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raw wrapup – swell

raw wrapup

sorry for the delay on posting this, and also for the lack of pictures.  for my last day, i ate fresh fruits and veggies and had dinner at ecopolitan with my best friend (sadly, forgetting my camera).  then pride weekend started, so things got incredibly busy with events and people despite the fact that my attitude towards pride is quite critical.

i’m not sure how best to sum up my raw experience, other than to talk about it in terms of oppositions.  right off, i’d like to say i’m really glad that i did it, despite the more difficult aspects.  i chose to do it at this time i did because the weather was warm, there was a good selection of produce, and my raw-fearing partner was out of town.  i had the benefits of working at a co-op and living across the street from a raw vegan restaurant (which was a comforting backup option).

even though i experienced cycles of hungry-full-hungry constantly, now that i’ve reintroduced cooked and more processed foods, i can say that i preferred that aspect of raw eating in a lot of ways.  i have always really loved bread, for example, and feared that i would really miss it being raw.  it is convenient, versatile, and i buy whole grain (often sprouted) bread so i haven’t felt guilty about eating it a lot.  at first not eating bread was hard, and the half-loaf i had stuck in the freezer seemed to taunt me when i went for smoothie fruits.  but then i didn’t miss it, and i didn’t feel a need to make raw bread for sandwiches; i suppose the crackers were enough.  i had a couple pieces of toasted bread this weekend, and i have to admit it was a really unsatisfying experience in the taste department, plus it left me feeling really heavy.  since having other cooked foods, i’ve felt the same heaviness, even if i stayed full longer.

however, the downside of that satisfaction-hunger cycle is having enough food around to feed the hunger.  that’s where convenience and versatility didn’t always come together.  sure, eating some carrots, bananas, or raw crackers worked, but was a little boring sometimes.  not everything that i make in the non-raw sphere is uber convenient, but it’s usually ready within a couple hours even for the more labor-intensive recipes.  however, the thought of having to wait 24 hours to complete a meal, no matter how mouth-watering, got really discouraging when i work a 40-hour week and want to spend time with friends, or even just time not in the kitchen or thinking about the kitchen.  i think about food a lot since i work with it and like to cook it at home, but while raw i felt like almost the only thing i was thinking about was what i had to do so i could eat something later in the day, or in the week.  it made me feel a little bit crazy sometimes.

having a couple of prep days for making crackers and buckwheat crispies and the like helped the rest of the week come together easier most of the time.  i’m glad i picked mostly recipes that kept well and i could eat over a couple days if i wanted, so i didn’t have to “un-cook” everyday.  at work i could order a fresh juice, and making smoothies at home was always easy as long as i had some milk or juice on hand.  that’s something i definitely plan to keep doing more often.

so what do i wish i’d done differently?  for one, i WAY over-bought nuts and seeds for the week.  most of the nut-inclusive recipes were actually the crackers and later the tart topping.  after that the bulk of the food was fresh fruits and veggies which is what i had to shop for throughout the week.  i would like to make those rosemary crackers and no-wheat thins again, and probably some delicious bakery treats, so it’s not as if they’ll go to waste, but those bags and jars are taking up an awful lot of room in my fridge!  and, well, it would have been nice not to spend all the money on them, even if it ended up costing less than i’d feared.

another thing that was hard about having time away from my partner and more time to spend with friends was that eating out wasn’t really an option, so i tried to eat a lot before going out.  i allowed myself wine throughout the week, so i’m sure i could have had more of a detox without the alcohol, but i also didn’t want to shorten my social time since i had it.  if i’d had the luxury of taking time off for myself away from other people, i think i would have been more successful making more interesting food and not drinking.  but i’m not that privileged, so i did the best i could under the circumstances.

health-wise, i found myself feeling much better overall, though i did have some trouble with wanting to sleep in the afternoons.  i don’t know if this was because i stayed up to late and had to get up early, or i wasn’t getting enough iron from the raw diet, or both, or something else entirely.  but the sleeping thing was definitely worst these past three days.  however i did seem to have a lot of mental energy before going to bed, but i’m not sure if that was anxiety over being a little bit lonely at night.  i did – and have still managed to – stay away from caffeine, which is pretty remarkable considering my love of chai and cold press.  when i could, i’d try to have some ginger for energy, which did the trick most of the time.  i never had a stomachache or indigestion, which was nice (though i don’t have chronic problems with that anyway).  i wouldn’t say i had any miracle experiences like improved vision or overnight scar-healing (that industrial oven burn on my hand will probably never go away), but this is certainly the healthiest i remember feeling.  and like i said, i definitely felt heavier (not necessarily less healthy) after eating some non-raw foods.  this experience has definitely changed the way i relate to food and i hope to maintain a weekly raw day in the future.

today i went to ecopolitan (the raw vegan restaurant) for a smoothie and a sprouted hummus platter.  after a night of dancing in an incredibly hot and crowded lesbian bar until 130am and having a few beers (oy), i craved something that wasn’t the tempeh scramble i made myself for breakfast (though the weird new tempeh i bought was probably a big part of that).  i slept a lot, but i’m starting to feel better after eating this.  i hope this week i’ll get my energy back up and start making some photo-worthy food again!  thanks to everyone who’s been following along and commenting during the past week (and previous to that, of course).

No Responses to “raw wrapup”

  1. Hannah says:

    Hello. I have just been surfing some vegan blogs and have noticed yours…It sounds an awful lot like you are from Minneapolis, MN. Is it true? :) Ecopolitan is probably my new favorite place to eat and I attended PRIDE today. I don’t know any other vegans in Minneapolis, so seeing your blog got me super excited!

  2. shellyfish says:

    Thanks for the great wrap-up A-K! I have indeed enjoyed reading about your raw adventures, because I’m really interested but know with my lack of equiplment (and budget) it would be hard to do totally raw. I am planning on doing a raw day a week- starting tomorrow!

  3. veganhomemade says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on the raw week, it’s always interesting to see how it goes.

  4. a-k says:

    hannah – i definitely am from minneapolis! nice to meet you (in the virtual sense).

    shellyfish – a lot of raw foodists argue of course that you can do raw all the time without fancy equipment; it’s just the equipment that keeps the food interesting. i don’t know, sometimes it seems they’re just trying to indoctrinate you into the cult (haha)… but ani phyo’s book is full of a lot of easy-to-make and 95% fancy equipment-free recipes if you haven’t checked it out yet.

    veganhomemade – thanks for thankings!

  5. Courtney says:

    I love Ecopolitan! The raw burrito makes me drool :o ) I went to PRIDE this past weekend too–it was the perfect weather for it and it was so nice to be outside!

    Thanks for the wrap up–I enjoyed hearing about your experience following the raw diet. One thing that has kept me from going completely raw (I probably eat between 75-80% raw now) is the time/prep work that goes into the recipes.

    Thanks again!

    Courtney

  6. melody says:

    thanks for sharing this! It is perfect timing for me since I am beginning a 60 day RAW challenge tomorrow. I am totally freaked out, but also VERY much looking forward to it..

  7. Liz says:

    This is great advice- I love that you chronicled your experience. Your dishes look amazing and are totally inspiring!

    I find that this time of year is a great time to eat more raw. I can’t hang with it so much in the depths of MN winter, though…

  8. tofuwitch says:

    Your raw week was totally inspiring! And you made some lovely dishes…love that fruit tart!

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