David & Regina Cooked, David & Regina Raw
This beautiful before and after story comes straight from Downunder. Special thanks to Ricardo of rawfood.com.au for the link.
At the age of nineteen, I was diagnosed with stage two cancer. Throughout my whole ordeal, I treated my illness as though I had a minor cold. I had no doubt that I would survive the cancer and live a normal and healthy life; it was just a matter of getting through the barrage of chemotherapy sessions and the drugs that were highly toxic to my system. More.
Looking back, a raw food lifestyle presented itself numerous times before I decided to jump in with both feet. My first introduction to raw food came after following up a personal ad in Kyoto, Japan. During the first encounter with my mystery date, he told me about how he just ate raw food and the amount of energy and vitality that he felt due to this lifestyle choice. I had to admit, the man looked vibrant with health, but I thought to myself, “What a weirdo! How could he just eat raw food?” More.
At the age of nineteen, I was diagnosed with stage two cancer. Throughout my whole ordeal, I treated my illness as though I had a minor cold. I had no doubt that I would survive the cancer and live a normal and healthy life; it was just a matter of getting through the barrage of chemotherapy sessions and the drugs that were highly toxic to my system. After a surgical procedure to remove the tumors and with a series of chemotherapy sessions, I was declared to have made it through the treatment. I was a survivor of cancer and for the following ten years, I was told that the
cancer had not reappeared and I was officially in remission. Never did I consider that I needed to rebalance my system after the treatments or think that a change in my dietary lifestyle would help maintain my health. So I just continued on a meat, white bread, pasta, sugar, cheese, processed food, fast food and boiled vegetable diet, until Regina and I met in the Coliseum in Rome, Italy in March of 2003.
As the expression goes, there are no accidents in life and my encounter with Regina was a moment in time that was waiting to take place. Who would have ever thought that you would meet your life partner by just having them ask you if you could take her picture? With that simple introduction, we were off on an adventure that continues to be as effortless as that first hello. Following my journey to Europe, I decided to move to Osaka, Japan where Regina was living and working as a school counselor. We decided to remain there while Regina finished out her yearly contract
and it was during that time period that I decided to eat a vegetarian diet at home and only eat meat when we were out to dinner if I felt like it. I started to feel better and healthier and it was then that I began to make the connection between diet and physical wellbeing.
When we visited the raw food restaurant in New York City, I got a glimpse of what raw food was all about. I in no way at the time intended raw to become a lifestyle, but when we arrived in Sydney and Regina suggested that we attend the raw food seminar, I supported her full heartedly. As we spent time with Ricardo and listened to his wealth of knowledge and experience on the subject, it just seemed to make sense. My body was still toxic from the chemotherapy, the drugs, and the poor food choices that I had made over the years. I realized that I needed to clean out my
system and so with Regina I decided to adopt a raw food lifestyle.
For the past two months, I have been eating an essentially 100% Raw food diet. I will be honest and say that it is not necessarily my intention to continue a lifetime of raw eating, but I have to admit the benefits of feeling healthier, being more alert and just being able to fit into some new clothes makes this adventure a fun and healthy one.
One thing I have also gained from this experience is that I am now educated on how food heals the body. I don’t think anyone had ever explained it to me before. I just did not consider it as being such an important choice and necessary part of your life. Understanding how food heals your body is also very interesting. Try it for a month and you will see an amazing change for the better; I promise you. Even if you just learn about what you are eating and that is all you gain, I am sure you will be thankful.
Looking back, a raw food lifestyle presented itself numerous times before I decided to jump in with both feet. My first introduction to raw food came after following up a personal ad in Kyoto, Japan. During the first encounter with my mystery date, he told me about how he just ate raw food and the amount of energy and vitality that he felt due to this lifestyle choice. I had to admit, the man looked vibrant with health, but I thought to myself, “What a weirdo! How could he just eat raw food?” No chemistry or food chemistry, so off I went.
In the summer of 2002 while studying yoga in North Carolina, I decided to do an intestinal cleanse which required me to eat a raw food diet for three weeks. During that short time, I watched my body transform. I felt lighter inside, my skin looked clearer and I felt full of energy and life. I had bought a few raw cookbooks hoping to continue making raw food after my three week food high, but I found it difficult to figure out how to eat a healthy raw lifestyle in Japan where the cost of organic vegetables was exorbitant! I still could not grasp how to prepare raw food in a quick
and easy fashion. I found the sprouting in most cookbooks to be an organizational nightmare, and I did not have the equipment required by many of the recipes, so I promised myself that once I left Japan, I would revisit the idea of embracing a raw lifestyle.
In September, 2004 during my honeymoon in New York City, a dear friend of ours took my husband, David, and I to Pure Food and Wine a fabulous, 100% raw food restaurant. This was the turning point in my raw journey. I never knew raw food could taste so good and could be used to create such fabulous and amazing dishes. We literally felt high on a food buzz and had a tremendous amount of energy, just after eating one meal! I thought then and there, that I needed to find a raw food chef in Sydney, Australia, our soon to be new home.
One week after my arrival to Sydney, I saw an advertisement in a café for a raw food seminar which would be run by Sydney’s ONLY raw food chef, Ricardo Riskalla. Talk about a door opening in front of you when it is time for your life to change! The following weekend, David and I were listening to Ricardo’s presentation about the benefits of raw food and then watched as he effortlessly prepared fabulous raw dishes without the use of sprouted grains and beans. I had found my raw food chef and teacher! We contacted Ricardo and decided to do a week-long, raw food retreat at which time Ricardo taught us about the principles of a healthy, raw food diet and how to make consistencies and flavors with various fruits and vegetables. The dishes were amazingly easy and delicious. In the weeks following the course, I dedicated my time to learning about how to make different and new raw dishes.
There is a sense of liberation when you make raw dishes because you are given the freedom to be creative. The variety of foods that I am eating compared with what I used to eat is equally astonishing. I had no idea that I could make a curry soup using a mango as one of my primary ingredients. Or that eggplant could be transformed into pasta that I now use for raw lasagna. And raw desserts don’t require sugar, flour or eggs and are just as healthy as the main course!!!!
Physically, I have witnessed a dramatic change to my health. After being a vegetarian for ten years, I felt that there was something missing in my diet. Since I had hypoglycemia, I would feel desperate for food when I got hungry and my moods would swing with my blood sugar highs and lows. I was constipated, had flatulence, felt full and bloated after eating and would need to belch frequently after meals. Since eating raw foods, all of the above symptoms have disappeared and I feel fantastic. My blood sugar is stable. My skin has a shine to it and my eyes are starting to change from brown to blue. And the acne that I have had on my back since the age of nineteen is gone!
The first two months were a bit up and down as my body detoxed and I felt tired and irritable at times. Thanks to the help and guidance of my raw food teacher and friend Ricardo and the support of my husband, David, I was fully able to embrace and explore the power of raw foods. David has also been an inspiration through this whole process as he basically went from your traditional Australian meat diet to a vegetarian diet in Japan to a raw diet here in Sydney. He has his own story to tell, but I can say that there are probably not many partners out there that would have taken this big of a leap!!!
Oddly enough, today marks my third month eating strictly raw foods. A light inside me has been switched on that I can’t turn off. Eating cooked food just does not make sense to me anymore. Finally, I have a found a way of life that rings true in my body,
heart and soul.