This trial has been an incredible learning experience. It was actually a greater challenge to post the updates than to follow this strict diet!
Was it worth it?
On the opening page of the trial, I listed my objectives, or what I hoped to gain.
This objective has been met. In three short months, I feel infinitely more happy and satisfied eating 100% vegan (and near 100% raw). Previously, my cravings for meat and some other cooked foods were very strong. I’ve gone 90 days without meat. I’ve probably eaten meat every day of my life since one year old. It feels so good to be truly happy eating this way, and actually look forward to certain foods on this diet. Once I gained a comfort level with this diet, I began to feel like anything was possible; that I could come up with a solution to any craving. I feel so grateful to not have to limit portion sizes, or fat in my diet.
My cravings have definitely been reduced, but not eliminated. I’m happy with where I’m currently at. By the end of the 3rd month, I’ve been able to easily handle any craving that comes my way. Planning is essential though! It is important to have a few desserts every week, and have some ready made snacks when hunger strikes.
I can’t say that I’ve noticed any effects from this. In the first month, I did encounter some major detox symptoms.
I would like to note that getting through the first month without high sugar fruits forced me to find other alternatives. I also believe that sticking it out made me stonger in regards to resisting cravings.
I have developed some tastes for foods that I never would’ve discovered if it weren’t for this trial. I am so thankful for that! I’m not a big fan of sea vegetables (except nori, which I adore). My research has convinced me of the importance of including them in my raw vegan diet, and continuing to fit them in.
The negative effects on my running came in the first month. Detox symptoms caused heavy legs and a sluggish feeling while working out. By weeks 3 & 4 this subsided. After that, I felt what I’d consider normal. No weakness or negative effects on my running, but no super-human effects either.
I became very familiar with pH testing during this trial. My pH has been up and down, which I didn’t expect. I expected it to steadily become more alkaline and stay there. It was low (acidic) during the first month due to detox. When I began drinking kefir, it supposedly causes detox symptoms also, due to killing off excess yeast. This can show a more acidic pH reading as well.
On the bright side, I did see an overall increase of higher pH readings as the trial went on, but it was not consistent. My pH levels were good some days, but very poor others, and it was bothersome. I’m going to keep plugging along, tweaking things here and there, and hope my pH levels out eventually. I have read it can take many months to reach a consistently alkaline pH.
Any other noticeable effects?
I’ve read that raw food can decrease your need for sleep, and it’s true. I feel more rested than I ever have, less groggy upon waking, and overall more even energy levels throughout the day.
Since I started this diet for health reasons, rather than weight loss, I rarely mentioned weight. However, I believe this to be the best diet to lose weight and keep it off. It allows you to eat large quanitities of food, and never count calories, while at the same time fighting disease and aging.
Here are some of the wonderful foods I discovered while on this trial, with photos and links to the original post (usually including a recipe). Some are from the Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine book, and some I came up with on my own.
Kale, Kelp, and leek salad from day 14
Powerhouse Salad from day 16
Hemp Curry Slaw from day 21.
Pesto Bean Sprout Salad from day 23
Curry Nori Wraps from day 26
Spicy Kale and Cabbage from day 28
Savory Spring Rolls week 6
Key Lime Pie week 9
Raw Vegan Hot Cocoa week 9
Cinnamon Rolls week 10
“Save the Tuna Salad” Nori Rolls week 10
Zucchini noodles, blanched asparagus, tomatoes, and pesto topped with pine nuts week 11
Next up for me is learning how to properly eat a raw vegan diet as an athlete. I’m currently reading “Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life” by Brendan Brazier, an Ironman Triathlete.
I’m taking the disease prevention principles learned from “Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine” as a foundation, and adding the wisdom of a vegan athlete to make sure I get everything I need.
My goal is to stay near 100% raw for the rest of my life. I’m running my 1st 5k since high school in a week. Then on to a 1/2 marathon, and finally a marathon by January 2011.
Thanks to all who’ve checked out my trial, and contacted me. I appreciate the support, and best wishes to all embarking on a similar journey!
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