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It’s been about 3-1/2 weeks since I ended my 30-day juice feast, so here’s an update on my health situation.
Sleep and Dreams
I’m back to sleeping normally again. During the juice feast I needed 8-10 hours of sleep most nights. Now I do fine on 6-7 hours.
The super-vivid nighttime dreams continued for another week or two after I finished the juice feast. After that my dreams gradually returned to normal. That’s a shame. I’m going to miss those amazing dreams.
My skin is back to normal. The cracks on my knuckles are fully healed. Apparently my body doesn’t like low-fat diets (less than 10% of calories from fat). My skin is very soft and smooth now.
The psychic/intuitive boost I enjoyed during my juice feast seems to have continued. I really hope this lasts.
Since Erin is halfway through her own 30-day raw food trial, her psychic abilities are off the scale now. We’re enjoying amazing telepathy as a couple. We can’t keep any secrets because it’s so easy to pick them out of each others’ minds. It’s pretty funny sometimes. I don’t think there will be many surprises when we open our Christmas gifts this year.
If you’re getting an intuitive reading with Erin this month, you’re getting a great deal because she has such an amazing level of clarity right now. She’s even getting great insights for people who are quite shielded and skeptical. I told her she should go raw for at least 30 days a year and raise her prices during that time. 🙂
I feel a bit different energetically after the juice feast, like I’m more open and balanced.
Other people must be picking up on this because I’m getting different responses that I used to. It’s like everyone has become much more friendly than usual. Total strangers give me conversation openers all the time now. In one 24-hour period, I got hit on by three different women. Okay, so two of them were prostitutes, but still…
One day I went out unshaven, unshowered, and in schlubby clothes — sweat pants and an old sweatshirt — to see if it would turn people off. It didn’t make any difference. It was eerie. The same people who used to ignore me a couple months ago were now making eye contact and starting up conversations.
I can’t attribute this to holiday cheer. I’ve been through many holiday seasons before, and this is definitely something new. It’s like I’m wearing a T-shirt that says, “I’m friendly. Start a conversation with me.”
I’m enjoying this change, but it takes some getting used to. It seemed to happen very abruptly.
Another thing is that I’m getting more face-to-face connections with people who’ve heard of me from my work — a lot more than usual. This is happening synchronistically.
For example, my family and I were shopping at Whole Foods one day. A woman was handing out raw chocolate samples. We got to chatting, and it turns out she’d heard of me.
Another day I’m at a raw food potluck. I’m chatting with people at the table. Suddenly a woman at the table says, “Wait a minute! I know you. I’ve listened to your podcasts before.”
There were a couple more stories like that too. It’s rare that my professional life and personal life intersect like this. The lines are blurring. It doesn’t bother me, but it’s odd to see it happening so quickly.
Some people fear making dietary changes because they think it will negatively impact their social life. Such fears are silly though. My experience has been the exact opposite. The more I improve my diet, the more socially open I become. Socializing is easier than ever now.
It’s a mistake to think that socializing is easier if you’re just like everyone else. If you’re just like everyone else, then you can’t provide any value. There’s no reason for people to get to know you. You bring nothing to the table. You’re just dead weight.
But if you’re the one who’s different, the one who’s unique in some way, now you bring a lot of value to others. People have a reason to get to know you. You can enhance people’s lives just by being yourself.
Think of it like this. If you go out to eat, and you’re eating 100% raw while everyone else is eating cooked food, who’s more likely to be the focal point of the conversation? People will open you.
I think when people say that improving their diets will hurt their social lives, it’s just cowardice talking. Deep down they don’t want to be the center of attention. They don’t want to stand out. They prefer social mediocrity because it’s more comfortable. But when you learn to feel good in your own skin, and you know your diet is right for you, then other people will respond to that. Instead of being socially ostracized, you’ll be socially valued.
I’m noticing a significant mental clarity boost after the juice feast, especially when writing. It’s so easy for me to write now that the main limiting factor is how fast I can type. After the juice feast, I wrote my longest article ever. And it was very easy.
My mind is sometimes writing 1-2 paragraphs ahead of my fingers. I have to tell it to slow down from time to time and let me catch up. I can’t even fathom the possibility of writer’s block. I experience writer’s flood.
As expected, I regained some weight when I returned to solid foods, about 4 pounds. After that my weight seemed to stabilize and has been hovering around 173 lbs. This morning I weighed 170.8.
Liver and Parasite Cleanses
I decided to start the parasite cleanse early because I wanted to be done with it before Christmas. The potential downside is that I wouldn’t feel good, especially if there were parasites dying off in my body. The anti-parasitic herbs are quite strong and have been known to cause nausea as well.
I’ve since completed the parasite and liver cleanses. The liver cleanse took about 30 days, and the parasite cleanse took about 2 weeks.
With the parasite cleanse, I noticed no difference whatsoever. No adverse reactions. No visible parasites that I could detect. Perhaps after years of being vegan and months of being raw, I didn’t have any significant parasites in me. I didn’t find this result too surprising.
The liver/kidney cleanse involved taking Chanca Piedra. Instead of trying to squeeze out stones, this herb gradually dissolves them. So it’s a gentler cleanse than most, but it takes longer.
I noticed that during the first week I took Chanca Piedra, my urine sometimes came out dark green. After the first week or so, everything was back to normal. So it’s possible I had some small stones that this cleanse helped to dissolve. This was a very easy cleanse with no adverse reactions.
If you eat animal products, I’d definitely recommend trying a Chanca Piedra cleanse, since you’re much more likely to have liver and kidney stones. Members of our forums have reported doing various liver/kidney cleanses and saw hundreds of visible stones come out of them. Your digestion will be more efficient once you get the stones out.
Salads are my favorite foods now. After the juice feast, I just can’t seem to get enough fresh greens. Sometimes I’ll eat a big salad, and then an hour later I’ll be back in the kitchen making another one. Organic greens are just so delicious!
One of my favorite salads is to take a big bowl of mixed greens, add an avocado, the juice of one lime, and some sea salt, and then squeeze everything with my hands until it’s all mooshed together. Then I’ll throw some cherry tomatoes on top and mix those in. It’s really good.
I still make green smoothies, but I prefer salads now because I like the taste of the greens so much. I don’t want to hide the taste anymore. I want to experience it.
It can be hard to adapt to a raw diet if you’ve never done it before, but I find it very easy to maintain this way of eating now. I actually enjoy the raw foods I’m eating more than the cooked foods I used to eat. There’s no deprivation — just the opposite in fact. Eating raw seems so abundant. It’s great to eat so many delicious foods.
It’s clear that nature knows how to make delicious, healthy food. Human beings… not so much.
Cooked Food Experiment
One of the issues I face on a 100% raw food diet is the possibility that I may lose my ability to digest cooked food. As the body becomes cleaner, it grows less tolerant of toxins, and cooked foods are loaded with them.
One of my friends who’s 100% raw says she regrets taking the diet as far as she did because now she can’t eat any cooked food without getting sick. She doesn’t crave cooked food or anything, but she wonders about the long-term practicality of never being able to eat cooked food again.
I’ve been having similar concerns. Is it wise to abandon cooked food for so long that I lose my ability to eat it without getting sick? Have I already crossed that threshold?
My main concern is traveling. Will it be practical to maintain a 100% raw diet if I do a lot of traveling? Are there some locations where it would be impractical to eat 100% raw and never have anything cooked? I don’t know. Some people have told me that it would be very difficult to eat raw in certain places, such as in parts of Eastern Europe during the winter.
Anyway, I decided it would be wise to do a simple test to see what my current tolerance for cooked for is. I think it’s been around 7 months since I had any cooked food.
On Sunday morning I ate a small bowl of oatmeal, about 1 cup of cooked oats with raisins. I chose this because it’s a food I used to eat all the time as a cooked foodie, and I never had any problems digesting it. In order to make the meal more alkaline and less acidic, I ate several cups of greens in the same meal as well as some water with lemon juice. After that I went back to eating 100% raw as usual.
The oatmeal tasted a bit lifeless to me, but it was okay. I didn’t feel any real desire to eat it, but I was curious to see how it would affect me. I didn’t expect there to be any serious adverse reaction except for maybe some tiredness due to the heavier digestive load.
The first hour after eating the oatmeal, I felt okay. Basically normal. But after another hour had passed, I became very drowsy and had to lie down. I drifted off immediately and slept for 90 minutes.
Later in the day I felt mentally foggy. It was strange. I could actually feel this fog of confusion rolling in across my mind. I also felt sluggish physically.
The next day (Monday), I still felt foggy and more tired than usual. I also had some afternoon sleepiness, although I didn’t go to sleep this time. I went to a Toastmasters meeting that night and felt mostly okay. I won our club’s “Best Humor” award for some observational humor I did at the end of the meeting.
The next day (Tuesday), I felt fatigued and foggy, and by the afternoon, I felt like I was getting a cold. I had a runny nose and was sneezing a lot. Keep in mind that after the oatmeal on Sunday morning, I continued eating 100% raw as usual.
By Tuesday night I knew I had a cold. This was more than just mild detox. I was definitely sick.
Wednesday I was down with a bad cold. I had no energy and spent most of the day in bed. I had no energy and just wanted to sleep most of the time.
Today (Thursday) I still have a cold, but I seem to be on the mend. My mind is still foggy, and I’m sneezing a lot, but at least I’m awake and semi-functional. I’m typing this from my laptop while sitting in bed.
The only other time I’ve been sick this whole year was in early February when I went back to cooked food after my 30-day raw food diet trial.
Wow. I can’t believe that one cup of cooked oatmeal could take me down like this.
I’m glad I did this experiment though. It didn’t turn out the way I expected, so at least I learned something. I had no idea my body would react so negatively.
I may try other experiments with a little cooked food further down the road just to see how sensitive I am. Maybe my body could handle some lightly steamed veggies. I honestly thought a cup of oatmeal wouldn’t be a problem. Guess I was wrong.
I still have no interest in returning to cooked food as a major part of my diet. It doesn’t appeal to me anyway. I did this experiment purely out of curiosity. But it’s interesting to see that the longer I stay 100% raw, the harder it may be to return to cooked foods. Other raw foodists have reported similar results.
I’m not particularly bothered by this because I can’t imagine giving up the massive benefits of eating raw. But now I may have to think of cooked food as not just being something outside my normal diet… but also as something immediately toxic. When I was first going raw, this would have seemed like a big sacrifice. Now it’s no big whoop really… just something I need to be aware of.
I want my raw immunity powers back. 🙁