Psychological Benefits And Drawbacks Of A Raw Food Diet

We’ll, it’s been almost 3 months since I am on a raw food diet now, and things are going extremely well for me. I thought to write something about my weight loss and other physical benefits, but then I realized I could wait a little more, like 2 weeks, in order to have a round number of months. And that would be 3 months of raw food diet, on or around 4th November this year.

But until then, I’m sure I can write something about those not so visible benefits and drawbacks of a raw food diet. In my opinion, these are even more important than physical benefits, because those influences appears and manifest on many levels, including the physical level. And, to be honest, they tend o be somehow excluded from the mainstream, where everybody talks about recipes, fitness and raw food processors. So, without further ado, let’s start with this.

Psychological Benefits Of A Raw Food Diet

The mental benefits of a raw food diet are being visible after the first 3-4 weeks, if you had raw food experiences before, or after the 6th or 7th week if not. I guess this lag is related to the adaptation period, and with the fact that your eating habits are being strongly challenged, which in turn takes a lot of your focus. But after this detox period, you will notice that without any trace of confusion.

Mental clarity

This is related to all of your mental states, being relaxation, moderate activity or intense focus. In each and every mental states I experienced an increased clarity and quality. I wish I could explain in a more scientific way the causes for that, but, since I’m not a scientist, I guess I’ll pass this. I just feel a lot of thinking intensity and a greater solving problem capacity. It’s not related only to the blogging activities, but in all areas, from simple day to day life planning, to more complex activities, like planning the move to New Zealand. This mental clarity itself would be enough for me not to try to go back to cook food.

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Raw Food Diet Update: Two Months After

It’s been almost two months since I started the raw food diet and I thought it would be a good time to share some of the effects this diet had so far. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of eating I’ll just say that raw food means eating uncooked and unprocessed food, exclusively fruits, vegetables and seeds. I’ve been on this type of diet before, but now I do it much more strictly, while monitoring its effects more closely. First and foremost, I have to say that there were several exceptions from this diet, all of them because the events were out of my control.

It’s about the trip to New Zealand, which in itself counted as almost 4 days from the total amount of the last month. And two of these days were literally on air, the flight from Bucharest to Auckland is more than 22+ hours. So, on the plane I had to eat some cooked food, but I limited myself only to some bread now and then, some cheese, and the rest of the meals were just the salads, fruits or juice. The stewards were most of the time puzzled by my choice – and I have to admit that I could organize the trip a little better, by informing the airline company in advance about my culinary preferences – but they did their best to accommodate my appetite. So, with a little compromise from my part, I managed not to starve on the 4 transcontinental flights, and still keep the cooked food at a minimal level.

Another exception was an experiment. After reading a lot about B12 vitamin deficiency I decided to incorporate some B12 fortified food in my eating routine. I experimented with some cheese and then settled for B12 fortified cereals. I intend to eat twice a week a plate of B12 fortified cereals with plain water. It’s a compromise I need to make until I have a better understanding of this situation. The vast majority of raw food gurus seems to agree on the B12 necessity, while some other part claims that B12 can be found in seeds, especially sesame seeds. Will see more about that…

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The Trip To New Zealand

Today is the last day of my trip to New Zealand, my plane leaves tomorrow at noon, taking me on another 37 hours travel. It’s been one of the busiest and most exciting weeks in my life so far. There was so much information to ingest and process, and so much interaction to sustain. I can’t really claim that I processed all the information and I’m sure there will be weeks, maybe months in which this processing will continue. I think it’s a good time though to make a first round up of what I touched the most during this visit. It’s not gonna be complete, I’m sure, and it will only be a reflection of this moment, but it will help me organize my thoughts and maybe will help other people interested in living in New Zealand, or just visiting it.

Ambiance

The strongest sensation challenges when I arrived here were related to the senses of smelling, viewing and hearing. I don’t know the exact order, and I guess they must be somehow related, but the first thing you’ll notice is an unparalleled clarity of the air. It’s like the sun light is two times more powerful than anywhere else in the world – and in some respect it is, we’ll talk about later. There is a flow of light and a powerful shading contrast you will see even in the cloudiest day. That’s even more intense near the ocean, at the beaches or in the ferry, and I guess is because of the water reflections. You will have to wear sunglasses. Here more than anywhere else in the world, sunglasses are not a fancy accessory but a must have in order to protect your eyes from the unusual strong sun light. The other thing you must carry with you, especially during the summer, is the sunscreen lotion. It’s common to see people stopping on the street, taking out from their pockets or bags a sunscreen tube and rubbing their face and hands.

And this leads to the smelling area. People smell differently, but usually very nice. There are some exceptions, of course, but the main point is that the clear air makes so easy to pick up smells and most of the times those smells are nice. Everything has a smell here, and if it doesn’t, it will just smell like the ocean. Because the level of humidity is very high, the vegetation tends to be luxurious, and even the backyard grass of every house just grows almost by itself. You have to cut the backyard grass pretty often, and that makes for a steady – not very profitable, but steady – business for some people here. Along with the grass, in every part of the city – Auckland, that is – are spots filled with flowers which spread a delicate fragrance. The humidity in the atmosphere gives also some volume to the odor, and I surprised myself several times stopping in the middle of the road and just smelling the air. Maybe this sounds a little bit too enthusiastic, but believe me, there is a huge difference in this regard between Auckland and Bucharest. And on top of this, I haven’t had any moment at all the feeling of pollution in any way whatsoever, nor visually, auditory or by smell. The continuous wind that blows over the shores of those islands is acting like a non-stop cleaning agent.

And the third sensation challenged was related to the sense of hearing. All the noises have a different, usually higher, volume here. I noticed that in my first night, when the noise of the cars passing near my bead and breakfast accommodation was perceived closer than usual. I thought it was because of the flight and all, 37 hours of continuous traveling might affected my hearing somehow, but the next day we went to a reserve – a park – with a view to the ocean. At more than 500 meters from the beach there was a sailboat, and we clearly heard the noise made by the sail when it was hit by the wind. It was like the boat was 5 meters away from us. Pretty scary in the beginning, but you get used to it in a few days. Anyway, all the noises are more intense than usual, and, in combination with the stronger light and the abundance of the – usually nice – smells, this makes for a very intense sensorial experience.

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Raw Food Diet

I first started to eat raw food back in 2005. I kept the habit for more than 6 months and then, after several weeks of recession, in which I ate everything including meat, I become a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. That vegetarianism was based on cooked food, which was more than 80% of my regular meals, and the rest was raw fruits and salads. I wasn’t a vegetarian before and I never thought I could become one. To be honest, I haven’t paid too much attention to my food habits in the past, and the fact that I started to eat raw directly, without going through a intermediary vegetarian period, has to do more with my friends than with my own decisions. At that time I started to be more interested in the occult and astrology. Ok, take the “occult” term very vaguely, and define it like something outside our normal cartesian system of thinking, do not imagine that I tried black magic or some other sort of underground manipulating things. The main part of this occult interest was about astrology and although I was an interested reader about astrology facts in the past, I never crossed the line towards a more systemic approach. But during that time I felt that my regular interpretation of reality and myself is somehow limited and maybe there are new ways of understanding what happens with me and with the world. There was a very intense feeling of the “beyond here and now” state, and that pushed me to seriously study astrology.  

But that was not the only thing I’ve done. I also started to read other spiritual authors, like Carlos Castaneda, don Miguel Ruiz, Osho and a plethora of motivational writers, like Og Mandino, for instance. It was an inner burst towards change and a more congruent approach to the way I lived my life. No wonder that during that period I started the relationship that eventually become my current marriage. I plan to write extensively on the spiritual, astrological and personal development topics, so I will stop here these ramblings, which only served as a context for the main topic of this post, which is raw food.

So, why raw food? What’s wrong with the cooked food? What are the ups and downs of being a raw foodist?

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