So I finished my almost vegan, raw food challenge! It was meant to be a 30 day challenge, but I added in another day, in order to compensate for a night of drinking (important social event ;)).
Unfortunately I didn't have my body fat measured this time, so I only have my weight in that regard. I went from 68 kg at the beginning of this challenge, to 63,6 kg this morning (32 days later). Thats 4,4 kg lost, about a kilogram a week, which I think is a fine rate. I didn't really have problems with excessive hunger at any time, in fact my hunger seemed to decline as the challenge progressed, which was probably connected with my loss of interest in the food I ate, and my increased craving for whatever I hot meat containing food I made for my girlfriend. Now don't get me wrong, raw food isn't boring, and I could have made it more interesting, or I should say varied, than I did - however making tasty, interesting dehydrated meals successful, takes a lot of work, and experience - in my opinion anyway. I really like a lot of the food I made, but just as if I were to only eat any other kind of food, say only cooked food, or even worse - only animal foods - it just limits your palate too some degree, even if you are very creative. That said it can certainly be done - but it takes a lot of creativity, time and effort to live off of purely raw (and dehydrated) foods.
According to my questionnaire - I did really well - I scored only 20 points this time, the best so far (lower is better). I didn't feel awesome though - I didn't feel 'light', 'high', 'grounded', or even especially energized, as a lot of raw foodies describe.
I guess my conclusion is that it definitely works for weight loss, and it may be a healthy diet for some time, but I have to admit that it is hard to follow, and from a theoretical stand point, I have a hard time seeing how a vegan (or close to) diet can sustain us without heavy supplementation as a life long way of eating. As for the raw part of it, I think people need to be less fanatic about it, and see it less black and white - some ways of processing may, in some situations be a better option than eating/drinking it raw. Teas - infusions and decoctions, is obvisously a good example of this, fermentation another. Besides these one can argue, that even though you do loose some nutritional value by heating your food, it may very well in some situations also improve digestibility, as well as make it easier to consume larger amounts of vegetables.
On top of this I also have a hard time seeing the scientific basis for the 'enzyme theory of digestion and health' - if I am correct (if you have studies showing otherwise - please link), and this does not hold up to scientific scrutiny, the idea of setting the border between raw and cooked foods at 42 degrees Celsius must be dropped. This will hopefully be replaced by a discussion of food processing as sliding scale, as well as a goal and situation based approach. A discussion of the 'living foods' concept, in opposition to the more simplistic term 'raw food', may also be appropriate.
Thats it for now - I plan to start my next diet experiment on the 1st of October - a traditional style, Western A. Price inspired diet.
Ohh one more thing - I'm going to see Daniel Vitalis on the 2nd and 3rd of October, In Christiania, Copenhagen :D
Btw. this is posted one day later than intended -so if you count dates - this is why it didn't match :)