New Things: Go Raw For Two Weeks (Or: In Which I’m a Total Failure)

Let me be up front with you, friends. This is a goal that I did not achieve. This is one for the FAIL blog. If I had been living in Rawville, I’d be taken to the city limits and kindly asked to point my feet towards the horizon.Will you be kind enough to humor my excuses as to why I couldn’t quite make it fly?I’m too busy, guys.

I work full time, I post on Yes and Yes twelve times a week, I’m putting together the 2011 Year in Yes calendar, I ship off sets of Karma Cards, I’m planning an eight-month, six-country trip, I’m writing a series of ebooks, I have a Gentleman Caller I see a couple of times a week and a circle of friends who throw great parties and play in cool bands and are generally too awesome to ignore.

And eating raw? It’s time consuming! Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds. The entire point of eating raw is that you don’t “prepare” your food as such. Theoretically, I could just maw on carrot sticks and apples and nuts every few hours for two weeks and be in the clear. But I’m afraid one tires of salads and dried fruit pretty quickly. And all the lovely raw food recipes out there? They require a lot of chopping and peeling and food processor-izing and dehydrating.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my average food intake these days, goes something like this:
Breakfast: Avocado toast
Time spent preparing: 45 seconds
Lunch: Soup and baguette, eaten in front of the computer while I prepare for my afternoon class
Time spent preparing: 1 minute and 30 seconds
Snack: mochi. or want wants. or tamarind candy. or something else that my students give me. Or an ice cream sandwich.
Time spent preparing: the time it takes to reach into the bag and insert said food into my mouth.
Dinner: Corn on the cob. Or quorn fake chicken patties. Or vegetables and hummus. Or pasta.
Time spent preparing: never more than 4 minutes

Hmmm, that all sounds rather dire and like I’m a workaholic with time management issues, doesn’t it? And really, I do love cooking! But I love it in more of a “this is my hobby and I do it once a week for funsies” way, rather than a “let’s devote an hour of every evening to this” kind of way.

But my raw experiment was not without it’s benefits. I’ve always known that I’m an emotional eater (a hard day in class automatically equals one bag of Cheetos plus an ice cream sandwich) but trying to eat raw really forced me to be a conscious eater. When you can’t just pick up any old thing at the gas station to placate your feelings of frustration, you’re forced to consider what’s really bothering you and try to find other ways to comfort yourself.

And I did find some fantastic recipes! My favorites:

Avocado/Apple pudding
1 avocado, mashed
1 apple, shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
agave nectar to taste

Stir together and mow.

Red pepper and Avocado Salad
1 big red pepper chopped into small pieces
1/2 an avocado diced
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (exponentially more delicious if roasted and salted)
Balsamic vinaigrette to taste
salt and pepper

Stir together and mow.

Apple Banana Breakfast Stuff
1 apple shredded
1 banana chopped
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup almond milk
cinnamon to taste
honey to taste

Stir together and be prepared to be full forever.

Pizza Pate
1 and a half cups sun dried tomatoes
1 and a half cup macadamia nuts
(can use pine nuts)
A fourth cup sun dried tomato soak water
2 sprigs basil (about 10 large leaves)

Soak sun dried tomatoes in enough water to cover for about 1/2-3 hours or until soft. Drain sun dried tomatoes and save soak water. Using your food processor with the S blade, process the macadamia nuts and then add the soaked sun dried tomatoes. If the mixture is too thick for your food processor add a little of the sun dried tomato soak water until the food processor runs smooth. Add the basil last and process the mixture until it forms a thick paste.

So there ends my experimentation with raw-dom. Official findings: makes you feel good, makes you think, too time consuming for my life at the moment.

Have you ever successfully gone raw? Can you share any goals that you attempted that you discovered weren’t for you?

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  1. Jessika

    Is raw foods the same as the "cuisine" that doesn't allow the food to be heated above cooking temp?

    I am allergic to nuts to even if I had any inclination, it would be a total dead end. The diet substitutes too much of vital protein with nuts. Which will be fun with someone that can tolerate nuts. Me, not so much.

  2. Euforilla

    never tried, but I'm really curious… and to me cooking is always save some hours to transform food, so I might give this a try!

    That part on "emotional eating" is a really good one, thanx for sharing!

  3. Ashley Lorelle

    Those recipes look amazing! For one crazy second a few years ago, I considered going raw. But I realized how that not only wouldn't going raw fit my lifestyle, it also wouldn't fit my personality. I enjoy food but I get the most pleasure out of eating seafood and cooked foods. It's who I am.

  4. Abby

    I realized that I kind of accidentally went 75% raw just by virtue of the fact that I'm eating breakfast and lunch green smoothies each day + raw nuts for a morning snack. Usually for dinner I have something cooked, but as long as you're doing smoothies, it's raw, healthy, green, easy and tasty. Had I set out to do this, though, I may have failed. I prefer the happy accidents 🙂

  5. Doniree

    I've never tried to go raw, but an actual item sitting on my life list is to go with out dairy for a week. I haven't attempted it yet because I love my milk and cheese and just haven't quite gotten my head around the fact that soy milk is like milk milk. It's not. I don't want it to be. But it was an experiment I felt I should try and have yet to do so – I love your raw learnings though, so kudos for the things it's taught you!

  6. The Maiden Metallurgist

    Don't beat yourself up- raw food requires a lot of prep and pre-planning. Sounds like you got some good take-aways from the experiment.

  7. marzipan

    boy oh boy – don't i know it! a satisfying raw diet certainly does take quite a bit of time/preparation/know how, and can be HARD for busy girls to dive into. Often people just go for the easy fruit/veg fix if they are doing a two week raw cleanse, but then drop it because they feel so lackluster and awful. I love your recipes also. I say go for one raw meal everyday? Like a green smoothie. It takes approximately 45 seconds of blending after you throw anything raw you can find in there. Bonus if you acquire kale and keep it on hand because thats what really makes it. Good luck. xooxo.

  8. Brande

    I forgive you. =P
    Seriously though, frustration totally understood. The Hubs went about 60% raw a few years ago and it was crazy. So expensive (especially if you're going all organic at the same time) and time consuming. For Thanksgiving he made a Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie for the family and while it was to-die-for-delicious it took him *three hours* to make. I made the whole dinner in almost that long! If you can go all raw more power to you, but for the rest of us I think applying as many principles as possible is good enough.

  9. Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow

    Have you tried smoothies ? They take seconds to make, second to drink. I drink half a litre of them for breakfast, and I know I´ve had my fdays portion of vitamins !

  10. katie d.

    You didn't fail! Look at all the stuff you learned!!

  11. Alli

    Thanks for sharing. I considered this for a while but actually thought about the time thing and decided against it. I've been giving vegetarianism a trial run since December and that already has me a bit more conscious about my food. Even that takes longer to prepare than you'd think – yes, exactly, the peeling and chopping can get ridiculous depending on how many veggies you have. Very interesting post, thanks again!

  12. Ronda

    how do you shred an apple?

  13. Carmen

    I appreciate your honesty. I know I wouldn't be able to do it, and it can be overwhelming reading blogs of all these perfectionists who get everything right! So it's refreshing.

    I do have a question that I've been wanting to ask you about your busy-ness – how do you find time to have a "gentleman caller"?! I work full time, plus I'm taking a class for my major right now (not to mention starting in the fall I'll be a full time student), and I'm usually too tired to even go out and be social, let alone date someone. I've been confronted with this problem lately, because a guy has shown up and been asking me out and I like him, but I just don't feel like I have time! It's hard to make it a priority to get to know someone, because you're not even sure how it's going to work out. I've been asking myself if I even want to be dating someone, but I am sick of being single, soo… anyway, any tips would be appreciated!

  14. Sarah Von Bargen


    That's a good (and valid) question! I think it helps if you're a) really honest about the fact that you're super busy b) the other person is also really busy c) you are both honest about where your priorities are.

    The G.C. and I are both really busy and both of us put our friends first – not in a mean way, but if a friend's going through a tough time or if somebody comes in from out of town, that takes priority.

    And we keep our dates super low-key: walking his dog, making dinner, watching movies, going to the beach. We're so busy in other aspects of our lives, we don't try to create The World's Most Creative/Expensive/Impressive dates.

  15. Lorra Fae

    Yes, successfully raw for over 2 years.
    On a rare occasion I might have something cooked, but it's not often, and I always feel gross afterward.
    I'd say I'm 99% raw, and I have been 100% for months on end. Usually I will stray during winter or times of great stress, which don't happen often.

  16. Mandi

    I've done "Raw Adventures" a few times, but never for longer than a few days. Raw eating makes me feel wonderful, but you are totally right, it is hard to maintain when you are super busy!

    I tried to do a 30 day diet this past winter and failed after like.. 4 days. Raw + sub zero temps = not happening.

    However I am doing a 30 day raw adventure next month and even have a food plan and everything laid out. Feel free to follow it on my blog or even join in. I'm asking everyone to share their experiences.

    I have to admit I have a bit of an unfair advantage, as I work at a raw cafe!


    I've been really successful in eating raw until dinner. That's what I do most days, then I eat a normal cooked vegetarian dinner. I feel AMAZING when I eat this way. My advantage is that I'm friends with Addicted to Veggies and mooch off her amazing raw food knowledge and inspiration. I'm going to try the pudding!

  18. Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler

    I've been meat-free since 1995 and vegan since 2004 and I'm interested in raw foods and enjoy eating raw, but I don't have the time nor attention span to eat the fancier raw foods. I drink green smoothies frequently, I enjoy raw fruits and veggies, but the elaborate, spiralized, dehydrated, etc. meals are just not in my frame of mind! I love going to raw food restaurants where they prepare it for me. 🙂

  19. Sheila Bocchine, pinhole photographer

    I often say this is my ultimate goal. I even did it for 30 days once. It's really hard and there's so much prep time if you don't want to eat the same few things every day. I applaud the people who can do this 100% (even 80%). Also, I don't think I could live without Indian and Middle Eastern food or cheese. So to make myself feel better, I drink green smoothies!


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