My 10 Day Raw Food Experiment

Byline: Seraphina Sharif.

10 Day Raw Food ExperimentIt’s spring time! And what a great opportunity for us all to take inspiration from the renewal in nature and explore new paradigms, grow into new life approaches and new foods.

For me, this shift started last year with a small raised garden a good friend built for me and a video clip of someone by the name of “Markus Rothkranz” posted by a Facebook friend late June of 2013. I had never heard of Markus R. before then. I watched the video clip and at first glance it reminded me of one of those gimmicky sales pitches that most of us dread. 

I was skeptical to say the least. The “Life Scientist” in me, however, kept nudging me along to learn more about this guy, his life story and Raw Food. I have a background in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine, and going completely raw goes against some of the key paradigms and principles of my practice, the foundations of which go back thousands of years.

Nevertheless, I was drawn to reading the e-book and leaped at the opportunity to experiment without any specific commitment to the new approach. The new approach, I decided, had my attention for 10 days, not one day more, not one day less!

And here I am, almost 10 months later and the “experiment” gradually became my way of life. I can’t see myself going back to the way things were before. Needless to say, the change came like a big whirlwind and rearranged one thing, then another and had a ripple effect in every aspect of my life. 

About 20 pounds lighter in weight, feeling energized, more than 1/3 of my closet donated, every room and drawer in my home uncluttered, car loads of stuff donated, list of Facebook friends cut by half and mentally clearer and lighter than I have ever felt in my entire life. Not to mention lower monthly gas bills, as cooking is no longer required. 

As well as, grocery bills that are cut by at least 1/3 if not more without all the packed and processed food.

I walk around my home asking myself: How can I SIMPLIFY more and optimize how I live to truly enjoy life?

Is there anything I have missed that I could donate and minimize? That’s all because getting lighter physically, mentally, and emotionally feels so good and natural. 

Simplicity: when LESS is truly MORE! As in our natural state, going back in time during the first 9 months of gestation, when from a tiny spec of human plasma we grow and we have everything we need.

And so the Journey of a Thousand Miles started with 10 simple steps…

10 Day Raw Food Experiment Must-Haves

I Invested in a Slow Juicer, a Blender (Must-Have) and a Food Dehydrator (Optional).

Before starting the Raw Food approach, I kicked off my body’s “self-clean” button with a 36 hour water-fast to allow the body to clear any prior build up. As I understand, our bodies when inefficient do not absorb nutrients well due to build up. We may get hungry more often and the new nutritious food may go more to waste instead of getting properly absorbed. Similar to pouring expensive Fuel and Oil in a rusted antique car!

Step by Step 10 Day Raw Food Experiment

  1. First thing in the morning every other day: Water enema to clean the “sewage pipes” (or a colonic done by a professional for those who may be new to enemas)
  2. Start the day off with a physical activity of Choice for 45 minutes: Stretch, Yoga, Dance, Boot-camp workout, Mini-trampoline Jumps, Shadow box, Swim, etc.

    A really good $3 Google app can helped me build variety called “You Are Your Own Gym”, which allows you to build your own workouts or follow pre-set workout variations.
    If nothing else, I challenged myself on the mini-trampoline jumping up and down to get the lymphatic system going with some awesome music blasting in the background!

  3. Squeeze lemon/lime juice in a glass of water and add few drops of Nascent Iodine twice a Day (morning and later afternoon) to help detoxify and increase digestive juices to optimize digestion and absorption and minimize waste.
  4. Remain in a relaxed state: Breathe Deeply and Walk in the Sunshine
  5. No TV, No News for the 10 Days – (I listen and read news since then, but during the 10 days, I focused internally as much as I could)
  6. Drink one Smoothie for breakfast (Half Fruits PLUS Half Greens in some kind of liquid or water).
  7. Drink Juice (Half Fruit/Veggies PLUS Half Greens). Between 12 pm and 6 pm, I drank as many juices as I liked.
  8. Eat one Big Super Salad before 6 pm. Cut off for eating and juices is 6 pm or 4 hours before going to bed by 10 pm.
  9. Green or white teas mornings and nights. Avoid caffeine.
  10. Warm bath with Epsom salt. I took Epsom salt baths every night during the 10 days but now only when I feel like I need one. And went to bed by 10 pm the latest to allow the organs, body and the mind to rebuild itself.

After the 10 days, I felt great and I decided to stay on this approach “just another week”, and then “another week” and then “another week”.

By late summer/fall of 2013 and winter of 2014, I experienced more changes: I lost about 10-15 lbs in first couple of months.

Total weight loss has now stabilized to around 20 lbs; clarity of mind, increased energy and better sleep; did not suffer ANY flu or cold symptoms since summer of 2013, while everyone else around me was sick with some kind of flu or cold over fall and winter; my Blood Pressure went from 120/90 which is in the normal range to 113/72 which is in the “ideal” range.

To my family doctor’s surprise, my Heart Rate dropped from 90 beats/min to 72 beats/min pointing to the cadio-vascular system working more efficiently; Sun and skin allergies which I suffered from since childhood ARE GONE!

I am pleased to say that I can now easily sit in sun for a long time, tan beautifully without eczema or rashes. Markus argues that it is not the sun that causes cancer. It is the sun that pulls the TOXINS in our body to the surface that causes cancer. I think he may have a point here.

In my last visit at the optometrist, I was told that my vision had in fact improved in BOTH eyes. So the optometrist was asking what I was doing differently?

At the end of this, I encourage YOU to NOT take my word or anyone’s word for it.

Be it 3 days, 10 days or a month; 90% Raw, 80% raw, 50% raw; Give this approach a try and listen to your body and see the changes that you will manifest in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives.

SSS2 - CopySeraphina Sharif, MBA, RMT/CST
Seraphina has a an educational and professional background in Business and Finance, Energy Trading, Foreign Languages, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Massage Therapy, Energy Healing and Information Technology. Her hobbies include classic shadow-boxing, body weight training, learning a new language, astrology, the tarot, dream interpretation and remote viewing/perception.

New to Raw Food? Top Five Blog Posts to Get You Started

If you’re new to raw food and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here are my top 5 blog posts to get you started.

Is It Necessary To Go 100% Raw?
In this post I go through the different options for incorporating a raw diet. Explore the best way to bring more a more vibrant raw diet into your life.

13 Witchy Ways Green Smoothies Help You Feel Great All In Less Than 13 Minutes
Green Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to incorporate more raw into your world. Find out how and why green smoothies are raw magic!

Go Raw or Die Trying?
Often we feel we need to go all or nothing when trying new things. Find out how to make lasting healthy changes that will keep you going on your raw food journey.

21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet
Whether you’re a long-time raw foodist or just starting to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, this post give you creative ideas to beef-up your daily vegetables intake.

9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life
More than helping you to look and feel better, incorporating more raw foods in your diet can have surprising other benefits.

As you step into your raw food journey you might find yourself drawn back to the dark side with those pesky cravings. Check out my online course I’ve put together to help Cure Cravings Forever! And for that love of sweets replace those unhealthy desserts with delicious 30 Healthy Desserts You Can Eat Every Day and rediscover the magic of eating healthy!

Why You Should Eat a Raw Food Diet

This is a guest post by Ingela Johansson.

Maybe the benefits of raw food diet have you raising your eyebrows… The question is, are you ready to start eating a raw food diet and begin enjoying true raw food health?

You don’t have to eat a 100% raw food diet to reap the health benefits that come with it. The benefits of raw food diet run deep. Listen to your body, and do what feels best.

But do remember that the more natural foods you eat, the better it will be for your body, mind, and soul.

The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

So why should you start eating a raw food diet? You’re probably thinking about how hard it will be to transition and start getting used to a whole new menu. But I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. The benefits of eating more raw foods far outweigh the hassle you have to go through in order to learn a few new tricks and recipes to make it work.

Did you know that most diseases are caused by unhealthy dietary choices?
It’s 100% true.

We don’t think about it when we eat food that isn’t healthy for us, but each time we put something like a candy or ice cream into our body we are hurting it. Our bodies are made for natural foods, because they provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy and vital life. Many who’ve suffered from illnesses and ailments have been cured when they embarked on a healthier diet because they finally allowed their body to start healing.

How to Transition & Enjoy The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

Incorporating raw foods into your diet can feel overwhelming when you don’t know anything about it. In reality, it is simple. Eat the fruits and vegetables that you desire, and eat as much as you want. When you’re new to eating a raw food diet almost anything is allowed, because it is a time of experimentation.

Try new things and see how they work for you. Check out some raw recipes, they are delicious!

Here are 3 simple ways you can get more raw foods into your diet.

1. Add Smoothies – I have always liked smoothies and found them to be an easy way to add more raw foods into my diet. You can start by drinking a smoothie instead of eating your usual snack between meals. Throw some bananas, spinach and berries into your blender and enjoy the ride.

2. Eat Fruit Before Your Meals – Eating fruit before your meals will decrease your appetite for cooked food, so if you’re planning to lose weight, this might be a good option for you. It is also good for reducing cravings. I sometimes get a craving for sweets after I’ve eaten cooked foods. This usually doesn’t happen if I eat fruit before my meal. Try it!

3. Have a Raw Day – One day of the week; immerse yourself into raw foods cuisine. Go to the your local store and buy a huge amount of organic fruits and vegetables. Having one 100% raw day per week can give your body a rest and let it heal and rebuild. Make it a day of relaxation where you take it easy and try new things.

Raw Foods Cuisine and Achieving Raw Food Health

Raw food health is not about following a strict diet, at least not for me. Like I said above, you don’t have to be 100% raw to get the health benefits raw foods give. Again, listen to your own body, and go at your own pace. Start small and make consistent changes. You will be amazed at where you land in a month or two. There are no rules, you can gain the benefits of raw food diet right now. You can make juices, smoothies, delicious raw brownies, or you can eat everything as they are. It’s completely up to you.

Now get out there and start enjoying the foods that will bring you vibrant health, energy, and joy.

Ingela Johansson is in love with natural skin care. If you want more natural anti aging tips, you can visit her blog, where you will find topics ranging from how to find an eczema cure to learning how to start removing age spots.

Back to the Future with Raw Foods

This is a guest post by Liz Longacre.

My husband and I, and a few courageous friends, have spent the month of January on a raw food ‘live-it’. My husband suggested it and it fit perfectly in line with the current evolution of my relationship with food. So with a big fat “I love you”, I quickly agreed. I love a man who can challenge me!

I’ve been on what you could call a spiritual food journey. I’ve been exploring the relationship between eating in a way that’s right for animals, the environment and my own health. More and more I’ve been taking things back to wise old Mama Nature. Our food production system just seems to have strayed so far from what nature intended. The health and environmental consequences being inflicted upon us as a result are clearly screaming “go back”!! In this case, going backward may really be the best way to go forward.

“Nature” has many definitions. The simplest being “the world of living things”. Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated with this world, drawn to it, captivated and comforted by it. Perhaps growing up in New York City helped me to appreciate the times I would get to fully immerse myself in all of nature’s wonders. Walking through the woods by a lake with my dog on family vacations was always my simple version of Utopia.

My fascination with nature first and foremost always included a love of animals. To me, animals are magical. They are the essence of nature, it’s most instinctual creatures, so full of emotion and sixth sense wisdom, so beautiful and so strong, yet so vulnerable…

It’s this love for animals that led me to start a travel business completely dedicated to their welfare. It’s also what led me to be a vegetarian for 12 years and, once I educated myself on our factory farming system, a vegan for the past year. Once I began my vegan journey, I knew I had to be healthy to maintain it properly.

As a woman who spent most of her life, (a) using her stove solely to brew tea, (b) acting like sticking a frozen meal into the microwave was a balanced dinner, (c) pretending that ketchup was a food group, and (d) thinking it’s okay to substitute any meal for desert because the calories would even out and I NEEDED sugar to survive I knew I had some work to do… I needed to respect my own body as much as I respected the animals I hoped to spare.

So I started exploring what it means to eat healthy. The more I learned, the more I realized, our food production system has become about endless chemicals and misleading labeling and we’re programmed to devour each bite with every ad that flashes our way. Companies providing our food care only about profits, not health. As a result we have an obesity epidemic like never seen before, increasing health problems (it’s been said that this will be the first time in history that our children’s generation will not live longer than their parent’s generation) and devastating environmental consequences. Our food is becoming a cancer all on its own.

Instead of eating what was given to us by Mother Nature, we’re eating mass produced low quality chemically filled cheap processed foods that are ironically often labeled as “vitamin enriched”. Manufacturers are certainly creative. Perhaps in this instance, creativity has betrayed us.

Our RAW-Donkulous Month!

So, to start off the New Year being the healthiest we can be, off we went into our raw food month. Back to living foods full of healthy enzymes that will keep us younger longer. Back to fruits, vegetables and nuts, straight from the earth. I knew one thing, it was our turn to get creative.

To avoid eating the same old salad everyday, my husband and I have been raw “cooking” up a storm! It’s been new and exciting, and admittedly challenging at times. But I’ve been following Raw Foods Witch ever since I met Nathalie at a conference, so I knew I’d be armed with great information
and recipes!

My favorite part of this experience has been juicing and drinking green smoothies every morning – AMAZING. It’s like kick-starting your day with a green jolt of nutrient filled power fuel! For once, I don’t miss my cafe con soya!

But it hasn’t been all peaches and almond cream and we’ve had a few bumps along our zucchini-bricked road (which admittedly led to a bit of cheating…).

Some of the lessons we’ve learned:

1. Gradual Changes are Easier

Some friends participating in our raw food month went straight from full on meat and/or dairy eating, junk food downing, smoking and/or hardly exercising (I myself needed improvement in the junk food and exercising categories), to nothing but raw foods – not easy. Starting as a vegan made the transition a little less drastic for me. To make a raw food ‘live-it’ work as smoothly as possible, a gradual change might be easier for both your body and your brain to process.

2. Prepare Ahead

Sticking to raw foods at home was easiest because we emptied our fridge of all temptations. When you’re out and about in the world, things get tricky. Plan ahead! Bring snacks and leftovers and find restaurants with raw food options so you’re never wandering around hungry and aimless!

3. Avoid Alcohol

I admit, this was not a no alcohol month. Not surprisingly, the times I struggled the most were the times I went out to dinner with friends and had drinks. My booze tolerance is next to nothing. After two glasses of wine I approach full on deep-fried carb-packed cravings. After 2 dinners like this, I realized that alcohol was not going to be a friend of my raw food challenge. Shocking.

4. Have a Support System

Doing this month with my husband and friends made all the difference. My hubby and I often spent Saturday nights in the aisles of Whole Foods with our recipes in hand. It was fun and even kind of romantic :)

5. Watch Your Ecology

Being healthy and feeling great isn’t just about the foods you eat. It’s also about how much you exercise, your lifestyle and your emotions. To feel good you have to check all your systems and fine tune them. One thing cannot carry all the rest by itself!

6. Get Creative

As mentioned earlier, you simply cannot eat the same thing everyday. A lazy raw food diet could mean salad, a handful of nuts and some fruit, every-single-day; here enters food boredom and stir-crazy cravings. To prevent this, we got creative and constantly tried new things.

We’ve made everything from raw chili, to raw mushroom “calamari”, to raw veggie burgers, to raw spaghetti and tomato sauce, to raw jicama fries, to Nathalie’s raw strawberry shortcake and key lime pie! Not to mention the endless amount of smoothies and juices we’ve concocted. Have fun with it, get good recipe books/websites and get your creative green juices flowing!

Liz Longacre is the founder of Your Time Travels, a travel company for animal lovers. Whether you want to volunteer abroad with animal welfare projects, go on safari adventures, enjoy vegan resorts, or travel with your own adorable pets, her company can get you there! You can keep up with Liz at her blog Yourtimetravels.com/blog and website www.YourTimeTravels.com.

Top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch

Don’t have the time to go through the whole spellbinding archives? Start by the top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch!

Why It’s Easier to Go Raw Than To Become Vegan

Who knew that going raw could be easier than just vegan? This post clearly explains that choosing a raw diet is not only easier, but also healthier than the common vegan diet.

7 Reasons I have a Love / Hate Relationship with Raw Food

There are always two sides to a medal, and having a raw diet makes no exception. Changing your diet can sometimes have an important impact on your everyday life. Discover the ups and downs of a life in the raw.

The Importance of Investing in Yourself & Your Health Without Giving Up

Changes towards a healthy lifestyle require commitment. By investing in yourself, you’re not only taking the first and necessary step towards a healthier self, but you’re also putting the basis of a sustainable self improvement.

9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life

More than helping you to look and feel better, incorporating more raw foods in your diet can have surprising other benefits.

Set Yourself Up for Raw Success

Changing your diet can definitely bring some joy, but the road can also get rocky too. Avoid the common roadblocks of your journey to raw foods, and gear up for success with raw coaching. The group coaching session here might be already over, but personalized one on one coaching sessions are still offered.

21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet

Whether you’re a long-time raw foodist or just starting to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, this post give you creative ideas to beef-up your daily vegetables intake.

Healthy Desserts: 28 Healthy Dessert Recipes in the Raw

Why do we love sweet food so much? It doesn’t really matter since you now have 28 healthy desserts you can eat everyday. This means 28 other delicious reasons to try raw food today!

How to Stay Raw When Dining Out at Restaurants

You don’t have to sacrifice your social life when committing to a raw diet. This post gives you great tips and ideas to eat raw at omnivore’s restaurants.

Why Food Allergies for Nuts, Gluten, and Milk are on the Rise and What to do About It

Food allergies and intolerances can silently sabotage your health. This video post clearly explains how food allergy works and what you can do to spot and prevent it to develop.