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Starting a Raw Food Diet

Sep 16, 2008
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Phillip McClusky shares on starting a raw food diet.

Renegade Water Secrets with Phillip McClusky, who lost 200 lbs. and found health and happiness in a raw food lifestyle. He is the host of www.lovingraw.com.

Kevin: So you're reading "Raw Family" you're sitting on the couch and you decide to go raw, what were the first three days like, the first week? How did that all pan out for you?

Phillip: Well I had tried so many things before in the past and what had happened was some of them were so confusing. Some of them were you had to buy this plan and you had to buy this package in the store and you had to write down how many calories and you had to move cards from slot to slot and all these different little colors and programs and all these different things that all these diets came across. So I knew that none of those were successful and basically they were confusing and not something that I want to do every day. I didn't really want to look at every single calorie or every single box I picked up. So when I switched to this raw lifestyle what I had decided was the only way that I was going to be consistent and be able to do this was if I kept it simple and I stayed on a very easy program.

So in the very beginning I didn't even concentrate on exercise. And it's not that I recommend that but for me that's what worked. I knew that I had to get the food right. I had literally devoured raw food books. I was reading a book a day and was really excited about everything. But I noticed that every body had a different opinion on raw foods. So somebody would say, "You have to juice so much." The next person would say, "Juicing's no good you have to do smoothies." The next person would say, "You have to have 50 percent of your diet superfood." And then the next person would say, "You have to mono-meal or do natural hygiene." I read all that and what I decided to do was take all the information in and then do what felt right for me.

So the first three days for me were quite simple. I had been used to eating large meals so I figured, "I'm going to continue to eat large meals and I'm just going to switch them to salads." So in the morning I had fruit and for lunch and dinner I had giant salads. I always think of it like this, when you go to maybe an Italian restaurant or a family-style restaurant and you have six or eight people around the table and they bring out a big bowl of salad that's for everybody at the table, that's pretty much what I made for my lunch and for my dinner. I didn't worry about quantity. Some people would say, "You can't have more than three avocados a week." Well I was having three avocados a day, or four avocados a day. Some people would say, "It's a good idea not to have more than a handful of nuts a day." Well I was having like ten handfuls of nuts a day. I was making these giant salads that were really fulfilling and kept me pretty much at the same par as far as quantity wise, the food that I was eating. I pretty much stuck with that the next three days. Little did I know that my body would intuitively make changes and that would decrease over time.

Kevin: What would decrease?

Phillip: The size, the amount of food that I was actually eating.

Kevin: Got you. Why don't you talk a little bit about...there's a bunch of things I want to speak about but since we're on what you started off eating, let's talk a little bit about how that transition over the last two years, maybe give us a snapshot of every six months up until now. So six months from there, then six months--

Phillip: Sure. Great question. So here I am making these big, giant meals and just enjoying it and loving it. The weight is literally just flying off of me. Even without exercise at the time the weight was just flying off of me, just from changing the way I was eating. And I was shocked. I mean, I remember the first time I stepped on the scale and I realized that I had lost like 45 or 50 pounds or something like that, I just couldn't believe it. It was a great feeling.

Then over the course of maybe the next three or four months I had noticed something that I had never noticed before, I was eating this giant, massive salad and I noticed that about 25 percent of the salad was left over. And I thought to myself, "Well that's strange. I've never not finished a meal before." So what I had to do was reevaluate. And I said, "Well, I guess I'm getting fuller quicker." So I would make my salad a little bit smaller. Then over the next couple of months again the same thing happened, I had a little bit of the salad left over, about 25 percent. So I was making it smaller and smaller until I finally started to notice that it was kind of shrinking down to a normal size. It was quite an interesting experience because I wasn't needing as much mass, this large amount of food that I had been used to eating.

So then I wondered how I could change other things. I was having fun and I was experimenting and there was times that I did make some of the gourmet raw foods. I went out and got a Cuisinart food processor and dehydrator and blender and stuff like that. I would have fun making some of the raw dishes and the pizzas and stuff like that sometimes, but it wasn't my normal fare. My normal fare was usually just fruit in the morning and this salad for lunch and dinner.

So after a while I started really getting into making green smoothies or green shakes and literally just putting in an entire head of maybe spinach or lettuce or whatever green, I would rotate my greens, in with a little bit of fruit and water. And I would make this giant half-gallon smoothie. I started drinking that in the morning instead of just eating the fruit. It was a good way for me to get in my greens and fiber and a large amount of water, being a half-gallon container. I noticed that would take me until about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Then I might eat a little bit and then I would have dinner later on.

Then I started to notice that would take me until 3 o'clock. I just wasn't hungry until that point. Then 4 o'clock, and then 5 o'clock. Then one day I was just sitting down and I realized that I hadn't been eating lunch anymore and that I was totally fine. My body felt energized and excited and I was losing weight and I was feeling great. Literally this half-gallon smoothie, which is a lot of liquid, that I was making in the morning was taking me right to dinner. So I had switched from a three-meal way of eating to this two-meal essentially within probably eight months to a year, maybe around the year mark. Then I would just have a very moderate salad for dinner.

I was really thinking about the dynamics of how everything had worked and how things had transpired and what had felt so good was I didn't necessarily have to listen to anybody's rules per say, I took in what everybody was talking about and if one day I felt like just juicing, I would juice. If the next day I felt like having smoothies, I would do that. If I was eating oranges and just felt like having citrus, I would do a mono-meal of oranges. So I kind of incorporated a little bit of what everybody was talking about. But more than anything I really began to start, for the first time in my life, intuitive eating and just eating what felt right for me. There might be a day when I had mangoes and they tasted fantastic and I'd have maybe four in a row because there was something inside there that my body was really desiring, but then a couple of weeks later I would go to eat the same mango and it might not be that tasty for me. So I just figured to myself that maybe my body already got out of it what it had needed. So intuitive eating became a really big part of the way I started to live. Some days I'd feel a little bit weighed down and I might just do juice that day. I was totally fine with it. And vice versa, some other days I might just feel like I want to be a little bit more grounded so I might do a little bit more as far as avocado and nuts and such.

But this process was a fairly gradual process until I got to the point that I am at today. Really just intuitive eating and just really listening to your body and breathing throughout the process and just kind of being present to what I was putting in my mouth was probably the greatest source of change for me and felt the best for my body.

So maybe after a year I started figuring out what would be the next option for me and things just kind of got lighter and lighter until maybe about a year and a half or a year and six, seven months. I decided to do a juice fast. Basically what that was was drinking just juice for 92 days. It was something totally new for me, I hadn't done any kind of long-term fast for anytime that long. And I just felt that it was right, it was my time and I just jumped right in to it. I ended up extending it and I did it for 100 days. For 100 days I just had fruit and vegetable juice. So that had switched my diet drastically. But it was a new experience and I wanted to really experience what the human potential was and what my body could really do and how much resolve and determination I had to really stick with this thing. So I did it and just experienced such amazing changes in my life, which I'm sure we'll talk about later. I experienced such amazing changes.

Then after the juice feast period I'm slowly transitioning, that ended maybe about three or four months ago, and I'm just slowly transitioning back into my old way of eating, having smoothies in the morning, having salads. I do a lot of high water content fruits and vegetables - cucumbers and celery and tomato and things like that. Lately I've moved away from the nuts so much and just kind of keep to some simple seeds, like chia or flax or sunflower seeds and some things like that. But I tend to do a lot of high water content. I usually have at least a head of some sort of green - lettuce, bok choy, swiss chard- per day. And I keep it simple. People ask me if I get bored and I'm just like, "Fresh fruits and vegetables is what my body craves."
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access The Renegade Roundtable experts just like Phillip McClusky please click here! Kevin Gianni is an internationally recognized health advocate, author & film consultant. He has helped thousands of people take control of their own health naturally. For more information visit raw food diets and holistic nutrition.
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