March 20, 2014 at 7:02
Posted by Rachael Woolston
Fancy trying an eating plan that will help wean you off coffee, pack a powerful nutritional punch and help you to lose weight without you going hungry? It may sound too good to be true but founder of Fitbitch, Rachael Woolston has been trialling a raw food plan with remarkable results…
Raw food. Sounds like something that only celebrities in Hollywood would do right?
I decided to test it as an idea for an eating plan to accompany our upcoming Hollywood Bodies Camp (all the exercises are based on workouts given by trainers to the Hollywood elite, many of whom I’ve interviewed for magazines including Marie Claire). It has been a reveleation.
The first meal I tried, a Thai style chilli was incredible, an explosion of flavour and taste that made me seriously wonder why I’d ever cooked anything before.
In brief, the theory behind raw food is that by cooking food, you destroy valuable nutrients and vitamins which are broken down by the heat process. Having now tried it, I can honestly say that cooking really does appear to destroy half the taste and flavour of food too.
The real beauty of this plan for those who struggle with their weight because they can’t cook, is that you need ZERO cooking ability (although for foodies out there, you’ll be amazed at the depth of flavour and enjoy the experimentation). The majority of the meals take about five minutes to make, with the help of a food processor.
The exception are foods that require sprouting, such as chick peas, beans and grains like quinoa. And other meals that require ‘dehydration’ like nut burgers and ‘nut pastry bases. Those who live a raw food life tend to use special dehydrator equipment but these are expensive so I’ve gone the air dried route. Not perfect but workable.
I’ve interviewed hundreds of women about their eating habits during 15 years of journalism and continue to assess clients diet diaries now. One of the overwhelming commonalaties between many people’s ‘before’ diets are the fact that they contain foods packed with salt and sugar. People often use sauces, ketchups, mustards, mayonnaise, sugar and honey because they have lost the ability to ‘taste’ natural foods. The common complaint is that other foods just taste bland.
A raw food eating plan will help re-educate the palate so that you WANT to eat healthily.
Of course, what you all want to know is what has it actually done for me.
I LOVE coffee. My first two days, I craved coffee all the time. Now as I write this on my second week, I can walk past Small Batch without wanting to go in. Trying out mad juice combinations has become my addiction!
And I’ve lost 5lbs without without once feeling hungry. Except when I forgot to bring my lunch to the office (fortuantely, if you live in Brighton, Foodiliac can rescue you).
This eating plan is called the Hollywood Raw Five, because I knew I didn’t want to do it over the weekend too. Even then, I still have NOT kept to this strictly five days out of seven. Some days, I’ve been out for dinner and even had a glass of wine (which curiously, I couldn’t finish) and at the weekend I had cake too.
But even if you do a few days raw out of seven instead of the five, it will help you to think about what you’re are eating, and challenge poor dietary habits.
Weightloss should never be sought without exercise, which is why we are encouraging people to sign up for our Hollywood Bodies Camp, by offering this eating plan free IF you book the camp by April 1st.
Lose weight without exercise and you could be losing all important muscle mass, which helps you to look toned and burns more calories even at rest.
Do you have to be organised on this diet? Yes, you DO need to go food shopping but eating healthily always requires planning.
Is it expensive? You WILL need to buy a food processor (I got the Kenwood FPI08001, £39.50 from Tesco ). A juicer is optional but IS recommended.
Groceries wise, the most expensive items are nuts and coconut oil. But calculate how much you’d be saving on your coffee, meat and booze bill and you’ll still be quids in and what price can you put on your health?
Over the next week we’ll be posting our review of the best juicers to buy. The eating plan willl be available to buy from our site for £10.50 on April 1st but will be free to those booking Hollywood Bodies.
There are many blogs and raw food cook books that you may want to explore instead. What I’ve done with this plan is taken the hard work out of having to look for recipes, bringing together many from different sources, including some original ones and chosen the simplest, quickest ones to do, and which will support your body while you exercising.
Right, I’m off now to eat my raw food curry lunch.