Eight Weeks 100% Raw
Yesterday was the culmination of eight weeks on an entirely raw diet. Not a single mouth-full of cooked food for eight straight weeks.
I don't believe I've perfected my diet yet; on the contrary, I still think it needs work. Firstly, my ideal diet will be 70% fresh picked produce. Everything we eat is the most beneficial when it's directly off the planet. Biological processes begin taking place the moment the plant is separated from it's life-force; the moment you pull it away from it's roots. Just like when you pluck a flower, it wilts. Just like when you slice an apple, it browns. These processes are natural, and excellent for the Earth. However, for our bodies, it's ideal that we begin to eat something within minutes of picking it.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of sunlight on the balcony, I've had little to no success with growing edibles, and therefor everything I eat comes from the farmer's market, Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I want to stress that this isn't ideal, and that you can't get the full results that the Raw Food Gurus get from store-bought food. Optimal health resides within the most fresh plants possible.
That said, I am still experiencing an array of benefits since I went raw eight weeks ago. For one thing, since then, I have not woken up with stiff muscles once. Not a single morning was my back stiff or sore. I'm really impressed by that.
Another noticeable change is how quickly I'm recovering from working out. I've never done so much yoga, walking and weight-lifting before in my life, and yet I rarely experience any discomfort in my joints or muscles, and when I do is very mild and lasts only for a short period of time.
My cravings for cooked foods are less and less, especially as I learn more and more new and exciting raw dishes. Today I made a raw pumpkin pie! It was surprisingly different from other treats I've made and incredibly satisfying. I suspect it left me feeling so full and satisfied is because pumpkin is not something in my ordinary diet. In fact, nothing in the squash family has been a part of my diet for a very long time.
Discussion with a friend:
My friend asks: Have you ever made/had Tabulee? Also, do you ever use Sugar in the Raw in any of your more dessert-like dishes?
I answer: I've never heard of Tabulee. And, definitely no sugar whatsoever. No xylitol, no splenda, no agave nectar, no stevia, no honey, no molasses, no syrups, no man-made refined-garbage. :D When you don't eat any refined sugar whatsoever, rea...l fruit tastes more and more sweet. Most people's taste-buds are completely out of whack with how nature actually tastes. That said, I was able to make desserts for my family while I visited that they liked without adding any refined sugar; I just used more dried fruit than I would have used for myself. :D So, what's Tabulee?
She says: I just wondered because I'm a fan of unrefined raw sugar myself.
Tabulee is a Lebanese raw dish made of chopped parsley, tomatoes diced really small, onions done the same way and bulghur (cracked wheat, far as I can tell) with a lemon dressi...ng over it. Had it today at one of my fav restaurants that does a lot of vegan food. Completely raw and totally delicious. Thought it was right up your alley.
I reply: The bulghur is probably cooked, although it may not be. It's possible they soak it until it's soft enough and then use it. I've not heard of any grain besides buckwheat being available and edible raw. That said, the Tabulee sounds like a generally healthy dish. Even if I may choose to avoid cooked foods, a little bit of a cooked food of certain things in reasonable portions is likely healthy.
I've been considering including one cooked serving of food per week after December 3rd. (12/3/2010 marks three straight months of 100% raw for me. I want to experience three full months of being 100% raw before I experiment with adding anything not-raw back in.) The cooked things I would be adding in would mostly be to supplement some nutrition I may be lacking due to the fact that I dislike a lot of raw vegetables that I do like cooked.
For example, I dislike broccoli and string beans raw, but like them cooked. So I may have a small side on my dish one night of the week that would include both of those things in a small portion. Another thing I might have is a chili made with a lot of various beans I wouldn't eat raw because I don't like sprouts.
The most major point of being raw is that the enzymes are 'alive' and able to allow full digestion so that we get all of the nutrients out of what we're eating, and not just a tiny portion. Whatever we don't digest gets eaten by bacteria and parasites in our intestines. Parasites in the intestines can cause you to be overweight, underweight, malnutrition-ed, and cause a variety of different forms of discomfort. Everyone has some, since we come into contact with them all the time, but the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) fosters parasites.
By adding in one cooked serving a week of something that contains other minerals I need, but still eating lots of fresh raw foods around it I should still be able to fully digest it with the aid of the enzymes from everything else I'm eating around it. That's the theory at least. I won't know how it works out until I try it after December 3rd.
On the note of sugar: I first switched from anything with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and so forth to only things containing small amounts of organic naturally milled sugar. Because my health was getting better and because I was paying close attention, I became acutely aware of the effects of everything I ate. I noticed rather quickly that even organic sugars still had a negative impact on me. When I want to sweeten something I use a fresh or dried fruit. In particular I use dates, dried currants, bananas and pineapples the most often to sweeten things. I also use coconut water quite a bit, but not really for the direct purpose of sweetening, although it is fairly sweet. (Yet to people who eat a lot of syrups/sugars coconut water doesn't taste sweet.)
[End Super Long Explanation Of Various Things]
Green Drinks For The Win!
Not too long ago I started up a daily food log of everything I'm eating. I'm posting daily every single thing that I eat; breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks, including what I have to drink (aside from documenting exactly how much water I'm drinking, although perhaps I ought to be including that too.) Also adding photos, but I'm adding those every handful of days, not with each entry as I post them since it would be pretty nuts to upload photos to my computer and to the internet each and every day.
If you have not already read it, or if you read it when there wasn't yet much of it, perhaps you may consider checking out my story. I've been adding information to it bit by bit over time, since there is so much information I want to include. My goal is to include every significant health issue I've ever had, and how I overcame it. One item that I recently added detailed the jaw cramps that I used to get, and how there was an entire day where I couldn't open my mouth because of it.
In other, not-food-related-news, I'm planning on taking up the NaNoWriMo Challenge; 50,000 words in the month of November this year for the second novel in my series. And while it's not much of anything to look at yet, I've put up the bare bones of what will be a blog about my art projects in the coming months. Because I'll be so busy writing in November, I probably will not actually make much progress on the art blog until December or January.