A month ago I posted about doing a ten-day raw food detox. It was about as difficult as expected. The first four days were extremely tough, but it got easier from there. By day seven I was getting very sick of the food prep but not the food itself. Days eight through ten were almost as mentally excruciating as the first four. But we did it! And my body became healthier for it. All in all, I would highly recommend this detox from the book “Detox for the Rest of Us.” The one major complaint I have is that each meal is extremely specific and the book doesn’t explain why. I wish I knew why the meal plan had us eating specific foods on specific days and if my taste buds wished for a substitution, what could I use? Why an orange instead of a lemon? Why red bell pepper instead of yellow? What if I don’t like sesame seeds? Because they were in some form in damn near every dish. I’d like to know the bodily benefits of each ingredient. But regardless some less than informative details, the cleanse did its job.
Since the completion of the cleanse, I’ve actually kept up with a great deal of the raw lifestyle. Part of the cleanse included the elimination of coffee (and basically all caffeine) from my diet. A month later I’m still essentially caffeine and coffee free. I say essentially because some of the herbal tea I drink has a little caffeine in it. And occasionally I’ll break and have a decaf coffee. I’m also allowing myself one cheat soy latte every Friday night for Craft Night. Where giving up caffeine cold turkey was a mother fucker, I have to say I’m loving the caffeine free lifestyle. I’m sleeping better, I’m less jittery and anxious, and I’m much more alert in the mornings. It no longer takes me two hours of grumpy grunting and gallons of coffee to get me functioning first thing in the morning.
My new morning routine is fixing up a 32oz smoothie. That’s my breakfast along with some gluten free cereal or granola if I’m still a little hungry after the smoothie. But generally I’m not. My smoothie is different every morning. I use 3-5 fruits plus some leafy greens (usually spinach or kale), pure pumpkin, almond milk, coconut, cinnamon, hemp protein, pressed juices, almond butter, ground flax seed… etc. I just play “mad scientist” every morning and make sure all of the essentials are represented.
My lunch every day is raw. I’m still putting salads, fruits, and dinner inspired raw dishes together the night before so that I have a good meal every day at lunch. Before the cleanse I skipped lunch a lot. Mostly because I don’t have anywhere healthy around my office to grab food. It’s pretty much all drive-thrus and processed God-knows-what. Those things make me sick. So I used to opt out of eating at all if I was rushed and didn’t bring food with me to work. Or sometimes I’d just be so into my work I wouldn’t stop to eat a full meal. I’d have a granola bar and a banana. By dinner time I was ready to consume an entire village and their pet elephants. NOT a healthy way to eat. But now? Now I have truckloads of food with me every day. And it’s good food. Good for me and tastes amazing. But most importantly I don’t feel sick during/after eating. I’m becoming less and less afraid of food and that’s amazing for me. When you suffer from chronic nausea, food is pretty much your mortal enemy and every meal is a mental struggle. But not when I eat raw.
When it comes to dinner, I just make sure it’s clean and healthy. I’m not eating all raw at dinner because Rhonda is not keeping up with the all raw diet, and that’s a tough thing to do: preparing two separate meals in a two person household. Plus, I know my limits. Where I very much enjoy this raw diet, I know it’s unrealistic for me to think this is all I could eat for the rest of my life. If I eat meat it’s generally chicken white meat, lean turkey, or fish (or tofu as substitute). I’ll eat cooked vegetables. I’ll eat starches. I eat dairy, but now I try to stick to vegan cheeses. My big goals in the evenings are eating lots more vegetables than meat, keeping my grains as gluten free as possible, and cooking everything without processed spices or sauces.
It’s only been a month, but I’m seeing some incredible progress in my health. And I know it’s going to keep improving. I’m sleeping better. I have more energy. I’m less worn down and exhausted from fighting my body all day (because I’m not having to as much). My skin is getting clearer and cleaner looking. My digestive system is happier. And I’m not under weight, nor am I struggling to maintain a healthy weight. Eating this way keeps me there. The results are pretty incredible. So much that it makes me wonder why it took me so long to get to this point.