My husband and I recently did an almost-28-day only-raw-fruits-and-vegetables cleanse (inspired by Anthony William in Medical Medium). Going cold turkey from warming winter comfort foods to eating only raw fruits and vegetables in the middle of winter is no piece of cake. No glass of wine to reward myself either. Cleanse was the idea. I had an attitude, and felt deprived and pretty sorry for myself. The cleanse was also antisocial - no winter dinner spread would have enough raw foods to satisfy our eccentric temporary diet. On top of that came the steep learning curve of switching to raw cuisine overnight. They do a lot with red peppers and cashew nuts. And we were supposed to have fruit smoothies in the morning. Coming from northern Europe I like my breakfasts savory - fish, eggs, ham, avocado, all good - banana/blueberry/date smoothies - too sweet for me.
So my attitude just wasn't there, and I was disappointed that I didn't see/feel/experience any amazing changes right away - whether clarity of mind, clearer skin, my graying hair back to brown, requiring less sleep, or other miracles (all in the literature about the benefits of a raw food diet mind you). To the cleanse's credit I have to say that my husband reported a clearer mind and some weight loss.
Then I read RAW: The Uncook Book. Juliano Brotman, its author, prefaces the book with the statement that he is not eating raw for all the obvious health reasons but for "Taste and pleasure and only taste and pleasure." Maybe you have to live in a warm climate to be so obviously enthusiastic about raw foods. Maybe my attitude prevented me from experiencing the wow effects. Maybe we would have had to pull this through for several months or do this during the summer.
The best from this raw adventure is that I picked up some new techniques to add to my uncooking repertoire - mixing raw mushrooms with soaked sunflower seeds and chopped carrots as a stuffing; puréeing soaked cashews into a smooth crème that can become the base for all sorts of things (from faux whipped cream to faux pâté ingredient); adding a whole raw red pepper to vinaigrette ingredients and blending it all into a truly delicious salad dressing. In addition, the colors of our meals were always technicolor.
I am on to the healing powers of green smoothies now. Victoria Boutenko, author of Green For Life, reports in her Roseburg Study that participants drank a quart of green smoothies each day for a month while maintaining their regular diets, and reported amazing improvements in their health and disposition. That seems pretty easy to do. According to Boutenko we all suffer from low stomach acidity and fiber deficiency in our diet, which lead to a host of symptoms. Let's see what this next adventure in healthfulness brings.