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My Raw Challenge: The Post-Cleanse Feast

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I promised to update everyone on my weekend eating, but I was sick in bed for most of yesterday, fortunately not because of all the real food I ate this weekend.

I stayed raw for all of Friday. Saturday morning I woke up and went to yoga, then ate a banana. I had plans to meet friends at Brooklyn's newly opened Smorgasburg, an open-air food market with vendors slinging everything from kombucha and pickles to tempeh sandwiches and grass-fed beef burgers. What a perfect spot for my first cooked meal in two weeks! All of the options looked fantastic, but my raw friend Eliana and I took our precious time making a decision. This had to be special.

I know I mentioned that eggs topped my list of cravings, so we first split an open-face egg sandwich with goat cheese, crusty bread, sautéed Swiss chard, and garlic scapes. Something we could have easily made ourselves, but still yum. I don't eat bread very often anyways, and I must say its chewy texture and crisp crust was really something else.

1 of 4

1 Open-face fried egg sandwich with Swiss chard and garlic scapes

2 Bean and cheese tacos

3 Truly the most delicious soft pretzel I've ever tasted

4 Not-too-greasy, perfectly salty French fries

Then we settled on tacos: grilled fish ones and vegetarian bean and cheese. Both delish. The day didn't stop there. After drinking a couple beers in the sun (I have to say, I did really miss a cold one), we ventured to a rooftop bar that serves the most amazing soft pretzels with flaky sea salt and a sharp, grainy mustard. My friends and I devoured one, then ordered another, and then another (!).

Then came French fries. I sampled these a little more generously.

I still stayed modest with my samplings though. The food filled me up quickly! And I was satisfied with just a little bit. I didn't need my own pretzel or tray of fries, just a few bites.

Sunday I started feeling sick, so aside from my morning kombucha I didn't eat much until dinner. I then indulged in my first piece of pizza! The slice, from one of my favorite Brooklyn pizza joints, was topped with a little red sauce, slices of eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and a drizzle of pesto. It was as glorious as it sounds.

So far this week my diet hasn't strayed too dramatically from the cleanse. I've been eating raw salads (arugula, avocado, cucumber, sunflower seeds was yesterday's lunch), fruits, and nuts. I did bring back non-fat Greek yogurt, but that's the only non-raw ingredient so far. Moving forward, I'll be eating less meat and dairy. Going raw definitely made me realize how little my body actually craves those foods. I'll still eat them when I feel so inclined--I'm not trying to deprive myself--but going raw made my body feel awesome, so when I'm the one controlling what I'm eating, I'll be finding new ways to incorporate raw foods into my everyday diet.

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Comments (7)

  • Although, I couldn't do the full raw diet , I applaud you for doing it. I am back on a Clean eating life plan. I do let myself slip once in awhile but I do feel much better when I am on plan. I think that's what is keeping me going.

  • Feasting after fasting makes you appreciate good food so much more!

  • Does look like a fun conclusion to the raw experiment. I'd have been worried about shocking my body with so much cooked food like that. My brother broke 2 weeks of clean eating with a bowl of chili and was sick instantly. And it was pretty good chili too!

    Thanks for all the great inspiration! It will be missed!

  • That pretzel looks amazing! I love this writer. She is so entertaining and thorough.

  • You mentioned being sick after the raw diet. I also got sick with the worst flu I have ever had after trying to go vegetarian. And this didn't happen once, it happened twice! My GP told me that not eating meat weakens my immune system very much. The antibodies in the blood are made of protein, and our body can not get all the essential amino acids when not eating meat. After that experience, I try not to do this anymore. I try to eat healthy, but I make sure I get all the nutrients that I need, and this includes proteins. I know that there are people who are vegetarian and are not sick the whole time, but keep in mind that not every body is the same.
    My reasons for going vegetarian were ethical, and it was hard for me to accept this, but I have. So what I am trying to say is that maybe the raw diet was not good for you, especially because you also gave up eggs and dairy. I think foods that are low on protein are bad for the immune system.

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