Move over Freelee the banana girl, there is a new banana freak in town! Today marks my first week going raw vegan for a month. I’ll be making weekly updates on how I experience this cleanse and what kind of an effect it has on my body and mind. After this month is over I am going back to my normal diet, planning to eat less junk and more whole foods. I am going to be very honest and won’t sugarcoat anything. First let me explain why I decided to start this challenge.
My main reason for going raw vegan for a month is because I feel like my body needs a good cleansing. My initial reason for going vegan was for my health, but that soon shifted into a more ethical driven decision, heavily outweighing my initial reason. Because I am kind of an emotional eater and the past few years have been turbulent, this shift caused me easily binge on vegan junk food. Here is where reason number two comes in place, I want to stop binging whenever I’m feeling like crap, this cleanse is not only for my body but even more so for my mind. And reason number three is that lately I started to drink more frequently and I want to control and one day even stop my (vegan of course) alcohol consumption. My last reason was my eczema which all of the sudden appeared a couple of months ago (if anyone has any tips you are more then welcome to share them with me).
Ok let me start by saying that timing is everything! I decided to start this cleanse after my birthday because I turned 25 and wanted to do this with a bang, knowing I would probably drink one to many (vegan) wines, it felt like the right thing to do. Well for someone living in the Netherlands, February might not have been the easiest month to go fully raw, because it gets cold! So take notes everyone, if you ever feel like doing this, I advise you to plan it during warmer months as your body will be craving more fruits and vegetables, making it easier then during the colder months, in my opinion.
I hope these daily journals are helpful and entertaining. Throughout this post i’ll add some pictures of the foods I’ve been eating as some inspiration for anyone interested!
Day one was definitely the hardest and this was partly my own fault, due to my outrageous hangover I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. I tried my best to keep myself hydrated but my body kept rejecting anything I gave it. Still trying to get my nutrients in, I decided to made a salad with some carrot, while knowing i’m allergic to raw carrot (I just wanted to give it another try). Normally when I hide thinly sliced pieces of raw carrots in big spring rolls i’m fine, i just don’t eat to much of it. Well this went horribly wrong and only magnified my agony as I felt my throat closing up and decided to discard the carrot and take a pause from eating. After this I had to throw up and after an hour or so I tried to finish the remaining salad and decided to lay down, to ease the nausea.
Waking up I immediately drank a liter of water because my body was definitely dehydrated. After drinking the water I had a big smoothie bowl, noticed my voice was gone and started my day. Throughout the day i had some snacks like dates and nuts and in the evening i had a salad, but I really didn’t eat enough and was still feeling weak from the day before. My body was weak and sore and my voice was gone. I craved a lot of cooked foods.
Today I made more effort to make sure i ate enough throughout the day. My energy levels were still not where they would be normally but at least I wasn’t feeling sick anymore. I also noticed that my belly wasn’t bloated at all and didn’t feel heavy. In the afternoon I did quit an intense exercise and I tried to eat enough food an hour before that, but although I was full, the food wasn’t very calorie dense so my energy levels were still not there yet. My cravings for cooked foods definitely didn’t diminish I made an observation that to thrive i’d need to include one extra smoothie throughout the day to maintain my energy levels.
Today started as usual with at least half a liter of water and I rolled out my yoga mat to do my morning practice. After a few sun salutations I noticed my body felt weak and my mind was distracted, all I could think of was food, I decided to do some asanas and go over in savasana (the final pose). For a split second I felt a bit bummed my body was to weak to do the things it normally does, but I could quickly let go of this disappointment and accepted where my body was at that moment in time. In the afternoon I started making cinnamon rolls because I promised someone i’d make some, i’m not gonna lie it was very challenging to not try one myself. This day I had a lot of raw vegan snacks such as raw chocolate and date bars which ended up being kind of an overkill, because i started to notice my belly felt a bit bloated after eating one to many treats.
At this point my morning routine is the same, I start with water immediately after waking up and have a smoothie before leaving the house. At lunch I ate a pomelo and a raw chocolate bar while everyone around me were eating the cinnamon rolls I made a day earlier. Now i have to admit that this wasn’t as hard as I expected because my belly was full with the pomelo. I do have to add that I feel its kind of struggle to eat out without bringing your own food because there are not many different raw vegan options to choose from besides (un)fruit. After coming home i had a smoothie and some fruits and a salad for dinner.
I feel that my energy levels are back to what they used to be, which is something i’m very happy about. Over the day I had two smoothie bowls and two salads. In the morning I decided to go to yoga class which was awesome because my energy levels were on point. My observation is that two smoothie bowls are definitely a minimum for me to thrive throughout the day.
Today was a rough morning as I realised there were no ripe bananas, at this point i also used up all my bananas I had stored in the freezer. I still had a couple bunches of bananas but none of them were ripe and I really do not like unripe bananas! So I went to the store and bought more bunches of banana to prevent running out of bananas in the future. Of course there this is a luxury problem but because I feel like my options are already limited I really need to have my banana based smoothies because this exactly what my body desires to thrive! The rest of the day I decided to relax, work on a recipe and play zelda wind waker HD.
My observation of my first week going raw comes with a couple of tips.
- Have plenty of ripe bananas! Use my mistake as an example, bananas are a great base for smoothies or raw vegan ice creams and will give you the energy you need throughout your day. Always try to have a some frozen (peeled and chopped) bananas for quick meals.
- Make sure you eat enough food! If you want to maintain a steady stream of energy you really want to get enough food in which can be a challenge because i personally am not a big fan of huge salads, so I make sure i have big smoothies to fill me up and have a salad in the evening.
- If you ever feel like doing anything similar i advise you to plan it around the summer/spring.
- My belly doesn’t feel bloated at all and I experience almost no gas.
- Go easy on the raw vegan snacks and gourmet foods like nut and date bars and raw chocolates, but be sure to treat yourself from time to time, because you deserve it!
- Be kind to yourself!
I also faced some struggles in my first week!
- My energy levels were really low the first half of the week.
- The weather made me crave more warming foods and if it wasn’t for my own discipline to pull through and finish this without cheating, I would have definitely had some cooked foods.
- I didn’t plan that well and ended up not always having enough food to sustain me during the day, ending up eating date bars and raw chocolates, which bring me to number 4
- most raw vegan gourmet food and snacks are super expensive and I am really considering buying a dehydrator but because the “good” dehydrators are also very expensive I’m not sure if i will.
For now my cravings food cooked foods are still there but not as extreme as the first half of the week. My belly feels flatter because I do not feel bloated. I do not recommend anyone doing this during cold months and when this month is done I’m gonna work on a recipe for a calzone pizza, which of course I’ll be sharing with all of you. Next week is gonna be a challenge because my nephew is turning 1 and I’ll be surrounded by tons of delicious food I won’t be able to eat. With that said I see an awesome opportunity to make a raw vegan cake, right!?
I’ve got some raw vegan recipes in the works so you can expect some healthy recipes coming your way soon! I hope you liked this post and feel free to leave me tips in the comments below or on my instagram and make sure to stay awesome!