Welcome to my second raw update, friends! Read about why I’m eating raw vegan or how my first week went. This week I am reporting my second week of progress related to the following: appetite, digestion, cravings, sleep, energy and weight loss. I conclude with overall pros and cons I’ve noticed thus far.
Next week, I have two posts planned. First, as I’ve had a celebration-heavy weekend, I will write up my experience with drinking wine and going out while eating raw. Second, I will detail how much it costs me to eat raw vegan over a five-day work week. I usually shop at Whole Foods and when I have time, I go to grocery stores in Flushing, Queens. I’ll list the cost and quantity of what I eat.
I am going to preface this post with how I have been eating. This may help you see what I may be doing right or wrong. In the past week, I have not tracked calories or nutrients. I never closely monitored my food intake before raw vegan and tracking is not an activity I took a particular interest in starting. I did not do much raw vegan research or review meal plans. Mostly, I relied on what I knew from watching youtube videos and perusing online articles. My mindset going into my raw vegan trial was to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, using trial and error to make myself feel good. This week, I brought a couple types of fruits + veggies, and some nuts to work each day. Throughout the day, I eat as I feel hungry. When I am satiated, I stop. I was a grazing herbivore. I hardly sat down and ate a full “meal” at once.
Bon (where’d my) Appetite (go) – I used to eat … until the food was gone. I rarely reached my “limit”. For a while, I was convinced I could go on living as if the limit did not exist. I secretly hoped for a digestive black hole that would allow me to eat every waking moment of every day. Well, the limit does exist, and as a junk food vegan, I skirted the edge as often as I could. My food indulgences brought me limitless joy. As a raw vegan, however, I noticed in my second week, that I did not experience hunger or desire for food in the same way. I am starting to think, I was well nourished and fueled enough, that my body did not signal me to over-fill, to overload on taste bud euphoria. In fact, none of my food made me swoon, but I did not dislike eating anything. As someone who bases a lot of my identity on what I eat, how I eat, and loving to eat, this reduced yearning for food threatens the core of my motivation. Harrowing stuff.
Digestion – Be PATIENT when adjusting to eating differently. Digestion adapts. Trust me. (SKIP this paragraph if the word stool makes you uncomfortable). My update 1 post detailed a bit about how my stool was … looser (SORRY AGAIN). In this week, I think my metabolism calmed down a little bit, processing plant foods the way they were meant to be, relatively slowly. I started going to the bathroom as usual, just less frequently. The lessened strain on my digestive system likely helped redirect my energy to consistent alertness and brain function (of course, I have no scientific background to support this, only my feelings, so take all of this, with a heaping pile of Himalayan pink salt). I did not experience any food-related bloating, but as the time of month rolled in and out, hormonal fluctuations conducted business as usual.
I Don’t NEED You, Cravings – All but gone. I had no more unprompted desire to seek out cooked food. The only times I had to exercise willpower arose when I either saw particularly enticing Instagram posts or smelled the food in person. Workdays and raw vegan eating went without a hitch. I had some trouble over the weekend as I went out for birthdays/celebrations. Being out and active impeded on my ability to snack on a wide variety of foods at any time of day, something my desk job allows me to do. I’ll write all about being social over the weekend, drinking and attempting to stay raw vegan in my next post. (DO I CHEAT AGAIN?)
SLEEP, don’t release me from your warm embrace just yet – I woke up at 4:59AM on Tuesday. I track my sleep with my mostly accurate fitbit. It was still dark when I got out of bed. I cleaned my room and worked on my blog post. I prepared my food for the day. At this point, I know raw vegan helps me sleep less, and stay alert + productive. Though some emotional struggles contributed, I know eating raw also played a big role in my early rising. The rest of the week, I woke up around 5 or 6AM. I would stay awake for about an hour then force myself to sleep a couple more hours. Exhaustion from Aunt Flo helped lull me back to sleep.
Energy – I feel better. I have no complaints. Do I feel infinitely lighter? Do I feel like I’m an eagle soaring over vast lands? Well, no. But, if I turn back to my junk food diet and have trouble working at maximum capacity, I am sure I will first turn to eating raw foods to quickly help me become clear-minded, focused, and efficient. No question about it.
Weight Loss – Before going raw vegan, I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with my body. As I had mentioned in earlier posts, I was ready to shed excess fat. By the end of my second week of raw, I jumped from 123.5 lbs (Day 1) to 118.6 lbs (Day 13). While weight loss is not necessarily an indicator of a healthy diet, I am happy because I feel good and see more muscle tone. I am happy to see progress, despite bloating from hormones + menstruation. Cool.
LISTS BECAUSE IT’S FUN AND SIMPLE. And less verbose.
- Consistent Energy, as long as I eat plenty of fruits for sugars and carbs.
- Saving money (details to come in future raw vegan budgeting blog).
- Hanger Be Gone. I have not experienced emotional tumult from the sole reason of being hungry (this, my friends, is a real problem for junk-food Jackie).
- BURN, FAT, BURN. Becoming more lean.
- Discipline, exercising control over mind and body.
- Too Little Sleep, I want to sleep more.
- No Cravings, Yes Urges. The fact of the matter is that delicious cooked vegan food is everywhere. My raw foodist health benefits are not necessarily compelling enough reasons to stay away. I avoid non-vegan meals easily because of the animal + environmental considerations.
- Being Social. Meeting new people isn’t necessarily easy when you tell them you don’t eat anything animal or cooked.
- Drinking + NO DRUNK FOOD
- Learning Curve. As with any lifestyle change, it gets easier with time. Two weeks in – I still have a lot to learn and experience before I can confidently and happily eat raw vegan.
Again, if you’ve made it this far, WOW, thanks! I hope my experience is helping you consider trying something new. As always, feel free to reach out to me via Instagram @j2food with any questions or comments. Hope to catch ya next time. 🙂