Some of you are probably wondering if I’m still on my diet. The answer is a qualified yes! I have found it much easier than I anticipated in terms of cravings or missing certain foods and a little harder than anticipated in terms of preparation and expense. After the initial strict 6-week phase during which I lost about 16 pounds I happily entered into the more relaxed stage of the diet. This stage allows some small amounts of meat protein (not a big problem with me) and you can add back in a few treats like a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Although at times I’ve allowed myself to relax a little too much, in general I’ve kept to the overall diet. I decided to try to stick with the whole raw foods, no oils, sugar and salt at least 80% of the time and to not beat myself up if I sometimes indulge in a butter croissant and latte on the way to class or the glass of wine and cheese and crackers on Friday evening to celebrate surviving another week. I’ve now lost more than 20 pounds and dropped from a Large in tops to a small/medium and am in one size small pants. For the most part my blood pressure hovers around normal or below. In general I find I sleep better at night which is a big plus for me as I’ve dealt with a lot of insomnia over the past four or five years. I recently read a study that says sleep allows the brain to clear out toxic waste including proteins linked to Alzheimer’s so I’m really happy that I’m getting more of it!
As I mentioned the issues for me are preparation – salads take longer, as does the preparation of fresh vegetables. Salad is also not as attractive as a cold weather dinner as it is in the summertime. I load mine with black beans, tomatoes, cut corn, and other veggies to make it hardier but there are cold evenings when I give in and have a baked potato topped with lentil soup instead of a big bowl of leafy greens. I appreciate the soup recipes you have shared – I am enjoying them. Eating this way requires more trips to the store to keep fresh raw foods in stock and I’m pretty sure it is more expensive (although that might just be me picking up other things every time I go to the store for more lettuce)! If any of you have given this food regimen a try I’d love to hear how it is working out for you.