Whenever I think of Americans on a diet, the word “irony” always pops into mind. For most of our existence as homo sapiens sapiens
we've been struggling to find enough to eat. In Paleolithic times, human cultures idolized the overweight female figure, creating Venus statues with double-E breasts and rolls of fat hanging over the waistline. The Vikings had a concept of heaven where every day was a perpetual feast, and the giant hog would willingly come to the slaughter each day only to be resurrected the next day after it had been eaten. And in Africa today, women actually go to “fattening camps” to gain weight for special events such as weddings.
Amazingly, Americans have achieved the dream of almost every culture in the world up until modern times. With morbid obesity on the rise, many women (and men) resemble those Venus figurines that were so delectable to our ancestors. We can go to an all-you-can eat buffet any day of the week if we wanted, and even if we can't there are still plenty of opportunities to overfeed ourselves. So I find it ironic that now we have made our dream a reality, we want to fight it and starve ourselves.
That being said, I've gone on a diet... ;)
Which leads me to my most recent read:Book #9: 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End your Dependency on Cooked Food
, by Victoria Boutenko( Or, How to Become a Rabbit in Just 15 Days )
That being said, my recommendation for a raw food diet is not necessarily the same as my recommendation for the book. I generally don't do "diets" in the typical sense. I have very little willpower, and if I feel too hungry the diet goes away without reservation. I would rather be slightly overweight and happy than thin and miserable. The past three "diets" I have embarked on have been for health reasons, with weight loss as only a hopeful side effect.
I found this diet while searching for a way to deal with sugar addiction, which stopped my last summer's diet from succeeding. Last year I tried a diet to cut all refined sugar and flour from my diet, and I was promised by the book I was reading that it would be tough for the first 2-3 weeks before energy would magically come rushing into my body. I waited it out for six weeks, and I was perpetually hungry and tired and cranky before I finally gave up. I wanted to find an alternative, and raw food was one of the ones presented to me.
What most impressed me were the before-and-after pictures I saw on several of the raw food sites, as well as the testimonials that went with them:
So far I've been on the diet 2 1/2 weeks, and I have to say that I'm quite pleased. It hasn't been a miracle diet like it was for Boutenko ‒ I still have bad knees, my allergies are acting up, and I don't have boundless amounts of energy. However, I have noticed my energy is more consistent throughout the day, my sex drive is up, and I have lost over 5 pounds, which I consider to be a minor miracle. I have never lost any weight on a diet ‒ in fact, I can't even remember the last time I didn't gain
weight from a diet.
I would definitely recommend a raw food diet as something to try at least once in your life, just to see what it's like, even if it's only for a week. Most people who go on a raw food diet eat anywhere from 50%-90% raw ‒. For most people, that's like eating a couple of meals of healthy fruits, vegetables, and nut dishes, and then having a nice big steak for dinner. While 100% raw is the golden number strived for by purists, I think that kind of eating is over-doing it, especially for people just dabbling with healthy eating.
I'm finding that most people object to giving up good food when going on the diet, but there are some surprisingly good raw food recipes out there on the internet (Borders in Arborland Mall also has several raw food cook books as in the "special diet" section). The trick is not to expect everything to taste like typical American cuisine. True, some dishes try to mimic what we're familiar with, but for best enjoyment, treat it like you would any new cuisine. You don't eat Chinese food or Indian food because you expect it to taste like McDonald's. Likewise with raw food cuisine.
If anyone has any questions about the diet, feel free to post here or e-mail me. Also, for anyone interested in hearing about my experiences with the diet so far, feel free to visit my blog set up just for this purpose