What is Raw Vegan?
In the nutshell, Raw vegan is a diet that consists of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, sprouts, seeds, sea vegetables, herbs and mushrooms. Nothing can be “cooked” over 118 degrees Fahrenheit. I quote cooked because it is really dehydrated at that temperature. Things like crackers & wraps (made of veggies of course!), veggies & fruit are dehydrated. Yes, it takes several hours to dehydrate any given item.
Why I decided to take the Raw Vegan Challenge?
Yes, I’m going Raw! Not sure for how long but at least 30 days! As I’ve stated before, I am a vegetarian. I rarely consume dairy but I do have it occasionally. Therefore, I am a vegetarian. Initially, throughout my journey, I lost the weight I needed to be pretty healthy (I was over 215 pound when I started- I’m 5’6). After a while, my weight plateaued then I gained some weight. I decided that switching to a Raw Vegan would be the best way to shock my body. Also because, besides eating too many carbs, I haven’t been making the best food choices. I found myself making vegan recipes that were starch-y & fatty only to please the people around me. Yes, all the food was delicious!! The thing is, I was eating large portions of pasta, rice, etc. and not enough veggies (scroll down to “Autumn 2015” for more details). Yes, veggie burger and french fries are vegan and tasty!
Let’s rewind & recap for a second to show my journey to healthier habits. Here is my fluctuating weight journey starting from 2013:
- When: January 2013
- Diet: The 3-day Cleveland Diet
- Weight Loss: 1 pound
Prior to 2013 I looked like that (see above!). I had to make a change! So in January 2013, I started the 3-day Cleveland diet. Needless to say it wasn’t really working for me because I got sick of tuna! (Those of you who know the diet, know what I’m talking about!) I might have dropped 1 pound in a month! Not good. I had so many excuses not to work out and only did it once or twice a week. Once, I actually cried because I was so out of breath and couldn’t keep up with my workout DVD.
- When: February 2013 to May 2013
- Diet: Weight Watchers
- Weight Loss: 19 pounds
I saw a Weight Watchers (WW) commercial and decided to sign up. After my first week, I lost 3 pounds. I was so excited and I was motivated to keep going. I was working out 4-6 days a week. By May 2013 I was 19 pounds lighter!
Although tracking my meals and workouts was good discipline, I did not want to do it anymore. Plus, I became a pescatarian and I noticed I was way under my points all of the time.
- When: June 2013 to February 2014
- Diet: Beauty Detox Solutions
- Weight Loss: 31 pounds (at first)
By June 2013, I had read Beauty Detox Solutions by Kimberly Snyder and was following the program as best I could. Working out is recommended but it was stressed that moderate exercise, such as yoga, is acceptable. So that is what I did.
Clarification: I lost 20 pounds from May 2013 to August 2013. By August 2013 I was a vegetarian and I rarely worked out. By February 2014 I weighed myself again and realized I lost an ADDITIONAL 6 pounds!
AFTER February 2014 I maintained my OVERALL 46 (1 + 19 + 26 = 46) pound weight loss. In fact, I ended up losing an ADDITIONAL 5 pounds by the summer of 2014 totaling 31 (26 + 5 = 31) pounds on beauty detox. After that, I stopped weighing myself!
- When: Sometime around Autumn 2015
- Diet: Beauty Detox Solutions
- Weight GAIN: Unknown
I broke the Beauty Detox rules!! & as a result, sometime in late 2015 I started gaining weight. Why? A few reasons. Working 2 jobs, eating out more (&on the go), having discount meals at the restaurant I worked, less home cooked meals, no sleep, drinking more alcohol, pleasing non-vegans and working out less. It was a steady incline. I should have changed my bad habits before I gained 15 pounds but I was “too busy”. Again, excuses!
- When: January 2017
- Diet: [broken] Beauty Detox Solutions
- Weight GAIN: 15 pounds
I didn’t realize the weight again was increasing until I went to the doctor’s office to get treated for bronchitis. Why do they make you get weighed?? Anyway, there it was 15 full pounds I needed to knock BACK off. I was so disappointed in myself for breaking the Beauty Detox rules… 15 pounds in about 3 years. Not too bad, I suppose, but still not good.
Why I’m not staying raw vegan long term…
I am not treating this as a “fad” diet. As a vegetarian, with a mostly vegan diet, I do eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables. I believe that eating whole grains (brown rice, Quinoa, millet, etc.), tempeh, lentil, cooked veggies, etc. are good for you & provide adequate nutrition. My goal, eating this strict raw plant based diet, is to lose unwanted fat and create even heavier habits for my mostly plant based lifestyle. Plus I love, love, love to cook! I am granted the opportunity to be creative but I can’t cook anything. Honestly, I kind of miss it… P.S. I am no expert. However my own research and experience guide me into what works for me.
Weekly Meal breakdown coming soon! Stay tuned….
-Olivia Lydia, xo