It’s been more than 4 months now since I’m eating only raw food. That means eating only fruits, vegetable and seeds, unprocessed. It’s been quite a while since I’m doing this and I’m glad I did it. In today’s post I’ll try to outline some of the consequences of this lifestyle.
Raw Food Is A Lifestyle
Yes, that’s the most important thing about eating raw. It’s more than a diet. It’s more than an eating habit. It’s a lifestyle in itself. Eating raw food had a lot of impact in all areas of my life. The most noticeable effects were those related to my physical body. I will not insist on that, I’ve already published some graphs of my weight loss in the 3rd update about raw food. I will just mention that my weight remained steady, between 79 and 81 kg, no matter what I ate.
But as I said, it was not only the weight loss. My sleeping patterns improved dramatically. I can wake up every morning at 6 AM and have a full day without noticing fatigue. I can do all type of work, not only intellectual, and feel balanced and lucid. No matter if I do some DIY work in the garage, involving use of heavy machines, so to speak, or if I work on my social network or do some blogging, the overall energy level is still high.
Sometimes I wake up at 8 AM, but that’s because I fall asleep after midnight. I still feel ok. Sometimes I wake up at weird hours, like 4:43 or 5:32, several days in a raw. I have to find a way to cope with that. Sometimes I stay in bed, and sometimes I wake up and try to do some work, or to read or to surf the web. There are days in which I try to take the afternoon nap with Bianca. I don’t feel that strange feeling of oversleeping, even if I do take a one hour nap in the afternoon. I wake up alert and energetic.
In fact, this energy level is so much higher that I sometimes forget other people do experience spikes in their energy level. I noticed that before but it become much clearer in the last month. Right now I can feel if somebody has a energy spike or an energy whole. Most of the time those spikes are related to cooked meals – man, I feel so satisfied with this, I need to be lazy for a half an hour -Â or to coffee. I don’t have this type of up and down energy line anymore.
My body appearance has also dramatically changed. Not only I dropped that ugly belly for good, but I can see that the muscles on my body are now in the correct place. I need to reboot my gym practice though, and I could hardly wait for it. I didn’t started right now because I know there will be an adaptation period of at least one week. And in one week we’ll going in Switzerland for the Holidays. We’re expected to stay there more than 2 weeks, have the New Year Eve there, and that would just made the first gym week useless. I’ll start it next year.
The physical effects are quite visible, but are way less important than the non-physical effects. I took some serious decisions during this raw food period. Decisions related to my work, my relationships, my relocation. All were pretty hard to take decisions. All involved a lot of thinking and processing. And all involved a lot of inner strength to be applied. And I found that strength with ease. I realize that in other conditions this period could have been quite a rollercoaster for me. My whole being seems to be a lot more balanced and I respond to challenges in a much more relaxed manner. It’s like I’m more aligned now.
I like this raw food lifestyle. It has good points and bad points, of course. But the good points are far more important for me now. The health and lucidity I’m experiencing right now easily overcome the social cost. Because there is a social cost. Eating raw makes you the strangest guy in the room, wherever you go, trust me on that. Eating out is a little bit difficult, but I managed to do it by eating all the salads they have in the menu. Sometimes the waiter is putting all the meat courses in front of me, and the salads in Diana’s place. I have to tell him is the other way around and watch for his surprise.
Sometimes, when I’m out for more than 4-5 hours in a row, I need to find a way to eat something. I have to buy some fruits or stop to a restaurant and have one or two salads. Until now, those longer periods of activity were sustained by eating fast food, like pastry, vegetarian sandwiches or snacks. Fast food is junk food, of course. I don’t need that anymore. I wrote before about how I overcome cravings on a raw food diet and it still works pretty well for me. Eating raw in Romania is still something unconceivable.
Despite that, I’m happy I internalized this habit. I do it effortless now. I don’t have to bring in discipline or other scaffolds to support this. Eating raw is something that I do on a daily basis, without even thinking at it. And I’m enjoying benefits on a daily basis also. 🙂
Giving Up Coffee
That was so easy that I almost overlooked it. For the last 2 weeks I didn’t had any coffee at all. Giving up coffee was so simple that I almost forgot it. I decided to give up coffee two weeks ago, mostly because this was beginning to feel a little bit awkward. I don’t need any incentive or drug to feel awake, I already feel clear and balanced. In fact, when I was having coffee, I felt more like foggy and dizzy.
So I decided to give up. The first three days were difficult, I admit. I was still linked in by my taste and smell memories. Especially my smell memories were so powerful. I had to really pull the strings on not having coffee when Diana made it in the morning. Having coffee in the morning was part of our morning routine and that added to the difficulty. A side effect of those first three days was an increased need for sleep. I felt a little bit sleepy and uncomforted. I remember that I slept a lot during those first three days. Fatigue and need for sleep are usually symptoms of detox for me.
After that, nothing. I just break up with the addiction in three days. No need for coffee, no craving, no smell induction. I found that I don’t really like the smell of fresh coffee. After I gave up, the coffee smell become so powerful, in a different way, until I was able to break it into smaller pieces. I can smell now the roasted part of the coffee and I also feel a wilder and not so welcoming smell, strong and almost rejecting. This is how coffee is smelling to me lately. And that doesn’t make me to crave for it at all.
I’m glad I gave up coffee. I know I can have coffee whenever I want, if I want, what I gave up was the addiction to coffee. I don’t feel the need for it, not even socially. If I meet friends in a coffee shop I usually order an orange or grapefruit fresh. Fortunately, most of the coffee shops are making orange fresh these days.
Punishment Versus Reward
After 4 months of eating raw food I know that the most common reason people are falling to a new eating habit is the punishment versus reward mechanism. Every diet is seen as a punishment. And every food “indulgence” is seen as a reward. Food is not used for nourishment, but to balance an emotional imbalance. There wouldn’t be nothing wrong with that, as long as the “indulgence” wouldn’t be in fact a form of poison.
Refined sugar, complicated thermal cooking techniques, inorganic chemical substances, all of these are the base ingredients of any “indulgence”, from chocolate to gourmet servings. Every emotional downfall is then healed by having this reward. But the physical effects of these rewards are devastating. Health declines and soon one is facing with the decision to give up some of the “indulgences” for something more healthy.
And here comes the “punishment”. Every diet has a very precise duration. This is the duration of the punishment. The longer the punishment, the better the health effects. But after the diet, one can safely return to those “indulgences” making the circle complete.
You have to break that circle. Eating raw is not a diet, is a lifestyle. Eating healthy is not a diet, is a way of living. You don’t need any “indulgences”, because your whole life could be an indulgence. And you won’t need any punishment, because your health will be better and better. Keeping a “x days diet” is seeming one of the worse things one can do to their eating habits. Either you change it for good, either you don’t.
This is nothing but a choice. Your choice, of course. And one of the best choices you can make.