Raw Vegan Challenge – Conclusions

Hello beautiful people, my raw vegan challenge week is officially over and I’ve just filmed an extra long video drawing my conclusions (I had a huge vegan calzone today for lunch so you can imagine what those are). To quickly sum it up, I’m very happy that I put myself through this, I had been thinking about it for so long that it had to be done, plus it gave me the chance to learn something new about my body and to do some more research on the subject. I do believe that a raw vegan diet is sustainable, that you can get all your nutrients and calories and be happy and healthy, but I also believe that it is a bit high maintenance -especially at the beginning- and that it really does make a difference where you live and what your lifestyle is (i.e. what kind of job you have). I know I’ve only done this for a week which is probably not long enough to have a clear idea of what being a raw vegan is, and although I can see some benefits in it, overall I haven’t been feeling great, I really have been struggling with how cold I constantly was, and I didn’t like how my relationship with food was being shaped. After this experiment I have decided that raw veganism is not for me, at least for the time being. Now that I have a blender I will surely keep on having breakfast smoothies (which I love!), and I’m not excluding that I might try raw veganism again in the future (when it’s hot enough), however for now I’m very happy to go back to my regular vegan diet and enjoy bread and soups and oh my god mash potatoes.
Of course I’m not against this lifestyle and if you are a raw vegan thumbs up to you, you’ve got all my respect!

Here’s my (very extensive) explanation on what I’ve learned in the past seven days. As always, thank you so much for stopping by and stay tuned for more vegan-related posts!

Raw Vegan Challenge – Part 2

Yesterday I filmed a quick recap of the first three days as a raw vegan. (I had some cooked food on day 2 cos I was at a friend’s for lunch but that’s fine.) Day 1 and 2 were good, however day 3 was a bit of a challenge because 1. it was cold, and 2. I keep on pooping. Is this normal? It seems like all I’m doing is going to the toilet. I understand that with all the liquids and greens I’m introducing, my body’s reaction can only be to digest at the speed of light and make me bend over with cramps three times a day. But I wonder if this is just a first stage I have to go through to let my guts adjust to the new diet, or if it’s going to be like this forever as long a I eat this way?

Anyway, it’s still too early to draw conclusions and for now I’m happy I’m experimenting. Enjoy some food porn and the Grandma version of myself below!

I only feel beautiful when I’m hungry

Today I want to disclose something that I’ve never really shared with anyone but that I feel it’s important to talk about at this point in my life. Today’s topic is how I see veganism in relationship with eating disorders.

I’m not going to go into details on this (it would require a whole different blog post), but long story short, I used to suffer from disordered eating when I was about 20, during my first and second years of university. I was never diagnosed with a specific eating disorder, but I went through a phase in my life where I thought I was worthless and didn’t deserve food. So I stopped eating. I was punishing myself – I don’t know for what. But depriving myself from food was part of a set of strict rules I was imposing on myself, turning my whole life into a rigid discipline that was only aiming at making me smaller and smaller – in every sense.

Eating disorders and mental illnesses are very complicated to explain. The good news is, I got over mine. I recovered, and my relationship with food became “normal” again. However, although I did gain my weight back through the help of a dietician, I never received any psychological support. Looking back at those days now, I honestly wish I did. Sometimes I’m really scared it’s all going to come back. I know I’m in a safe place now, and when I do sense those feeling creeping back up, at least I can recognise them in time and stop them. But I’m not sure it’s normal they are even coming back,  nor whether they would be coming back if I had talked to somebody at the time.
Although I do enjoy food now, I take pleasure in cooking and I can safely experiment with different “diets” without worrying that I’m doing it for the wrong reasons, from time to time I do feel a sense of guilt when I eat too much or I have something I think I shouldn’t have.

I no longer want to feel this way.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m about to embark in yet another food experiment: I’m going to eat raw vegan for a week.
I’ve been following a bunch of raw vegan YouTubers in the past months and this lady in particular inspired so so much and made me want to give raw veganism a go. Among the many reasons she gives on why you should eat a raw vegan diet, she explains that when you follow this kind of plant-based regime it’s very hard to binge. The thing I struggle with the most as a result of having suffered from an eating disorder is the urge to binge – as in, to eat not when you’re hungry, but when you’re bored, or stressed, or you just feel like eating in your mind but you’re body is not actually sending you any hunger messages. I decided that I want to try and see what it’s like to listen to your body, and to actually eat as much as you want, without feeling guilty or bloated or just not good.
I’m doing this while being in full possession of my faculties, and I promise there are no reminiscence of disordered eating or will to lose weight or anything like that. I’ve done TONS of research and I will make sure to take in all the nutrients and calories I need.

Regardless of the results after this week, I think it’s important to remember that I’ve already came a long way in terms of how I see food now as opposed to how I considered it in the past. Veganism has helped me immensely in this sense.
When I first went vegan my parents were worried because they thought it was just another way for me to restrict my food intake. It took a lot of effort and research to show them that being vegan doesn’t mean starving yourself, that you can in fact gain weight on a vegan diet, and that overall veganism is actually much healthier than “standard” meals revolving around meat and dairy. It was only once I went vegan, some six years after my eating disorder, that I finally started to really enjoying food again.
Eating vegan took the guilt out of the equation. I now know that I’m eating healthy, delicious food, and I’m loving it. Every time I sit in front of a meal, I know I’m not hurting any animals, I’m helping the planet, and I’m doing a favour to my body. This also helped me love myself more, for doing something good. It shifted the focus on my actions, rather than on my appearance. What I do is more important than what I look like.

This was kind of a personal post but I’m glad I’ve shared it and took it off my chest. I’m extremely happy and grateful to be in the safe place I am right now. It took a lot of work, but I made it. And I’m very excited to be constantly learning about my own body and mind.
Stay tuned for more updates on my food experiment and a whole bunch of What I Eat in a Day videos! Thank you so much for stopping by and I will talk to you soon!

Whole food for a week – Conclusions

I’m done with my food experiment a couple of days earlier because I already knew what I was going to say so I thought there was no point to keep on filming every single meal I had.
I’m really happy I experimented having whole foods for a week, however re-watching these vlogs I realised that I wasn’t very clear on the reason why I did it and also I should have explained what “whole foods” mean to me better.

What I tried to eliminate were foods that came with too much packaging and that contained a bunch of unknown ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. So for example I didn’t have any frozen, ready meals like fritters, veggie burgers, or vegan cheese. But I still had peanut butter or olive oil, because although they are technically processed foods, they only contain one ingredient and they come in recyclable glass containers (I actually buy my olive oil in bulk so even better). The only two exceptions I made were nutritional yeast (which is a necessity for vegans) and a tub of ice cream (which came in a recyclable cardboard container).

Recently I’ve become more and more interested in how to reduce waste. I started shopping at the farmers market more and I’ve been buying goods in bulk as much as I could. I realised that eating whole, unprocessed foods goes hand in hand with reducing waste, as it’s quite easy to buy fruit, veggies, rice and so on unpackaged.

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My main conclusions are that eating whole foods is a great way to reduce the waste we produce, but that we also shouldn’t set too many rules for ourselves and that it’s ok to make exceptions. I will carry on with a whole-food based vegan diet, but I will also allow myself some processed foods from time to time if that’s what my body wants. It’s ok to make “exceptions” as long as we are aware of our choices and we don’t restrict ourselves.

More details below (apologies about the huge pimple in the middle of my face):