Raw Food Diet – Day 1

January 1st, 2008 by Steve Pavlina

Here’s the first day’s log entry for my 30-day trial of eating nothing but raw foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds). I made it through with no serious problems, so I’d say today was a success.

At least for the first few days of this trial, I’ll be measuring the food I eat with a scale. This is so I can track the calories and macronutrients I’m consuming to see if I’m meeting my intended targets. I’m not used to eating this way, and it’s common to undereat on this kind of diet and then feel hungry all the time, so I want to avoid that problem. I also want to keep my fat intake below 15% of calories, ideally right around 10%.

I’ll report all the weight measurements in grams. If you want to know the ounces, just divide those figures by 28. For the nutritional info, I’m using the data from CalorieKing.com. When I can’t find a perfect match for a food, I’ll pick the closest fit, but that shouldn’t happen often because they list just about everything.

All reported weights are for the edible portion of foods, not counting peels, stems, pits, etc. unless otherwise indicated. For example, if I eat an apple, I’ll weigh it, eat the edible portion, then weigh the core and subtract. Or I might just slice it and weigh the slices before eating them. When it comes to fresh produce, the numbers won’t be perfect, but this is as accurate as I can get with the resources I have.

Hopefully in sharing such details, these logs will serve as a useful guide for others who are considering a raw food diet, and people can learn from my mistakes. There are some experienced raw food coaches watching this experiment too, so this level of detail should allow them to see if I’m on the right track or if I’m making some mistakes. You might see a lot of changes in the first week or two as I relearn how to eat.

Here’s how my first day of raw turned out.

I got up at 5am as usual, went to the gym, did a light workout on the elliptical, burning about 350 calories by the machine’s estimate. The gym was virtually empty this morning!

Breakfast

I was fairly hungry, so after my shower I prepared the following breakfast:

Breakfast

  1. green smoothie: 2 bananas (210g), 2 cups mixed greens (42g), 1 cup water
  2. 8 clementines (482g including peels)
  3. fruit and veggie plate: globe grapes (218g), 2 celery stalks (82g), mango slices (148g)
  4. fruit salad: 2 sliced bananas (246g), strawberries (152g), blackberries (170g), blueberries (182g)

1106 calories, 5g fat, 281g carb, 17g protein

This may seem like a huge breakfast, and perhaps it was a bit much, but if you subtract the pre-breakfast workout (350 calories), we’re at a net 756 calories for the day so far.

This was a tasty and delicious meal with lots of variety. I ate most of it in the dining room, starting with the clementines. Then I took the bowl of fruit salad to my office to finish it while answering some correspondence. After this meal I wasn’t hungry for hours.

Normally I don’t like eating plain raw celery, unless it’s slathered in almond butter and topped with raisins, or maybe with some creamy onion dip. But in this meal it worked to balance out all the sweet fruit. I’d take a bite of celery to cleanse my palate, which made the fruit seem more appealing.

The green smoothie was very tasty. This is only about the 5th time I’ve made one. The sweetness of the bananas overwhelms the greens, so it’s a nice way to sneak in more veggies.

I wanted to kick off my 30-day trial with an interesting, varied, and visually appealing first meal, but I think tomorrow I’ll aim for a slightly smaller and less complicated meal.

You might consider this a fat-free meal, but it offered up 5g of fat just from the fruit and veggies, roughly equivalent to a teaspoon of oil.

Lunch

I didn’t eat any snacks after breakfast and didn’t start getting hungry until around 2pm. So I had a late lunch around 2:30. Having a raw meal for lunch definitely felt strange. I often eat fruit for breakfast, but I virtually never eat a raw lunch. My typical vegan lunch has been a veggie sandwich or a veggie burger. I really didn’t want to eat any more sweet fruit at this time. I was craving something more salty, but I’m not using salt during this trial.

I felt like I should eat more fruit, but I was drawn to have a veggie meal instead. So I ended up making this:

Breakfast

  1. salad: 2 small heads of romaine lettuce (224g), purple cabbage (98g)
  2. veggie sticks: 3 carrots (198g), 3 stalks celery (126g)
  3. dressing: about 2 tablespoons raw tahini (38g), fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon (8g), about a cup of grape tomatoes (126g) blended together in a Vitamix
  4. glass of water (12 fl oz)

410 calories, 20g fat, 55g carb, 14g protein

214 of those calories and 18g of fat came from the tahini.

If you aren’t familiar with raw tahini, the only ingredient is raw sesame seeds – no salt or anything else. I used Organic Raw Tahini from Living Tree Community Foods. It makes a good base for raw salad dressings because it adds fat and creaminess. I could have also used avocado. I mixed about half the dressing into the salad and then put the other half in a small bowl to use as a dip for the carrots and celery.

I noticed that when I dipped the carrots and celery in the dressing, they tasted slightly salty to me. But the salad didn’t. That was odd. Then I realized it was the carrots and celery themselves that were salty, not the dressing. The carrots contained 137mg sodium, and the celery had 101mg. The lettuce and cabbage had only 18mg each. That’s not a lot of sodium, but it was enough for me to notice. Some raw foodists even dehydrate raw celery and then grind it into flakes with a coffee grinder. They use it like a salt/seasoning and salads and other dishes.

This meal took a lot of chewing and gave my jaws a little workout. It took about 30 minutes to eat it. I can see why some raw foodists prefer getting their veggies from blended salads (basically a salad in a blender that you drink). The thing I disliked most about my first raw trial was the time investment. I’ll need to find ways to make more efficient meals. At least this one was quick and easy to prepare.

Afternoon Snack

I snacked on 2 small bananas (166g). I didn’t bother to photo them. I’m sure you can visualize 2 bananas.

148 calories, 0.5g fat, 38g carb, 2g protein

Dinner

I wasn’t super hungry at dinner time, so I had a fairly light all-fruit meal.

Breakfast 

  1. 1 papaya (148g)
  2. 1 banana (80g)
  3. 1 mango (266g)
  4. blackberries (158g)
  5. glass of water (12 fl oz)

370 calories, 2g fat, 93g carb, 5g protein

I made the happy face to show my kids. Of course that made them want to eat it. :)

I noticed the rest of my family was eating a lot more fruit today than usual. I guess I made it look good to them. Perhaps this diet is infectious.

Evening snack

A couple hours after dinner, I decided to cap my feasting with another green smoothie. I didn’t snap a photo, since it looks identical to the one I had at breakfast, although I added some mango to this one.

  1. 2 bananas (170g)
  2. 2 cups mixed greens (40g)
  3. a few mango slices (102g)
  4. 1 cup water

227 calories, 0.8g fat, 58g carb, 3g protein

The mango seems to make it a little sweeter and fruitier, overwhelming the greens even more. When I make it with just bananas and greens, it has an earthier flavor.

Daily Summary

3880g of food (not counting added water) = 3.88kg = 8.55 lbs = what a pig!

2261 calories, 28g fat, 524g carb, 41g protein 

407mg sodium, 89g fiber, 331g sugar

10% of calories from fat, 7% from protein, 83% from carbs

That last line above is right about where I want to be.

Throughout most of the day, my energy level seemed normal, but between noon and 5pm, I experienced some pretty strong drowsiness. That’s unusual for me. My physical energy was normal, but I just felt sleepy, almost like I’d been drugged. I didn’t consume any alcohol last night (New Year’s Eve), and I actually went to bed at my normal time and slept just fine. So I’m not sure if that was diet related or what. Even now as I type this, I feel slightly more tired than normal for this time… not sleepy but a bit mentally foggy.

I didn’t seem to have to go to the bathroom any more than normal today, but if I do end up going to the bathroom a lot on this diet, that shouldn’t be a problem. My home office has its own bathroom, and the toilet is only 5 paces from my desk chair. But I understand this could be quite an inconvenience for some people.

It will be interesting to see if I lose weight without restricting calories. If all calories are equal, I should stay at about the same weight, right? That’s assuming I eat about the same calories as before this trial and don’t boost my exercise.

I was perfectly satisfied with what I ate today. I didn’t feel deprived at all. The main annoyance was that it took longer than I would have liked to eat all this food. The prep time wasn’t bad though.

Some forum members are doing this 30-day raw challenge along with me. That’s wonderful because we can compare notes along the way and encourage each other to keep going.

Onward to Day 2!



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