Raw Food Challenges: Week 1

How-to-Eat-Raw-–-Raw-Diet-basket-of-raw-foods

Made it through 1 week eating raw, and it was pure joy! Didn’t feel deprived at all! I did go off and eat cooked food yesterday when we had a potluck, and some today when I was feeling a little PMS low and needed some chocolate. I don’t have a problem giving myself some leniency; in fact, this is necessary to combat my personality that says, “do it right or fail”. Eating raw for me is not about performance or doing it perfect 100% of the time; it’s about fueling and treating my body well so I feel better and function best.

In this last week, there are some things I noticed, however, that may make eating raw difficult to keep up in the future. I’ve detailed below, and I think that none are insurmountable or enough to keep me from eating raw about 75% even in difficult situations.

  • More expensive – I feel like I have been to the grocery store enough times this week for an entire month. (I’ll write another post soon about how to shop for raw food on a budget.) But while I was making lots of trips to get this or that, I was not necessarily spending more money; I was purchasing bulkier items and spreading it out over the week. Also, I like visiting health food stores, so I won’t complain about that. Which leads me to next one: 
  • Time-consuming: eating raw definitely takes more preparation, but if I plan ahead, I can make time in the evenings or on the weekends to make batches of food, and I enjoy it. The mornings are what I struggled with. The time it took to make a green smoothie or filter my kefir and put it into a smoothie took up the time I would normally go for a walk or run. I think these things will smooth out as I adjust my schedule, maybe prepare more at night for the next morning.
  • Too much fat: Yes, it’s good fat like seeds and nuts and avocados, but I’m still overloading my digestive system if 50% of my daily intake comes from fat calories. That happened tonight. I ate a whole bag of delicious trail mix. So, eating raw may make my old binges on baked sweets obsolete, but bingeing on trail mix is still a risk. I’ve bee keeping track of my intake on Livestrong’s My Plate app, and most of my days my fat intake fell between 30 and 40%, protein 10-20% and carbs 40-60%. According to Dr. Graham, a raw food diet is best at 10% fat, 10% protein, and 80% carbs (those cards from fruits, vegetables and raw/sprouted grains). After reading a bunch of resources, I’ve found that raw-fooditarians choose to either get most of their daily calories from fruits or fats. Seems like I’ve been going the fats route, but I want to transition to more fruits (and vegetables) and eat fats sparingly.
  • Eating out/eating with others – so far I haven’t eaten out yet; but I think that can easily be tackled by eating salad if there’s not many raw options on the menu. I might also take it as an opportunity to eat an occasional animal source, and enjoy some salmon or quiche or vegetarian cooked meal, so my body doesn’t stop making the enzymes to digest those foods.
  • Traveling – haven’t traveled yet except a road trip to Greenville, and then the daily living out of my car (would like to transition back to living off my bike instead as it gets warmer) – for those day trips, I just throw fruits and nuts and carrots in my bag. Also discovered the incredible chunks of energy (cacao with goji berries is by far my favorite! available at Earthfare and Rosewood Market), Two Moms in the Raw snacks (even Starbucks is carrying them now!) and THE best nut butter out there – Justin’s….gaga!! There’s something about Colorado, just saying… But back to traveling – if I go stay at someone’s house or go to a foreign country, I’ll probably eat what is available – I don’t want to be an unnecessary burden or miss out on trying new cuisines. I’ll just use my judgment and make frequent runs to the grocery store or farmer’s market for fresh produce.

So to make things more affordable, I will be experimenting with making my own raw food snacks. I’m excited to share recipes! Really glad this got me blogging again. I will write about dance events I have planned soon too. 🙂

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