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Dietary Agendas & Authenticity

While surfing the blogosphere today I stumbled upon Allison's Raw Odyssey Blog and her most recent journal entry about her challenges eating exclusively raw:

It's sad to see my food addiction rear its ugly head, but I'm grateful for my ability to really see what food (or non-food, as the case may truly be) does to me, and how much better for me raw food really is. I think that I will try to keep things more loose as far as "how raw" I am, allowing myself to eat cooked veggies and other whole foods on occasion. Ausjulie commented about Buddha, which reminds me of his comments about maintaining a Middle Pat- neither too extreme one way, nor too extreme in the other. Although I still can't figure out how people know they are a particular percentage raw, I can see what they are talking about- they allow themselves some leeway. I'm not ready to name some percentage, but I'm going to start thinking of myself as being majority raw, and over time I'll probably define it a bit more clearly. More.

First off I'd like to commend Allison for posting so authentically. It takes a lot of guts to publicly reexamine any area of life, especially something like going 100% raw.

Many folks who attempt to eat raw food exclusively don't talk about their challenges sticking to it publicly, (usually their ego is too caught up in looking good). So they binge on the side until one day they get tired from all the weight of trying to be healthy and they end up taking a few steps backwards on the health path.

From my experience, I would say most of the problem relates to identity. The majority of people in the raw food circle have been sold a very rosey picture of what it means to be an enlightened rawfoodist who is above and beyond all food cravings and temptations. This image is a tough one to live up to and very few gurus talk about the honest challenges that even they face trying to live up to this image on a daily basis. When individuals can't live up to this identity, it leads them to thinking something is wrong with them and their lack of discipline.

I'll tell you what though... I've never met a person who I've considered to be a health role model, who hasn't gone through multiple evolutions and revolutions in their diet. In fact, almost every single one of my health mentors and role models stopped eating exclusively raw for a period of time before they took it back on. And of some of them even found that eating exclusively raw wasn't for them, which is cool too. The consistent theme though, was that they did what worked for them and didn't worry about living up to some version of what health was suppose to be.

That goes for me too. The biggest health goal I feel that I have achieved is dropping the agenda of how things needed to be.

If you are going through constant yo-yo'ing or binging, you really want to ask yourself if you're trying to live out an out-dated mental image of what it means to be healthy. One of the best ways to go about it to take your private affair and open it up to someone close to you who will hear you out. Nothing like a dose of authenticity to get you present to what you really want and need.

Comments

Danielle

Fantastic post! Thank you.

stephen

I think a good way to maintain a raw food diet is to drink "green smoothies"... I got some recipes from victoria boutenko's book 'green for life'... that's the best raw food book out there in my opinion...

katya

Great point, Dhru

I wrote of cooked versus raw experiments in my book. Throughout 2000, I experimented with periods of all raw ( 6 weeks,-3 months) and then introducing the recommended diet of nutritionists of low glycemic, high protein foods, ( a little salmon) but mainly cooked vegetarian/vegan. It wasn't long (5 days before I started to have persistent thoughts of wanting coffee! even a glass of wine both of which I hadn't had for a couple of years. After 7 days the thoughts were almost tormenting. I noticed my skin and urine odour changed from non existent to unpleasant. My skin became rougher, unlike the silky all over smoothness from eating all raw. The change to a more acidic state, consequently woke up the sleeping dragon that wanted acid stimulants. I gave in finally and had a coffee which really knocked me for 6. It took 3 days of eating all raw before the desire for stimulants ceased. WOW!
More experimentation of all raw then a little cooked, continued. Each time I had cooked the next day I felt like someone had pulled the plug on my energy and I naturally gravitated back to raw. The pain/pleasure principle kicked in. I encourage people to eat as much whole organic fresh produce as possible and to judge for themselves the level of 'aliveness' that comes from eating authentically. I have not heard anyone say they feel incredibly better eating mainly cooked foods.

Some individuals who eat mostly raw but have a little cooked food, don't seem to notice any dramatic changes. Again each human individual must decide for themselves. There is no doubt that eating a high raw or all raw diet catapults you into the living of your unique expression, a life journey of self discovery. It also produces a tangible radiance and youthfulness, as well as heal the body, mind and spirit.

I've done my couple of years of experimenting with cooked and raw and the results never change.
The bottom line... I feel and look better on raw. For me and hundreds of others, raw and living foods can shut the door on addictions. So many people i see are addicted to salt, sugar, fat, stimulants and chemicals. We are literally being bombarded year after year with addictive chemicals in processed and cooked foods (more than ever before) and eating organic raw certainly helps avoid these addictive substances.
Our society is dysfunctionally food focussed.
Love, status, pain/boredom relief, we are told is found in coffee, icecream, biscuits, sticky cakes,soft drinks, fries, etc. Severing emotional links to food through awareness is a major factor and doing creative/fun things that don't involve food is part of the transitioning process to more raw.
I've found that people say they experience a renewed sense of interest in life and confidence through eating all or high raw.

I agree that labelling yourself a raw foodist can set up a separatist mentality.

Saying I/we like it raw! HA! just gives the impression of a preference not a fanatical obsession.

Keep it simple as its meant to be.
We are part of Nature. Eat just how Nature intended, of the foods that have been put here for us humans. As much authentic, whole (not fractured food) as you can.

xx Katya


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