But recently I had let my nutrition slide, thanks to a few big nights out and a cheeky vino or two on the weeknights. And it was starting to take a toll on my body.
After only a couple of weeks of not looking after myself I noticed that energy was non-existent, I was struggling to sleep at night, I was agitated and stressed, and my body didn’t feel as lean as it usually is.
I’d heard that a great way to detox the body is to go raw vegan for a few days. And I could feel my body craving fresh fruit and vegetables anyway. Since I am already a vegan, I never eat any animal products anyway. But the whole ‘raw’ thing is still quite challenging and I still wanted to make sure I was getting my nutritional requirements.
The rules of being raw are you can only eat fresh, whole, unrefined, plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and raw seeds. NO COOKING or STEAMING anything. Everything has to be eaten in its natural state.
So I went grocery shopping and made sure that I had everything I needed to last me five full days of eating. As nothing can be cooked, this eliminated filling foods I’d usually eat such as rice, tofu and falafels. So I needed a LOT of fresh fruit, vegetables, raw nuts and raw seeds to make up for it.
What I ate
I wanted to bulk prepare. And let me tell you, going raw means PREP, PREP, PREP. Especially if you’re stuck in the office all day, like me. You will get hungry a lot more often on this diet. But I ate as much as I wanted because the food is so easy to digest, it’s so fresh and guilt-free.
I have a confession though. I am a BIG coffee drinker. To be honest, I have 4 or 5 each day. To go cold turkey and have zero caffeine would give me excruciating headaches, so I allowed myself to have one or two black coffees a day.
I started each day with a green smoothie (and one black coffee.)
- 1 banana
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup blueberries
- Hand full of kale
- Hand full of spinach
- Raw almonds
- Tablespoon of homemade raw almond butter
It was quite delicious actually. The avocado made it creamy and the banana and berries added sweetness.
You will get hungry, so bringing plenty of on-the-go snacks is essential.
These are the snacks I ate each day:
- 2 mandarins
- 2 oranges
- 3 handfuls of raw nuts
- 1 pear
- 1 carrot
- 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter
I could’ve just chucked a whole heap of veggies into a bowl and ate them raw, but I wanted to get creative. So I spiralised zucchinis and created a sauce, which consisted of three avocados (for the five days), one clove of uncooked garlic and raw broccoli… and it was delicious.
Salad bowl ingredients
- 1 tablespoon of the homemade avo/garlic sauce
- 1 chopped carrot
- Hand full of zoodles
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- Raw broccoli
- 2 hand fulls of raw nuts
Each night I decided to have a large, sweet smoothie.
- 1 avocado
- 2 bananas
- Hand full of raw nuts
- Toppings: 1 tablespoon of homemade raw almond butter, half a sliced banana and hand full of strawberries
How I felt each day:
I woke up with a cold, but I wasn’t going to let this stop me. So I started the day with my smoothie and a black coffee.
The hardest part was that I couldn’t have peanut butter. I usually eat about 1/5 of a jar a day, no joke, which I know is way too much, so I substituted it with my homemade raw almond butter.
I felt quite lethargic by the end of the day and was looking forward to bed.
On day two I felt a little less sick, but still needed rest. I started the day with my smoothie and a black coffee, and snacked throughout the day and I definitely enjoyed my lunch and smoothie dinner too.
I felt a little lethargic again, but felt a bit more upbeat than the day before. I also started feeling a bit more positive and less stressed than I have been feeling recently.
By day three, I felt a lot better. After watching a couple of vegan vloggers (Rawvana and Raw Alignment), they said when they’re sick they go raw and it helps them recover a lot faster (I am in no way a doctor, but I wanted to test it myself anyway).
And, I believe that this diet did help the rate of my cold recovery.
I began to feel energised, my stomach felt flat (even though I was also about to get my period), and my skin cleared up.
By the end of the day, after two smoothies, a salad bowl and snacks (all day), I was beginning to crave a huge bowl of brown rice with broccoli and tofu, but I was more determined than ever to see this through so I didn’t cave.
Day four of five. Almost there, I told myself.
I woke up feeling so good. I felt fresh; my cold was almost gone. I also did a morning AND evening gym session and I felt amazing.
My skin was glowing and after only four days of this, my stomach looked toned and lean.
Also, when I get my period usually on day one and two, I get unbearably nauseous. But it just so happens that the week I went raw, is the week that my period didn’t make me queasy. Coincidence? I think not.
Woo, the last day had finally arrived. And I was dreaming about how I could have finally peanut butter soon.
Again, I woke up buzzing with energy and my cold was pretty much non-existent. My period was in full force, but the sick feeling was absent.
I worked out again in the morning and I was feeling the best I’ve felt in a long time and at work, I felt a lot more alert and clear minded.
I was feeling body confident and there was a noticeable difference in my abdominal region.
I completed the final day of the day raw food diet and I am so happy that I did it.
I didn’t do this to lose weight, nor did I weigh myself before and after, but I did want to see the physical effects. So I took a before and after shot:
I’ve also had a few people tell me that I am ‘glowing’ or looking ‘fresh’ the past few days, and it goes to show that what you put in your body really shows on the outside.
What I learnt
It made me really appreciate the importance of healthy, fresh food and how essential this is for your body to function properly. It’s changed my concept of eating and my body completely.
It has made me want to avoid processed foods when possible (even if they’re vegan, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy) and focus on nutritious, plant-based foods.
I have also decided to aim to be raw vegan three days a week, every week. It made me feel so good, inside and out, I really want to adopt this way of living into my life forever.
So if you’re after a detox, or rejuvenating experience, I strongly believe that trying out a raw vegan diet, even just for 3 to 5 days will change your perspective on your body and what you put into it.
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