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24 hours on raw

May 30, 2013

Figs and Coconut Cashew Cream

This week I decided to have one day of all-raw eating.  The decision was made on Monday which, being a British Bank Holiday, was also a hangover day.  I decided to make Tuesday, my first day back at work after the hols, a raw one.

Perhaps that was where I went wrong.

Not that the food wasn’t a success – everything I ate, I really enjoyed – but the day itself was a difficult one.  Emerging from alcohol abuse into the world of work (and one very difficult meeting) would have been challenging at any time, so in hindsight the added strangeness of the diet change was probably what tipped the whole thing over into the realm of the rather unpleasant.

I think I wasn’t prepared for how different I’d feel.  I spent the whole day wandering in a strange hinterland between empty and full.  Why is that?  I don’t quite understand it.  I had plenty of energy, I ate until I didn’t want any more, but there was never any bellyful feeling.  Very odd.  Perhaps that’s where the liberation of raw food lies – freedom from the up-and-down cycle of so-called ‘food addiction’.  Ho hum.  I am obviously a long way from even admitting I have a problem with food.  I really missed the feeling of fullness.  But I could see how, with time, it might become one of those things you used to love, and then don’t miss any more, and eventually dislike actively, like the taste of butter to a vegan.

Something I did enjoy, though, was the feeling of ultra-health – not just the goody-goody smugness of the borderline orthorexic, but the understanding that actually, my body really wanted all this good stuff.  I could feel it in my marrow, you know?  My raddled old corpus was crying out in welcome.  So the food itself was easy – a big green smoothie for breakfast (not a million miles from what I have most mornings anyway), an enormous mixed salad lunch with olives and lemon oil, and for dinner, raw houmous with delicious crackers.  Not to mention generous amounts of chocolatey things whenever the need arose.  No, in terms of the food itself, I had a great time.

I tell you what I did miss though – tea.  Hot, sweet, milky tea.  I did allow myself green tea but it ain’t the same! – especially first thing in the morning.

More figs

I think one of the main areas where I went wrong is not eating lunch until nearly 3pm.  That wasn’t by choice – the difficult meeting ran over – and it took ages to get back to the office.  I wasn’t hungry by that point, having obviously passed over into fasting mode, so that was probably why, by the time I got home and fed the kids, I experienced a major energy crash.  This manifested itself in an overwhelming need to lie on the sofa hugging myself and moping about every aspect of my life.  This is not normal behaviour for me!  The old PMA rarely lets me down.  I felt better the next morning, tea in hand.  Call it emotional detox or call it a normal response to drastic calorie restriction.  Who knows, really.

So I can probably point to lots of areas where I went wrong – choosing the wrong day, eating lunch too late.  That night I sat scoffing figs with Coconut Cashew Cream (not completely raw but hey, I’d earned a little wiggle room), mulling the day over and struggling to think of an area where I saw real improvement.  And suddenly, I realised that for the first time in about two months my chronic toothache wasn’t hurting.  Wow!  The toothache that had kept me awake at night and downing paracetamol daily had completely disappeared.  That was a definite result.

Apart from my dazzlingly painless teeth the rest of me felt utterly ruined, and I crawled to bed at about half past nine.  The next day turned into a bit of a carb fest, I’m sorry to say, with vegan Nutella porridge and hourly cuppas.  But as I reached for the painkillers at about 3pm, I found myself thinking about raw food again.

I am not one for dieting extremes, but I think there’s a place for raw food in my life.  Like a lot of vegans I am probably about 30-40 per cent raw most days anyway.  There’s definitely room for upping it a bit more, especially with summer coming.  If I did the old ‘Raw Til 4‘ I could possibly get as high as 70-80 per cent, while still enjoying my beloved bread and pasta.  Let’s give it a go anyway, and see what happens.

And as for my lovely, steaming hot morning cuppa… I wonder if I could make something half-decent with Xylitol and Coconut Cashew Cream?  Or is raw tea a total oxymoron?

What I ate

Breakfast: Green smoothie with 2 bananas, 1 apple, handful of kale, 1 tbsp of linseed, pinch of stevia
Lunch: Salad with rocket, grapes, olives, pecans, almonds, carrot chunks and lemon/extra virgin olive oil dressing
Dinner: Raw carrot houmous (recipe below) with extravagant shop-bought flax crackers, two figs with Coconut Cashew Cream
Snacks: Handful of raw chocolate covered goji berries, one nakd bar
Drinks: Green tea, lots of water

Raw carrot houmous


Raw Carrot Houmous

Not the smoothest houmous in the world, but a nice balance of sweet and salty.  VG indeed with flax crackers.

Two carrots
One clove of garlic
Juice of 1/2 orange
Tahini, 2 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil, 3-4 tbsps

Process the carrots as smoothly as you can (slicing them finely first might be kinder to your food processor).  Add the garlic, orange juice, tahini and salt.  Pour in the oil in a steady stream while processing, until you get a nice houmousy consistency.

  1. interesting experience! have you ever tried sun tea? You leave out a mason jar filled with a cup of water and a tea bag out under the sun for a few hours. It takes longer for the tea, but it’s so natural and delicious!

    • I haven’t tried that, sounds like an interesting technique! Sadly we don’t see much sun in this part of the world but there may be the odd day when I’d be lucky enough to give it a go. thanks for the tip!

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