in a blender and I have soup?! Even I could do that.
I have been burning toast my entire life and messing up boxed macaroni and cheese somehow for years. I found myself loving preparing this food, since it’s not really cooking! It’s embarrassing how inept I have been throughout my life in the kitchen. I basically try to hide this fact and buy prepared foods for parties. It’s terrible, you guys, I know! I was made fun of about it a few times, so I built up a mental block, it was a whole thing in my head.
The thing that appealed to me the most about this way of eating at first, was how detoxifying it would be, and that I wouldn’t have to cook. Now that I have been doing this for 12 days, the most amazing part of this experience is that I’m learning to really enjoy preparing food! I cannot believe how easy and delicious these recipes are.
I started by buying a Ninja Blender. I tried really hard not to be biased and just buy it because it was called a ninja, but it had more horsepower than the others and it has so many blades sticking out if the center axis, I’m kind of scared of it. It was $100 but it is so worth it. It crushes ice and cashews easily, so I’m very happy with it. I started by making mushroom soup. Just raw mushrooms, cashews, water and sea salt! I made that for my dinner and felt so happy about this simple, clean food!
Over the next few days I continued learning more about the benefits of raw foods, and started to really understand the powerful healing effects of raw foods. What I’ve learned is that the enzymes in living foods are still active, and help feed your immune system, giving you the best possible nutritious value. Since the food is alive, the nutrients haven’t been depleted, giving the body more energy and health benefits. I am still learning a ton. I love learning this information about how every plant benefits different parts of your body and systems, it’s becoming so obvious to me that plants in their most natural state would be the best way to consume them.
I Have So Much Energy I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands
The energy I felt surging through my body after my morning green smoothie was crazy. I felt like jumping, running! I woke at 4 in the morning about three days into this diet, feeling completely refreshed and energized, enough so to go for a run. This energy surge perplexed me. I always wake at 5:15am, like clockwork. To wake this early, and feel this wired was absolutely new!
Another interesting fact: Detox Symptoms. About two days in, I noticed I had a vague, but persistent headache. It was always there, but barely uncomfortable, just an awareness. I also noticed on the second day, my bowel movement was bright army green! I started to realize that I could actually read my excrement and see what meal had been digested. I know poop is gross, but the way our bodies work and how the food passes through fascinates me. Depending on the consistency of the movement, I knew whether or not I needed more greens, fats, or fruits. I’ve never been able to “read” my body this way, it’s been so empowering to start to learn how.
Another Digestive “D” Word: Diarrhea
I made some banana cream freezer pie that was delicious! I also made chocolate cookies. They were easy and fun, and I kept sneaking bites of pie, a couple cookies, another bite of pie. I knew I was eating too much sugar, but I was like whatever I’m raw vegan there are nutrients in these foods! WELL! Just yesterday, I woke up at 1am with cramps in my stomach. I woke to try to use the bathroom, and kept having to return, with uncomfortable diarrhea. That lasted a few hours, thankfully it was mild. I looked it up online, and diarrhea is also a normal symptom of changing your diet drastically to a more-than-usual amount of fruits and vegetables.
I drank lots of water and ate broccoli slaw with avocado and sunflower seeds, and I felt a lot better. I’m learning how to make sure I consume enough food, and what KINDS of foods I need at any given time to have a balance. When I feel like I need something heavier, I have nuts or an avocado. When I feel like I’ve overindulged, I’ll eat a huge green salad. In the mornings, I make big 32 oz green smoothies and that has me feeling amazing. I’ve fully recuperated from the bout of diarrhea and have learned a valuable lesson about over-eating sweets and skimping on greens.
I highly recommend this diet so far. I’ve lost 7 pounds in these 12 days! I think the hardest part is planning your meals in advance, and getting used to not eating the foods you’re used to eating. For me, it was hard giving up olive oil popcorn and my favorite “science chicken” (Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Orange Chicken.) I had become a junk food vegan without realizing it! It feels incredible to eat this clean. My energy is unbelievable, I feel like my body is shrinking. I feel light and my pineal gland has been throbbing. My meditations have been much more focused. I love eating this way, and right now, I feel I could do this for a long time. Which is great because I have 96 days to go!
MY BIGGEST TIPS SO FAR ARE THESE:
- If you want to try raw vegan, be normal vegan first. To try to give up meat, dairy, and bread in one fell swoop is quitting three lifelong habits, three major addictions with genuinely addictive properties. It will be way way way too hard and not fun, and won’t be sustainable. When you do it slowly and just add more raw foods, it’ll be easier to celebrate small victories and move up from there, rather than beat yourself up when you can’t stick to the extreme changes you’re asking your body and emotions to accept. Be nice to yourself. This is a HUGE change and it’s not a socially normal thing to do, so it takes tremendous internal strength. It’s hard, but like anything, you learn how to do it and it gets easier! The way you begin to feel and look makes it all worth it.
- Educate yourself. Listen to podcasts about nutrition, read books, get information from MANY different sources. Research the people giving the information, ask yourself, who is this website sponsored by? Look into it. Look at all angles. Ask questions and dig deep in the rabbit holes. There is a lot of information out there, sift through it with a mass amount of info and then use your ability to deduce and your intuition. Test the theories!
- Eat PLENTY of fruit, vegetables, GREENS and water. Do not overdo it with the desserts or your stomach might tell you it isn’t happy like mine did to me!
- Have Fun! Enjoy the energy, bring food with you everywhere, and snack all the time on fruit. Let me know how it’s going for you, if you decide to add more raw into your diet! Good Luck and have fun! Try to remember, your attitude regarding change can make it so fun. This is not a burden, it’s a joy, it’s all your choice about how you choose to feel about it. I feel that feeling this healthy is a beautiful gift and worth every effort.
This website has the best easy recipes! Laura Jane is my raw guru! therawtarian.com
This man is extremely smart and is an expert on raw foods and nutrition. So much to learn from him, I’m a bit obsessed. davidwolfe.com