The Aha Moments

Heading into my final 8 days of the raw experiment and I’m still feeling good. I’ve learned so much, even when I thought I already knew so much about nutrition! My weight has pretty much plateaued over the last week. The interesting thing about that is that although I didn’t enter in to the experiment hoping to lose weight, the side effect felt good, which led me to start shooting for a weight loss target. I am about 4-5 pounds away from that target now. I believe the reason that the weight plateaued is due to eating denser foods – the nuts, seeds, bars, and most sabotaging to my weight has been the dried fruits. I was subbing dried fruit for my car snacks or on the go, in my purse snacks. Dried fruits, especially what I was eating – mango are super high glycemic foods and mango is also very high in calories. I don’t think that is what being on a raw diet is really about anyway – it should be more about all the fresh fruits and vegetables. One shouldn’t even need to venture out of the produce department in order to do this diet. So I’m back into the fresh foods, less interested in doing a lot more dehydrating – though I did make a nice cracker the other day that I will post shortly.

I’ve learned a lot about the way food is processed and that truly it is difficult to find most foods (fresh fruits and veggies aside) actually raw. Remember, there are no government agencies regulating the use of the term “raw” on food labels (at least, not yet). I was looking at a Raw Revolution bar at the store the other day, for example, and it says things like “raw, gluten free, vegan” etc. on the front of the label, but then on the back in very small print it said something like, “86% raw.” What does that mean? For the extremists out there, isn’t that like saying spaghetti bolognese is 86% vegetarian? It either is or it isn’t in my book – which is why I am not claiming to be “raw, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian” or any of those things. I am just a conscious omnivore and I try my best to make the best food choices I can.

Even when it comes to raw and vegetarian, I certainly understand the argument about making a smaller carbon footprint when we make these lifestyle choices, but here are a few examples where I would love feedback. How is buying a “young fresh coconut” from the Asian grocery store that was flown in from Thailand, that I have to drive 20 miles to get to… better than poached eggs from my neighbors (organic feed, free range) chickens with local spinach, toast made from bread made in Boulder, CO with organic butter from a farmer co-op? I’m not sure how to calculate that but I actually feel better about eating the latter (but not until October….). I have definitely spent more money on food during this experiment, and our grocery bills are already waaaaayyyyyy higher than the average family – again, that is likely due to the nuts and nut butters that may not have been so necessary after all, but I still love macadamia nuts (again, think about the carbon footprint of getting them to Colorado).

Thanks for listening, or reading. Let me know what your take is on all of this, I’m super interested. By the way, the picture is of a simple salad made with soaked wild rice, so, a wild rice salad. Today I’ll use the rest of the rice to make more of a rice-based salad rather than greens with a little rice in them.

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4 responses

  1. Raising livestock (animals) consumes vastly greater resources than growing vegetables even if one includes transportation impacts. The fact is, and this may not be directly applicable to your egg example, that much of the feed for livestock comes from out of country. In fact, it is my understanding that vast amounts of amazon rainforest, for instance, are being cleared just to grow food for livestock here and elsewhere throughout the world. The most beneficial thing human beings could do to reduce the environmental stess that they are inflicting on the planet would be to become vegan/vegetarian or at least move in that direction. Instead the world population is moving in the other direction and becoming less and less vegan/vegetarian thereby increasing the resources (energy, water, land useage, etc.) utilized and causing huge environmental impact, including a larger carbon footprint.

    • Thank you for your insights Eric, very helpful. Do you think at least starting with Meatless Monday is a great idea for non vegetarians? You are right that for most people, who do not have access to the local, small farm examples I gave, eating meat or any animal products for that matter, is just not good for the planet, period. What is your take on soy and GMOs?

  2. I believe the most conscientious way to eat is what grows locally. The problem is we have all been so spoiled to eat what we want and when, and yes Deb, that truly does not make sense if we are worried about our “carbon footprint”. Locally grown fruits and veggies (and meats, if desired) are the way to go. I live in a tropical desert where mangoes are galore during the season. Yet I know people who go to Costco and are buying apples. Hmmmm…that just does not make much sense to me.

    • I totally agree Michele. The challenge for me is that living at high altitude in Colorado, what are the best fresh fruits/veggies we can eat during winter? Clearly nothing is growing, except maybe in a greenhouse somewhere. Sure I can grow herbs indoors, but my apples and pears certainly don’t last very long. I’m not a potato girl. Don’t want to live on winter squash alone. But bananas and coconut, mangoes and pineapple? Those seem sooooo not even close to eating close to the earth. Even citrus comes from either California or Florida and honestly I can’t do a lot of citrus. I can’t give up dark, green leafies, so we just do our best to buy at least stuff that is grown on the West coast so it doesn’t travel an insane distance.

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