Overcoming Cravings On A Raw Food Diet

Soon I’ll have the 4th month anniversary of my raw food diet. This has been an exciting time for my body and mind and I think it’s only the beginning. The positive effects I outlined in my other posts describing the health benefits are going steadily, while the side effects, like detox simptoms are slightly fading away. My weight is constantly at the same level and my focus periods are getting better and better. I’m able to work more and feel more relaxed at the same time. To be honest, I barely know what a headache is and I haven’t been ill since this raw food diet started. My emotional flow is constant and even if I’m experiencing emotional detox from time tot time, it’s going better every time. After each emotional detox period I feel stronger and balanced.

Overcoming Cravings

There was however, a quite resistent aspect of this diet that concerned me a little and that was about cravings. I wrote before about that and I will write even more today, as I think I found a way to overcome those cravings. Keeping a raw food diet for a month or two is a manageable thing. But after you start to overlap some yearly eating habits, after you enter into a different season, for instance, your body will try to recall what it knows it’s eatable at that time of the year. Since I was taught for almost all my life that in winter we eat a lot of meat, for instance, my body is starting to ask for more meat. The actual needs of my body are easily met with fat rich raw foods like seeds or nuts, and I eat plenty of fat rich raw foods these days. The need is at a psychological level. There is an emotional link between a certain type of foods and my psychological reaction.

It took me some time to understand that. And a little bit more to decide how to break this. And this is how I started to do it.

The Power Of Example

I feel fantastic on this raw food diet, I really do. It’s one of my best periods in terms of health and lucidity. I don’t think I felt like this from my teenage period (when I was doing a lot of exercise) and now I write every day. I feel gorgeous.

But sometimes I tend to forget this. I mean I feel so good that I can’t really imagine how it’s like to feel bad. I’m not tired at all and when I go to bed I usually fall asleep in less than 3 minutes. I sometimes monitor people around me and notice some visible spikes in their energy levels, followed by long periods of apathy. The spikes are mostly related to stimulents like coffee or cigarettes, they last for several minutes, while the apathy can last for several hours. Those intervals are so clear to me, I can really grasp how the other person is feeling. This empathy boost must be related to the diet too. So, when I see how other people are doing around me, I remember that I used to do the same. I lived the same life and I was convinced that there is no other way of living.

But despite the fact that my health is fantastic and my mental abilities heavily boosted, I tend to feel some cravings. Those are food cravings, I’m not after stimulents like coffee or cigarettes. During the last week I started  to quit caffeine and it worked quite ok so far. Just one or two cravings for coffee, mainly when Diana is making the morning coffee, but after that I’m detached from caffeine for good, I don’t need it anymore. But the food cravings are still there.

And I tried a little trick. If the cravings were mostly mental cravings, then I had to use another mental trick to break them. I felt the need for some food not because the food benefits, but because in my mind it was linked to some positive emotion. It was a sign for a comforting or pleasuring event. Like you know, celebrating something or feeling comfortable. So, knowing that, I tried to eat some cooked food that I craved, but knowing that I will feel a little bad after that.

For instance, I tried to eat one or two cookies and monitor my body responses. It was an instant rejection activity: headache, low energy and uncontrollable focus. Like those apathy periods I noticed on other people. So, I used my fantastic health level as a contrast background for what cooked food can do to me. I de-linked the positive emotional link from cookies in my mind and re-linked to the bad effects I felt after I ate them again. And it worked.

Must sound a little masochistic, to eat something that you know it will make you feel bad, just in order to avoid the craving for it. Masochistic or not, it worked for me. And it worked very well. I first started with same ready made vegetable salad with mayonnaise I used to eat a lot when I was vegetarian. At that time I felt good because I thought it was a good thing to eat, even if the salad had a lot of chemical components that were actually poisoning me. So, I went to the supermarket, I bought and then ate some of those salads again. That night I barley slept, I woke up at 4 AM and felt drained of energy. My stomach could feel the acidity inside and it took me the whole morning to get rid of the bad feeling. Once recovered, my body was balanced again and it only took several hours. I was feeling good again.

And the most important thing was that the craving was gone. It worked! Next time I was at the supermarket, my emotional impulse to get those salads was gone. It was not linked to a positive emotion, but to the bad effects I experienced when I ate that. I tried again with some salted tofu. I tried to eat half of a box and I was again completely down. Like having some concrete ball in my stomach. Just a few months ago eating that tofu was a pleasant experience for me. I didn’t actually know the bad effects on my health because my whole body was in a dormant state. But once awakened and healthy, my body rejected that type of food. Guess what? No more tofu cravings for me.

Yesterday we went out and wanted to celebrate a little event with some french pastry. Needless to say that months ago I was a pastry addicted. This time I ate just two french tarts. I felt the headache coming while I was still eating those tarts. The feeling was completely mixed up. The taste was still considered good by my mouth while my brain started to unlink that feeling and re-link it to the nausea and lack of focus that I started to feel. No more pastry for me, sir!

When To Stress Test Your Cravings

That’s a good question. This type of stress test craving might not be for everybody. In fact, it might not work at all. But if you decide to try it, I recommend to do it after quite a long interval of 100% raw food. This is necessary in order to build a healthy body and a constant state of health and balance. You will use that state of balance as a contrast background to the bad feelings experienced by the food you crave, but you must have this state of health and lucidity.

I don’t think it’s good to mix raw food and cooked food in the first two months just to avoid cravings, because in the first two months the body will still try to readjust to this new way of eating. Mixing raw food and cooked food during this period will send mixed signals and your body wouldn’t know which path to choose.

But if you managed to keep a raw food diet for more than 2-3 months and still experience cooked food cravings, give this trick a try. It might work for you too. It certainly worked for me.



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I’m blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You’re invited, by the way.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. It’s in our masculine nature to be in our head all the time. Counting. Measuring. Judging. Considering. Predicting. Estimating. Evaluating — am I winning or losing?
    It’s good for fixing things, pay bills, take care of your family,,, etc. but it suppresses your natural connection that you have with the rest our body. Being present in the moment, feeling, sensing, flowing……
    It seems that eating RAW FOOD helps restoring that lost connection by reminding your body of a time when there were no money, no business, no computers, no blogs, no PHP, not even Iphone,,,, nada,,,,, (and maybe that’s why little kids will never give their Big Mac with Fries in exchange for some raw celery with brocolli,,,, it just doesn’t take them anywhere because they are already there,,,).
    It’s just an observation that some people when reconnecting to their body at deeper levels and unwinding from their minds, even the celestial motion of stars can impress a powerful e-motion on them.

    Enjoy beeing 18 with a 38 y.o. wisdom for now!

  2. Great Article!
    I did raw food for about a year and lost tons of wieght and felt great but for some reason the cravings took over, now a year later I have put all the weight back on and feel like hell but I just can’t seem to get motivated to go to raw, it was just way to tough traveling and surviving on the go.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Memories Of A Used Jeep =-.

  3. I just started the raw diet, had meat for dinner and my body totally rejected the meat after a couple hours later. I should have waited a month because I feel like crap and about to have Christmas lunch/dinner with the families tomorrow. Oh well… Merry Christmas. Stay healthy, live long and well! Hallelujah!

  4. Dragos, I know this is a rather old post and I came looking for it to link to it as a reference for one of my (older) posts. I wanted to ask you if you are still doing the raw food diet? I have tried it partially and a variety of different things like green juicing, green smoothies, raw foods half of the day, vegetarian all the way, etc and now I have a balance even though I eat some meat once in a blue moon (Mom’s cooking!) and cooked foods (mostly vegetarian). I do love raw foods though! Just haven’t been able to commit exclusively to them! Great post on fighting cravings!!!

    1. And yet a year later there are more people coming through! I found a lot of great info in this post. I’ve just started a green smoothie diet and it’s so hard since its mainly liquid. After caving a few times i realized how bad the cooked food made me feel, this is the way!

  5. Overcoming crawings while you are on a raw food diet is one of the most difficult things, however it is the main key to success, at least I think.

  6. […] was home. I will tell you the location of each and every junk food joint within 15 miles of my…How to Conquer Your Cooked Food Cravings Once and for All: A Guide for Destroying Cravings on a Raw …, Unhealthy Cooked Meals?” You can now finally GO And Remain RAW with this particular ultimate […]

  7. Hey-
    I totally hear you on all of this! I’ve been playing around with going totally raw for a few weeks now. Every time I crave cooked food and give in, I can feel my body rejecting it almost immediately after, which I’m hoping leads me to associate those foods in a different way. I think the hardest part is that lately when I’ve been craving cooked food, it isn’t one specific food, but really just cooked food in general… Any advice?

  8. Thank you for sharing this.
    I know what to do when i have temptation:
    Feeling my body on raw food and remembering how it was on cooked food-give me a straight to continue.

    This is a test of my personal straight. I am 2 days into it. I want to be sexy and lank for summer and girls 🙂

  9. i sooooo badly want to go all raw, but i can’t even make it thru ONE DAY, i crave cooked food insanely by evening time. it’s utterly impossible for me to resist these horrible cravings, and i have no idea what to do…. suggestions?

    and no i’m not a food addict, i’ve never noticed cravings IN MY LIFE before, except after a year on a strict diet or something like that…

    but the cravings for cooked food, i have never encountered anything soooo strong… not junk food, just rice and beans (organic)

  10. Yes what your saying certainly works for me also. Thanks, I love the way you worded this post. Good advice!

  11. Thank you for sharing this! It is amazing how we don’t even realize how bad things are making us feel until we stop eating them and then go back. I experienced the exact same thing, especially with sugar.

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