Raw fruits and vegetables are good for you. You already knew that one though. Do you know why they are so good for you? Do you know how to prepare them in delicious and satisfying ways? Would you like to lose 10-20 pounds in three weeks? Got you on that last one, didn’t I?
I am in the midst of a 21 day raw food cleanse by the folks over at The Garden Diet. I’m starting day 8, and I am happy to report that things are going well. Most of the recipes have been keepers and I am feeling pretty good. I have lost 5 pounds so far and my jeans are fitting much better. My neighbors are doing the cleanse with me and one has lost 9 pounds and the other 7. We are not starving, but rather feel quite content in our bellies after finishing a meal. If we are hungry between meals there are plenty of options for snacks.
I didn’t start this cleanse just for weight loss though. I have been working on incorporating more raw foods in my diet for the last few months. Eating raw has been shown to reverse heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. It takes more than three weeks if you have full blown disease, but if your body is headed in that direction this cleanse can stop it in its tracks and get you headed the right way. I recently watched a documentary of a group of people with diabetes who went to a raw retreat in Arizona for 30 days. All the participants who followed the program either completely reversed their diabetes and got off insulin, or dramatically reduced the amount of insulin they needed. It was pretty powerful.
My goal for this cleanse is to get my body used to raw foods and learn more ways of preparing them. I plan on continuing with this way of eating for breakfast and lunch most days after I finish. Then I can be more flexible with dinner. So many of the recipes I have tried so far have been great. Tasty, easy to make, and easy to find the ingredients for. Clean-up is easy too. I will definitely be incorporating them into my rotation afterwards.
A bit about the cleanse-
All the food is raw vegan. It uses fresh fruits and vegetables, nothing dehydrated, which bothered me about so many other raw food diets I have seen. It is simple, easy and tasty. You are given a complete menu for the three weeks. Each week has a shopping list you can print out and bring to the store with you. It is set up so you go shopping twice a week so you always have fresh food. The recipes are all included.
There is an exercise component as well. You are given a link to an online 20 minute exercise video to do each day. In addition you are encouraged to walk or do some other exercise every day.
Each day you are sent an email with daily instructions and motivation. There is a “happiness exercise” to help you start living with a more positive attitude and explore the emotional side of eating.
In addition, you are given access to an online community where you can go for support and to ask questions. If you would like, you can get a “program pal” who you can email throughout the cleanse for support. There is also a weekly conference call with the couple running the cleanse.
If you sign up, you get lifetime access, so you can do the cleanse as many times as you like. Many people modify it to their own needs, then use the online support aspect when repeating the cleanse.
The 28 day Transition to Raw program is very similar, just not as extreme in the diet. It is my understanding that there are some cooked foods and less cleansing days. There are also some different recipes such as nut “cheeses” and treats.