(Breakfast! 1 Whole Organic Honeydew Melon)
I’ve reached the final point in my Raw Food 30 Day Challenge. It has been a great adventure. While I experienced some incredible increases in my overall health and wellness, I was also happy to break the 30-day streak with a dinner at a favorite vegan restaurant of mine with some friends last night!
In my previous updates, I wrote about the benefits I was experiencing through this way of eating. Those benefits continued, and if anything became even more pronounced throughout the last 10 days of the challenge. I feel incredibly light. I think clearly. My skin is clear and I really feel great overall.
In terms of body composition, here is where that ended up. Keep in mind that throughout this entire challenge I had no intention to lose weight. I am already fit and slim enough. I also made a point to eat a significant number of calories (mostly through fresh, organic, ripe fruits!). My goal was to try to keep my caloric intake similar to what my previous diet was (roughly 2300 calories per day). I think I struggled to do this for the first 10 days or so, but then got the routine down and was eating plenty.
While I lost over 6 pounds in my first week of the Raw Food Challenge (I wasn’t eating enough), my weight stabilized for a few weeks and then started to rise a bit in the final 10 days. Overall, my bodyfat change shows a 2% drop. Given that I was already very lean at 11% to start, this is a big deal. To put this into perspective, this 2% drop in bodyfat means that I lost about 20% of the total fat on my body in only 30 days!
(Ingredients for my 100% Raw Sundried-Tomato Pasta Sauce)
This is staggering. Aside from the numbers, it is blatantly obvious to me that my body is far healthier. I am slimmer in the right places, my flexibility is far better than before and my skin is so much clearer. I have even noticed small scars on my skin, from long ago, starting to heal.
Perhaps the biggest shift for me has been around food in general. This Raw Food Challenge really gave my body and a mind a reset in terms of what I consider to be real nourishing food. I am now accustomed to eating large meals of just fruit or greens. I don’t need lots of grains or breads or other proteins to feel like I’ve had a meal. I’ve moved away from cravings for fried or spicy foods and my taste buds have become so much more sensitive. I am just so much more aware of what I am putting into my body.
(100% Raw Kelp Noodles w/ Almond-Cilantro Pesto)
Another thing I’ve gained from this experiment is that I’ve started to care less about what other people think about what I do. I’m far more comfortable to just be the way I am, and serve as an example for others – as opposed to trying to fit in. I guess when you sit down at a lunch table with a half-dozen bananas, you learn to stop paying too much attention to what other people think about you, and just do what you have to do! After all, which is better – a few bananas or a Big Mac? Why then do people gawk at someone eating a bunch of bananas but think nothing of eating half a cow? You just gotta laugh!
So, with all these benefits – Why am I not going to continue the 100% Raw Food Diet? Well, first of all I am convinced that eating a large amount of water rich, fresh, ripe and organic fruits and veggies is the way to go. I will absolutely continue to eat a very high percentage of raw foods.
(More 100% Raw Kelp Noodles w/ Sesame-Pepper-Ginger-Turmeric Pesto)
However, I do also enjoy the social aspects that food has to offer. I enjoy the vegan meals that my family will make on occasion and I do enjoy the occasional cup of hot tea or a vegan donut every now and then! I don’t feel like foregoing those things.
I am also aware of the stress that comes with trying to be 100% anything. That takes a toll on the body just as much as a poor diet or lack of exercise does. I don’t want to fall into another trap of trying to be an absolutist. Going forward, I’m going to enjoy as much raw food as I can – probably 50% or so of my diet – focusing on fresh fruits and veggies (as opposed to high fat raw foods), and see where that takes me.