As I sit here on the last day of my raw food challenge, bloated and besieged with heart burn, I can’t help but feel that this raw diet might not be for me.

If you are considering eating a raw food diet, I have the following pieces of advice for you:

1. Ease into it. Raw foods have significantly higher amounts of fiber, and can take more time and energy for your body to break down and digest. Changing your ratio of cooked to raw food gradually will help your body learn to absorb nutrients in a new way, and you’ll be much more comfortable for it.

I do tend to be an all or nothing type of gal, but this challenge could have been more tolerable had I been a bit more prepared, both physically and in other ways, which brings me to my next point.

2. Have both a blender/food processor and a dehydrator on the ready. Premade and packaged raw foods are crazy expensive, so if you plan to eat anything other than produce, and you don’t want to break the bank, you’re going to have to do a lot of creative cooking yourself.

There are a ton of wonderful blogs, with great recipes I would have liked to try, but having no dehydrator meant I would have to use my oven at a low temperature. That is totally fine, if it works for you, but I don’t live somewhere or have the time where I can have my oven on for 12 hours at a time. If you choose to use your oven, be prepared. As for a food processor, you can use it to make smoothies, raw soups, and nut milks, among other things. Almost everything that you buy at a store is pasteurized, and that means cooked. Be prepared to make everything from scratch.

3. Hang in there. It makes people uncomfortable when you go to a restaurant with them and don’t eat. It feels awkward bringing your own food everywhere. It made me feel left out and hungry watching my friends eat breakfast while I sipped on peppermint tea. Here’s the thing: couldn’t we all use a little more practice feeling uncomfortable? Couldn’t we all stand to benefit from bucking the norm for a while and standing our ground? What’s wrong with shaking it up every now and then? I will say that this challenge provided some great conversation this weekend.

I won’t be sticking with this challenge for any longer, but I have come away with some new information about myself. Homemade almond milk is amazing. It’s ok to go to a restaurant and not order, just make sure you eat first. I actually really love herbal tea, and it only takes 24 hours to detox from my caffeine habit. Raw “superfood cookies” make a delicious and healthy dessert. Hail Mary’s macaroons are even better. Avocados are good for heartburn, and kale is the most versatile veggie I’ve seen yet.

And with that, I think I’ll go feast on cooked food.

Scorchingly yours,

C

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