Last week I posted this photo on Instagram:
There are a few reasons I wanted to try a raw diet:
- I have experienced digestive issues my entire life, even after going vegan. I realize that it would take awhile for my body to adjust to a new diet, but I was just curious if I would notice any changes right away, specifically with my digestion.
- It would force me to eat more raw foods. That sounds obvious but I’m not really a fan of eating raw vegetables and raw fruits because I find them boring to eat and they don’t really satisfy my hunger. Don’t get me wrong, I eat a shit ton of fruits and vegetables but I just prefer vegetables cooked with rice or potatoes and fruits in the form of a smoothie or juice.
- It would help me be more creative in the kitchen. I went to a vegan potluck recently and someone brought raw “chili” made with beets. I was amazed by the creativity and it inspired me to want to experiment more with raw “cooking”.
- Honestly, one of the main reasons was for weight loss. A few years ago I gained about 20 pounds from excessive drinking and eating like absolute shit. After going vegan, I almost instantly dropped 15 of those pounds without even trying. I’m nearly back to my original weight but there are 5 pounds left that I can’t seem to lose.
I only wanted to go raw temporarily because the thought of giving up rice or potatoes infinitely really stresses me out. There’s. Absolutely. No. Way.
I started off strong and enjoyed playing around in the kitchen with raw recipes.
I made these raw “tacos” with my homemade creamy avocado dressing :
However, after about 48 hours, I began to feel really hungry. On a raw diet, you have to eat A LOT of food because fruits and vegetables are less calorically dense than most other foods. I knew that I wasn’t eating enough calories but the thought of eating 10 bananas or eating an entire head of lettuce to satiate myself literally made me sick.
I was craving a big bowl of brown rice with a bunch of vegetables. The thought of steamed broccoli, corn, edamame and peppers was making my mouth water but then I started feeling this overwhelming guilt.
I felt guilty for wanting to eat rice and that was the moment when I realized this diet is too restrictive. Brown rice is extremely healthy and a great source of fiber, so I found it problematic that I felt guilty for wanting to eat it. I began to notice an unhealthy and unnatural relationship with food developing within myself and I really didn’t want to head down a dangerous path where I become afraid of food.
Not to mention that eating a raw diet is NOT sustainable for the average person. Purchasing a large amount of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds is not a cheap endeavor unless you have access to affordable produce somewhere other than a grocery store. If you live in a warm climate, it may be easier, but I live in Wisconsin where winters are absolutely frigid and unbearable. Kudos to those who can afford this diet but it was not sustainable to me.
I have never tried any sort of fancy diet and I really didn’t think of eating raw food as a diet, but it was extremely restrictive for *my* lifestyle. I don’t think it’s a negative experience for everyone but I would not recommend any of my friends trying it. Eating fruits, vegetables, starches, grains and legumes are healthy foods and you should not feel compelled to restrict yourself from any, simply because a fad diet tells you to.
Take care of your body and LISTEN to it when it tells you it’s hungry or needs something. If you want to try a raw diet, feel free, but please be cautious and do tons of research before attempting any diet.