Ok, so I survived through the first few days eating nothing but raw fruits and vegetables. I gotta tell ya, I’m excited about this diet, but I was doubtful I could only eat raw fruits and vegetables and stay satisfied all day long. For the past few months I’ve had a problem with my blood sugar not stabilizing because of stress and not eating perfectly (I’m human too!!) so I didn’t know how this type of diet would do on my blood sugar levels. Normally if I don’t eat by a certain time at lunch time or if I don’t have any protein for breakfast I’m totally starving before lunch and am shaky and irritable. But on this program, you drink several (on the recovery diet you drink 6 per day) greens drinks that really do fill you up and balance your blood sugar while providing you with a TON of nutrients. The two products I mix together (powders) are called “Barley Max” and “Beet Max”. There is also a powdered carrot juice that I add in 1-2 times a day as well. Barley and Alfalfa are both known as “super foods” because they contain so many nutrients. They’re great for detoxification and cleansing the blood.
So besides the drinks 5-6 times a day, the rest of the diet is relatively simple…….salad. This is one of the things that I like starting off on this diet program is that there aren’t all these choices of what to eat and what to figure out to cook because you can’t cook anything!! Well, this diet is 85% raw (salads, fruit, regular cut up veggies) and then 15% cooked (palm-sized portion of either steamed or cooked veggies or brown rice or lentils, etc.). So it really amounts to a Barley drink for breakfast, one for lunch with a big salad, and one for dinner with another salad and palm portion of a cooked food of your choice (veggie). The nice thing so far is that since you can’t eat anything even cooked that the preparation of each meal is easier because you’re just putting your salad together. The organization is a little harder to figure out all the food you need for the week so you don’t run out of fruits and veggies and (most importantly) snacks! This is the crux of the entire program: if you don’t drink your barley drinks in the middle of the morning/afternoon and take healthy, raw snacks to munch on….you’ll get super hungry and be miserable. As long as you have those to snack on every 1-2 hours (even one little bite of a carrot) then you keep your blood sugar going strong and you feel totally fine. It really is amazing how quickly the veggies and green drinks balance your blood sugar. This past weekend was the opening weekend of deer season (I know, a vegan hunting deer, I can hear the jokes now!) so I took a cooler of nothing but salad stuff and vegetables with some hummus dip, my barley drinks, and a container of kale chips I made before I left. Here’s one recipe for the kale chips here, but if you have a dehydrator you can do the same thing but less olive oil and put them in the dehydrator over night and I think they are even better! I didn’t even eat that much while we were camping and I wasn’t hungry at all!! I never got hungry and actually had a lot of energy every day we were there. I was super impressed.
One of the things that gets hard about only eating salads day in and day out is the monotony of it all. I’m a HUGE texture guy and I get bored with things really quick. So we’ve really tried this week (first week I know) to get lots of different veggies to make our salads with and have some extra things (crumbled walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, artichokes, palm hearts, pickled okra, etc) to have with the salads and meals to make it feel like to our senses that we’re eating much more things and many more different thins than we really are. It’s working so far!! I haven’t had hardly any cravings at all, which is really huge for me lately, and haven’t been that hungry at all this week.
One way to stay motivated is to have someone keep you accountable. Cindy is helping me a ton, but my accountability partner in all this is Jim Brown, owner of a local organic co-op and a health minister with Hallelujah Acres. You can always contact him with questions about the program and with food and recipe questions or ideas.
We’ve picked up some different snacks to make the time spent in between meals less torture. For one, we got hummus and almond & cashew butter to be able to dip carrots and celery into. That works great because the celery gives you a ton of water and the hummus and almond or cashew butter give you some good protein to bring your blood sugar back up. We also picked up some raw granola bars by Two Moms in The Raw and will pull pieces off of a corner of one of those during the day. Hallelujah Acres has some great snack foods you can purchase from them as well. They have a survival bar that is great that I’ve tried and they had a pecan pie raw vegan bar (sounds gross I know) that is TO DIE FOR!! I could get fat on those bars alone, swear…love them.
So so far on the Hallelujah Acres 60 Day Challenge I think I’m faring pretty well. I’m going to weigh in this Wednesday and see where we’re at after slightly over a week on the program. I can already tell that my digestive system is really re-setting and feeling better so we’ll see how much weight I’ve lost by then. Remember, I started out this journey at 225 and 28% body fat. Look for at least one update on my journey a week just to keep you up to speed on how I’m feeling and what I’m eating (which isn’t much!!).