you are what you eat!

I haven’t ever really been a huge fan of vegetables. Fruit, I can eat it every day, every meal, no matter what. I’ll eat a whole mini watermelon in a day and I’ll slice four kiwis in half and scoop ‘em out with a spoon. But vegetables? Nuh uh. Occasionally I’ll go through a weird phase, like my junior year in college where I inexplicably ate lima beans for lunch and dinner every day for about three weeks until I spilled a full one-pound bag all over the kitchen floor and I didn’t think they were so great anymore. Maybe it’s time to be a grown up, though, and learn to like vegetables. Except tomatoes. Tomatoes can go to hell and stay there.

Anyway, my friend Ashley is quitting smoking (yay!) and while she’s doing that, she wants to try a full-body cleanse and suggested that I do it with her. Ashley wanted to do the Raw Food Diet and I agreed to it, but it’ll have to wait a week or so because I just spent a bajillion dollars at the grocery store and I’m positively salivating at the thought of my box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. In the mean time, we’ve been researching various raw diets, and, honestly, I’m a little worried. These books and websites I’ve been reading have, like, coping sections. It tells you what to do when you are so sick and tired of eating dandelion greens like a rabbit and your dog suddenly looks like a cheeseburger all curled up in its toasted bun all dripping with ketchup…

The raw diets I’ve looked at vary from the extreme The Master Cleanse, which is that lemonade/maple syrup/cayenne pepper “diet” that Beyoncé was all about for a while, to the much more lenient raw diets, where only about 80% of the diet is raw, and the rest is made up of protein-rich meat and dairy. Some diets were planned out in phases, starting with a major fast or a detox, including something similar to or exactly like the Master Cleanser, then adding more substantial liquids, like vegetable juice or soups, then solid vegetables, fruits, grains and sprouts throughout the following weeks. Other diets went the other direction and began with filtering out processed foods, and then cooked foods, until you eventually worked your way down to a diet consisting of only raw foods. I had never really thought about it, but apparently a fruit and veggie-only diet can make you feel all kinds of funky for a while, and this gradual easing into the raw diet can help with side effects like headaches, fatigue and weird feelings in your stomach.

Some plans called for supplements, while others allowed eating of fish and poultry (although one winning plan still said uncooked, and I think, I think uncooked chicken is a bad idea…) A raw diet, to me, means taking as straight from the earth as you can manage, and supplements don’t exactly scream “I was plucked from the garden of Mother Nature,” so an occasional craving and giving in to a nice, juicy baked chicken breast for a solid hunk of protein doesn’t seem so bad.

So it’s got me thinking, Denver. What are the Rules of the Raw? Have any of you found the single-most beneficial way to adapt a raw lifestyle? Is it something you absolutely have to put into practice forever? Or is it good for you to do a raw detox every three or four months, like an oil change? What are your favorite raw recipes? (Rawcipies?) Let me know, and stay tuned. Maybe next month will just have to be Rawgust. (Oh NO.)