Three and a half years ago I found myself at the Toronto Vegetarian Foodfair taking in a number of fantastic lectures on food and nutrition (including a presentation by T. Colin Campbell and Brendan Brazier). I left the weekend with a new determination to eliminate processed food from my diet and add as much raw plant food as possible (highlighting my favourites: kale and apples of course).
The results were dramatic. I was already a thin, active person with a BMI around 18.5 but with my new found devotion to the tenets of the low-fat raw diet I lost 20 lbs. To say that my friends and family members were concerned would severely understate the issue but I felt fantastic. I had tremendous energy. I was running faster and engaging in more creative work than ever before. The digestion issues that had always plagued me disappeared. I was full and satisfied and thin. It all felt too good to be true.
Well, I’m sure you all know where this is going. Looking back, there were signs that my body was not in the tip-top shape I believed it was. There was a flu that knocked me out of commission (I lost 7 lbs in 3 days), a migraine that left me on the couch for days and the fact that my menstrual cycle ceased and desisted.
I was frustrated because I felt like I was doing everything that I had been told to do in order to live a long and healthy life. Eat lots of fruit and leafy greens (check). Eliminate all processed fats (oils etc) and sweeteners (check). Exercise everyday (check). Eat when you’re hungry but not just out of routine (check and check).
In the last year, I’ve been working consciously to return to a healthy weight while continuing to adhere to the nutritional advice I was given but it wasn’t until I read Becoming Raw that I realized how dramatically I needed to change my consumption in order to achieve a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. I’m not willing to wait any longer to start realizing the benefits of raw foods by giving my body exactly what it needs (which might mean also including more cooked foods).
Over the next 30 days, I’m going to share with you:
1. All the mistakes I was making and the changes I’ve made to correct them.
2. The realizations I’ve had about how my motivation issues and physical challenges are directly related to nutritional deficiencies
3. The impacts of correcting my imbalances on my body, my training and my emotional wellbeing.
4. Photos for each of the recipes in the book and the meal plans
Let’s get started. During my early days of exploring the raw food diet, my favourite discovery was green smoothies. I was amazed at how much kale you can pack into a blender with a banana and still have the result taste sweet and delicious. This Blueberry-Kale Smoothie (p.258) is low in fat, a rich source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, an excellent way to start your day.
I spent three hours commuting to my Mom’s today so I wasn’t able to start my new training plan but I’m pretty excited to get going tomorrow.
Enjoy the long weekend everyone!