It’s been almost two months since I started the raw food diet and I thought it would be a good time to share some of the effects this diet had so far. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of eating I’ll just say that raw food means eating uncooked and unprocessed food, exclusively fruits, vegetables and seeds. I’ve been on this type of diet before, but now I do it much more strictly, while monitoring its effects more closely. First and foremost, I have to say that there were several exceptions from this diet, all of them because the events were out of my control.
It’s about the trip to New Zealand, which in itself counted as almost 4 days from the total amount of the last month. And two of these days were literally on air, the flight from Bucharest to Auckland is more than 22+ hours. So, on the plane I had to eat some cooked food, but I limited myself only to some bread now and then, some cheese, and the rest of the meals were just the salads, fruits or juice. The stewards were most of the time puzzled by my choice – and I have to admit that I could organize the trip a little better, by informing the airline company in advance about my culinary preferences – but they did their best to accommodate my appetite. So, with a little compromise from my part, I managed not to starve on the 4 transcontinental flights, and still keep the cooked food at a minimal level.
Another exception was an experiment. After reading a lot about B12 vitamin deficiency I decided to incorporate some B12 fortified food in my eating routine. I experimented with some cheese and then settled for B12 fortified cereals. I intend to eat twice a week a plate of B12 fortified cereals with plain water. It’s a compromise I need to make until I have a better understanding of this situation. The vast majority of raw food gurus seems to agree on the B12 necessity, while some other part claims that B12 can be found in seeds, especially sesame seeds. Will see more about that…
Weight loss and other benefits
The most visible change after this diet is my weight, which decreased from 93 kilos back in August 2008 to 83 kilos in October 2008. That is 10 kilos lost in 60 days. It’s a change so profound that I even had to buy new clothes the other day, because the old ones were so large… The weight loss was without any side effect, other the regular detox I experienced in the first 3-4 weeks. My skin also looks healthier than before, and my sleeping patterns, after I cope with jetalg, are constantly improving. I wake up every day at 6 am, and I go to bed around 10 PM. But there are situations in which I stay up to midnight, and still manage to wake up energetic and alert. When I go to bed at 10 PM I wake up 5-10 minutes before the clock alarm, but even if I stay over 10 PM and go to bed around or after midnight, I wake up normally when the clock alarm starts. I still feel ok, even with only 5-6 hours of sleep.
But the most important effect, while not so visible, was my increased focus and overall presence. I noticed in the first post also that on a raw food diet the focus and mental energy are exploding, but the second month of eating raw confirmed this in an uncompromising manner. I experience a constant state of presence and control. It’s like I see all the things and situations around me in a new light, and start to deal with them from a more relaxed perspective. This is especially important since my emotional scale has been also hugely enlarged, and that is both for positive and negative emotions. When I reunited with my wife and my daughter after not seeing them for almost 3 weeks, I was like floating, but the very next day, while getting caught in traffic and crowded places, I experienced a very deep and somehow pure anger. That didn’t felt ok at all, but at least it was flowing through me in one turn, letting me clean after I escaped the crowd.
Getting back to other, less important but still noticeable effects:
- I endured my 44h of flying exceptionally well, if I take into account the general tonus of other people on those planes. And they seemed somehow accustomed to those types of flights. I simply didn’t slept more than 2-3 hours each turn, meaning 2-3 hours out of 22+ hours of flight.
- After the trip I recovered from jetlag in only 3 days and starting to wake up 6 am each morning.
- I somehow deepened the space between me and my actions, I tend to act slower and pay more attention to all the stimulus I get from reality. I don’t know if it’s directly related to the raw food diet, but it wasn’t like this before this diet, that’s for sure. It’s like I have the room now to step back a little and prepare my responses to the reality, and not react programatically, like I’ve done in the past.
Eating for pleasure versus eating for health
One thing I realized during this diet is the fact that most of the people are eating for pleasure. Eating is just a way to incorporate energy in your physical body. But the vast majority of cultures attached this simple action to pleasure. You eat to satisfy the pleasure of taste. The food must have a good taste ( which basically came to have a familiar taste).
This attachment makes so difficult to start a new eating habit. You can’t satisfy your pleasure anymore and your brain is sending you signals for quitting this new habit. Your body, at the beginning, is sending also signs of adaptation: like fatigue, nausea and low energy periods. And what do you do? You quit even before your body adapted to this new way of incorporating energy. You quit before you know (and let your brain know also), in a conscious process of learning and experimenting, if that diet was good for you or not.
And all if this not because of the food itself, but because of your attachment to pleasure. I don’t have anything against the pleasure, what really bothers me is the attachment to it. Imagine how much pleasure you would have if you’ll eat a new type of fruit every day. It would be fantastic, like a little journey in the taste land, which you can do every day. You will explore and find new things. Some of them will please you from the first bite, some of them will reveal only after a few weeks. But you don’t get stuck with only a limited set of tastes, fearfully protected by your cultural habits so you can’t ran out of them. So you can’t escape from your own circle of pleasure.
Eating for pleasure has more to do with fear and irresponsibility. Fear of not having what you want, the taste you crave for, and irresponsibility because when you don’t get what you want, you tend to blame others for that. I can’t have cheesburgers today and it’s this bloody new diet fault. It’s not like YOU made the choice for it… The very moment you start to be frustrated, you blame it on the diet. It was your choice to eat raw, not the cabbage’s choice, but blaming the cabbage will save you at least the shame feeling…
If you try a new way of eating consistently and keep with it, you’ll do it out of your most precious quality: the quality to explore, to experiment other faces of life. Let down the fear. Being courageous doesn’t always mean beating the bad guys, Bruce Willis style, but doing something good for yourself. The most dangerous enemies are not the ones hanging out with guns, but your own deepest fears and attachments. And the reward for beating those ennemies will be fantastic.
Keeping the habit
I intend to stay raw for the next period while closely watching the B12 vitamin information. The main challenge for the next period will be to start preparing more complicated meals, or, in other words, start really cooking raw food. I know it sounds strange, but you got the idea.
Just the other day I made my first gazpacho soup. It’s so simple and quick, yet so fulfilling: 3 tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 leaves of tarragon and half of a medium cucumber. Blend it without water and eat it cold. Delicious! Oh, if there will be enough request, I will share next time some of my raw food recipes, habits and overall approach.
Have a healthy life 🙂 !