Raw Food Challenge

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25-day raw food challenge continues...

Day 17 - Raw Food Challenge

blueberries, raw food

Tuesday, 20th Jan 2015

Woke up at 11am. No more pain. I seem to need a lot more sleep when I have my menstrual period. I also still feel very dehydrated and was at night as well. Had to get up a couple of times to drink water.

Breakfast: Oat groats, two teasp maple syrup (a treat), almond milk (homemade), raisins, half an apple grated, cinnamon.

4.15pm: angelica tea. Still slight discomfort in my belly but feel quite ok.

Snacked on cashew nuts, prunes rolled in licorice powder, and half an apple sliced with raw almond butter. Spirulina and grapefruit smoothie. Grapefruit tasted very sweet and nice!

5.20pm: Suddenly I started feeling very exhausted. Spiritually, psychologically and physically exhausted. I'm not sure why but I will put it down to the menses. When I feel exhausted, I feel like my eyesight gets worse and my eyes get watery and red as well. All quite typical symptoms of tiredness I guess.

5.40pm: Salad: spinach, fresh coriander, ramiro red pepper, avocado, pinenut and raisin pickle, garlic olive oil, salt.

8pm: Feel a bit better. Still tired though. Some head tension and throatache. This is normal for me during menses - my immune system gets weaker and often I often get symptoms of a cold.

Snacking on almonds, aronia berries, coconut flakes, one fig, one prune, cashew nuts, star anise tea.

Went to bed at 1.30pm.

Day 18 - Raw Food Challenge

Wednesday, 21st Jan 2015

9.30am: Woke up.

Breakfast: Green juice (one pint) green cabbage, cucumber, broccoli stalks, coriander, pink grapefruit, celery, ginger.

Took a cold shower.

Lunch: Avocado and cabbage salad with garlic oil, salt, pinenuts, raisins pickle, some of the coconut vinegar pickle water. Red chilli, ramiro pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, nama shouy soya sauce (raw), cashew nuts, and one prune.

6pm: Suddenly I started getting pain in my belly (menstrual pain) and it gradually got worse. I also had nausea and diarrhea. After a couple of hours this subsided as I lay down horizontally by the warm radiator.

The menstrual period on this raw food challenge is different from usual because the pain is less but it comes and goes. Also, I never normally get spotting a few days before the menses start. In any case, I got away with much less pain and less bloatedness than usual. Less cravings as well. (Read more about my longer-term mission to eliminate my menstrual cramps here: Hormone Diet.)

7pm: Snacking on blueberries.

7.30pm: One apple with raw almond butter, prunes rolled in licorice (I love these).

7.50pm: I feel really tired. Maybe I'm gonna have to have a very early night tonight.

8.20pm: Feeling very tired and out of energy. I'm feeling quite cold even though it's 22 degrees Celsius indoors and I'm wearing lots of warm clothes. My belly feels funny on and off and at points I feel a bit like a cold coming on. Drank a pint of water hoping that it would help. This morning I felt normal though, really good, upbeat as well.

Ate a few nuts and a prune in the evening. Freshly-squeezed juice of one orange.

Went to bed at 00.30pm. No supplements today.

Day 19 - Raw Food Challenge

Thursday, 22nd Jan 2015

Woke up at 11.30am - slept 11 hours! I feel worn out from sleeping too much. My body seems to need a lot of rest during this menstrual period.

Breakfast: Lots of water and raw oat porridge: with almond milk, 1 teasp lucuma powder, a few raisins, cinnamon, vanilla extract drops, a few coconut flakes.
Star anise tea.
Supplements: B12, iron, limcomin, paramin.

Strangely, I still have a little bit blocked nose today and I had to blow my nose this morning. Maybe it's the electric heaters in the apartment that cause a stuffy nose.

These days (last night) my usual worries have gotten a grip of me again. I was hoping that those would go away during this raw food challenge because I remember that my mind felt quite upbeat, balanced and good previously when I was on raw foods. But maybe it's that during the menses, while my body is weaker, my mind is weaker too.

I have a slight headache and I don't feel any better than usual today. I think I have to exercise and get my body moving more to get the full benefits of raw foods.

2pm: Went for a 20min run - it felt maybe a little bit harder to run than usual, but not as bad as last time. It feels cold outside, 5 degrees Celsius and half cloudy. Still feel quite tired after running, though, like I need a nap again!

While running my chest felt 'tight', like I couldn't fill my lungs properly.

My nose is slowly starting to clear, I blew a lump of snot out yesterday. Sounds disgusting but I have to note it down since this is a clear sign of mucus starting to clear from my body. Note that when you have mucus it is not only in your throat and nose - it is likely to be in your brain, around your inner organs, and everywhere in your digestive system too! So it is good to get it out.

[Later note: Seems like the running helped to move mucus and congestion.]

2.30pm: Drank 1tbsp spirulina blended with pink grapefruit juice and water. I use citrus to cover up the taste of spirulina and to make sure to mix it in a blender so that the spirulina doesn't lump up like it tends to do... and to reduce the gooeyness.

(I ran out of water filters temporarily and have been drinking unfiltered tap water for a few days.)

During this menstrual period I haven't had many cravings, which is unusual. I only had a craving for fat, which I could satisfy with avocado and nuts, but I didn't crave for junk foods like pastries and cookies like I normally would.

4.10pm: Some headache starting because I haven't been doing yoga and/or stretching my neck, back and shoulders. Still feel tired. No belly ache today. Quite strong fat cravings - this seems to be typical for me during menses.

Ate an avocado (from Tesco's) and if I scrape some avocado-flesh off close to the skin it tastes metallic. Otherwise it's ok. Had a handful of cashew nuts too. First I thought I was craving fat and then fruit juice. So I had the juice of one orange too and feel a bit more balanced now.

Did a little bit of stretching, yoga and bongers.

Today I feel a bit like stopping this raw food challenge again. I don't doubt the benefits of the raw food diet, as I know by now from experience that it can definitely do a lot of good.

My face is starting to look quite good today, much less puffy.
But I hate being constantly tired; and if being less tired means I have to detoxify slower, I think that would be the right thing to do at this point in my life. I have been struggling with low energy for so many years now.

I also keep wondering whether it would be necessary to eat some meat for better energy - not only for protein but other nutrients too, like zinc and iron. I haven't had any meat again for about half a year and have absolutely no cravings for it - I'm just trying to find a way of eating that gives me the best health benefits.

But anyway, I am not giving up this raw food challenge on an impulse this time. Just have to carry on and hope that I feel better tomorrow.

In summary: I think this tiredness is either detox or the lack of nutrients - but I have been eating very nutrient-rich so if anything it's a specific nutrient that I'm missing.

5pm: Drinking fo-ti and ginseng tea.
Took supplements: Limcomin, paramin, vitamin E.
I have a hot water bottle on my shoulder to help with the headache.

I am now wondering whether I get all the different amino acids so will go and buy Bragg's liquid amino acids tomorrow (it can be used as a soya sauce substitute).

The tiredness I feel today is not the kind that would go away with sugary fruit or going for a walk outside in the cold. My body feels worn out and needs a rest.

The hot water bottle does help my neck, though, and my headache.

I ended up having to take a nap until 6.45pm. Didn't sleep but just felt worn out.

Ate lots of fresh blueberries.

7pm: I feel sorry for myself today, so worn out. The nap helped a bit but now I feel like I have a cold coming. Drinking lots of water.

I'm starting to think that maybe the raw food diet is not that good for me, although I may be over-dramatizing what is really detox. I find it difficult to understand why I couldn't make this raw food challenge work because 1) Raw foods seem to be able to drastically reduce menstrual cramp -related pain in a short time and 2) I look a lot better on raw foods.

I researched nutrients that are typically missing on a vegan diet and came up with: B12, calcium (controversial), iron, zinc, proteins, omega3s (EFAs). Additionally there may be problems with getting too much of certain nutrients like copper.

I keep feeling cold.

I think from tomorrow I should try to eat low fat, only a handful of nuts per day or one avocado, and a little oil. I also think that this will be very difficult, however, since I can't eat too much fruit for calories. I will try, though, since there is some indication during this diet that I may be feeling more tired after eating a lot of fat.

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