So I became a raw foodist.
Well a fair-weather one anyway, for 8.5 days to be exact after New Year's.
I'm not sure if you've seen or read anything on the raw food movement but it is to crudely summarize a diet based on fruit, seeds, nuts and vegetables. It is vegan and nothing passes your lips that has been heated passed 37 degrees, the temperature at which digestive enzymes start to be destroyed.
For it is the consuming of these enzymes in abundance that raw foodists claim make the compelling difference and reaps them all the bountiful energy and vitality, clear skin, white teeth and healing of allergies and disorders they rave about.
My motivation to try it was purely cosmetic I wanted to glow plus I'd heard so many report how it cleared skin and how old scars started to heal and fade miraculously.
It was a video of a 65 year old raw food convert looking amazing that did it for me , secured further by this lady's story on how she cleared her acne.
I had been wanting to have a go myself for ages but it I a HUGE commitment and I live with a near carnivore who I can only push so far with my 'one day meat free per week' rule that leaves him salivating for his rump steak, lamb backstrap, pork chop (insert manly meat cut here) the next day.
So with said carnivore husband away for a week, a shiny new juicer from Santie to call my own, a liver that answered to the name Sheen and the beginnings of a festive paunch that threatened to obstruct view of my hot pink pedicure any day now, there had never been a better time to get down, clean and raw.
So armed with a fridge full of veggies and a fruit bowl of overflowing abundance I set about my raw journey.
I kept things fairly simple- mega green juice on rising, organic raw muesli and almond milk with berries, LSA & chia seeds for breakfast, monster everything salad for lunch and zucchini 'pasta' and raw pasta sauce for dinner and a fruit dessert with some smoothies throughout the day and fruit, crudities and nuts for snacks
Thank the raw gods for my juicer, the Breville Juice Fountain is all I can say. I couldn't have attempted such a thing without it. It is quick, powerful and as easy to clean as a quick rinse unlike many juicers I've encountered in the past.
Also this zucchini 'pasta' recipe is so tasty, nutritious and quick and something I will keep eating when looking to make something fast but not fatty boombala for myself. In fact I had it for dinner last night after an event when I came home late.
Avocados were my new best mate, we were pretty close as was. I discovered an amazing creamy avocado dressing which is basically an avocado, Himalayan salt (much better for you as is alkalising to the system) and pepper, organic raw apple cider vinegar and cold-pressed olive or flaxseed oil ( or both). Whip it all up with a ballon whisk or a fork and it will make any salad decadent, rich and creamy. Cobb salad without the blob! I've kept doing this in work with my DIY lunch salads since.
Then there was my raw cacao powder and raw coconut chocolate butter discoveries from Loving Earth. Chocccccolatttttte! (in Homer Simpson voice)
My sweet, chocolate fix but without the sugar and with added nutrients and minerals.
These two between them kept me satiated and felt like I wasn't deprived. A spoon of raw cacao powder in a smoothie is an instant chocolate milkshake and the raw cacao butter is like the richest most decadent chocolate ganache sauce you would get for dessert at a posh restaurant. It's so rich you can only have 1/2 teaspoon or so and it has a coconut oil base so it will keep you fuller for longer.
Drizzled on mango chunks or strawberries it is heaven and you are left with the feeling you have had a gooey rich dessert when you haven't really at all. It also does that magic chocolate sauce thing whereby it sets hard on ice-cream which i made with whizzed up frozen bananas and strawberries.
Serious yum goodness.I'm addicted - stuff is good!
So what benefits did I see of being a raw warrior?
- Well I lost the festive pork - the few kgs I piled in such a scarily short amount of days over the holidays were gone after my 8.5 days of raw but I hit my plateau weight which means I was getting enough calories to sustain me without going below my body's right weight.
- By evening two I could see a glow to my skin, not something I usually can notice in myself even when others comment. All raw foodists talk about this. Apparently it is because of all that living energy, enzymes, vitamins and super water you are consuming and not cooking out of the food.
- I was sceptical but low and behold there was a glow. I had not one spot pop up over the 7.5 days, naturally on day 8 a whopper festered on my cheek just in time for my husband's return but to be fair I suspect it was brewing under the surface for weeks, you know the ones.
- A girl in work did comment on how sparkly and white my eyes were and my stomach was flatty, mc flat, flat, flat
- Day 1 I had a shocker , irritable, hungry, grumpy- I suspect this was just the normal detox symptoms post Christmas excess.
- From Day 2 I was fine however I struggled to get out of bed in the morning but then had boundless energy in the day, then it would trough and I would need a late afternoon nap, then I would be all energizer bunny again and struggle to get to sleepy enough to go to bed early. I thought that cycle of highs and lows was interesting,
- On the eight day we went for dinner and I wanted nothing but salad and was even perplexed by the roast sweet potato in the salad and the following evening I really felt adverse to the thought of eating meat and hesitated over my prawn salad thinking is this the point I turn vegetarian in my life? Three prawns sucked dry later I found my mojo again but my mind took me there for that little moment.
- Hunger would also creep up quickly and with a bang so I needed to be poised and ready with snacks.
- I did find I got into a rhythm and enjoyed the regular eating pattern BUT imagine I would get bored over a longer period.
Could I sustain for longer than 8.5 days? I don't think so to be honest it's a lot of hard work and planning and that was with me at home on holidays, a working week would be really hard plus I would run out of dinner ideas.
As fate would have it just as I finished the fabulous and inspiring people over at Echolife (great natural online store with FREE shipping, love that) were doing a 21 day greensmoothie challenge
It was the perfect way to keep my green smoothie momentum going and find inspiration and motivation while I did it. You can follow on twitter #greensmoothie.
Some of what I've been guzzling and yes I've been enjoying the amateur food-styling.
I have to say I'm loving it - it feels great , I do have lots of energy and my skin is being well behaved. I'm all for it - go the green smoothie movement. I swear you can whack a whole bunch of spinach in amongst bananas or apples and it will go unnoticed. Try it!
Will I keep it up?
To be honest I default back to my 80:20 rule. I think everything in moderation.
Yes I will try to green smoothie it a day and my breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri are always raw but at the weekend I do love my organic sourdough bread form our local bakery or meals out however if you approach with the intent of having some raw fresh fruit/veg component with every meal you can't go too far wrong.
Have you ever tried to go raw?
Would you consider it as a short term detox?
Are you partial to a green smoothie?