Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The verdict

I've officially completed my 15 days of raw/vegan eating and I wanted to give you a final summary of my experience.

Just to recap, here are all the ways in which I cheated:
• I continued to have my morning cup of coffee with soymilk
• I had 2 meals (out of 45) that were not raw and/or vegan
• I had wine on a couple occasions
• I did not stick strictly to the Phase 1-3 system. Instead I used the recipes as a guide and mixed and matched ingredients (but it was always raw/vegan).

That said, I loved eating this way. I did get bored a bit, but I felt so damn good that I didn't care. My energy levels were through the roof. I slept better than I've slept in years. And I honestly didn't really miss anything that I wasn't eating/drinking.

As for external results, I've lost 2-3 lbs. My waistline is definitely smaller and I feel lighter. I fit into my clothes better and feel great about the way I look.

My plan going forward is to continue eating this way as much as possible/practical. In France I'll definitely be eating a lot differently, but that doesn't mean I can't take what I've learned here and work it in. For example, incorporating a higher balance of raw in my daily diet regardless.

I highly recommend that most anyone try this diet for 2 weeks. Whether or not you have weight to lose, the increase in energy and better sleep is so worth it. I will say that having a good blender helped a lot, but it's definitely not necessary.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Raw/Vegan Way

Now that I have my replacement blender, it seems a good time to actually talk a bit about how I feel a week into a raw/vegan diet.

First of all, to a mild extent, I cheat. I have not given up my morning cup of coffee. Also, since I had blender issues, I didn't only do smoothies for the first 3 days as prescribed (Phase 1). Instead I did a mix of mostly blended shakes and soups (using my handheld wand), along with a daily salad (Phase 2).  Finally, I have to admit I'm not a strict recipe follower. Life is too busy to make a million different things each day. Instead, I found a couple recipes I like and I repeat them.

All that said, I have eaten almost exclusively raw and vegan for the past 7 days. I eat whenever I'm hungry, which varies. Somedays I'm ravenous and some days I'm frustrated because I really want to eat something, but I have to admit that I'm just not hungry. I am getting a bit bored, but I'm about to start Phase 3 of the diet, where you expand into raw patés, wraps, etc.

Ok, but how do I feel? Have I lost weight? Honestly, I feel fantastic. My energy levels are through the roof. I'm awake and productive all day pretty much until bedtime. I feel like my thinking is clearer. As for weight, I really don't have a lot to lose. I'm more interested in fitting into my snug pants, and that has already happened within the first week. I've lost enough around my midsection (where I gain) to make my clothes fit better, which is my goal. I suspect that by the end of the second week I'll be fitting into most everything that had gotten tight over the winter.

So now what? Am I going to be a raw vegan from now on?

Um, no. I'm probably going to gain every ounce of it back eating bread, cheese and wine/cider in France this summer. However, I cannot deny how good my body and mind feel eating this way. I can definitely see boosting my raw levels daily and doing a raw/vegan cleanse regularly. I may be an energy junkie, but I'm also a hedonist!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eat this

This was originally going to be a post about how I'm starting Ani Phyo's 15-day raw, vegan cleanse. You know, the kind where I tell you what I'm doing so that a) I have “accountability” and b) you might choose to join me. What fun we could have, being hungry together (I joke. One is not supposed to be hungry, though I do find myself missing chewing a bit).

Anyway, today is my official Day One, but that's not what I'm writing about. What I'm writing about is Customer Service. Perhaps Apple has spoiled us all, but it seems to me like there are companies who get it, and those who don't. Unfortunately Vitamix, the company who makes my 30-day-old, very overpriced blender, does not.

I've gone through a lot of inexpensive blenders. I make smoothies almost daily and after a year or two the cheaper blender's motors just burn out. This time, after much nail biting, I decided to pony up for a blender that was reputed to hold up. Honestly, I debated between Vitamix and Blendtec, but the fact that the Vitamix was less loud (they're both loud) was what sold me.

So, after a month of successful smoothie making, I was ready to embark on a dietary journey. Fifteen days of raw, vegan food, largely blended (solely for the first 3 days). I read the recipes, I shopped for my produce. I timed it for when David would be traveling, as it's easier to do this sort of thing when I don't have to watch someone else get to chew their food.

And then, out of nowhere, my brand new Vitamix died.

Did I freak out? Perhaps, but only briefly. Then I called Vitamix. And I called again. And I called a third time, which was when I got to speak to someone who had the ability to help me. What I wanted was for her to say she'd ship out a replacement tomorrow. That she felt my pain. Instead she said I'd have to send the broken one to them (they'd pay for Ground shipping, but I'd have to pay myself for Express). She'd send a return label which had to be printed on a color printer, or it'd be considered a fake. She did say they'd expedite the repair and would express it back to me. If all went well, I'd have my old one back in a week. But I didn't want my old one back. An expensive blender with a 5-year warranty shouldn't die one month out, and I wanted her to acknowledge that.

I made it clear that I was not happy with this solution, but she was adamant that that was the best that could be done.

Still with me? Almost there.

Then I called Amazon (through whom I bought the blender). I spoke to a happy-sounding woman named Stephanie, who listened to my whole sob story and then said “Can I just make you really happy?” Um, yes please?  Then she told me she was overnighting me a new blender. And she said the return label for the old one could be printed in black & white. I offered to marry her.

So yes, I am doing the 15-day Fat Blast (unfortunate name). I wish I wasn't having to depend on a Vitamix (go for the Blendtec) but I couldn't be happier with Amazon's service. Nice to know there are still some companies who get it.