Raw Foods

posted by : Jon Kroupa on 07/03/2011

Related Comic: Raw Foods Travel Fast

The Diet:

The raw foods diet is simple enough in concept, don't eat anything that has been touched by the flames of the devil (I'm paraphrasing here). While that upper classman Grok got to live it up with his fancy caves and surviving the cold winters, the raw foods people go back even further in time, before fire was invented.

The Experience:

In researching this diet a number of sources said that few people actually commit to 100% raw food. Mostly they are in the 70-80% area, as it can be quite challenging. A few extreme people go the extra mile, even as far as throwing their ovens, microwaves, and matches out the window. Sometimes these people receive citations for littering.

My commitment was below 100%. The first couple of days I was very concerned about getting enough protein, so I had a hardboiled egg each day, and some beef jerky. Beef jerky being a dehydrated food, it was likely heated to 160 degrees, which is over the 115 degree threshold that most raw food diets set. I was unsuccessful in my attempts to hard boil an egg in tepid water. Later in the week I had the breakthrough that cured meats, such as pepperoni, are also not technically cooked. This helped me survive the bitter lonely nights.

I also consumed a lot of almonds, but there is a breaking point where you simply cannot put them in your mouth anymore. I reached this point on Wednesday, so thank goodness I rediscovered cured meats on Thursday. Thursday I also purchased some Swiss cheese that was made from milk which had not been pasteurized. I only consumed 3-4 ounces of meat in a day. I consumed pounds of vegetables and fruits.

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, most days I had celery, carrots (large sliced ones), cucumber, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and the occassonal olive. I would also have one low sodium v8 juice, which IS pasteurized, but whatever. On the fruit side it was apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, and the rare peach or pear. Every evening I would have those four berries and a banana with water and blend them together for dinner.

When people heard I was doing this diet they asked it if had any negative gastrointestinal implications. Monday I felt somewhat sick to my stomach and had more frequent trips to the restroom, but Tuesday and onward I felt no ill effects from the change in diet. I did read one account online of a vegan who said when he moved from cooked to raw foods he experienced two weeks of "detox" where he felt ill, weak, and otherwise uncomfortable. Given that I experienced minor symptoms for a mere day I can only assume his switch to a raw foods diet coincided with when he stopped taking heroin. He just incorrectly classified his detox period to the raw foods and not to the hard drugs.

Most of the raw food accounts I read online were from vegans. They would probably strongly disapprove of my use of cured meats and unpasteurized cheese. But I also think these people have lost a firm grasp on reality. Take this recipe for instance (for length I have combined both parts):

  • 1 3/4 cups ground raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup raw oats
  • 1/2 cup Agave Nectar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

What does this look like to you? Supposedly if you mix these together and freeze them for 30 minutes you have "chocolate chip cookies." I'm sorry, but the person who thinks this recipe will produce something comparable to cookies has thrown out the towel on sanity. There are websites full of recipes for delicious foods which have been reduced to nothing on the premise that they must remain "pure." Maybe they are better when you also take heroin.

The Result:

My over all impressions of the diet is it is effective. I lost 2.8 pounds this week. On the other hand I was constantly eating, vegetables and fruits are supposed to help keep you full, but they don't for me. Every hour it seemed I was picking up something to munch on, because I was never really satisfied. I think the other problem was that since the vast sum of my food was fruits and vegetables, and those are mostly water, that it was simply going through me at the speed of water. Cravings were a little bit of a burden this week. I would see other people enjoying delicious foods, while I snacked on crappy celery. I felt there was an injustice occurring.

I love your account of the vegan experience. I think it must be the poor nutrition which results in a loss of a firm grasp on reality. After a long enough period of deprivation, frozen carob and raw oats are better than another celery stalk for desert.

David Gilchrist : Jul 4th 2011, 00:08

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