So, in my first experiment after a long time, I decided to undertake a raw-food diet for a week. The idea to do this came about after I and my colleague had a salad lunch. Part inspiration that and part inspiration this, Steve Pavalina’s experiment with raw food diet for a month (!).
The rules of the diet were as follows:
1. To eat no cooked food for a week, starting Tuesday morning
2. This meant no bread, no corn flakes, nothing boiled either.
3. This also meant that we basically had to survive on fruits, salad veggies, nuts and dry fruits.
How did the experiment go?
I woke up on Tuesday morning all earnest to make a success of this experiment. I was anyway lately on a citrus diet, getting orange-tinted kicks every hour or so. So, for breakfast, I had an apple, an orange and a few bananas. All fine so far – I didn’t feel any different. Lunch was a pomegranate, two carrots and a banana. The sweetness of it all was getting to me. Given my propensity to snack, I was terribly starved for the rest of the afternoon though I somehow managed to pull that along by having occasional munches of almonds, cashews and groundnuts. I was scheduled to leave for Chennai that evening and I stacked up with an avacado shake, an apple and bought some more dried-fruits and nuts for the journey. I didn’t feel hungry after the avacado and slept well on the train.
Went to the hostel to freshen up the next morning and had a quick breakfast of a quarter of the mixed nuts I had bought. I went to office and this is where things got tricky. I think I did two things wrong – a) I over-snacked on the nuts and b) I sat under a heavily breezy A/c that couldn’t have done me any good. Two hours and some three juices (sapota, mosambi and avacado) later, I was feeling sick. I could sense a terrible headache setting in, I felt terribly drowsy and totally weak. I fought through the rest of the afternoon and evening, feeling worse every passing hour. I was itching to get out of that freezing cubicle and hit the bed. Which is what I did at 7 under the constant pattering of rain. I continued to feel terrible rest of the evening, the headache now a searing pain which wouldn’t let me even move my head. I ate some oranges for the night, in the hope that the citrus shots would clear up my head but no such luck. Neither with the oranges nor the bottles of water I kept gulping down. This was no good – I struggled through my early sleep in vain, switching off all noise to ease the pain.
I woke up, fortunately, feeling a lot better though still with a persistent, yet weak, pain in my head. I was now seriously thinking about withdrawing from the diet and even went into the mess to rack up something to eat. But, the bananas back in the room looked more appetizing than what was laid out. So, I extended the diet for one more meal and ate up a banana and an orange for the breakfast. I came in to the office but the A/C again had me grappling with that sick feeling. I decided I had enough and put the diet to a stop with a well-cooked lunch of parotas and rice at the cafeteria.
Since I write this to report that the experiment did not survive even half the designed time period, nay the whole week, I have to admit that it is incredibly hard to just be eating fruits and nuts all day. It is hard but not impossible. Though I felt sick for most part of the 2.5 days, I also felt very light and without any of the heaviness that accompanies my usual cooked meals. I have, in fact, decided to do this again but with the following lessons in mind:
1. Beware of A/Cs
2. This needs more planning – I should plan up on what I can eat, especially to think of more salty salads. The fruits had me all sweetened up sickly.
3. Don’t have traveling plans – I am especially bummed that I missed a close friend‘s wedding because of this.
It will be interesting to see how this goes when I do it actually for a week or longer.