RAW Revisited: ~10 Days Later

April 14th, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

March 31st marked the fabulous finale to my official RAW experiment, but my actual experience didn’t just end there!  After 31 days of ~99% RAW, I felt better than I had in ages. So even though I was excited to nibble on some of my old cooked-food favorites, I was also eager to eke out as much RAW advantage as I could.  

I remained RAW going into April, and even considered pushing through for a full 45 days.  Unfortunately, around April 3rd I developed a flu that laid me out flat: fevered and nauseated and totally pathetic.  I hadn’t been so sick in years, and for the first 24 hours all I could stomach was a single orange.  By the second day my tummy had settled a bit and I was able to think about eating again . . . but all I found appetizing was warm, hearty fare.  Following my body’s cues, I made a mild Thai curry, and man, that tofu rocked my world! 

These days I’m averaging about 75-85% RAW.  Some travel days I’ve been as low as 40%, while others I just shoot back up to 99%. But typically, I’ll eat whole raw fruits and vegetables throughout the day, and add a wee bit of cooked food in at dinnertime.  I still spend most days caffeine-free, although I’ve had some incredibly pleasurable weekend cups of coffee. The same holds true for alcohol, which has been equally as easy to abstain from and equally as delightful to indulge in.  Each day, I still start off with a big green smoothie, and I can’t imagine that changing any time soon. Overall, my body seems to know what it wants and has finally figured out how to tell me so. 

I feel so good, eating this way.  I feel energized, centered, and very healthy in every sense of the word.  Most importantly, it feels sustainable. This is a very balanced place I’ve found, and quite honestly, I’m reveling in it.


Food Journal

By way of comparison, I’ve done a rundown of a typical daily menu the way I’m eating right now. The numbers really aren’t much different than when I was RAW. Ideally, my day goes something like this: 

Averageday, xX Month 2009

  • Green Smoothie -  1 medium banana, 1 medium apple, 1 lemon, 1 orange, 2 kale leafs, 1 tsp Spirulina powder
  • herbal tea with agave
  • 1 apple + 1 pear
  • carrot sticks
  • kombucha
  • Giant Salad w/ red leaf lettuce, purple cabbage, grated zucchini, red bell pepper, a jalapeno, half an avocado, and slivered red onion tossed in lemon juice, red salsa, olive oil, and nutritional yeast and topped with brown rice and black beans 
  • big pile of raisins
  • herbal tea with agave

Total Calories: 1918

76% from carbohydrates (1462 calories)

14% from fat (273 calories)

10% from protein (182 calories)


Total Carbohydrates: 401 g

  • Fiber: 65 g
  • Sugar: 225 g

Total Fats: 32 g

  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Omega-3: 686 mg
  • Omega-6: 3733 mg

Total Protein: 53 g

Vitamins – I was well over my vitamin requirements *except* for these:

  • Vitamin E: 38% DV


  • Calcium: 47% DV
  • Iron: 82% DV
  • Magnesium: 98% DV
  • Phosphorous: 80% DV
  • Potassium: 144% DV
  • Zinc: 77% DV
  • Copper: 100% DV
  • Manganese: 221% DV
  • Selenium: 76% DV


Also, daily BM’s, w00t!


  • http://www.theorganiclife.wordpress.com sarah

    You are so freaking inspiring…

    I have been contemplating the raw diet for a while now, but for some reason it just seems really weird and confusing. You eat healthy food but… you don’t cook anything? It seems I must be making it too complicated, but as someone who cooks a lot… hmmm.

    I’ve been reading your older posts, and I’ve probably missed a lot, but are there any books or websites on transitioning to a raw diet that you could recommend?

    I also want to know – where the heck do you buy your groceries? Do you buy completely organic? Partially organic? How hard is it to find raw food quality groceries and how has it affected food budgeting? More expensive (organic)? Or less expensive (lack of meats, etc.)?

    I’m thinking mainly of transitioning myself (80% raw, 20% plain ‘ol healthy with an occasional splurge ;) I’m a firm believer in moderation…) but I also have two hungry boys to feed… so I’m wondering how this would affect them. Has your husband attempted to go raw with you, and how does he feel about it? Sorry for all the questions ;)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ sarah – Wow, thank you!

    I understand the initial weirdness of ‘uncooking’, as it’s called. I love to cook, it’s my meditation and my therapy and the way I show love and so much more. But, you can get pretty creative with raw ingredients! A food processor helps, and a blender, and a dehydrator is ideal for an actual raw lifestyle, though not at all necessary. Even just artful assembly and arrangement of food can curb some of the cooking craving. Like, if I make a lunch plate of cut veggies and dip, I’ll cut the veggies very carefully, make sure they’re beautifully trimmed and uniform in size, and maybe prepare 2 or three different dips for variety. All this, laid out aesthetically on a platter, can be quite fun to compose, just like a cooked meal.

    I really have not found a single website that I can comfortably recommend, when it comes to raw food and lifestyle. Partly because everyone has a bit of a different perspective, and mostly because there is so much misinformation and disagreement within the raw community. It’s pretty new, and pretty un-studied, and so finding definitive, conclusive answers can be difficult. I strongly suggest that anyone interested in going raw, do a lot of research and read as much and from as many [differing] sources as possible. Each person is different, so what works for you will be different. Listen to your body!

    That said, I find this article to be an exceptional example of an intellectual approach to eating, and a great place to start: http://www.vegansociety.com/food/raw_food.php

    About groceries, I have shopped a lot of different places, but over the past 6 months or so it has become increasingly important to me to eat all organic and as local and seasonal as possible. I realized that if I really do believe in ‘food-as-medicine’ (I do) and the power of food to affect all aspects of our life and well being (I do), then I just need to make food more of a priority. It’s sort of crazy when you think about it, how easily we de-prioritize food, compromising quality and by doing so, compromising our health. So now, I have joined my local co-op and I swear, just the act of shopping there brings me such joy, knowing that I’m participating in and supporting my community, and knowing that my food is of the highest quality and is as environmentally friendly as possible – these things are priceless. As for actual price, some things (like organic produce) are more expensive, but others (like buying dried goods from bulk bins) become much cheaper. Overall, I definitely spend more on food now. But just the other day I was remarking to my husband (he did not go raw with me, but is veg*n and supported my raw transition) that even though I know we spend more now, we don’t really feel it. The cost is negligible enough to be absorbed, so it’s not like we suddenly can’t pay our bills!

    I recognize that not everyone lives in such a progressive city as I do, and thus it won’t be as easy for everyone. Trader Joes is a good chain grocery store that has lots of organic options. Most cities have farmers markets at least once a week, which can be great fun for kids. I love the saying ‘Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything’. Start small, you know? Do what you can and be proud of it, and then think about how you can adjust to do more. That’s the way I approach life, at least. =)

  • http://www.theorganiclife.wordpress.com sarah

    Thanks for the tips…I will definitely check out the site… but I must say that tonight, for the very first time, I experienced the wonder that is Whole Foods. WOW!! My friend and I have to drive a good half hour since it’s not very close (we have a couple little expensive organic stores closer) but it was insane what they had to offer. Now I know where to get that agave you keep talking about!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ sarah – haha! Yes, the first time in a giant health food store is like a food porn overload. It’s my own nutrition-geek version of Disneyland, I swear. I’m so glad you found one, and will be able to stock all the healthy essentials!

  • TC

    Hi Sayward, I’ve been following your raw blog for a bit over a month and really enjoying the reading – thanks! It’s good for a bit of late night inspiration after the kids have gone to bed… I started trying to eat substantially more raw foods at about the same time you started your trial. So far I’m loving it but it’s also taken some refinement to suit me (and my family) personally. For example, I feel better with a small percentage of healthy cooked foods to round out my nutritional needs and make some calories stick. I lost about four kilos in the first month which was a little to fast for my liking, I like my hips! I also find it easier to cook twice a week and make double serves so my boyfriend can eat left-overs next night – he’s been carried along a fair way on the raw wave as I prepare most of our food, but he’s probably averaging about 60% and I’d be about 80%.

    I reckon I could live on green smoothies, I just can’t believe how delicious they are! The best one I made used fresh jelly coconut milk instead of water…

    Sarah, I found that the amount of fresh raw food my kids ate increased as they took an interest in the meals and smoothies I was preparing for myself. They always ate quite healthy food, but now they’re eating probably double the amount of fruit and veges they were previously. And loving it! They’re into experimenting which is pretty cool for one and three year olds. I’ve been careful not to push anything on them, but always let them have a try of whatever they request, even if I think they won’t like it. Often they’ve surprised me. I guess that down the track when we share mealtimes more regularly they’ll eat more raw, at least as one of the servings on their plate.

    If anyone needs encouragement, check out this site, a survey of 500 raw eaters over 2 years: http://www.iowasource.com/food/lenkastudy_0806.html

  • http://www.theorganiclife.wordpress.com sarah

    Thanks for the link TC – that is really interesting information. I bought the China Study off Amazon this past week because of you (Sayward) mentioning it in your “10″ post so I’m looking forward to reading that as well.

    I also guess I should have clarified on the two hungry boys – that would be my husband and brother that live with us – both in their twenties. I don’t think they are going to be jumping on the raw bandwagon ha! They are already enjoying eating in front of me as I’m on the master cleanse (Day 2). Jerks, lol.

    We aren’t planning on having kids for a while, but a raw, and varied diet is something I had planned on when we do. Good to know your kids took to it well TC! The best teaching is done by leading after all… It also seems that a varied diet for younger kids is important to discourage picky eaters. My mom always cooked for us growing up and there is very little today that I won’t eat.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ TC – That’s awesome, and I’m so glad you commented! It’s great to know that other RAW newbies are out there and reading this. =) And thanks for the website reference, that looks really interesting!

    @ sarah – The China Study is an *incredible* read, I’m so happy that you picked it up! Let me know how you like it.

    Also, good luck with your cleanse! How is it going so far?