The high raw diet this week was, in hindsight, too high in sugar for my personal situation, although I was only starting to suspect this at the time. I have underlined in the diary below the foods that I now think were too high sugar/ carbohydrate and were causing me tiredness and irritability symptoms. This would also have been the reason why I wasn't losing any weight.
At the beginning of the third week on this high raw diet I felt good. Quite good levels of energy although I still need a lot of sleep every night. Have been quite good with drinking green juices every day, my target being two bunches of greens in juice form every day.
During the week I got increasingly tired and needed more and more sleep. I also got additional detox symptoms, such as a coated tongue, cough, and mucous congestion. I feel that these are classic detox symptoms and tried, towards the end of the week to take enemas and drink more water, hoping it would help clear the backed-up toxins [Update: More likely due to the dehydration, congestion and other problems caused by sugar].
Woke up at 7.30am.
Green juice made with lots of celery (too much!), some baby green leaves, romaine lettuce.
AM snacks at work: redbush tea, raw kale crisps
I was rushing to work today and didn't have time to get more breakfast or snacks. That's why I ended up drinking redbush (rooibos) tea instead, and it helped with hunger and concentration. It's caffeine free though.
[Later note: I now suspect that I have a food intolerance to redbush tea, at least the TickTock brand from Tescos.]
Marks & Spencer salad (lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion) with home-made raw dressing: mango, soaked almonds, curry, salt.
Marks & Spencer berry smoothie. [Later note: Pasteurized and thus acidic.]
Redbush (rooibos) tea (caffeine free)
Stayed two hours late at work, was quite hungry again by the time I got home around 9pm.
Raw pizza: flaxseed crackers, pistachio-avocado-pesto, cherry tomatoes, pineapple (from a can, not raw), black olives marinated in balsamic vinegar (not raw), yellow bell pepper, cashew 'ricotta' cheese (with salt, lemon juice), olive oil sprinkled on top.
I decided to eat some canned pineapple today because it was too late when I got home and I couldn't get any fresh pineapple anywhere. And I felt the pizza needed it. [Later note: sugar craving?] Generally I try to avoid canned food, though, because of the plastic film and the metal inside - as well as for the fact that the food inside can be very old and not very fresh.
11.15pm: bedtime (I was really tired and fell asleep immediately)
Woke up quite late, at 7.30pm. I'm feeling quite tired this morning, it was difficult to get out of bed. Whenever I stay at work late, even if couple of hours, it really affects me the next day. I don't know what it is - I guess it could be the computers, the air conditioning and the positive ion environment that results.
I was having nightmares again last night. I dream so much these days, both good and bad. I don't know if the nightmares were because of what I ate last night (harder to digest dehydrated food?), the TRE exercises releasing trauma, or the grounding sheets. I think sometimes nightmares are just a letting go of tension from the subconscious so I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing.
[Later note: eating easy to digest foods, especially water-rich ones, is important for good energy levels.]
I forgot the enzymes and the adrenal glandulars at work so haven't taken those last night or this morning.
I've had quite a bad cough this morning as well as last night when cycling home. Hopefully it's detox.
Smoothie: Banana, mixed frozen berries, fresh blackberries, three romaine lettuce leaves, dried seabuckthorn berry, tap water, 1 tbsp maca powder, ashwagandha, two dates, handful of broccoli sprouts.
A large salad: romaine lettuce, fresh strawberries, red grapes, kiwi fruit, broccoli and mustard sprouts, dried apricot (sulphite free), a little bit of cooked amaranth, balsamic fig dressing (ingredients: figs, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon, salt).
It is 7.30pm now and I feel a bit tired again, though generally felt quite good and fresh all day. I coughed a lot after the lunch salad again, and a little on the way back home on the bicycle. My sinuses feel congested and the lymph nodes on my neck are a little swollen as they have been for many years. Today I started feeling like there is something stuck in my throat, like a lump that doesn't move anywhere. But I'm starting to feel a bit more confident and sharp as a result of this diet now.
Lots of apple juice (pasteurised)
Two raw apple pancakes with raw raspberry jam and raw cashew nut butter (all home-made)
Raw pizza: flax seed and tomato pizza base, pistachio pesto, cherry tomato, canned pineapple, fresh jalopeno, cashew nut cheese, black olives.
No teas or hot drinks of any kind today. I'm also still caffeine free, and have been for many months. The only source of caffeine is the occasional raw chocolate bar or non-raw chocolate before this diet. But no caffeinated drinks.
Evening weight: 61kg! My weight has actually gone up! But it might be because I weigh more in the evening than in the morning...
[Later note: probably my weight went up because of all the sugar.]
I woke up very late this morning, at 8am.
Vitamineral greens, hemp protein powder.
Smoothie: Frozen berries, romaine lettuce, chia seeds, dates, dried seabuckthorn berry, dried goji berry, maca powder, tap water.
I was quite busy at work and didn't feel like I needed snacks or tea.
Salad made of romaine lettuce, sugar snap peas, plums, etc. Dressing: mango-soaked almond-curry.
One raw apple pancake, made of flax seeds and apples, dehydrated. All raw toppings: raspberry jam (from raspberries and dates), cashew coconut cream (from soaked cashew nuts, maple syrup, cold-pressed organic coconut oil - have to make sure it is a good tasting one).
Grapefruit juice and mixed citrus fruits juice.
I've been coughing quite a lot today - hopefully it's detox. Going to bed at 10.20pm, very tired although been feeling fine all day. Stayed one hour late at work.
[Later note: Sugar is very phlegm-inducing, as is dairy. I had been dairy free this week but unfortunately not sugar-free... Natural sugar of course is ok in moderation but even sugary fruits, such as mango, seem to be a problem for me.]
Oh, and I had more very strong, vivid dreams last night. Not amazingly nice dreams but not nightmares either.
Woke up very tired, at 7.30am, but as soon as I managed to get out of bed I felt better. My eyes were puffy again although I haven't been taking thyroid glandulars or iodine. My tongue was very coated as well and I've also been coughing quite a lot today, especially when cycling. I really think these are all detox symptoms and I think they will go away as soon as I take an enema.
Oh, and I also had nightmares again last night. It seems to be every night since I got the grounding sheet. I hope it is a sign of my subconscious mind detoxing.
Vitamineral greens, hemp protein powder, 1 tbsp each. Smoothie: lettuce, 2 apples, maca, sea buckthorn berry (dried), dates, chia seeds, frozen mixed berries, water.
AM snacks: none
Very Nice Lunch:
Salad with three dressings: hummus, balsamic fig dressing, pistachio pesto - all raw except hummus. Salad: lettuce, strawberries, tomato, yellow bell pepper, green olives, himalayan salt.
Pistachio nuts (probably not raw)
No hot drinks of any kind today again
One boiled sweet potato with raw salsa and raw cashew and coconut cream. [which had maple syrup in it.]
It was a bit warmer today and I was cycling through the city in the sunset, misty weather. It was a very nice atmosphere and that made the idea of beer or cooked food in a restaurant or take-away for some reason very tempting. Funny how anything that makes you feel nice brings out the cravings. And also anything that stresses you out or makes you tired causes cravings too, like the fact that I stayed 1 hour later at work again today.
Woke up late, 8am. I felt very phlegmy and quite tired. My tongue was very coated. I notice it easily since I scrape my tongue with a spoon every day as part of my dental hygiene routine. And I flush my teeth with saltwater and tea tree oil, and brush my teeth with baking soda. It seems to work well for me. And I avoid the chemicals and the fluoride in toothpaste.
Even cycling I felt tired - it may be the lack of breakfast, but I suspect it is more the detox symptoms building up. I have to help my body to detoxify to feel better.
Vitamineral greens, hemp protein powder in tap water.
I didn't have time to have any other breakfast as I was rushing to work. I cycled to work in the rain and got there quite late.
Went out to lunch with a workmate. One of my 'rules' on this diet is that if I got out with other people I can eat whatever I like. So I had: stuffed vine leaves [has white rice], cooked green lentil salad (very tasty, with lots of lemon juice and spices), parsley salad (tabbouleh), mixed greens and olives salad, and a small piece of spinach pie, which had white flour pastry and feta in it.
Drink: Tap water with ice.
I took my pulse when I got back to my desk after lunch and it was 89 bpm (beats per minute). That is a clear food allergy reaction. I have noticed before that I seem to get a fast pulse when eating at that restaurant (Tas) and it suspect it to be the white flour of the spinach pie. For more information, see my "Pulse Test Experiment for Food Intolerance".
[Later note: I subsequently found many food intolerances, update on which is provided at the article below. These are a sign of a out-of-balance system and should be cleared once I get back to strength. But when food intolerances come, they usually come in droves...]
I was very busy at work so I didn't have time to eat any snacks in the afternoon. I was tempted by redbush tea but decided not to have it. I stayed two hours late and cycled home in the rain - again!
When at home I drank some pasteurised apple and apple & rhubarb juices. Went to bed between 9pm-10pm, felt very tired. Skipped dinner too.
Weight: 59kg (130 lbs, 9.3 stones)
Woke up a little before 9am, had lemon water, a banana and apple juice (pasteurised) for breakfast. I also had a raw SAF cracker with pistachio pesto.
I didn't have as many dreams last night but I remember waking up kind of terrified at some point. I feel that it might be emotional detox, to do with either the TRE exercises, the grounding sheets or the clean, high raw diet. It feels different from normal nightmares. I used some mantras to calm myself down (or just affirmations) and quickly went back to sleep. I slept really well generally, with a mask over my eyes and earplugs in my ears! It is good to block any light from coming into your eyes at night because your brain only produces melatonin in pitch black darkness. We get a lot of 'light pollution' from the neighbours houses, and from city lights in general, into our bedroom.
12 noon, feeling tired after my walk outside. The plan for today is to take an enema, hopefully that will get my energies back, and to do trauma release, start a page listing the benefits of different herbs and natural foods [Foods That Heal], and to make job applications.
Still coughing today, by the way.
Wild rice (black rice) cooked with one bay leaf, one mashed garlic clove, some scotch bonnet chilli, oregano, one shallot onion cut in half, two slices of ginger, pink himalayan salt. Toppings: pistachio pesto, cashew cream, pineapple, soya sauce (not raw, and with wheat), Bragg's liquid amino acids (not raw), black olives (not raw), broccoli and mustard sprouts.
I don't like to use veggie stock because all the ones I checked either had MSG, wheat flour, palm oil or other kind of denatured oil, or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (hvp) in it. What's wrong with hydrolyzed vegetable protein? It can contain up to 30% MSG (monosodium glutamate) in it! And in many vegetable stock cubes it's one of the earliest listed ingredients, meaning that it is one of the main ingredients in the stock cube! This means that, for example, the Kallo organic vegetable stock cube, whose package I just checked at the store, has potential MSG as one of the main ingredients (hvp)! (Although online it gives different ingredients. Perhaps they have different patches with different ingredients.) Anyway, this is another example of why you cannot trust a brand, and it is much better to read the label.
This is what Mike Adams, the author of the book: Grocery Warning, has to say about MSG:
"MSG, of course, is a potentially dangerous neurotoxin used to flavor countless processed food products. It's used in soups, salad dressings, processed meats, gravy mixes, flavored snack chips and virtually every popular brand of beef jerky. It is considered an "excitotoxin" by Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon who has written extensively about MSG and its damaging effects on human neurology.
According to Blaylock, MSG can promote eating addictions, obesity, brain cancer, endocrine system disorders, infertility and many serious neurological disorders. That's why it's so disturbing that MSG is hidden in so many natural-sounding ingredients.
In my Grocery Warning book, I warned readers to avoid all ingredients that contain the words "hydrolyzed" or "autolyzed." In addition, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) can also be a source of hidden MSG.
But the most common source of hidden MSG is yeast extract -- a sneaky little ingredient found in huge numbers of so-called "natural" foods."
- Natural News: Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) recall leaves food consumers wondering...
Dr. Russell Blaylock is a brilliant source of information on the problems posed by MSG, glutamates and other neurotoxins in general. Basically, MSG and glutamates make you dumb, docile and tired according to some reports in books and online.
4pm: I took a salt water enema. Still feel tired afterwards, though. Not sure why.
SAF raw crackers with pistachio pesto and raw dairy-free cashew nut cheese
5.45pm: When I feel tired like today I really just want to drink a beer or drink a green tea, to stimulate my brain and body! I'm starting to wonder if there is something wrong with my diet again - e.g. if I'm eating too much sugar or fat, or if the naturopaths were right and it is not a good time for me to start a raw food diet. Their argument was that it is too hard to digest and too Yin (as opposed to Yang energy in Chinese medicine). But smoothies surely are not difficult to digest and I am also including blended sauces and a little cooked food.
I don't know anything about Chinese Medicine so won't even pretend to follow those teachings just because I have heard some anecdotal things here and there - I think that would be a little foolish. I want to understand what I do and also do what feels right at the time. So not purely a left-brain engagement as I am also following my own intuition and what feels right for my body and mind. And my intuition at the moment says not to worry about Chinese Medicine, although I don't doubt that it is a brilliantly sophisticated and effective practice. I just feel that I should be in China if I wanted to follow and learn that.
[Update: I later found a good Chinese Doctor and the link above explains what I learned from repeat visits.]
Anyway, the other option is that this is just detox and the tiredness will pass on its own time. I do wonder about the sugar, however, and if I should monitor my blood sugar levels - seeing that I was diagnosed sugar sensitive by the hair mineral analyst and advised to eat protein always with sugar. Could these fruit sugar juices I have been drinking be harmful?
Funny, as I was writing this my arms started tingling nicely. Perhaps there is a delayed benefit from the enema? This gives me a bit of optimism... I don't think it is B12 deficiency (which has this same symptom) since I've just taken my vit B complex supplement!
[Later update: I think I was eating too much sugar, as the later sugar-free diets gave me good energy and fast weight loss. I have underlined in the diary on this page those which I now think were too high sugar content items. Not everyone might react as badly to these sugar items as I do but if you are after high energy, sugar-free will probably be worth trying, as I have heard many other people to say that once they went sugar free they got huge energy increases. See also: How and Why to Balance Blood Sugar.]
I took a long nap but it didn't seem to do much to clear my tiredness. But one thing I realized was that I haven't been drinking much water, and drinking plenty of water is essential with any kind of detox. So I downed a two big glasses of tap water straight away.
Vitamineral greens and hemp protein powder
Smoothie: Frozen mixed berries, apple, romaine lettuce, maca powder, chia seeds, dates, tap water.
Supplements I'm taking daily at the moment: adrenal and liver glandulars, C-vitamin with bioflavonoids, omega 3s from fish oil, selenium, boron, zinc, vitamin B complex and digestive enzymes. I will try to phase these out at some point and replace with real wholefoods.
10.15pm: Feeling tired again. I've had some slight backache today, and also my leg muscles were hurting a bit earlier. My eyes look dull, kind of glazed. I have no motivation to do much and not much energy. I just feel like reading a book all day or randomly surfing the internet. I don't even feel like watching a movie or YouTube videos. A very lazy, demotivated feeling. I am surprised it didn't get cleared by the enema since during my juice fast last year the detox symptoms always seemed to be helped by the enema and juice fast is meant to be a lot of more intense detoxification than a raw food diet. But I guess the detox symptoms take many forms. I hope I will feel better tomorrow, or soon. Of course if I continue to get more tired I will have to start figuring out what might be wrong with this diet, if it is making me weak.
Raw licorice Experiment
I just ordered some pure licorice from AllThingsLiquorice.co.uk. I already have some powdered licorice root and was wondering whether I could make raw licorice - looking for recipes. Since licorice root is meant to support the adrenal glands anyway. But to make it into licorice you have to boil it - so the products I bought are pure licorice but not raw. But the main thing is that I wanted to find a licorice which has no wheat and no added sugar in it. Licorice, however, is meant to be naturally sweet. So I bought "Amarelli Rombetti 40g" which has added anise flavouring (unfortunately), and "Lakrids Raw licorice Powder 50g". I don't know if it is raw, however. I was thinking I could sprinkle it on desserts to give them a licorice twist - I love all kinds of licorice, salty, sweet, mixed in chocolate, anything. It would be so great to have raw or almost raw licorice desserts!
Update: A nice licorice snack recipe.
Woke up at 8am, feeling ok although not extremely energetic. Quite good though.
Today is my once-a-week cheat day, I can eat anything I like. Maybe it will slow down the detox and I will feel a bit better. Today is gonna be quite warm, about 17 degrees according to weather forecast, so I'm going out to the Sunday markets with my boyfriend.
Lots of tap water
Smoothie: An apple, frozen mixed berries, romaine lettuce, 1/2 teasp of fo-ti root powder (he-shou-wu), 1 teasp maca, 2 dates.
10.20am: I have spent much of the morning learning about fo-ti root (a.k.a. he-shou-wu) and starting a new page: Foods That Heal. I will keep this as a reference of the different qualities, healing powers, dosages, testimonials and pricing of different healing herbs, foods and superfoods. The research is very exciting and I hope to be able to dedicate much more time on this page soon.
It is getting very sunny now, it could be the first summer's day!
Organic dark brown bread (rye and seeds) with two boiled organic eggs, pan-fried spinach and lots of pear juice (pasteurized)
Went for a walk to all the East London markets, the weather was very nice and warm, lots of people everywhere. The first summer day!
I drank 3 beers in total during the afternoon and evening, ate some mixed salted nuts (not raw), and for dinner had vegetarian sausages and blue-cheese mash - all cooked, with dairy and everything.
I got quite moody in the evening, somehow the beer really seemed to put me on low vibes and the fact that my belly was way too full from the dinner, beer, and lots of water I was drinking when I got back home. Felt a bit down and irritable in an unusual way. But it didn't last very long and I drank a litre of chaga mushroom tea with my boyfriend and felt a lot better [very high antioxidant tea].
I felt very tired at the end of the day again, however, and had to go to sleep early, around 9pm...
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.