RAW Month: Transitioning Into a RAW Diet (AKA Holy Detox, Batman!)

March 3rd, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles



This Sunday, March 1, was a double whammie of awesome.  Not only was it the 1-month birthday of this little baby blog (aw!), but more importantly, it was the kickoff of my marvelous 30-day RAWxtravaganza.  Yay!

Saturday was all about preparation and, I must admit, nervous anticipation.  I consider myself exceptionally healthful, but I’m still a devoted foodie, a shameless sweet-tooth, a hot sauce-aholic, a bit of a boozer, and a connoisseur of caffeine.  So suffice to say, this is going to be a big change for me.  And, it’s important to me to do it right.

Saturday morning I set off with a friend to attend an ‘Uncooking’ Class hosted by Laurie from the Healthy Kitchen.  What an amazing experience!  We learned how to make the most delicious creations, from ‘refried beans’ to a chocolate ganache torte, many of which I’ll be posting here over the next month.  It was very inspiring and certainly informative, and I left the class excited to get this experiment underway.  

Buuuuut, not before my last cooked meal!




After an evening of shopping for fun and fancy raw delicacies (to be reviewed), it was time to enjoy my final hot meal.  I chose a Thai feast from our favorite vegan Thai joint.  We got an appetizer plate, pineapple curry, and spicy yakisoba noodles. It was divine, mmmmm oh yes, simply divine.




And then, suddenly, it was Sunday morning, and time to commit.  I skipped my usual delicious Earl Grey and agave, and instead set about fixing my first ‘Green Smoothie’.  A Green Smoothie is simply a blend of fresh fruits or vegetables + some dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, or chard.  People add all manner of extras, from soy/nut milks to sweeteners to nut butters to supplements, but all you really need are greens and fruit (for flavor).   And yes!, I had never made a Green Smoothie before, which is sort of unbelievable.    It was pretty fun to prepare, and definitely fun to drink.  My husband grimaced at the sight of my concoction, but was kind enough to take pictures.




My First Green Smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange
  • 2 giant collard green leaves, de-ribbed
  • a few ice cubes

Okay, it wasn’t the most exciting tasting beverage on the planet, but it was my first attempt!  I’m easing in to the process, and I want to be able to correctly taste my alterations as I make them.  This recipe isn’t stellar on it’s own, but I think it’s an ideal base.  Today I added a tomato and some lemon juice, which was also okay, but still not great.  It’s okay – I’m willing to work on it, and willing to drink my ‘mistakes’ in the process.  I’ll give up the good recipes once I uncover them!


This is what I ate on my first day RAW:

  • Green Smoothie
  • a banana
  • 2 large carrots
  • a date
  • 1/2 a bottle of Kombucha
  • a cacao truffle
  • a handful of walnuts
  • bean-free hummus (made w/ zucchini).  I made little ‘hummus tacos’ with romaine leaves and sprinkled vinegar, salt, and pepper over them.  I also just scooped the stuff up with carrots and celery. 

I wish I could say that I felt great and light and fresh and clean and all that happy jazz, but it just isn’t so.  No caffeine means a hardcore headache, and I am in full-on detox now.  It’s not fun, but it is important.  Before I did my Master Cleanse I was drinking a lot of coffee, so I wasn’t surprised by the painful detox I experienced.  But these days, I have almost entirely omitted coffee from my diet, and rely on tea instead.  Color me naive, but I did not expect this kind of a caffeine headache coming off of tea.  It’s surprising to know my body is so reliant on it.

And now?  I have a crisper packed to the brim with fresh fruits and veggies, plus a plethora of strange and exciting raw products to sample during this journey.  I’m looking forward to posting plenty of recipes and product reviews along the way! Here’s an idea of what I’m working with:



From Left: Kombucha, vinegar, romaine, sun dried raisins, jalepeño, flax seeds (whole), bananas, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, sea vegetable salad, fresh-crushed almond butter (ooh fancy!), tomato, 2 Larabars, kelp noodles, miso, raw agave, pineapple, raw tahini, extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, orange, zucchini, lemon, garlic, sauerkraut, collard greens, carrots, kimchi, and walnuts.  Whew!


  • Art

    I think you should try to keep it simple, no need for Kombucha ))) You have to get vegan thinking out of you. No need to cook fancy meals at least for the first 30 days. Nothing but whole fruits and vegs. Smoothies are good because it saves you a lot of time of chewing all that spinach and lettuce, other than that, no need to prepare meals. It should take you some time before you will be bored with just fruits.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Art – I totally agree that there’s no need for fancy meals when eating Raw. However, I LOVE to cook, and for me, I think not cooking during this month would be more depriving than not eating cooked foods. I would really miss my kitchen chemistry lab! Also, since I’m blogging this experience I want to maximize the ‘interest’ for my readers, and fun recipes and funky products can definitely help that.

    What is your issue with Kombucha? Is it just the sugars?

    I do agree with you in principal, though. When I did my raw week in November I just ate fruit and salads, and it was great!

  • Art

    ))) I have no issues with Kombacha, I picked on it because it sounds funny.
    As your reader, I think what will maximize my interest (I think many would agree with me) is how simple it would be to follow your steps. When I first went raw, I was overwhelmed with so many new weird supplements, super foods, sprouts, and I also thought that spirulina is a girl’s name ))). Another reason to keep it simple is because most of the people have to learn how to taste fruits. Most SAD eaters have at best one orange a week. Then the next step would be taste the difference between organic fruit vs. conventional. And that also takes time. I believe all bloggers completely miss out on that process of how your taste buds change. Day 1: all apples taste the same, Day 30: you can tell the difference between different kinds of apples. Plus most of the people still need to learn how to pick the right fruit and how to properly ripen it. I would love to write about it, but unfortunately, I don’t the way with words, so it is up to gifted people like you to tell that story. Remember that part in Angel City when Nicholas Cage asked Meg Ryan to describe how peach tastes. How many people can do that? That is where the journey has to start. Learn to love the real taste of plants first. I am sure you will also have difficult times describing taste of fruits ))) In order for raw experience to last a life time and become a lifestyle people have to learn to love it. One more favor, could you please break down the calories into carbs, fats, and protein. Definitely will help people to understand the relationship of how many calories you consume and how you feel.

  • http://rockitpack.blogspot.com :: smo ::

    what a fantastic experiment!!! i had a friend who ate raw one day a week and that was pretty neat too. i should probably gear myself up for something of the sort. i decided to try to cut back on my coffee for a bit [which is hard because on top of probably being addicted to caffeine i really do enjoy the taste of good black coffee] but i wasn’t sure how or if tea factored into a raw diet…and apparently it doesn’t! though would there be perhaps ways that are raw safe to ‘brew’ tea? some sort of warm/cold brew perhaps? i’m not too familiar with how tealeaves themselves are prepared either, i’m assuming some sort of heat is used in the drying of the leaves?…are you allowed to heat beverages to a certain temperature to remain within your limits?

    this is a somewhat convoluted question i suppose…but if you can decipher it, i’m curious!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Art – Ha! Spirulina is an *awesome* girls name!
    Seriously though, I’m definitely taking in what you are saying. I very much agree with you, and out of my own personal experience I can attest to the amazing shifting taste bud. I will definitely try to write an article around that concept during this month.

    How long have you been Raw, and about how much do you eat Raw (75%? 90%?) Thanks so much for the feedback – you’ve definitely given me lots to think on. =)

    @ :: smo :: – Hello Berzerker! About tea, it really just depends on the person. A diet is considered Raw if you eat more than 75% Raw foods, in which case a daily cup of tea would be fine. It really comes down to personal choice, and most hardcore Raw Foodists that I know are still only 90-95%. But of course, there’s a big difference between having the occasional hot veggie soup (which they do) and having the occasional hot fudge sundae (not so much). I think whereas veganism comes from a different place for everyone, Raw Foodism is really just about health, so it doesn’t make sense to most Raw Foodists to drink coffee, or beer, or eat cupcakes (these are a few of my favorite things . . . ), etc.

    So that is my sort of convoluted answer, which I hope you can decipher.

  • http://thewritegardener.blogspot.com/ TC

    I’m intrigued. Mostly about the cost. If you’re eating all organic, it must be quite pricey. And you’re lucky to afford such luxury. ;~)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ TC – Well, I have my special sources for cheap produce. ; )

    But, I decided a while back that I was just going to commit to eating healthily, even though it hurt the checkbook. I have certainly had to sacrifice in other aspects of my life. Everything is a trade off, no?

  • http://www.graviolaleaves.com Cancer Cure

    Kombucha is alive so it is great for any diet. You have a really great blog here. You look great with those noodles hanging out of your mouth. Since you have a diamond ring on your left hand, I guess it was your husband who took those pictures.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Cancer Cure – Yessir, my husband is an excellent photographer!

    And thanks!

  • Jenny

    This is great! I am going raw next week, so I will be checkin out your recipes alot I’m sure:)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Jenny – Thanks! And good luck with the RAW, that’s exciting! How long are you going for? I’d love to hear how it goes for you! =)

  • Jenny

    well, actually I started this week, but have a wedding on Sat night, so I am doing all raw this week until sat and then really starting on mon next week…I am planning on going for good:) I guess I am sort of like you in that I am looking for that thing that just really works for my body. I get so freaked out about processes foods and i just feel so much more comfortable eating foods that I know where they came from. It’s so funny, my four-year-old is joining me on raw (only because he just keeps asking for whatever he sees me eating) he is so interesting, my dad tried to give him mcdonalds when he was watching him once and he took a bite and spit it out and asked if he could make him a hummus sandwich:) P.S. felt great on raw yesterday, today have aches and little energy and lots of salivation….

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Jenny – You said you have lots of saliva, are you also getting white gunk on your tongue, or ‘thickness’ in your mouth? If so, that’s definitely detox! It doesn’t feel so good, but it’s definitely a good thing.

    If I may be so bold, I’d just like to caution you against taking a toddler totally raw (not sure if this is what you intend). Children have very different nutritional needs than us grown-ups, and it seems they do not do so well on 100% raw diets. Shazzie is a bit of a guru in raw circles, and she wrote a great article on how she is feeding her daughter, here.

    Good luck with your raw adventures, I’m looking forward to hearing all about them!

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