10th and last week of this raw food diet.
A summary of this diet is provided here: 100 days raw food summary.Raw Food on a Budget Conclusions
9th December 2011, Friday
Woke up at 12 noon (had a day off work)
Breakfast (at 12 noon):
- Smoothie: 2 apples (54p), 1 tbsp raw organic chlorella powder (50p), 1 tbsp organic spirulina powder (24p), 1 teasp raw honey (42p), 2 leaves of bok choy (22p), 2 tbsp linseeds (12p).
- Lots of chaga mushroom tea (free).
- 4 dates (18p)
- Salad: 5 leaves of bok choy (55p), 1 parsnip (38p), 2 apples (54p). Sauce: 1 cup ginger (12p), 1/4 cup olive oil (13p), 1/2 lemon juice (14p), 1/4 cup sesame oil (24p), 1/4 cup barley miso paste (65p), 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar (5p), 4 dates (18p) (strong and nice, sweet and gingery salad dressing).
TOTAL COST FOR DAY 62: £5.20 ($8.11, €6.15)
10th December 2011, Saturday
Woke up at 10am
- Smoothie: 2 apples, 2 tbsp chlorella powder, 2 tbsp spirulina powder, 3 bok choy leaves, 2 figs, water.
[Later note: After breakfast I decided to quit the diet and had some vegetable soup made by my bf. Since this day I was eating partially raw, partially cooked, mostly eating salads for lunch at work and smoothies for breakfast, with some live green juices mixed in. But I have also allowed myself to have toast and rye bread, as well as some cooked carbohydrates, such as mash potato and brown pasta. I also allowed myself to indulge in some junk 'foods' which I (still) liked, including alcohol and chocolate.... It was a holiday season after all and I felt I deserved a little break.... But I elaborate on the reasons for quitting this challenge early below.]
Well, I was hoping to complete the 100-days on a raw food diet and feel amazing energy rushing through my body, have the world look more radiant and enjoy inspired and intuitive thinking. But the changes were not to be as quick and easy.
Don't get me wrong, the changes I have felt so far are quite promising (see the post on week 7), but I have decided to stop the diet early this time, for various reasons:
Firstly, I don't feel that I am doing the diet right. The main problem is that I end up not eating enough and my energy levels suffer.
Secondly, I started losing interest and started feeling a little down towards the end of the diet, more and more often. Again, I think this has to do with not eating enough and not having enough 'fuel' to run the body and the mind but also, I work full time, sometimes long hours, and while food preparation is not a problem, actually counting every bite and recording everything I eat takes quite a bit of time.... The html-formatting of the text is a lot slower than I am used to with writing essays etc., so the time spent keeping this diary is time away from relaxing and/ or preparing nice raw dishes etc. I am glad I have kept the diary for two months - it has been very useful - but I feel that I need to pause for a little - especially because it is the holiday season. I will continue the diary after the holidays but I hadn't appreciated before how much time the calculations (of money spent) would take. I think, for now, I will write a blog on my progress on raw foods but leave the detailed calculations for later, once I have become more experienced on this diet and found a balance that I know that works. At that point it might be good to record the expenditure and to compare it with this trial run.
Thirdly, I have certain health problems that have perhaps improved but not been cured on the raw food diet - at least not so far. One of these I recently self-diagnosed as 'post-nasal drip', which manifests as a slight (but annoying) cough, which I have had since then teenage years, when I started smoking (I haven't smoked since 2008, for the last three+ years). In addition, it causes constant clearing of the throat, tonsil stones and sinuses (nose, ears and neck) feeling blocked up. And apparently, this is all usually caused by an allergy.
So I feel that I need to address this issue before continuing on raw foods, because a certain food I am eating might be causing it. I have also started nasal irrigation (basically doing a neti pot -routine but with a syringe (without the needle, obviously!) instead of a neti pot. Interestingly, when I did the 7-day juice fast the cough and other symptoms went away.
[Update: I found out I had a food intolerance to carrots, using a home pulse test. But I am now suspecting that the cough, phlegm and congestion symptoms are due to eating dairy, gluten, or both. Thus the dairy and gluten free diet challenge, before continuing on the raw food track with the 2013 raw food challenge.]
Fourthly, I don't think I am disciplined enough yet to stick to the diet for longer right now and to do it in a healthy way. This is basically just the first point repeated. Not eating enough and not preparing enough foods in advance causes me to become physically tired and tired also of the salads, smoothies and cashew nuts. I have to be more disciplined. And I have to find a way to enjoy this diet more. Mostly it feels easy and it makes me feel good in many ways but after a while I feel that I need a break and to not constantly think about food.
I will definitely return to the raw food diet after the holidays but I also need some time to reflect on what I did right and what wrong, and also on how to get the discipline to succeed next time. I have written a more detailed analysis on the discipline issue here: How to Succeed on a Raw Food Diet. These pointers work for me for 30+ days and then I start losing discipline. Which brings me back to possibly the most important point on how to succeed on a raw food diet long term: transition slowly.
Fifthly, I was losing too much weight on this kind of raw food diet and I think I want to put on a couple of kilos and reflect on this (and study the topic more) before continuing.
Sixthly, I am hopelessly 'hooked' on green tea and herbal teas now but the best feelings I have experienced so far on raw foods have been when I was hot-drink and caffeine free.
I don't know if it is the same for everyone but for me it seems to make a big difference. The only time I woke up feeling fairly energetic and lively in the morning was when I stopped caffeine and hot drinks completely for two months. So next time I go raw I will need to quit caffeine and hot drinks FIRST.
Green tea - though very healthful compared to coffee or regular tea - is a stimulant and all stimulants are appetite suppressing. So part of the reason why I haven't been eating enough could have been the constant green teas - and other herbal teas, some stimulating - which I have been drinking. You can find more thoughts on this in this article: Benefits of Quitting Caffeine.
In addition, I call this diet 100% raw but I have been drinking tap water, which IS DEAD. So during the next raw food challenge I undertake I will endeavour to not only quit drinking cooked water (teas) but also to get a delivery of live spring water from Wales. I have heard some amazing things regarding live water (as well as scary thing regarding 'dead' tap water).
I have learned so much during the last two months and feel that I am a few steps closer to understanding how the raw lifestyle might work for me. I must say also, that I have had good luck in many ways in the last months and the high vibrations from the way I have been eating might have had a lot to do with it.
For the people following this trial: I hope you are not too disappointed by my decision to quit before day 100. But I keep my eyes focused on the long-term goals instead of temporary ones and I think forcing myself to continue for another month now (where I am not sure if I am doing it right) would be a mistake and a hindrance. I hope to come back with clear solutions to these problems soon. I will update the '100-day challenge' and 'raw food diet on a budget' -conclusion pages soon to further reflect on my experiences so far.
Moral of the story: t r a n s i t i o n s l o w l y !
A summary of this diet is provided here: 100 days raw food summary.
To see how my health journey unfolded from here:
My Raw Food Journey
Raw Food on a Budget Conclusions
My next raw food challenge: 2013 Raw Food Diet
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