Wednesday I mentioned being on a raw food diet.
Today I’ll tell you why, and what it’s all about…
Why I’m doing it.
On June 10th, I spoke to my mother-in-law for the last time. She died 10 days later.
I left the hospital in tears that Thursday night, 3 weeks ago.
Just days prior to being hospitalized, she sat at the dinner table with us, sharing a traditional Bolivian meal of Pique Macho – chunks of steak, sausage, fried potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs, with a sprinkling of sliced onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños. And she washed it down with a Coke. Is that what you expect someone with liver failure to be consuming? I think not.
I know there is no point on dwelling on the past, but I couldn’t help but think that if she would have just eaten healthier during the almost two years that she was sick, her health wouldn’t have deteriorated so quickly. I had mentioned this to my husband and his family several times, but it always seemed to fall on deaf ears. Including my own, apparently.
It hit me that there I was, doling out advice left and right, but not following it. Whatsoever.
Eating was my problem. I had no control over it. I’d eat when I was tired. I’d go open the fridge when I was bored. I’d reach for ice cream when I was upset. I hate to admit it, but I guess you can call it an addiction. Sweets, especially.
That Thursday night I decided to make big changes. My grandma, Julieta, would be my inspiration. Ill with peritoneal cancer, this past January she was given a prognosis of 3 months to live. It’s now been almost 7 months. I truly believe that her self-imposed, practically vegan diet has played a part in that.
How it’s going.
The morning of June 11th, a Friday, I started off cold turkey. A 3 day juice fast to get things going. I took some notes on how I was feeling, but otherwise that weekend is mostly a blur. I can tell you that I felt beyond awful, especially on the second and third days. I noticed my breathing was slower, as was my heart rate. I felt out of it, and probably spent most of the weekend laying on the couch.
Monday, I opened my eyes at 6:30am and practically jumped out of bed! My headache was gone! I didn’t feel weak! I wasn’t hungry!
(Honestly, I had planned to keep the juice fast going, but my 10-year-old juicer broke and I couldn’t afford to buy a new one. A raw diet was the next best thing!)
- I’m eating a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, including watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, lettuce, apples, mangoes, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, pineapple, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, pears, and one avocado a day.
- I’m drinking tons of water. I’ll have tea if I’m craving something sweet to drink… either hot or iced and sweetened with honey.
- I love that I’m not denying myself food. If I’m hungry, I eat. I simply eat as much as I’d like of fresh fruits and veggies. I’m even comfortable eating out, and don’t have to limit myself to green salads. At my favorite Thai place, for instance, I opt for the papaya salad. During my date night with my husband last Friday, I settled on a scallop ceviche and a watermelon and feta salad. I can see this as a way of life. It’s perfectly doable; maybe not 100% raw, but easily 75%.
- I feel light. Full of energy. I’m sleeping better at night, waking without the need for an alarm for the first time in years! I feel healthy.
- I’ve lost weight. 14 pounds. 12 of those in the first 14 days!! This week has been tough, with my husband being away, so I must confess I’ve cheated a couple of times. It doesn’t feel good to eat junk anymore. I’m not sure if it ever did.
What I’m hoping to get out of it.
- I’m changing my lifestyle for my kids, for my grandma, and in memory of my mother-in-law… but more than anything, for myself. I need to do this for myself.
- I don’t want what I eat to control me, I want to control what I eat. I’m in the process of breaking my food addiction and it feels amazing. I feel like I’m regaining control.
- Weight loss, obviously.
- I want to get a little more creative with food preparation. I’ve been eating a lot of salads, and drinking juices and smoothies, but I haven’t delved into making more complicated dishes just yet. I might try preparing a raw lasagna this weekend.
- I need to start exercising. Other than daily walks with my daughters and playing the Wii here and there, I don’t have a regular workout routine. I know the weight loss momentum won’t last much longer if I don’t get moving!
- There are dozens of websites and blogs on this topic. The Raw Food Coach gives you an idea of how to get started. The Best of Raw Food has lots of info. Living-Foods.com has a great discussion/support forum.
- I just bought the book ‘The Raw Food Detox Diet,’ by Natalia Rose, and am looking forward to reading it.
Is this – eating raw – something that interests you? If so, I’d be happy to share advice and some of my favorite recipes on a weekly basis. Let me know in the comments!
Photo courtesy of William Macdonald on Flickr.