After completing the Raw Food Diet Experiment, I made a list of the pros I experienced during the raw food diet. If you are still on the fence about starting your own 30 day raw food diet experiment, this list may just be the nudge you need. I’ve sent it to a few of my friends and two have decided to go raw for 30 Days. If the list is helpful to you, please let me know by making a donation. It is appreciated and will ensure that I will be able to continue doing more experiments in the future – all of which I will post for your benefit. And now, the Raw Food Diet Pros:
Just about everyone I’ve met, who has gone on this diet, has lost weight. If you are trying to lose weight in a healthy way, then there is no healthier way than eating raw natural foods. I personally lost 15.8 lbs while on this diet and I wasn’t even trying Bottled and jarred packaged goods. In fact, I was trying to eat more than I needed in order not to lose weight. If you are trying to lose a few pounds, then try the raw food diet. Not only will you lose the weight but you will feel great while doing it. There’s no need for pills, powders, fancy meal plans, set portions, or fees. That, plus zero cooking time! Just go to your local Whole Foods or Farmers’ Market and buy the produce. Then come home, wash it, peal it, and eat it. I lost an average of 3.687 lbs in a week. If you eat a lot of processed food, as well as fast food you will probably lose more weight than me. Just keep in mind that if you eat processed food along with fast food on a daily basis, your detox period may also be more intense. With that in mind, you may not want to jump into 100% raw food all at once. If you do decide on eating 100% raw, then I recommend reading 10 Ways to Become a Raw Foodist.
On my Standard American Diet (SAD), I usually slept 6-7 hours a night, sometimes only managing 5. On 6-7 hours of sleep, I functioned at a normal capacity. My cognitive abilities were average and I preformed tasks within reasonable periods of time. If I slept 5 hours, I slowed down. I felt sluggish and my productivity suffered as a result.
On the raw food diet, I averaged around 5 hours of sleep a night. Even so, I still felt more alert on 5 hours of sleep while eating raw than I normally did sleeping 6-7 hours eating the Standard American Diet. Thus on a raw food diet, not only did I need less sleep, but I was also more alert on less sleep when compared to the Standard American Diet.
If you are a person that needs to accomplish many things and those things cut into your sleeping time, which in turn decreases your cognitive capacity the next day, then I would strongly consider the raw food diet.
As to why this is the case, I have a theory. If you remember my post on enzymes, you’ll remember than on a raw food diet your body doesn’t have to use as many resources to aid in digestion. Thus there are more resources left over for repair (this not only means repairing the body, but the mind as well). And when does repairing of the body and mind occur? At night – when you are sleeping.
On the SAD, you’re causing damage to your body every day by ingesting harmful toxins from cooked and processed foods. Your body has less resources and more damage to deal with, so in order to fix the damage your body keeps you sleeping for longer periods of time. If you try to wake up before the body has had a chance to repair itself, you wake up feeling tired. This is your body’s way of telling you, it has not finished repairing itself yet.
When you eat strictly raw foods, you dramatically reduce the toxins you ingest. Your body also uses less of its own resources to aid in digestion, thus you have more resources available and less damage to repair. Over time your body uses those resources to repair the damage cooked/processed foods have caused. Without new toxins coming in, your body gradually repairs all the major areas. As time passes you need to spend less time sleeping because there’s less and less damage for your body to repair.
Normally when I’m at the gym, I need about 30 sec to 1 min of rest in-between my sets. The workout is not high intensity…yet. Still I lift weights and do many sets which do require rest. On my normal diet, I fatigue faster and run out of energy quicker so I need more time in between sets to recoup. On the raw food diet, I noticed I either had a faster recovery time or I didn’t get too tired in the first place. In some cases I was literally walking from machine to machine. This didn’t happen right away; the results came on Day 7 and continued onward.
My theory is that fruits and vegetables are easily broken down. The molecular properties of fruits and vegetables are less complex than SAD foods. Fruits and vegetables are just glucose, vitamins, minerals, and water. Less complexity means less use of vital enzymes and energy. The energy conserved during digestion is surplus energy that’s available for other activities like working out. One example to ponder is meat and bananas, which one do you think you can chew, swallow, and digest faster?