Frequently Asked Questions For Our Raw Food Diet
Why Low Fat
In all of our programs we insist that everyone eat lower fats in their diet. There are many raw foodists out there that successfully eat high fat raw diets with no adverse affect to their health or weight. For us, the obese, the higher fats stop or stall our weight loss. Most of us feel that when we eat high fats we do not feel as energetic as when we monitor our fat intake. We also have found that the more fats we eat the more we crave fats and sweets, and the harder it is to stick to the program. So if you join RFBC, plan on living a low fat version of raw while you are losing the weight. This may mean that raw food potlucks are not going to work for you as most recipes brought to these events are made with a lot of fat. Trust me, weight loss and high fat just don’t work for most of us. You may be that one exception, but at boot camp there are no exceptions, so everyone is on a low fat diet.
What? No Dates
This is another contention among raw foodists. Again those that are naturally thin can eat as many dates and other high sweet fruits as they want. At Boot Camp they just don’t fit in. Most of us at Boot Camp if not already over the border are borderline diabetics. We can’t handle the high fruit. Maybe someday after you’ve been raw for a while a date now and then won’t spike your blood sugar, but for now while you are losing the weight, they are off the diet. That means no power bars and most of the raw food goodies that are on the market today. Another reason they are off the program is that for those who love their dates, it seems it is all they ever eat. We are about changing our eating habits, not substituting them with raw food choices. To check your favorite fruits Glycemic Index (GI) go to www.glycemicindex.com and click on their database. Make sure to check a food’s Glycemic Load (GL) as well – you’ll find an explanation for how this works at the site. For some foods like watermelon, its high GI is countered by its low GL making it a very favorable food at Boot Camp.
Only 1 Banana?
We actually almost had a banana war at Boot Camp. Dr. Graham advocates bananas as a source of energy. People at camp love their bananas, but we have found that for most of us with weight issues, more than one or two bananas a day stops or stalls our weight loss. Dr. Cousens has them on his high glycemic index list, yet from our research we have found them to be moderate. That doesn’t seem to matter with the weight loss. Even those who were staunch supporters of unlimited bananas in the end conceded that they thought it was the large consumption of bananas that was stopping them from losing weight. We try and limit our bananas to one or two a day while losing the weight. This can be upped when doing heavy exercise like running a marathon. Remember we are here to lose weight and to do it healthfully. At RFBC we do not advocate one guru or raw theory over another. We read and study them all and find what is best for us as individuals to lose weight and gain health. Everyone is different, we respect that. The low fat is mandatory at Boot Camp, as are the no high GI fruits. The majority of Raw Food Boot Campers follow a high fruit low fat program. This is what worked and still works for me and many have found it is what works for them as well. Others are afraid of eating so much fruit and opt for a more vegetable based program. Whatever program you choose, what matters is that it work for you and you find your way to a healthy trim new life. Once you get there we’ll start working together as a team to help you maintain it.
Organic vs. the Grocery Store
Whether you eat organic is up to you. If money is a factor then you just will not be able to afford to buy all your produce as organic. Use your judgment here. My grocery now carries organic. I look at it, if it looks good and it isn’t dollars more than the non-organic, I buy it, but I am not a fanatic about it. Remember right now this is about losing weight, not taking an ecological stand. You can do that after you complete the program.
We had a raw guru as a guest speaker once, and she actually said in regards to our worries about our teeth, that we didn’t really need them anyway! Okay, I am not on her band wagon. I don’t want to lose my teeth. You will be eating a lot of fruit, so make sure to brush often, floss, and scrub your tongue. Rinse your mouth with water if you can’t brush after eating. There are plenty of veggies with calcium in them, and Vit D comes from 15 minutes a day in the sun. Don’t let fear of this keep you from reaching your goals, just be smart about it.
This is another side-effect of doing this program. I did a lot of research on this and found out a few things: 1. People who have bariatric surgery also suffer from hair loss. They are put on a high protein diet, and yet they still have the hair loss. They say they think it is from the fast weight loss. 2. Hair is an excrement of the body, so if we don’t have as much waste, then it makes sense we won’t have as much hair. But then monkeys are raw vegans and they have lots of hair?? 3. This does not happen to everyone. 4. It will grow back, and since this is only a 28 day program, it should get out of hand by the end of the program. 5. I am hoping that if you start with hemp seed every other day or every three days then you will not experience this problem.
This is a big fear for most of us. It was a reality for me. All you can do to prevent this is to keep your skin creamed up, eat healthy, and exercise. In the end you will probably have a lot less loose skin than someone who lost the weight with bariatric surgery, but you may still have some. This is why I decided I would rather be a little heavy than have saggy skin. You will make your decision after you lose the weight and see what the damage is. In the participation boards, share your best creame secrets. I have yet to find a magic lotion, so if you do, we will shout it from the rafters.
Detox is tough and it comes in many forms. To help get through it quicker here are some recommendations: 1. Sweat. You skin is one of the top releasers of toxins. Use that to your advantage. The more you sweat the faster you will get through detox. Saunas are great for that. Exercise is better. And hot baths work somewhat. I use epsom salts in my hot baths to help. 2. Dry Brush. Keep your skin clean. Learn to dry brush properly. There are plenty of places on the internet to learn about this. 3. Keep your tongue clean. The tongue is another toxin releaser. If it is clogged you will retain toxins. Scrub it a few times a day. 4. Drink lots of water and eat plenty of juicy fruits. Every time I pee, I think, there goes the fat and toxins. 5. Keep your bowels moving. If you feel stagnated, use phsyllium and unstop yourself. A clean body is a more efficient body. Note: some people are into colonics. I am not, but that is your choice.
Why We Only Walk
Many ask if they can do more strenuous exercise than just the hour of walking while on this program. My answer is this: If you can, and that extra exercise does not make you believe you need to eat more than what is outlined on this program, then yes. Other than that no. Here’s why. For some reason, when we over exercise and do muscle building exercise, we tend to get hungrier, and crave higher fat foods. Everyone who has gotten into running, heavy biking, and weight lifting have come back to me and insisted that they needed to eat more bananas, more Lara bars, and more protein substitutes to keep building that muscle. They do it, and they never lose weight again. This happened to me as well. When I was hiking two to five hours a day, I was satisfied with the oranges I took with me and the weight fell off. When I got home I didn’t need to eat more to compensate for the hours of activity. But, the minute I started running and biking the same amount of hours, I needed or rather believed I needed to eat a lot more. Before I knew it, I had Lara Bars in my bike sack and every hour or so I would stop and eat one. After running I would feel justified to eat more nuts than fruit. Whether it is in our mind or how our body regulates heavy exercising and food does not matter. What happens is weight loss stops. And though we have all heard and want to believe that muscle weighs so much more than fat, the truth is we are here to lose weight and when that stops happening we get discouraged. So, while you are here, walking should be your main exercise. Anything more should be on top of it and the minute you see it is causing you to justify eating off this program you should stop. Now I’m not talking about slow lazy walking. You need to pump those arms and get your heart rate going. The more you sweat the better. Sweating cleanses toxins, and the quicker they leave our bodies, the less detox we will suffer.
If you are currently taking supplements, I would recommend you continue taking them throughout this program. If they are oil based you will need to include the fat% in your fitday totals. Remember we are about healthy, we are not about fitting into a mold. That is hard and I get a lot of grief from raw foodists, but they take all sorts of supplements. Whether you are taking Alissa’s enzymes or Dr. Cousens set of pills, they all seem to think more is needed than just the raw food. So if you want to take vitamins or Juice Plus, please do. Stay away from grain based products, and no protein supplements such as whey, rice, or soy protein. You will get what you need from your leafy greens and hemp seed/protein. Lara bars and other energy bars are not allowed on this program.
Over the Counter Medications
I think it is important for each of you to remember that this 90 day program is about losing weight, and not about becoming the perfect raw foodist. With that said, let me tell you this: If I have a headache, I take an asprin. If I’m constipated, I use psyllium husk. If I am out hiking and I get dehydrated, I will put one of those fizzy electrolyte tabs in my water. (Not drink gaterade). I am not telling you that having a shot of whiskey to get over a sore throat is permissilbe, but I have learned that people try so hard to be a purist that they spend too much time in pain. I did this when I first went raw, and it wasn’t worth it. So use your best judgement.
Corn and Hard Veggies
I have found that corn and hard veggies such as winter squash, potatos and sweet potatos slow down weight loss. If you eat these, keep your eye on them. I personally recommend that you skip these foods while a member of RFBC.
Vinegar is another product that seems to stall weight loss for many women. I can’t say why, all I know is from experience. I would recommend not using it while at RFBC. As far as I know the only raw vinegar is raw apple cider vinegar.