Jumping straight in the deep end and going on a raw food diet for 28 days.
Why? I’m foggy, and tired and feeling a bit out of sorts. My digestion has always been rubbish, my skin isn’t great, I’m partying way too much, working even more and just feel like I need to hit the re-set button.
So why raw? I’m a fairly health person – I already eat a lot of fruit and veg and exercise regularly. But I’m also very social, a bit of a stress-head and love hot chips and nutella (not necessarily together but I wouldn’t rule it out…). A raw food diet just makes sense to me right now –  get rid of everything processed and take what I’m putting in my body back to basics.
I’m definitely not convinced a lifetime without scrambled eggs and roast potatoes is the way forward for me but I’m really keen to see how I feel over the next 28 days, and really excited to share this with you.

Day 1

Today I woke up tired but energised, and slightly hungover. Last night I was at a friend’s leaving drinks. About 11:50pm my mates bought me a massive tequila shot just to make sure my alcohol levels were topped up enough to make day 1 as uncomfortable as possible. Apparently 3 glasses of red wine wasn’t enough. What are friends for.
I ate more than I usually do for breakfast because I was starving (and craving eggs on toast). Afterwards I felt like I had had too much sugar. Early afternoon I was really tired and felt like I needed a stodgy meal (still craving eggs) and a hangover recovery nap. Instead I had a salad and tried to sleep but couldn’t.
Dinner was a massive raw feast. I’m lucky enough to have awesome friends that suggested a raw potluck dinner party on day 1. It was surprisingly delicious and even more surprising – really filling!
I am including raw meat and fish in this raw food diet. Interestingly enough I struggled with the ceviche at dinner and felt like my body was needed more of the veggie based food.

Food Diary
Breakfast:
Green smoothie (banana, melon, spinach, ginger) / Fruit salad (melon, banana, grapes, dried fruit and nuts) I realise Im doubling up on ingredients but I haven’t had time to shop yet / Hot water with lemon. (Is it raw? I’m not sure, but I’m going with it.)

Lunch:
Salad – romaine lettuce, 1/2 tomato, fresh mint, fresh dill, red capsicum, purple cabbage, fennel, 1/2 avocado, sprouted chickpeas, walnuts, linseeds + Dressing: lemon, olive olive, tahini, salt and pepper.
Dinner: (potluck dinner so I had small portions of everything listed below)
— Sweet corn, garlic & tomato soup with avocado and dill
— Raw sushi with bean sprouts & tahini miso ginger sauce
— Zucchini spaghetti with raw pesto
— Caribbean ceviche with avocado mango salsa
— Asian mackerel ceviche with pawpaw
— Raw chocolate brownie

Snacks:
— Handful of walnuts, 2 medjool dates, handful of mixed fruit and nuts, lots of warm water with lemon.

Day 1 verdict:
My main observation from day 1 is I feel like I’ve eaten a lot more sugar and fats than I’m used to. They are ‘good’ sugars and fats but I still feel slightly ill from all the high calorie food. I’ve snacked all day on dried fruit and nuts but I’ll need to find something else as these are so high in sugar.

Day 2

Raw Rookie Mistake
I was feeling pretty rough when I went to bed last night. Funny enough, I read an an article this morning about ‘combination abomination’ –  basically exactly what I did last night…
When you mix loads of different fats, proteins and sugars the combo can be a bit of a shock for your system and make you feel pretty average. What a rookie.
I woke up early for a Sunday – I felt tired but energised, which is an extremely frustrating feeling. I’m also craving something low GI – something filling that isn’t so sweet. I waited a bit before I ate even though I was hungry – I really couldn’t put any fruit or veg in my stomach just yet.  I had a few hot waters with lime and eventually I had a raw cocoa and banana smoothie and it sorted me right out – tasted amazing and made me feel LOADS better.
I did 45 minutes of pilates / strength work. My motivation to exercise is really low for me – it was a big effort.
I have a fear of being hungry on this diet – I think it will just take a bit of time to get used to the fact I can’t just grab a cracker every time I’m feeling a bit low in energy or feel like I need to put something in my belly.
Favourite conversation of the day was with the guy from the health food store – talking to him about raw he said ‘Oh yeah, I was raw once, back in the 80’s when it was cool’ Ha, awesome, good to know I’m only 20+ years + behind the trend!

Food Diary
Breakfast :
Raw cacao smoothie 
Lunch:
Salad with sun-dried tomato dressing: lettuce, tomato, radish, capsicum, raw pecans + sun-dried tomatoes dressing 
Dinner:
— Zucchini Noodles with Basil-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Snacks:
Green grapes, apple with cashew nut butter, almond milk with cacao.

Day 2 Verdict:
I feel energised and positive. I actually feel like I’ve got too much energy for this time of night (10pm). I love sleep – anywhere between 9 and 10 hours is good for me so I should technically be more tired than I am considering I’ve only had around 7 for the past two nights. I managed to eat less dense (high sugar and fat) food today and I think it helped a lot. I’m craving tea, is that a thing – tea cravings?

Day 3

Weeeeejoooo
I’m high.
I’ve been warned about this – the amazing natural highs that can occur by being on a raw food diet. It feels ridiculously good, but also weird. It’s like being the inapropiately drunk person at the dinner table.
First raw work day.  I got in early but I found it was a bit hard to focus because I was drunk.
Ok, I wasn’t drunk – it was because of my natural high.
I sipped on a green smoothy during the morning.
For lunch our amazing chef at work made raw Courgette Fettuccine. Maybe not so appealing to some of the guys. (Work mate:“Why are we being punished?”) Most people said they liked it, but I did see quite a few people heading back into the kitchen for cheese sandwiches about 2pm.

By 3pm I was STARVING. I ate a green apple. That worked for about 3 minutes.
4:30pm I’m beyond starving. More green smoothie and some fruit and nuts.
I’m going to have to get used to not feeling full. I’ve realised I really like feeling full – good full – like after you’ve had a big bowl of mashed potatoes.  I’m getting enough calories but I’m not getting the full tummy feeling because before I get there I get the mildly nauseous feeling from all the nuts and oils – but it is hard not to eat too much of this stuff when I’m feeling so hungry.
Exercise today was a quick post-work gym sesh (25 mins cardio)

Food Diary
Breakfast:
Cacao Smoothie 
Lunch:
— Chili Courgette Pasta

Dinner:
— Chopped Asian Salad
Snacks:
— Green smoothie (melon, green apples, spinach, ginger, fresh mint, water) / Green apple / Dried fruit and nuts / Raw chocolate pudding / Carrots (wish it was claret)

Day 3 verdict:
Feeling AMAZING – super positive, happy, energised but also somehow tired at the same time. I’m scared I’m going to crash soon…

Day 4

Today I’m exhausted.
By about 11am I’m mildly grumpy and by 4pm I’m proper irritable. I did hot yoga after work and the guy next to me was driving me crazy. It is worth noting that he was doing absolutely nothing wrong but the fact that he was standing just that little bit too close and dousing me in sweat each time he flicked his long locks in my direction was making me want to give him a cork in the thigh. I didn’t of course, but it did make me realise how wound up I was.
I need more sleep. I think it mostly has to do with the fact I’m struggling to find enough hours in the day for work, food prep and blogging rather than being tired from the raw food, but we will see.
A few observations from four days raw:
— I haven’t had a migraine yet. Every work day for the past 6 weeks plus I have had a migraine – yep, thats a LOT. I’m definitely not saying raw has cured my migraines (because I’ve been plagued by them for over 30 years and tried everything including dietary changes so I’m a little sceptical) but it is just an interesting observation.
— I’ve also had a stress rash under both my eyes for about the same period and that looks to be going away – again just an interesting observation for now.
— I wasn’t nearly as exhausted in hot yoga as I usually am and didn’t sweat nearly as much
— I’m feeling a little bit ill after almost everything I eat with the exception of just fruit or a simple fruit smoothie

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Cucumber, pear, mint and ginger smoothie (well delish)
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Left over Courgette Fettuccine from yesterday, plus a green salad
Dinner
— Italian salad: rocket, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red capsicum, olives, lemon juice, olive oil, walnuts, linseeds. It was nice to keep it quite simple tonight
— Raw chocolate
— Pawpaw and grapes with lime

Snacks:
Dried fruit and nuts / Fresh orange juice / Almond milk, banana and raw cacao smoothie / Green grapes

Day 4 Verdict:
Grumpy as fark. It would be nice to get rid of the nausea but all things considered I’m feeling ok.
Fun Fact:
Miso:
Miso paste is fermented soybean paste. It is the base to miso soup and you can use it to add flavour to soups, sauces, salad dressing (see day 3 post), or pickling meats or vegetables. It’s high in protein and vitamin B.

Day 5

Cravings
The most common question I’ve had so far is what do I miss the most. I’m sure this will be different for everyone but for me it’s the really simple things…
* Crackers – rice crackers, wheat crackers I don’t mind – just something plain and dry
* Rice – again something plain – I’m really missing the feeling of filling up my belly with something warm
* A cup of English Breaky tea
One of the biggest things I’m struggling with is not ever having the full belly feeling. I keep snacking looking for that satisfied feeling but I’m realising I’m not going to get it so I have to somehow teach my body to come to terms with that over the next 23 days.
Today I bought two coconuts for €5. I was in Thailand last month and for €5 I could have bought 44.2 coconuts. Ha, should have gone raw last month.

Food Diary
Breakfast
— Green smoothie: green apple, pear, banana, spinach, fresh orange juice, ginger. I made quite a bit and sipped on it all day.

Lunch:
Creamy Celeriac and Apple Soup with Sage

Dinner:
Leftovers:  raw sprouted hummus. + leftover salads (Asian and Italian salads, tamari marinated mushrooms, raw pesto)
So you can sprout lentils, that’s cool. My first two attempts failed, but honestly sprouting is not difficult at all. They taste more like mung beans than lentils, but I’m down with that. Sprouted beans definitely feel lighter and easier to digest than cooked lentils, which has to do with the fact that the sprouting process neutralizes the phytic acid which means your body can digest and absorb the nutrients better. Lots of info on lentils plus a How to guide to sprout lentils.
Snacks:
Dried fruit and nuts (as per…) /medjool dates / hot water with lemon / green apple

Day 5 Verdict:
So far so good. I got a good nights sleep last night but I still feel tired.  My tummy is feeling a bit better so hopefully it’s getting a bit more used to the fats and oils.

Day 6
Next Level Nausea
I feel soooo sick.
Tonight I struggled to keep my food down. I got through about half of it and then couldn’t eat anymore. I haven’t been able to finish a lot of my meals because I start feeling nauseous but tonight was next level.
I’m not going to post much tonight because I don’t feel well.
I did have salmon sashimi tonight. I don’t feel like this caused me to feel so foul but maybe it was the culprit. I’ll try it agin in a few days to see if I have the same reaction.

What Did You Eat?
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: fresh orange juice, apple, cucumber, spinach, mint, lime, prunes.
— Hot water with lemon
Lunch:
— Italian salad: avocado, cherry tomatoes, olives, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Dinner:
— Hummus platter: raw hummus, carrots, cherry tomatoes, miso pickled cucumber, pecans, olives (Miso pickled Cucumber: Remove all or some of the skin of the cucumber > Scoop out the seedy fleshy bit> Fill this section with the miso paste > Wrap in cling film > Leave in the fridge at least 24 hours > Cut and serve.
— Salmon sashimi

Snacks:
The rest of my breaky green smoothie / Handful of dried fruit and nuts / Orange

Day 6 Verdict:
I feel like I need to spew

Day 7

WINE IS RAW
I’m feelng a bit better but here is the really exciting news… wine is raw. WINE IS RAW. I am beside myself with joy. Not literally, because that isn’t possible, but I’m pretty bloody chuffed.
Tonight I went to The Alchemist Garden – which is as far as I know one of only two raw restaurants here in Amsterdam. The food was really great but the best news of my night came from Alec the owner when he told me WINE IS RAW.
I’m not super pleased about this because I want to go out and get trollied, (weeelll, I may do that at some stage but that’s not the point here) I’m so excited because this opens things up for me socially. Today our chef at work cooked an amazing roast veggie dish.  It smelt SO good that I had to go outside for a walk at lunchtime because my stomach was grumbling so much and I was afraid if I sat with my work mates for lunch I might drool in someone’s bowl. So instead I waited until everyone else had eaten and got myself a salad. I sat in the kitchen for a bit on my own, got bored of that and went and ate in front of my computer. It’s the first time I really realised how anti-social this diet can be.
this good.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green-ish smoothie: Cucumber, pear, apple, fresh orange juice, mint, lemon
— Hot water with lemon
Lunch:
— Zucchini and tomato salad with rocket, almonds and hazelnuts. Dressing was lemon, olive oil and salt.

Dinner:
— Raw sunflower seed burger with beetroot and carrot slaw, cashew mayo with flaxseed crackers (I finally got my crackers!), seaweed salad.
— Chocolate pie
— Fresh coconut juice
— 1 glass red of wine

Snacks:
I sipped on the leftover green smoothie all day today / Dried fruit and nuts: figs and hazelnuts

Day 7 Verdict:
I’m feeling way better than I did 24 hours ago. I woke up still not feeling great and it took awhile before I could eat much more than my green smoothie, but I got better and better as the day went on.I had absolutely no nausea after dinner tonight (humm, says something about my cooking??) so hopefully I can get through the weekend feeling this good.

Day 8

Getting Expensive
I spent quite a bit of money on raw supplies today. Raw food shopping started out fairly inexpensive for me – mostly fruit and veg and nuts, but then I got introduced to amazing treats like paleo wraps (dried flattened coconut that you can fill with yummy stuff) €10, raw Italian crackers (mostly made from seeds and ‘cooked’ in a dehydrator) €5, Coconut Mango Grawnola (I couldn’t not buy that after they called it grawnola…) €5, and pecan sesame cookies with lime €5. I can see how it would be very easy to spend a caj hundy on a few raw packaged food treats for the week…
I also bought ingredients to make onion bread and date and almond balls. I’m excited to try all these new packaged raw treats but I feel its also important I learn how to make my own raw snacks. If I don’t stay raw after these 28 days I at least want to have learnt new cooking (preparing) techniques and new healthy recipes and alternatives.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: mango, fresh orange juice, spinach, coconut and mint (SO yum – I will be adding more fresh coconut to my green smoothies!)
Lunch:
— Salad from Wanaka:  Living sprouts, caramalized seeds with mango, chili and cacao. Roasted sesame and ginger dressing (dressing was delish)
Dinner:
— Thai coconut curry – really great, one of my favourite recipes so far
— Quick banana cacao ice cream (frozen bananas blended with cacao, mejool dates and some coconut oil – yeah boy)

Snacks:
— Green apple and raw cashews
— Post yoga smoothie (I call this one the Poga. Sorry, had to be done) Banana, orange, cucumber, mint.

Day 8 Verdict:
Today I woke up both tired both and full of energy (again) – it’s such an odd feeling. However once I got up I was completely fine and was pretty much bouncing around all day. In the afternoon I did a hot yoga class. The room was far too hot so it was a fairly uncomfortable 90 minutes, but other than the extreme heat, my body felt pretty good.

Fun Facts
Coconuts – can we just talk about how awesome coconuts are for a minute. They taste amazing and are so good for you. My body instantly feels healthier when I drink coconut water.

Day 9

Feeling Pretty (R)awesome
I have been fully raw for over a week now and I must say it is already starting to feel pretty normal. One thing that’s surprised me is how great my energy levels are all throughout the day. Because I’m eating a lot of high GI food (dried fruit especially) as my main energy source I thought my energy would fluctuate throughout the day but I’m feeling good (good meaning – good energy, not tired, positive, happy) all day long. I also feel like my concentration has been better than usual. My nausea has settled down and I’m not craving anything specific.
This morning I got the chance to try some raw ‘baking’ for the first time. I don’t have a dehydrator but I’ve recently learnt that you can achieve the same effect by using the oven on the lowest setting (keep the door ajar if the lowest setting is higher then 40 degrees. Yes, not entirely energy efficient) I baked Onion bread. It needs another few hours so I’ll let you know how it tastes tomorrow.
As often as possible, on a Sunday afternoon, my friends and I get together for Crafternoon – you drink tea, eat nice things and do craft. Today we went next level and had…Rafternoon – yep you guessed it – craft + mates + raw food. We had blueberries, almonds, guacamole with carrot sticks, nammi nammi and caramel slice. I can honestly say I didn’t miss the cooked food one little bit.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: mango, pawpaw, apple, kale, cucumber, mint, coconut
— hot water with lemon
Lunch:
— Jazzed up left over salad from yesterday
Dinner:
— More leftovers – Thai coconut curry. I added some pawpaw this time and can recommend adding it – gave it a nice sweetness.
Snacks:
— Nammi nammi balls (date, almond and coconut balls)
— Caramel slice
— Handful of dried fruit and buts
— Blueberries

Day 9 Verdict:
Feeling really awesome! Lots of energy, I’m sleeping well (I usually do so no real change), and no migraines so far…
Fun Fact:
Hemp seeds come whole or hulled. This page explains the difference. I have are accidentally bought whole and they are a bit odd to eat as they are quite hard. Apparently you can blend these up in a blender to make them easier to eat. The simplest way is to get the hulled ones – I’ll make an effort to include some over the next few days.

Day 10

Why Go Raw in Winter?
Today I was starving. I got into work early and by about 9:30am I felt like I needed lunch. I snacked heavily all day but I still felt constantly hungry. Yesterday I wasn’t very active at all so I’m not sure why my body was screaming for nutrients today. Someone suggested adding some seeds to my morning smoothies so I am going to try that tomorrow.
I have been questioned about why I would pick the coldest month of the year to start a raw diet. Other than the fact that I can sometimes be a muppet and just do things the hard way, the main reason is February fitted in well with my personal life – my boyfriend is in NZ for the month so it felt like a good time for a personal challenge. I was definitely aware that it might be harder because of the cold but I properly felt this this afternoon when I was starving, and just absolutely couldn’t put another piece of fruit in my mouth. I love fruit but my favourites are all the summer fruits (pineapple, mango, peaches, strawberries) so I was as excited about eating my green apple as I would be about eating a plate of dog food. But I ate it, (the apple, not the dog food) and it filled me up. (for all of 20 minutes)
If I don’t stay raw beyond these 28 days I will definitely be keen to try a raw diet again in the summer when I actually feel like salads and fresh fruit.
 
Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: pear, orange, kale, cucumber, mint.

Lunch:
— Salad: rocket, tomato, avocado, hazelnuts, flaked raw almonds, olive oil and lemon.

Dinner:
— Raw Super Slaw with hemp seeds plus Onion bread
— Chocolate caramel slice

Snacks:
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Dried figs
— Green apple
— 2 x mandarin
— Raw cracker (packaged)
— Nammi nammi (date balls)

Day 10 Verdict:
I unfortunately got a (fairly mild) migraine today. It felt like it was more from a stressful day than anything I had or hadn’t eaten.
Today I did a 45 mins strength / pilates workout – it felt slightly easier than normal.

Fun Facts
My onion bread was (kind of) a success! It took longer than the recipe said to dehydrate but I actually think I might have had my oven even lower than 40 degrees. I ended up leaving it in the oven (oven was off) overnight and then turning the oven on again after work today for another 2 hours to dry it out enough. I also had to flip it over to dehydrate the bottom side – I did this by rolling it onto a rolling pin (like you do with pastry) and this worked well to ‘cook’ the bottom side.

Day 11

Grumpy AF
I woke up at 6am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Made me feel grumpy.
I made a green smoothie that tasted good – added coconut and for some reason made it taste like vomit. Had a few mouthfuls, threw the rest out. More grumpy.
Carried my 19 bags (ok, slight exaggeration) down the stairs to my bike – raw food supply for the day, gym clothes, wet weather gear to cycle in (you look like a dork but its just how you roll in Amsterdam) – everything falls down the stairs and I’m nearly in tears.
Grumpiness levels continued to rise until about noon when I take a deep breath and laugh at myself for being a dick.
There was nothing to actually be grumpy about. But I was very aware that I was feeling pretty agitated for most of the day. It is probably the worst I have felt in terms of moodiness this whole month. I’m not saying raw has made me grumpy but I am blogging about this because it was such an intense feeling for me today.
I wasn’t really hungry all day either.
After work I ducked to the gym quickly – I needed to properly rid myself of the grumps and I find cardio is good for this – it did help.
Dinner was the highlight of my day. My friend Tyler cooked raw lasagne and it was AMAZING. I might go as far as saying this is the best raw meal I have had so far. Recipe below.
Tomorrow is another day – day 12 of raw – I have high hopes for less grump and more sparkle.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— (a few sips of) Green smoothie: pear, orange, kale, coconut (I don’t know how but adding the coconut made it taste foul)
— Hot water with lemon
Lunch:
— Left over super slaw  There was so much crunching that my jaw actually got sore!

Dinner:
— Raw lasagne (amazeballs) with marinated mushrooms
— Raw version of this chocolate mouse
— Dates and dried fruit and nuts (quite a bit in fact, gym hunger kicked in)

Snacks:
— Honeydew melon
— 2 dried figs

Day 11 Verdict:
I just want to go to bed…

Day 12

Today I’m feeling a little flat, but better than yesterday so that is good. I just feel like I could do with a hug (anyone?). I also had a migraine this afternoon and needed to take my migraine medication – which also makes me feel a bit flat / dull.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: frozen banana, apple, kale, cucumber, linseeds
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Thai coconut curry

Dinner:
— ‘Super salad’ – kale, red pepper, tomato, spring onion, zucchini, chia seeds, linseeds, sesame seeds, raw pistachio,  hemp seeds, honeydew melon. Dressing: lemon, olive oil, walnut oil, salt, pepper and a little bit of agave.
— Cacao, almond milk and date smoothie
— Nammi nammi

Snacks:
— Carrot + raw cashew paste (store bought)
— Pear
— Handful of walnuts
— 2 pieces of onion bread (homemade)

Day 12 Verdict:
Mehhh. Today I’m tired, and flat.

Day 13

Biggest Changes So Far
Almost half way! Here are a few observations from my journey so far:
* My skin looks healthy and the dark circles under my eyes have diminished a bit
* I’m generally feeling really positive and my energy levels are good all day
* I’m sleeping well, and I’m also coping well on less sleep than I normally get…
* I haven’t seen any change in my nails or hair – but it has only been 13 days
* It took my tummy almost a week to get used to the new foods – but, I haven’t had the nauseous feeling in 7 days…
* The diet could very easily be quite anti-social but I’m really lucky to have good mates that are supporting me on this journey so I haven’t really felt the full impact of this yet
* I haven’t had as many migraines as usual
* I feel like I am eating too much sugar and high GI foods. I’m trying to find snacks that fill me up but aren’t so energy dense. In a way I feel like I’ve replaced protein and complex carbs with (natural) sugars – fruit and dried fruit. And I’m not convinced that is a good exchange…
* I’m waking up really thirsty (might be from all the sugars?)
* I don’t have as much endurance for exercise – I’m finding it hard to push myself to get the extra bit of workout in
* I’m not really craving anything. The smell of toast makes me a bit weak at the knees, and I would love a cup of tea but other than that I’m not actually in need of anything

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: green apple, orange, frozen blueberries, kale and cucumber
— hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Coleslaw with avocado and pine nuts

Dinner:
— Broccoli raisin salad – DELISH!

Snacks:
— The rest of my green smoothie
— Handful of dried fruit and nuts
— Nammi nammi ball
— Strawberries

Day 13 Verdict:
Physically I’m feeling pretty good. I’m still feeling a bit tired and wired, but overall feeling better than I was a couple of weeks ago.

Day 14

Pizza And Wine. Yolo.

Friday today – I found some organic wine so tonight is the raw version of wine and pizza night. The taste of the wine is really punchy – in a good way – I can really taste the flavour like I don’t think I have been able to before.
I got tipsy very quickly (no surprises), and then really tired almost instantly – I felt like I had turned the clock back 8 years and I was a ballet dancer again – which was my past career and my tolerance for alcohol was practically zero.
Today is halfway through the 28 days – it feels good to have got to this point and I’m feeling confident I can keep it up for another 14 days!
 
Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: mango, kiwi fruit, green apple, cucumber, kale and lime
Lunch:
— Broccoli and raisin salad (again). It wasn’t even left overs, I actually made another batch last night to take for lunch today because I liked it so much.

Dinner:
— Raw pizza with spinach pesto & marinated vegetables – I don’t have a dehydrator so I ‘cooked’ the pizza base in the oven at 40 degrees – 2 hours last night and the final 2 hours tonight. It turned out surprisingly crispy!
— Salad: spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms with a cashew garlic dressing
— Kris’s chocolate dessert: My flatmate Kris has made this a couple of times for me now and it is such a great simple, delicious chocolate dessert / pick me up. Blend coconut oil, mejool dates, cacao and water together.  You can eat it straight away or refrigerate.
Snacks:
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Carrot sticks with cashew butter + salt (I was craving salt in the afternoon so this was a good quick fix)
— Handful of dried fruit and nuts
— Strawberries

Day 14 Verdict:
For the first time today I had a very minor 4pm dip – I was sleepy and craving something salty. It didn’t last long but it did remind me of how tired I used to  get in the afternoons. It has been a really big week so I’m not surprised that I was feeling it a bit today. But in general, – positive, happy, good energy, calm mind.

Day 15

Eating Out Fail
Tonight was my first attempt to eat raw at a non raw restaurant. I picked my favourite vegetarian restaurant and called in the afternoon to make sure there would be something on the menu I could eat. They said it was fine. But when we got there they weren’t overly accommodating and said they actually would have needed at least 24 hours to be able to make something. They made me a basic salad – lettuce, tomato, green capsicum, walnuts. Luckily my friend had raw cashew salad dressing in her handbag (don’t ask…) so we were able to give it some love, but I definitely felt like a bit of an outsider…
My friends ordered amazing looking vegetarian dishes – lots of roast veg, sweet potato cake, stuffed fennel bulb with lentils, mushrooms and blue cheese. I was doing my best not to be a sad sack and drool all over their food, but it wasn’t the most fun dinner for me.
It is a Saturday night tonight, I’m heading out for drinks (red wine) with friends. It’s great that I can join in for a drink but I am finding there are limited ‘letting-your-hair-down-opportunities’ on a raw food diet. Just knowing that you can’t go to the bar to get a coffee or a Coke if you are feeling tired, or a kebab on the way home makes the whole prospect a little less appealing.
Today I watched Knives over Forks – really interesting documentary about how a substantial amount of degenerative diseases can be treated with a whole food plant based diet. It is definitely a controversial subject but they make a lot of sense in the documentary and I highly recommend checking it out. Link below to more info on the film.
Nifty little chart here to help you work out bad, better and best options for all sorts of things – sugar, coffee, spreads etc.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: fresh coconut water, banana, pear, spinach, lime, a dash of cacao and chia seeds. I only added a tiny bit of cacao but the whole drink tasted really chocolatey – which was kinda odd when it was so green!

Lunch:
— Pimped leftover salad with pizza

Dinner:
— Salad with cashew dressing
Snacks:
— Second green smoothie of the day: honeydew melon, mango, kiwi, kale and mint
— Dried fruit and nuts
— Tamarind

Day 15 Verdict:
Today I woke up feeling a little groggy, but if didn’t last long. I felt pretty good all day, even better after an afternoon run, then a little flat again at dinner.

Day 16

Cauliflower Is NOT Rice
It is very common on a raw food diet to come across ‘pizza’, ‘burgers’, ‘pasta’, ‘ice-cream’. Which are of course raw foods parading as the real thing. Sometimes that’s fine – the name can quite often fairly accurately describe the taste, and it can even look similar, but occasionally this type of naming has driven me bonkers. If it tastes nothing like it, and only resembles it slightly, don’t call it rice. CAULIFLOWER IS NOT RICE. And will never taste like rice.

Yes it is white, and can be grated into little bits (that vaguely resemble rice) but IT’S NOT BLOODY RICE.
Call it grated cauliflower because then I wont be disappointed when it tastes nothing like rice. If you mix together coconut and vanilla and freeze it, don’t call it creme brûlée, call it , I don’t know – frozen coconut and vanilla – because then I will be happy when it tastes like a nice sweet coconut dessert and not disappointment when it tastes NOTHING LIKE CREME BRÛLÉE.
Ok, rant over.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: 1/3 tsp of wheatgrass powder, green apple, banana, spinach, chia seeds and linseeds
— Handful of brazil nuts
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Super salad, ready for it…spinach, kale, red cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, parsley, basil, mint, walnuts, brazil nuts, chia seeds, linseeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, walnut oil, with spinach pesto.

Dinner:
— ‘Cauliflower Rice’ (hence rant above) with mixed herb pesto
Snacks:
— Smoothie: frozen raspberries, orange, cucumber, mint
— Handful of dried fruit and nuts
— Store bought raw crackers

Day 16 Verdict:
I woke up a little tired today and had a slow morning. But overall I’m feeling great.
This week I’m going to try and eat a bit less sugar. I have a fairly low sugar diet normally and I tend to be able to feel how much sugar I have in my body. (not the exact amount of course – that would be weird, I just mean I can feel it when I’ve had more than normal) I get hot, a slightly weird taste in my mouth and it feels like I have a lot of energy to burn. Energy isn’t a bad thing but what I’m finding on this diet so far is when I do exercise I don’t have the endurance to push myself that little bit extra like I can normally, so that combined with the high sugar levels is a slightly frustrating feeling.

Day 17

Raw Cheese

Today I was a little tied and a lot hungry. Lunch was zucchini pasta with pesto – I’ve found this is one of the most filling (satisfying) raw meals and I really needed something that was filling today.
I tried not to eat as many sweet snacks but I was SO hungry all day and actually ate loads. I decided to bump up my morning smoothies with extra banana and wheatgrass but it hasn’t helped much with my hunger levels yet.
Over the weekend I made raw cheese! I loved it. Ok, it doesn’t taste at all like cheese but it was a nice taste and texture and adds a bit of variety to the diet. I made almond cheese but apparently you can make cheese out of almost any nut.
My skin was also a bit irritated when I woke up today – I’m assuming from all the sugar in my diet at the moment. Either that or it is from my experiment with ‘raw beauty’ on the weekend – I made an avocado and lemon face mask. It stung my face for about 10 minutes and then I washed it off. Not much more to report on it other than that. Not sure I would try it again.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: banana, pear, kiwi, kale, ginger, wheatgrass.
— hot water with lemon
Lunch:
— Zucchini pasta with pesto

Dinner:
— Beetroot and carrot salad with raw cheese. I marinated the beets in olive oil and lemon.
— Almond milk, cinnamon and fresh coconut smoothie

Snacks: (a lot!!)
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Walnuts and brazil nuts
— Handful of dried fruit and nuts
— Green apple
— Dried figs
— Onion bread
— Piece of raw chocolate
— Spoonful of cashew nut butter (yep we were at that point…spoon in the jar)

Day 17 Verdict:
So far so good…

Day 18

Stressful Day…But No Migraine

Today was a really stressful at work but luckily I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I was yesterday – that was next level hunger…I just couldn’t seem to stop it no matter what I ate. I have generally had great concentration and focus for most of the month but when I’m hungry it is pretty hard to focus on anything else.
I had a slightly different strategy for today as well – I usually get really hungry about 4pm and that is when I snack on lots of dried fruit and nuts. (high sugar and fats) This morning I made extra green smoothie in the morning and smashed the rest of it about 4pm. It got me through the remainder of the afternoon and I also had enough energy for a 45 min strength / pilates session after work. (wow, I’m posting about what time I drank my smoothie – is this my most boring post yet?…)

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green (more like purple today) smoothie: banana, frozen blueberries, apple, cucumber, spinach, mint, wheatgrass
— hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Zucchini pesto pasta with sun-dried tomato and sunflower pate

Dinner:
— Salad with tomato-basil sunflower seed pate and almond cheese. LOVE this pate – next time I would blend the sun-dried tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients before adding the seeds – the mixture was too thick – even for my Omniblend so a lot of the basil and tomatoes weren’t completely blended (not such a bad thing to have lumpy bits though of course) I would also soak the seeds for less time – the recipe said soak for 4-8 hours, I forgot about mine and left them soaking for 24 hours and they started to sprout :-

Snacks:
— Handful of brazil nuts and walnuts
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Lots of spoonfuls of the raw chocolate I was making for dinner party tomorrow night

Day 18 Verdict:
Feeling pretty good – I already know the rest of this week is going to be a bit mental for me so I’ll be interested to see how I cope over the next few days. I (very surprisingly) didn’t get a migraine today (touch wood). Normally when my day is as intense as it was today I would start to feel a migraine coming on by early afternoon but it looks like I somehow managed to remain migraine-free today – wahoooo.

Day 19

Feeling AMAZING
I feel amazing.
A little bit euphoric amazing.
My friend asked me tonight if it could be psychosomatic. It definitely could be. But I do know I have been feeling pretty good for the majority of this month and it would be nice to think that it has at least something to do with raw…
Tonight I had dinner at my friend Jamie’s house. Raw food just took on a whole new level of awesome for me. Jamie is a holistic nutritionist so I knew she would create something yum, but this was next level. I think for the first time this month I 100% didn’t feel like I was eating a ‘restrictive diet’ – I just felt like I was eating a delicious meal. It is also such a treat talking with someone with so much food and nutrition knowledge – there is a whole world of information out there that I’m just starting to learn about. This is especially exciting and motivating for me because I thought I previously knew quite a bit about food and health but really I’ve got so much more to learn, which is a great thing.
Other significant things that happened today in no particular order:
— I finally had something different than a green smoothie for breakfast – cool me down!
— I realised on this diet I can probably only eat about 10-15% of what is stocked in my local supermarket and this doesn’t worry me at all
— I felt a migraine coming on, I went for a walk in the fresh air and it disappeared.
— My boss joined me on raw today, he lasted until 4:45pm, and then had a sandwich haha
— I sniffed a bag of corn chips, that’s not weird at all right?
— My good friend Dave has decided meat smoothies will be the next big thing. I have promised to drink one once he has perfected his recipe.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Store bought raw muesli with almond milk. I added chia seeds, banana, linseeds, walnuts.

Lunch:
— Salad: mixed greens, tomato, avocado, lemon, olive oil + tomato-basil sunflower seed pate (I made LOADS of pate….it is likely this will feature in all my meals for the next few days)

Dinner: (Mostly from Raw and Simple by Judita Wignall)
— Thai veggie noodles
— Five pepper vegetable chilli
— Cauliflower couscous (it was amazing – no rant needed tonight, says something about my cooking..)
— Raw chocolate. So simple, just dates, coconut oil and cocao. I made four types: plain, pistachio, fruit and nuts, macadamia, sea salt and chilli. YUM!

Snacks:
— Green smoothie: mixed greens, apple, kiwi, ginger, wheatgrass and chic seeds
— Walnuts, macadamias and brazil nuts
— Carrot sticks with tomato-basil sunflower seed pate.

Day 20

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie – mango, apple, banana, coconut, kale, ginger
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Salad – mixed greens, tomato, avocado, hemp seeds, linseeds, chic seeds plus tomato-basil sunflower seed pate

Dinner:
— Thai coconut curry with kelp noodles
Snacks:
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Handful of dried fruit and nuts
— Orange
— 4 mejool dates
— Left over chocolate from last night!

How Are You Feeling?
Really great! A tiny bit nauseous again today. I had sprouts for the first time in ages today (and last night) so I’m wondering if there is a connection.

Day 21

Will I Stay Raw?
I am much more in the swing of things than I was a couple of weeks ago so starting to think about life beyond 28 Days of Raw…
I can honestly say that (probably naively) before I started this diet I thought I would just go straight back to my normal way of eating. Maybe start my first day of non-raw day with some poached eggs on toast, definitely eat some cheese and crackers in the afternoon and maybe eat some pasta or something carb-y in the evening. But I am having such a great experience eating raw food that I’m almost a bit scared to come off it. Of course I was interested in raw food otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it for my first 28 day experiment, but I don’t think I anticipated how good I would feel, and actually how easy it has been to incorporate it into my life. I haven’t made any decisions yet about if I will stay completely raw or what percentage raw I would like to maintain, but even the fact that I am considering this is a big change from where my head was at four weeks ago.
I did get a migraine today but an odd thing happened. I took an over the counter pain killer, got some fresh air and it went away. This is quite remarkable for me and I don’t honestly think I can remember a time I got rid of a migraine with fresh air and paracetamol!

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie – pineapple, apple, coconut, banana, kale, ginger, wheatgrass.
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Zucchini fettuccine with mixed nut pesto (only because I had bits of lots of types of nuts so I just blended them all up together)
Dinner:
— Super salad: kale, tomato, zucchini, red onion, hemp seeds, almond cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, linseed oil, apple cider vinegar, walnuts
— Quick guacamole with carrot sticks: 1 avocado / Lemon juice / Garlic / Red onion / tomato / some fresh chilli / salt and pepper
Snacks:
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Handful of mixed nuts
— Chocolate avocado pudding

Day 21 Verdict:
I had enough snacks with me to quickly put together a tasty lunch before heading out for a meeting and also had enough raw ingredients at home to make a yummy dinner that I hadn’t planned  – most meals I am planning at least the day before so it felt good to be able to wing this one – kinda feels like I’m getting the hang of this

Day 22

Sooo Tired
Today was a super busy day for me – I was feeling good until about 5pm and then needed a pick me up. I made a super delish cacao smoothie  (dates, almond milk, frozen banana, pear) I really did get a big energy burst from it and powered through an extra few hours work.
Tonight I’m heading out to a party…
Any evening (while eating raw) that I’ve tried to go out I’ve found I’m SUPER tired and struggle to stay up late. Right now it’s 11:55pm –  I’m yawning every few minutes and feel like I need toothpicks to keep my eyes open. It will be interesting to see how long I last…

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Raw Coconut Mango Grawnola, with blueberries, grapes and almond milk
— Hot water with lemon
Lunch:
— Super salad: kale, red cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, zucchini, mung beans, kelp noodles, walnuts, linseeds, olive oil, lemon, linseed oil, apple cider vinegar, tomato-basil sunflower seed pate

Dinner: (At The Alchemist Garden restaurant)
— Raw lasagne
— Linseed crackers with mayonnaise
— Glass of red wine
Snacks:
— Dried fruit and nuts
— Smoothie: cacao, frozen banana, medjool dates, pear, almond milk.

The first time I froze banana to use in my smoothies I made the rookie mistake of freezing them whole, with the skin on. But it’s a biatch to try and peel them frozen! The best way I have found is to wait until they are nice and ripe, peel them and cut them up into 1 inch chunks. I then put them into the freezer in a plastic container or zip lock bag and just use as much as I need.

Day 22 Verdict
I’m tired, but feeling good.

Day 23

Booze, Tummy Bloating And Sleep

Let’s talk about booze
On Day 7 I discovered that wine is raw – I was so excited, not necessarily because I wanted to get trollied but because I felt that it opened things up for me socially. But since then I’ve had about 2, maybe 3, glasses. I don’t really feel like drinking and I’m curious why that is…
Maybe because….
1. Updating the blog each day is keeping me pretty busy so I just don’t have time
2. I love drinking wine at dinner – especially the combo of red wine with a heavy meal. I love the complimenting flavours but I also like that full / tipsy feeling you get from combining them. You don’t ever really have heavy meals on a raw food diet so the wine is possibly less appealing?
3. I can’t grab a coffee / Coke if I start to get tired late at night (and I have been SUPER tired in the evenings)
4. I’m feeling so good raw that it doesn’t feel like it would be worth it
It is probably a combination of all four things but the last one is really interesting to me. I have had this before with different phases in my life (E.g – doing a lot of yoga, or getting in shape for something specific) but it is interesting to me how unappealing alcohol is to me right now.
Let’s talk about tummy bloating
I’ve suffered from the tummy bloat since I was a kid. I would race home from school, eat two weetbix (wheat based cereal) and then head off to ballet class. I would stand there, in my leotard, skinny arms and legs, big smile on my face and my big beach ball sized bloated belly. I remember it hurting but I just thought that was normal and most people’s tummies hurt after they ate. I’ve never been tested for wheat (or any other) intolerance but I just realised at one point in my life that I feel better if I eat less bread and wheat. Not none at all, because I really love a good spag bol or eggs on toast, but just less.
The reason I’m mentioning this is I realised yesterday that I have had pretty much zero tummy bloat for the past 3 weeks. The first time was yesterday afternoon when I made myself a super sweet / heavy smoothie (dates, banana, cacao, almond milk) and I could feel almost instantly it was just too much sugar for my body to handle and almost instantly my tummy bloated. But other than this moment I have managed to avoid the beach ball belly while on raw.
Let’s talk about sleep (or lack of)
Over the past three weeks I have had a lot less sleep than normal. I’m finding I haven’t been able to nap much (I am usually a great napper!) or sleep in. As soon as it starts getting light my brain is awake and I find I can’t get back to sleep even though I feel really tired. Once I’m up I’m usually fine but for the past few days I’ve started to feel really exhausted early in the evenings. It isn’t even 8pm right now and I feel like I could easily fall asleep on my laptop. I’m hoping it is just from a really busy week and I can do some catching up soon.
…Oh, and last night I made it until 2:30am at the party. Even the 15 minute cycle through the cold Amsterdam night didn’t really wake me up. When I got home I had mung beans with lemon, olive oil and salt and it was surprisingly satisfying!

Food Diary:
2:30am snack:
— Mung beans with lemon, olive oil and salt.
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: green apple, kale, cucumber, orange, ginger, chia seeds, linseeds.
— Handful of brazil nuts
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch 1:
— Super salad: left over salad from last night plus loads of other goodie bits

Lunch 2:
— Guacamole with carrot and celery sticks
— Date balls

Dinner
— Raw muesli (I love having cereal for dinner. I think its a girl thing, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a dude say that)
Snacks:
— Handful dried fruit and activated nuts. The idea with activated nuts is if you soak them and it is easier for your body to absorb the nutrients.

Day 23 Verdict:
Feeling TIRED (but great)

Day 24

A few people have asked me how expensive it is to eat raw. I haven’t been keeping a record of exactly what I’m spending but it does feel like it is quite a bit less than normal. What’s expensive are the raw ‘treats’ (meaning store bought muesli, crackers, health bars, chocolate) but I have only been buying these things occasionally. I needed to stock up on different pantry supplies at the beginning of the month – nutritional yeast, raw cacao, wheatgrass, seeds and nuts, tamari, tahini etc so initially I did spend a bit more.
Luckily I live above a market and can get a lot of my supplies – especially nuts and seeds a lot cheaper than if I was buying these from a grocery store. One Saturday I spent over €40 at the nut stand  – I knew I was going to buy a lot and I really wanted to say ‘Ok, I’m going to go nuts here’ but it looked like it might be lost in translation so I opted to just keep it to myself.
You also need a blender – I have been using mine (well my flatmate Kris’s…who joins me today for 5 days of raw!) at least twice a day and it would have been a very different experience without one. I would actually go as far as saying I probably wouldn’t try a raw food diet without one so that may be a cost you will have upfront.
But, I am going out way less and spending substantially less money on nice dinners and alcohol, so overall I haven’t spent as much money this month as I usually do. I can only talk about my personal experience and if you are someone that usually doesn’t go out much, and really wants to buy more of the packaged raw treats, then eating raw may actually work out more expensive for you.
Today I had a migraine, I suffered for a couple of hours and then took a migraine tablet around 4pm. I had planned on doing a yoga class but decided a walk was nicer on my brain than spending 90 minutes in 40 degree heat.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: Frozen cherries, banana, orange, kale, ginger, wheatgrass.
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Zucchini fettuccine with sun-dried good heart tomato sauce

Dinner:
— Super salad: spinach, beetroot, carrot, tomato, mushrooms, activated almonds, alfalfa sprouts, almond milk dressing. I grated the carrots and beetroot and marinated them in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper for 30 minutes
The almond milk dressing is the left over milk from the nut cheese I’m making at the moment. To make the cheese you blend together almonds, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and then place the mixture in a cheese cloth. The liquid that comes out of the cheese makes a really nice dressing!
I then threw in the spinach, tomato, mushrooms, alfalfa and activated nuts, plus a spoonful of basil pesto – yum!

Snacks:
— Handful of nuts (brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts)
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Handful of dried fruit and nuts
— Mandarin
— Dates

Day 24 Verdict:
Feeling a bit tired and flat now from the migraine medication.

Day 25

I have been reading a lot recently about raw food and transitioning into a mostly raw diet and it has inspired me to write a post about getting real on this stuff, because from what I’ve seen, a lot of info isn’t accurate, and I’ve sometimes wondered if the author has ever eaten a raw food diet themselves.
My experience so far has been mostly positive – I feel great, I have lots of energy, apparently my skin is nice and radiant (lucky me!) But…it is not all roses…
What I know fro my experience:
1. I have read about how switching to a mostly raw food diet is great because it saves you time in the kitchen. For me it has actually been the complete opposite. Just because there is no cooking involved it doesn’t necessarily reduce your kitchen time. I made raw cheese over the weekend – this involved going to the market to buy the nuts, soaking the nuts overnight, draining them, adding flavour, blending, then straining the mixture through a cheese cloth, setting the cheese in the fridge overnight and then (optional) dehydrating for at least 8 hours. Trust me, buying a block of feta from the supermarket to crumble on your salad takes a lot less time!
2. For the first two weeks I was struggling with not ever feeling full. I don’t mean I was hungry (well, that too at times) – but I mean not feeling like you do when you eat a bowl of mashed potatoes or a burger. It was SUCH a frustrating feeling. Now I feel great – my body has adjusted and I’m no longer craving that fully belly sensation but at least for the first 10 days or so I was searching for this sort of ‘comfort’ and feeling slightly odd when I couldn’t achieve it.
3. It takes time for your body to transition. I was nauseous almost every time after I ate for a week. A friend of mine who joijned me for a bit on this diet felt pretty rotten for 6 days before she even started to feel the benefits of raw. I’m sure for everyone it is different but it is important to realise that you are probably not going to feel great from day one.
4. Raw cauliflower isn’t EVER going to taste like rice, no matter what you do to it. Some recipes have blown me away at how tasty and satisfying they are but raw food is different from cooked food so it isn’t going to taste the same. My freshly made nut cheese looks a lot like regular cheese but in reality it tastes like savoury marzipan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really enjoying it – it gives me a different texture that I can add to my salads but don’t be fooled into thinking it will taste like a piece of camembert!
5. It is very time consuming. If you are happy to live on basic salads and some fruit then this wont apply to you but for me my diet has to be interesting and most import – taste good! It takes time to research recipes (until they are in your repertoire), it takes time to find the ingredients especially if you haven’t used them before and need to go to health food store or markets to find specific things, and it takes time to prep the food – lots of soaking, blending, adding flavours, dehydrating, freezing, refrigerating. And don’t forget you are making (almost) everything – pestos, dips, hummus, crackers, sweet treats…everything that you may have bought from the supermarket before (or at least when you were too busy to create the homemade version) you need to make yourself.
6. It can be anti-social. You can feel lonely or left out. You might even feel a bit weird and question why you are doing it in the first place.
There is so much great info out there on transitioning to a mostly raw diet but there is some misleading information (that usually comes with lovely images of  women smiling and eating salad) that just isn’t real. Some articles I have read made me think that the writer has never actually tried a raw diet at all.
As you can probably tell from my recent posts I’m a pretty big fan of eating raw right now but I also think it is important to get real on this stuff – I would definitely encourage people to give it a go but just make sure you know it isn’t all going to be a walk in the park.

What Did You Eat?
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: (just for a change!) pear, kiwi, fresh orange juice, ginger, spinach, wheatgrass, mint
– Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Super salad: mixed greens, tomato, beetroot, hemp seeds, raisins, pear, activated almonds, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Dinner:
— Coconut wraps with tahini dipping sauce: I bought the wraps and then filled them with avocado, alfalfa, grated carrot, red pepper. They were tasty but slightly odd because I kept thinking I was biting in a rice paper roll…so the coconut flavour kept catching me off guard!
I made this dipping sauce to go with the wraps (it is a variation of a dipping sauce from Judita Wignall’s Raw and Simple)
Tahini / Lemon juice / Water / Coriander / Fresh chilli / Red pepper / Garlic / Ginger / Agave / salt and pepper….and blend!
— Dessert was banana ice cream with coconut and cacao.

Snacks:
— Raw chocolate (store bought)
— Mixed raw nuts

Day 25 Verdict:
A lot better than earlier today! I woke up with a migraine – the worst kind…knowing you will have to deal with it all day… but I’m feeling like myself again now and have my fingers crossed for a migraine free day tomorrow.

I made raw almond cheese again on the weekend. This time I got a bit more creative with the flavours – I added nutritional yeast, paprika and more garlic and salt. I prefer this version as it have quite a bit more flavour.

Day 26
Raw Food Stockholm Syndrome?

I have two days (TWO DAYS!) to go so I’m starting to think about what my diet will look like after this experiment.
But, the odd thing is I’m getting a little bit scared about coming off raw. Is this a bizarre raw food version of Stockholm syndrome?
To keep things simple, I’m just thinking about ‘Day 29’ breaky for now:
1. Green smoothie. And only slowly transition off raw food if and when I feel like it
2. Eat what I would normally eat pre 28 Days of Me, which would probably mean two poached eggs on spelt toast, fresh orange juice and a cup of English breaky tea
(finally!)
3. GO AND SMASH A MACCAS BURGER
Although eating a greasy, over-processed burger sounds kinda fun, I am also 99% sure that it will make me feel sick and I’m not convinced I want to spend my day feeling that rotten.
What if I actually stayed raw? I really do feel pretty good, I’ve passed the initial hump of nausea, weird blood sugar levels, and adjusting to not ever really feeling full so I feels like it makes sense to keep going, right? But, on the other hand it would be great to have a cup of tea, to eat a mashed potato or have a cracker now and then (strewth – I’d love a cracker!)
I can honestly say I didn’t think at this stage of the experiment I would at all be contemplating staying (even a percentage raw), so this is new territory for me. I haven’t made a decision yet, but I’ll definitely update you in the conclusions.

 Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: pear, orange, apple, ginger, mint, spinach, wheatgrass
— Hot water with lemon
Lunch:
— Macadamia Monster Mash (how can you go wrong when it’s called Monster Mash?!) with zucchini fettuccine
Dinner:
— Lettuce cups with five-pepper vegetable chilli and guacamole from Judita Wignall’s Raw and Simple
Snacks:
— Handful of nuts
— Rolling down the street eating kale and sippin on my big green juice.

Day 26 Verdict:
This morning I was a little euphoric. After lunch I felt little bit nauseous. And after dinner I had a pretty intense belly ache. I had lots of fats today (nuts, avocado and oils) so I think that’s why my belly wants to explode right now. Even after 26 days on this diet I’m still making rookie mistakes.

Day 27

Juice Cleanse Fail

So even after 26 days I still made a very similar mistake yesterday to Day 1 – I ate too many nuts and fats.
By the evening I was in the fetal position with a hottie, feeling sorry for myself. What a muppet.
So, I decided to do a juice and green smoothie day today – I really felt like I needed it after last night. Do juice cleanses work? I’m not sure but it felt right for today…
I had fresh orange juice for breaky, a green smoothie during the morning but was STARVING by 1pm… so had a salad. Ha, I haven’t ever done a full liquid / detox cleanse before, and even with the green smoothie – which has a bit more oomph than just a juice – I still couldn’t do it.
I’m keen to give it another go at some point but I kinda feel like my energy and motivation for additional diet restrictions is pretty low right now.
I was actually starving all afternoon and ended up having another salad about 5pm. I did eat less sugar and fats today than I have been recently so even that change felt good.
I really can’t believe it’s the last day tomorrow of my raw diet. This month has gone incredibly fast for me – way faster than I had anticipated.
I feel good.

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Fresh orange juice
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Simple salad: spinach, tomato, zucchini, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.

Dinner:
— Super salad: kale, alfalfa, cos lettuce, tomato, mushroom, corn, red capsicum, raisins, cashews, apple cider vinegar, walnut oil, salt pepper and almond cheese.

Snacks:
— Green smoothie: pear, kale, mint, ginger, wheatgrass
— Second lunch salad – tomatoes, avocado, spinach, olive oil and salt
— Raw chocolate dessert treat (blend cacao, coconut oil and dates, almonds, desiccated coconut and a bit of water!)

Day 27 Verdict:
Feeling really great! Tummy settled down over night. Body feels good, mind feels good.

Day 28

And Just Like That, It’s Done
If you had asked me four weeks ago what I would be feeling right now, with just a couple of hours left of my raw food diet, I probably would have said ecstatic, excited, even relieved maybe. I probably also would have told you how much I was looking forward to eating all the treats I haven’t been able to have for the past 28 days.
But, here I am, two hours away from eating whatever I want and I don’t feel excited or relived.
I feel proud for achieving what I set out to do and I’m looking forward to getting some of my free time back, but in terms of being able to eat non-raw food, it doesn’t really seem to faze me.
Maybe it will be a slow burn and in a few days time I will be gleefully chomping on roast spuds, but right now I don’t feel excited or even motivated to transition off raw. Not a scenario I was expecting at all.
We really are such creatures of habit and it felt like once I established my routine – meal planning and market shopping on Saturdays, raw baking and food prep for the week on Sundays, green smoothies every morning, raw lunch either brought by me or cooked by our chef at work, raw snacks in the afternoon and dinner either super salads, raw dishes – then I was sorted. I imagine I will feel a bit lost tomorrow when I break this routine for the first time in weeks.
Today I went back to the doctor to get my blood tests done again. I had them done at the start of the month so I can see if there has been any change. I was talking to the nurse about my raw food diet and it completely freaked her out. She was almost repulsed, which I thought was funny…but also a bit scary as she works in the health industry…
My blood pressure is lower than a month ago. I was a little surprised about this as I haven’t been doing quite as much exercise this month (for a few reason – 1. I don’t seem to have the endurance and 2. I have been busy with creating content for the blog) But I guess it makes sense as my diet has been so low in saturated fats and processed foods.
Soon I’ll create the conclusions page about my experience – how it differed from my expectations, what I would do differently next time, any advice I have for raw newbies. I will include the blood test results here as well.
But for now it’s time for me to make a cup of tea, get ready for bed and say thanks for joining me on my journey X

Food Diary:
Breakfast:
— Green smoothie: pear, frozen raspberries, orange, kale, ginger, mint, wheatgrass, chia seeds (it looks a bit rough right!)
— Hot water with lemon

Lunch:
— Kale, cos lettuce, tomato, mushroom, red pepper, alfalfa, raisins, activated almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, linseeds, chia seed + Pistachio Pate (Pistachio, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt pepper, chili flakes, water and blend)

Dinner:
Was a bit odd. Carrots dipped in left over pistachio pate, mixed raw nuts, left over chilli, a spoonful of guacamole and the rest of my raw cacao dessert treat from last night. Wasn’t worthy of a pic and i was 100% just being lazy and eating what I had left.
Snacks:
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Second helping of my lunch salad

Day 28 Verdict:
Happy to have made it. I really wasn’t sure if I could stay completely raw for the full 28 days, so I’m feeling proud of myself for doing it.

Conclusions And Results
My overall experience was positive – 4 weeks down the track and I’m still majority raw (around 80%).
Below you will find the data on my weight, mood, sleep over the 28 days, as well as my blood test results – which were not as I expected them to be.

The Positives:
* I needed less sleep – around 1-2 hours less each night but I was also feeling quite wired during the day – I’, not sure if this was from the diet, from the blogging (feeling the pressure to get in the extra work each day) or it could even be from the fairly large amounts of raw cacao I was consuming each day)
* My digestion was amazing – hardly any bloating, needing to go to the loo at least 2 times a day and I generally felt lighter in my tummy area
* My skin was better – less irritated red bits, more of a consistent colour, and even a bit of a glow at times
* I had really good energy in general – hardly any afternoon energy dips
* I had less migraines than usual and when I did get them I could get rid of them with paracetamol (usually I need prescription medication and it knocks me out for the rest of the day)
* I felt less scatter brain and that it was easier to focus at work
* I liked not as attached to feeling full – at first it wasn’t easy, but after awhile I wasn’t searching for that full feeling and tbh, it was such a relief to not be chasing that dragon
* My sense of smell was better during the 28 days and I could also taste better – I really noticed this with wine. For the first time I could actually taste the various notes in the wine (I sometimes though people were pulling my leg when they said that they could taste ‘ash’ or blueberries, but now I get it.
* I spent a lot less money than I thought I would, but this is very individual. I usually eat out a lot and booze on the weekends – on this diet I made a lot of food myself and didn’t drink.
* 
The Negatives:
* It took me about a week to stop feeling mildly nauseous after almost every meal
* My blood test results below indicate that I’m lower in almost everything after the 28 days
* It was a LOT of work – shopping, prepping, making…which also meant the diet was on my mind a lot because I needed to make sure I always had raw meals and snacks ready
* It is really is a lifestyle change and I wonder how many people who go fully raw find their circle of friends changes as well – it can be anti-social, you need to often deal with people’s confused / negative reactions to the fact that you can’t eat cooked food, you need to constantly be having ‘that’ conversation – no sorry I can’t eat that.
* I got a cold two days after the 28 days. One of the benefits of eating a raw diet is better immune system / less illness. Some could argue that I got sick because I came off the diet but I only ate a very small percentage of cooked food in those first few days (5% maybe)…so I am questioning the increased immunity you are supposed to get from eating raw food.
* I really enjoyed learning the new recipes – it is something you don’t think about much when you make a lifestyle change or go on a new diet but you learn a whole bunch of new stuff that you can access afterwards – perhaps my go-to for a quick easy meal might be a green smoothie or a big salad bowl rather than something heavier
* My ability to push myself in yoga or cardio was a lot less – I was getting tired really quicklyTips for Going Raw:

My biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to try a raw food diet is make time for it in your life. You need time for researching recipes, buying produce and preparing meals. Especially at first when you may need to try a few different stores to find that one special ingredient, or when you are learning new cooking (preparing) techniques. Also remember that all your old fallbacks – eggs on toast, quick pasta or rice dishes won’t be available to you so have a few easy, tasty raw meals already in your repertoire before you start (like the Pesto pasta above)
…read more

Blood Test Results
Interestingly, because I was generally feeling amazeballs the whole time,  I am lower in just about everything – lower in B vitamins, iron, magnesium etc. I am still in the ‘healthy’ range (min/max below) so there is nothing to worry about, but it is extremely interesting to me that a raw diet promotes the fact that your body is able to extract more nutrients from the food yet my blood tests indicate otherwise.

16 Tips & Tricks
Below are a few tips and tricks from my 28 days raw for anyone who is thinking about going it a go.
1. Preperation is key, and don’t under estimate how long you will need. If you don’t have raw snacks and meals prepared you will undoubtedly reach for something non-raw when you get hungry and busy.
2. Don’t just have fruit and salad with nothing else – you will get insanely hungry and end up scoffing a sandwich.
3. Make sure you have a supply of raw snacks with you, especially initially when you don’t know how much the raw meals will fill you up or you don’t know when you will get hungry on your new diet. Easy things like dried fruit and nuts or fruit work well to start off with.
4. You will need to dedicate some time to this diet / lifestyle change – I have spent quite a large chunk of my weekends researching recipes, buying ingredients and blending, dehydrating, preparing food.
5. I would highly recommend  buying a blender. I love my Omniblend and used it at least twice a day.
6. If you want to eat out try to call the restaurant at least two days ahead and ask them if they can prepare a raw meal.
7. If you eat something that’s not raw it’s not the end of the world, enjoy it, give yourself a hug and just keep going.
8. Get familiar with green smoothies – so good for you, easy to make and delicious.
9. Drink lots of warm water with lemon – good for you and also helps with the hunger!
10. For anyone that is active, getting enough calories is probably going to be the biggest challenge – especially from foods other than dried fruit and nuts (which are tasty and very convenient but high in sugar (high GI) and fats)
11. People (friends) will probably think you are at least a bit weird – get ready for that reaction cos it will happen
12. Remember your body is going through some pretty major changes. Go easy on yourself and give your body time to adjust.
13. A lot of people advise gradually increasing your percentage of raw food in your diet if you are trying to become raw. I can’t comment on this as I didn’t try it that way, and of course it will depend on how far from raw your regular diet is, but for me it worked really well going in cold turkey. I imagine if you are dabbling with it, it would be easy to chose a non raw option because you can convince yourself you will just go more raw next meal.
14. If raw isn’t for you then I would advise at least try switching out your breaky for green smoothies – easy to digest, you can pack in the greens and proteins and they are super quick (especially if you prep them the night before)
15. Go easy on the garlic, that stuff is STRONG when eaten raw!! (Especially when a lot of raw recipes include a ridiculous amount of garlic in them!)
16. And lastly, before you start the diet, I would recommend getting familiar with this recipe – one of the quickest and most tasty raw recipes:

Zucchini pasta with pesto:

‘Pasta’
– Cut the zucchini in half length ways and use a peeler to make long strips that resemble fettuccine (or use a julienne peeler to make spaghetti)
Pesto
Blend together:
– a good bunch of fresh basil
– squeeze of lemon juice
– glug of olive oil
– salt and pepper
– garlic (go easy, 1 glove max)
– 1/2 cup pine nuts (walnuts work well too)
– 1/2 to 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (if you have it)

Data
Each day I collected data;
* Mood (5 if I felt euphoric and 1 if I was feeling pretty lousy)
* Weight
* Sleep

Day: 1 55.1kgs
Day 28: 53.8kgs
Weight loss = 1.3kgs (Note: I wasn’t trying to lose weight on this diet)

I am really, really glad I tried it and I actually think the experiment has changed  my eating habits for life. The biggest thing for me was how much lighter I felt and how much better my digestion was. I don’t think I’ll stay fully raw, and I don’t even know if I will ever do a stint of completely raw again, but I have a new appreciation for raw food and how eliminating a few key things in my diet can make me feel better, more focused and perhaps even happier.

Thanks for sharing my journey with me, I’m off to eat well…whatever I bloody well feel like. X

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Greek Yoghurt, avocado slices, chia seeds, blue berries, pistachios, roasted nuts, golden raisins

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Vegan Magnums

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 3. Prepare 6 popsicle molds and fill in mixture. Let cool. then freeze over night.
 4. Melt the chcocolate by placing it in a bowl or cup and letting that sit for several minutes in a hot water bath.
 5. Take one popsicle at a time and cover with chocolate. Place on a parchment paper to harden up.
 6. Pour the rest of the chocolate into a piping bag with a tiny tip. Or in a plastic bag and cut a tiny tip off.
 7. Then cover the chocolate coverd pops with more chocolate "lines".
 8. Let harden and enjoy right away or freeze until serving.
 9. You've made this recipe? YAY

Source: By @therawberry

Easy peasy breakfast oats with coconut yogurt, fresh fruit and creamy white almond butter

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Easy vegan Couscous Salad

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 2. In the meantime wash tomatoes and cucumber. Cut alond with the onion and add to your salad bowl. 
 3. Chop all the herbs and add as well, along with the nuts.
 4. Drain and wash the kidneybeans. Add as well.
 5. Add couscous along with juice of two lemons, olive oil and pepper. Stir will by using two large spoons.
 6. Add more lemon juice if wanted and enjoy 
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Source: By @therawberry

Easy rice crispy treats – vegan

For me they are such a childhood reminder. How about you?Ingredients * 175 g rice pops / ricpe crispes (unsweetened) * 125 g smooth almond butter * 50 g smooth tahini * 100 g maple syrup * 4 tbsp melted coconut oil * pinch of salt * 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (substitute with half of vanilla extract) * 50 g dark chocolate Instructions 1. In a bowl stir together everything except the ricpe crispies & chocolate. Mix well.
 2. Add ricpe crispes and fold them in with a big spoon.
 3. Press the batter into a rectangular baking dish (10x20cm / 4×8 inch) and refridgerate for at least four hours.
 4. In a waterbath, gently melt the dark chocolate. Fill into a piping bag with the smallest tip you have or simply fill into a small plastic bag and cut of a small end. Fill the melted chocolate in the piping bag.
 5. Cut ricpe bars and trasfer to a plate (e.g.), top with chocolate and serve. Enjoy 
 6. You've made this recipe? YAY____ • Blog: therawberry.de Youtube: therawberry's vegan life

Source: By @therawberry

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