Saturday, April 30, 2011

Results Of My 10 Day Raw Vegan Experiment

A 10 day raw vegan diet - my longest ever. Between Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 7:00am and Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 7:00am, I ate nothing but raw fruit and vegetables. I've done this before but never for this 10-day length of time.

First off, I have to say that people that can adhere to this diet at all times must live an energetic and healthy life! So - why would I stop? Good question. That's one I'm still looking for the answer to.

My goals at the start of the 10 day experiment were pretty simple:
  1. Increase my energy level.
  2. Lose 10 lbs. fast.
  3. Kickstart the running season now that hockey was coming to an end for the year.
I met all these goals. Sort of...

My energy level was increased to an unbelievable level. My night time sleep hours did not diminish like some say will happen. This is because I simply love to sleep! The sleep I got was good quality and I didn't feel the need to fall asleep on the couch after work each day.

I exceeded the weight loss goal by two pounds. This might seem dangerous to lose weight that fast but gone was the bloated feeling at the top of my stomach that sometimes made it difficult to bend over and tie my skates.

I did kickstart the running season. I felt like I was running on air the first few runs of the season. However, I played in one final hockey tournament three days after the raw vegan diet ended and was the victim of an extremely dirty move. I was cross-checked from behind across my lower back and I am still certain that I have a cracked rib (my loathing of doctor's offices has prevented me from finding out just what is wrong back there).

Therefore - my running has come to a complete halt because of the pain in by lower back.

With this 10 day raw vegan experiment, I cut out coffee and green tea as well. This resulted in some pretty serious headaches for the first few days. Headaches are also a symptom of simply going raw. I would suggest killing the caffeine first then killing the cooked food.

Is this a great weight-loss technique? Yes and no. It's a great diet to go on if you have a follow-up plan if and when you return to cooked food. Using it as a kickstart to a fitness plan is great - you lose the weight quick then keep it off, and gradually lose more, with the fitness plan.

What did I eat?

I was heavy on avacados, mushrooms and bananas. These were the 'thickest' items I could find to satisfy my appetite. However I also ate:
  • pineapple
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • clementines
  • apples
  • dragon fruit
  • cucumbers
  • grapes
  • onions
  • radishes
  • sweet peppers of all different colours
  • tomatoes
  • lemon
About halfway, I discovered that covering everything in the juice of fresh lemon acted as a seasoning to make the raw veggies a little more appetizing.

I stumbled across an interesting quirk of nature. If you soak radish chunks in fresh squeezed lemon juice for a few hours, the strong tastes of each counteract each other and changes both to a mild sweet flavour.

I also noticed that I could smell everyone around me! I assumed that if I could smell them then I must, in turn, have a unique odor. Not so. EVERYONE had garlic breath! I didn't eat any raw garlic throughout the 10 days and my diet usually consists of traces of garlic in pretty much everything I eat. Apparently, most restaurant food and processed food also contains garlic...

The Aftermath

It's been two weeks. I've gained back about five pounds which I mostly attribute to my in-activity. I will be able to start running again in the next few days. I will be trying a modified diet where I eat totally raw Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and see where it takes me.

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