Worried About Back Pedaling on Raw Food Diet

12 Oranges, 3 Kiwi Fruit, and 2 LemonsOh yum! I just had one of the tastiest meals yet. I juiced 2 lemons from next door, 12 oranges from my favorite organic farmer, and peeled and cut up 3 kiwi fruit into tiny chunks and threw them in (when I was near the end of drinking the rest, just for fun). What a combination! That’s about a quart and and a half of juice. Plenty of calories to keep me going today, the lemon gave it a nice twang, and the kiwi added some interesting flavor and texture.

I read a blog post today that inspired me to comment. I have worried many times that if I were to eat some cooked food, even a small amount, that I would fall back into old eating habits.

Phillip and I have been transitioning to a raw vegan diet for almost 2 years now. I have given in to the urge to eat cooked food a number of times. In each case, the severity and length of the “binge” has decreased. And likewise, the length of time I can now stay raw has increased.

These days, when I fall off the wagon, it isn’t for very long, and what I eat isn’t all that bad, as I don’t crave the really bad stuff anymore. I haven’t had anything deep fried in a long while, and dairy is not a temptation at all. Letting some time pass while you are transitioning is helpful.

I’m having good results following Dr. Graham’s 80/10/10 program, as described in his book, The 80/10/10 Diet. When I first started out with raw food, I was eating:

  • a ton of salad, with lots of avocado
  • “combo-a-bombos” (as I’ve heard someone describe them, ie. gormet raw foods with too much fat)
  • not enough calories from fruit

I didn’t know it at the time, but now that I’ve read The 80/10/10 Diet, it seems pretty clear that the above formula, although nutritional, wasn’t giving me what I needed to sustain myself. After 3 or 4 days without getting enough calories, I got too dizzy and nauseated to function during exercise, particularly Tae Kwon Do practice, when we would do backward kicks. These require some balance and spinning, which exacerbated the problem. And some mornings I would wake up dizzy and weak from the get-go.

It was discouraging, because I really liked how the raw foods made me feel and I wanted to be completely raw right away. It makes sense to me now though. What I was doing was nearly like fasting, while still piling on my regular exercise program.

I’ve had more lasting success on raw food now that I am getting enough calories (like with the orange/lemon/kiwi fruit combination described above). I’m not losing weight so fast and I feel comfortable. It almost seems like if I eat right, some days there are no cravings at all. It’s just a matter of time until I figure out how to keep it this way for good.

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