Raw Foods Trial: Day 8--The Day After Raw

This post, the last of the daily posts on my seven-day 100% raw trial, documents my official return to cooked foods. Once again, I'm sure you all know the drill by now: first I'll list the foods I ate and the schedule I kept, and then below I'll share my closing thoughts on the day. [See the full archive of posts on the raw foods trial.]

Breakfast: 8:00am
2 cups of pineapple, 1 apple
1 splash of caffeinated coffee (yep, I seriously had about 1/16th of a cup--literally a splash).

Note: we played some doubles tennis that morning and the first piece of cooked food that I had--during a break between games--was a simple bagel. Pretty anticlimactic, I know. More below on how my body dealt with it.

Lunch: 1:45pm
2 apples, and yet another huge veggie platter of carrots, celery and a tahini dip.

Laura's comment after I made up this platter: "you know you don't have to eat this stuff anymore, right?"

Dinner: 6:00pm
All cooked food. A small glass of red wine to start things off, followed by a Tortilla Espanola (it's basically a frittata with fried potatoes and onions--a recipe post will be forthcoming!). Dessert consisted of a couple of pieces of dark chocolate and another glass of red wine. Delicious.

Concluding Notes/Thoughts on the Day:
1) On returning to cooked food: Most raw foodists are quick to share war stories about how they can get totally sick on even small amounts of cooked food. And most raw food trials seem to end with a final post describing how horribly sick the trialee became after the very first day of returning to "dead" food.

Sorry to disappoint, but that just didn't happen to me. I felt fine. The dead bagel I ate on the tennis court didn't make me barf, nor did it give me projectile diarrhea, much to the relief of our tennis partners. And dinner didn't make me double over with cramps or keep me in bed the next day.

Of course, that didn't stop me from worrying that I'd get sick. In fact, the whole reason I only allowed myself a teensy splash of real coffee this morning was because I was literally afraid to drink any more than that. I didn't want to suffer a spontaneous death from toxin overdose, or suffer something even worse--a spontaneous bowel movement.

Once again, nothing untoward happened. It was all so anticlimactic. And I'm not ashamed to admit I was just a tiny bit disappointed.

2) My first glass of wine: I had a tiny glass of red wine (don't worry, the dark chocolate part is coming up) right before dinner. The wine didn't taste all that good to me, oddly enough, and just a few sips made me feel surprisingly buzzed. (Talk about a completely unexpected way to save money on wine!)

3) Chocolate: After dinner, I helped myself to another very small glass of red wine. Thus fortified, I helped myself to a single individually wrapped square of Dove dark chocolate. And then another. And then 10 more, and then another 20. And then... I'm kidding. I managed to stop at two. Once again, nothing happened, other than perhaps a few quiet moans of pleasure.

4) Despite Laura's comment above about not having "to eat this stuff anymore," my diet on Day 8 was mostly raw by design. I thought it would be prudent to gradually work up to cooked foods over the course of the day, rather than start out with a heavy, eggs-and-sausage type breakfast and shock my body first thing in the morning.

5) I will say that cooked food, and particularly the dark chocolate, tasted stronger--and better--than ever today. They tasted "loud" to me, for lack of a better word. I'm sure my palate became quite a bit more sensitive after eating relatively bland foods for a full week.

6) On how easy it is to overeat cooked foods: My dinner, a Tortilla Espanola, was a simple dish which I lightly seasoned with some ground thyme and fried onions. It was really good. Really good. But I will say I felt heavy and really full once I finished eating, and (this part is sort of hard to explain) I had this vague guilty feeling, as if I had just eaten a ton of food that I didn't really deserve. It all went down the hatch so easily, too easily, with almost no effort or chewing, and I felt almost like I hadn't really earned all those calories.

It was so much less of a mindful experience than eating a big platter of fresh veggies and being forced to take the time to carefully chew through everything. Clearly, it's far easier to thoughtlessly overeat cooked food because it requires so little effort to consume it. I can't imagine how anyone could have a mindless eating problem on a raw-centric diet.

Stay tuned--in a few days I'll run my final conclusions from my raw foods trial!

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Diane said...

Congrats on a successful week - and thank you for sharing with us such a fascinating series. I was very intrigued by your experiences and insights.

I like the idea of noting that cooked food makes for less mindful eating. I know this is true for me - as I eat quickly, and that is not always good for me. It's a good reminder to slow the pace, chew more and not feel inclined to scarf up everything.

To me - rather a raw foods sceptic - this seems the biggest benefit of the raw foods regime. It gets you to think much more consciously about what you put in your mouth and why. That's a bnefit no matter what we eat.

Julia said...

I think I was most curious to read this post... if you would have a Morgan Spurlock moment (in the end of the movie when he returns to his old diet). Glad it was anti climatic.

I wonder if the heightened awareness of food is a mere fact of changing your diet for a week. I was on a liquid diet once, and had a similar experience when I returned to normal food... trepidation and greater awareness.

Congratulations on making it through a week! I would not have been able to make it.

kittiesx3 said...

Congrats indeed! When you first wrote about going off caffeine, I assumed that was permanent--was it just for this week's trial?

Regarding wine and a buzz, I find if I haven't had wine in a week, the first glass will knock me over. Then again I'm pretty much a lightweight.

Great series, very interesting.

Maggie ~:) said...

The feeling you had after eating the Torte, I had it last night after making beef and been nachos. I had been craving beef all day and so I treated myself, but after I ate the nachos, even with the Tiny amount of ground beef that was on them, I felt rather "Meh" about the whole thing. I blame it on the crappy seasoning I used, and the second serving of nachos. But I also blame it on the fact that I am no longer satisfied with the same foods I'm used to craving pre-mostly-veggie-healthy diet.

Daniel said...

Diane: Thanks so much for the feedback. And I'll confess I was a raw food skeptic too (it was my skepticism that make me want to do this trial!), but I'm much less of a skeptic now.

Julia: a Morgan Spurlock moment... I love it! I guess this was sort of an anti-Morgan Spurlock moment if you think about it. PS: Don't sell yourself short on succeeding on a trial like this! Seven days isn't really that bad. You can't give in and cave right away on Day 1 or Day 2, and before you know it, it's Day 5 or 6 and you won't want to cave so close to the end of the trial. :)

Kx3: Thank you! I'm glad you found the trial interesting. And yes, I gave up coffee solely for the purposes of this trial, and I've gone back to my old ways since then. But since kicking the coffee habit turned out to be so easy using my method, I can see myself going off caffeine again in the future.

Maggie: I hear you. Long ago, we went to what I call a "part-time vegetarian" diet, and meat-centric meals just don't have the same appeal to us any more either. Thanks for your comment.


Fern said...

I wonder what eating all that fruit without much in the way of protein would do to a person`s blood sugar over the long haul.

Daniel said...

Hi Fern: I'd encourage you to go back and read the full series... you'll find that I got more than enough protein from sprouted lentils and grains. I didn't directly measure my blood sugar (moreover this was only a seven day trial), but based on how I felt and my exercising over the course of the week, my blood sugar was at normal levels. Thanks for stopping by!


Marcia said...

Wow. I just read the whole series (when I should have been working). Will have to go reread it. My thoughts:

1. Wow. That's a lot of apples.
2. I really need to try sprouting.
3. I am impressed with your race results. I recently ran my first 1/2 marathon. I have found it to be a huge science experiment to figure out how to fuel myself before and during long runs. You were going at a very good clip. (My next 1/2 marathon goal is to beat a 10:00 mile. 1st was 10:28).
4. I know exactly how disappointing it is to wait for the perfect avocado and find it brown. Also bad: cutting into one a day too early when it's watery and not completely ripe. And I live in California, you'd think I'd have them figured out by now.

When you put wheat berries in your smoothies, were they always sprouted? Or sometimes just soaked?

Daniel said...

Hi Marcia, thanks for your comment. I generally used sprouted wheat berries in my smoothies, but on some days I used soaked ones if I was out of the more mature sprouted ones.

The sprouted ones taste slightly sweeter as the fat in the seed gets converted into starch, but it basically doesn't matter which you use. As long as they are at least soaked overnight, they can be processed in a blender as part of a smoothie.

Congrats on your 1/2! I'll be looking forward to hearing your time on your next one.


The Diva on a Diet said...

Congrats on finishing the trial and on your excellent series here, Dan. Its been a fascinating trip to be sure. I just caught up on reading the last few posts and your conclusions have been so interesting.

In a way, I'm not surprised at the anti-climactic ending, I mean, your natural diet seems so healthy already and its not as if you don't already eat a ton of veggies. I'm glad the digestive doom was avoided, though!

It seems to me that a bagel would be a nice, smooth transitional food, gentle even. And I love your description of the chocolate as "loud" - what an absolutely appropriate usage, I got the concept immediately upon reading it.

I've no doubt that the experience has made you a more mindful eater and I find that both commendable and exciting. Congrats on this great experiment and the series, Dan!

Daniel said...

Diva, thanks for the positive vibes, and thank you for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it.


Michelle said...

Glad to hear to didn't get sick after switching back to cooked food.....we've all heard the horror stories. Congrats on making it thru the week!