It’s been going on for a few weeks now. You know, that niggling feeling that something’s not quite right. That you don’t feel quite as good as you could. That maybe, dare I say it, you might have deviated too far from what you know you should be doing. It can start insidiously enough, but before you know it, it’s becoming more habitual. It’s confession time! Not helped by the fact that I am currently working with a “feeder”, I had been eating too many raw energy bars. Made from dates and nuts, they’re a lot healthier than many snack foods out there. But they don’t really create energy (that only happens in your mitochondria).
As a result of this daily bar (or two), and a few too many almond butter smoothies (yum!), I was starting not only to crave sugar, but was also getting horrible muscle cramps in my legs at night – something I had never experienced (apart from once in a Marathon), even with years of long distance running. Time for a personal experiment – time to get back to what I know, from all my years of experience, really works best for me.
This was my plan:
1. No more raw energy bars or raw smoothies (that’s saved me a few ££), and cut out all sugar. Yes, I have gone fruit-free for now as well. The feeder’s not too happy about it, but she’ll adapt. This is one thing I am not going to compromise on to please others.
2. More green juice. I have doubled my green juice consumption and am adding spirulina to it, every day. Because I work 10-hour days, I make a big batch in the morning, drink half of it for breakfast, then decant the remainder into two 250ml BPA-free bottles. I drink one of these at 11am and the other at 4pm. Interestingly, no more muscle cramps at night. No muscle pain after my long runs (not that I suffer much with that anyway). That’ll be the minerals and electrolytes then! (See below). Click here to order the juicer that I use and recommend, and quote RAWFOOD20 at checkout to obtain a 20% discount.
3. Add seaweeds to my salads every day. I don’t know how I managed to let this one slip, because I always keep plenty of dried seaweed in the kitchen. Maybe I just forgot to open the cupboard in which the seaweed is stored. Whatever the reason, I wasn’t getting the extra minerals, notably iodine, that my body was craving. Iodine is super-important for boosting the metabolism via its beneficial action on the thyroid gland. Back on track now with daily nori and dulse. Yum!
4. Get back in the sauna. Whilst food is a big part of the health picture, detoxification is also hugely important. I have an infrared sauna at home, and I hadn’t been using it very much. How silly! I am now back in it 3 times a week. Yes, I know that daily is better, but even this superwoman can’t quite fit that in around work, training, food prep, blogging…
5. Increased water consumption. Strangely, as I increased my green juice consumption, I also felt more thirsty. More water (filtered of course) to flush the system through. And raw coconut water too.
The upshots that I have noticed in the past 14 days of this experiment are as follows:
1. No more painful leg cramps. These were gone within just 3 days.
2. Waking up earlier and with more energy.
3. Quality of my workouts has improved. Today’s run was outstanding! I feel stronger.
4. I have lost 1.3kg and my muscle definition has improved. Note to those who haven’t met me – I am not overweight and never have been – I am a UK dress size 6-8 (USA size 2-4), but clearly some fat loss has occurred.
5. My resolve has strengthened; I am going to keep this up.
So, even though I had never deviated from 100% raw vegan, I wasn’t doing it in the way that suits me best – I had, in effect, downgraded my diet. And as a result, I downgraded me. Have you ever done the same, then come to the realisation that it wasn’t the best thing for your health, energy and well-being? Get back on track with a few simple tweaks and upgrades – you’ll be glad you did!
For those interested in the Hippocrates Health Institute, whose system I follow, please click here for more information.
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