*disclaimer: I am not a certified anything, not a dietitian, not a therapist, nor intend to give any valid legal advice. do your own research on anything anyone tells you-my own advice included.consult with whoever you need-want to before embarking on any new dietary journey. this is your health we are discussing, nothing more important than that.
Summer is here, and my body (and soul, yes) are reacting .
I mean acting up.
heaviness, fatigue, mood swings, irritability-the works.
Oh- and to top that- every year around my veganiversary- (july 2013 saw Gary Yourofsky’s film, and BAM) I get these strange cravings for pizza and such , and just to be clear here-I do not mean vegan pizza with substitute mozzarella, but the real deal that tastes real and happens to be made from real cow’s milk.
So this year I decided I need to “go back to basics” so to speak, and restart my body on the vegan journey from a slightly different point of view: the raw version.
I have never tried the raw version since I believe legumes -as in beans and lentils- are the foundation of every good protein in our world, and a day does not go by without at least 1 serving of some sort of legume in at least one of my meals.
So? so no way you can eat these red beans sans cooking in boiling water for at least an hour- meaning cooking in above 118 Fahrenheit- meaning no way it is considered raw.
And what about soups, and stews? and tofu, and a lot of other staples I use daily, which I can’t think of right now and might not exist at all, but in the form of fear of change?
You can all see why summer was the best choice of time for me to try out raw veganism, since no need for soups and stews, and the fruit variety is simply amazing, so 10 days ago I decided to give it a go.
I made a point of not reading on-line anything before -so I don’t invent changes in my body I read about somewhere and my mind decided it must have happened to me too: to this I can only recall the funniest book ever written- in my opinion- “3 men in a boat” by Jerome k. Jerome.
The 3 go on the journey after sitting one evening, smoking and discussing various illnesses they suppose they suffer from (any kind of illness they ever read or hear of- including womb spasms and such) when they finally conclude they all suffer from an acute case of “overworking”.
*If- by any chance- you haven’t read it- this is a total must, it is hilarious, although written in the 19th century, english dry humor at its glory.
So here is my report on the super important subject of trying out raw veganism -pros & cons:
*1: what did I eat??
I actually ate quite well.
Not only the variety of summer fruit- melons, watermelons, nectarines, grapes, what not-
But also a lot of treats I didn’t implement into my diet before- who knows why:
Chia pudding with home-made date spread , grapes and nectarines, and raw almonds too.
Wow- this is something.
very filling, super nutritious : 2 tbsp of chia, soaked in about 0.6 cup of water overnight in the fridge, I added some soy milk and the date spread (1 tbsp )in the morning before going out for my run, when I came back- it was solid again-then added the fruit.
The nutritional value? checked it: 2 tbsp of chia give you 10 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, omega 3, magnesium and other minerals- all for 138 calories, now add the fruit(depending on your choice) and the date spread ( made of approximately 2 medjool dates) (1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber) and some soy milk- you have a very powerful breakfast/snack .
By the way- the date spread is the easiest thing ever- soak pitted medjool dates in warm water for a few hours, then mash the whole thing in a hand blender (with the soaking water! )- keeps in freezer, and the best thing is that it doesn’t freeze completely- it stays in a spreadable consistency- so you can make ahead and take out as much as you need- struggle free!
*I also enjoyed sprouted lentils in my salads- a great way to add a lot of fresh raw healthy protein -plus they are actually yummy!
In summer- sprouting takes only 24 hours, (lentils -haven’t tried sprouting beans), and what can be more fun than watching new life germinate from your colander?
Another great addition to my salads were seaweed. highly nutritious +interesting flavor!I didn’t buy anything special- took a clean pair of kitchen scissors, and cut sushi nori seaweed sold quite cheaply here.
*Another great thing I used is raw vegan protein powder I got on iHerb.
* I enclosed a picture just for full detail purpose, I have no shares or other interests in the company or in iHerb. buy whatever. or don’t- that’s fine too.
Used half a scoop -a full scoop is wayyyy too sweet for my taste, plus- really no need to go overboard with these in my opinion.
So -to sum this subject up- I was not hungry- and this is an understatement.
#2: energy levels?general feeling?
Since I was eating properly -no problems with training.
but- and that is a major problem to be considered before going raw –
my stomach had a really hard time adjusting to a diet relying only on raw fiber full ingredients .
It acted up, I was bloated and everything that goes along with that, and to say that it wasn’t fun is understating.
I am aware that any dietary change is something that needs a period of body adjustment, and I can say that as the days rolled, the bloating lessened, but- beware and don’t be surprised of it happens to you.
Fiber is great for the body, but even a long time vegan like me, evidently needs to adjust to the raw method.
*3:weight loss? glowing skin? any other miracles?
As to weight loss- since I ate a good amount of calories from the abundance of fruit and veggies and nuts and tahini and peanut butter and all that- I saw little to no change (I don’t weigh myself ;I see no need -I feel when I get heavier -my running becomes different ).
as to glowing skin- this one actually did happen-
I was looking in the mirror at the pool showers a few days ago, and thought to myself- “wow- my skin looks good! what happened?”-when I got home I figured out the only change was my diet- and then I read that people do swear that this is one of the benefits of going raw. I have to say it sounds a bit strange to me that it took only a week for the glowing effect- but since this is the only change I made- this is the only logical conclusion I could make.
Other than the supposed skin glow- no miracles.(yet?)
#4: Surprising facts I learned:
Turns out I wasn’t 100% raw, since I used 1/3 cup of soy milk- and soy milk is heated while processed , so there you go.
Oh- and my 1 cup of black coffee first thing in the morning? also a no no.
But- on the bright side- the sites I (conveniently) read stated that to be called honorably raw you only need to consume 75% of your diet from raw ingredients, and as far as I see it- I exceeded those 75% by far.
So I get to keep my headline and this post. no fear.
So since starting, I read that some doctors believe that raw vegan can be done only for short periods of time, since the beans and legumes are a thing in their opinion too, but others say its fine to go on for years.
Here is a link to an article I read addressing the pros and cons of going raw vegan.
I can say I feel great so far, except for the bloating -which is less disturbing now -after 10 days- compared to last week, but still is an issue, other than that- all is great.
But -as I said- going raw in summer time is just about the easiest thing ever- the problem in my opinion starts come autumn- and gets worse in winter time.
For the meantime- the pizza craving is long gone, which is a great plus, so I’ll keep going until I’ve had enough.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.