Dude, I’ve survived a whole 30 days of being raw vegan!
Between days 27 and 30 of being raw vegan I had INTENSE cravings, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced! I think I was just beginning to pms and that didn’t help. I wanted macaroni, (something I would never eat, even as an omnivore) hamburgers (I haven’t had one since before highschool!), and milk (I’m allergic to milk. I don’t drink milk! Why did I want milk?). I started wanting to foods that were more substantial, something with a different texture. Something dense, maybe carby/starchy? I though to myself “do I actually want bread?” and thought about it. No, I wanted cheesy, melty macaroni. Or pizza. Maybe some beef with a creamy french sauce. Something ridiculously rich and decadent.
If there had been a raw food potluck coming up, I’d have known something “decadent” would be available. They bring all kinds of creamy, nutty, salty combo-abombo foods to raw potlucks. Stuff too complicated and decadent for me to feel comfortable with if I were to try to make them at home.
I wondered if this was a crazy detox symptom, but it was almost too much to bear. Then I realized: I was supposed to be getting at least 10-15% percent fat into my diet. I don’t think that I had intentionally added any extra fat into my diet in almost 3 weeks! I was so afraid of eating more than 10% that I hadn’t eaten any at all (except for whatever might have been present in the raw whole fruits and veg).
I got out my jar of raw cashews and they did not look attractive to me at all. Nope, didn’t want any. But I had a feeling my body needed a little fat. Did I crave avocado? No… no I knew that I didn’t like avocado much. But what to eat?
By Sunday, I was going mad. I really needed something tasty, something with substance, something that wasn’t fruit!
So I wracked my mind for a food that was “raw” but had a bit of fat and, on day 31, I decided to break the “vegan” rule. I bought a raw goat’s milk cheese from Whole Foods (a gruyère, one of my favorites. I always used to eat it with my grandfather in Paris), and I munched it along with celery, raw zucchini noodles, and raw tomato sauce. I sliced it in really thin pieces so I could really enjoy the flavor and I completely devoured it! Something in me had really wanted to eat something that was not a fruit or vegetable I guess. I don’t know if this was a physical or emotional craving. Maybe it was both.
Days 31 and beyond…
I haven’t decided at this point, yet, whether I want to become lacto- raw vegan. I’m not sure I want to be eating raw dairy regularly (it does icky things to my skin), and I know that my digestive system isn’t a huge fan of lactose. The cravings haven’t gone away, so I wonder if I’m being tempted to drop back to a 70-80% raw lifestyle. I think I want to hang on to this way of clean, pure eating a bit longer. I don’t think I’m done cleansing. In fact, I think I might have a long way to go!
As far as weight loss goes, I haven’t lost more than 3lbs. on this diet, but I haven’t gained ANY lbs. at all. I guess that’s okay.
Logically, if I can get back into my regular training routine after my trip next week, I should be able to maintain and/or loose weight whilst staying low-fat raw vegan. I think I’m going to give that plan a go, and stay away from the raw dairy after today. If I can make it through my T.O.M. without breaking for any more cravings, I should be in the clear to sail through another month of raw eating with no trouble (it’s just that pms, I think, that turns on the switch to my comfort-eating habits!).
I’m going to go back to eating 100% raw vegan for a little longer. I’m gong to take it day by day, though. I was able to make it to day 30 without deviating in my plan and I’m happy with that so far, with only one “fall” off the vegan wagon. I would call this diet a success in many ways: my skin tone has improved, my eyes are brighter, I don’t feel bogged down, and I am enjoying “pure eating”.
The diet HAS been difficult to follow, though. I began eating 100% raw before spring blossomed in the midwest and it was very difficult to find ripe fruits in the grocery stores. Now we are in April and I am finally starting to see more variety in the produce section. I was getting bored with bananas and oranges! I’m looking forward to watermellon. And I’m ALWAYS in the mood for mango.
Some disappointments I had with this diet were: That I didn’t see a drastic change in my energy levels. During weeks 1 and 2 of the detox I had to sleep much longer every night – I was so sleepy! I assumed this was because my body was spending a lot of energy on the detox. But as the detox became less intense and I was able to return to my normal sleep schedule I just didn’t feel as “jazzed” as I have on other diets. Another difficulty was that I had to eat SO much food. And my belly would be so full after meals! Trying to fit so much food and shopping into my super packed schedule was a little stressful.
I feel like this low-fat raw vegan experiment has gone on long enough. I will probably stay on for a few more days, but I won’t feel guilty about breaking the diet if I have to during my upcoming trip to Texas (I’m traveling with the Beggars Carnivale, fun!).