If any of you have ever completed a 100 day challenge of any kind, you know this process is intense, exciting, exhilarating, scary, sad and rewarding all at the same time. I’ve completed two 100-day challenges in my life, and I don’t regret either experience.
For my most recent challenge, I decided to “enjoy” a completely raw food diet for 100 days. I know it sounds a little crazy, but everyone knows I’m a bit of an over-achiever at times. So, why exactly did I choose this as my challenge? Simple: it scared the bejezuz out of me. It scared me bad.
Now, some of you reading this may think, but Brandy Jo, you eat so healthy already. Yes, I do indeed eat healthy, in fact, probably 70% of my diet is raw, however, when I want to eat fried chicken and mashed potatoes, there isn’t one thing in the WORLD that can replace that. And when I need that fried chicken, I need it NOW.
I knew deep down that challenging myself to raw food would FORCE me to seriously look at some of the reasons WHY. For instance: After a super busy and stressful day, why do I crave hot wings? After an especially long and sleep deprived week, why do I have to have Zelda’s pizza to make everything better?
I was prepared to feel the pain, answer the questions and to learn a little more about myself for 100 days.
And so the journey began…..
As expected, the first week was torture. Seriously. Every hour of my day is planned out and accounted for, so trying to find time to prepare a nourishing RAW meal was harder than expected, but I managed. By the second week, my planning and preparation was a little smoother, although I still hadn’t found anything to replace my hot wings.
Physically, I already felt amazing and I had way more energy than before, so maybe this challenge would be worth it after all. By the third week, this challenge was a breeze – mostly. I still had my really bad and emotional days, but I knew this was a process, and I would survive.
By the end of this challenge, I realized my new best friends were my Vitamix and my dehydrator. So, was this 100 day challenge worth it? Most definitely. I learned that scheduling time to cook and preparing to nourish my body felt way better than eating on the go. I realized that FEELING the exhaustion and irritation of a bad day really isn’t so bad. And.. surprisingly… I actually noticed that I have the ability to change MY reaction to things, so I don’t have as many stressful days anymore.
Here are some of the physical benefits that I experienced:
- More energy
- Digestion was WAY better
- Skin was smoother
- Mental clarity
- Weight loss
- Less muscle tension
I’m not sure what my next challenge will be, but I doubt it will have anything to do with food. I have to admit, I learned way more from this challenge than expected, and I still prepare many of the recipes that I perfected while eating raw. Overall, this was an amazing experience and I encourage everyone to challenge themselves from time to time.