Experiment,  Ho, Earthling!

The Great Raw Experiment: Day 1

Art imitates life. Or is it the other way around? It’s so hard to tell these days.

Over at Causecast, one of the things I’m writing this about week is raw food. And either because I’m so highly suggestible or because it seems like a good idea (or both), I’ve decided to go raw. For awhile.

What does this mean?

Well, for me, since I’m not going to join Mel Gibson with the Tiger Diet (go on, click on that), and I think that re-creating familiar cooked foods with some weird substitution (a raw counterpart) is both useless and a waste of my energy at this point, I’m basically eating raw vegetables and fruits and that’s about it.

Day 1: a handful of radishes with pink Himalayan sea salt, about 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, and a handful of ripe strawberries. All food is local and organic.

Today I biked to the farmers market and bought more sugar snap peas and radishes and some lettuce. I have more strawberries and also apples and a few grape tomatoes and part of a red pepper, as well as some garlic scapes (immature green garlic) and rainbow chard, but I’m not sure how delicious those last would be raw. Maybe in a salad…

Yes, there will be weight loss involved here, no doubt about that. I’m not a particularly large person to begin with and most people would rank me on the thinner side of the human spectrum, so we’ll see what happens.  Initially this was going to be for 2 weeks but I may go 30 days. Bonus! A side effect of eating raw seems to be increased strength and stamina (lots of athletes are raw foodists), so this coincides nicely with my return to yoga and also to running.

Side effects so far:

  • a light feeling throughout my body, similar to that when fasting
  • hungry from time to time, but feeling satisfied so far with what I’m eating
  • the smell of cooking food, like when walking or biking past a restaurant (especially foods with a lot of fat in them), seems unusually distasteful

I’m not sure I could keep this up indefinitely; I LOVE to cook, and I love the satisfying feeling of eating healthy foods that are seasonal and well-prepared, which in the past has meant something cooked.  I’ve been eating a primarily-macrobiotic diet (a loose, non-anal version that has room for chocolate and the occasional potato chip) for years, and I really LIKE rice and veggies.  I would also miss soup.  So we’ll see.  I’m certainly having a new appreciation for the sugar snap pea, and I am especially grateful to be trying this in summer when there’s a good variety of local, seasonal produce, rather than in the dead of winter.

Later on through this experiment I’ll be posting links to resources and more information.


  • Ron

    I think you are on to something when you say that the smell of cooking food (now) seems unusually distasteful. I would usually say to eat what you WANT to eat. But what is WANT? (not to get too philosophical here). How do we get through the many layers of HABIT to perhaps find out what we (simply?) want?

    It’s great that you explore and share. Maybe we’ll all find something new. Give us a shout from the “other side”.


  • Daniel

    “the smell of cooking food, like when walking or biking past a restaurant (especially foods with a lot of fat in them), seems unusually distasteful”

    I tried raw food for a while, and I remembered feeling the same way about most food. But I tried it without meat. I started looking at plants everywhere differently. I wanted to chew them. Prepare to lose weight. Your eyes get clearer. Some moles in my body started disappearing. No joke! Buy a dehydrator.

    But I could not hack it. A 50% martian body type does not help. It gets hard to ride your bike up a hill. Woody Harrelson has not been able to hack it completely either. Gandhi, who was very small, ended up drinking goat’s milk. I personally think that raw milk is the key that’s missing — but it’s really hard to get raw milk. When they pasteurize it, it’s pretty much like cooking it.



  • admin

    Ron, you said: “What is WANT?” Apparently want, for me, is potato chips and Oreos, understanding that “want” is a relative term. Sigh. Eating should not be so complex and require philosophical dissertation, or should it? (Next we discuss the word “should,” which is a whole other can of beans.)

    Daniel, you’re right, it’s harrrrd, and mostly, I think, because I suddenly felt I was depriving myself of all those things I never eat anyway, so why now? I want clearer eyes. I have more energy on raw food, btw, at least for as many days as I managed. I’m biking and running and yoga-ing and hiking and it’s great.

    Come to Washington for raw milk — I can buy it right in the organic grocery! Multiple locations! When I was in CO I got raw goat’s milk, definitely an acquired taste, but for raw cow’s milk in CO you have to buy part of a cow, which seems burdensome. Now I don’t do much dairy at all. Especially not on raw days.