I’ve been eating probably 90% raw food for the last two weeks a minimising dairy to a small amount of yoghurt in my smoothies and milk in my tea… well I am British!
Given that ‘mostly raw’ is a club that I used to be part of and I’ve always had a super juicer, the transition has not been difficult at all – but I have not cut out dairy or gluten before for longer than 4 weeks. If anything I am still excited by new tastes and ways to do things in the kitchen so it’s actually been a lot of fun (even though my folks probably still think this is some sort of foody fad that will be over in 10 minutes)
The great thing is that is is not so unusual to want to eat less dairy and gluten these days, and if you say I have salad for tea every night people don’t think that is strange so I just carry on regardless
I have still been having a normal life with a couple of meals with friends and family and a few pints of ale due to nights out or gigs. I also still drink the odd cup of tea or coffee as I’m not trying to fight any strange illness or having a competition with the world to see who can be the healthiest – the majority is super healthy so a little bit of what you fancy every now and again is totally fine with me! Even so, I am noticing changes…
What have I been eating?
- Raw or dehydrated foods: (spinach, kale, onions, spring onions, celery, carrots, beetroot, courgette/zuchinni, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pineapple, grapes, bananas, pears, strawberries, mango, lemons, limes, papaya, oatmeal powder (blended oats), vegetable powder (all of the above), all of the above also juiced and made ice-cream
- Cooked foods: Canned tuna, fresh salmon, fine fillet steak, eggs, baked potato, grilled mackerel, green beans
- Cereals/Grains/Nuts: Bran Flakes not many once I also decided to go wheat free, Powdered Oats, cashews, almonds, walnuts, olive oil, rapeseed oil and butters made from sunflower and Pumpkin seeds.
- Herbs/Spices: Garlic (home dried), coriander, chives, parsley, cinnamon, chilli, salt, pepper
- Processed Food: purchased 1 bacon sandwich en route to a gig, a few biscuits in meetings, dessert at my sisters last night
- Drinks: Non GMO organic soya milk, home made almond milk, tea, coffee (not giving that up completely!) probably a quarter cup of milk in my tea and coffee and a LOT of water – more than before to counter the dehydrated food part (you would be surprised how much you can get away with drinking less liquid when you eat fruit and vegetables in abundance).
- Booze: Real ale (2-3 pints), red wine (a few small glasses in the last 2 weeks)
So as you can see, pretty healthy. I actually quite like these foods so don’t crave any processed stuff at all.
What changes have I noticed?
Having lived the life before there were some expected changes but it’s still a shock to the system when you realise it’s this easy to feel great – I won’t say better as I don’t really ever feel bad due to the fact that I eat all of these things anyway, just more cooked food than raw (my body has always told me when I need to stop going out and eat more green vegetables).
So here you go
Energy - initially – I felt tired in the afternoons for two or three days but that passed – this is the same on a detox as I’m guessing the liver is working hard to get rid of the crap it’s been loaded with for such a long time. (I’m looking at YOU Mr Booze!).
I’ve always been a bit of a machine and will keep going and working 12-18 hours a day regardless of sleep without any noticeable change in mood or ability but this week, the sense of well being that goes with feeling healthy is back – this is the feeling I have been missing, you know the one where you can take on the world no matter what happens. I am still workload tired but there is a definite spring in my step and it’s not just because I’m a little lighter.
Weight Loss - yup – nothing to start with then suddenly this week I have lost 7llbs – since my little shunt a few years back stopped me from running and cycling I put on 4 stone, so still have plenty to lose It doesn’t feel like the usual water loss at the start of a fad diet.
Skin & Muscle Tone - I am noticing that I have less dry skin – I can get away with no moisturiser in the morning when before it used to feel like someone was pulling at my face if I didn’t moisturise. Generally, skin all over is softer and muscle tone without any real exercise is also noticeable. Seriously – as a half marathon runner before that has been depressed at the loss of that feeling that you get from that run in the outdoors – things just feel firmer and I feel more upright.
Nails – having been a nail chewer for some time, I am noticing that I am just not doing it as much – I have also managed to grow some and not have them break off straight away.
I am not hungry – and when I am I just eat some dried apples, or have a handful of dried strawberries (seriously – they are like sweets!), or a bag of kale crisps, or a smoothie… [insert endless list here]
I don’t miss processed crap – I didn’t eat a lot anyway but like any other normal person I crave the occasional bag of crisps, bag of maltesers, bit of toast, quick sandwich from the shop
I don’t miss dairy – ok so I’ve still been having some in my tea, and yoghurt but I love milk on cereal, a tall glass of it, lattes, cream, ice cream (it is summer) and cheese – don’t miss them at all and I thought that would be the worst – I think yoghurt is going to be the only thinkg I can’t replace!
I don’t miss Booze – if you don’t give me any, I can take it or leave it, give me a pint of ale and I want more BUT the difference I noticed is that I was happy with just a pint – didn’t even finish pint 2 even though I was gigging and have a stage fright/please let me drink issue ha
Headaches - I have not had any withdrawal symptoms from less coffee or tea or any detox headaches from times that I have given up caffeine altogether, but I have found this week that even one pint of ale or a small glass of red wine has given me a headache.
I know this is potentially a good thing to drink less ale, but as someone that enjoys real ale and wine, this is also a bad thing! It’s either tannins, or not enough water due to more dehydrated food (or the fact that alcohol is essentially poison!). I also have a neck ache and back ache from the previous war wound after lugging boxes, sitting for too long and taking things to the tip but that’s nothing to do with the foods! I don’t take painkillers if I can help it so may have to down some rutin – natures aspirin – contained in all these foods
Sugar - not a negative consequence yet but I am actually more concerned about my teeth than anything else. I naturally avoid processed sugar as it makes me feel like I’ve been poisoned if I have too much but with all this juicing and smoothies, the sugars are being broken down. I may have to brush my teeth before eating as opposed to after!
Other than that, apart from strange looks I get and the ‘that’s very interesting and creative but I don’t want to try it really’ comments from home (haha) when I start raving about cashew cream or nutritional yeast – but more on that later today!
I don’t really get ill unless I get on a bus or a train with other ill people and even then it doesn’t’ last long and I’ve never had IBS or bloating or any of that stuff unless I’ve had weeks of rich food (Christmas) but that is understandable!
End bit to any food facists out there!
As I am still eating some meat and fish, I know that I won’t be classed as a real raw foodie despite 80-90% of my food being raw vegetables and fruit but that doesn’t’ bother me in the slightest – having seen the terrible stuff that some vegetarians and vegans eat (or don’t as the case may be with the purposely underweight) – I am still much healthier than many. I have also met many vegetarians/vegans that ’one day fancied a steak’ or were told to eat some protein by their doctor. Probably due to taking the easy route of processed from the health food shop (not always healthy!) or not having variety.
For me, it’s about making healthier choices and getting in to the habit of looking after myself instead of relying on good genes to ‘get away with it’ for as long as possible! Anyone that knows me knows that I fill my life to the brim so if I want to keep the pace up as I age, healthier choices are the way forward but until I can give up my addiction to cramming as much in as I can to too few hours or loving Real Ale way more than I should… for now, I will concentrate on the nutrition part and the rest will fall into place!