Raw Food Diet strives to detoxify body

Dieting isn’t easy. Especially the Raw Food Diet.

As a nice way to start the new year in 2008, I thought it would be a great idea to try ridding myself of all the toxins floating around my body from the previous months.

Photo by Jennifer Schultz

The Master Cleanse with cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon juice? Nope. After thinking about the soup diet and the cookie diet, I finally settled on the Raw Food Diet.

For those unfamiliar with the idea, it consists of eating entirely unprocessed foods. No meat, no dairy, no Sun Chips, nothing from a package. The diet should only be  adhered to for short spurts of time, ranging from five to 20 days. As with any diet, always consult a doctor or nutritionist to plan out the steps according to your personal needs.

The Raw Food diet consists of raw fruits, raw vegetables and unroasted, unsalted nuts. In addition, the Raw Food Diet rules prohibit participants from heating food above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, because doing so is said to destroy the enzymes in food that aid in their digestion and absorption.

Prior to starting the Raw Food Diet, I was a vegetarian for six months, and thought five days of raw eating would be easy.

Consider the following eating regime: Breakfast is an orange and a handful of unprocessed trail mix. Lunch is made up of almonds and vegetables. For a snack, you have a banana and almonds. Dinner is beans and vegetables. Seaweed is a midnight snack.

If the restrictive nature of this diet brings to mind the feeding habits of someone with an eating disorder, you’re not far off. When executed properly, though, and not merely as an excuse to lose weight, this diet does have benefits, which, once you get past the third day, can include increased energy, clearer skin and better digestion.

Should you embark on the diet, it is essential that you do so in a safe manner to get good results. Getting enough protein is the most crucial part of any diet. Nuts, legumes, grains and beans are imperative. Yes, your palate might grow bored with the taste of raw cashews, but if you are going to try the diet, you need to do it right.

By the end of the diet, I was practically starving, but I knew that those five days of suffering were worthwhile. I felt remarkably cleansed and reinvigorated.

The promised benefits of this diet are real. I reached my goal of cleansing my body and I became much more aware of all the junk I used to put in it.

You are what you eat. If you don’t eat enough natural food, you really don’t feel good. If you don’t have enough protein, you feel weak. The Raw Food Diet is not easy, and requires serious planning to ensure the food you are eating is enjoyable. Listening to your body is critical, to guarantee that you’re getting enough protein and complex carbs.

The ordeal might seem easy at first, but when a plate of gourmet hors d’œuvres and pan-roasted chicken presents itself and you start to feel your mouth watering, you realize it isn’t so easy after all.

Remember, there is a fine line between utilizing the Raw Food Diet and using it as an excuse not to eat. As long as it is executed with sufficient proteins, and potential dieters brace themselves for its initial agonies, it is effective in teaching you how to bring more fruits, vegetables and nuts into your life.

Ease your way into the diet. Start with vegetarianism, then veganism, and then cut it down to raw food.

Your body will thank you later.

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