Posted by: Shavai | March 12, 2010

What’s So Good About This Raw Food Diet?

Since everything I’ve been eating for the last week has tasted like metal, I thought it would be a good time to talk about all the GOOD things I noticed before that happened; the benefits I’m seeing so far from being on a raw food diet.  On February 15, 2010 I weighed 302 pounds.  While I was already morbidly obese for many years, I had never gone over 280.  Over this last year, however, I had gained 20 pounds and was continuing to gain more.

A week or so earlier, Kevin and Annmarie Gianni had offered their readers an opportunity to work with them for free; a 30-day consultation helping people learn to switch to a raw food diet along with an exercise program. While I filled out an application, after so much time had passed (I sent mine in when it was first announced) I began to realize I couldn’t count on being chosen.  I had several obstacles to overcome; lack of financial freedom, lack of utensils (I don’t own a juicer, dehydrator, decent blender or food processor or any of the other little kitchen gadgets such as a mandolin) and lack of free-moving body parts.  I thought it would be a great challenge for them – if *I* could do it, surely ANYONE could.  I just couldn’t pin my hopes on it.  So I jumped in with both feet.

The first thing I began to realize was how much I missed being able to eat a piece of meat for protein.  My main staple before this raw food diet was anything I could drive up to a window and buy cheaply and rotisserie chickens from Sam’s Club.  A chicken from Sam’s would last a whole week and it was a great source of protein.  Buying a 10 lb. bag of russet potatoes to go with it would keep my stomach full, especially if I had to go down to one meal a day.  I always had the requisite spaghetti meal in the background if I ran out of money.  A pound of spaghetti would last 4-5 days.  This was what my body had been living on, including ice cream when I could afford it.  Ice cream, even though I’m lactose intolerant, has a wonderful affect on endorphin levels.

Other than the weight loss, the change to raw live foods wasn’t really noticeable until two weeks later.  As I began to use only raw and organic ingredients in my food preparation, I was able to feel the affect it had on my body.  After eating I felt alive! I had energy and I wanted to go do something immediately while the endorphins were raging through my body.  My lungs started to clear up and I could actually walk for a while without feeling like I needed to have my asthma inhaler in hand.  My mind seemed much clearer and my eyesight a little better.  I was able to go for longer periods of time before I had to put my glasses on.

Now I can bend my legs again and my ankles don’t get as hideously swollen as they did when I sat too long at the computer.  The most noticeable thing that has changed is my ability to pick something up on the floor with my foot.  My mother and I have had a long history of leg and foot cramps.  When I was at 302, I couldn’t even try to pick something up with my toes without them cramping horribly.  Now, it’s easy as a breeze – a major accomplishment in my eyes.  I’ve even found my showers are taking half the time with the new physical freedom of being 20 pounds lighter.

One of my biggest reasons for starting on this raw food diet was for physical freedom. I wanted to be able to do anything.  While my right arm is still causing me problems (carpal tunnel) and I can’t use my right hand to do things like peel a kiwi, wash dishes – anything requiring hand dexterity, I am hopeful this will go away as well.  I’ve only been on this diet for about a month.

The weight chart I use to record my weight is left over from when I first bought my fancy scale on January 14, 2008. I had hope of losing weight at that time, starting at 276 pounds.  It took me until June 24, 2008 to get down to 252.6, a loss of 23.4 pounds.  As of this morning, I weigh 280.6 pounds, a loss of 21.4 pounds.  In four weeks on my raw food diet, I’ve lost almost the same amount of weight it took me six months to lose on a traditional diet.  The traditional diet required watching every calorie I put in my mouth (including weighing it on a food scale) and walking on the treadmill every day (sometimes twice).  While I long for a treadmill again (the one I had back then broke), I can still do cardio in the house.

On this diet I can eat sweet things.  Raw organic foods have their own natural sweeteners in them.  I’ve even used the highly sugared raw agave syrup in a recipe without giving it another thought.  I also don’t have to anal retentively watch my oil intake; as a matter of fact when I don’t take in oils such as coconut or olive oil I DON’T lose weight.  My protein comes mainly from nuts and they are full of oils. While soaking does rinse some of it off, I have found them to be non-fattening with my body.

I get to eat a smoothie every morning that taste’s fantastic, addresses my blood sugar issues (hypoglycemic) and isn’t full of calories like the ones I used to buy at Tropical Smoothie, while still being the same size (close to 32 oz some days).  I’m pretty much living a great nutritional life…even though I got poisoned by rancid pine nuts. LOL!

If you are thinking about or trying to lose weight, a raw food diet might be the answer you are looking for.  As I learn more, I intend to put it all down so even someone like me can try and do this.  For those of us on highly structured income, there is a blog called Raw on $10 A Day (or Less!) that has some great recipes (although I’m going to have to try and find a place I can buy things separately instead of in a package to really take advantage of it).  I can’t wait to see what happens with my body over the next 30 days.  The first 30 have been a dream.

Today’s Statistics

Weight: 280.6
Fat %: 63.1
BMI: 49.7
Water %: 26.9

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