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In this article I will cover the following topics:
- why I became a raw vegan
- what were the benefits of a raw vegan diet
- why I have given up a vegan healthy lifestyle
- why I am back on it big time
- why I am talking about it in a travel blog
Veganism is a very complex and controversial topic and it is not my intention to discuss here its ethical implication.
We could talk about it forever but I don’t think I have the authority to hold a specific position on that as I haven’t read enough.
I took the vegan road mainly for aesthetic reasons and eventually it turned out to have a huge and positive impact on my health.
What I want to cover here is why I decided to go vegan, actually Raw Vegan, and what were the benefits on my body and mind and why I eventually gave up.
WHEN I BECAME RAW VEGAN
Since I have arrived in Mexico in 2010 I have slowly changed many of my habits and introduce new ones, the first being my relationship with Yoga.
I have always found it boring when I was in Italy and I was exhausting myself on spinning and running and I couldn’t think for a second that I would have come to love yoga so much.
In Cancun, I embraced Ashtanga yoga ( one of the purest and hardest forms of Yoga ) and I loved it.
My dedicated teacher was just approaching raw veganism and she was so excited about it that she was contagious.
I wanted to find out more. I devoured the book that she suggested me The sun food diet by David Wolfe, a guru on Raw food diet, which he eventually abbandoned, but at the time he was a supporter of all the benefits of the raw food and so was my yoga teacher.
I have always been into different kind of diets and I have always been struggling to keep a decent body figure that satisfied my eyes when I looked myself at the mirror.
I also love to experiment with my body and see the different effects food and sports would have on me.
Therefore I decided t give it a try.
From eating anything eatable to vegan raw food only was not supposed to be easy, as you normally go gradually to such a drastic choice.
But it actually was very easy for me. I was so excited about this new adventure and discovery that I was looking forward to seeing the results in my new body and mindset, as soon as possible.
The lack of coffee’ or traditional tastes that I was used to were replaced by fresh juices, and new flavors and eventually a new mindset.
I didn’t even need a strong will because even though sometimes I felt like eating a steak, my mind couldn’t even concieve the idea of throwing “such a gross, unhealthy stuff” into my body, my temple.
It was so weird to watch my mindset changing so drastically and so easily.
I was very determined and also during meals with other people who would eat everything, I was never tempted to ditch.
I could see the results after a month. I loved my new body and mindset so much that I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Sometimes I felt like a weirdo, as people would ask me questions on why and how I could manage it, but I was so excited and happy about the way I felt and look that I really didn’t mind explaining my reasons and proudly explaining my new lifestyle. I felt like I was actually showing off.
WHAT IS A RAW FOOD DIET
It’s an eating style based on the total absence of processed and cooked food.
Everything you introduce in your body is based on dried nuts (not toasted), fruits and vegetables directly from mother earth and not cooked over 104–118°F (40–48°C) even better if they come from the place where you are living, and not imported as they would lose some nutrients along the way.
The idea comes from the theory that during the cooking process, at high temperatures, the food loses the enzymes and all the healthy nutrients useful for your body and reduces the “life force” that supposedly exists in all raw or “living” foods.
Instead of cooking then, the diet allows several alternative preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking and sprouting.
I believed so much in the power of the raw vegan diet just because I have experimented the benefits on my own body and mind.
This kind of diet is used also to treat some forms of cancer in its early stage with successeful results.
If you want to read more about the topic there is a great book called The china study, which gives you medical theories and proofs on the negative effect that meat has on fighting cancer as it says, the cancer cells seem to be fed by animal proteins and enzymes contained in the meat.
WHAT DID I ACTUALLY EAT DURING MY RAW VEGAN DIET?
It was not just salad and fruits.
I actually learned how to make delicious juices, and raw cakes and raw bread that was made out of a specific oven that would dehydrate the daugh made of healthy seeds instead of the unhealthy flours.
I learned how to use dried fruit like dates and dried plums as a sweetener and almonds flower to make delicious desserts, macadamia, and all kinds of nuts in the mixer to become a soft velvet cream, highly energetic but healthy.
Beetroot salad combined with sesam seeds and new salad dressings made out of the most unthinkable fruits combination.
So many new flavors and amazing colorful dishes made each and every meal a feast.
I spent a lot of time learning new receipes and experimenting, while I felt my body changing and becoming leaner and healthy.
At the same time I was running and I acquired so much strenght and resistance, while my yoga pracitce was improving every day, with a lighter and more flexible body.
I was thinking about food all the time but instead of counting calories, I was counting how many new possible receipts I could try.
Calories didn’t matter anymore because everything I was putting into my body it was done with care and love, everything was healthy and good fuel and therefore it couldn’t do any harm, on the contrary, it was all for the good.
I was searching the web for more and more receipts and I am happy to share with you my favorite receipt sites:
THE BENEFITS OF A RAW VEGAN DIET
So what had actually changed in my body and mind and what were the benefits I gained with such a restrictive diet? here I will list all that I can remember.
#1 I lost weight
It took a while to see it, I guess because my body needed some time to understand what was happening.
In the beginning, the number of calories I was introducing was almost the same if not more, but they were good calories.
However, my body started to detox. As a matter of fact, the first week was awful.
I had strong headaches but it was a way my body was reacting to such an abrupt change.
I remember getting upset because I wasn’t losing a stone.
But I kept going as I was still feeling the benefit of a healthy living. I felt lighter. And eventually my clothes seemed larger and larger and I felt lighter and lighter.
I started to love looking myself in the mirror and to wear that pair of trousers that I brought from Italy because “one day I will be able to wear them again… and I actually did. ( I still have them by the way 🙂
#2 My yoga practice improved
As I was lighter and more flexible, I could manage to hold positions that I couldn’t before and I actually learned how to make my headstand, but that was probably not related to it.
#3 Super regular bowel movements
Actually, after every time I ate, I had my appointment with the bathroom. This is an amazing thing for your body because you keep it clean from the toxins and all the other organs work better. And the next point is another of the positive consequences. The skin.
#4 I had an amazing skin
My skin was much brighter and cleaner. I didn’t realize that untill I looked at a picture I was taken during a business lunch. I was like… ” wow, is that me?” I looked much younger.
#5 I was a faster runner
I could run faster and longer distance. I felt so energetic
#6 My mind was thinking faster
At work I was more productive and active and I needed less hours of sleep.
#7 I was more self-confident in every field
Probably as a consequence of the above other improvements.
At work, it was one of the best periods. I got better results and I felt like I could reach anything I have wanted.
I remember it as one of the best periods of my life overall.
SO WHY DID I GAVE UP?
The truth? I have no idea. I don’t remember when I decided to give up and go back to my previous eating habit and I don’t even remember when I started to eat meat again.
I guess it was about a year later.
Useless to say I regained weight and my skin is not so beautiful although I have always been trying to eat well and avoid bad habits, with some exception.
It could have been because of all the business lunches and dinners I had to attend I was tired to give explanations or to ask for special food for me.
That was embarrassing. Also, I missed some of my favorite dishes, meat included.
When I was home, as I live alone it was easy to stick to the diet because I only had to cook or prepare dishes for me. So from that perspective, I had no excuses.
But anyway.. life takes strange roads which sometimes go back to the start.. as I am doing now.
I left my job and decided to travel for a while, writing this blog and doing other online interesting things.
I have been in and out of veganism since then but the big turn around was when I took a Vipassana retreat a month ago. That was life changing and the food played a great part in the game.
I felt back again at that very moment. I am not raw vegan now, but I can say 90% vegan and 10% vegetarian. No meat at all.
I am running and meditating and that’s why I have decided to create a food section in this blog where I would write about being vegan while on the road and help you find vegan dishes in the place where I go.
You can check out this post about how to stay vegan while traveling in Mexico.
I will also share receipts and other fellow travelers suggestions and tips. I hope to grow a community of vegan healthy eaters and food lovers, where we can encourage each other to stay healthy and live happier.
What’re your thoughts? are you going to join us?
I would love to hear your experience. Please share it in the comments below if you like. 🙂
THE BOOKS I HAVE READ ON THE TOPIC:
THE SUNFOOD DIET Success System by David Wolfe
EATING FOR BEAUTY by David Wolfe
EAT & RUN by Scott Jurek
THE LIVE FOOD FACTOR by Susan Schenck and Victoria Bidwell
THE CHINA STUDY by by