Just recently I celebrated a huge milestone — 6 months (half a year!!) of eating fully raw vegan!
Gosh! That time has flown by and while I haven’t been able to give nearly as many updates and recipes and all that good stuff along the way as I wanted to, all that’s about to change (but more on that in a bit…) 🙂
This 6-month mark has me feeling incredibly proud of myself for simply keeping this up as long as I have! For staying with it, for finding ways to make it work when I was in less-than-ideal situations, for keeping the commitment to myself because it was so important to me. Six months feels like such a major accomplishment and it’s exciting! I find that when you commit to something big like this, seeing it through, the empowerment and strength you feel afterwards is second to none. Keeping your commitment to a diet, to a project, to a big lifestyle change, bolsters the confidence and belief in yourself that you can truly do anything you set your mind to. Powerful stuff!
Eating raw vegan has brought up a lot of questions from people. I’ve found this lifestyle piques the interest of many others when they see the kinds of stuff I’m eating and want to know how I’m doing it, how I’m feeling, what has changed/healed because of it, etc.
So without further ado, my 6-month update for you:
Basically in a nutshell I’m feeling pretty amazing! This diet has become one of the biggest blessings of my life. I say that with so much sincerity and passion and gratitude. I am in LOVE with eating fully raw! It feels in line with who I am and how I want to live, it makes me feel vibrant and high-vibrational, everything tastes delicious and beautiful… did I mention it’s also a piece of cake to keep up with?!
I can walk into any grocery store, pull some fruit and veggies off the shelf and I’ve got a meal. No cooking, little preparation necessary. I use my vitamix a lot and it takes two minutes to throw some ingredients together in there to make smoothies, soups, dressings, etc. It’s the simplest way of eating that I’ve ever experienced in my life. And sometimes I like to make more complicated raw food meals for fun but I’d say 90% of the time my meals are simple and quick. As much as I love cooking, there’s also a lot of other things that I want to get done in my day and that I want to put time towards. Eating raw and eating simply allows me to dedicate more time to my projects while still feeding my body in a way that ADDS to my wellbeing. This is a great thing!
The Diet for Loads of Energy!
I’ve tried so many different ways of eating over the years and raw foods reign king when it comes to energy levels. My energy has remained high and stable, I feel clear-headed all day and I swear eating raw makes me feel more positive. I don’t get the afternoon slump that sends so many people reaching for coffee or sugary snacks around 2 or 3pm. I feel light everyday – physically but also mentally if that makes any sense. I feel lighthearted and lightbodied on a pretty consistent basis which for me is huge because I’m used to bouncing back & forth with my energy levels – some days vibrant, other days sluggish and rundown. I’ve learned that when your body doesn’t have to continually put the majority of its resources towards digesting cooked meals, it frees up loads of energy towards all the other stuff you want to do in life.
I noticed a big difference eating fully raw when I was traveling a few months ago – maybe this is just my experience but I did not develop any jet lag on that trip, despite several flights and time zones from NYC to Vancouver to Taiwan to Bali! NO jet lag and my body had the quickest recovery time from international flying that I’ve experienced yet. Does this happen to other raw fooders? I’m usually quite a terrible traveler… it never stops me from hitting the road as that is one of my big loves in life 🙂 But travel exhaustion.. I’d always believed it was par for the course. I can tell you with confidence now, it’s not! I was absolutely elated over discovering how great I felt during my last backpacking journey and this is only the beginning. I’ll be making another Bali excursion in just 2 months for my Awaken the Goddess Yoga + Meditation Retreat, so I’ll get to test the waters again.
So many health concerns have cleared up for me on this diet, the biggest and most important one being many small skin rashes that have completely disappeared on my body. It feels like a miracle and I wouldn’t even believe it if I wasn’t seeing this happen right in front of my own eyes! Spots on my body that I’ve consistently had for YEARS have faded away while eating raw, some within a few months and some within mere weeks. None have returned and it just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to see how this continues to play out! At some point down the line I promise to delve more into the various skin problems that have plagued me for so long.. this will take a much longer post.
My digestion is at an all-time high and my stomach looks FLAT on a DAILY basis from digesting my foods so well. I’ve never had such a consistently flat stomach before and feeling quite giddy over it as you can imagine:) I’ve noticed my hair is shinier and softer but has stopped being super greasy (I used to have to wash my hair almost every single day because otherwise it would become extremely oily – now I can easily go a week without shampooing and my hair looks gorgeous!)
My eyes have become very shiny and bright as well. Some people report that their eyes eventually change colour on a raw foods diet. That hasn’t happened to me yet although I see glimmers.. a ring of grayish blue around my eyes if you look closely. However, I’m still a newbie when it comes to eating fully raw; if my eyes do change colour, I suspect it will be a few years in.
I’ve gained quite a bit of physical endurance and strength eating fully raw vegan and I don’t even go to the gym or work out! I take a few yoga and ballet classes each week and what I have definitely noticed is how I’m able to keep up with the very physically-demanding sequences, usually without a problem. I’m able to do chaturangas in yoga – one after the other after the other after the other for an entire class! This may not sound like much but it’s everything to the girl who has consistently avoided chaturangas for the past 6 years as they would hurt and stress out her joints. Something has shifted and healed in me while eating raw – I’d say a combination of joint-strengthening and probably some healing of joint inflammation as well. I am loving the chaturangas!
At this point I’ve fallen into a nice little routine with my meals, portions, timing, preparations, etc. It feels so good to sit down and thoroughly enjoy a plate of 4 oranges or several bananas and dates all by themselves. And feel 100% satisfied doing so! I bring this up because 6 months ago I wouldn’t have been able to fathom much enjoyment from eating this simply. What once would have felt like deprivation now feels like a supreme treat. It feels like a treat to eat a huge plate of fruit or a giant homemade salad bowl with orange and mango slices. I never thought I’d say this but I love these simple, delicious, super-hydrating meals more than eating out at any restaurant, raw food or otherwise.
I also don’t think I could possibly love my food any more than I already do! I have zero cravings for sweets or junk food on this diet – ZERO cravings for things like chocolate bars or potato chips (these used to be my biggest weaknesses), cookies, brownies, ice cream, none of that. I believe this is due to eating so much fruit each day. I satisfy my sugar cravings entirely through sweet fruits. I don’t even crave raw vegan desserts anymore like the kind you see at some restaurants and health stores. Once in a while I’ll eat them when out with a friend or when traveling and trying a new place but I really don’t hunger for them like I used to… I just want my fruit 🙂
Surprisingly I’ve had zero cravings for animals products. I say surprisingly because I jumped into this diet with little transition and immediately cut out several foods that I used to eat a LOT of – eggs, butter and just dairy products in general. AH I LOVED my butter… haha I really did! I think grass-fed butter and pastured eggs were two of my fave foods. Honestly I don’t miss them at all though and haven’t throughout this journey.
I will say that all the foods I used to eat still smell good to me. Actually everything still smells good to me, all cooked foods and meat foods and junk foods, the smells are incredible and I find that I’ve developed sort of a fascination by the intense aromas of cooked food now. Still, I don’t want to eat them…
…though sometimes I come close. I’ll see a big bowl of pasta swimming in red sauce and melted cheese and just remember how good that used to be. I’ll remember the texture of the chewy noodles, the thick savoury sauce and warm melted gooiness and I’ll immediately think, “I want that!!” But as I start to imagine those flavours in my mouth, my body becomes turned off. Realising that the food wouldn’t be as juicy, bright, hydrating, and flavour-filled as what I’m used to eating these days turns me off. Knowing how funny the textures would be and realising that my body wouldn’t even feel fulfilled eating this cooked dish, a meal I used to adore in the past, is definitely a bit discombobulating. It has reminded me how strong the emotional component is behind our cravings.
I would say the hardest part of being fully raw is knowing that all my previous fave foods would no longer taste satisfying at all to me if I tried them now. In that sense, you could say I’m mourning the loss of what was. Sort of like that animated show or movie you loved so much as a small child, thinking it was the Greatest.Thing.Ever.Made.On.The.Face.Of.The.Planet. You remember it being everything to you… but when you search out that childhood favourite to watch after all these years, you realise it seems pretty cheesy now, the way the characters speak feels painfully babyish and well, little about this is enjoyable to you anymore. And that feels sad. I think this is just part of life. Not everything we’ve loved we will always love. We will discover and continue developing a great many new loves.
There is ONE cooked food that I’ve been noticing my body crave from time to time and this I’m thinking about incorporating into my diet moving foward…
and that is potato!
Specifically white potatoes since sweet potato can be eaten raw and I’ve been doing so from time to time. I believe potatoes are a healing food and something that could probably be of benefit to me for a few reasons. As passionate as I feel about raw foods and as much as I adore this way of eating, like I’ve also mentioned in previous posts, I don’t want to be too rigid with this. If I start craving something and that craving continually returns, I believe in looking further into it and asking myself and my body whether this food might contain healing properties for me. I’ve been thinking about potatoes for some time and right now it’s the one cooked food I feel called to incorporate. Definitely not planning to go wild with this – I’m honestly not sure how my body will take to eating something cooked after 6 months without! – but I’ll keep you posted when I try it.
Other than some occasional potato, my plan is to continue eating raw vegan. I feel like I could happily, excitedly keep this going for a lifetime. But we’ll see what the future brings! I just want to continue following my heart and intuition wherever it leads. Six months in, it’s still all about the raw foods!
Also I want to help! Many people have asked me about eating raw along the way. Some are curious about what I’m doing, some are wondering how this can work for them, some want to try eating this way but feel totally lost and don’t know where to begin or how to sustain it. I’ve been thinking about ways that I can help and have some ideas along the lines of recipe/how-to e-books, cooking videos, mini online workshops and raw food coach sessions. If any of these (or something else entirely) feels strongly of interest to you, please let me know. What kind of help or motivation do you feel you need? Where do you get stuck? Email me or comment below, I’d love to hear how I can provide some support!
On that note, I’m feeling so excited to get back to posting regularly again (I spoke more about this in my recent newsletter).. This little online space is so dear to my heart. I hope my words and stories are useful and inspire you to go for the changes you’d like to make in your own health and life.
With raw positivity + inspirational vibes,