Raw Food on a Budget, Week 7

Seventh week of my 100-day raw food on a budget trial is detailed below.

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

Day 41 - Raw Food on a Budget

Back on raw after well-deserved cheat days! Quite a relief to be back. With new and updated enthusiasm, I will try to make the next 60 days of raw food on a budget cheaper and better than before. I am determined to meet my goal of spending no more than £5.47 ($8.65, €6.39) per day and also, update my cleansing and journey to radiant health with more exercise, enemas, skin brushing, waking up early, more greens, spirulina and wheatgrass powder, and eating less of the expensive nut snacks. I have also decided to do 1-2 -day fasts during the full moon, the new moon and equinoxes. I think I am starting to love this lifestyle! But I definitely need to be more organised to make sure that I eat enough - and enough greens and fruit, as well as keep moving and stretching my body to keep the lymph and energies flowing.

I need to up my discipline, though. I'm not referring to the cheat days because those I decided upon (partly) consciously, as I felt that they were needed. However, I believe that I am not getting the maximum benefits out of this diet because I don't stretch or exercise much, don't do enemas/ colonics, don't eat enough greens and sometimes don't eat enough full stop. Also in terms of cost I have been quite lax and I know that I can do much better and save much more money. And, indeed, I did reach my goal expenditure today! A good new start.

I have also been drinking some alcohol during the cheat days and reflecting a lot on that (in fact I am a little hangover today - not otherwise but just tired)

I am also starting a 30-day trial on trauma release exercises tomorrow, since my initial start a week ago didn't carry on because of overtime at work and general tiredness from alcohol and cooked foods. The findings on these exercises will be in a separate blog: "30-day trial on Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)". I will obviously be reporting on whether the exercises work (or not) and how it feels to do the exercises, as well as any changes to my moods, physique or energy levels I may experience while undertaking the trial.

This is probably a good point to reflect on the benefits I have so far received from the raw food diet. This list of benefits includes those noticed on previous trials as well, not only this one. Basically any benefits I ever realised while being on high-raw or 100% raw diet. It is important to understand that the benefits (at least in my case) seem to appear very gradually and it is sometimes hard to notice them clearly unless you go back to cooked foods for a period of time.

[Update: Keep in mind that I got these benefits although my raw food diet on this experiment was far from perfect. I was eating too few calories, as well as including dairy, gluten, and foods I was intolerant to in the diet. I also included processed raw foods and too few greens. In addition, I probably had underlying protein and mineral deficiencies that were not thoroughly addressed.

I would also like to add that these benefits are partly due to quitting caffeine and juice fasting, as well...]

Jump to Day 47

Raw Food Diet Benefits I have experienced so far

  • More energy but not yet anything abnormal
  • No energy slumps during the day
  • No need for caffeine in the morning to wake up
  • Fast weight loss
  • Flat belly
  • Better skin
  • More youthful appearance
  • Much better ability to concentrate at work
  • Cycling is much much easier
  • Much happier and more balanced mood
  • Less stress
  • Period (menses) pain drastically reduced and period length went from some 8 days to 3-4 days.
  • My ears don't hurt when flying anymore (they used to hurt a lot)
  • Sometimes nature seems more beautiful
  • Work days go quicker and weekends last longer (very strange but true - probably has something to do with better concentration-ability)
  • Better self-awareness
  • Sometimes other people get inspired to be healthier by my example, which makes me happy
  • Some good realisations and good luck
  • Joints seem to loosen (cracking of bones and more 'flexible' joints)
  • Money saved
  • Sex feels better
  • Learning self-discipline
  • During the juice fast my slight but constant dry cough disappeared (and came back after)
  • Possibly more flexible and stronger muscles
  • Lots and lots of time saved from cooking and washing dishes
  • Sometimes nice 'sparkling' feelings inside the body (but rarely)
  • Good messages to the subconscious mind, which reads your actions and behaves accordingly: the message that your body and life are valuable (since you are making an effort for them)

Updates to this list are included here: raw food benefits.

In the future, if and when I can afford it, I would definitely like to start eating organic again, as well as pay for a 'live' spring water delivery service.

[Update: Read here about the benefits of drinking living water.]

I would like to go to see a naturopath as well as a colonic hydrotherapist. I am in any case planning to do a series of home enemas, possibly with wheatgrass juice. I would like to go to a live blood analysis, too. Perhaps one day I could even afford to join a gym or start another sporty hobby. [Update: I didn't join the gym yet but found out that running home from work (6 miles, 9.7km) every other day is a very good form of exercise - with no time wasted, as one has to commute anyway!]

I also desperately need to buy a mask for cycling which can filter the polluted air - at least to try if cycling through the centre of London at rush-hour every weekday is the cause of my breathing and throat problems (slight asthma symptoms). During the juice fast these symptoms cleared but I also wasn't cycling to work. After I went back to work and quit the juice fast the symptoms quickly came back. I think exercise could help with this problem as well.

[Update: Gluten and dairy-free diet seems to help with the cough, phlegm in the throat and sinus congestion as well. Note that during this raw food diet experiment I still ate raw dairy and some gluten.]

I would also like to 'invest' in a big sprouter (or large mason jars) to be able to sprout seeds, millet, quinoa and beans in large quantities because this is an extremely cheap, energising and nutritious way of eating. I also would like to order many green superfood supplements, which can be quite expensive. But many of these things will have to wait because I still continue to live on a very tight budget.

[Update: In addition to sprouting seeds in jars with water, one can grow sprouts and small vegetables in trays with soil and volcanic rock dust in them. In the UK, for example, one can buy 'Scottish Volcanic Rock Dust' (Verve) at B&Q, to mix in with the soil and grow super-mineralized plants.]

Later note: It is possible to sprout large quantities of seeds in large plastic containers - a thin layer of seeds is spread at the bottom (roughly one-seed-high layer) and rinsed twice a day.

As for eating organic, the main reason for wanting to do this - IF I can do it fairly affordably - is to eat food that is more mineralised, as well as to support non-GMO farmers. In fact I will order some boxes from Abel&Cole for next week and test whether the prices roughly compare with the local veggie shop prices.

Jump to Day 47

Day 41 - Budget

18th November 2011, Friday

Weight: 52kg (8.2 stones, 115lb).

- 10ml Floravital (30p)
- Smoothie: a banana (22p), 1/2 apple (20p), 1 tbsp goji berries (26p), 2 dates (9p), 1 savoy cabbage leaf (2p), 1 tbsp hemp seeds (13p), 1 tbsp linseeds (flax seeds) (12p), 1 teasp bee pollen (11p), water.
COST: £1.15

- Salad: 1/2 pack of mixed baby greens, including rocket (arugula) (75p), 20 cashew nuts (15p), 1/2 pineapple (75p), cayenne pepper (1p), 2 dates (9p). Dressing: 2 apples (20p), 1/3 cup of olive oil (33p), 3 teasp of curry (3p), soy sauce (2p), tap water.
COST: £2.33

- 3 small pieces of home-made raw chocolate cake (see week 6 for details) (£1.41)
- 3 jasmine green teas (18p)
- 1 lemon and ginger tea (6p)
- a large glass of lemon water (13p)
COST: £1.78

No dinner. The lunch salad was so big that I'm not hungry anymore. In fact I completely overate and can't even think about putting anything more into my belly save for tea.

Later update: Probably the salad was too difficult to digest because of the fiber.

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 41: £5.26 ($8.13, €6.14)

Jump to Day 47

Day 42 - Raw Food on a Budget

19th November 2011, Saturday

I feel so good today. I woke up relaxed, rested, on holiday and back on raw foods!

(Later:) I did trauma release exercises (TRE) today, as well as pilates. More on this here: "Trauma Release Exercises, 30-day trial".

After the exercises I took a bath and scrubbed myself with a sugar scrub, and with a brush as well afterwards. This removes dead skin, stimulates lymph flow (helps the body to detoxify), and increases blood circulation. It will also be easier for the skin to breathe afterwards.

I got the same, nice tingly feeling in my upper body after I did this, the same as last time. I will try to do this as often as possible now. The exercises together with this did cause something to happen in my body because after the bath I went to take a nap and fell asleep for a little. I had to force myself to wake up after a while but felt unusually tired, like my body was working on releasing some trauma or blocked emotions or something. (Again, more on the TRE blog, link above.)

I have a party to go to tonight and I really don't feel like going... But I will drink one green tea and go anyway - have to make an effort sometimes! I will also bake a "raspberry ganache fudge cake" for the party, using Ani Phyo's You Tube recipe. But I feel extremely tired and lazy...

Went to sleep at 2am.

Day 42 - Budget

- 10ml Floravital iron supplement (30p)
- Camomile & lemongrass tea, mint tea (16p)
- 2 small pieces of chocolate cake (94p)
COST: £1.40

- handful of cashew nuts (25p)
- 2 dates (9p)
- 2 green teas (16p)
COST: 50p

Lunch (3.30pm):
- raw 'pasta': 1 courgette (zucchini) (64p), 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (£1.23), 6 dates (27p), thyme (2p), rosemary (free), dried basil (1p), soya sauce (2p), black pepper (1p), juice of 1/2 lemon (13p) (extremely tasty!)
COST: £2.33

Dinner (6.30pm):
- Mashed raw plantain (50p) with salt (1p) and pepper (1p)

At the party in the evening: no food, no drink

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 42: £4.75 ($7.34, €5.55)

Jump to Day 47

Day 43 - 100-Day Raw Food Diet

20th November 2011, Sunday

Oh my god... I have just come up with the most genious raw recipe! I'm loving this stuff! Dehydrated potato cakes! I know I tried to do something like this before but it didn't quite work out. Here is how to do it so it does work:


Key is to shred the sweet potato (don't use normal potato, they can NOT be eaten raw) into small pieces first, together with some onion, olive oil, salt and whatever you like and then put the mix into a blender and blend it into a kind of mash. Better yet if you have a food processor to mash it.

But the key is to make it into fine paste, otherwise it will come out crunchy like raw potato. I also added raw honey, cinnamon, dates and vanilla for extra sweetness and flavour, and when out of the dehydrator, added a sprinkle of soya sauce.

These are the best potato cakes I've tried! One could even make raw mash potato the same way.

Another important point is to not dehydrate them until dry but leave the cakes/ mash slighly moist. Or you can experiment with this according to your liking.

The other clever realisation was to spoon the mash onto spinach leaves, so that the dough doesn't fall through the holes on the dehydrator trays. Alternatively you could buy the plastic dehydrator sheets but I prefer spinach as the 'oven paper' substitute.

So... I made the raspberry ganache fudge cake for the party yesterday and it was a success. Although I used roasted carob powder by accident, which wasn't nearly as nice and also obviously not raw! So I didn't eat the cake myself but it was a success, people loved it and were also very curious about the ingredients...

I didn't drink or eat anything, which was quite nice compared to trying to drink water all night. I felt quite happy and relaxed. So nice to not be drunk at the party for once! I thought I would never say this! But alcohol seems like it is really not needed and what is more, you can control the conversation much better, and who you spend your time talking to, when sober.

However, I got very cold during the night, standing in the garden and talking, and also so many people around me were smoking cigarettes, I think I inhaled lots of smoke. We came back to our flat at 2 am by which time I was quite tired already, but the next morning (today), I was really feeling it! Very tired and dehydrated (almost like a hangover feeling!). It must have been a combination of staying up late, standing in the smoke, and perhaps the cold and the exercises I did yesterday. Don't really know. But I'm glad I went anyway, it was fun.

Later note: The dehydration may have also been linked to the fiber-rich salad and tomatoes from the day before, which I found out years later I couldn't tolerate.

Day 43 - Costs of Eating Raw Food

Breakfast (10am):
- 10ml Floravital (30p)
- 1x jasmine (green) tea (5p)
- Half a banana (11p)
- Small 1/2 glass of juice with 1/2 bunch of greens (62p), 1/4 beetroot (25p), 1/4 savoy cabbage (20p), ginger (5p), 1/3 lemon with skin (8p).
COST: £1.66

Lunch (12 noon):
- Smoothie: banana (22p), apple (20p), water, handful of spinach (10p), 1 tbsp bee pollen (33p), 2 dates (9p), water.
- 1 jasmine (green) tea (5p)
- 'Pasta': 1 cougette (zucchini) (61p), 5 dates (23p), 4 tomatoes (64p), juice of 1/2 lemon (8p), 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (13p), pink himalayan salt (1p), soya sauce (2p), thyme (1p), rosemary (free), dry basil (1p).
COST: £2.73

Dinner (7pm):
- 5 brazil nuts (18p)
- Mint tea, jasmine green tea (16p)
- Smoothie: banana (22p), apple (20p), 2 dates (9p), 1 tbsp flax seeds (linseeds) (12p), 1 tbsp hemp seeds (13p), 4 broccoli florets (18p), water.
COST: £1.28

Before bed (midnight):
- 6 dehydrated, raw sweet potato cakes with soya sauce* (99p + 2p)

(* 12 dehydrated sweet potato cakes: 4 sweet potatoes (80p), olive oil (13p), shallot onion (12p), 1 teasp raw honey (42p), cinnamon (2p), 6 dates (27p), organic vanilla essence (21p), pink himalayan salt (1p) - COST: £1.98, cost per cake: 17p)

Went to sleep at 1am.

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 43: £6.68 ($10.32, €7.80)

Jump to Day 47

Day 44

21st November 2011, Monday; Day Off Work

I drank way too much green tea and ate too little food today. I went to bed feeling not very healthy. The next day I woke up with a dehydrated (hangover-type) feeling and in the afternoon at work I started feeling more and more like I had a cold coming on. More on this on Tuesday's analysis.

Day 44 - Costs

Breakfast (9.30am):
- 6 raw sweet potato cakes with soya sauce (99p + 2p)
- 2 cups of camomile tea (8p)
COST: £1.09

- A glass of smoothie (250mm): 1/2 tbsp linseeds (6p), 1/2 tbsp hemp seeds (7p), 1/2 tbsp bee pollen (17p), goji berries (26p), apple (20p), 1 banana (22p), water, cinnamon (1p), cloves (1p), coconut flakes (5p), 1 spinach leaf (2p), 2 broccoli florets (9p).
- 2 jasmine green teas (10p)
COST: £1.26

Dinner (7pm):
- Cabbage salad: 1/4 white cabbage (19p), Juice of 1/4 lemon (8p), 1 mandarin (25p), 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (18p), 1 tbsp raisins (10p).
- 2 jasmine green teas (10p)
COST: 90p

Went to bed at 1am.

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 44: £3.25 ($5.02, €3.79)

Jump to Day 47

Day 45

22nd Nove 2011, Tue

Today was not a very good day altogether. Maybe because I didn't eat enough yesterday my body got weak and caught a cold - it's going around now anyway. Or maybe the approaching new moon (on Friday) kicked my body into detox mode by accelerating clear-out.

First, in the morning, I felt badly dehydrated, then I felt constipated, then I had a diarrhea and finally, a sore throat and a feeling of a cold coming on (achy body). I went straight to bed after cycling home from work. I also did a sugar scrub in the bath yesterday and took a cold shower. This is meant to help to move the lymph and accelerate the detox.

[Update: It seems that since I quit caffeine, whenever I go back to green tea, I get a cold. At some point I had a very fevery, cold-type feeling for more than a week, until I quit green tea again. It really seems to badly depress my immune system for some reason.]

[Update: "Benefits of Quitting Caffeine"]

Later note: I had eaten lots of raw fibrous vegetables the day before, which I years later found out caused me to become very dehydrated. This, combined with the dehydrating effect of the green tea, and probably not having drunk much water, most likely was the cause of these symptoms, which I perhaps noticed the first time here and much more later. The diarrhea and feeling of constipation (and indigestion, most probably) could have been linked symptoms, to do with too much fiber.

I went to bed at 8pm.

* * *

Jump to Day 47

Abel & Cole Organic Vegetable Delivery

I received an organic delivery from Abel and Cole, I am testing how good value it is compared to the local vegetable shops. This is what I received:

Super Juicing Box [(£14.75 + 50p delivery) - 15% Returning Customer Discount = £12.96}

18 Falstaff Apples (1kg) £3.98 (22p each)
12 Oranges (1kg) £3.44 (29p each)
2 Lemons 48p (24p each)
Ginger 38p
1 Bunch of Celery £1.25
20 Carrots (1 kg) £1.71 (9p each)
7 Beetroots (1kg) £1.71 (24p each)

Large Vegetable Box [(£18.50 + 50p delivery)- 15% Discount = £16.15]

2 Sweet Potatoes £1.05 (53p each)
1 Large Purple Cabbage £1.40
2 Small Courgettes (Zucchini) £1.13 (57p each)
8 Carrots with Green Tops 70p (9p each)
Small Box of Mushrooms £1.25
Big Bunch of Greens £1.40
Rainbow Chard (Greens) £1.40
Red-Leaf Lettuce £1.40
2 Small Broccolis £1.68 (84p each)
7 Small Tomatoes £1.75 (25p each)
5 Small Red Onions £1.25 (25p each)
4 Parsnips 75p (29p each)

I will have to compare these prices to next week's boxes when I don't get the discount. But I love getting the boxes delivered, it doesn't seem much more expensive than buying from the local groceries and it means that my kitchen is always full of food and it saves time because I don't have to spend time carrying the vegetables and the fruit from the shop! Of course, you can assume organic produce to have more minerals as well but I will have to test this when I have enough money to buy a refractometer (used for measuring the mineral content of fruit and veg).

Jump to Day 47

Day 45 - Budget

Woke up at 7.30am
Morning weight: 50kg (7.9 stones, 110lbs)

- Smoothie: banana (22p), apple (20p), 3 small savoy cabbage leaves (6p), 1 tbsp linseed (flax seeds) (12p), 1 tbsp hemp seeds (13p), 1 tbsp bee pollen (33p), water.
COST: £1.06

- Cabbage salad: 1/4 white cabbage (20p), Juice of 1/4 lemon (8p), 1 mandarin (25p), 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (18p), 1 tbsp raisins (10p).
- Smoothie: 4 broccoli florets (18p), banana (22p), apple (20p), 2 dates (9p), water.
COST: £1.50

- one banana (22p)
- cashew nut and raisin mix from Marks&Spencer (£1.79)
- many herbal teas for free at work (including 2 green teas)
COST: £2.01

- Yogi Tea (11p)
- Juice of 2 pink grapefruits (66p)
- Organic unpasteurised cheddar cheese (£1.63)
COST: £2.40

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 45: £6.97 ($10.77, €8.14)

Jump to Day 47

Day 46 - Raw Food on a Budget

23rd November 2011, Wednesday

Woke up at 7.30am
Morning weight: 51kg (8.0 stones, 112lbs)

- Juice of 2 organic oranges (58p)
- Smoothie: 1 apple (22p), 2 savoy cabbage leaves (4p), 2 dates (9p), water, 1 tbsp flax seeds (linseeds) (12p), 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (7p), 1 teasp bee pollen (11p).
COST: £1.23

- 2 green teas, 2 'Yogi Teas' ('Breathe Deep') (11p)

- 4 organic apples (88p)
- Cashew Nut and Raisin Mix from Marks&Spencer (£1.79)
COST: £2.67

Dinner (8pm):
- Salad: 6 organic lettuce leaves (42p), 1 carrot (9p), 2 organic tomatoes (50p), squeeze of lemon (6p), 1 organic celery stalk (16p), handful of raw cashew nuts (£1.42), 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (2p), pink himalayan salt (1p), cayenne pepper (1p), olive oil (13p).
COST: £2.82

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 46: £6.83 ($10.55, €7.97)

Day 47 - Raw Food Diet

24th November 2011, Thursday

Woke up at 7am feeling tired. I had some back pain all day, only when trying to move it though. But had no problem riding a bike.

Tomorrow will be the new moon and a juice fasting day :) I will try to wake up early and take a refreshing detox bath with sugar scrub, brushing and a cold shower after.

Bedtime: midnight

[Update: Here one can see how the diet is gradually getting more difficult for me. Most likely this had a lot to do with juice fasting without taking enemas, which would have caused the body to try to eliminate too many toxins too quickly without any help. I was jumping back and forth with extremely pure food and quite a bit of trash food as well (during the cheat days). If I was facing the same situation again, I would definitely incorporate enemas to help my body with cleansing.]


[Update: The constant tiredness I keep reporting is quite natural to me, whether I am on a raw food diet or not, and might be due to a mineral deficiency. I am just about to get this tested and find out. On the other hand, it is to be expected on a raw food diet, or another cleansing diet, that the body gets more tired because it puts the energy into cleansing and pushing toxins out. Also, at this point of the diet I was back on caffeine, which reduces energy, and last, but not least, whether I was eating enough and getting enough calories on a daily basis remains an important question. More thoughts on these topics on the Week 8 diary.]

Day 47 - Raw Food Budget

- Juice of 2 organic oranges (54p)
- 'Yogi Tea', 'Breathe Deep' (11p)
- Smoothie: 1.5 apples (33p), 1 tbsp linseed (flax seeds) (12p), 2 dates (9p), 1 tbsp goji berries (26p), 1 tbsp bee pollen (33p), 6 lettuce leaves (42p), water.
COST: £2.26

- Salad: 6 lettuce leaves (42p), 1.5 apples (33p), 1 orange (29p), 8 brazil nuts (29p), 2 tbsp raisins (20p), 1 tbsp goji berries (26p), 2 dates (9p), 1 tomato (25p), olive oil (13p), soya sauce (2p), juice of 1/4 lemon (8p).
- Raw English Blue Cheese (Stichelton) from Neal's Yard Dairy for the salad (£3.14, 120g)
- 3 green teas, 3 redbush teas (free at work)
- 500ml pink grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed) from borough market (£2.00)
COST: £7.54

- 1/2 litre of Copella Apple Juice (86p)
- A raw 'Naked' 'gingerbread' bar (75p)
- A small snack bag of Tesco's dried mango (67p)
COST: £2.28

TOTAL COST FOR DAY 47: £12.08 ($18.67, €14.10)

Total Spent on Week Seven

Total spent in Week 7: £46.04 ($71.16, €53.75)
Average per day: £6.58 ($10.17, €7.68)

A summary 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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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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Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions. Read more about Ulla and this website here: "About CHR"

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"Your body's ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe." - Unknown