Raw Food on a Budget, Week 4

Fourth week of the raw food on a budget experiment...

A summary of each day of this diet is provided here: 100 days raw food summary.

Raw Food Diet Benefits

Day 22 - 100-Day Raw Food Diet

24th October 2011, Monday

It is amazing how difficult it is to find raw food salads! It fairly easy to find fruit juices in cafes and restaurants these days (although they will be pasteurised if not freshly squeezed) and one can always drink sparkling water or even herbal tea. Fruit and berries are also often on offer in every street corner...

But salads are hard to find. I went to Crussh, which is a sort of a health food/ fast-food joint (and happens to be close to where I work) and bought the greenest salad I could find. Surprisingly, the dressing was 'edible', consisting of olive oil, lemon juice, wasabi and soya sauce (and by the way I'm going to make this dressing at home as well). But many of the other ingredients were clearly cooked, which I hadn't realised prior to buying

So I had to discard a lot of the good food!
Even at the Borough Market fresh food market stalls most salads one could find had purely cooked ingredients in them. Cooked salads, what a palaver.

Later note: Maybe the salads have many cooked ingredients to make them easier to digest...

Later update: I now think that being 100% raw may not be as important as eating high-raw, unprocessed and super-healthy.

And incidentally, I got headache and tiredness straight after eating the salad. Could it be that it was bad quality somehow and my body was already clean enough to notice? Or could it have something to do with green teas and dehydration?

Later note: Salad has a lot of fiber that is difficult to digest. Cooking vegetables can help soften the fiber and make it easier to digest. Blending might help too... I later realized that I had a problem digesting fiber, to the extent that even half a courgette (zucchini) in its raw form would make me feel heavy, dehydrated, and uncomfortable. Read more at: Fiber Can Cause Dehydration

Jump to Day 28

Day 22 - Budget, Raw Food Diet

- Smoothie: a banana (22p), 2 small apples (20p), 2 tbsp dried goji berries (42p), 1 teasp raw honey (21p), some spinach leaves (20p).
COST: £1.25 Lunch:
- A freshly-squeezed orange juice from Crussh (£2.50)
- 'Super Greens' salad from Crussh (£3.99), with radishes, baby greens, onion, cherry tomato, wasabi dressing (this salad had cooked ingredients, which I had to pick out and throw away: steamed broccoli, toasted almonds, slightly cooked beans and peas).
COST: £6.49

- 1/2 snack bag of almonds (65p)
- 3 green teas (free, at work)

- 6 small pieces of home-made raw pizza (see last week for details) (£4.34)

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 22: £12.73 ($20.32, €14.64)

Jump to Day 28

Day 23 - 100-Day Raw Food Challenge

25th Oct 2011, Tue

I had detox symptoms starting today. I started having cold symptoms in the afternoon, together with diarrhea. In the evening I definitely had some emotional detox, whether it was blocked emotions being released or just toxins moving about and causing emotions. But I felt extremely irritable, impatient and unable to concentrate. I could not focus on having a conversation, I just wanted to relax, be quiet and sleep it off. I was lying in bed and a feeling would start in my belly, feeling of anger and anxiety, and it would move up to my chest, making it feel constrained. Then up to my throat, this is when I started feeling like crying but in fact happy because I though some old hurts were being released. Then it would gradually disappear. After a little while another wave of emotion would start in the belly and move up.

What was unusual was not that I had a physical feeling of anger or anxiety as I've had this before, but that it didn't seem to have any good cause and it didn't go away. I still had it the next morning. Normally if I'm angry it doesn't last long at all. Also, I could feel the emotion in my body in a more specific way than before. If I was not on a raw food diet, I would have drank some beer to cover the anxiety, as I sometimes have. I like thinking, that my anxieties/ frustrations are getting cleared and not blocked this time. But it is not fun. If you can't drink it away you just want to sleep to not have to be conscious of the feelings. I could describe it as restlessness and as a feeling where almost anything feels annoying.

Later note: Although this could have been emotional detox with hindsight I think it was caused by gut problems. Gut health is very closely linked with neurotransmitters, emotions and therefore it is called the 'second brain'. By now I had eaten a less-than-ideal diet for a while, with too few calories. Although I ate some good food every day, I also ate too little and there were a few days when the food I ate wasn't even very healthy (although raw), e.g. processed raw bars, raw cheese and huge amounts of difficult-to-digest fiber. Not eating enough could definitely cause emotional symptoms due to low blood sugar, etc. I later realized that green teas could cause the flu-like symptoms. I also found out I had histamine intolerance (which is also linked to gut health) and therefore the fact that I had lots of green tea, lots of spinach and many dried figs could have caused a histamine reaction (which in my case includes flu-like symptoms, feeling cold, achy muscles, fatigue and irritability/anxiety). However, since I had diarrhea as well I think at least part of the problem was due to too much fiber eaten. I have a problem digesting huge amounts of insoluble fiber (fruit is fine as it's soluble fiber) and even though it took me a while to find out, the symptoms seem to have been there ever since my first raw food trial and possibly even before.

In addition, although less likely, the problem could have been that I was eating too large quantities of cold foods (as defined by TCM). Anxiety can also be a problem of too little energy. All and all on this diet I would probably have benefited from eating more fruit and berries, even despite the fact that the quality available was not always the best (e.g. a bit unripe).

[Later note: Although many raw foodists talk about the 'emotional detox' that comes with raw food, I think it's also important to know that emotional symptoms can also easily be caused by your diet, digestion problems, etc. Gut health has been shown to be connected to emotions and to various neurotransmitters. Digestions problems or food intolerances can therefore very easily cause emotional symptoms. There are many body-mind processes than can now be used for trauma and stress-release.

[I also found out later I was sugar intolerant and eating sugar caused many anxiety symptoms, feeling of a cold and weakness, dehydration, etc. This is probably linked to a stealth infection - i.e. the sugar feeding a pathogen even though doctors couldn't find anything.]

Later note: I also had a huge quantity of raw insoluble fiber (grated pumpkin) at dinner, which may have caused the emotional problems.

Day 23 - Budget

- Smoothie: a banana (22p), 3/4 apple (15p), 1 cup of fresh spinach (25p), 1 teasp bee pollen (11p), water.
- 20ml Floravital iron supplement (76p)
COST: £1.49

- Smoothie: a banana (22p), 1.25 apple (20p), 1 cup of spinach (25p), water.
COST: 67p

- 3 green teas
- 1/2 honey melon (80p)
- 15 dried figs (£1.50)
COST: £2.30

- Pumpkin 'rice' with hollandaise sauce: 1/3 butternut squash (27p), some shallot (4p), cumin seeds (2p), dried coriander powder (2p), fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) (12p), 1/3 cup raisins (12p), 1/3 cup brazil nuts (22p), salt (1p); Sauce: juice of 2 lemons (33p), 1/4 cup almonds (50p), turmeric (2p), salt (1p), 4 tbsp olive oil (13p), water.
- Green juice: 1/2 bunch of celery (49p), 1 cup spinach (25p), 1.5 apples (15p).
- 20ml Floravital iron supplement (76p).
COST: £3.46

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 23: £7.92 ($12.65, €9.10)

Jump to Day 28

Day 24 - Raw Food on a Budget Diary

Whoa, day 24 and the detox symptoms have really hit me! All my previous (couple-weeks-long) 100% raw experiments were too short to experience the cleansing crisis, it seems. It could be a cold but it doesn't feel like it.

Since yesterday I have been feeling progressively worse, although it comes and goes in waves - one moment I feel fine and then again not. I woke up this morning very tired (after 5-6 hours of sleep) feeling anxious and angry (for no reason, and I never wake up like that, even if I have been arguing). I had a very physical feeling of restlessness and anger in my chest. In addition, I had a blocked nose, sore throat, and a headache from early morning. I felt tired at work and now writing this, at 9.30pm, my sinuses feel infected and I still have a blocked nose, as well as a headache. My neck is also very stiff. I had loose stools today (and plenty of it, same as yesterday). I think my body has been doing some good cleaning and all the junk is being expelled. It makes me kind of happy to feel that something is going on... I just have to ride this now. It helps that I only have two workdays to go and then I know I can rest all I like for the next week.

[Later update: A salt-water enema would have been greatly helpful at this point if these were detox symptoms.

I read in a book that detox on raw foods can last anywhere between 2 days and 2 years. Wow. But I guess it won't be constant but will hit every once in a while. And it would be nice to think that each detox lifts you up to new heights!

This sudden detox 'crisis' makes me wonder whether it might not be such a good idea to start the juice fast this week because sticking to liquids only will just serve to speed up and worsen the detoxification symptoms. I will see how I feel on Friday and decide then. I have been looking forward to the juice fast but my plan with such a drastic life change as raw foods has always been that I have to do it so that it is gradual, easy, enjoyable and not too tough on my body. Too many have either failed or ended up hating raw foods by attempting to go 100% raw cold turkey. Gradual change at your own pace allows you to enjoy every step of the process and makes you more likely to stick to it for longer time.

Weeks or months on a raw food diet is a long time, believe me, so no amount of will power will be enough to succeed. Instead you must find a way for yourself to like the process and to be excited about it. Only then can you succeed. Enjoying the tastes is important, as well as transitioning slowly. ...so, I will see on Friday whether I think I am ready for the juice feast!

Later note: I had very little protein on this and the following day and was possibly starting to feel the effect of long-term protein deficiency. Cutting out wheat and dairy cut out a fair bit of protein from the diet which has to be replaced by something else.

Later note: I didn't eat enough easy-to-digest calories this day (fruit), drank a huge amount of caffeine into an almost empty stomach, and ate very little protein this day. In addition, the day before I had celery which I later found out I was intolerant of, way too much raw fiber-rich food, and hardly any protein. The smoothies I had this day were too rich in insoluble fiber and including fruit would have helped. Histamine intolerance may have played a part. These are much more likely to be the causes of these physical and mental problems than 'emotional detox'.

Day 24 - Raw Food Budget

26th Oct 2011, Wed

- Smoothie: 1 cup spinach (25p), 2 apples (20p), 1 teasp raw honey (21p), water. [Later note: Too much fiber, not enough easy-to-digest calories.]
- 20ml Floravital iron supplement (76p)
COST: £1.42

- 5 green teas (free, at work) [Later note: too much, and a possible histamine intolerance problem.]
- 4 dried figs (40p) [Later note: histamine]
- 1/2 pineapple (95p)
COST: £1.35

- 1/2 honey melon (80p)
- Smoothie: 1 cup spinach (25p), 2 apples (20p), 1 tbsp bee pollen (33p), water. [Later note: Too much fiber, not enough easy-to-digest calories.]
COST: £1.58

Dinner (6.30pm):
- 1 snack bag of mixed cashew nuts and raisins (£1.25) [Later note: histamine]

Evening drink (11.30pm):
- 20ml Floravital iron supplement (76p)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon in water (7p)

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 24: £6.43 ($10.16, €7.30)

Jump to Day 28

Day 25

27th Oct 2011, Thu

I feel much more upbeat this morning. And not much sign of illness anymore, although last night I was feeling quite rough.

Tonsil stones in my throat are clearing up but not completely gone yet.

Although I felt well this morning, I still had some tiredness and the feeling of a cold (flu) kept coming and going throughout the day.

What I Spent Day 25

- 20ml floravital (76p)
- 1/2 lime in water (13p)
- Smoothie: 2 tbsp sprouted millet (8p), 1 apple (10p), 1 cup spinach (17p), 1 teasp organic cold-pressed coconut oil (17p), 1 tbsp bee pollen (33p). (Coconut oil tastes horrible in a smoothie. It is best to cover the taste somehow if you want to use it. It does help suppress hunger, though).
COST: £1.74

- Smoothie: an apple (10p), 1 cup spinach (17p), 2 dates (10p), 2 tbsp sprouted millet (8p), water.
COST: 45p

- 1/3 raisin and cashew nut mix (42p)
- 1/3 nut mix (83p)
- 4 green teas (free, at work)
COST: £1.25

- 20ml floravital (76p)
- Juice of a 1/2 lemon in water (13p)
- 6 olives (38p)
- small bowl of pumpkin rice (82p) with 1/2 cup of 'hollandaise sauce' (35p).
COST: £2.44

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 25: £5.88 ($9.49, €6.71)

Jump to Day 28

Day 26 - Raw Food Diet

28th Oct 2011, Fri

Today is my payday and usually it means spending a lot of money on food, whether I am raw or not!

9.30pm: Detox is continuing today but in a mild way. Minor symptoms of a cold and I can tell from the stools that I am detoxing. But the symptoms have lessened to a degree that I think I am ready to start the juice fast tomorrow.

I still felt tired in the morning and a little bit through the day but not too bad.

Day 26, Expenditure

- Smoothie: an apple (10p), 1 tbsp cacao nibs (33p), 3 leaves of swiss chard (11p).
- 20ml floravital (76p)
COST: £1.30

- 5 green teas (free and 2p)
- 4 mandarins (£1)
COST: £1.02

- Smoothie: 2 apples (20p), 1 tbsp bee pollen (33p), 1 sundried tomato half (9p), 1 tbsp goji berries (21p), water.
- 1 block of raw buffalo mozzarella cheese (£5) from Neal's Yard Dairy (on Borough Market), 10 cherry tomatoes (33p).
COST: £6.16

- small bowl of pumpkin 'rice' with 'smoky mole' sauce: 1/3 butternut squash (27p), some shallot (4p), cumin seeds (2p), dried coriander powder (2p), fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) (12p), 1/3 cup raisins (12p), 1/3 cup brazil nuts (22p), salt (1p); 3 soaked sundried tomato halves (27p), 1/4 green chile (1p), 1/4 tbsp lime juice (1p), salt (1p), some avocado (4p), some cumin (1p), 0.75 tbsp raw cacao nibs (25p), 1 tbsp olive oil (7p), 0.5 dates (5p), soak water from tomatoes and chile.
- 4 olives (25p)
- 20ml floravital iron supplement (76p)
COST: £3.54

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 26: £12.02 ($19.40, €13.71)

Jump to Day 28

Day 27 - 100% Raw Food on a Budget -
1st Day of Juice Fast

29th October 2011, Saturday

Had a really good sleep, woke up after midday. I slept deep and felt well-rested after, like my body really needed to sleep a lot.

I started the juice fast, had cravings for grapefruit juice in the afternoon and juiced 4 grapefruits together with some mandarins. I felt more balanced afterwards.

I decided to take a nap at 5.30pm and had all kinds of nice feelings in my body when lying down and just concentrating on the feelings. Like internal cold shivers in the lungs, belly, head - it felt very nice and refreshing. I probably wouldn't have noticed this unless I was lying down and concentrating, the feelings were quite subtle.

8pm. I'm still not hungry. I have cravings for all sorts of foods, from chocolate bars to pasta and raw foods, like olives and cake. ...but no hunger. I keep craving grapefruit juice so will just keep drinking that. But also the greens which are important.

I worry slightly whether I'm getting enough protein and salts. I have to find some fasting guidelines somewhere. But Arnold Ehret says you can live on a mono-fruit diet, e.g. just on bananas, for a very long time... so if he is right, at least my diet is more varied than that.

[Later note: Mono-diet would only be useful in very specific and extreme situations, I now believe, and for a limited period of time.]

11.30pm. Still not hungry. It feels a bit like my nose and the mucus in the throat are clearing up. No bowel movement today.

[Later note: Unfortunately I was drinking many carrot juices during this trial which I found out I was allergic to later by using the Pulse Test.
Also, the mucus was probably due to all the dairy I was still eating, although it was raw dairy. It generally takes many weeks before I feel clear after quitting dairy.]

Budget Day 27, Juice Fasting

Lunch (1pm):
- Juice: 1 bunch of swiss chard (33p), 1 lemon with white rind (25p), 1/2 shallot (7p), 2 big carrots (13p), 2 celery sticks (10p).
- 1/2 lemon juice in water (13p)
- 20ml floravital iron supplement (76p)
COST: £1.77

Dinner (5pm):
- Juice: 3 pink grapefruits (£1.50), 6 small apples (60p).
COST: £2.10

Dinner (8pm):
- Juice: 1 pink grapefruit (50p), 3 mandarins (75p).
- Juice: 1 bunch spinach (50p), 1 shallot (small onion) (10p), 3 apples (30p), 1 parsnip (40p).
- 1/2 lemon juice in water (13p)
- 20ml floravital iron supplement (76p)
COST: £3.44

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 27: £7.31 ($11.80, €8.34)

Day 28 - 100% Raw Food on a Budget -
2nd Day of Juice Fast

30th Oct, Sun

I can't believe how easy it is to do a juice fast. What I think helps is that I have prepared well, gradually, eating raw on and off for the last year and taking green juices. Also having been a vegetarian for 13 years must help a little.

But I don't feel hungry! And at least so far I have no discomfort. Even quitting green teas was extremely easy yesterday, although I did allow myself to sleep a lot so tiredness from lack of caffeine was not an issue.

I have just woken up and had my breakfast juice, I'm about to take a hot bath to help my body detoxify. The slight cold symptoms are back, I have a very slight headache, and blocked nose. [Later note: these may have been due to carrot and too much sugary fruit.] Also my ears and head feel congested and yesterday I had slight throat ache. I get little slight feelings of discomfort here and there, some muscle ache for example, but they go very quickly and are really not a problem at all. I think if I was working today I would find it difficult to concentrate without caffeine and I would feel tired but since I promised myself to just rest and do nothing these first days of detox I feel it is very easy. But, surprisingly, I feel so well that I think working would be fine, the difficulty would just be about trying to fight the green teas!

12.30 noon: I have a headache now and feel quite tired.

3pm: not very tired anymore, the grapefruit juice seems to have helped. But going to lazy in bed for a little anyway and read a book.

Later I went to the pub to meet up with friends, drank 2.5 bottles of sparkling water between 7pm-11pm. I felt fine most of the time but towards closing time (11pm) I started feeling a little weak and ill, I think I was in need of another juice for energy. And perhaps the bottled water was bad quality water as well (heavy water) and my body was protesting.

[Update: Article here on the importance of drinking good quality 'living water'.]

I had one bowel movement today but if I start feeling constipated I will have to take an enema. So far feeling fine though.

[Later note: Enemas proved to be extremely important for me on later juice fasts. It sounds crazy but they really worked to eliminate detox symptoms.
Read more here on my later juice fasting experiments, including one which was three weeks long.]

Later note: I later found out that I had food intolerance to celery, which gave me flu-like symptoms and muscle weakness.

Weight: 52kg (8.2 stones, 115lb).
My weight hasn't changed in the last 13 days, which is good because I would prefer to put on weight rather than lose some more.

Day 28, Expenditure

B (9.30am):
- Juice: 4 celery stalks (20p), 1 cup spinach (17p), 1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) (20p), big piece of ginger (6p), 1 pear (45p), 1 lime (25p), 1 bunch of swiss chard (33p).
- 10ml floravital iron supplement (38p)
COST: £2.04

L (12 noon):
- Juice (500ml): 4 pink grapefruits (£2), 2 apples (20p)

- (2pm): juice of 1 honey melon (500ml) (£1.60)
- Juice: 1/2 pineapple (£1), 1 bunch of purple lettuce (lollo rosso) (99p).
COST: £5.79

D (7pm):
- Juice: 2 pink grapefruits (£1), 2 apples (20p).

Evening drink (11.30pm):
- Juice: 4 apples (40p) and ginger (4p)

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 28: £9.47 ($15.15, €10.83)

Total Spent on Week Four - Raw Foods

Total spent in Week 4: £56.50 ($90.78, €66.01)
Average per day: £8.07 ($12.97, €9.43)

A brief summary of each day of this diet is provided here: 100 days raw food summary.

Best Raw Food Diet Books

More raw food diet books, including summaries of the content, here.

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Continue reading....

Raw food on a budget conclusions

Forward to:
Week 5 - Juice Fasting
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10

Back to:
100-Day Raw Food Challenge Week 1
Week 2
Week 3


Raw Food Books

Full Raw Diet by Kristina Carrillo Bucaram: View on Amazon
How Not to Die - Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease: View on Amazon
Raw Food - A Complete Guide to Every Meal of the Day: View on Amazon
The Sunfood Diet Success System by David Wolfe: View on Amazon
The Joy of Living Live: View on Amazon
Ani's Raw Food Detox - The Easy, Satisfying Plan to Get Lighter, Tighter, and Sexier... in 15 Days or Less: View on Amazon
Ani Phyo - Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Raw Food Recipes: View on Amazon
Gabriel Cousens: Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini: View on Amazon
Queen Afua: Heal Thyself for Health and Longevity: View on Amazon

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