A Renewed Focus on Raw Foods

posted by Russ, May 9 in health & diet with tags ,

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Update: I no longer endorse The Garden Diet as a raw food program, as I believe they are not running a legitimate business and are funding their lives by taking affiliate sales and not paying their commissions. I have been directing sales to them via their e-junkie affiliate program for several years, and to date I have several unpaid commissions going back nearly a year. I have followed all the proper channels to contact Jinjee, and though many requests went unanswered, I was able to get ahold of her on several occassions asking what is going on. I have FOUR emails from her over the course of 8 months explaining why they can not pay. I understand maybe a month of two delay, however at this point I believe that they have no intention of paying, while of course they are still happy to take the sales traffic from their affiliates. There is no reason why they should be taking their affiliate sales if they cannot afford to pay out their commissions. An apparently I am not the only one who believes them to be scammers in the real food world. I highly discourage doing any business with them.
Raw Food Shopping

A sample of what I was eating

Just recently I again finished a 21 Day Raw Food Cleanse with Jinjee at the Garden Diet. If you’ve been a regular reader, you know I had also done it last year as well. While challenging in different ways each time, I’ve equally enjoyed it each time. Last year, I felt I lost too much weight, so this time I allowed myself a little more freedom, using the recipes as a general guide but supplementing where I saw fit.

I also decided to not be as strict about it this year, so there were probably 2 or 3 meals during the 3 weeks where I did eat cooked food. But I’m not so into the extremes of it where everything entering my body has to be raw, and I believe that similar benefits can and will still be realized while not being limited to eating 100% raw fruits, vegetables and nuts. The two most pronounced changes this year were a quick drop of about 10 pounds, same as last year (but because I supplemented more I never went below this, unlike last time), and a short, temporary increased craving for all sorts of cooked food, but then a balancing out where my body was responding well to the raw recipes and feeling satisfied by them.

And what was different this year is that I’ve continued eating mostly raw since I completed the cleanse. And I think by doing so, I’m continuing to realize more benefit, evne though I haven’t been as strict. I just mentioned how my body started becoming more satisfied by the raw meals, and now any need or insatiable desire to eat has pretty much disappeared. Cravings are mostly gone, and I just make juices, smoothies, or my meals when I feel like eating. Somewhat counterintuitively, I think it’s been easier for me to continue down this path because I haven’t been being as strict. I’m trying to stay healthy, fresh and raw, but not feeling guilty or let down if I decide to indulge.

Also interestingly, especially in the last week, I’ve found myself going until 3 or 4 in the afternoon without eating any solid food. I make sure to load up my nutrients by making fresh juices and smoothies, but it’s incredible to get up in the morning and not have a hunger pang until 4 in the afternoon. There’s just no real desire or craving to eat a huge breakfast. And even by afternoon it’s not like I’m starving, it’s just my body saying “Hey man, let’s eat something a little more exciting, let’s have a meal.”

So what does a typical day of eating for me look like in this past week since the cleanse has ended?

One or two glasses of filtered water upon waking up. Between 10 and 12 either a big glass of fresh watermelon or apple juice, or some version of a green smoothie or a bowl of fruit. Early afternoon I might have another fruit juice, or maybe a glass of green juice, or even some almond milk which I make fresh with almonds and water and actually add some young coconut meat or banana to for a little more fun. Mid afternoon I usually go to the greens; something like a sprout salad with avocado, kale salad, or one of the killer fresh slaws my fiance makes in bulk. Evenings have been usually more greens, similar to lunch but maybe in more quantity, and then if craving desert maybe some fruit or something nut based, like raw brownies (YUM).

We’ve added steamed veggies and quinoa into the rotation lately, and last night I have to admit we indulged with homemade burritos. Fresh cooked organic pinto beans, organic white rice with saffron, and a healthy dose of avo and homemade salsa, wrapped in a sprouted whole grain tortilla. That is probably the most gluttonous meal we’ve eaten and damn was it good, without any of the post meal slump or tiredness.

Truthfully, while I like the idea of raw eating and I believe in it as a healing, detoxifying diet, it’s not my goal to be 100% raw, I just love all food too much. And for me, I think that I am actually able to eat better and stick to eating raw, fresh foods a higher percentage of the time by allowing cheats like last night. I also just recently learned that Ani Phyo, who is the well known author of many raw food “cookbooks”, actually does drink alcohol. Well, she didn’t outright say it, but her recipe book I’m reading has cocktail recipes that include wine, so I assume she indulges. 🙂

So, as I’m learning, it’s not about being needing to go to extremes, it’s about moderation and being comfortable and doing what works for you. Every thing you do as a positive step is one step in the right direction.

Originally posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 7:27 AM .

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