Looking for Answers
There is so little mainstream information out there about this type of eating and people’s experiences with it. (Then again, maybe it is out there but I just can’t find it?) Eating raw, organic fruits and vegetables is so radically different from the typical American diet! We are encountering an epidemic of obesity and disease in this country, likely caused by this culture of excess and highly processed foods. Too much emphasis is placed on eating for pleasure rather than eating to thrive!
Looking back, I can see how the typical American diet has contributed to many of my health issues up until the present. Throughout my childhood I suffered from depression, but didn’t know what it was. I thought it was normal. I would get sleepy during afternoons at school, no doubt due to my poor diet. Even in high school as a distance runner, I would eat a huge cookie every day at lunch (probably full of white flour and hydrogenated fats)…and was sluggish all afternoon. Why didn’t I attribute it to the food?
Too Many Ailments
I started becoming slightly interested in health in college (I wish it had been sooner!) but never made the connection between how I felt, and food. I continued on in athletics playing field hockey and lacrosse. The physical ailments continued: from severe allergies and acne, to recurring sinus infections. While studying abroad in Germany, I ate mostly bread and wheat products every day, due to a limited budget. During that time I developed migraines that continue to this day.
From age 24-30 I went through three pregnancies, eating high carbs (processed). Due to my high blood sugar,the weight of my babies was almost too much for my very small 5’ frame, making delivery difficult. I continued with what I call “blood sugar issues” up until the present (feeling crappy and sluggish when eating a high carb meal, with almost hangover-type symptoms). I still have chronic sinus allergies, and a recurring rash on both sides of my neck. The depression hasn’t left either.
Food Affects Us More Than We Realize
When my first child was a toddler, I discovered the “Zone” diet. Reading that book was my first wake-up call in realizing the effect of food on our biochemistry. I still believe that the research in that book is valid. However, I think the way it is applied is an oversimplification, and too much emphasis is placed on meat as the source of protein.
Over the years, continuing to feel like crap caused me to keep coming back to the Zone way of eating. I couldn’t deny that I felt better eating that way than any other diet.
So, WHY RAW?? Why not just keep eating a regular balanced diet of cooked foods, raw fruits and veggies, and various meats?
Raw Vegan: Healthy or Just Plain Crazy?
I have been intrigued with the raw food lifestyle for a few years, but my first impressions of the raw diet were NOT good. I remember hearing a story about a couple that fed their baby only raw foods, and the baby starved to death.
I read a blogger’s story about going raw for 30 days, and the extremes of his diet were such a turn off! I felt that many people following the raw food lifestyle were too fanatical, too self-righteous, and in ways it felt like a religion.
(The blogger I mention is Steve Pavlina, and I still recommend you visit his site. Even though his trial is a bit extreme, you can learn a lot from it. He is still a raw foodist to this day -updated 12/26/2009)
Is it Worth a Try?
Recently losing my dad to pancreatic cancer was a major factor in keeping the raw diet on my radar. I used to think to myself, “if I ever got diagnosed with cancer, I would eat totally raw and organic.” Interesting. Why not eat that way now and prevent cancer? I now know that there is a predisposition for cancer in my genes. My dad also suffered from diverticulitis (an intestinal disease), and my brother has been diagnosed as well.
Something about eating raw, at this time in my life feels right. When I try to eat the Zone way, I too easily slip back into junk foods. I feel that going all raw will force me to survive on plant foods, and it will (hopefully) become a permanent lifestyle change.
I want to feel radiant, and light on my feet! I don’t want to feel run down, sluggish after eating, or suffer chronic allergies. I don’t want to live in fear of all the diseases that are rampant in our society.
With all that weighing on my mind recently, I came across something called the Raw Mom Summit. It was a free 9 day online seminar with guest speakers, and they were amazing! My biggest influence out of them all was the Boutenko family, whom you can read about on rawfamily.com.
Outside of the Raw Mom Summit, my biggest influence was the Running Raw project. Tim VanOrden made more sense to me than any other person I’ve heard speak about a raw food diet. After listening to his many videos on youtube, I finally felt like, “I get it!”
I’m currently in my second week of being partially raw. I’m eating some days 100% raw, and others maybe 60%. It is NOT easy!!!
I hope that my small voice will be yet another to add to the growing number of individuals finding healing in this way of life.
If this story can help just one person gain the strength to take control of their health, it is worth the time spent!
Taking one day at a time,