Desperately in need of a cleanse after the Christmas holidays, I decided to alter my diet to include more raw fruits and vegetables. I took it one step further and adopted a High Carb Low Fat Vegan diet, where I ate only raw fruits and vegetables for breakfast and lunch, and a cooked meal of vegetables and potatoes, rice, or pasta for dinner. Click here for a more thorough description of the lifestyle!
It’s been a month now and I’ve decided to share my thoughts on how I felt eating this way. I’ll start off with saying I will not be continuing with the Raw Till 4 lifestyle, simply because it didn’t work for me. The diet definitely does work for some people (think Freelee the Banana Girl), but just because it works for some people doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Some people can eat 2500-3000 calories of fruit a day and thrive, but I am not one of those people. I do work out but I am not nearly active enough to require that many calories every day. Not to mention, here I was eating an abundance of (fruit) calories, yet I was always hungry. I was reaching for another apple or another orange every hour just to make it through to my next meal.
There were, however, some aspects of this lifestyle that I really did like. I will be continuing with a litre of lemon water every morning when I wake up (and of course drinking lots of water throughout the day). I also enjoyed having smoothies every morning, so I will continue to do that – but instead of adding 5 bananas, perhaps now only 1 or 2. I have realized that I really missed having my oats in the morning. Oats are a great breakfast food because they digest slowly and keep you feeling full. So I’m bringing back the oats! Either raw as overnight oats with chia seeds, or cooked as porridge with cinnamon and sliced apple. I tried this today and what do you know, I wasn’t hungry until 1pm – lunch time! I do like the idea of incorporating more raw foods in my diet, as they have nutritious benefits, so I will continue to have salads for lunch with lots of raw veggies – but I will now also include things like beans, sweet potato, and rice. With plant-based whole foods you really can’t go wrong – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes are all healthy foods. There is no reason to limit one food group and focus on another. Balance is key. My dinners will be the same as they before: things like chillis, curries, or Buddha bowls – pretty much whatever I’m in the mood for.
I think that last point there is important, I will now eat whatever I’m in the mood for. If I’m craving fruit for breakfast that’s fine, but if I’d rather have oatmeal that’s fine too. Eat the way that works best for you. Some people can have 30 bananas a day and some people can only have 1. And that’s ok! We are all different people with different bodies so it makes sense that we have different needs. It’s easy to get caught up in diets and labels but it’s so important to remember that what matters most is that you listen to your own body. So as of now I am no longer HCLF or Raw Till 4, I’m just listening to my body and doing what makes me feel my happiest and healthiest!