In January I decided to try a more raw vegan approach to my diet. I learned a lot about myself in the process. I’m really happy with where I’m at and becoming more accepting of my body, and my journey. Going raw as a vegan already made it easier to transition myself a little more. By adding more fruits and veggies into my diet, I’m finding a lot of benefits I wasn’t expecting. When I go grocery shopping I go straight to the produce aisle and get excited with all the colors and freshness of all the amazing fruits and vegetables to choose from.
During week one, I had more detox symptoms then I do now. I would occasionally get light headaches, gas, and bloating. Depending on what I eat, this can still happen. My skin breaks out randomly but overall is clearing up since I started. I know my body will take more time to fully detox and clean out while I transition more into a raw diet.
I started a journal on day one to write how my body was feeling, and how it reacted from what foods I ate, if I hit my macros, etc. and I still keep a daily log throughout this raw journey.
The second and third weeks of my died I had a few cooked meals and always felt bad afterwards. I was eating so much raw, that when I would have cooked foods now and then, I would over eat. Afterwards I would get headaches, I was bloated, my stomach would hurt, and I never slept well after.
Now I realize when I started eating more raw foods, I needed to set up a routine so my body can have time to adjust to my new eating habits. At first I went all in, mostly raw all day, most days. Then if I did have cooked food it was like throwing a wrench in my system and I felt awful.
I have realized now that balance is so important. Currently I’m adopting a raw food diet all day until dinner, and have a vegan cooked meal in the evenings. There’s even a website www.rawtill4diet.com, This way I can have a more balanced way of eating, and see how my body reacts from that and slowly move into fully raw. I tend to want to jump into things head first and now I realize this is a lifestyle and not a diet. I can take my time and be gentle with my body and not go too extreme too quickly. It is so important to find your balance.
For breakfast what I have been eating I start my days with a fruit packed smoothies, or greens smoothie filled with dates, bananas, fruits like strawberries, pineapple, and greens like kale and spinach. I just got my own juicer, so I love to make fresh carrot and green juices too!
Lunches and snacks usually include mono meals of fruit just eating bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, or a salad loaded with cucumber, sprouts, tomatoes, bell peppers, and more!
Dinner I usually make fresh guacamole loaded with onion, tomato, bell peppers, cumin, cilantro, fresh lime and then serve it with sliced raw veggies. Or I’ll make loaded lettuce cups with avocado and fresh cut veggies, veggie noodle pastas, raw veggie spring rolls, raw sushi, or raw soups…recipes will be posted!
During this journey I have learned to take B 12, and D vitamins, and the remaining nutrients I can get from my food. These two vitamins are essential and it is important that you include them in a vegan diet. B-12 comes from bacteria, and D comes from the sun, if you are low on either it can affect mood, nerves, and more…..see this video from Lissa’s Raw food romance on you tube here. She has great advice and videos for going raw!
Another valuable tool I have been using the past few weeks is www.myfitnesspal.com to help track my vitamins, minerals, calories, protein, fats, potassium, iron, and more. It is helping me to see what I’m getting from the foods I eat, and if I have hit my daily macros. It helps me adjust what I’m eating, and what to incorporate more if I’m low in a certain category. There’s even a free app for smartphones which is great I can add my foods on the go! At first is seems like a lot, but once you get in a routine it gets easier. Once I started seeing the data I was hooked, and still use it daily!
The third week of eating raw, I realized I was eating a lot more fruit than veggies, and my iron levels were low, so I’ve been making more green smoothies to balance my nutrition out. I also learned to calculate my BMR , basic metabolic rate, using this BMR calculator
This way I learned how many calories my body needs every day. I’m 5’1”, 128 lbs. and 38 years old. Depending on my activity from light to moderate I need between 1,815 and 2,046 calories daily. So I averaged the two and go for somewhere around 1900 calories everyday. Looking back at my food logs I have been under my calories everyday and not eating enough. I was usually getting around 1400 to 1600 calories a day. Learning this I readjusted and watched my foods more closely. I added in a organic plant based vegan protein powder to my morning smoothies, and started making green juices to help me get more iron and nutrients from dark leafy green vegetables. This had helped my meet my macros and I feel much better. I’m starting to sleep more soundly, and wake up actually refreshed and alert!
My Fourth Week of eating raw I have found more peace, and am becoming more appreciative of my body. Most days I’m still 100% high raw, and others is 80-90% raw of the food I eat overall and 10-20% cooked. Go with what works for you. I’m only a month into eating this way so I’m still finding my own balance and seeing what works for me. I’m always looking up new videos, reading blogs, or checking out raw cookbooks from the library to learn more. Get involved on social medias to reach out to other raw foodists and learn from them and develop your own path. Everyone is different, you have to find what works for you, and you can learn something from everyone! This is an ongoing opportunity and I’m still excited and learning more every day.
Update: Two months in I have truly found my balance. I’m still eating a lot of fruit and veggies and I have found incorporating more healthy cooked vegan foods my body feels better. In the beginning I was 90% raw foods and now I’m around 75%. The best thing I learned from this was respect for my body, and how it reacts to the foods I put in it, good and bad. I have also learned to be more patient and kinder to myself.
My findings overall I have more energy, especially at work , and I’m practicing yoga more often. That has helped me slow down and appreciate my body on a whole other level. I’ve become more mindful, and alert overall. I stopped drinking coffee the second week and have been caffeine free since. In the mornings I’ll wake up and make herbal teas or have hot water and lemon slices. I love exploring new flavors of tea, and I don’t get jittery from all the caffeine I had before. I’m much calmer and go with the flow more often throughout my days.
I have lost 7 pounds so far, my hair shines more, I have less brain fog especially when I wake up, I have a lot more energy, and I’m really happy with how I’m feeling on a daily basis. I will continue to post new vegan recipes on this blog and hope you will join me on my journey along the way!