A window inside life at Augustana College

Rabbit Food

What’s playing in my ears:

Volcano Choir: Island, IS


This week I decided to go raw vegan.

Raw veganism, in addition to a moral conviction against the use of animal products, is based on the belief that the cooking and processing of foods removes much of the nutritional value. While I don’t necessarily subscribe to these beliefs, I decided to try out this diet for five days, from Monday through Friday. Primarily, I wanted to see how difficult it really would be. And so, I embarked on this journey of discovery, with the companionship of my friend Alex.

I apologize for the dramatics.

Alex and I decided right of the bat that we would have to make a few concessions:

  1. Tea is acceptable
  2. Hummus is acceptable
  3. Roasted nuts are acceptable

Alright, so we weren’t total purists about the whole thing, but really when it comes down to it, we put in quite an effort.

There are a few major things I realized first thing on Monday after starting this whole thing:

  • Most of the delicious food in this world is cooked.
  • Most of the food available to us, at Augustana and in general, is cooked or processed in some way.
  • Cutting out grains removes an enormous source of calories from your diet.
  • I can get through the day without coffee.

Monday was quite a shock to my system. I was hungry for quite literally the entire day. Breakfast was tea and a pear, lunch was a salad, and dinner was once again a salad. After each meal, I was hungry again no more than a half hour later. However, I also noticed a generaly feeling of lightness, I never felt groggy or sleepy after any of the meals (that is, minus the 3 o’clock slump where I started to feel the lack of calories). It is rare for anyone this day and age to never feel full throughout five days without fasting.

Tuesday I was better equipped to keep myself going as Alex and I made a Hy-Vee run the night before to stock up on a variety of veggies and fruits to supplement the college’s dearth. Carrots are the perfect snack, and if you really think about it enough, they’re kind of like potato chips (actually not really).

I consistently noticed myself craving bread. Any sort of bread. Crackers, bagels, pitas, any form of carbohydrate. Anything with more substance to it than spinach and tomatoes (which consisted of upwards of 70 percent of my diet). Since I couldn’t do this, I focused my cravings on bananas since they’re a fruit with a lot of carbohydrate substance. However, half the week Augustana seemed to be only in possession of entirely green bananas.

As it turns out, I really coudn’t have chosen a worse week to drastically alter my diet and calorie intake. This is the week of Christmas at Augustana, which means three hour mass choir rehearsals in addition to regular choir rehearsal. Abnormally long days plus drastic change in diet plus lack of sleep spells not so fun. However, by this point, at the end of the raw experiment, I’ve actually adjusted quite well.

An extreme dietary restriction such as this really makes you conscious of what you’re eating, which is incredibly valuable. With how readily available food is in our privileged country, we often take it for granted and eat without thinking. I encourage all of you to take at least a day at some point to make some dietary restriction, be it eating vegetarian, vegan, or not eating at all.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to thinking about eating pancakes tomorrow.

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