Back when I decided to embark on a journey towards a raw food diet, I did so in order to regain my health and sanity while losing a couple of pounds along the way. But what really happened over the first couple of weeks, months, and then years really blew my mind.
Healing takes its time, and even though I ate very clean and moved my body, I couldn’t control which ailments would be affected in what order. It sure hit me by surprise that while I was waiting to recover from my main issues, I almost missed out on other positive changes that had sneaked into my life.
Without even realizing it, my raw food diet had brought along much more benefits than just a cleaner body.
I loved the food and the vibrant feeling so much that it didn’t even feel like a diet I had to be on in order to achieve my goals – and I truly believe that by just enjoying what I was doing and taking my mind off of it, I built a solid foundation for my own eating style to grow and establish.
In the meantime, I was happy to discover that so many other aspects had also changed:
1. Taste buds
Staying away from processed foods, refined sugar, and salt was such a relief for my overstimulated tongue. As soon as I weaned myself off, I was able to enjoy plain food much more. I found myself nibbling and snacking on fresh apples, ripe tomatoes or even just plain romaine lettuce!
I had no idea that nature already provides us with awesome tasting food which doesn’t even need preparing in order to be yummy.
This gave me the chance to fill up on lots of alkaline, healing foods with ease.
By adding more raw food into your diet, your body not only becomes cleaner but also more sensitive. You can use this to let it guide you away from what is actually harming you!
I had no idea that I couldn’t digest wheat or eggs well, but when I stopped consuming them, I felt so much better. Since I wasn’t a strict raw foodie, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted when going out, so I discovered pretty soon that my beloved pastries weren’t a good match for me.
A raw food diet is usually absent of most allergens, such as gluten, soy, dairy and eggs – this can be a huge help in figuring out any sensitivities.
When you are striving towards a diet mostly consisting of raw foods, you need to make sure not to become deficient. Sure, sweet fruit tastes awesome, and there are so many raw treats like lasagna, crackers, or cakes – but these foods cannot provide you with every single nutrient you need in order to thrive.
I took the time to really dive into the world of good nutrition to make sure all my requirements were met. This taught me about the importance of little powerhouses like hemp seeds, chlorella, or maca, as well as finding my own balance which keeps me energized and satisfied.
Once I stopped consuming additives and allergens, something inside me awoke. I felt a true sense of wholeness and recognized my body’s signals very clearly. It wasn’t always pleasant, I can tell you that!
Especially in the beginning, I didn’t know where these undesirable feelings were coming from and didn’t know what I was doing wrong. But when I allowed myself to tune in and experiment, I found my triggers very easily and knew how certain foods made me feel and which combinations, portions, and times worked best for me.
Unfortunately, nobody can give you an exact blueprint – this requires some trial and error. But it sure is worth it!
What stunned me the most was the large effect this simple change of my diet had on my whole life. Suddenly, I was way more sensitive and had to take extra good care of myself.
I couldn’t just suppress my need for sleep, being alone, getting fresh air or just basically not take shit anymore. I became my own advocate and, in various areas of my life, stopped doing things that didn’t serve me very well.
I didn’t want to hang out in smoky bars anymore, and I skipped partying late at night and meeting with people I didn’t have the courage to cut out of my life – instead, I built my own yoga practice, strolled through farmer’s markets, found the fulfillment and lightness in meditation, and expressed my love for people who I really cared for.
On top of that, I felt the need to let go of a lot of material possessions and only keep the things that I really needed or that had some sentimental worth to me. Everything I do and own is so much more purposeful now.
More Raw Food: Interview: Raw Foodist Sarma Melngailis
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Photo: Julia Ceasar via Unsplash