On January 1, 2009 I started a "Raw Food Diet". The goal was to eat 90% of my foods in a raw natural form. I weighed in at 186.5 the morning the diet started.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="320" caption="Weight on 1/1/2009"][/caption]
I found over the course of the month that it was difficult to fully reach 90% raw; I believe I was probably closer to 70%. This was still a drastic step for me as before this diet I've never gone without meat or eaten nearly this much raw food. Over the course of the month my wife and me consumed over 50 lbs of carrots, 40 heads of romaine lettuce, and countless beets, red bell peppers, celery stalks, and apples in the form of fresh raw juice. We also ate lots of salads filled with more romaine lettuece (ultra high in potassium), red onion, tomatoes and avocados, using only simple healthy oil-based dressing. In addition to eating raw I completely cut out all dairy, eggs, red meat and poultry. I had fish 8 different times over the month to average about 1 serving of fish every 4 days (most of my protein came from hemp seed, beans, nuts, and whole grains).
In terms of cooked food we ate mostly whole grains including brown rice, wheat berries, quinoa, and whole-wheat pasta; we also made some excellent salad wraps with whole-grain tortilla wraps and several tomato/avocado sandwiches on whole wheat toast. We also had several different applications of beans in salads, dips, and in dishes like black bean chili (that was something my wife made that was fantastic!)
The goal of the diet was to become more healthy and to generally feel better. So far the diet is definitely working in this regard. I have more energy overall and just feel better. I still do not feel like I am in perfect health, but I am moving in the right direction.
One thing I will say about this diet, that is true of any diet that significantly restricts your normal habits, is there have been times where it has been very difficult. Several things helped me overcome these challenges: 1) my wife was on the diet with me and we were able to encourage each other to perservere. This was a HUGE help! 2) come up with healthy snacks to satisfy your urges... for me I had a banana with almond butter or a rice cake with almond butter and a little bit of raw honey several times in order to satisfy my desire for something sweet. I was forced to use my imagination on this diet, but I usually was able to find something to help me get over the hump. 3) go out to eat sometimes!!! We went to a couple different Italian places and had whole-wheat pasta dishes with tomato sauce and this helped us to feel a little bit "normal"
Another thing about this diet is that I did consume plenty of food each day. I wasn't starving myself, I was just consuming lots of food that had a very favorable nutrition to calorie ratio.
Although not the expressed purpose of this diet, I did lose some weight. On 2/1/2009 I weight in at 170.5 lbs for a total of 16 lbs lost.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="320" caption="weight on 2/1/2009"][/caption]
I'll be continuing this diet for most of this week, after which I'll start to reintroduce some lean proteins back in to the diet. The goal, however, is to maintain many of the healthy habits I've developed, and to continue to try to consume a significant ratio (greater than 50%) of raw food.