I am now starting my preparation for the 2013 High Raw Diet! I am setting the challenge quite high this time, as I have decided to also give up all tea completely during this diet, with the exception of certain medicinal teas that I make myself of real ingredients, such as chaga mushroom tea, liquorice tea and reishi mushroom tea.
I am already caffeine free since about three months ago and now I will steer clear of teabags, hot drinks in general and also all dairy, gluten and processed foods, whether raw or not. So I will not be having raw snack bars, as I think they are difficult to digest. I will also stay away from all rancid oils, i.e. vegetable oils that are not stored in dark bottles.
I will, however, only aim at 80% raw this time for reasons explained here: 100% Raw or High Raw Diet? I will not put a day limit this time but just see how I feel and how the experiment goes. I am hoping that this diet will work so well that I can make it a permanent lifestyle change but the reality will most likely be that I encounter some challenges, as I did last time, and I will decide to come off the diet to allow me to take a break and make some adjustments. I will endeavour to stick to this diet plan at least well into the spring and throughout my two months off work.
I will drink live spring water as much as possible, although will most likely be forced to drink tap water as well from time to time, especially at work. In terms of work it will be quite challenging times because I am working on a competition, which will probably require quite a bit of overtime, or perhaps even weekend work. But the high raw diet will hopefully keep my energies up and help me concentrate better - although the opposite might happen and I might need more sleep because of the detoxification. I will try to sleep as much as my body feels it needs to, even if it means sometimes going to bed at 9pm.
To reduce the detox symptoms and to help my liver cleanse I will take home enemas: both water and coffee enemas.
I will be roughly 80% raw during this 2013 raw food diet. I will allow myself a little bit of cooked complex carbohydrates either at lunch time or at dinner but not at both. Examples of complex carbs are: yams, sweet potatoes, quinoa, millet, amaranth, black and red rice. I will not eat white potatoes, white rice, pasta, couscous, etc. because they are simple carbs, which are very fattening and harmful for the digestive system.
I will also take supplements which are not raw. I will allow myself to drink pasteurized fruit/ vegetable juices and smoothies and may do another juice fast during this trial. Or I may choose to start juice fasting one day per week - I will see how it goes. I will may also include some non-raw comfort foods, which are nevertheless quite healthy, such as hummus, at least in the beginning of the diet.
I will take a cheat day once a week during the 2013 raw food diet, which means that I'm allowed to eat anything, including drinking alcohol. I will not drink any alcohol, raw or not during the rest of the days. In the long term I am hoping to give up alcohol altogether, however, because I believe and feel that it puts my mind and body into a lower vibration level.
In addition, I will have a new 'rule' - different from my previous trials - that if I decide to meet up with people for lunch or a dinner party, etc., I will allow myself to eat whatever is on the menu. This way I don't have to bring up the topic of raw food with everyone and I can appreciate foods that other people cook for me. On my next trip to Finland, however, I will try to stick to this diet plan, allowing only one cheat day per week, if at all possible.
I will be vegan, apart from eating honey, bee pollen and animal glandular supplements. I may eat some raw organic eggs if I feel like I need to for some reason, but probably not. I will not eat any dairy or gluten, not even raw cheese, except on cheat days. I have discussed the benefits of being dairy free and the benefits of being gluten free elsewhere.
I had originally put this high raw diet on hold, until I dealt with certain health challenges that were recently revealed in my live blood analysis and hair mineral analysis. I generally think that there are many underlying health issues that are worth overcoming before starting a longer-term raw food diet. A short-term raw food diet, by contrast, is usually fine as a cleansing or weight-loss tool.
I was advised by both of the above naturopaths not to start a raw food diet right now. The reasons had to do with my weak digestive system and the fact that they thought I needed protein, in the form of meat. Neither of them recommended a raw food diet in the long term.
This confused me for a while, especially since the conditions they found I had underlying seemed quite substantial. I got a little scared, I guess, and forgot to enjoy this health process and trust my intuition. I've changed my mind now, however, as I have done my own research on many of the topics the two naturopaths reported. You can read more about these conditions at the reports linked to above, and I will also talk about some aspects in the text below. I guess the main challenges I am facing right now - and feel that I can sufficiently tackle while on a raw food diet - are 1) adrenal insufficiency, 2) sluggish thyroid, 3) weak digestive system, 4) heart burn, which causes my cough (diagnosed by an allopathic doctor), 5) weak liver, 6) protein, zinc and omega 3 deficiency, 7) aluminium toxicity.
Please note, however, that none of these problems are serious enough to be picked up in normal lab tests by normal doctors. I have been recently tested and there was nothing wrong. But the naturopaths look for imbalances in the system, which are not yet outright diseases.
By the way, my general report on the raw food diet and its benefits is here:
Raw Food Diet.
Here are the different cleanses/ experiments I have performed in preparation for this diet:
- 21 Day Juice Fast
- Food Intolerance Test
- Live Blood Analysis
- Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
- Dairy and Gluten Free Diet
I have just completed a dairy and gluten free diet, where I found out that either both or one of these caused mucous build-up and digestive problems in my system. I will thus continue to be gluten and dairy free on this diet.
The 2013 Raw Food Diet will have a different emphasis from the previous 100-day raw food trial, which I ended early (at day 62) for seven reasons:
The emphasis will be on:
I will also keep diary notes especially about the following topics [Later note: This was the intention - and a good one - but I found out that in reality I didn't have time to write about these topics...]
Follow the link to read my article where I reason why it is better to be high raw instead of 100% raw.
Compared to my previous experiments, I have also realised that I need to enjoy the raw foods I make more because it does make a difference to your moods. I think enjoying the food you eat makes a difference to the chemicals and hormones in your brain. Previously I made some easy and extremely tasty raw food dishes but not often enough.
To achieve this I need to spend more time in the kitchen making recipes, instead of just eating salads and smoothies constantly. I also need to try to manage my finances and do my weekly shopping so that my cupboards are always full of food to eat. I will endeavour to order food in bulk off the internet, instead of shopping at Wholefoods, to save money. Below is a list of the foods and ingredients I will try to always have available...
The problem with raw foods is that it is best to eat most recipes soon after making, as the flavours will soon deteriorate. That is why it is critically important to organise oneself and think about the daily meals well in advance. I hope to get into a habit of using the dehydrator almost on a daily basis during this 2013 raw food diet. For best results I should also drink 1-2 bunches of greens as juice per day but sometimes I get a little bored of green juices so will just see how this goes first.
I discuss how to prepare for a raw food diet more here:
"How to Succeed on a Raw Food Diet"
High energy has been a little elusive goal so far on my raw food diet experiments. I believe caffeine and the inclusion of dairy have hindered my progress on this. But the main energy problems previously stemmed from the weakened adrenal glands, thyroid glands and liver. Part of the idea behind this 2013 raw food diet is to build these organs back up to strength, with the help of supplements, herbs, relaxation, detoxification and healthy living. Also, possibly not eating enough (not getting enough calories) has stopped me from achieving high levels of energy on the previous raw food diets.
Please note that I have revised this article and removed many of the original ideas I had for this 2013 raw food diet. For example, I have changed my mind about the supplements that I thought I would be taking for energy and am not planning to take those specific ones anymore. If you wish to read these removed notes, I have saved them here, with later comments, just so as to keep a full record:
2013 Raw Food Diet: Additional Notes
Week 1 - High Raw Diet Diary
The above diary also includes a 10-day juice fast diary.
[Update: Please note that this diet ended after 38 days and a new one started. The later diary can be accessed here:
2013 Raw Food Diet - Weeks 1-3]
Raw Food Diet - Introduction and the Benefits I Have Experienced So Far
Eating for Energy, How to Achieve Exploding Energy Levels, Sleep Less and Wake Up Fresh
My Raw Food Journey - How I Came to Know the Good Life
Natural Health Book Summaries and Important Quotes
"Good Life Meals: Inspiration on how to eat and live healthy anywhere, while not restricting your life. My daily meals recorded. Good health makes good life!"
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.