The good news is that I'm still feeling great! A million times better than I did this time last year. Last summer was a terrible one physically, mentally, emotionally, and I'm so grateful to feel like a normal human being again. For a quick breakdown (full story HERE) - my digestive tract was in bad condition and I had constant gut pain, was constipated, got to the point of daily headaches, was so depressed/purposeless that I was on the verge of suicide, had constant angry outbursts, anxiety, fatigue, weakness, etc, that lasted about 8 months.
Going back to January when I stopped posting updates on Universal Eater... I felt amazing on my sugar free/cacao free diet, eating mostly meat, eggs, veggies, plain yogurt, and a bit of nuts/chia. I feel that cleansing my body of ALL sugars (yes, even fruit) and cacao for a while was extremely important, and something that I'd like to do once a year. Mentally my status was on an even keel, and physically my strength was back so I started working out. My body started to lean out immediately after cutting the sugars (since I was still imbalanced, even a little sugar was causing my body to puff up). My motivation was high and all was good. An interesting thing happened too. Normally I despise winter. In my northern location in Canada we have very long, cold, dark winters that get me down and leave me with a perpetual chill. For the first time since I can remember, I felt comfortable in the cold. Near the end of January I started eating a small amount of sugar and cacao again and still felt great. By the time I went to Australia in mid February I was still eating meat (wild kangaroo!), occasional eggs, raw milk, and incredible biodynamic yogurt. By the way, chia pudding made with raw milk and topped with goji berries and cacao nibs is so rich, creamy, and satisfying!
These days I still eat meat on a regular basis and I do eat some form of animal protein every day. I feel off if I don't and end up reaching for too much sugar and cacao. Actually, it's my natural tendency to want to eat sweet things over anything else so I do have to be careful and make sure that I get sufficient protein. If I don't eat meat I enjoy fish (my dad catches it a few times a week) or eggs. In addition I eat daily salads, lots of fruit, nuts, seeds, moderate cacao, and my beloved daily raw dessert. I feel much more balanced physically/emotionally eating this way. I know that excess cacao throws me off (especially when eaten on an empty stomach) so I know when to take a little break from it.
Just to be clear - this is what works for ME. I'm NOT suggesting that this is the way for everyone - in fact, I know that a raw and/or vegan diet works for some people. I DO believe that everyone on a SAD diet can benefit from eating raw vegan for a period of time in order to cleanse the body and mind. After that, it may be time for a rebuilding phase and this is where the animal protein comes in. Veggie proteins just don't do it for me in the same way. I've finally discovered that it's important to listen to my body instead of my head. Some days I crave eggs and the thought of meat turns me off - so I eat up my eggs with my veggies and feel great! Other days the opposite is true so I eat accordingly.
A meal of 2 eggs with spinach, zucchini, and tomatoes. I love runny yolks - a yummy form of biotin!
Interestingly I got many compliments about my looks when I was sick. On a regular basis I was told I looked great, looked healthy, looked fit. Yeah I was thin but I was tired 24/7 and slogging along. Last summer I went to my friend's gym in the city and while he was doing his workout, I took an exercise class - the same style of class I've taken many times in the past. I couldn't believe it when I was so weak that I could barely make it through 12 pushups on my knees.
I've put on some weight since changing my diet (I'd rather be 10 lbs thinner) but I'm healthy and strong again. Whoa am I strong! (well for my standards). Some muscles have reemerged that I think had started to atrophy over the past few years. I'm able to do super workouts now. I'm up to 20 "real"/man pushups in a row and complete up to 60 full pushups in a workout, something I couldn't do before. It's a great thing and I feel extremely empowered and motivated to continue.
So on that note, I'm happily forging ahead with my omnivorous, high raw diet. I feel purposeful again and life is pretty darn good...
I'd love to hear from you. Do you feel amazing on a long term raw food/vegan diet? Have you tried raw and run into any imbalances? Is the thought of eating cooked food or animal protein scary if it means gaining a few pounds, even if it means becoming healthier?