Welcome back to another installation of my raw vegan journey! This post is different, because here I will recount the early demise of my raw vegan challenge. Before I get to the nitty gritty, I must say I learned so much from this experience and am so thankful for how it has changed my mindset.
Why did I fail? Well … alcohol. My first couple nights out (the first was about two weeks into my experiment), my nights went without incident. As the drinking days increased over my third week, my willpower wore thin, and eventually I had a cooked meal in Flushing, a bite of a taco in a bar .. a bagel with tofu scallion cream cheese – essentially, an avalanche of my inner fat kid’s wet dreams. At this point, I felt like my experience was muddled, lessening my determination to finish the challenge. I was conflicted and disappointed when I did bow out early.
Would I would do it again? If you read my second update, you would know that I experienced great improvements in exercising restraint, shedding fat, and sleeping less. I have no doubt if I were to return to raw, I would experience the same upsides. As long as I stay away from alcohol, I see no insurmountable obstacle in doing a raw eating cleanse for a couple weeks every couple months. The improvements I saw while eating raw are absolutely worth skipping out on a couple meals of delicious junk food.
Why I am not continuing? Even after all the cheating (with cooked foods lol), I could have continued to eat raw. I did not. At this point, I want to eat cooked foods. I am far happier when I eat a vegan burger (very appealing) than when I eat a tupperware of carrots (medium appealing). With that said, going forward, I will greatly reduce my junk food intake and stay conscious of how food affects my energy and mood. Junk gives me immediate gratification; fresh fruits and vegetables make me feel better in the long run. My next goal is finding out how to balance both.
Did I accomplish what I wanted to? In my first post, I set a couple specific goals for my raw vegan challenge. Even though I only lasted two and a half weeks (instead of three), I have been successful in achieving at least some of my goals.
- Learn how a fully raw diet affects my body – Success! I wish I lasted the whole three weeks to see more progress, but I am happy with what I learned thus far.
- Kickstart healthier eating, switching more of my food intake to plant-based whole foods – Medium success. I dived pretty hard into the junk immediately after my raw challenge. However, I am now happier to skip cooked meals for raw ones, something I could hardly imagine doing before the challenge.
- Possibly shed some stubborn fat that I’ve been intermittently annoyed by – Success. I feel lighter and less encumbered by my extra weight. I did not exercise much on the raw diet, but have been running better in the past (post-raw) week.
- Learn how to easily eat healthy, nutritiously, and deliciously by only using raw ingredients – Hard Fail. I was great at prepping fruits and veggies, but I fell extremely short in finding variety and putting in time to ensure I was eating even close to my daily nutritional needs. I hope to work on this one day soon.
So, what is my diet going to look like in the future? This fully raw experiment forced me to eat radically different than I had in the past. Going forward, I look forward to replacing some junk food with raw fruits and vegetables. I will make an effort to have more cooked meals at home (instead of out at restaurants) and dramatically reduce my intake of highly processed foods.
Overall, I am really happy I tried the challenge. I recommend eating raw vegan and I hope my experience has motivated you to consider raw, or to consider being open-minded to making other types of positive changes. (The Williams sisters, AKA legendary tennis players, among other athletes, have great success on raw vegan too – what are you waiting for?) If you are interested, certainly look into more reputable sources, rather than trusting my experience as a bumbling diet novice. What have you tried that has improved your life? What changes are you trying to make now? As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or comments regarding my experience. I would love to hear from you!