Contributor and bikini fitness champion Deni Kirkova shares with us what happened and how she felt after she went on a raw diet for a week
Rawgust is a trendy food movement for going raw in August. Eating ‘raw’ means consuming only unprocessed food and drink in their most natural state. So that’s just fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I recommend adding in raw chocolate, raw plant oils, raw snack bars and raw vegan protein powder sparingly if you want to. The many health benefits touted by raw food enthusiasts include boosted energy and immune system, improved overall health, fat loss and so much more.
So the rise of Rawgust – or #RAWGUST – is largely down to the idea that, if you give raw foodism a go for a month, you may stick with it. They say it takes 21 days of repetitive behaviour to form a habit, and so it won’t seem ‘weird’ any more and you may well continue with it long term, rather than ditch it after a week of thriving because you miss hot dinners.
I was inspired by my friend Tim Shieff of ETHCS (the ethical clothing brand), who is running a big Rawgust campaign. Follow my Instagram and theirs for more on our raw food journey. (instagram.com/denikirkova)
So, seven days in, how have I found it?
Energy & Training
My energy levels are more mellow, definitely different, and a little unpredictable at the moment – I’m getting used to them. I can’t just have a coffee and be buzzing. I have a new kind of pleasant energy that peaks and dips gently. Some mornings I wake up with a new lease of life and others I feel the need to take it slow.
Once or twice I simply haven’t had energy to do much physically. But most of the time, most days, I walk around 12-15,000 steps and hit the gym for 30-45 minutes. I’ve been doing yoga, cardio, core work and full-body resistance training – all this week while I’ve been completely raw vegan and consuming no stimulants. The fuel I get from fruit has been a revelation. Usually I’m pumped on coffee and pre-workout before the gym. And I’ve been known to neck up to five coffees a day.
Caffeine withdrawal in day one was hell. I was so low, my head pounded and I was irritable. Then it just went. From day two onwards I just felt better and better each day. If I have a headache it quickly goes once I drink water and eat something.
Weight Loss & Appearance
My body feels ‘correct’; like it is coming into its own. I eat whenever I am hungry – I am not treating this experience as a ‘diet’. I haven’t weighed nor measured myself. But I have definitely lost weight and wake up every morning really flat and tight round the middle. It feels good.
My skin is looking plumper, smoother and clearer with fewer blemishes. My eyes are shiny and bright, and I feel like my senses are enhanced.
My partner Toby has joined me part-way (he’s not prepared to give up cooked lentils and oats just yet) and loves how many more fruits and vegetables he’s eating. I was his guinea pig to see if I would thrive raw before he gave it a go, and he is eating increasingly more raw.
Now I’m thinking I might take a little inspiration from Toby’s diet and incorporate a little warm food into my diet – perhaps a vegetable soup or sweet potato at dinner, normal vegan protein powder in smoothies or overnight oats at breakfast. I don’t need to, I just want to try adding in some foods I liked before going raw to see how I feel. So far, I think I will incorporate eating raw 70-80% long-term.
If you’ve been trying #RAWGUST — let us know how you are finding it in the comments below!
Photo credit: bikinigirlsdiary.com