OK, so I was following the raw food diet last year from January to April. The main reason I allowed myself to stumble off the bandwagon and slip into just veganism is tooth issues. I suspect the tooth issues had to do with (in part, anyway) my teeth cleaning regime which wasn't as strict as it is now, plus the fact that I wasn't using proper toothpaste. Anyway, it also probably didn't help that I wasn't diligent in drinking water after every green smoothie. No matter what kind of sugar you're consuming, you've gotta wash it away with a glass of pure water and then brush and floss properly.
So now that I am simply vegan, I have had the occasional green smoothie as a detox. I think I like eating green smoothies better for that reason alone; sure it gives me tones of energy and makes me feel light and happy, but they're so sweet I think it's better to consume them as a treat and/or for brief detoxing along with lots of water. Since I stopped the raw food I've definitely not felt as energized so I have been incorporating green smoothies as often as I can (every couple days or so). I've referenced this site because they send some great, informative emails that talk about the green smoothie challenge and follow up with recipes and other relevant information. During the time I was diligently %75-%80 raw my anxiety decreased as well, which was quite a relief. Diet really can affect things like panic disorder, anxiety, depression and other mood issues many of us suffer from.
Another great thing I've noticed about being raw and even just vegan in general is that I can eat as much as I want. When I ate dairy and meat and eggs I would have to exercise like crazy if I wanted to keep my weight at least the same if not drop some, but since eating a vegan diet and ridding my pantry of most processed foods, my weight's stayed neutral without any effort. I can choose to consume more raw foods in a week if I want to drop weight but I have a tendency to get obsessive about weight if I weigh myself (this is just a personality defect, methinks) every week. Though I have to be honest, since eating this way, more people have commented that I look slimmer and on a physical note, my clothes have become looser.
There are some fantastic books out there to introduce the everyday person to this gentle, green and loving way of eating and one of my very favourites is Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet. This book is great for noobs who just want to "flirt" with a plant-based diet and after trying that you can move into deeper levels of veganism and even become what Alicia calls a "superhero", which is sort of a macrobiotic lifestyle (minus the fish). It's all very good for you and the planet, so if you're really green, consider this: to produce one 16 oz. steak, the amount of water used in this process is about 6 months worth of daily showering! That's one insane statistic and only one of the many facts you'll learn from Alicia's book. To find out more about the book and gain a greater sense of the following community check out Alicia's website, as well. The best part is, you don't have to move past flirting part of the diet if you don't want to, and there's no pressure when you slip off the bandwagon-- it's easy to get back on with all of the support and encouragement available.