This 'raw thing' has been on my mind for years now. Somehow, only now, I had the urge to try it out, also because it would give me the opportunity to tell other people about it when I’m asked about it. Talking from own experience is always more credible. So I decided to get all of my recipes from Raw Foods Magazine. I've picked a few recipes from this magazine in the past and they were always good. Raw meaning: only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. For drinks only water, smoothies and herbal teas. Nothing is heated, everything raw.
A few interesting things happened. First of all, before I started I often felt restless, nervous and impatient, for many reasons. Hundreds of things going on in my mind, perhaps you recognise this feeling and it looks like this well known image below.
After going raw I noticed a difference right the next day! I was not as restless and impatient anymore. I felt more calm and at the same time more energetic and very clear in my head. Bonus! What I also liked about it was that I have never been hungry during my raw experiment, ever. There were always healthy snacks available should the occasion of hunger happen. No coffee or black tea either. This went on for two weeks.
The downside? I thought it was a lot of work! All the chopping and the cutting, man! This would definitely not have been a suitable approach for a full time out of the house working mom or dad. On top of that, my children and husband did not even want to try my food. Just by the looks of it they passed. I literally had to cook two separate meals, several meals a day. This added to the daily stress. I lost 1 kilo. My 40+ little tummy did not disappear, maybe slightly, I’m not sure. Also, I missed the warmth of the food, especially now during winter time. That lovely feeling of a hot soup warming up the inside of the body.
My intention was to do this for three weeks but I decided to quit after two weeks. I’d learned my lesson and didn’t need another week to get the point. My lesson: raw food gave me more energy, more clarity, more feeling calm. It is a lovely feeling! And I would love to feel like this forever.
Something else interesting happened after I quit. I pigged out like I’d never done before! This is strange, because I’m usually not a pig-outer at all. I’m usually in control, eat very healthy, and have a fall out on chocolate every now and then. And this being ‘in control’ does not feel like an effort. It’s just the way I eat. The first raw-free day I needed a double omelet with melted cheese for lunch, I needed a hamburger with the lot that evening (home made, so not as unhealthy as it sounds, topped with lots of veg). On day two I pigged out on fries with 2 mini tubs of mayonnaise from the Burger King after having dropped of my mom at the airport. Believe me, the last time I ate at Burger King was four years ago, it was an emergency because we were on holiday, we were hungry and there was nothing better available. On day three I wolved down Swedish meatballs from the Ikea. This behaviour is very not-me at all! My personal explanation for this is: extreme action lead to extreme reaction.
Day four, today, I’m getting back into my normal self. I drink uber strong tea again, only one cup a day, that's the plan at least. I’m not craving Burger King anymore. My shopping list looks normal. I think I have learned from it, after all. I have learned I definitely need to add more veg to my diet to be able to continue to feel that relaxed, clear headed and energetic. Hopefully I can achieve this with cooked vegetables rather than everything raw, a mix of both preferably.
According Ayurveda, we should not be eating too much raw food because our bodies need the warmth, the ‘fire’ of cooked food. Especially the Vata types, like me, should be careful with raw food. The other types, Pitta or Kapha may tolerate raw food better. I only found out after this whole experiment. Ayurveda seems to be right, all the time, the more I learn about it.
All in all it was a great experience as I realise how food can influence my energy levels, my clarity and my mood, it's kind of an empowering feeling.
Have a great week!