Join Date: Apr 2010
I'm relatively new to raw foods, only 6 1/2 weeks for me, but it's been an interesting experience. I was always overweight and adopted a healthy lifestyle in 2008, losing 60ish pounds over the course of two years. But at some point, I started to get obsessive about my eating habits and may have developed a mild eating disorder (never diagnosed...just my suspicion). Maybe I was being too restrictive and that eventually lead to binging (no purging) and rollercoaster dieting where I could restrict for a few weeks and lose some weight, but then I'd slip up and put it all right back on again. I was just fed up with living that way, so January of this year I just jumped head first into the raw food lifestyle. It wasn't any kind of a new year's resolution and I didn't start until maybe mid-Jan. I do want to lose weight, but more importantly I want my body to heal and to fix myself mentally and emotionally.
So that's where my journey started. I admit that I didn't do a ton of research before diving in, but I did stumble upon some you tube channels of established raw foodists (check out "easy to be raw-Megan Elizabeth" or "fully raw Kristina"). They provided some wonderful guidelines and recipes, not to mention lots of inspiration.
If you're eating raw food, keep in mind that you have a eat a high volume in order to get enough calories. This can be difficult at first because your stomach might not be able to handle as much as you need, but you'll stretch it out as time goes on. I can give examples of a day's food:
-I'm up early, around 4:00am, and work out between 45 min and 1 1/2 hours depending on what I'm doing.
-breakfast: banana smoothie (6-8 bananas blended with water); I drink half while I get ready for work and drink the other half a hour or two later at work
-mid-morning snack: between 1 and 2 pounds of grapes
-lunch: 4-5 mangoes
-dinner: a great big green salad consisting of about one pound of leafy greens, then lots of fresh toppings like peppers, carrots, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, fennel, etc. I also make a salad dressing of my own (share a few of my favs below)
-I'm in bed by 8 because I get up so early.
You can play around with cals here on fitday, but that's about 2,000 depending on how big the pieces of fruit are, etc.
Another sample day:
-pineapple/OJ smoothie (2-3 cups each of pineapple and fresh squeezed OJ) Again, I do half now and half later
-mid-morning snack: 3-5 apples sprinkled with cinnamon
-lunch: 4-5 oranges
dinner: zucchini pasta with homemade tomato basil dressing
I do smaller meals/snacks all morning because I have less time to devote to a full meal. My dinner salad can take 45 minutes to an hour to eat because it's a lot of food. In response to someone else's comments above, you can do raw food without the dehydrator (again, I recommend checking out Megan and Kristina because they don't use a dehydrator in recipes). I did break down and purchase a vitamix blender. I've always wanted one and now had the reason to get it. I bought a refurbished one for $350, which was my big splurge. If you already have a blender of some kind, see how well that works for you. But I also bought a food processor and vegetable spiralizer (for that zucchini pasta). I already had a juicer, so no need to buy that. I don't necessarily think you have to buy all that stuff, but I decided to make the investment. The only thing I really use every single day, multiple times a day is that vitamix. I just love it!
The best thing about this lifestyle is that I don't have to worry about the binging because I don't have to restrict my calories like you do with a convential diet. Meat, dairy, and processed grain products (like bread) are so high in calories that you can't eat much of them. Fruits and veg don't have the same problem. Yes, you should still pay attention to your calorie intake to make sure you're eating enough, but I haven't had the problem with binging. I do notice that when I'm not eating enough, I start to crave starchy carbs (potatoes, rice, pasta, and yes...even bread). But when I'm eating enough, sleeping enough, and well hydrated then I'm fine.
I'd recommend reading 80/10/10 by Dr. Doug Graham. It's common for new raw foodists to turn to higher fat foods because they can mimic a lot of convential foods (lots of recipes use nuts and avocados to make things creamy, for example). You still need to watch your fat intake.
I shop once a week and only have a normal sized fridge, which is partially shared by my husband who still eats a very typical american diet. Most of my fruits and some veg can just sit on the counter and I've never had a problem fitting everything in the fridge that I need to. But if you need to, plan to shop twice a week or whatever you need to.
I can't speak to the levels of vitamins and minerals in my body just yet. I figured I would give the lifestyle some time to work, but I will have an annual physical in June and plan to get bloodwork done then to assess everything. I don't take any vitamins or supplement my diet with powders or formulas or anything else. I would like to note that I'm not 100% raw (tonight I had broccoli and potato soup for dinner, for example). And I do still eat some rice and cooked vegetables (I made vegetable chili last week and had that over baked spaghetti squash for a few days). I do think I start to retain water when I eat cooked veggies, either partly because there is salt in some of the food I'm cooking with or becuase my body is holding onto that water to help digest the cooked food, which contains less water than my fruits and veggies). But otherwise I have no problem mixing in cooked foods a couple of times a week.
Anyway, I've rambled on quite a bit so I'll try to wrap it up. I think I'm still figuring out my body and how to listen to it, but I definitely feel better. Eating this way makes me happy (I actually wiggle in my seat at lunch while eating my mangoes and my co-workers have noticed). Oh, speaking of work, it was really easy to transition to eating raw because I always packed a lunch anyway. So I just went from bringing cooked food to bringing raw food. My co-workers got used to it pretty quickly. I've also starting ordering my fruit by the case from a local grocery store. Most places give a discount for buying whole cases. So I buy bananas, oranges, mangoes, and pineapples by the case. Most of that can be frozen if it ripens before I can eat it. I live in Michigan, USA, which is a very wintery state. I can't wait for summer when berries and melons are in season!
In my 6.5 weeks, I will say that I've lost about 12 pounds. I didn't really weigh myself when I first started so it's hard to know. Some weeks it really drops off and some weeks not so much. I'm trying to eat enough so my body knows it has a consistent flow of food and won't stress out, but still keep losing weight a little at a time. I have about 20 pounds to get where I'd like to be, but I'm not in any rush to get there. If you want to talk any more, just let me know! Sorry for writing a novel!
salad dressings, my two favs:
-juice one orange, blend with 1/3 cups pecans (or other nut)
-blend a mango with some cilantro and green onion
Last edited by wannabefitgrl; 02-26-2014 at 12:28 AM.