Raw Vegan? My Experience Eating Raw For 2 Weeks!
Past of Diet Failures
If you're anything like me, diets are hard. I'll start a diet or cleanse that I intend to follow for 2 weeks to a month and only last (if I'm lucky) a solid day. Breakfast is easy. Lunch is ok. Dinner is a binge fest. When I decided to try a raw vegan diet I thought it'd be the same way! Oh, how wrong I was.
How often do you eat raw meals?
Why Would Anyone WANT to Eat Raw?
First, let me tell you a little about WHY I wanted to eat raw for two weeks. I've been a vegan for a few years. Originally it was for health, but I kept eating vegan for the animals and environment. Well, healthful veganism turned into junk food veganism and I stopped feeling good. My meals usually looked like this: fruit smoothie for breakfast, fruit smoothie/salad/eat out for lunch, eat out for dinner, late night snack of chips or cookies (with coffee/hot chocolates from Starbucks mixed throughout the day.) I needed a change in my life. Eating cooked food was offering too many unhealthy options for my poor self-control. So I did what any normal person would do. I googled a fix (within the vegan community), binge watched youtube videos, read blogs, and decided overnight to be a raw vegan.
It would be an extra extreme thing to try as someone coming from the SAD (standard American diet). But I was already well exposed to having some raw meals in my day so it was probably easier for me than it might be for othes. That being said, even though my typical breakfast, and sometimes lunch, had been raw vegan I honestly thought by dinner I'd have cravings and urges to eat junk! Not to mention my coffee addiction....I'd quit in the past once and had mirgranes for a week. I was not ready to experience that again. But something needed to happen, so I dove in!
Day By Day Breakdown
I kept a journal while eating raw so I could look back and see what I ate and how it made me feel (and adjust my food as necessary.)
Day 1: I was SOOO excited to have made it through without a single craving! Like, the day passed, I hardly thought about food. And BOOM. I'd made it. That night I dreamt for the first time in months (that I remember at least.) Aside from the dreams, everything seemed normal.
Day 2: I had a slight headache all day, probably from lack of caffine. But I made it all raw and was, again, SO excited to be 2 days into a cleanse/diet/lifestlye change! 2 days doesn't sound like much, but it was HUGE for me. Also...Uh...I thought I had a healthy bathroom schedule before. Turns out I was wrong. My body started some serious cleansing (removing excess waste from who knows how long). Sorry. TMI.
Day 3: Adapted to my new bathroom schedule. Still trying to get over the fact I've lived 20 years of my life being constipated and had NO idea.
Day4-5: I feel ecstatic that I've stuck with raw for this long. Honestly, I had no cravings. Zero. Zip. Nada. How is that even a thing for me?!
Day 6: My acne cleared up! (Could be a hormone thing, could be a diet thing. Who knows?) I've been dreaming every night too! Since day 1 of eating raw I've had dreams. Isn't that strange?
Day 7-12: I'm really comfortable eating raw by this point! I love how my body is responding. I'm continuing to dream (I find nights I dream I wake up less tired...maybe it's a deeper sleep?) The only downside thus far is I have to eat A LOT. For someone who loves food it's great! But even then it's hard! Everyday I'd try to be conscious of getting enough calories (2,300-2,600). Somedays it was really a challenge (especially at work).
Day 13: I overate. I had plenty of calories (2,500) then came home and had raw pad thai (it's soooo good) and banana "nicecream." Too much yummy food! I endulged!
Day 14: I woke up extrememly early for work! My stomach hurt because of it (You know that early morning stomach feeling? Ugh.)
These 2 Weeks Changed My Life
In summary, I had a really good experience eating raw. I learned A TON about my body and eating intuitively. After just 2 weeks of eating raw I've found it MUCH easier to identify when food is upsetting me (in subtle ways I would've never noticed before) and how to adjust my meals to feel the best. I've learned what a healthy bathroom schedule looks like for me (i.e. pooping more than twice a day. Sorry. TMI again.) There are so many little things, stomach pains, cloudy head, focus issues, restless sleeping, the list goes on, that I would've always passed off as normal. But now I know it's largely diet related!!!
The downsides I found were having to eat so much more food! The quanitites were HUGE. I often got hungry between meals because I was struggling to consume enough food. But planning ahead by packing enough for work, school, or just the day could help avoid that problem.
So, why would I stop eating raw if it was so great? Well. I still eat most of my food raw. I'm not some nazi food police and on occasion I still will have a meal out here or there. Side note: My first cooked food after the 2 weeks raw made me feel TERRIBLE. I didn't poop for like 10 hours. My stomach hurt. My skin got oily. It was awful. BUT I've learned what I can and can't eat.
If you're a vegan, or if you're not, and you want to improve digestion and learn a TON about your body and intuitive eating without (if you're lucky like I was) cravings or caffine addiction, I definitely reccommend giving it a go! Dive in! Drink the juice! Your body will thank you for learning and caring about it ;D