I recently spent a week eating raw food, drinking green smoothies every morning and taking time out to meditate and complete yoga on a daily basis. A week may not sound like a long time, but it changed me. It changed my relationship with food, and the way I think about treating myself and my body. Most of all, it gave me such a boost of energy and I feel like I’ve been completely renewed!
Now, before I go into detail about what I did and the foods I ate, I have to tell you one thing… it wasn’t easy! It required effort, willpower and the strength to power through some of the less than desirable symptoms of detoxing. But it was 100% worth it. We turnover billions of cells a day, constantly making ourselves “new”. A week of detox and movement practices can really control how these cells are made and how much energy you have available. And you can do it from your own home.
The most important part of the retreat was, I didn’t go it alone. The Online Cellular Renewal Retreat was organised by the wonderful people at Movement for Modern Life. Every day, in combination with Tanya Maher from BetterRaw.com, I was sent lovely raw food recipes and my daily meditation and yoga practices. There was also support on hand from Kat and Elizabeth, who were often online and willing to answer my (sometimes many) questions! Thanks ladies!
No carbs, no refined sugars, no cooked food, no caffeine. To some, this may sound restrictive and boring. I can assure you it was anything but. It really opened my eyes. From eating raw spring greens, to making delicious cream from cashew cuts. I discovered a whole new world of food, and it didn’t even have to be heated!
Each morning, I set aside an extra 5 minutes to follow the guided meditation and set my intentions. I found this really useful and it definitely kept me motivated. The meditation was short yet effective. It really helped me set my focus for the day and remember what I was aiming for.
One day, I was feeling a little lack lustre about getting on the yoga mat, and I was kindly reminded during the intention setting video that not moving would slow down the renewal process. Consider my bottom virtually kicked! The movement sequences were fantastic – and part of the fantastic range of yoga classes available to Movement for Modern Life subscribers. It was easy to find some shorter classes when I was strapped for time.
The recipes were amazing – I really loved the Kale, Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed salad – although grating the butternut squash was a bit of a workout in itself! Dinner wise, my favourite was the Mushroom ‘Tacos’ with Cashew Cream. Absolutely amazing – and definitely one which will be incorporated into our repertoire! And I’d never thought of rolling slices of avocado in a nutritional yeast & flax mix – yum yum!
It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t take a week off to do all of this. I was at work full time. I found the key to keeping on top of everything was to prepare it advance when possible, and to always make sure my smoothie was ready to go the night before! I did make a few edits to some of the meals – lunches in particular. But I always stuck to the basics – raw food, no carbs, no sugar. It was sometimes just easier to take a lunch which involved less chopping!
One of the highlights later in the week was learning to make my own nut milk. I’d never done this before and I thought it would be a messy, time consuming process. I can make a mess with just about anything in the kitchen, and yet our kitchen remained clean! It was so quick, I did it on Saturday morning before going out for my yoga class! Impressive! Not to mention delicious! Two gorgeous shakes resulted from this!
What about snacking? Was I hungry, I hear you ask? Surprisingly enough, on most days I was completely satisfied, and on a couple of nights,I found that I couldn’t finish the dinners. This was a first for me – and a sign that I must be getting all the nutrients I need. For snacking at work, besides fruit or raw nuts, I made up the delicious energy balls – basically a mix of dates, nuts and cacao nibs. I added some maca and cacao powder to mine for extra energy and flavour. The wonderful thing about raw cacao powder is it’s full of minerals and you get that chocolate punch that you may be craving! The energy balls were amazing and I’ve been making them ever since!
As I said earlier – the week wasn’t a complete walk in the park. I had headaches and tiredness early on, as my body started to get rid of the toxins. I began to want cooked food towards the end of the week, and I didn’t always feel like doing the daily yoga movements.
And then suddenly – BOOM! – the promised energy arrived! I awoke on Saturday morning (DAY 6) and I honestly felt as though the energy fairy had arrived! I made nut milk, blended it into a shake, breezed through my early morning yoga class, and came back bursting with energy and raring to go! Amazing! It wonderfully coincided with the Bank Holiday weekend and I had stacks of energy for all of the things we’d planned to do!
So, what happened once DAY 7 was over and Monday morning arrived? Well, I have say I’d started getting hungry again towards the end of the week, so I did have a nice bowl of porridge, but I still made a green smoothie. And, I’ve been making one every single morning since.
I’ve now got a totally different relationship with food. I’m trying to limit my intake of refined sugar – avoiding it altogether when possible (a sugar free chocolate blog post is coming in the near future)! I’m also continuing with the green smoothie habit, and trying to incorporate more raw food meals into my weekly routine. I’ve really noticed how foods affect my digestion, my energy and my blood sugar levels. A ‘treat’ isn’t a big sugary cake any more – it’s a piece of creamy, soft raw chocolate brownie instead.
Wow! I’ve written a lot! I just hope I’ve covered everything. I learnt so much about food and how easy it is to incorporate raw food into your life, how tasty it can be and how food affects my body. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve learnt so many things that I will carry with me indefinitely.
This experience was truly nourishing for body and mind.