Raw Food Diet – Day 3

January 3rd, 2008 by Steve Pavlina

Last night

Here’s a little more info about the end of Day 2 after I posted that update. Usually I go to bed around 10pm, but I just wasn’t tired at that time, so I stayed up until 11:00. While cleaning up the kitchen before going to bed, I felt a surge of intense anger. It wasn’t directed at anyone, and there was nothing that really triggered it. After about 5 minutes, the feeling faded as quickly as it began.

I remember having similar random emotional bursts during the detox period of my first 30-day raw trial. I’d feel angry, depressed, or anxious for no logical reason I could discern. Sometimes the feelings last only a few minutes, and sometimes I’m stuck with them for hours. I experienced similar symptoms when giving up coffee.

I woke up this morning with the alarm at 5am, feeling pretty much normal physically and very mellow mentally. I noticed I had unusually bad breath though, a common detox symptom.

Since I was feeling much better than yesterday, I trekked to the gym for my weight workout at 5:30. The routine was typical (today I did leg presses, calf raises, weighted lower back extensions, shoulder presses, and ab crunches), but the results were a bit unusual. For the first 15 minutes, I felt extremely energetic. On my first 3 exercises, the weights I used felt too light, and I either cranked out a lot more reps than expected, or I used heavier weights than I originally intended. After doing lots of crunches, I started feeling unusually winded. I rested 30 seconds and then took my pulse. I couldn’t believe it was only 108 because I felt like it was around 140-160.

Overall it seemed like my muscle strength and endurance got a boost this morning, but my circulatory system was lagging behind. I finished the workout, making gains in all 5 of my 5 exercises as compared to my previous workout with these same muscle groups.

I can’t make too much of these gains, however, since last year I took several months off of weight training to focus more on martial arts classes, and I’ve only gotten back into doing weights about 3 weeks ago. I’m not back up to my previous peaks on any exercises yet, and I expect to train up to my old results faster than if I were trying to push beyond them. Even so, this was a strange workout, maybe not objectively but certainly subjectively.

Just now I did some push-ups to see how many I could do. 27 total. That’s about what I expected. A few months ago I was up to 35, so I’m still building back up to my previous max. I’m curious to see if this diet has any significant effect on my strength or endurance. It wouldn’t surprise me if I saw some endurance improvements down the road. As for strength gains, who knows? The strongest mammals on earth build their muscle from plant foods.

Weight Loss

The scale this morning showed 183.0, so I dropped another 0.2 pounds, bringing the total weight loss to 3.0 pounds. For consistency I’m always weighing myself before going to the gym each morning.

Pre-breakfast

Before heading to the gym, I ate a lone banana (82g).

73 calories, 0.3g fat, 19g carb, 0.9g protein

Breakfast

After my shower I was pretty hungry, but I thought it would be fun to go out to breakfast this morning for a change of pace. The family was up for it, so we drove to the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip for their breakfast buffet. We hit a little bit of traffic at one point, forgetting that some people actually drive to work during this time. We’ve eaten at many different places on the Strip, and I know from experience that Mandalay Bay’s Bayside Buffet has one of the best fresh fruit selections in the city, certainly the best of all the ones I’ve tried.

Breakfast

It wasn’t crowded at all, so we just walked right in. This time of year is the off season for Vegas tourism (except during New Year’s). During the peak season, you might find dozens of people in line.

Many years ago Vegas used to boast tons of cheap buffets, like $4 for all-you-can-eat, but the lowball pricing went away a long time ago. This buffet is $16 per person (less for kids), which is typical for the Strip. If we went on Sunday, it would be more than $20 because they’d be having a champagne brunch.

I brought my digital camera and scale with me, so I could take photos of what I ate and weigh the portions too. I pretended I was a goofy tourist. “Look at all them berries, Pa!”

Breakfast

  1. strawberries (238g)
  2. blackberries (240g)
  3. blueberries (180g)
  4. cantaloupe (196g)
  5. yellow tomatoes (82g)
  6. red tomatoes (80g)
  7. apple (178g)
  8. cup of hot water with lemon (they brought me a lot more lemon slices than I needed)

I waited until the hot water cooled a bit, and then I squeezed in some fresh lemon juice and drank it lukewarm. Some raw foodists don’t consume any hot beverages. I don’t see a problem with it unless it’s so hot it burns your mouth.

I really liked the yellow tomatoes. They were very sweet and juicy. I should have had more of them, but they don’t provide many calories.

For dessert I had a bowl of raspberries (202g)… or as Erin likes to call them, razzleberries. Raspberries can be pretty expensive (Whole Foods sells them at $4 for 6oz), so I ate them until I was stuffed. Then I ate some more.

Breakfast

573 calories, 5g fat, 138g carb, 12g protein

This whole meal was more than 3 pounds of food. I was the last one done eating, but the time it took to eat this didn’t seem excessive.

There were other fresh fruits at the buffet I didn’t eat, including watermelon and pineapple. I didn’t want to overdo it. :)

When I first looked at the breakfast potatoes that Erin, Kyle, and Emily were eating, they looked pretty good to me. But after I assembled my giant fruit collection, I forgot all about the foods I wasn’t eating. I also began to notice that my attraction to the potatoes felt more like an addiction than a real need to eat them. The fresh fruit appealed to me in an entirely different way. With the potatoes I felt like I wanted to have them in my mouth, to enjoy the salty-oily taste and smooth texture. But with the fresh fruit, I felt like I wanted to put those foods into my body, to feel their life-giving energy inside me. The part of me that desired the potatoes was different than the part of me that desired the fruit.

Kyle likes to eat lemons — I used to do the same thing when I was his age.

Breakfast

When the kids see me eating such delicious fruit, they automatically want some too. Of course the nice thing about a buffet is that it’s all you can eat.

Emily told me she needed her own cell phone because one of the other kids in her class had one. She’s in second grade. Sheesh! I told her she couldn’t have a cell phone but that I’d give her a blackberry instead. She seemed pretty happy with it. I’m sure her friends will all be jealous.

Breakfast

When I was doing distance running in the late ’90s, Erin and I would sometimes go to the breakfast buffet at the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey after I returned from a long run along Venice Beach. One time after I decimated their strawberries, they began pressuring me to ease up. The entire bowl of strawberries in the first food photo above is only 73 calories, so you can probably imagine how many of those a person could down after a 14-mile run (which burns approximately 1400 calories). “Perhaps you would like to enjoy something other than the berries this morning, sir.” :)

The nice thing about eating an all-fruit meal is that fruit passes through the stomach fairly quickly and digests mostly in the intestines, so if you go to a buffet and eat your fill of fruit, just wait a bit, and you’ll soon be ready to eat some more.

Even though this wasn’t a super high-calorie meal, especially given that I did a morning workout too, it was very satisfying, and I wasn’t hungry again until almost 4 hours later.

Here’s a shot of the casino opposite the buffet entrance. This is only a puny portion of the total casino interior. It’s nice to see what a few hundred million dollars will buy.

Breakfast

Nevada has no state income tax, since the generous tourists pay for our roads and schools. It’s a nice place to live if you don’t have any addictions, cooked food notwithstanding.

Erin and I fantasize about owning our own casino someday — totally non-smoking with all vegan restaurants. It will be the healthiest way to lose your money. ;)

Lunch

For lunch I made a huge raw coleslaw. This wasn’t from a recipe. I just concocted it from stuff in my fridge. I never really liked cooking, but I enjoy trying to be creative on this diet. It was an interesting challenge to figure out what would make a half-decent dressing for the coleslaw using only raw ingredients and no oil, vinegar, salt, etc. Just figuring out how to make an interesting raw meal is a growth experience in itself.

Breakfast

  1. coleslaw: green cabbage (454g), cucumber (98g), 2 stalks celery (82g), grape tomatoes (206g), 1/2 yellow bell pepper (94g), 3 grated carrots (268g)
  2. dressing: 1/2 yellow bell pepper (90g), raw tahini (52g), fresh lime juice (28g), 1/4 cup water
  3. glass of water (14 fl oz)

670 calories, 28g fat, 100g carb, 22g protein

This was quick to make using a food processor and a Vitamix, but it took me a full hour to eat it because it was so much chewing. It may not look like it from the photo, but there are almost 3 pounds of veggies in that bowl. I did other things while I was eating, so the time investment wasn’t a big deal. I enjoyed the interesting mix of flavors. The yellow pepper and tahini dressing was very tasty, and the grape tomatoes added a nice bit of tanginess.

Dinner

I didn’t get hungry again until 8pm. I wanted something quick and easy for dinner, so I just ate a monomeal of 5 bananas (560g). A monomeal means that you make a whole meal out of one type of food. Bananas are one of the most common choices.

498 calories, 2g fat, 128g carb, 6g protein

Daily Summary

1814 calories, 35g fat, 385g carb, 41g protein

418mg sodium, 84g fiber, 204g sugar

16% of calories from fat, 8% from protein, 76% from carbs

Just a tad high on the fat today — I want to come in at 15% or less for the weekly average.

My energy was pretty good throughout the day, much better than yesterday. Physically I felt basically normal, about the same as before I started this trial. After breakfast I had a runny nose for about an hour. I also had some mild drowsiness around 11:30am, but it wasn’t bad and went away after lunch. I still felt a bit mentally foggy all day long, and I had a mild headache that seemed to fluctuate in intensity throughout the day. On a pain scale of 1-10, it never topped a 4 though, and it probably averaged about a 2, so it was easy enough to disregard it. I still have a level 3 headache right now; it feels like it’s located right behind and above my eyes. I noticed other forum members who are trying this diet reported headaches on day 2 or 3 as well. Headaches and backaches are common withdrawal/detox symptoms.

I had to pee often today, at least once every hour between breakfast and dinner. That’s not a big deal to me, since as I previously mentioned, my home office has its own bathroom. Also, free public restrooms in Vegas are abundant, unlike in some cities such as New York. The casinos don’t want you hunting for a bathroom when you could be gambling.

All my meals today were satisfying and filling. Cooked food still looks good to me, but I noticed I’m not having as many cravings for it as I did yesterday. That’s a good sign.

Here’s a small gift for the Princess Bride fans who read this site: Lego Princess Bride. Watch the movie in 10 minutes, performed by Lego characters. Inconceivable!


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