Coming to the EpicSelf HQ I was excited to try 30 days with a high raw vegan lifestyle. I have chronic IBS and was looking for relief from my symptoms. I'd read about the healing effects of a raw diet and I was eager to give this a try for myself. I mostly stayed away from dairy and meat at home so I expected the transition to be easy.
I'll give you a break down of my experience. After Amber gave me my dietary recommendations I decided to ease into the high raw lifestyle. We were provided with organic produce and superfoods and I had no idea what to do. The first week was a bit challenging for me because I'm not used to preparing all of my own meals. I've never been much of a cook and I get delivery most nights out of the week in Houston. Being high raw meant I had to be in the kitchen and that was a new experience. There was an initial learning curve as I had to figure out what exactly I would be eating. Most mornings I made green smoothies for breakfast. At first I was not very skilled at making the smoothies so it took a few days to create something I actually enjoyed drinking. For lunch we made raw vegan recipes together and I had salads with quinoa for dinner or veggie wraps made with Nori sheets. During the first week I wasn't super thrilled about the menu I was creating for myself. Green smoothies and salads got boring for me because I was using all the same ingredients.
During the second week I expressed all this to Amber and she introduced me to some additions to the food I was currently using. I loved making heart of palm rice because it was so cool how a food processor could create a raw texture that was so similar to rice. Additionally, I made rice with cauliflower, cilantro, and lime to ween myself off the cooked quinoa. By the end of week 2 I was 90% raw and getting the hang of things. I begin adding chlorella and other supplements to my smoothies and began really incorporating the superfoods into my diet. I started to feel lighter and began to sleep deeper.
Week 3 is when I really started to feel the difference from my diet. My IBS symptoms had drastically reduced and my stomach was so sensitive that I was able to pinpoint foods that bothered me (looking at you raw tomatoes and onions). I felt clear and alive. I was able to feel inspired about my business and feel confident in my yoga practice. I felt strong, I sprang out of bed, and I was able to sleep through the night. This is the week I felt my detox fog lifting and started to truly feel vibrant and radiant from the foods.
Week 4 was my personal week to discover balance. At the beginning of the week I was very hangry and decided "I DON'T WANT ANOTHER SALAD!!". Luckily my co-fellow Carmen loves to cook and she whipped up a savory sautéed veggie mix. This was delicious and just what I needed to ground myself. The way I felt before and after the meal showed me that balance is okay. I don't have to be 100% raw to feel the benefits. I hadn't realized I put a lot of rules around my diet here and was trying to be strictly raw.
Overall this was a great experience! I feel so clear and calm after eating this way for 30 days. Additionally, eating a high raw vegan diet calmed my IBS but didn't cure it. At first I was expecting a raw vegan diet to be the end all be all for my stomach issues. Being here has allowed me to physically feel better, but to also learn to appreciate my body's messages. My IBS healing will take longer than 30 days and more than a 100% raw diet and thats okay. I do feel better so I will continue the vegan diet when I return to Houston, but I won't be strict with myself about being raw. I've learned so many vegan recipes and sauces and I can't wait to take that back home with me! First things first, I need to buy a food processor.