Here I am, at the end of my first week of my “80% Raw Commitment” and I find it amazing how ’80%’ can be translated to suit one’s needs….especially when one knows they’re faltering somewhat. Is it 80% of a meal? 80% of a whole diet? 80% of all the meals in a day? It all depends on how the day went, I guess! Uhem…
Here’s an example: 7 days = 21 meals and approximately 10 snacks = 31. 80% would equal approximately 23.25 Meals/Snacks would have to be raw. 2 Breakfasts and 3 Dinners were not raw = 5. 31 – 5 = 26. WHOOP! I made it! But what if I know two of those dinners were not only ‘not raw’ but really not good for me either (tempura fish sticks and pizza, sigh). I do have to consider the good I’m undoing by eating them. I think I should give myself a few demerit points, but I hate losing, so…
And the good I’m undoing brings me to the next topic: Detoxing. I had a, hmmmm – what’s the right word….alarming? Surprising? Frightening? Impressive? Explosive?! couple of days in there.
(Fair Warning – a little Potty Talk ahead – but I’ll try to be dignified)
I promised a blog that gives you the warts and all of a raw diet conversion, right? It’s wart time.
Never in my whole life have I had occasion to speak to a toilet, but this past week I found myself walking in to the bathroom and whispering an encouraging “Be Brave….” in the general direction of the porcelain bowl, and when (with a laboured but enthusiastic gulp) it handled everything I, um…, threw? at it, I actually gave it a thumbs up. I went through this little routine several times in a day.
It was about this time that I started to Google “how the hell long will this last?!” in regards to my overt detoxing symptoms. What I read made me cry…“FIVE MONTHS?!” one site proclaimed. Luckily, it looks like I got off pretty easy, because mine lasted two days…the worst of it, at least (I thank an accidental cleansing the weekend before: Dandelion Greens in my smoothie caused some unplanned colon activity….lots of it) . I fully anticipate minor to moderate detoxing/bathroom symptoms *forever* since there are always toxins to be expunged from the body. Thank you Industrialization, you’re swell.
Potty Problems aside, I also felt like I had the flu with body aches, a couple of headaches (one of which was cured with a small cup of coffee and I have resolved that I will not withhold from myself a cup of coffee when that headache appears. I have a demanding job and life and need to be able to function. There was no functioning with that blinding caffeine headache (says she of the migraine headaches)). I fought ‘quitting smoking-like’ food cravings for most of the week, and wailed once “Why, oh WHY can’t there be a french fry tree!!” but I coped. I also needed a little more sleep.
But (when I was awake) I also had more energy. I felt a balance this past week that I haven’t felt for a long time. My mind was clear, my ambitions renewed, my focus more precise. And it’s only the beginning of this journey, so I am getting as excited as a chihuahua in a room full of fireworks. And another interesting change I noticed was that, despite the cravings in my mind, my nose found the smell of cooked food to be strange and unappealing, especially all those instant nuker lunches full of ‘sauces’ and spices that everyone, and I mean everyone, seemed to be eating at the office last week. Where they used to get my tummy rumbling with hunger, I am now starting to be able to smell the chemicals in them and they don’t smell like food, they smell like danger.
Pitfalls and Drawbacks: My ‘non-raw’ meals this past week were as a result of a lack of planning or time. Woke up late two mornings, didn’t have time for a smoothie and picked up a breakfast wrap on the way to work instead. The dinners were due to being in a rush (plans, visitors, etc) and rather than making 2 meals (one for me, one for my son), I just ate what I was making for him, which was not raw. So I have to get better at making sure I give myself the time I need to prepare the food that I need. Because this diet is not yet my habit and I still have to really think about what I’m going to make, being short on time is not my friend.
To assist with the above issue, I also have to adjust how I view a meal. Yes, dinner CAN be sitting at the table with a tomato, a cucumber, some raw crackers and a piece of fruit, small handful of nuts. Seems so obvious now that I write it, but it seems strange to put this on the table, start eating, and feel like I’ve had “Dinner”. Changing how I feel about it and what I think about it is just a matter of making a choice, but it wasn’t a choice that I saw when I was in a rush. I know better now.
Last bit of house keeping: I have decided not be dogmatic about all of this and to be kind to myself. As you may be able to tell, I get a little obsessive about numbers, data, statistics and could drive myself crazy keeping track of everything and, rather than feeling really good about the things I do well, I can easily be negative and self-chastising if I don’t do everything right all the time. So no dogma, damnit! Just chillin, experimenting, enjoying, and loving the changes I have managed to make for the better. I have enough stress in my life, this should be a thrilling awesome thing I’m doing for me! Weeeeeee!
I contemplated posting a page with my one week meal plan, which I needed so I didn’t feel panicked AND would remember what recipes I bought ingredients for, but a lot of it went to pot as I made meals based on what I was in the mood for rather than how I plotted it. Perhaps after a few weeks I’ll post a ‘sample’ one week meal plan instead. I’ll see how it goes.
Finally, my 20% non-raw is going to include a dairy or coconut milk, some cheese, and eggs. I’m still trying to figure out if I can dehydrate bacon. I found some with no nitrates or nitrites, so hmmmmm :)
Some food highlights and links:
I’m loving raw miso soup. I’m chopping up veggies into small pieces (cucumber, red or green pepper, mushrooms, scallions, spinach), putting it in the broth, and chowing down with a side of raw crackers. I didn’t take any pictures. It’s soup.
I have tried and failed twice to sprout chickpeas using chickpeas from two different sources. By day 3 they smell horrible, despite diligent rinsing and covering up to keep bacteria off. So I haven’t managed raw hummus yet. Wah!
I’m already tired of the dense raw bread, crackers, and pizza crusts I’ve made and am on the hunt for a thin, crispy cracker that doesn’t contain a single sliver of onion. I think I’ve found a couple candidates – I’ll keep you posted.
I have made The Rawtarian’s Raw Brownies. I’m madly in love with them! I made a double batch and froze half. I also made her raw burger and have found them perfect to freeze and/or take in my lunch to work. Also good in my lunch this week at work was ‘sushi’ (sans fish) rolls. I admit to using rice, but they can be made without….if you want to be dogmatic about it ;)
Tonight I’m trying to make my version of the perfect salt and vinegar potato chip, and I also have a batch of Fragrant Vanilla Cake’s raw Lemon and Lavender Macaroons in the dehydrator as well (I purchased my food-grade Lavender through Epicure. A search of their site seems to indicate that they don’t have it anymore. Let me know if you find it elsewhere). Amy, who runs the site with the Macaroon recipe, has some eye-bulging recipes for raw foodists (key lime! KEY LIME!!), and her blog is a lot of fun too. Check it out!
This coming week, I’ll be playing with Butternut Squash, Pad Thai, Caesar Salads and I have a fridge full of avocados I have to put to good use. Still no Maca, nudge nudge, wink wink…
Here are a couple pictures of my week…thanks for reading and I’ll ‘see’ you soon!!