We made it. Phew! Without further ado we’d like to share our final reflections for the project.

Gabby

At the stroke of midnight on Friday I celebrated by devouring a giant pizza and a shameful amount of cheesy bread. It was a cathartic feeling, not going to lie. But the next day I definitely felt the “weight” of my choice to jump right back to greasy, cheesy, meaty food.

Five days later and I’m really enjoying choosing what I eat. But not without noticing how the food I’m eating now makes me feel in comparison to the food I ate last month.

Colin

Two McDoubles and a large fries order hit my stomach like somebody would slug you in a boxing match. Okay, it didn’t make me sick or anything, but I could have done much better in my splurge choices. The challenge is over, I’m eating normal stuff again. Life is good! But, after switching back, I can feel the weight of food. I sense when what I eat gives me energy or puts me out. Consciousness has heightened about what goes into me. I’ll save my breath, but check out our wrap-up in the audio player below.

To sum up our experience, we did an interview with our good friend Abbie Newton for Exposure on Impact 89FM, MSU’s Student Radio station. Give it a listen for a more in-depth look at our project:

That’s it! We’re shutting up…for now.

Check back in the coming months for updates!

Last night we hosted a potluck with help from the Hariet Brown House in East Lansing. We asked guests to contribute a raw dish, and the support came through! We saw lots of desserts, but also juices, and one of our friends made a tartare from a deer he hunted in November. The spread was impressive, but it served mostly to foster community and have some conversations about eating raw. Thanks to those who came out!

Cookie dough bites

Venison tartare

Some who attended expressed that making a raw dish was no joke. They had missing raw ingredients that were expensive, they questioned what qualified as raw, etc. It was cool to give people a first-hand look into preparing a raw meal. It’s costly and careful. All considered, we ate like royalty last night.


So, it’s day 30. As you can probably guess, our brains have been in hyper mode this month—especially when it comes to food.

Yesterday, we came across an article from WBEZ Chicago about a protest to get McDonalds to offer vegan options on their menu ( plant-based proteins aka veggie burgers). McDonalds has salads and even veggie wraps but there is no substitute for the infamous patty. The article goes into more depth about why people want this, how McDonalds has responded (can you guess?) and what an option like this really means.

This got our attention. First thought was, wouldn’t eating McDonalds defeat the whole purpose of being a vegan/vegetarian? Animals are still being eaten and most likely treated inhumanely in the process. Not to mention the amount of chemicals and processed junk that goes into McDonalds food.

Worth mentioning that when we started this project, neither of us had strong anti-meat opinions. We were not vegetarians or vegans but if meat was offered up, it was fair game. Our laziness and financial situation was probably the most likely reason meat was not a huge player in our diets.

It’s interesting to reflect now that we’re almost done with the project. We are striving to be more concious. But it’s hard. Neither of us like the idea of eating McDonalds or buying meat from questionable sources, but we will probably do it again. After eating raw for a month, it seems obvious that we don’t need processed foods and meat. Yet, we still want them.

I think once we realized this, the whole thing made more sense. Nobody’s perfect and sometimes we do things that contradict our ideal self. Maybe the people behind this movement just want to be given the option to eat at McDonalds. We can relate. We’ve run in to frustration about not having choices, it really sucks.

Thoughts? Would you eat a veggie burger from Micky D’s? Is this all based on principal?


We’ve been at it for 29 days now, and a few recurring ideas have helped us stay the course throughout the month eating nothing but raw food. It may not be the best for you, but these tips have certainly helped us.


Guilt-free Cinnamon Maple Pumpkin Ice Cream

Really, eat as much of this stuff as you want, it’s raw!

Alert: We used canned pumpkin, which isn’t totally raw. Also note that the mixture may not have the consistency of hard packed ice cream at first, but rather it’ll act like pudding. We like it this way, but you can throw it in the freezer for a bit to harden it up. Enjoy!

A Doc to Watch

So, it’s actually a TED Talk, but we made an exception because it was too intriguing to ignore.

In his talk, Jamie Oliver addresses our food ignorance in a very passionate way, and his attitude is pretty contagious. He urges food education at a young age and proposes starting a food revolution, especially in schools.

He also shows some are some pretty intense clips. Like one of a mother talking about the food that she feeds her children. With the help of Oliver, she admits that the food is is giving them “will kill them”. Pretty shocking.

After watching the talk, we scrolled down the page and some of the comments caught our attention. A few commenters pointed out that Oliver doesn’t seem to back up his claims with information and facts. One says he should have cited a dietitian or nutritionist.

What do you think? Does he need to back up his claim or is this an accepted truth, staring us in the face?

Last night’s dumpster haul = lunch today…and the next day.

Gabby

So, I cheated yesterday..kinda.

I was at an award event with my Dad and it was in a banquet hall. I planned to just eat the starter salad and avoid any other temptations (pop, bread rolls, cake). So when they brought us out the vegetarian meal in place of the chicken and mashed potatoes, I noticed that we were the only two in the place. Feeling bad that the crew had prepared special food for me, I couldn’t send it back—especially in front of my Dad’s colleagues, bosses and friends.

It was a roasted tomato stuffed with assorted sauteed veggies. And I ate it.

I could argue that it was in an effort to fit in and not be a bother, but I won’t lie—I felt empowered to make a decision and not be ruled by my “diet”. I’m living with the consequences (confessing on the blog) but truly I feel good about it.

After eating oily, cooked veggies I felt heavier and some gut rot, or maybe that was the guilt. So I cheated, but I learned that raw food has immense power over how my body feels.

Colin

I cheated this morning. I got something from the fridge for breakfast, and saw the sushi rice my roommate made for the house the other night. It was staring straight me in the face, and I took a few bites. Woe is me, right? But I feel terrible for breaking the challenge! I’m recalling Ronda Bokram’s advice in denouncing food’s power to control our mental well being; guilt is useless. But hey, I didn’t burst through my belt, and I intend to plow through this speed bump and finish out the month.

With a week left, I’m sick of this challenge. It’s expensive, it’s exclusive, it’s torture at times. Every smell and thought of cooked meals salivates my mouth. I feel we’ve learned just about as much as I needed to—raw food used to be my one single answer to sustainable happiness! It makes me energized, feeling positive, alert, etc. It’s all the good things in life, except for social acceptance. My life is limited right now. I can’t go out to eat with my friends, I can’t drink a cup of milk tea my roommate made specifically for me. The challenge prevents me from engaging with my community in a positive way at times. I believe we can all work more raw foods into our daily intake, but when it comes to spending intentional time with others, we should not use our diet as a cost to community. That doesn’t make sense.


A Doc to Watch

Forks Over Knives talks about animal foods as cancer causing and heart disease producing. The doc delves into the physiological aspects of the classic idiom, “You are what you eat.” A few subjects in the film abandon prescription medication altogether in place of a rich plant-based diet (by a doctor’s orders), in order to rid their bodies of disease and other side effects caused by the drugs. The need for an all plant diet gets hammered home repeatedly, from as many angles as we can digest as viewers. It’ll make you conscious of what you eat, why you eat it, and what can happen to you as a long-term result.

Netflix Instant Queue

The film gave us further affirmation that our practice yields some of the healthiest outcomes possible from any kind of diet. It does however, contradict some of what nutritionist Ronda Bokram told us about our relationship to food. Ronda says we should indulge when we want to, as long as it isn’t all the time. This doc says more-or-less to avoid animal food products and processed meals altogether. So, which is it? Both are scholarly sources, so what are we supposed to believe? That’s been a struggle for us this month, but the trend seems to be in the latter. Avoiding animal and processed foods makes us feel better, but may also make us deficient in some areas, such as calcium.

This clip stood out to us, relevant to what happens to us when we eat fatty-rich or processed foods. Skip the intro, the clip starts at 0:27.


Sharing the love via a recipe for raw tacos. We eat them more than normal people should. Try this recipe and you may ditch that weekly visit to Chipotle