Moments Of Clarity I’ve Had As A Result Of My Diet

I’ve been doing this raw food diet for the past week because I’ve been eating pretty badly lately and thought it would help wean me off sugar and carbs a bit. And, to be fair, it’s been pretty great. I actually do have a lot more energy and feel better (less headaches, not as much trouble geting up in the morning, sleeping better, etc). However, among other things, the diet is supposed to give you moments of clarity. I’ve found that clarity is often confused with “being absolutely crazy irrational.” I’m going to drop some things I’ve realized this week on you, sort of the way the Dalai Llama does.

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    • Jamie Peck

      I have never done a “cleanse” but I will eat raw food just for fun any old day of the week. It’s pretty tasty, esp. the desserts. I know you’re on a diet but try the desserts!

    • August S.

      Sh*t– first I get into a religious war with Jamie, and now I’m going to take you to task for going raw. Hey, remember back in the day when I was the fun commenter? Those were good times…

      Ok: Unless your raw diet is composed of sashimi and beef tartare, you’re not cutting down on carbs and sugar– in fact, carbs and sugar are almost all of your calories. Yes, vegetables contain protein (especially dark green leafy ones like kale and spinach) but they are mostly carbohydrates, and fruit is mostly fructose. Fructose, in addition to being a sugar, isn’t processed by the digestive track– it’s processed by your liver. In addition to some disturbing things this does re:triglycerides, it also means fructose doesn’t trigger appetite hormones like leptin which are your body’s way of telling you “hey friend, you just ate! You’re full now!”
      Now, if you’re eating a whole fruit– like an apple– that lack of signal is countered by the fiber in the fruit, which is digested normally and signals to your body that you just ate something. When that fruit is juiced though, most of the fiber is removed. So now your body has so-much-f*ing-ENERGY let’s-go-DO-something-YEAH! but the digestive system is completely out of the loop; when the energy from the carbs and fructose has been burt through (or stored as fat, because you can convert only a certain amount of carbs to fuel at a time and insulin isn’t going to let the rest just hang around in your bloodstream getting in the way) that cashew milk is going to start calling to you with the voice of a thousand creamy, delicious protein-and-fat-filled angels. Not only do you desperately need some fat to absorb many of the vitamins that you’ve been getting from the fruits and veggies, as far as your body is concerned the cashews are the first food you’ve had all day.

      Now, doing a raw juice fast for a week won’t do long term damage– but it will set you on a cycle where when you get hungry you grab sugar or carbs, which is exactly what you said you wanted to cut back on. It’ll also screw with your leptin levels and your insulin response (when you flood your body with carbs and sugar all the time the insulin receptors get dulled) and send the signal that you’re in the middle of a famine. That signal means non-essential functions like your immune system will be allotted less energy, and your metabolic rate will drop.

      So now that I’ve gone all nutrition nazi (I know, Godwin’s law, I just lost) I will say: it’s awesome that you want to eat healthier! My (totally unsolicited) advice (which you are welcome to throw out) is: eat whole foods (not processed, not packaged, try to cook it for yourself if possible), eat lots of veggies, a moderate amount of protein AND fat, some fruit, and don’t eat much sugar of any kind (artificial, stevia, honey, regular table sugar). And that’s it. Basically just be kind to your body and give it the food it knows how to handle.
      I don’t eat like this all the time, but I always go back to it, because I feel (and look) better when I do (and eating real food beats the hell out of drinking cayenne pepper lemonade for 2 weeks, which is how I used to detox before someone sat me down and explained why that was a terrible, terrible idea.)

      If you wanted to do a raw juice fast because you just REALLY love smoothies or decided solid food was gauche I’d be 100% behind you (and probably would have written a much shorter comment). I don’t want to come across as berating you for your choice– it just makes me really sad when people do juice fasts for their health, when I’ve read so much that suggests it only exacerbates carb and sugar cravings. And I worry! (I’ve very sorry, my inner Jewish grandmother is showing.)

      • Jennifer Wright


      • August S.

        Touche’, Jennifer. Shine on, you crazy juice-guzzling star!

    • Rose D.

      Wine and Butterfingers is the best dinner!! Also, maybe I have been drinking. Jennifer, I am glad you a a guinea pig so I don’t have to be. You rock.

    • adrianne lukas

      Weeehhh! I would love to experience that ‘moment of clarity’ as well! Like Jamie Peck, I’ve never done a cleanse myself and i believe that it would be worth it to try!