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11th April 2016

The raw food reality

What happened when we logged the play-by-play of America’s most extreme diet

Elena Gibbs imagines a more truthful alternative to the Raw Food health blog.


8:30 – Hurdle one. Something’s telling me this diet requires preparation despite its deceiving title. What is breakfast with no carbs? Is bread raw? Consider an egg, remember that it can’t be heated. Settle for a tomato and a banana.

9:00 – Think about toast while showering.

10:00 – Having difficulty concentrating, eat handful of raw almonds and Google search ‘raw food diet’. Leads me to a 4od documentary on Health Food Junkies, but I get distracted by recommended link to ‘Dogging Tales’.

11:00 – Feeling moderately disturbed, and momentarily relieved from the thoughts of my new raw life, I decide it’s meal time again. Or a caffeine hit. Wait, is coffee allowed? No hot drinks? I settle for a shot of tequila.

12:15 – I glance at the light and begin to see dancing spots of illuminations flash before my eyes. I remember something from childhood about carrots and night vision, so munch on two like a sick, sadistic reindeer with no Santa.

12:30 – Is there anything other than gazpacho on this regime that counts as a legitimate lunch? This soup seems to be the only thing even close to resembling a real human meal. If cold spiced tomato liquid is the beating heart of my life at midday, I’m already questioning whether I want to live.

15:00 – After excessive Googling, I’m pretty sure this diet is just veg and nuts. Unless I eat a raw steak, perhaps. Uncooked meat, broccoli and walnuts. I’m going to be popular in the office. Good bye friends, social life.

17:00 – Choose an aged rioja from the cellar to complement my 7oz rump and settle down with a nice book. This isn’t so bad.

18:30 – Still drinking.

19:30 – My husband arrives home with a takeaway bag of Chinese sweet and sour dumplings and sticky ribs with seaweed. My favourite! I smile, embrace him and mutter something about a brilliant new way of life I’ve found. He pats me on my grape-stained mouth and we tuck in. Perhaps I’ll just eat raw when I’m alone, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone with my dietary requirements.

Sum up: Might work with a little planning ahead. You’ll hit a wall mid-afternoon, but the trick here is to allow in some of those fermented foods to wake your gut up (think: wine, sake, grappa, or even a mouldy piece of fruit). Good luck trying it. And it’s also super great because no calorie counting!! And oh yeah, I now feel AMAZING.

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