Food & Fitness

Raw Food: Productivity, Weight Loss, Emotional Eating, and Exercise


As crazy as it sounds, I think that eating raw has made me more productive.

When you’re eating raw food, your choices are kind of limited as to what you can eat. Basically, you’ve got fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Now, I’m not going 100% raw, so that means that I’m incorporating some other foods too, such as oats and red wine and dark chocolate (and dry-roasted nuts as opposed to raw ones). I’m basing these “transition foods” off of the suggestions made in the book The Raw Food Detox Diet (I’ll discuss the book in greater detail on another day, but to sum up my feelings of it briefly, I think it’s a great book even though there are some parts of it that I completely ignore because I don’t quite agree with them).

Because your choices are so limited, there’s a lot less time wasted agonizing over what to eat. I am a rather impressive procrastinator via food (which doesn’t make much sense, since I’m also a workaholic). With the raw food diet, I choose what I’m going to eat. I make it. I eat it. Done. And I get back to work.

Raw food takes very little time to prep. I’d say the longest amount of time is spent cleaning up after making food (such as the food processor), and perfecting the right amounts of each ingredient when you’re just starting out (for example, how much raw cacao powder or raw honey you add to a dish is going to vary depending on your tastes). It’s a lot of fun to make one recipe for “apple crumble” which you can then munch on throughout the day as a part of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Eating raw also makes me feel good, because everything that I’m eating is natural, whole foods. And there’s no bread, butter, popcorn, or peanut butter, which are my red-light foods – I know that all of these foods can be healthy in moderation, but at this point in time when I’m alone, I can’t eat these foods in moderation. So I’m better off just avoiding them unless other people are around.

When I feel good, I want to be productive and get stuff done. Feeling good is inspiring and motivating.

Weight Loss

That being said, I’m all but ready to “give up” on weight loss. I know I have the tools to do it, and I know that I exercise plenty enough, but I have such difficulty in cutting back on the amount of food I eat that I really wonder if maybe at this point in time, this is where my body needs to be at. I’m not keen on the idea, but if I’m having so much difficulty with it, maybe it’s something that I need to stop obsessing over for the time being.

I tried not counting calories and instead listening to my body when I began eating raw a couple weeks ago, and I think it worked out pretty well but I also think that I am still probably eating enough for maintenance rather than weight loss. I’m not sure if it’s my body or my mind that isn’t ready for weight loss – maybe both – but either way, I think that I need to focus on other things than weight loss for the next little while. And that brings me to…

Emotional Eating

I struggle a lot with emotional eating. I’m enjoying eating mostly raw food because somehow, I don’t find myself eating too much of it or eating mindlessly. Raw food tastes great, but it doesn’t have the same addictive properties that processed foods (including things like bread) have. My body feels more nourished.

I don’t know if raw food would be able to help everyone with emotional eating, but somehow it’s perfect for me. A few days ago I decided to make pancakes as a non-raw food item, and lo and behold I wound up overeating – on pancakes, and then on nuts, and some sprouted bread and eggs. As soon as I started with the processed foods, suddenly I was emotional eating and worked myself into a tizzy. And I tell you, the gluten and the dairy that came along with my emotional eating (I also had pizza over the weekend) made my body feel awful!


My eight weeks of HITT are now over. Last week Jason put me through 10 minutes of doing 30-second sprints on an inclined treadmill followed by 30 seconds of rest, and I swear I thought I was going to either throw up or die. I’ve never felt like that when exercising before. He sure knows how to make a person really work in an exercise program!

Much as I’ve loved HITT and the exercises they introduced me to (such as “chirpees” – a burpee followed by a chin-up. It doesn’t get any more badass than that!), I think I’m going to try to tone back on the intensive exercise and focus more on moderate activity, such as lots of walking, for the next little while. Walking makes me feel good and helps to clear my mind. I really need that, because I’m having a lot of difficulty dealing with fear and being overwhelmed right now.

So, that’s that. I’m going to continue eating a moderate to high raw diet, stop “trying” to lose weight, and focus on a low to moderate intensity form of exercise by walking everywhere. Honestly, this “plan” (because I always need a plan. I like plans) just makes so much sense. I think sometimes I get too excited about making challenges for myself that I forget what’s natural. This is natural.

I really want to take good care of my body. It does so much for me. I have to give back to it.

Your thoughts: Raw? Gluten? Dairy? How do you (and how does your body) feel about them?


  1. Pubsgal

    For me, personally? I feel pretty okay with all of those in moderation. I think my body feels best when I keep the refined foods and non-vegetable carbs to a minimum. Protein-wise, it has a slight preference for fish, chicken, and legumes over beef and pork. (As opposed to my taste-buds, which have different priorities than body health. 😛 ) And like you, I think I could probably live off of apples and nut butter, left to my own devices…don’t think my family would go for that, though.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Moderation is so important! I definitely am not a person who could go 100% gluten-free (especially because most oats contain gluten), but it’s the moderation aspect which fits well. And I don’t expect to be skimping out on the wine & cheeses.

      “As opposed to my taste-buds, which have different priorities than body health.” That is the exact issue I’m having! 🙂 The body and the tastebuds don’t always agree.

  2. Jody - Fit at 52

    I just wrote this very long comment that was eaten alive! UGH! So, I guess the gist of it cause I type slow & don’t want to retype, sorry, is that do what is right for you now & if with time it is not right or you feel ready to change, that go for it. I have changed it up more times than we can all count!

    From a person that has to work very very hard to stay the way I am & harder the older I get, I understand…. it takes a very strict commitment depending on your goals.

    As for raw eating, I don’t but man, I can see how it would be hard to emotional eat on raw foods as it does not give you the same “feelings” as bread or pancakes or things like that! 🙂

    Stick with what is right for you for now…. life is for living & change is part of the mix….

    1. Sagan Morrow

      So frustrating when that happens, isn’t it?!

      “do what is right for you now & if with time it is not right or you feel ready to change, that go for it. I have changed it up more times than we can all count!” Completely with you on that. This feels right for me right now – it might change in a week or a year or ten years. Who knows? That’s half the fun!

      Thanks for your inspiring words, as always, Jody.

  3. charlotte

    I love that you are so reasonable about your weight! I totally know what you mean about your body just needing to be where it is right now. So get that. And I’m so proud of you for listening to it! I’ll have to check out that raw book… sounds really interesting

  4. The Bird Cage

    Hey Sagan!!!

    I’ve been following your blog for ages! I find it so insightful, honest and inspiring. It’s very practical and real! I have always wanted to try a raw diet. Almost as an experiment… but it just seems so high-maintenance! I would love to make the time for it!

    Thanks for all the food-for-thought!

  5. Geosomin

    I’m finding the cleaner I’m eating, the better I feel. After a whole month of really healthy lunches and breakfasts I feel great. I don’t crave things like I used to. I’m getting more in tune with what being hungry actually feels like before I’m ravenous. When I eat, I eat less, but better.
    And unfortunately when I do have a meal somewhere else with family and end up eating crap I feel like crap…and so it makes me want to be healthy again.
    This is good 🙂

    1. Sagan Morrow

      It’s amazing what it does to the body and how GOOD you can feel from eating healthy. Eating unhealthy things just aren’t appealing after you’ve been consistenting eating nutritious foods! I find it fascinating how much it can affect the body, too.

  6. liz wx

    I’m really pleased the raw food thing is working for you, Sagan. And it sounds like you must be right about it not being the time for you to lose weight. One thing I’ve found as I get older is that if I look back at an old photo of my early 20s or early 30s, I think how great I looked – time has distanced me from whatever weight or other obsessions I was going through at the time, and I’m looking at myself far more objectively, from a distance. So while it’s also still hard to belive that one day I’ll look back on my current, mid-40s photos and think the same thing, it’s bound to happen, and you will too. One day you will see what everyone else sees now, and you will I am sure wonder what on earth made you so convinced you needed to lose those last few pounds… the trick is to bring that moment into the present! And sometimes we all know how to work that trick, sometimes not… Anyway best wishes with it and enjoy!

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