After a series of 6 articles about The Making Of An Online Business, I thought it would be wise to write about stuff that has been ignored for long time here on my blog, and also about something a little more personal than business advices. Although they seem to have quite an audience, these advices are not my primary goal for this blog. As I always said, this blog is a continuous search for a personal path.
And that personal path lead me almost 6 months ago on the raw food track. My loyal readers know already what does that mean, but for the new ones I will outline some of the raw food specifics. I don’t eat meat, not any animal food like milk, eggs or cheese. I don’t eat processed food, anything cooked is outside my view. I only eat fruits, vegetables and seeds. The only exception is honey, which is the product of… I don’t know if I can associate it with milk, but whatever, I eat honey.
Although this seems like a very limiting choice of foods, it is in fact a very pleasant one. I eat apples, pears, bananas, avocados and all kind of fruits I can find. I eat a lot of roots like celery, carrots and parsley. I incorporate garlic and onions any time I can and of course I eat a lot of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicum. I discovered several months ago that pine buds are a fantastic food, along with almonds, nuts or pumpkin seeds. During winter I eat a lot of dried fruits like dates, prunes or raisins and of course oranges and mandarines. In fact, I do have a greater variety than before.
Raw Food And Health
I plan to have a complete medical test later this month and I will write in detail the differences from my last medical test. Please note that before going raw vegan I was a lacto-ovo-vegetarian for more than 3 years. I did have some cholesterol anomalies and I did had a colon sensitivity which was in fact pretty disturbing in the last 4-5 years. Before being a vegetarian I was a complete mess in terms of eating, I was also a regular drinker in my early twenties and I guess this can leave pretty powerful marks.
There are visible effects of my health even without the medical tests, which I guess they come clean this time. First of all, the weight loss is constantly at same level. I am 1,82 tall and my weight is between 79-81 kilos regardless of what, when and how I eat. During the first three months of being raw vegan I lost 14 kilos. This is a fantastic benefit and it will well worth a raw food diet even if it would be the only one.
My sleeping patterns are completely upgraded. I can go to sleep anytime now, have around 7 hours a sleep and then wake up relaxed and ready to go. Doesn’t matter if I go to bed at 23:45 or at 21:00, I do sleep 7 hours and feel ok. I had a lot of issues with my sleep before, I either overslept constantly, either made white nights every other week, in order to “win” some time. Not anymore. I literally sleep like a baby.
Oh, and one other thing to mention about my health, which I think it’s pretty important. During last month we were traveling for the holidays. While in Switzerland, Bianca caught a serious cold. She was feverish (around 39-40 degrees Celsius) for 2 nights in a row and had to have antibiotics. Usually, when somebody in the family has a bacterial infection like that one, all the family is picking it up. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t pick it up this time.
The other day, after 2 weeks of kindergarten, Bianca caught another infection (we were warned about that, every time a kid starts socializing like this, there will be an adaptation and immunization period). Didn’t caught this either. While Bianca’s immune system is starting to build up seems like my immune system is already better than before. It’s important to know that last year during May – just two months before starting to eat raw – I had a horrible illness in which I had almost a week of high fever, and it was a bacterial infection. So, it’s definitely a big improvement here.
I’m sure that my body is now in better shape and all its functions are better than 6 months ago thanks to this raw food habit. I also think that there are some better protection processes taking places in my body, but it’s too early now to write about this. I will monitor these patterns closer and see how it’s going. It’s basically about how my body reacts to a serious increase on stress (being it a fitness session, or a bacterial infection). I’m sure there is something much better going on, but without more details I can’t be sure and I really don’t want to go delusional here, keeping it only to the facts for now.
Raw Food Meals
I wrote about my raw food meals in the 3 months raw food update post. Nothing has changed since, but what I can say for sure is that I eat a lot less than before. I don’t do this on purpose, I just eat less. Diana is convinced that I am eating way too little for my body weight, but I do feel I eat enough. I suspect that my body has a better way to extract what it needs from the food than before.
I also think that the detox period is in fact longer than I believed. I guess it lasts at least for 3 months. In the first month you do feel the detox effects much stronger, but I think the process continues at least two more months. After this 3 months mark it seems that my body started to function full capacity, without spending energy on other processes (like managing toxins, for instance). And that can explain why I eat less than before without being hungry or feeling energy drained.
I made some food discoveries along the way, one of them being pine buds. I do enjoy eating pine buds raw or making something out of them. There is a fantastic sauce with garlic and pine buds that is going great with any salad you chose: lettuce, cucumber or tomatoes. You can even use it to enrich your pasta, if you’re not raw vegan, is still extremely tasteful. 100 grams of pine buds have around 650 calories so it is pretty fulfilling also.
The Raw Food Social Challenge
I extensively wrote about that during my first months of raw food habit. Seemed like one of the biggest obstacles when you go raw vegan. After almost 6 months I don’t feel the same anymore. In fact, I think this raw food diet served my well in realizing how fake the social life can be. There is nothing wrong or embarrassing in being raw vegan and still have a normal social life, provided that your social life partners are normal, open-minded human beings. If they are not like this, and your eating habit play such a big role in your relationship, well, maybe the relationship in itself it’s not worth sustaining anymore.
I started to go out on a pretty decent rate and meet old and new friends. We usually met at lunch or in some coffee shops and I eat exactly what I want, without feeling embarrassed by my choices. When the waiter come and put a big plate of stake in my face (somebody at the table ordered stake, of course) I smile and tell him he’s wrong. I still dig the surprise on his face when he puts 3 bowls of salad in front of me, and that is all I eat during the whole lunch. It’s really, really funny :-).
On the same chapter I would like to say that I’m not forced to eat raw, it’s a choice. This choice made me healthier and gave me a lot of other benefits (more on that below) but I am not doing this under pressure. In fact, when there is something new that I could try, or I do think that eating cooked food is not hurting me, I do this. One example would be the travel we had during holidays in Switzerland. This country is not very well fitted for a raw food vegan, although I managed to stay on track pretty well. But the proportion of sausages over fruits in their supermarkets is simply overwhelming. Well, when we ate out I did ate fondue a couple of times, just because I never ate this before. I instantly felt the effects but they lasted only for several hours.
What I wanted to say is that my choice is strong enough and I do it because it benefits me, not because I’m forced. It’s a big difference. I eat raw food because is good for me and I simply do more and more of what is good to me.
Cooked Food Tolerance
A lot of raw foodists had reports of bad cooked food tolerance. In fact, it seems that the more you eat raw food, the worse your cooked food experiences would be. Well, I’m not in the same league here, or so it seems. I did had several cooked food episodes, but it’s true you can count them on one hand fingers. If I’d had to measure the cooked food versus raw food in percents, I don’t think cooked food went over 1% of everything I ate in the last 6 months. That will be 3-4 cooked food meals in total. I didn’t had any big problems on any of those episodes, although I instantly felt the difference.
And speaking about the difference, I am going to remind you what are the symptoms of a good cooked meal: a little burden in your belly, a little sweat on your forehead, your legs becoming heavier and the urge for a nap. A fake sense of satisfaction, a lot of fogginess in your head, a mild but constant fatigue. Add to these the invisible but present degradation of your health as a result of high cholesterol and other “goodies”, and you have the whole picture. It’s so good to write about that only from my memories :-).
Raw Food Experience Real Benefits
I’m glad if you make it till here, because this is where the new stuff is. All of the above was just a necessary confirmation that I was on the right track from a physical standpoint.Â But the real benefits of being a raw vegan aren’t only there.
The real benefits of this dramatical change in my eating habits are well beyond the physical results. It’s more like a whole growing experience than just a diet. I learned tremendously during this diet and most of the things I learned have little or nothing to so with eating. It’s about self-esteem, powerful motivation and deeper influences.
Let’s take them one at a time:
Every change needs time
Having this experience for almost 6 months was enlightening. I can see clearly now how a long term commitment to a decision can work and I am ready to apply this to other areas of my life. It shows me the power of discipline and commitment. Staying raw for so much time while enjoying tremendous benefits is a fantastic proof of how a conscious choice can impact your life as a whole.
Don’t expect results faster, because they will not last. Spend time in your activities, monitor them constantly and look for the tiniest benefit you can extract. The longer you stay on track the bigger the benefits. This is so precious especially if you are embracing a new career, a new relationship or a new partnership. Every change needs time. And you have all the time in the world.
Powerful Positive Memories
No doubt this is a huge personal success. I won’t hide this from you as I don’t hide it from myself. Sticking to this for such a long time is so rewarding. I am that person, you know. I did this. I built so much powerful memories during this process. It’s not only about immediate improvement in my physical activities, it’s on the subtle level of personal development.
I can build on this foundation even more. If I’d start today another challenge, I do have something to rely on. If I did this, with so much reward, I can start everything. Every big personal success must be acknowledged and praised. It’s precious not only in itself, but by what it can ignite as an example.
Food Habits And Emotional Body
Besides everything that was already said here, I made another discovery, and that is about the food habits. There is so much of our activity that is going on auto-pilot, we don’t even realize that. When I reached the 3 months milestone on my raw food diet experiment, I thought it’s going to be quite easy from that on. Well, it happened that was the beginning of the winter and holidays. Tons of unconscious food habits emerged all of a sudden. Had cravings for cooked food that I thought I was way over and I started to remember situations and contexts in which I felt better than in my current state.
We’re so much emotionally programmed by our food habits. There is a huge power that lies in this plethora of habits we’re carrying with us and food happens to be one of the most powerful habits modifiers. Being completely unavoidable, food plays with our habits with so much ease. Our bodies need food in order to survive, so we can’t really get over that. And we wire into our eating habits a lot of other things we don’t even realize. For instance, every time you smell a favorite meal, you remember something good, like an early childhood scene, a night out with friend or a good business deal closed. Every time you smell something you don’t like you bring in unpleasant memories. Without even eating that…
Food is controlling a lot of our emotional body and a little change in that food layer can bring dramatic changes in all the other layers: physical, mental or spiritual.
11 thoughts on “Raw Food Update – Almost 6 Months Later”
Oh that’s fabulous! I’ll have a think about it and let you know/blog about it !
@Andrea hey, thank you for commenting here and for the decision to change something in your eating habits.
I wanted to prepare a quick response to what you want, but after a few minutes I realized this is too much for a comment. So, it will be a full post, called “Raw Food Primers” and it will focus on exactly what you wanted: things to know when you start a raw food challenge. I hope to make it available this week-end.
Hm, I just read this article over at zenhabits on eating raw food and it’s sort of convinced me to give it a go for 30 days to see if I can do it. I don’t usually eat a lot of meat (have it about once a month) but I’d really really like to try raw food because of some annoying skin problems. I’m not entirely sure it’ll improve things but I believe it might make a difference…only thing is I don’t know where to start and what food to focus on if I do.
Rules on what to eat and what not are also important, I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction seeing as you’ve been doing it for a lot longer now 🙂
@Angela you’re welcome, and do try, the best way to see if it’s working for yourself is to try, after reading about it.
@Celes thanks for sharing, feel free to share your thoughts here or to ask any questions on the subject, good luck with that 🙂
Hey Dragos, thanks a lot for the raw food updates 🙂 I’m currently switching to 50% raw myself and it’s helpful to have these experiences to reference to! 🙂
Dragos, thank you for keeping your readers up on your experiences eating raw. I am fascinated and encouraged by it.
@Mihai definitely, fermenting is a natural process and I consider these to be raw foods. Pickles are one of my favorites, by the way. Oh, and wine is also a fermented drink, and I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then 😉
@randomguru thanks for commenting here, I appreciate your kind thoughts. Becoming raw vegan from vegetarian is definitely much easier than going raw vegan cold turkey, I know what you mean. I also guess that improved sleeping patterns are just a sign that the body functions better.
thank you for sharing your raw food experiences.
i feel i’ve been going through a similar food journey as well. being vegetarian for most of my life, then vegan, then what they call a “high raw” diet at about 75% raw foods.
it’s interesting because i have experienced the same thing with sleep patterns. i had been an insomniac for most of my adult life it seems, and going 100% raw, i have improved on my sleep, and i can’t get past 9:30 or 10pm without starting to really feel sleepy. my wife says i’m like a wind up doll. but, i do have much more energy during the day so that really balances things out.
anyway, best wishes to you on your raw food journey.
Dragos, do you count as raw food, the fermented drinks ( vezi borsul de acasa ) or the pickles?