14 May 2009
~+Experiment: The Raw Diet+~
In the 6th grade Biology class tradition, I am performing an experiment.
Kristi is my favorite hippie, veggie, all-around awesome friend, and she is forever trying to convince me to try one of her cleanses, fasts, or diet plans, which I typically refuse to do. While interesting, they're usually not something I want to invest my time or money in. However, we recently started talking about raw diets - both as a lifestyle choice and as a "cleanse" option. I find the idea of eating "raw" to be pretty intriguing, so I agreed to attempt it for one week. I even talked my sister Jenna and my friend Laura into trying it with me.
After my first seven days on the "raw cleanse", I'm planning to introduce some lean proteins (fish, egg whites) and some whole grains. I want to try out the raw lifestyle - 70% raw food - for a month.
The goals of this experiment are:
1. To eat 100% raw for the first 7 days, 70% raw the remainder for a total of 30 days
2. To chronicle what I eat and how it makes me feel for the duration of the experiment
3. To determine whether any weight loss is sustainable on a "real life" diet
So I've been doing some research into the raw diet. About.com has some decent info here. Basically, the diet is based on uncooked and unprocessed plant foods, i.e. fruit, veggies, seeds, beans, nuts, etc. Therefore, it's vegan, and has major potential to be boring if I don't get busy making it interesting. Although, the same could be said about most things in life, right? You've got to make your own entertainment kids - anyone who spent hours talking on a tin can telephone can tell you this is possible.
In the interest of attempting to sustain a "raw" lifestyle for 30 days, I am going to be doing research into great recipes that assist me in my quest to stay engaged. A website called The Best of Raw Food has some info, but please take it with a grain of seaweed salt (check out their conversion table) because you shouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet.
Some doctors think the raw lifestyle is damaging to our bodies, saying that despite the fact that humans subsisted for thousands of years on raw foods, we've evolved since and can more easily process the large amounts of fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates that make up so much of traditional American cuisine. Proponents of eating raw say it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, reduces fat intake, and enables the digestive tract to process food more efficiently.
If you ask me - neither an expert nor a chef - I think that a raw diet is extremely difficult for the average American to sustain. Like it or not, we're surrounded by tempting foods, some even processed, that are tough to avoid. And the fact is, in many situations, it's going to be pretty impossible to eat raw. What to do at the movie theater, the ballpark, or happy hour? A child's birthday party, your in-laws for Sunday dinner, or an amusement park? I'll keep you posted on what I'm eating, what I'm buying, recipes I find, and how I really feel about going raw.
It's going to be an interesting month people.