The True Raw Diet: Effects of Foods Most Never Notice

Posted on December 22nd, 2008 in depression,diet,greens,lifestyle,raw diet,raw food,raw vegan diet,recipes,toxins,vegan diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate
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It’s been a very interesting 8 months! As you may know I’ve been focusing exclusively on raw, whole foods and have avoided most everything else including raw ‘junk food’. This includes high fat avocados, dehydrated foods, processed foods, sauces, oils, bars and other foods that contain raw ingredients but have been processed. Basically I’ve eaten locally or organically grown fruits and veggies with a very limited about of nuts or seeds.

There have been many benefits to this but the one thing that stands out for me has been the ability to feel how everything I eat affects me.

I was fascinated with what I’ve learned.

From my research and personal experience, most people can’t tell how a specific food or ingredient truly affects them. When you eat a diet of anything but natural, fresh, raw whole foods you have a hard time hearing the signals your body gives you. Your body gets insulated and numbed to the natural signals it sends. Processed and denatured foods do that. Chemicals and toxins do that. These signals are essential to health since they are the only way you can tell if what you’re doing is helping or hurting, though most people on our planet can’t hear them.

Here’s a great example. I often would eat salads with green onions, arugula and similar ingredients. After many months of focusing only on whole foods, I’ve noticed how foods that some categorize as irritants like green onions affect me. Just after eating a salad containing green onions or arugula for example, I feel a buildup in my throat and often cough a few times right after the meal. I tested this by eating my next dinner meal consisting of only leafy greens of spinach and romaine with a blended grapefruit and tahini dressing and didn’t have that reaction. I felt awesome with no effects at all.

A similar test for this reaction was eating a portobello mushroom drizzled with a few drops of organic flax oil and nama shoyu. Before the end of the evening I had a small buildup of mucus in my nose whereas I normally don’t, especially now after almost 8 months of eating only whole raw foods. This was quite revealing since I only used a very small amount of both ingredients and the effects were evident in hours. My body was obviously trying to get rid of mucus created by the small amount of processed foods I ate. How subtle!

This experience of clean nasal passages alone is amazing for me since for years I had experienced so called ‘allergy’ symptoms of runny noses during certain seasons, nasal congestion at other times or just plain buildup of ‘junk’ that would often be present. Now going through almost a year of different seasons I haven’t had any difficulties, congestion or buildup… only when adding processed or irritating raw foods for testing on rare occasions.

By eliminating most of the processed foods and focusing mainly on whole foods I’ve noticed the signals my body gives me very clearly, often within minutes or within a day if not less. The signals are very evident and clear. I’m amazed by the clarity this provides me in how most anything affects my body. From stress, to different foods, scents, chemicals, people… anything in my environment.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’m never moody. In the past, even after eating 100% raw for a few years I would still feel moods come on at times, although much less than when on a partially cooked diet. Now regardless of what happens I always feel good and never feel my body ‘taking over’ with moods or unpleasant feelings of any kind. It’s a true joy to feel this way.

The experience has been enlightening and in my belief has brought me to a new level of health. Every day is amazing and just continues to get better. Our body is our natural guide… our built in GPS if I may, that helps us navigate away from what is not meant for us and towards pure health, but only if we allow it to by keeping processed and toxic foods out. In my opinion, this is truly what natural health is meant to be.

There is so much on this subject… I’ve only just begun. Let me know your thoughts and questions!

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11 Responses to 'The True Raw Diet: Effects of Foods Most Never Notice'

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  1. on January 12th, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your inspiring words, I have been thinking long and hard about adopting a raw diet, even if only for a 30 day trial (ie steve pavlina). I have been put off by my intense love for cooked food of all kinds – pasta, bread, cheese, basically any carbohydrate! I am starting to realise how this is a socially accepted form of drugging myself – think wine with dinner, a heavy bowl of pasta that leaves me in a carb coma, or a fast heartbeat from eating lots of junk food. I need to seriously commit to a cleaner way of feeding myself – but the first step is so scary and hard. What do you suggest?

  2. DT said,

    on January 12th, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I too love the clarity that a raw food diet brings. I have been 100% raw for about 15 months now (since November 2007), and I feel great. I have gotten a few of my friends to try it too, and I can see the changes in their lives. Unfortunately, they have difficulty with other members of the family not wanting to do it, so they struggle. But I maintain hope!

  3. KM said,

    on January 22nd, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I felt well, energetic and happy when I was on raw foods. I was raw for six months and now have fallen back into the “SAD” diet. I would very much like to go back to the wellness of raw food, however I will need to make adjustments as you have. I found too many avocado’s, nuts and oils were not getting the results I wanted, i.e. sluggish, weight gain etc. Thanks for sharing your journey and thoughts. It truly helps.

  4. Tisha said,

    on January 25th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I am 5 ft tall and weigh 95 lbs soaking wet. I am one of those fortunate/unfortunate persons with a fast metabolism, diabetes, and celiac disease. I am afraid to start this diet because I neither want to or can really afford to lose any weight. How do you maintain a certain amount of “fat” in this diet? Are nuts and seeds really enough?

  5. brbglov said,

    on February 14th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    i am struggling to eat a raw healthy diet since 1/16/09 i notice i am going back and forth to cook and raw i love avocado and coconut and certain nuts i have to keep away from when i eat a raw diet i still feel hungry for some to felt me up so avacado is not too good i never know that should i still take my vitamins what about drinking green tea

  6. Vegan Raw Diet Advocate said,

    on February 14th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Hi Jessica,
    Sure thing, appreciate you challenge with love of all carbs! :) I was there as well, not being able to let go for a long time. I was certainly drugging myself, drowning out emotions that I didn’t want to deal with and bringing momentarily pleasure in exchange for poor health. My two suggestions are: 1) to work on resolving unresolved emotional issues. Goal would be to bring more peace into your life, bring closure and work out things that bother you. Whenever you feel stress, unhappiness, lack of clarity… they are all signs that you’re not being you and doing the things you want. By listening to these signals you can identify these issue and clear them up. Suggested reading: Ask and It Shall Be Given. 2) Add more fruits and veggies into your diet regularly, in place of the pastas, wine, cheese, breads, etc. In the mean time, use heavier transition foods like manna bread, nut and seed ‘cheese’, raw crackers and similar foods to wean you off of pastas, etc. Adding more green salads, at first with heavier foods like avocados and nuts will help satisfy you. Over time and as a result of both resolving emotional issues and adding more fruits and greens, you’ll crave the carbs less and start enjoying the freedom from carb addiction. We have lots of resources to help at: Hope that helps!


  7. Vegan Raw Diet Advocate said,

    on February 14th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Hi Barbara, Sure thing, it’s not uncommon to go back and forth at the beginning. Cooked foods are addicting and it sometimes can take a while for your system (and emotions) to let go. When you start to feel better without them you’ll know you’re getting closer to the freedom of being able to choose what you enjoy eating, and what you feel is best for you and your health. Not because of an addiction or stimulus response to a food or emotion. Eating more greens will help with the cravings over time. Eating heavier foods like manna bread, nuts and seeds, avocados at the beginning while transitioning is good to get you off of cooked foods. Also eating more fruits during the day will help with the hunger. Eventually you’ll be satiated with less food since you’ll be getting the nutrition your body is craving (and making you feel hungry now). We have many resources to help further at: including raw recipe videos, meal plans, articles, questions and answers and more. All the best on your transition and enjoy!

  8. on February 14th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Great to hear your experience. Yes, sometimes it’s a challenge to stay raw depending on your situation. I’ve found that the longer you stay raw and the more you focus on a true raw diet, low in fat and without all the ‘raw junk food’ (processed raw foods) your chances of success are greater. The emotional side is a major factor for most as well, as it was for me. All the best on your journey and let us know how you’re doing or if we can help!

  9. melissa said,

    on May 22nd, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go full raw vegan. I’ve always been on the “heavier side” as i am 5’1 and 110 – 115 pounds. Do you suggest going full raw right away ? I’ve heard that the first week of detox can be pretty bag ? and suggestions or tips ?

  10. on May 22nd, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Melissa, Thanks for your comment. Sure thing, for best results, I recommend transitioning to full raw over 2-3 days to a week depending on how your detox symptoms are. You can always slow down the symptoms if you prefer by adding a little avocado or steamed veggies, although if you can, I would recommend going through them straight on. That’s faster and the symptoms normally go away in a few days. I talk about this in depth at The results are awesome… it’s how I took off 50 lbs and have been within 1 pound of the same weight for over 3.5 years. All the best! Mark

  11. PB said,

    on May 28th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I too love the clarity that a raw food diet brings. I have been 100% raw for about 15 months now (since November 2007), and I feel great. I have gotten a few of my friends to try it too, and I can see the changes in their lives. Unfortunately, they have difficulty with other members of the family not wanting to do it, so they struggle. But I maintain hope!