After going on vacation with a very good friend of mine and splurging just a little too much, we decided to try out a detox week when we got home. I had recently read a book about the energy you get from raw food and decided it was worth a shot. My friend, who's a vegetarian, making the raw food diet a bit easier for her, also jumped on board. We agreed to share daily notes on our meal plan, weight loss, and overall mood. The raw diet may not be for everyone, but my results were pretty incredible!
How I Got Started
Creating a grocery list was incredibly important, and it was my first step in figuring out how I was going to get through a whole week of raw food. I knew I needed to stock up on plenty of fruit, veggies, and nuts, but I also wanted some food variety.
After a quick Google search and walking the aisles of Whole Foods, I also tacked on balsamic vinegar, avocados, honey, raw bars, some dried fruit, and sashimi for the week. I planned out two to three servings of fruit for each day; veggies, avocado, and nuts to consume at lunch; spinach salads loaded with veggies for dinner; and snack bags of dried fruit and raw bars to carry with me throughout the day. I felt pretty good about my plan and how much fresh food and nutrients I would be taking in on a daily basis.
How My Body and Mood Changed
When I started the raw food diet, I was ready to eat healthy, but it was a lot harder than I expected it to be. The first few days, I felt moody and had a slight headache as I detoxed from caffeine and processed food. By day three, I was feeling a lot better and felt my energy levels begin to rise! Days four through seven were a lot easier, and I felt more in control of what I was eating and how I was feeling.
I began each day with some fresh berries, apples, bananas, honey, and almonds. Within hours, I was hungry and continued snacking on cucumbers, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and avocado. I consumed two or three raw snack bars a day, as I found myself to be continuously hungry while I followed this plan. I needed to make sure I had food around me constantly, and I felt as if I was eating all day long. However, when I added up the calories, I found the total was much lower than what I was eating previously, and everything I ate contained a lot less sodium. I made sure to get some sashimi or protein in the evening along with the nuts, as I felt this was the nutrient I was lacking the most.
I wasn't sure what to expect for weight loss, but I certainly was not prepared for the seven pounds that came off my body. I was on the phone every day with my friend, comparing our weight-loss notes, and we both were experiencing about a pound-a-day loss. This was probably the most surprising thing about the diet altogether. Even after completing the diet and going back to cooked food, the weight didn't come back on right away for myself or my friend. I think some of the weight was water weight that we were hanging onto post-vacation, but the rest was truly from flushing out our bodies with all the raw goodness.
Would I Do It Again?
As a detox, yes, but as a lifestyle, I did not find the raw food diet sustainable. I am a fan of eggs and chicken, and it would be very difficult for me to give up those kinds of foods long-term. And although I enjoy salads, cooking my vegetables and having a variety of recipes is something that I need. For example, one of my favourite recipes and staples is a healthy chicken noodle soup, and there's no way I could go for very long without it.
I will say that after the detox, I made an effort to eat more raw fruit and veggies, and I felt my taste buds were slightly reset, causing me to crave healthier, fresh food. I do think raw food should have a strong place in everyone's diet, and I encourage all my friends to eat as much natural unprocessed food as they can!