I am training for the 125k Canadian Death Race and hope that adapting a more raw diet will help improve my performance.
Confession time. I'm vegan, low fat, but not raw. Up until about 3 or 4PM I am generally raw, however after that I enjoy cooking with my fiance. Always vegan however. I feel the time is right to give being a true LFRV a shot. My fiance is on the other side of the state working as an academic camp counselor for 6 weeks and I will be in deep training for the Death Race.
Mike Arnstein is a huge inspiration for me. I am all for the environment and animal rights. Those were actually the initial reasons I became a vegetarian 7 years ago. However this experiment is purely for sports performance. I would love to lean up for the Death Race, and if LFRV can improve my mental and physical performance, I'm all for it ;)
I hope to post daily updates on training and nutrition, as well as thoughts along the way. I want this to work out, but it will be a challenge!
Thanks for your current and future support along this journey.
Note. These updates are all coming from my blog, which can be foundHERE
The first day went well. Here is the list of food eaten:
If you're having fat, eat it at the end of the day, after all the fruit, since it interferes with sugar absorption. Nice variety, gives me nostalgia. I suppose that's gonna settle down, both for practical and health reasons.
The variety will likely go down. I was traveling and had the avocados and canned fruit already. During the last 6 months when I would be raw for about half the day, breakfast was always a monomeal such as a pineapple, cantaloupe, or watermelon.
Thanks for the tip about fat.
Saturday May 26 2012
Today was a pretty good day. This was my first longish trail run in weeks. The weather was lightly sprinkling and the temperature was perfect with tights and a jacket on. The pace was very conservative, and the goal was to simply enjoy the experience. Many instances during the run I just stopped to enjoy listening to the birds, rain, and the light breeze.
Another thing is that would have liked to have eaten more calories. Part of this diet is the goal of eating a lot of food. The idea is to be getting as many clean nutrients as possible, not cutting back on calories and food to lose weight and "be healthy". With the 10 mile run I only net 1,000 calories today. That's not very much!
I visited two graduation parties, and munched on lots of watermelon, a few other pieces of fruit, and the two salads. The only non raw item I ate today was the little bit of dressing I put on the two salads. No potato salad, no potato chips, no cupcakes. I did my best to remember this quote:
The main cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most in life for what you want most at the moment.
Day 4 Raw Vegan
Monday May 28th 2012
Today was super easy. I ate breakfast of cantaloupe, went for a run and had the banana and half a melon after the run. Went for a hike, ate after the hike. Ate more. Ate some more. It was a really good day! I was almost never tempted at all, and when I was, I ate some fruit :) Whenever I was hungry and craving something non raw, I would just eat something raw. That fixed the problem!
One of the main goals of low fat raw vegan experiment is to not restrict your calories to lose weight and reach optimal health, but to eat a surplus of calories to maximize nutrient and fuel intake, to THRIVE. Unfortunately I still have not managed to eat enough calories, only 2200 today! It's difficult when an entire watermelon only has 500 calories in it.
Best thing about eating raw. Clean up is SO EASY!
Tuesday May 29th
While I did not reach my calorie goal of 3000 calories, I won't have that problem again. Today I purchased some organic dried dates from the food co-op. Pretty cheap, I think I can got 11 for 3 bucks. That's 1100 calories for three dollars! They taste GOOD too! I believe Larabars are made of these, and they taste very similar. Much like candy, they are high in calories due to the sugar content. There is a pit inside that is super easy to remove. I simply made a slit and opened them up, out pops the pit.
Today I also purchased and ate a cup of dried cherries. In the past I have read about the excellent ability of cherry juice to improve recovery in runners. With this massive block of training I have coming up in the next six weeks, I may try to eat half a cup of dried cherries each day as well. It's a cost effective method of getting more calories in, which is what I am really lacking at the moment.
I have been noticing more gas lately. At least on Tue and Sunday I believe was the other day. Hopefully that passes.
There were not really any temptations today. Living in a house with other people, there are always other options I could eat. Potato chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc. However if I see something and kind of want to eat it, I simply eat something raw. No problems today. I believe having the dates and dried cherries around will help with some of the cravings to munch as well.
I would aim for way more than 3000 calories. Especially if you're an ultra marathoner! I aim for at least 4000 calories even on totally sedentary days.
Just giving you a heads up based on my own experience of eating around 3000 calories (sometimes more, sometimes less) for about 9 months pretty much 100% raw a year or so ago. I ended up feeling completely s***ty and brain-fogged. Not recommended. I'm relatively tall (6 ft 1), though, so I might need more than most people.
Also, I recommend weighing your food for accurate calorie counts. I don't know what kind of giant dates give you 100 calories per date, but it sounds unlikely to me.
Just my 2 cents. Undereating is no fun. You might feel good in the beginning, but it will catch up to you, or you will binge on cooked foods.
Mono meals of bananas and dates (in smoothie form) are the easiest way to get the calories down!
I am also hoping to get way above 3000, however so far it's been difficult to even get that far. Thanks for stressing the importance of more calories for me :)
The iPhone app I am using to track calories has 1 "date plum, dried" at 93 calories each. I just checked around. Livestrong.com has them at 66 calories per date I believe.
Back in college I used to do a lot of smoothies, almost one every day for breakfast. I am trying to get away from them however.
Back a couple years ago I first read 80/10/10, and again about a year ago. (see, this diet has been in the back of my head for a couple years now, I've just never had the balls to do it). I completely forgot about combining the foods as he recommends. I wish he would have cited more research in his book, I am looking forward to picking up his new one.
Oh, and to both of you. I just ate 8 bananas for you :)
I hope you're able to fit in the calories soon otherwise it might affect you're running. I exercise 3 - 4 days a week for now, but this week i've been in bedrest (from a cold) and i'm still eating 3000 calories.... you deffinitley need more.. good luck with everything! I hope to be able to run what you can one day!
I'll get it today (friday)!!! I figured out that while I go to the coffee shop and do my work there (I work from home for a shoe company) I am missing out on prime caloric intake time.
Basically, I'm planning on drinking Dateorade more often ;)
Wed May 30
Day 6 of experiment
Dateorade for my run
Turns out I still have some cravings going on. I have overcome the craving of pure s***ty junk food, grain, fat, etc.
That's interesting, as of writing this it is the first time I have realized that while on this diet, I have not once craved bread. Hmmm, curious.
However, I just returned from the grocery store, and I purchased a bunch of salad material. Now that I think about it, I wish that I had not, for two reasons. First, they are very low calorie. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, etc. Not worth the time and money if I am struggling getting my calories in. Second, I think I am craving salt. I believe I am craving the 2tbsp of Newman's Own Lite dress and the canned sliced jalapenos that I put on the salad.
Frankly, it looks like I have replaced one craving (added sugar, grain, and fat) with another, salt.
Day 6. The gas continues. I have no problem dropping the Cosby kids off at the swimming pool however. I'm more regular than, well, I'm not sure what else is regular. But I am more regular that it.
As for the lack of calories problem. I want to reach 4,000 calories every day, as a goal. As I have said before, part of the theory behind this diet is to eat as much as you can to maximize fuel and nutrient intake. 9pm on Wed rolls around, I look at the Lose It! calorie counting app on my iPhone, and it says 3200 calories. My exact words were "Oh mother of f***..." I go up stairs, grab eight bananas, and start chowing down.
Also, I made Dateorade today! It's sooo easy and cheap! I bought 11 dates for 3 bucks. Depending on where you get your calorie counts from, that's either 700 or 1100 calories. Anyway, all it takes is to soak them in a little bit of water, and blend. I put 5 soaked dates into a blend with some water, hit the button, and that worked GREAT for my 10 mile trail run. I use the Ultimate Direction hand held, and there was zero issue with any of the "solid" material from the dates clogging up the bottle. I use the term solid very loosely. The fruit broke up very very well from the soaking and the blending. Taste wise, no complaints. It honestly just tastes like juice. That would make sense, as all it is is date juice. I could even see myself mixing in some maltodextrin to add in more calories, and maybe change the flavor a bit.
Just to note, morning means before noon. Afternoon means 12 to 5. Evening means anything eaten after 5pm. So, the evening list does not mean all that once eaten at once, only that it was eaten after 5pm.
Image from my run today