My Diary – Eating Raw 5/2

I suffer with a fair amount of stomach problems, pains, cramps and bloating. It isn’t easy to deal with because in my line of work I need to be physically fit and able at all times. I also have a fairly unreliable immune system due to suffering with quite severe, life threatening illnesses as a small child and as such, catch a lot of colds, flu and viruses. Since retiring from boxing I can honestly say that my diet has been erratic, uncontrolled and very poor in comparison to the quality of nutrition I had whilst training full time. I started to do a bit more research into the issues I was having and stumbled across the #rawdiet fad that’s creeping it’s way slowly across the globe. I watched an incredibly interesting documentary called “Food Matters” on Netflix, and I learned about a process called Leukocytosis, in the case of digestion and nutrition, caused by a diet consisting of predominantly cooked foods (to be precise, 51% or more of cooked foods).


Google defines Leukocytosis as…

leukocytosis
ˌluːkə(ʊ)sʌɪˈtəʊsɪs/

noun

Medicine
noun: leukocytosis

– an increase in the number of white cells in the blood, especially during an infection.

 

The study mentioned in the documentary was conducted by Dr Paul Kouchakoff MD and was labelled “The influence of food cooking on the blood formula of men“. The study showed that if your diet consisted of more than 51% cooked food then your boy would react to that food as if it was a foreign organism and deal with it accordingly – in this case, by releasing white lood cells to the stomach to combat the invasion. The documentary then goes on to state that if you can change your diet so that at least 51% of your consumption consists of raw food, leucocytosis will be prevented and this will hugely unburden your immune system.

After learning about this process, I decided it was time to make an immediate and decisive change. I set my stall out to ensure that for at least 5 days a week, the majority of my food was completely raw. As it turned out, that has resulted in me eating a diet consisting of approximately 90% raw foods and (obviously) an almost completely vegan programme with a few occasional exceptions. At weekends I eat whatever I want, usually meals with meat, occasionally bread, a few carbs and the odd sugary treat. I also learned through watching “food matters” that many vitamins and minerals are diminished or completely destroyed by exposure to heat (vitamin C for example). All of the information I noted and compiled convinced me that it was definitely the right way to go. Then it started…

My diet at present (during the week) looks very much like this:

Morning:
Fruit, nuts and seeds (occasionally Skyr yoghurt)

Lunch:
Salad – consisting of raw fruit, leaves, vegetables, nuts and seeds
Green Tea

Dinner:
Salad – consisting of raw fruit, leaves, vegetables, nuts and seeds

Hydration:
Throughout the day I am trying to drink as much water as possible but my hydration hasn’t overly changed and I still indulge in the odd can of ginger beer or glass of fruit juice.

I am generally dressing the salads with a mix of organic, fresh lemon juice, organic raw honey, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a healthy sprinkling of Himalayan rock salt (the pink stuff). What’s really amazed me is the wonderful depth of flavour you can introduce by varying the vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts that you include in each meal. Later on in the diary I will include a list of ingredients I have been using.

Alongside all that I learned regarding leukocytosis, I also discovered a lot more about the famous “super foods“. That’s a term that is bandied around fairly regularly now but, unfortunately, not many people really understand what it means. Super foods are consumables with a far superior level of vitamins, minerals and nutrients wen compared to other foods. Examples of super foods would include:

  • raw honey
  • goji berries
  • echinacea
  • turmeric
  • wheatgrass
  • spirulina (the primary source of protein for the ancient civilisations of central America for 5000 years, has a higher percentage of protein than any other known food; including meat and eggs)
  • ginger
  • coconut
  • maca powder
  • bee pollen
  • acai berry
  • raw cacao (highest known naturally occurring source of magnesium, chromium, iron, manganese and (probably) copper as well as being a great source of zinc and vitamin c)
  • kelp
  • wakame

Learning more about each of these foods, their respective history, where they can be sourced and how they can benefit me in a nutritional and holistic sense has now become my next task. After eating raw for 15 out of the last 21 days I can safely say I am feeling fit, strong and energised. I am suffering with less stomach issues, haven’t caught any bugs and (with absolute honesty) am thoroughly enjoying eating such nutritious, colourful and invigorating foods. My appetite has been regular, I am eating well, I’m not hungry, I don’t feel empty or have cravings and I am generally very happy with how it is going. Over time I am hoping to reduce the cooked food consumption on weekends, but I will never completely stop as I love to eat out and I enjoy good food. It’s just about ensuring I have the correct balance of cooked and raw food and that I ensure I am getting the right macro and micronutrients required to maintain and healthy and well nourished body.


Salad ingredients:

Vegetables

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • purple sprouting
  • kale
  • iceberg lettuce
  • babyleaf lettuce
  • rocket
  • cress
  • cucumber
  • spring onions
  • sugarsnap peas
  • tomatoes
  • peppers

Salad Fruits

  • pomegranate
  • mango
  • red grapes
  • pineapple
  • apple

Seeds and Nuts

  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • cashew nuts
  • walnuts
  • brazil nuts

Morning Fruits

  • apple
  • banana
  • kiwi
  • pear
  • honeydew melon
  • watermelon
  • lemon
  • lime
  • plums
  • grapes

Occasional Additions

  • skyr yoghurt
  • sourdough bread
  • bulgarwheat
  • cous cous
  • quinoa

Dressing

  • balsamic vinegar
  • raw honey
  • lemon juice
  • black pepper
  • Himalayan rock salt

I will be continuing my new food plan into the future and will update you again in a few months time on my progress, any physical changes and any problems or additional benefits I have noticed. Thanks for reading this far and hopefully you have seen something that may help you.

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