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Cooking better, Group A vs Group B

Group A
Most of my friends and family that are into raw food do not eat exclusively raw, (they're more like 60% - 80%). One of the interesting thing about this majority is that every year their diet gets a lot healthier. Every year they find themselves eat more organic, less processed, fresh, local, seasonal, hormone free foods, (yes some of them still eat meat occasionally). They have their good days and their bad days, but over all the amount of yo-yoing in their diet is pretty minimal. On top of that, they absolutely love the joy of making food, are comfortable around the kitchen and are fairly well educated about ingredients.

Group B
Contrast that with my other group of friends and family who go from eating almost all processed foods to wanting to be mostly raw overnight. They're not fans of the kitchen, they mostly eat out and although they are interested in eating healthy, they aren't very educated about food as a whole. These friends of mine are usually really excited to "go raw", (a lot of them go exclusively raw over night), but after sometime, when the high of doing something different wears off, they fall back into a yo-yo pattern. Either their food is really healthy or really unhealthy. The yo-yoing usually gets so hard to maintain that after about 6 months of ups and downs, its back to mostly processed foods with a side of guilt.

Cooking Better
One of biggest differences between Group A and Group B, that we have yet to talk about on this blog, is that A has access to a tool that B doesn't - cooking better. Both groups get cravings and both groups have challenges eating healthy, but Group A's choices end up creating momentum that can be built upon. Even though they are eating cooked food, their choices are much healthier. It isn't uncommon for Group A to eat a fresh made cooked meal with a fresh made raw side salad. Group B, on the other hand, tends to turn to the most addictive and highly processed cooked foods out there and intern throws their entire momentum off.

It sucks to be in Group B, but honestly the only way out of it is getting your hands dirty and your mind healthy. Getting in the kitchen and developing a passion around food is key, but so is getting in the library and developing a passion around learning about health.

A personal anecdote
Growing up I hated making food and I hated making fresh food even more, (microwaving was an ordeal in itself). But that all changed once I decided to go vegan, (mostly for animal rights concerns). For the first time in my life I was in a position, especially because I was at college, where if I didn't make food for myself then I would go hungry. Learning how to cook and developing a passion for food was excellent training for my eventual shift to raw.

When I first heard about this thing called "raw food" it rang truer than true to my ears. I made a choice that night that this was something I wanted to do. Although I had never felt better in my life, about seven months into eating exclusively raw I started to get HUGE cravings out of no where. Luckily I had a great mentor who told me that if I really feel like eating something, then I should eat it. He told me to accept my cravings, watch them, and then consciously eat the food that I craved. In my case, I just wanted hot food so I ate what I use to eat as a vegan: a good amount baked yams, steamed vegetables and home made vegetable soup, (as well as my raw stuff).

After a month or so the cravings just disappeared on their own. Because my body didn't feel denied and mentally I let go of "needing to be raw", a certain sense of freedom and enjoyment developed around food.

Although it wasn't the most crucial part (mentality surpasses all), knowing how to cook better foods was definitely a key tool in finding health abundance.

Funny, isn't it? Who ever thought WLIR would be talking about winning through cooking! You gotta love it.

Comments

Jenny

Great post. I guess I would fall in Group "B" (yikes). I have a very extreme personality which has been part of the cause of my eating disorders in the recent past. I'm very passionate about raw food, but I don’t want it to consume my life. As much as I want to be 100% raw and applaud those who can successfully incorporate 100% into their lifestyles, I am trying to learn to accept eating mostly raw on a daily basis and enjoying any deviations that might come with life (i.e. friend's birthdays, holidays, etc). I wish to enjoy the celebrations and would rather not have my personal choices become the topic of every conversation. I believe in living true to your own values, but I am not big on "preaching". Anyway, here's to life. Life will never be perfect, but we must do the best we can with each day.

Dhrumil

Jenny,

Just because you aren't mostly or all raw doesn't mean that you fall into Group B.

In fact I have friends that eat little raw food that still fall into Group A. The difference between them and my friends that fall into Group B, is that my Group B friends are unstable. The don't have a passion for food (cooked or raw) and often fluctuate eating really healthy or really bad food until they burn out overall and just stop trying to eat healthy.

Sandeep

excellent post, dhru. I would fall into both camps. After first learning about raw food (through a significant conversation with you), I went almost fully raw for a few months. Although the health benefits were immediate, a number of societal and just plain hunger/craving pressures pushed me to a more balanced approach (at least for me). However, in terms of improving year to year, experimentation has brought a whole new dimension to my eating. I have learned to adapt my diet in interesting ways. By varying quantities, adding enzyme tablets before cooked meals, cooking food differently (coconut oil, lower heat, NO microwaving), moving towards organic food almost exclusively, and removing most meat consumption, my diet continues to improve steadily. However, as a practice, I believe the combined approach definitely leads to more pitfalls than the fully raw one. When I am feeling really good, I tend to get the idea that I am invincible and begin eating badly for a day or two...which, on the positive side of things, leads to more learning and recalibration.

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