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My foray into raw eating

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  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    Not that anyone asked, but for some raw is not entirely about health. There's more to food than simply fuel - eating can be an act of conscience, of belief system, of self-expression, of political choice, of cultural or spiritual identity.

    Even if all science concurred that eating the flesh and secretions of animals was healthy, I personally couldn't do it.

  • Day 3 on raw vegan:

    Nothing horrendous to report, but not much good either. One thing I have to say: I am sick of chewing. Veggies are great but it is hard to stand having to take so much time ingesting so few calories when you're hungry. Would I be defeating the purpose of the diet if I consumed all my veggies in smoothie/juice form? I am seriously that tired of eating them, except for carrots, which I can stand.

    Something else: I am sore from my workout on Monday, and I'm usually not sore two days after a workout (I don't work out very intensely, just so you know--I try to increase strength quite a bit more slowly than I know I could). Getting through my workout today also took quite a bit more effort. I think I simply need more protein. But, I'm not sure how to do this. I'm already eating four servings of almonds a day, which I think is quite enough in terms of raw seeds--legumes, flaxseeds, both have high levels of antinutrients, including, ironically, protein absorption inhibitors. Any suggestions?

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    "Would I be defeating the purpose of the diet if I consumed all my veggies in smoothie/juice form?"

    I wouldn't think so. I mean, you'll be chewing other things, right? (Fruit, the almonds you mentioned...) I wouldn't go completely liquid (not long term), but if you just want to do all the veggies that way, I see no problem, myself.

    I know folks go on juice feasts and such, but I feel, for the long term, I would want to keep my stomach accustomed to *some* solid food.

  • Protein is the least of your worries!

    Seriously, you could go nut-free and get enough protein!

    I 'd worry more about trace minerals and B12 and whatnot; where minerals are concerned, look into sea vegetables. I don't know how you feel about them; maybe some Nori to start (make some raw nori rolls). They are chock full of good stuff you need a lot more than protein.

    You might want to try to mix up your nuts; I would definitely go for a serving of Brazil nuts every day, for their selenium alone, among other things. Walnuts are great for tocopherals and totrienols, pumpkin seeds are great for zinc. Since there is a question about whether or not almonds are raw in the United States, you can completely bypass the word of your source and find out if they are raw by trying to sprout them. Simply soak them overnight, drain the water, then let them sit moist on a moist paper towel, rinsing and changing the paper towel twice a day. They should grow little tails if they are trully raw. It's also really good for you to consume sprouted nuts as opposed to dormant nuts.

  • PamPam

    Here's a few theories and maybe some wild guesses:

    Muscle soreness could be due to detox. Most raw foodists experience diminished joint pain after starting a raw diet, possibly from the breakdown of lactic acid (although there is a school of thought that says lactic acid does not cause muscle soreness) and other toxins stored in the joints. While your body is doing this housecleaning, you may be more sore. Also, could be that your joints are working better and you feel more limber. So you may be overstretching the muscle because you don't feel the typical degree of resistance. Further, make sure you're drinking enough water to aid in detox and joint lubrication. Some people don't drink water, assuming they will get enough from the fruits and veggies. I'm not convinced that's the case, particularly if you are active

    Also, high nut consumption may make you more acidic which might not be conducive to muscle recovery. Or maybe the amount of magnesium in the nuts you're eating throws off the copper and zinc balance which might harm the muscle recovery that magnesium usually helps... I don't know, just some theories to investigate.

    The chewing can get to be tiring. Smoothies, soups, juices and marinated or dehydrated foods are a good way to give yourself a break from chewing. I also find that large salads with baby lettuce, tomatoes and avocado or chopped salads (in the food processor) don't require quite so much effort. Your jaw will get stronger with time. (Though it will still take you three times longer to eat your lunch than it takes your buddy to gum down a cheeseburger and fries.)

  • Day 10 of raw vegan lifestyle:

    I am now getting into the hang of the diet. Tossing together smoothies, homemade salad dressing, salads, and soaking/dehydrating almonds is becoming second nature.

    My weight has gone down by 2 pounds (my scale is super accurate, so I'm quite sure this isn't a discrepancy), and since I've gotten weaker by about 2% in all of the major lifts (bench press, squat, deadlift), I'm guessing that most of that weight is muscle. I'm quite sure this is because I'm having a lot of problems getting enough protein in my diet: my previously reported chewing problem has now extended to eating almonds, of which I originally planned on eating 4 servings a day.

    The whole eating thing has gotten weird. I'm eating fewer calories than I did before,but I'm eating more food in terms of weight. I get really full eating 500 calories of fruit compared to 500 calories of meat. Sometimes it's hard to will myself to eat enough calories, and I'm guessing that my calorie consumption has dropped to probably 2,100 a day (previously I was eating about 3200). I'm also a bit less active: I still jog and weightlift but I choose not to play sports as often at school.

    Sometimes, I'm tempted to just eat like 10 tablespoons of honey to get easy calories in, but I think we can all agree that wouldn't be a particularly healthy thing to do.

    So, I'm (very, very) slightly weaker, and slightly less active, but I am not less energetic. I get through the day just fine; I'm not tired or anything, and my sex drive, characteristic of any 15-year-old boy is doing, well, let's just say just fine. My main complaints about the diet would have to be:

    1.) Not enough protein intake. I'm still looking into starting to soak/sprout legumes and flax seeds, but I'm seeing a lot of stuff about how those foods have a bunch of antinutrients and/or dangerous compounds that shouldn't be eaten in large amounts.

    2.) Too much chewing, and too much bulk in my diet. If my stomach were 50% bigger this wouldn't be an issue.

    3.) I'm getting cravings for meat and milk, which both made the mainstay of my old diet. But, surprisingly, I am not getting cravings for cooked foods, which is good.

  • wichtenwichten Raw Newbie

    you are probably not losing muscle but the fat marbled in it. Ive read that when a person shifts from animal proteins to plant proteins that there is initial muscle breakdown b/c there is more fat marbled in with it. This will make your muscles bigger and bulkier. But once you start to build muscle gained on plant proteins, it will be stronger and leaner. If you are very concerned about getting more protein, try sun warrior protein powder.

    www.sunwarrior.com

    i noticed that for my workouts, my warm up times are shorter and my recovery is faster than when i ate the SAD fare. Im also much more flexible now too.

    congrats to you! keep it up!

  • Day 15 of raw vegan lifestyle:

    -I'm now another 1/2 pound lighter, as I'm still having a lot of trouble getting enough calories in. I'm now a full 5% weaker in my bench press and 10% weaker in squat and deadlift. Furthermore, my stamina seems to have gone down, as I have less endurance when I jog, and much less motivation to jog in the first place. My biggest complaint is that my muscle recovery has slowed to a snail's place, and I feel quite sore all the time. Clearly, I need more protein in my diet, but I don't feel there are many reliable raw vegan sources of protein available.

    -I'm now having troubles with constipation, which is odd considering my astronomical fiber intake.

    -Again, the calorie problem. I broke down a few days ago and had just downed several spoonfuls of raw honey before I stopped myself--an unhealthy thing to do, but it certainly hit the right spot. Getting enough calories from bananas and almonds, as I originally envisioned myself doing, seems to be very difficult.

    -The chewing problem. My jaw is seriously tired, and just about the only thing I want to chew any more are bananas and avocados. Almonds, greens, apples, all need to be blended or juiced before I want to consume them.

    -I'm getting more pimples than I'm accustomed too. I figure this may be incidental so it's not a big deal.

    -My energy levels throughout the day are passable but I can definitely see a decline from my old diet.

    -Again, no cravings for cooked foods except for meat and milk. If I were to get my hands on a half gallon of milk right now, I would seriously down the whole thing in about two minutes.

    -Overall, there's nothing seriously positive I can report for being on this diet. Unless something happens that makes me suddenly love it, I will cease on the 21st day, which will mark 3 weeks. I think that's fair time to make an unbiased judgment on the quality of the diet.

  • RawKRawK Raw Newbie

    Rawskeptic--for this last week, increase your fruit intake and lower your fats (currently at 40%!) considerably. If, by the end of 7 days, you do not notice an increase in stamina, then at least you will have tried "both" forms of raw. I make smoothies consisting of 10 oranges and a grapefruit--that will boost your calories. Bunch of bananas here and there helps too. I am convinced that athletes are more susceptible to the deleterious effects of a high fat diet. See for yourself.

    I posted my best marathon on 811 and had no soreness whatsoever during my long training runs ranging from 12-20 miles. Prior cooked vegan/vegetarian fueled marathons, I was sore after each of these long runs.

    Good luck!

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    "I'm now having troubles with constipation, which is odd considering my astronomical fiber intake."

    Not odd at all, if you are not taking in adequate fluids to flush the fiber. Otherwise, all that fiber will draw fluids from the body, and hence, constipation.

  • I'm with RawK - increase your fruit consumption. It seems quite possible to me that you're not lacking protein, but carbs. If you're eating over 2000 calories a day from varied foods, you should be getting plenty of protein.

  • Also - if you're used to over 3000 calories, and you've dropped to just over 2000 don't you think your lack of energy, etc. might be connected?

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    I'm with ya, penfold. That's quite a drop. Somehow I hadn't picked up on those figures. Yes, that certainly would account for a lack of energy.

  • osoniyeosoniye Raw Newbie

    Hi, Rawskeptic,

    I have really enjoyed reading your posts. I applaud your scientific approach. You also question some of the things I've been wondering about. I think you will make a much better dietitian as a result of going through this experiment, whatever you decide. Hope you'll stick around here, and give raw a longer chance.

    Wishing you the best-

    -osoniye

  • I have a hard time believing your 15. lol

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    The skin could be detox.

    It took my body months to get used to digesting this way and to clean out. I went through three or four months of transition...

  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    rawskeptic, i've noticed that i am much more tired, too. i take a nap every day now. i've gained weight (muscle) ever since i started eating more 811. the weight you are losing isn't muscle at all. it's all fat or water weight. and you don't need more protein. you are getting A LOT. protein is in all the fruits and veggies you eat so you could get enough just eating those. my muscles are much more defined now that i don't eat a lot of fats and proteins. i swear the 811 book is magic.

    with the skin problem, try using tea trea oil or jojoba oil on your skin. i just rub it on my face at night and it has worked wonders. i rarely get pimples anymore.

  • Divided responses for simplicity:

    Rawskeptic--for this last week, increase your fruit intake and lower your fats (currently at 40%!) considerably. If, by the end of 7 days, you do not notice an increase in stamina, then at least you will have tried "both" forms of raw. I make smoothies consisting of 10 oranges and a grapefruit--that will boost your calories. Bunch of bananas here and there helps too. I am convinced that athletes are more susceptible to the deleterious effects of a high fat diet. See for yourself.

    Okay, I'll give your advice a shot and decrease % of fat and replace those calories with fruit, particularly blended fruit. (Mangoes are on sale at Whole Foods for $.50 a pop--so easy enough). Nothing to lose, right?

  • Not odd at all, if you are not taking in adequate fluids to flush the fiber. Otherwise, all that fiber will draw fluids from the body, and hence, constipation.

    I drink 6 liters of water a day already; I've been doing that for a while, actually. I guess I could increase that to 8 liters without too much difficulty, just to see what happens.

    My constipation problems have been fairly mild, but obviously even a little bit of constipation isn't a good sign.

  • I'm with RawK - increase your fruit consumption. It seems quite possible to me that you're not lacking protein, but carbs. If you're eating over 2000 calories a day from varied foods, you should be getting plenty of protein.

    As outlined in my original post, I'm probably getting 50 grams of protein day at maximum, and since I've been having trouble eating enough, it's probably more like 40 grams. I'm in no danger of an amino acid deficiency, but for a teenage male of my activity level I should probably be getting .6 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight to stay in positive nitrogen balance, and I'm not even eating half of that right now.

  • Also - if you're used to over 3000 calories, and you've dropped to just over 2000 don't you think your lack of energy, etc. might be connected?

    Hmm, how can I explain this.

    I've been on low-calorie diets before (think 1400 calories) and while my level of activity decreased (I even noticed that I naturally fidgeted less), I wasn't feeling lethargic per se. As I expected, the slightly reduced-calorie raw vegan diet has slightly decreased my activity level, but the lethargy is something new to me. Nevertheless, I'm planning on eating 3,000 calories a day for the rest of the week, to see if this helps reverse that symptom.

  • Hi, Rawskeptic,

    I have really enjoyed reading your posts. I applaud your scientific approach. You also question some of the things I've been wondering about. I think you will make a much better dietitian as a result of going through this experiment, whatever you decide. Hope you'll stick around here, and give raw a longer chance.

    Wishing you the best-

    -osoniye

    Thanks very much.

    I might stick around here and add raw meat/raw dairy to my diet before I totally cease the raw lifestyle, but I rather think the moderators would probably prefer if I didn't document such a diet as I've done for this one.

  • I have a hard time believing your 15. lol

    You better believe it. ;-)

    If it changes your perspective about me any, I act a lot more mature when it comes to talking nutrition science. I'm really a total goofball in real life even if I don't show it here.

  • The skin could be detox.

    It took my body months to get used to digesting this way and to clean out. I went through three or four months of transition...

    Not too sure about the whole detox thing. I always wonder why some people believe that your body can only detox if you're eating a diet of plants. It seems to me that your body would detox (and perform!) the best when it's given a steady supply of easily absorbable nutrients, and I don't think that a raw vegan diet is necessarily best for that.

  • the weight you are losing isn't muscle at all. it's all fat or water weight. and you don't need more protein. you are getting A LOT.

    Which doesn't explain why all my major lifts have gone down. I'm not so concerned with the weightloss (2.5 pounds is, what, 2% of my mass), but with my measurable loss of strength, endurance, and speed of muscle recovery.

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    Hi Rawskeptic.

    I have had some implicit thoughts about your postings from the start, even your name says a lot about the outcome of your scientific experience : I think it may already be determined from the start !

    If you are really into science, please do not ignore the Philosophy of Science. I think you'd get a lot out of reading some of the great classics in Epistemology like Hume, Kuhn, etc. Really makes you think about what determines the choice of scientific theories (whether or not they are truths to be discovered randomly, by observation, or if they are already determined by current modes of scientific thought in a certain scientific circle, etc.), among other fascinating questions about the reasoning used in science, etc.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there. Good luck.

  • eat more fruit.

  • greens thats what you need to eat.

    I feel my best when i eat 600 grams of kale every day, also with a head of celery 1 cucumber and some wheatgrass powder . 400 - 600 grams of kale is great.

    I also love to eat lots of tomatoes and a couple of avocado's each day,

    Also vegtable juices are great, celery , cucumber , carrot, and you can mix green powders with this and also hemp protein powder, 1 scoop of organic hemp protein powder is 14grams of 'complete' protein and its raw.

    I don't agree with all the nuts, just a few nuts a day is ok, they are acidic.

    Take Care,

    Paul.

  • RawKRawK Raw Newbie

    Rawskeptic--

    nothing to lose, everything to gain! cheers to having an open mind and giving it a go...ill be waiting for your end of the week report.

  • Rawskeptic I agree with you about the detoxing. I think it's really easy to explain away all kinds of symptoms by chalking it all up to 'detox'; we don't really have much evidence for that. Sometimes, I feel like the raw diet weakens the body, and people have to get more and more refined in their diet just to feel 'okay'. Just an observation.

    I know the 80-10-10 people say you should just eat more fruit, but doesn't that seem a bit counter-intuitive? If you need more protein and more calories, I would think nuts and raw gourmet food would be the way to go, as it is caloric and has more protein than fruits and vegetables. 80-10-10 may not agree with me, but I would say to add more raw gourmet food made with flaxseed, sunflower seeds, walnuts, hazlenuts, and sprouted beans.

    If you feel better reducing the fat and adding more fruit, then great, but my guess is that will not solve your problems. You are conducting an experiment, however, so the results will tell more than we possibly can, right?

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