Food food food. So where do I begin? So far this whole transitioning to raw vegan thing has been really good. Sometimes tricky, annoying, and tasteless, but good.overall health: I feel great. Well, to be completely honest I feel drained as can be right now, but thats because it’s my womanly time and I didn’t sleep well last night. But outside of those details, I’ve been feeling SO MUCH better. To be completely honest, I did a bit of an *yeah okay whatever* eye roll when the raw till’ four trend hit— and everyone said that it made them feel amazing with more energy. I just assumed that a lot of people went from eating garbage to salads– and thats why they had the shift. Switching from garbage to salads would make anyone feel better. But even for me, someone who hasn’t eaten almost any crap whatsoever in the past year, to switch to mostly raw foods, especially in the beginning parts of day, the difference is big. Really big.

I feel the difference (more tired + sluggish) when I eat fats. I’ve addressed the high fat thing a few food/diet posts back. I was eating A LOT of fat to try to put on weight. But I never gained weight from over-eating fat. Instead I ended up with all these vague complaints. By the advice of my acupuncturist (who I no longer see), I cut back on the fat intake and it made a HUGE difference in how I felt. And I didn’t lose weight by cutting out the fat, instead I just improved my digestion (fats = harder to digest). Right now I’ve only eat bit of natural fat towards the end of the day and I can noticeably feel the difference between how I feel after a fat free meal vs how I feel after a bowl of guacamole. The sad reality is that avocados make me tired, haha. I mean, don’t worry, the guacamole is still worth it, delicious, and healthy too, so I definitely still eat it (had it yesterday, nom), but I’ve cut back.

detox: So as mentioned, I detoxed pretty hard. I didn’t really expect this. I thought, “but I’ve been eating so healthy and trying to slowly and naturally detox for over a year and a half, I shouldn’t have too many problems with detox symptoms!* Wrong. C. diff is damaging to your gut and entire body. As are all the drugs I took in my teen years (acne drugs, antibiotics, antidepressants, anti anxiety pills)— you know, all the garbage. Well that stuff doesn’t magically and completely disappear from your body. I mean, a lot of it leaves your system for sure, but I really do believe that a lot of that just sort of circles through and hangs out in there unless you’re actively cleaning it out. The detox hit me hard when I did that Mayan Massage. I felt the positive and negative affects for months. On one hand it did make my periods easier. On the other it stirred up a lot of colon + lady part toxins. So now that I’ve made the switch to completely cleansing foods, well, my body is cleaning out and I’ve been feeling it. The biggest symptom I noticed? Mucus. SO MUCH mucus. Gosh, I never ever get mucusy. I have once in the past ten years (since I cut out dairy) and that was with a random, post c. diff sinus infection. Other than that I am not a nose blower. With the switch, my body started purging– everywhere and in every way. I’ll spar you the details, but I mean everywhere. But the most noticeable way way via my nasal passages. I lost my voice for an entire week and a half. Maybe longer? I wasn’t sick, just mucusy as all hell.

I also started breaking out A LOT. I don’t think I mentioned it here though– unless I did? Did I? Well just in case– and this is super interesting, if you ever looked into ‘body mapping’ you can see where the toxic build up is according to your break out location. The same way chinese medicine connects different points or your body to different organs– different acne break out points match those organs. The first week of detox my face exploded with pimples– and the most noticeable break out location? All over my forehead— tiny little pimples EVERYWHERE. And what body part does your forehead match to? Your digestive tract! Super interesting, right?! I’ve also had a bit of break outs twice on the back/side of my neck. This usually implies that you’re fighting and infection or something with your hormones. This week I’ve also had breaks outs a bit on my jaw which is also connected to hormones– and I’m period-ing. So theres that. I’m trying not to stress about it, but I mean, they’re pimples, big whoop and I’m not 16 and really don’t care that much anymore. And I’m reminding myself that my body is cleaning. Sometimes you gotta kick up a lot of garbage and junk before it gets cleaned out completely.

difficulties: I think the hardest thing for me has been my cravings for HOT food. I woke up today and didn’t even want pizza. Like, I’m not dying for french fries or specific things– but the thing I miss most is warming, hot foods. I don’t feel warm and comforted by eating cold foods everyday, for every meal. I’m super thankful that its warm here in florida– because I highly doubt I could do this if I was up north, but even in the warm Florida sun, I crave and miss hot food. I’m usually totally okay for breakfast + lunch. I feel good eating raw or almost completely raw. But half way through dinner I want to throw my bowl across the room and eat something warm. Anything warm. I don’t need junk food or high oil foods. Really, I dont even care or crave junk foods anymore at all—  it could be the healthiest bowl of soup ever and I would be SO happy– I just want it warm. Or not warm, but hot. Honestly, I want food to be on the verge of burning my mouth– I’ve always been like that. The hotter the better.

Another difficulty is eating like this outside of the house. At home, it’s not an issue. And even when I go out for errands or whatever, its not a huge issue, I’m just like a rabbit hat pulls out ten apples or oranges or whatever else while I’m out. It’s just that I’m trying to get out of the house with friends as much as possible. Change my old routines, start new ones, do new things, whatever. But it gets difficult when I plan my day with friends– because usually at some point food will be involved. We’re a food culture, dining out is for nourishment and enjoyment– and I can’t show up at a restaurant being like, “hey can you get me a giant organic fruit platter?” You know? I know all the tricks– you can eta before hand, or order a plan salad, no dressing, or just have water, but that’s not fun That’s not what I want to do. I dont like going out to eat and being the only one eating– I dont want to do that to other people too! So for now I’ve been suggesting juice dates, beach dates, and picnic dates. I’ll figure out the rest later.

mood: my mood is GREAT. If I’m being completely honest our home life has sort of been a shit show lately. I mean, no one is fighting and screaming over here, but life sort of did get turned upside down this month. And sure, part of my calmness is due to growth and the overwhelming patience I’ve developed in the last few years, but a big part is due to diet for sure. Diet plays a HUGE part in mood. I’m living proof of that. I overcame depression and anxiety through diet change. And I do feel like my overall day to day mood and outlook on things is highly influenced by the nutrient dense, brain feeding, happy and non toxic food I’ve been eating. All anxiety is gone. Rollercoaster emotions are gone. I just feel really emotionally good. I have real feelings and good and negative emotions— I’m a dynamic human being just like everyone else, but I feel good. Emotionally, I’m in a good place.

contradicting feelings: I still go back and forth on the whole ‘this is the perfect diet’ theory. In a lot of ways the diet makes so much sense. In some ways it doesn’t. I mean, my biggest thought it that at some point we did advance– we learned languages, created tools, expanded and grew. Was it a change in diet that made this happen? Was it the use of fire? The time we left a mad life to create crops? What changed? I can’t help but question the potential flaws in this diet. I do think this diet mostly makes sense because we are not changing perfect foods. The universe works the way it’s supposed to and these foods were created with certain a certain biochemistry to fit our needs– great! So it makes sense eating them in their perfect form. At least most of the time. But maybe we do need certain cooked foods– maybe this helps nourish us and help us grow in other ways. I don’t know. For now I want to keep moving forward with an open mind and I’ll see what happens.

my gut: it’s still a little weird from time to time. I still haven’t figured out a good rhythm to it yet. It doesn’t hurt unless I overdo it on cauliflower or broccoli. I’m still taking my probiotics daily. I feel like I wont need them later– honestly, sometimes I still question if I need them now, with all the natural probiotics fruit and vegetable provide, but I’m taking them. Overall it seems like my gut is much better, but I do hope it’ll get more stable as even more time passes.

lady things: As mentioned, it’s my lady time. So my flow is the same. I was worried that I might start skipping my period again (like I did when my body gave out with the c. diff.) This didn’t happen and I dont think it will happen anymore honestly. It seems healthy and good. I’m tired, sure, but thats sort of how it works. One HUGE change I noticed this month was that ANY pms symptoms I would have had before are/were completely non existent. Nothing, zero. I feel like I’ve been eating so clean that there hasn’t been any junk in the way of my body converting it’s estrogen/doing its hormonal cleaning thing. So yay to that. I’m still eating seaweed often for it’s iodine. This makes a huge difference in my fibrocystic breast health. They hurt substantially less when I’m smart about my iodine intake. And I like to add spirulina powder to my smoothie bowls for the extra iron too 🙂

random fun stuff: the cravings I thought I would have, are non existent– and I do actually find myself craving more fruit– which is great. For instance, I actually drank one day last week and instead of waking up wanting french fries or other delicious hangover foods, I wanted pineapple. Weird, right? My body was like, “NO, I dont want your delicious garbage foods, give me pineapple!” I’ve never, ever had that happen.

eating: breakfast is almost always some sort of banana ice-cream, acai bowl, or smoothie bowl. Sometimes I’ll mix it up and juice a bunch of greens and blend it with banana and berries. Lunch and dinner is more of a toss up. For lunch I’ve been doing more fruit. Sometimes it feels weird eating so many sweet things all day long, but I’m doing it. Half the time I go to my favorite lettuce wraps and still clinging on to that not raw miso dressing for all things. For dinner, it depends how I feel– but I definetly move away from fruit and go into the greens and veg realm for dinner. Sometimes I end up just eating what Marlowe is eating still. I’ve just been using less to no oil and drastically cutting back on salt. the salt shift has been hard for both of us, but we’re working on it. I often offer to add a bit of the unheated oil on top of her food after it’s cooled, since she is still growing and a tiny thing and I have mixed thoughts and feelings on the low fat thing. Some nights I’ll make some sort of pasta dish and I’ll have zucchini noodles and she’ll have rice or quinoa noodles. We mix it up a bit. Snacks are always fruit. I’d say I’m about 75% raw vegan /fruitarian right now.

finance: I’m going to be completely poor from this. haha. Well, it’s pricey for sure. Fruit is not cheap. That being said, I have yet to do my proper inquires to farmers + CSA’s around here and I know I can make this cheaper. I finally started asking about wholesale purchasing this week. I’m going to shop around for bulk prices and try to bring down my overall cost a bit. I’m mostly really happy that I’m finally eating bananas. Oh and I’m so freaking happy that our papaya trees are ripening just in time. Now I just need to find myself an organic pineapple farmer to supply me with my one true love: pineapples.

final thoughts: Overall I feel better. A lot better. *Human* again for the first time in almost two years. I feel stronger too. I know I’m still pretty thin, but I don’t feel weak. I feel like I can start moving forward in gaining weight and muscle too. Right now, I dont see myself being a lifelong raw vegan. But I could potentially see myself being mostly raw for the rest of my life. I can’t see into the future so I really don’t know what will happen or how I will feel years from now– or even months or weeks from now. But right now the improvements have been so good and and completely undeniable. So for now, I’m going to stick with it. Ideally I’d like to go 100% raw (oil and salt free) for a month and then assess it from there. I dont feel light-headed, sugar highs or lows, I feel steady and good. I know this is going to change my life. It’s already started to. And I’m still as excited as when I started to move forward 🙂

<3<3

Have more questions? Please ask! You guys know it, I’m an open book. Let’s chat about food, life, poop, whatever.

 

19 Comments

  1. Hey Drea,

    I would love to know how many calories in fruits you are consuming a day? And how to make dinner salads more savory and filling since vegetables are so low in calories. Also, how long have you been a mostly raw vegan? Do you see detox symptoms right away? I tend to get dizzy if I only eat fruits during the day – perhaps I'm just not eating enough? Thanks.

    • Hi! So Ideally I'd like to get about 2,500 – 3,000– but as a guesstamation I think I'm more at the 2,000 range for calories– but maybe more, because if and when I have them, I sit and eat an entire pineapple for breakfast (an expensive habit for sure) and thats about 500 calories per entire fruit? And when I make my smoothie bowls and what not I have about 4 bananas and two cups of berries + whatever greens so thats another 500+ calories just for breakfast. For dinner, I've just been eating A LOT of food. But most of my calories are probably coming in from breakfast time. By the time dinner comes around I'm not that hungry 🙂

      I've been doing this for maybe 2 weeks now? Detox symptoms appeared after the 3rd or 4th day of being completely raw. I got a bit dizzy in the beginning when I was trying to do it and just started eating more and have had no problems! I would def say you just need to try eating more 🙂

    • Ah thanks for the info. Are you having more digestive upsets? My digestion and bloating was quite good when I was eating less complex carbs and a bit of lean protein. But now I have noticed that I am almost always bloated and my bathroom trips are terrible. I have been fully vegan for 3 months now and only eat fruits alone and for breakfast. Would you have any suggestions for this? Drink more water?

    • Hi. Have you heard of FODMAPs? Eliminating these carbs usually helps people with bloating and digestive issues tremendously. I encourage you to research them. Try an elimination diet to figure out which FODMAP you cannot tolerate.

      However, it is not advised to cut out all FODMAPs forever since this group of carbs feed your good gut bacteria. Without FODMAPs, you will starve your gut flora. Just figure out which you cannot tolerate.

      I studied Nutrition in Uni.

      Finally, Drea, are you worried about your fat intake? Many vitamins are fat-soluble. You must eat fats. How do you get enough fats so you do not become vitamin deficient?

    • JJ— very rarely. my stomach was kind of hurting today– but honestly, it's because I ate an entire head of cauliflower yesterday– but I tried a new recipe in the dehydrated and it was just so good! so yeah, so yeah— over did it! Other than that, it's pretty good lately. Zero bloating thats for sure. Have you looked into food combining at all? And I always think more water is the answer to everything really 🙂

      Lena- yeah, I don't have any bloating issues AT ALL (anymore)– especially since changing up my diet. Not even during my period this month (for the first time EVER)! And my digestion issues were caused by the c. diff damage + antibiotics. I mean, I can't eat a lot of raw onion– but no one really can, haha.
      fat intake: not at all! As I mentioned, I still eat natural fats everyday!

  2. A really interesting and inspiring post. I'm seriously considering raw til 4 now, like you I'm quite fond of hot food, but I know I'd feel better with a lot more fresh raw food. CJ xx

  3. Ughhhh I always feel so bad about my diet when I read your posts! But I know I should make changes. I eat a lot of garbage. Any change in the right direction is good I guess…

    What do you use to clean your fruits and veggies?

    • Oh, another question… Do you eat nuts? I don't like eating nuts. :/ I always worry that will be a big deal if I ever get to a mostly vegan diet.

    • aw, I'm sorry! not my intention, just scribbling down my food journey 🙂 And yes,ANY change in the right direction is good— or great really!

      just water to clean fruits and veggies. and no nuts 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 I freaking miss peanut butter man! But my stomach doesn't process nuts anymore since the c. diff! 🙁

  4. I've worked with two amazing ladies, almost ambassadors of the raw food eating, and have always been in so much awe at how amazing they say you feel. I've wanted to try it for so long, but goodness it takes so much time of your life and seems so difficult. I hope i find the balls in the near future and just go with it!

    • it depends! some stuff, like dehydrating is painfully slow, but other than that, I've found it to be much less time consuming! Just a pain in the butt for eating out for sure!

  5. It's really great this raw diet makes you feel great!I remember your early post about this, when you said that lately you always feel good but never great, so it seems worthy so far-good for you!I really like your food/diet posts, keep inspiring us!

    • aw, yeahhhhh. it's true. I had been feeling good– but this really is the first time that I've been feeling reaallllyyyy good. 🙂 thanks )

  6. I personally think the body mapping thing is legit! I used to look at it for the face, whenever I've gone through sudden bouts of cystic acne. Having it along the chin and jawline is hormonal and made total sense when I realized it was from the soy milk I had started drinking, when I went dairy free. That is how I figured out my body does not tolerate soy milk.
    Most recently, I was put on two supplements for fertility (they're supposed to improve egg quality) by fertility specialist and after about three consecutive months – I started having the most horrible acne on my back and chest. Then you mention the back acne being tied to hormones and I believe it! The supplements I take, one of them (DHEA) is meant to balance the amount of testosterone in your body, so if you are low it adds and if you are high it levels it. It does not mess around! The side effects warned of hair loss, hair growth (on a woman's body where you shouldn't have hair) and acne (the back acne). I've had all! Somehow my face was spared, thank goodness.
    I am now on a mission to detox my body of all the hormones I was on plus they gave me an antibiotic during my egg retrieval, so I have that working against me 🙁

    • I wish I had understood my body hen I had major acne and fixed my life instead of taking ten million acne pills man. But ya live ya learn, right? For the detox, def. look into the mayan massage! I can't wait to get another one!

    • That is what kills me about modern medicine! I struggled with acne since I was a teenager and never once did a doctor mention anything about diet. I took so many antibiotics, used topicals and even did accutane in my 20s. I did not learn about how dairy, sugar, soy etc can affect your hormones which can then cause acne. It's sad!
      I actually did have a mayan massage, after I read about yours I was really intrigued. I found someone in Austin and she was amazing. I too would love to see her again. 🙂

  7. Are you eating nuts/seeds for protein? I am in Ohio and totally agree that this would be way difficult here in the winter. Already it is cold and raining and outside and I want a big bowl of soup! I am glad the diet is making you feel great!

    • I developed an intolerance to nuts since the c. diff. I do eat seeds though– tahini almost daily lately! And I want soup every single day—- even in the 90 degree weather– so yeah, I can imagine the soup wanting in ohio!! <3

  8. Thank you for this post and your honesty. I'm studying nutrition now and am so interested that your changing to mostly raw has made you feel so great. I'm wanting to make the leap, not necessarily to completely raw but down this road. I'm curious, did you use any guide website to know that this change my help you feel better. I know you had c. diff and so you had to make many many changes, you are so strong! I'm not sick (that I know of) but I do find my moods seem to be greatly affected by what I eat and I'd love love to get off that rollercoaster. Thanks for any advice!

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