Does The Raw Food Detox Diet really work?
Raw food can change your life!
I live in Los Angeles, and it seems like everyone is doing some sort of fast or cleanse or special diet.
It seemed like a waste of time to me, until I saw the results. I thought I eat healthy. I'm vegetarian. I like eating my broccoli. I drink fresh smoothies. I don't eat too many sweets. I thought it was just air pollution or stress causing my sporadic bouts with the flu and my constant allergies. It didn't seem like I needed a drastic change in diet.
My boyfriend decided to try The Raw Food Detox Diet book by Natalia Rose, but I wasn't so easlily convinced.
While he consumed fresh juice for breakfast every morning, I kept on having my usual frozen organic waffle or toast with tea.
After 2 weeks, I noticed his eyes looked so much brighter and bluer and they had such a sparkle to them, and his skin looked really creamy. His belly also completely disappeared.
I started feeling left behind, so I gave up my usual routine to join in the fun.
Natalia Rose recommends you drink a green juice every morning, which was the biggest hurdle for me because I wanted something sweet and tasty in the morning!
It's a real challenge to break the regiment of breakfast, the morning ritual of tea and toast, orange juice or coffee while preparing for the day. I don't wake up and think "vegetables," even though I have been doing this for a few months. It definitely takes time to develop new habits; I just remind myself of how good I ill feel all day if I take the time to do it. You can test yourself, after a few weeks of juicing, go back to eating some waffles or a big hearty breakfast and you will feel like a ton of bricks just hit your stomach and has nowhere to go!
Every morning I make my green juice from celery, lemon, kale, an apple, and parsley. I started feeling the difference right away. The Juice doesn't taste bitter at all. The lemon and apple sweeten it to taste like grape juice and the energy you get from it is incredible. I have juiced before, but drinking it first thing in the morning really is where the real clearing out of toxins process happens! My allergies disappeared, I stopped getting the flu all the time, my PMS is completely gone. If someone told me about this I probably would have a hard time believing them–who knew food was this powerful?
Even though I recently lost my health insurance, It doesn't give me anxiety like it used to because I feel so good. My digestion is improved and so is my sleeping schedule. I used to love to sleep in every chance I could, but now when the sun rises I can't wait to start the day. That is the complete opposite of the old me. I can't believe the changes in my appearance and my health in such a short amount of time (its only been 4 months). I really didn't do this for weight loss, but the fat just fell off. I have always walked every day for exercise and have never achieved muscle tone, and i'm finally getting that. The only thing that's hard to get over is the cravings I had for the first few weeks for pizza! But I found a solution which is to spread a sprouted grain tortilla with pureed tomato, garlic ,basil and cheddar-style hard goat cheese (heat it in a pan or toaster oven). This really helped my cravings!
Natalia Rose recommends not jumping into the raw diet 100% at first. You can have a cooked meal for dinner. The reason for this is that when you first start eating raw juices for breakfast and raw lunches you will release many toxins into the bloodstream that your body has to get rid of, the more raw you eat the more the built up stores of toxins come out. You want to do this slowly to prevent any discomfort, illness or skin outbreaks from too many toxins trying to get out at once.
I had this experience myself, feeling so good the first week, I just wanted to eat more and more raw and I got the flu right away. it was just too much toxins for my body to release. After 3 days of rest and juices I was back to health and have been great since! I don't have my chronic sinus problems, the box of tissues by my bed is gone, the constant nose blowing commotion is no more.
One of the main reasons I like the Raw Food Detox Diet book is that she explains the concept of "food combining." I had never heard of this before. I just thought you put food in, and then your body took its nutrients and that was that. But now I know better! And I know why I felt so sluggish and grumpy all the time. Basically if you eat the wrong food combinations, like fruit after protein the protein takes hours to digests while the fruit only takes 30 minutes, so the fruit ferments (rots) in your intestine causing gas and bloating! Natalia Rose calls this the "quick exit" strategy. You want the food to digest and leave your stomach as quickly as possible. Eat grains and vegetables together and protein and veggies together, never protein and grains (meat and potatoes a NO-no!) It will make you lethargic and tired. You should eat from lightest to heaviest through the day for best digestion. Start the day with green juice, move on to fruit or veggies and then your largest meal at dinner. This sounds like the opposite of what people usually tell you, but it actually works. You will experience less bloating, gas, stomach aches, and that tired feeling after meals will go away.
Reading the book is really important because this information is all so unfamiliar to most people, so its worth investing in or at least checking it out from the library. I like that she's not as dogmatic as other raw foodists. She takes you into the raw world gradually, which is the best way because it seems so foreign at first. This seems cliché, but once you start to go raw it will change your life in so many unexpected ways. Eating raw food just makes you more positive and when you feel better it reflects back to every part of your life. Even if your friends think you are weird at first, they will see the changes in you and want to jump on board the raw food train! It makes for interesting pot-lucks and family get-togethers when you bring your raw food to the table, its like a door opens that no one even knew was there.
You will also need a good juicer, I bought a cheap one at Target and it didn't do a very good job at juicing greens or parsley. I took it back, and then got an Omega juicer extractor which I LOVE because it's quiet, easy to clean, and it juices everything, leaving a dry pulp behind. (The vegetable pulp shouldn't be wet because that means all the juice isn't being extracted properly.) When you use a juicer every day you want it to be easy to clean and also not too loud or you will never want to juice. I would definitely splurge on a good juicer. Most raw foodists tell you to buy a good blender like a Vitamix, which will last a lifetime. However, they will set you back about 250-500 dollars. I don't have that kind of money to spend, so I bought a $79 Cuisinart blender/food processer that works great so far! I would like to invest in the $300 blender some day, but for now I'll just use my cheap one. Also if you want to make all the really yummy raw food stuff (like snacks and desserts) you will need a dehydrator. I would do the raw thing for a few months before investing in that though. The best model is made by Excalibur. A really important inexpensive raw tool that I use every day is my mini Cuisinart food processor for making all kinds of amazing raw sauces and salad dressings. A good mandolin is also great for chopping veggies paper thin and into matchsticks. You won't believe how delicious veggies taste when chopped thinly. They are so much more appealing that way and you can load up bowls of matchstick veggies with pesto or marinara like its pasta! Matchstick jicama and carrots with cilantro peanut sauce is delicious!
There are plenty of treats and good things to eat and drink being a raw foodie: red wine, dark chocolate, lara bars, pecan date pies, raw lasagnas and raw ice cream.
Eating raw doesn't mean just salad all the time! I'm amazed at the variety of foods I never used to eat before! I was missing so much before I started eating raw. My absolute favorite treat is sprouted fruit and nut bread by Earth Seed and Nature's Path Manna breads, topped with raw sage honey are an excellent cake and pastry substitute. Sprouted corn tortillas by Food For Life are incredible with guacamole and arugula. Dagoba brand dark chocolate lavender blueberry bars are an excellent and healthy treat. You will see how much cheaper and better you eat when you start cooking with raw ingredients like young coconuts, dates, sundried tomatoes, nama shoyu sauce, lemons, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, kalamata olives, apple cider vinegar, almond butter, nuts, fresh fruits and veggies! There are so many great raw food cookbooks out there, don't be intimidated by going all raw right away. Start with a small change like green lemonade juice for breakfast and go from there!