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.

Psychological endurance

If you would be an athlete and try to run longer and longer distances, I guess you’ll soon start to feel that what was difficult to run in the beginning is becoming easier and easier with practice. This is the exact feeling on a raw food diet, but from a psychological point of view. I have much longer periods for each of my psychological phases. Focus, relaxation or moderate mental activity seems to last for longer periods and with bigger consistence. It’s like having less mental toxins and more mental endorphins. I also find it easier not to surrender to older, fixed patterns of thinking, but I guess in this case the raw food diet only helps what I started in other areas of my personal development. Nevertheless, its support is much appreciated.

Increased alertness

Since I have significantly less sleep, I do a lot more stuff. But what’s interesting, is that I do a lot more stuff with a lot more sensitivity and I’m feeling alert all the time. It’s like on the physical level, when you are fit and feel ready to run a mile at anytime, only it’s at the psychological level. I started to identify things and situations that I guess that were always present, but I just didn’t had the internal resources to spot them. Opportunities, other persons feelings or just intuitions are stronger and I tend to identify them much easier.

Psychological Drawbacks Of A Raw Food Diet

Let’s be honest and admit it: there are psychological drawbacks in adopting a raw food diet. There are drawbacks in any challenging activity, and switching to a raw food diet makes no difference. Being honest about that from the beginning is better than trying to make it a fairy tale. It’s not easy and you’ll see that.

Amplified Emotional Flow

That is something I consider a drawback. On a raw food diet you’ll notice that your emotions, once escaped from a dormant physical body, will actually explode. Your emotional flow will be out of control, at least for a while. And that can be a serious drawback. Why? Because these days, if we’re not on a conscious personal development path, there is much more frustration than happiness generated by each and every one of us. We’re not acknowledge this all the time, or we just got used to it. But if you are careless about your repressed anger feelings, a raw food diet will make them literally explode. And you really don’t want this to happen…

Wrong Expectations

This is actually the cause for a whole pattern of psychological drawbacks from discontentment to disillusion. All of this comes from a serious lack of raw food information. Many people are starting a raw food diet with enthusiasm, after reading some success stories, but unfortunately, they doing it without proper care and preparation. After the first week, hungry and weak, frustration explode, and they actually feel cheated and lost. Not making any assumption about eating raw and gather as much information as one can gather, could save you at least the initial frustration and put you on the track.

Inner And Outer Rejection

Even after a successful first month of raw food you’ll experience some inner rejection. Even after two months, in my case. And that’s because you have so many deep eating habits that are constantly being challenged. Your body feel that you should eat something in spring, something in fall and something during winter, because it was educated like this for decades. You don’t really think about that, your body has this information stored in its cells. By making a conscious choice to change those habits you will make your body resist. And that could take a lot of energy and focus to deal with, and many months to start decreasing its intensity. And this is something that you should be prepared to face. About outer rejection, it’s clear: being vegan is still a social challenge in our society, so being a raw vegan will instantly make you the next corner alien. Just be prepared for that.

Conclusions

I’m more and more inclined to recommend a complementary help program when you’re switching to raw food. Just changing your diet won’t work, or at least won’t work for long. You’ll eat veggies and fruits for a while, but not for long. It will be just a temporary hack, and it’s a pity because the benefits will be lost once you get back on cooked food. And without a proper psychological support, it will happen sooner or later.

Keeping your emotional flow under control and dealing with inner and outer rejection should be the top priorities. You can do this as you want. For some people just a positive thinking program will adjust this, for other some yoga classes will work, for others solitaire meditation will do. As long as you take this seriously and don’t see raw food just like a diet, you will dramatically increase your chances for a long term positive change in your life.

Another conclusion is: if you don’t feel good about it, just don’t do it. I read in so many places about people struggling with getting raw that I’m starting to get bored. It should be simple and congruent, if you struggle more than necessary, you’ll shift your focus from feeling good, to winning a temporary victory. And suppose you do win, what you’ll do after? It should be something simple and daily, it should become routine not exception, otherwise it will be lost sooner or later.

But if you did it with good results, try to reach out and share, or search for support. Don’t stay isolated in this, try to involve your partner – not as in converting it, but as in sharing with him your new life and habits – or read on the net, but don’t stay isolated, because in the end the social pressure will turn you back.

And this is exactly what I tried to do with this post, sharing my experience and putting together some advices. Which I hope you’ll find useful.



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Dragos,
    I am keeping regularly diets, and I find it the same way you say it.
    In my case eating raw diet is always a fight, toward my old habits, toward finding/preparing raw food.
    This is a struggle, but from the first day I can see it is a benefit for me in the end.

    It is like saving money with the final reward of being able to buy a big thing. The only difference with the money is that the money can depreciate, but the state of focus while on a raw food diet is always there.

  2. Hi Dragos,

    I want to share with you a positive fact that happened to me. I became familiar with “The Secret” and I decided to “test” it. I was passing a very rough period in my life and I decided I had nothing too lose. Next move was to post on my fridge door the “image” of my immediate goal that I want it to achieve. And surprise was big: everything happened accordingly to my expectations. Still, I maintain my doubts and I post it another goal. This time this was regarding my personal development. I didn’t know how exactly this will happen, was not such a structured task but I decided to try. For I while I was conscious looking of sources for info but I couldn’t find anything. I dropt out the search, but on my fridge the goal remained post it. Every day I could spot it… And these days, in a very random search, I found your blog… Since yesterday I started to read for the Things Get Done (received from one of your readers) and things choose to continue… The feeling that I have is overwhelming… even my job is a little affected; I can’t stop thinking else than the new goal to rediscover me. I am only at the beginning of this road, I don’t know where will bring me but is good. For sure I will continue reading your blog.

    Thank you Dragos!

  3. @Mihai as usual, interesting comparisons on your comments, thanks for sharing 🙂

    @Mara I’m really happy that something good happened to you, and if I somehow was part of this process, that’s even better. Just chose your personal path and keep it, the world will keep unfolding ahead of you 🙂 Or at least, it does that with me 🙂

  4. ダイエット成功 の秘訣とは…

    ダイエット成功の秘訣は、何よりも身体を動かすことに尽きると思いる。確かに食事の量を減らしたりすれば、…

  5. Hi Dragos,

    good article. Thanks.
    I never thought in terms of drawbacks on a raw food diet but I suppose anything beneficial can have them.
    My mental clarity on a bad diet v raw is like night and day. That’s why I’m going raw; because for that benefit alone it’s all worthwhile. After so many years of anxiety and depression, this is what has made the difference. I don’t want to spend another day like that.

    Regards,
    Ed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 10 + 11 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)