My 10 Day Raw Food Experiment: A Summary of Eating Only Raw Foods

2 May

As I write this it’s the night of the 10th day where I’ve eaten only raw fruits, vegetables, greens, and nuts. It’s been a blast eating this way and I’m so happy I made the effort to try a 100% raw foods diet.

Raw Vegan Cake from Raw Food Made Easy

Raw Vegan Cake from Raw Food Made Easy

 

What Did I Eat?

Here are some of the raw foods recipes I made over the last ten days.

All of these recipes are from one awesome book: Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet.

Raw Dips:

  • Mock Sour Cream and Chive Dip
  • Zucchini Hummus w/ Dill and Garlic
  • Zucchini Hummus w/ Jalapeno and Garlic

Raw Main Dishes:

  • Not Tuna Pate
  • Walnut Pate
  • Sunflower Herb Pate
  • Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
  • Cream of Celery Soup
  • Cream of Zucchini Soup
  • Toubuli

Raw Food Desserts:

  • Walnut Raisin Cake w/ Lemon Glaze and Vanille Cream Sauce
  • Not Peanut Butter Cookies

Fruits and Salads

In addition to these recipes, I also ate a lot of:

  • Spinach Salads w/ fruit, seeds, olive oil, parsley, and cilantro
  • Romaine Salads w/ fruit, seeds, olive oil, parsley, and cilantro
  • Strawberries
  • Clementines
  • Bananas with almond butter
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Pepita Seeds

Prepared, Store bought (and Expensive) Raw Food Treats

I also bought a few prepared raw food products. These were expensive but were well worth it and great with the raw hummus dips. This includes:

  • sprouted sunflower crackers
  • sprouted pesto crackers
  • sprouted pumpkin cracker bread
  • raw (dehydrated) kale chips

What Did I Need To Have (tools, kitchen stuff) To do a Raw Food Diet?

Eating raw is an interesting mix of simplicity and preparation.

Simple because…

Eating fruit is simple and easy and making a salad takes only a minute or two.

Preparation because…

Nut-based dips and nut-based pates are not hard to make they simply require advanced planning to soak the nuts in order to make them blendable in a food processor.

For instance, cashews soak in 2 hours, but almonds you need to soak for 7 to 9 hours.

On the first day of eating raw I soaked 3 batches of nuts – cashews, walnuts, and a mixture of sunflower seeds and almonds. From this I made the hummus and chive dips and the 3 nut based pates. The nut pate lasted the first 5 days and then dips through day 9.

The soups are made by processing zucchini and avocado (and variations from there), take less than 10 minutes to prepare, and are surprisingly filling and delicious.

The Food Processor

I have a $30 Cuisine Art Mini Prep Food Processor. It works great for making 2 cup dishes and I have no complaints on its design and function, but if I wish I would’ve gone with the next size up and gotten a 6 cup food processor for the same price from Hamilton Beach.

As long as I’ve got the food processor out and will have to clean it afterwards, I’d prefer to double the portions, save some for tomorrow, and not have to deal with cleaning it twice.

Juicing

Unbelievably, I did not even use my wonderful Omega 8003 Juicer this whole time. As much as I love my carrot juicer, it’s is almost a crime.

When I thought about eating raw in the past, I imagined I would supplement a lot of calories by making carrot juice – I thought I would actually need it to get enough calories and to mix up my palate.

Ironically, the opposite seems to be the case. I just never felt the need to juice while eating raw.

 

 

How Much It Costs To Be a Raw Foodist

I saved all my receipts and it comes out to about $15 a day to be a raw foodist. This includes eating a good mixture of greens, fruits, nuts, and store bought sprouted crackers. (Less than 10% of all these items were organic.)

This $15/day figure factors in the money I spent for spices, olive, agave nectar, and vanilla bean extract – things that you wouldn’t be buying every 10 days if you like this every day. And if you have a dehydrator it would be less as you can prepare kale chips and flax crackers for almost nothing.

I’m pleasantly surprised that it cost me only $15 a day to eat 100% raw. I certainly was NOT trying to save money either while on this experiment. I blatantly spent money on things that I normally would pass up as too expensive, such as $9 boxes of organic medjool dates and $40 worth of raw nuts.

How I Felt Eating Raw Foods

I have felt good the whole time. Nothing over the top like some euphoric energy halo bursting from my inner at all times that some (crazy :)) raw foodists talk about, but definitely good and balanced. Never too full, never gross, never stuffed. No stomach aches, no heart burn, no hangovers, and no headaches. Not getting any headaches the whole time is amazing as it’s something I often get and I’ve struggled to figure out why.

Were You Hungry The Whole Time?

Not at all, yet this is a big problem for lots of people trying to go raw.

It’s a problem I had when doing random 1 and 2 trials of eating raw foods.

The solution?

Preparation!

I need to have on hand pates and dips – both based on nuts and high in fat.

I kept full by always having these high fat recipes ready to go to mix with low fat or no fat foods. For instance, a salad can have nuts and seeds added to it. Fruit like apples and bananas are great with raw almond butter – my breakfast staple. Hummus and chive dip is good on sprouted cracker dipped on carrots. Nut pates are delicious as a base for a lettuce wrap or sparingly thrown over a salad.

If you go into a raw food diet but eat just salads, fruits, and raw nuts by the handful, you might find it more complicated to stay full.

Mucus and Congestion

I’ve been much less congested the whole time I’ve been eating raw. I typically blow my nose many times a day – every time after eating, and randomly throughout the day. It’s annoying and I’ve never understood why I seem to have so much more mucus than normal.

I still don’t know why but after a couple days of eating raw I realized that without a doubt my body was NOT producing as much mucus. I was hardly blowing my nose at all.

Dehydration and The Bathroom

I’ve always felt the need to drink a lot of liquids. I will drink 2 or 3 glasses of water in the same time someone else will drink 1. It’s always been like this.

But I noticed during this trial I was drinking way less water. Most all the water I did drink was in the form of tea, which I had 2-4 times a day, including right now as I type this. :)

I’m guessing that the amount of fruit in my diet has balanced out the need to take in so many liquids by drinking.

More than that though, I feel there’s a better balance between liquids in and liquids out. I’ve not had any alcohol either this whole time, and so I think my body is more properly hydrated than ever. I always have to pee a lot, and the amount of trips to the bathroom has taken a huge drop.

As far as diarreah and BM shennanigans, I did discover that on Day 5, after eating mostly nut based dishes as my main staple the previous 4 days, making the switch to lots and lots of salad caused everything to get wacky for 2 days. After that, my body seemed to settle down back to normal.

Weight Loss and Raw Foods

I did not have access to a scale at any time during this experiment but I’m certain I’ve lost a pound or two eating 100% raw these last ten days.

It’s really a shame I didn’t get a scale to measure this though.

Raw Foods = Awesome

Tomorrow I will celebrate with a cheese pizza and beer but I could very quickly integrate an 80%-100% raw food diet as the norm.

I’m really fascinated by raw foods: the recipes are exciting, it makes me feel good, and there’s lots of new dishes and even fruits and exotic raw ingredients I want to try. And now that I’ve learned some staple pates, creams, and dips, there are many recipes that I can build on from here.

If you are interested in doing a similar experiment or trying out some raw dishes, again, I can’t recommend it enough to check out Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People. If it wasn’t for this book I don’t think I could’ve done it.


3 Responses to “My 10 Day Raw Food Experiment: A Summary of Eating Only Raw Foods”

  1. Charley May 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Great Post!

    You said it with preparation being imperative. It is easy to find excuses to rely on the conveniences of shit packaged foods but if you take a little bit of time at the beginning of the week or morning that can be changed.

    Self experimentation is a fun way to learn. Throw out what “experts” say about anything and just go try it for yourself. Listen to you the true expert, your body.

  2. Ben May 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Yes, self experimentation is where it’s at! As an entire culture we’ve almost forgotten that we have the ability to actually pay attention to how foods make us feel and then act accordingly. This has been replaced with just buying a product/advice/exercise program/book etc.

  3. Saige October 27, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    One of the reasons you were less dehydrated is may have to do with the lack of meat and transfats in your diet during this time. Meat takes a long time to digest, as well as more energy resources, resulting in a higher need to supplement with water.

    Raw foods diets are typically recommended to help prepare our bodies the months before a fast, with a high water intake and less food the week before a fast with the concept in mind that by abstaining from eating meat you are training your body to need less water, and then by abstaining from eating food you are hydrating your body and preparing it to eat less.

    Brooke Medicine Eagle does a wonderful explanation on this in her book Buffalo Woman Comes Singing.

Leave a Reply