Wow this year has really flown by…Can’t quite believe its already April!Warning : Wordy entry ahead
I’m really thankful that I’ve had the time and opportunity to do some travelling over the past one month. I’ve seen some beautiful places and created some amazing memories =) So Wanderlust curbed …for now haha.
The only downside about travelling is how reality strikes you hard when you’re back. For me, the junk eating and gluttoning it out has really taken a toll on my health and waistline =(
So I’m dedicating April to be my “GET BACK ON TRACK” month. This month, I’ll be starting on another raw food detox and cleansing my body from all the post-holiday junk.
I stumbled across the concept of a raw food detox by accident almost 2 years ago. It was one year into my first corporate job when I realised that I was leading a really unhealthy lifestyle. I was eating and snacking on a lot of unhealthy food and nights out involved heavy drinking and suppers in the wee hours of the morning. Exercising was out of the question because I was just too lazy after work. I wasn’t exactly fat but I could feel myself getting flabby and feeling tired all the time. I’ve also had very bad digestion problems and chronic constipation since I was a kid; and this sedentary lifestyle and junk eating was making it worse.
So one fine day, after almost 2 weeks constipating (okay gross i know..) I was surfing the net for natural remedies or some form of detox solution. Didn’t exactly know what i was looking for but I knew I wanted to stop taking laxatives because I was already immune to some of them. By sheer luck, Steve Pavlina’s blog appeared on my google search and I was intrigued by his 30 day raw vegan challenge. It seemed so….clean! Yes, that was the first word that came to my mind haha. I then spent the entire weekend googling about this detox/lifestyle. Initially, I didn’t think much about this detox because it seemed IMPOSSIBLE to follow. What? Give up cooked food? But i love my economic mixed vegetable rice and weekly ice cream treats! But the more research I did and more i read about the benefits, the more I was convinced to try. I have to admit here that vanity was a huge motivator. I read that some benefits of this detox included clearer skin, smaller pores and healthier hair…so of course i had to give it a shot right? I mean, WHO DOESN”T WANT SMALLER PORES???
I knew very little about raw foods when I first started. My meals consisted of alot of plain salads and fruits and I didn’t own any kitchen equipment except for a chopping board and a knife. My friends and family thought I was crazy…even I thought so too myself. I didn’t manage to complete a full 30 day detox on my first try..it was more like 2 weeks. But even then, i felt much healthier and was SOLD on this detox.I went to the toilet more regularly, and I SWEAR, my pores were smaller. Heheheh
Fast forward 2 years, and much more research and experimenting later, this raw food “detox” has become more of a lifestyle for me. Every 2- 3 months or so, I’ll do a strict 1 month raw detox…and then for the subsequent 2 months, I follow a 60% or so raw diet.
I’m greeted with either blank stares or bombarded by a long list of questions when i tell people about my lifestyle. So let me share with you the more common ones:
> So…what do you eat? Carrots and more carrots?
This is the number 1 question I get from people!
> How do you get full? You must really have a small appetite!
On the contrary, people who know me will tell you I can eat. Alot. But the beauty about raw foods is that you can eat all you want and not feel guilty about it!
> What do you eat on a typical day?
I always start off the day with a green smoothie. I LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES!! I have salads or raw wraps for lunch and dinner. In between, i snack on lots of fruits, nuts and raw bars. Once every few days ,I’ll try out some new recipe – like a raw dessert or bread.
> Do you crave/miss cooked food?
It really depends on my mood. Sometimes when I see a cooked dish that i like, I’m more motivated to re-create it as a raw dish. Other times, like for example when I’m having a bad day I’ll crave my comfort snacks or when I visit my grandma and she cooks my favourite childhood dish.
RAW FOOD DETOX
> Its so hard to go 100% raw! How do you do it?
Well yes, i have to admit that it is hard. Some days, I add things like cooked chickpeas or a spoonful of quinoa in my salad and some days, I have a small bowl of cooked soup. But i don’t beat myself up over it. I try to make sure it’s at least 80 – 90 % raw though.
> Must you eat organic? It must be very expensive…
Not all my fruits and vegetables are organic…but i make sure that my leafy greens for my smoothies are because I’m blending the entire vegetable.
It is more pricey than a normal lifestyle but definitely manageable if you plan your meals and mix and match the expensive and cheaper vegetables. Think of it this way. Pay a bit more for your health now, and spend less on healthcare when you’re older!
> What are some of the benefits of a raw food detox?
tons tons! Off the top of my head because I’ve experienced them – improved digestion, higher energy levels, weight loss, clearer complexions, mental clarity, smaller pores! But please read more from the experts here and here.EATING OUT
> Do you eat out?
> Where do you eat out? I can’t imagine you have many places to dine.
Well, luckily for me, my favourite cuisine is Japanese food and they have lots of raw items on their menu! I would go to Sushi tei/Ichiban sushi and order a fresh salad…and sometimes get a miso soup/edamame peas/ cold tofu to accompany it. I don’t eat meat but do eat the occasional raw sashimi…so japnese restaurants are my go to eating out place!
Some other places that are great for eating out with non-raw friends are places like Marche (target the vege bar), Cedele, The salad stop, Dann’s pescetarian, PS cafe, The little part one cafe, Real food grocer etc.
I also go to hawker centers and food courts – I order one giant plate of fruits and a large glass of sugar cane!
> Do you socialize less?
Not at all! When im meeting up with my friends, I go to the restaurant’s website to see if they have an online menu. If they do, then I look through what I can eat. Luckily for me, my friends are huge jap food /western food fans so I always have something to order. Sometimes, if the restaurant allows, they allow you to customize your dish if you ask. I also omit the dressing and fried stuff on salads like bacon and crotons. If not, I just meet them after dinner and we chill at some place for drinks. (tea for me please!) .
> What about work lunches and stuff life that?
Normally i pack my own food to work. But when we have corporate events and I’m on a detox, that’s a bitch haha. I either try to get out of it (personally, Im not really a PR person) or I go and just have a cooked meal no choice lor.
> Where do you get your groceries?
Sadly, there aren’t any farmer markets in Singapore or natural foods mecca like Wholefoods=( I get my greens and fruits from the local supermarkets. For specific fruits and vegetables (like organic veges/ avocados..), I prefer going to the higher end supermarkets like cold storage or fair price finest. I get my nuts and dates from Mustafa and sometimes Malaysia. I also frequent a few organic food places for raw food specific ingredients (ie, cacao powder, cacao butter, chia seeds) like Four seasons organic market and Eat Organic @ Bukit Timah.
I’ve not yet tried shopping at iherb.com but I’ve heard rave reviews about it. Shall try getting a few items once my stash from Whole foods finishes.
> What kind of kitchen equipment do you use and what do I need?
I use a blender, food processor and dehydrator to prepare meals. BUt honestly, if you’re starting out, all you need is one dammed good blender that can make your smoothies, sauces, nut milks etc. I’m SO LUSTING AFTER THE VITAMIXXXXX!!!!!
Honestly, I can’t rave enough about this lifestyle but you really have to try it for yourself to see and experience the benefits. Because its different for everyone. Even if you don’t wanna start 100% raw, try making small changes like going raw for one meal of the day. To replacing your snacks with fruits . To eventually trying it out for 2 – 3 weeks =) Just have fun while at it! I for one have discovered so many different types of fruits and vegetables I never knew exsisted in the supermarkets that have become my new faves. Trust me, its worth it!