Time offers a tremendous veil over life’s challenging moments. A year and a half ago, I was preparing for a journey back home to New Jersey from San Diego. Looking back, the emotional and mental toll that it took for me to sell everything, put my life in my car, and drive 3,000 miles is completely mind boggling. Not knowing what I was truly going to find when I got here. Sure, a familiar place, my parents, and a few old friends, but I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that something kept telling me I had to go home.
Fast forward to this moment. I have learned so much, not to mention, surrounded myself with the most incredible people to help me get here. To you, fellow reader, I will offer some of the things I’ve learned in future posts, but for now, lets talk food.
Despite every effort, the last year has led me to make some poor food choices. Keeping up with my coworkers and hoping to satisfy some sort of emotion served me up one too many pizza slices, New Jersey bagels, and every kind of chip and french fry I could get my hands on. Thankfully, the weight I gained was not nearly as explosive as it could have been, nevertheless, I feel horrible. With the onset of the holidays, I ate and drank as much as anyone else, squeezing painfully into my favorite jeans and just barely allowing the button through the loop. Woah, muffin top…
So of course, I started thinking. I decided to listen to my body and start to experiment with different foods to understand their effect. For starters, ever since I could remember, I had sharp, eye-watering stomach pains almost on a daily basis. Despite doctors office trips and a never ending struggle to handle the pain, there was no explanation for them. Coinciding with the pain, I found myself to be incredibly irritable at times and constantly bloated and gassy. Ugh. As I read more about the effects of gluten on our bodies, I started to read more about food in general. I started cutting gluten out and noticed a tremendous difference, but something still wasn’t right.
In January this year, I decided to take on an extreme experiment (inspired by my lovable and handsome future husband). I should preface this by saying that I do not believe in fad diets and this was not an attempt to lose weight, but understand what my body is capable of. I spent 3 weeks living as a raw vegan. Yep, I know what you’re thinking…. No way! I could never do that! Weren’t you starving?? What could you possibly eat?? How can you give up coffee?? People, chill.
I felt NO pain. My mood was consistently good. I discovered an energy in myself that I never knew I had. I will not try to convince you, but I will tell you that taking on this lifestyle for a few weeks was much more of a remarkable discovery of my body than I could have imagined. Not to mention, the weight was falling off of me, only leaving behind nourished, lean muscle. A daily menu consisted of fruit and kale smoothies for breakfast, apples with raw almond butter for a 10am snack, raw granola with chia seeds and almond milk for lunch, a handful of dried nuts and fruits for an afternoon snack, and the heartiest of salads with 10 different veggies chopped up and tossed with a cold pressed olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. No, I was never hungry. Meals included good fat sources like nuts and avocado and protein came from the numerous vegetables and seeds I ate daily. Stop thinking that protein sources are only from animal products. They are not and please don’t argue with me!
On the flip side, the short lived experience proved to be unsustainable. The amount of chopping and prepping was more than I could commit on a daily basis and the costs involved with purchasing organic produce every few days was exponentially higher than some of the past posts I’ve talked about. But a significant part of what I learned from my time as a raw vegan stuck with me. I shoot for a raw vegan inspired breakfast plus either lunch or dinner every day. If nothing else, this lifestyle helps me to keep up with healthier choices and take in more nutrients from food so I never have to take pills to supplement.
Next month, I’m taking a full 4 week journey back into the raw vegan lifestyle. I have learned a few tricks to
help ease the daily chopping and prepping, discovered and put my twist on some amazing recipes to help make meals fun, and will include a new exercise regimen to compliment the lifestyle for those of you looking to shed some pounds. At the end of the month, I’ll go into take aways, recipe modifications, and easing back into a more sustainable lifestyle to be healthy every single day and still get to enjoy life’s little indulgences. After all, that is the French way 🙂
Post your comments below and I look forward to exploring this venture together!!
A votre santé!