It’s only been the last 10 years or so that I have realized how much the nature of what I eat and drink affects my well-being. For me it has been a journey of trial and error to figure out the bad, good and the ugly. In my early 40’s I figured out that meat did not sit well with me. Then, I figured out that when I did not eat dairy I felt significantly better and all my bodily functions were in their happy place! A couple of years ago, I wondered if my daily evening glass of wine was really what I needed even though it was what I wanted. I committed to having no alcoholic beverages for 90 days and then assess how I felt. I did not just feel a little better, I felt incredibly better, my skin was brighter, I lost a lot of bloating around my face and belly and best of all I started sleeping the best I have in many, many years. I have since reintroduced wine into my diet in much less quantities and frequency and have not had any negative effects. Thank goodness!
And so, began my keen interest in nutrition and not only how it feeds our bodies but how it heals our bodies.
Now I am not a registered dietician so all these stories are very subjective and not to be taken as gospel, but when I am paying attention to what I eat and abstain from dairy, meat, alcohol and gluten I feel fantastic. Down side, this is a restrictive and often tasteless way of eating and living especially for someone who loves to cook, bake, and loves good food. And who has a hubby and adult children who are insatiable carnivores and foodies!
And so, things had become lax with my diet. I was eating dairy (especially cheese) until the cows came home (literally), bread, bagels and chips were becoming not only a daily habit but a large percentage of what I was eating. My mind may have thought it needed all this “stuff” and my taste buds demanded more and more but my body was taking the toll.
Shortly after Christmas, I was feeling a little off in my body and not loving it. The major complaint was intense itching all over my body, contact eczema on my eyelids, face and my legs (now that’s a good look!) and my stomach. I also had a feeling like my whole GI system was slowing down, going on strike and basically trying to get my attention. I suspected it was something I was eating rather than an environmental cause.
I thought about doing a cleanse, to detox, reset and start again. I started doing research and flirted quite strongly with doing a juice cleanse. But to be honest living on just juice for days at an end did not appeal to me. I am not knocking the people that do it and I know they get amazing results, but I was not sure I could sustain it for more than half a day! My tummy needs something in it.
And so, I did more research and the raw food diet kept coming up. The reason this appeals is there is not restriction on quantity. Anytime you are hungry you eat, the good raw stuff. Down side is you must have large quantities of fresh raw food on hand, so every other day trips to the grocery store become the norm. Another plus here is no calorie counting or measuring of food, if you are hungry you just eat it. I have found that food prep is the key. When I go to the grocery store to get my haul, I get home and shave those Brussel sprouts, chop all the other veggies, dice the fruit, make my homemade salad dressings and put it all the refrigerator ready to go. Also, there is a lot of smoothie making which I personally love - this is not for everyone. For example, if I offered a smoothie to my hubby, he would rather I pull his toe nails out one by one!
The raw diet results: so far so good and happily surprised I have zero hunger pangs. My day starts with a huge bowl of fresh fruit and a smoothie (click here for recipes from my blog!).
Then if I am hungry mid-morning or mid afternoon I reach for the nuts. Lunch is the biggest green salad you have ever seen topped with a whole avocado (I know…. steady on) and lashings of homemade dressing.
Trips to Trader Joes, Wholefoods and Wegmans are becoming an every other day event; they have the best fresh produce hands down.
Dinner again is more salad and fruit. Perhaps not for everyone, but I love that I don’t have to put too much thought into the menu planning. There's too much going on in my life for that, and if I have all my fruit and veggies prepped, putting a meal together really takes no time at all.
So, I am at the very beginning of my journey with this diet, still in week 1. I am committing to doing this for 14 days and then reassess how I feel.
Would you like to take the ride with me and we can compare notes and recipes?
I will give you updates on how it goes! But for now, check out my recipes and get cookin'!
Have/Be a great day!