In January, I decided on something radical: I went RAW.
Now, for those into exotic diets, you may recognize it. Raw food dieting is just that: No heat used on any food. That includes pasteurization, broiling, frying, blanching, and so forth. And although the idea does allow meat and animal products (raw eggs and sushi, anyone?) I’m more or less vegan, with the exception of the fantastic raw artisan cheeses from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.
The reason to try it? Poor health. I spent most of the fall/winter greatly fatigued and fuzzy-headed – not good for a programmer. Within two days on the diet, I had energy I had not felt in a while, and I was getting a lot done in a short while.
I’d actually known what to expect, since me and the Missus had tried the diet for a month a couple years back. I lost a fair bit of weight then (20 pounds, if I remember correctly), and felt great. Unfortunately, you don’t get to eat favorite foods unless your favorite food is salad, so we stopped.
This time I’m going solo (although Gwen is eating practically raw all the time), and my goal is to continue for a few months.
And this time I have more structure:
- NO pasteurized. I found pasteurization to be a slippery slope. Once you allow a pasteurized food, it’s not far to eat something that’s not 100% raw, and then the diet crumbles. So for me, this time pasteurized food is a no-no.
- Few exceptions. Everyone has exceptions in a raw food diet, and I am no exception with the exceptions! I’ve allowed myself coffee as a replacement for Coke (which I’ve also obviously cut out), and spices and such are considered not an issue, since they are just garnishes in effect. As well, medicinal foods are aok – if I get a cold, soup is fine, and lozenges, apsirin, and such do not need to be ‘raw’.
Oddly enough, I find these exceptions actually make the diet easier, since the line in the sand becomes more clearly marked by defining the exceptions now instead of later.
So come to February, how is it going after a month? I’ve lost 10 pounds, have great energy, and gained a tendency to get up early (too early) in the morning. I’m eating a lot less, and find myself gung-ho to continue in February.
If you’re not in peak form, consider the raw food experience. And if you have real health issues, REALLY consider it – one of the things that motivated us to try the diet was the movie Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days, which showed a raw diet reversing diabetes in a month. If it worked on them, getting a bit of energy seemed reasonable for someone like me – and it was!