Friday, January 31, 2014

Raw Vegan February

Since last year when I tried the Green Boheme I've been interested in giving their 30 Day Raw Food Challenge a try. But every month I've had food events going on. August was my Offal Day, September was Farm to Fork, October - December were holidays, January was Dine Downtown and Baconfest. Then I realized that I had no food events scheduled for February. Now was the time. Especially since I've been very badly eating a lot of sweets since the holidays.

My reasons for trying the challenge are two-fold. First, I need to get a handle on my sugar intake and cravings. It is possible to eat sweets in a less dangerous way, after all.  You just need to go for lower sugar and better alternatives that have less effect on your blood glucose levels. With natural alternatives like stevia, yacon, and agave, it is possible to satisfy a sweet tooth in a healthier way. Something I also learned when I was testing the cookbook Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free. (blog post)

Sugar is evil.  It's addictive and cancer cells feed on sugar. A convincing case of this for me was my mother-in-law. She's dealt with two bouts of breast cancer and is cancer free today. Her last bout she tried an alternative treatment that required her to go to Mexico every couple of months to filter the sugar out of her blood. Hey, it worked. 

The second reason is for my energy levels. I have to take a nap EVERY day. Around 2 p.m. I am dragging so that I either go out on the balcony or find an empty cubicle to hide in and take a 20-30 minute nap. I am curious to see if this has anything to do with my diet. 

It makes sense that I do a health assessment as well. So, I currently weigh 126, which is the heaviest I've been in over ten years.  I know people look at me and think I'm great as is, but my optimal, make-me-happy weight would be around 115-117.

I then got a Before blood panel done. My cholesterol is scary high. Probably didn't help that we were coming off Baconfest.  I did wait from Sunday to Wednesday before going in with the hopes that some of the bacon grease would have cleared out of my system. Oh well.
Cholesterol<=239 mg/dL264
Triglyceride<=199 mg/dL59
HDL>=45 mg/dL83
Low density lipoprotein calculated<=129 mg/dL169
Glucose, fasting60 - 99 mg/dL91

What to expect

The daily regimen for the Challenge is this:
  • Upon waking - 4 ounces of a probiotic drink (luckily I make kombucha)
  • 30 minutes later - 8 ounces of green juice
  • Midday - 32 ounces of green smoothie
  • Late afternoon - raw, vegan meal
  • Snack
I've opted to pay Green Boheme to make my meals and snack and I'll take care of my liquids. I already juice daily anyway and have the kombucha on hand. I'm paying for the meals because I don't want to be stuck eating 30 days of salads. How boring would that be after day 3? Brooke at GB makes fabulous meals and so I'll just have her make them for me so I don't have to think about anything. 

I've been told that the first three days are the detox phase when your body starts adjusting to the new diet. That's when you get the hunger pangs where you have the urge to eat something more solid to settle your stomach. I've experience that before and it's not fun. But after you get through that, it's easier.

I'm also told that the big change in your body doesn't become fully realized until weeks 3 and 4.  So I need to be diligent and patient. 

My biggest challenges? Poor will power is number one.  Therefore, I am skipping the Superbowl parties this weekend and probably going to a movie. Second is the desire for a hot meal. Raw means no cooking and that means nothing but cold or room temperature food. It will be interesting to see if there is a craving just for heated food.

So....wish me luck. I'll be blogging every few days about how it's going.

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