If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with raw foods for several years now. I first became interested in raw foods about 5 years ago while in massage therapy school. One of my fellow classmates was working in a health food store, and she introduced me to all kinds of new fun foods and Juliano’s RAW, The UNcook Book. The beautiful pictures of raw meals mesmerized me, and I began experimenting with soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating. I even made all raw carob energy bars and sold them to the local outdoor camping store here in town, but I never thought seriously about going 100% or even high-raw.
However, 2 years ago, after several months of constant UTI problems, I decided to go all raw for a month as I’d read an alkaline diet could really help with urinary tract problems. So armed with my Vita-Mix and brand new juicer, I had nothing but green juice and fruit in the mornings, and a raw salad for both lunch and dinner. My leftover juice and vegetable pulp got thrown in the oven to make dehydrated bread, and avocados were my new best friend. I went all month without any coffee, dairy, or meat. The UTI problems went away, but my belly practically doubled in size.
Now, I know no one else that has gained weight on all raw diet. You are flooding your body with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. A lot of people thrive on this type of diet, but I simply OD’d on the fruit. I’ve blogged about it before, but I’ve learned that my body cannot handle simple sugars, even the fructose in fruit. During my all raw month, I was running at least 5 days a week. I was hungry and going to town on fruit all morning. I kept running, but my pants kept getting tighter. (Gena recently wrote an interesting post on why some people can’t handle much fruit, and you can read about it here.) So, I packed up my juicer, and returned to my previous ways of eating, including huge cups of coffee every morning and industrial sized tubs of cottage cheese. My weight went back down, and my UTI problems returned.
So, once again I find myself at the raw foods crossroads. My body amazes me, and these past few months of cleaner eating have taught me a lot. I’ve been thinking a great deal about the way I eat…as always and contemplating a new Heather Plan. Gena and Jenna’s Raw Wednesday Challenge totally rekindled my love for raw foods. I find raw meals to be so rejuvenating, and I love that they satisfy my hunger without that brick in the belly feeling. The no dairy thing has helped tremendously. I feel so much better, although I did have a bladder infection this week. However, it’s been the only one in 3 months! Plus, I’m feeling great without coffee and sleeping like a rock. Love that! So, what’s the new plan? More raw foods and vegetables!
There will definitely be no coffee or dairy in my life, but I would like to incorporate more vegetables and eat raw meals when I have the time. I will continue to lay low on the fruit and other simple sugars, maybe one banana a day and some berries here and there as I seem to do just fine on that amount. If I want a big bowl of nothing but steamed veggies or a big raw salad for dinner, then I’m going to eat it and not worry about adding a protein component. Basically, I’m going heavy on the vegetables, starting with my breakfast this morning:
For my green soup, I blended 2 cups water with one frozen banana, 1/2 frozen avocado, 2-3 cups frozen spinach, and a scoop of Jay Robb vanilla rice protein powder. My soup arrived with a side of steamed kabocha squash. I love flooding my body with vitamins and minerals in the morning. Much more satisfying than a donut!
Have a good weekend my friends!