If you have been paying any attention to health news lately, raw-food and organic diets are becoming quite popular for a variety of reasons. Some people want to lose weight, others want to reverse the effects of disease, while others want to improve athletic performance, and still others see it as a way to “eat green” and leave a smaller footprint on the earth. I view my decision to “go raw” (mostly), organic, and hormone/antibiotic-free as the only way I can eat for life – both quantity and, more importantly, quality.
To make a long story short, I have had to follow very strict diets for 5-6 months at a time to get rid of systemic infections over the past five years. In case you’re wondering what the diet entails: very very few carbs, no more than one piece of fruit or the equivalent of one medium apple per day, and no sugar (including most fruit and all dried fruit), dairy, wheat, or foods with yeast, like condiments, which contain vinegar, or alcohol.
The last two times I had to go on this diet, I just tailored it to my old eating habits and found replacements for the things I normally liked to eat. Certainly, I experimented with new veggies and found I liked gluten-free bagels with a soy “cream cheese” spread. However, as the condition became more severe, I could no longer eat many of the replacements. Goodbye bagel and “cream cheese.” Now that it is pretty clear that I need to make a change for at the very least a lengthy period of time (probably at least two years, if not a lifetime), I decided to step out of my comfort zone farther than I ever have before and go mostly, but not completely, raw. Right now it’s easier in some ways since Aix-en-Provence has fantastic local farmers’ markets (something I strongly support) and it’s relatively easy to find organic food.
Within five days of making the dietary transition, my morning run felt so much better. I felt like I had grown an inch and lost ten pounds over night. The additional energy I had coupled with the overall feeling of lightness made it easier to run faster without much effort. That is not to say the switch has been easy, but I can see hints that it is already paying off.
I’ve known for a while that I needed to change my eating habits because, like many people, I found myself eating to feed emotional needs, but then I also rushed through whatever I was eating because I felt like I had to also be “productive” during that time. Both of those issues had to be dealt with. Fair warning for anyone else who plans to go on a fast or detox that it can be quite emotional. When the foods you ate to fill those needs are no longer options, you are left to deal with the emotions themselves and the reasons for them. Since I wasn’t even enjoying the food I was eating, healthy or not, I am now learning to slow down, take some time away from my work, maybe not much, but just enough to actually taste what I’m putting in my mouth. Mindful eating is better for the digestion, is much more enjoyable, and it gives the mind a little rest from the activity of the day. As I practice it more, I am sure I’ll have more to say about it. 🙂
The blog won’t become all about food, but I may provide updates on how everything is going from time to time and post any particularly good recipes I’ve discovered since this is all part of the journey. The meal pictured above was last night’s experiment of throwing things together that I had on hand. The salad includes brown flax seeds for fiber and organic veggies: half an avocado, slices of cucumber, succulent cherry tomatoes, sweet green chile and bell peppers, alfalfa sprouts, and salsa (not homemade, this time but hopefully soon!). The drink is essentially home-made Sprite: San Pellegrino sparkling water with fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice and a sprinkle of stevia. I’m not sure if sparkling water is considered raw, but it’s allowed in my diet, and since I had it on hand, it was a nice treat.
- The RAW Food Diet… common-sense or non-sense? (simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com)
- Health Matters – From SAD to RAW – 8 Weeks (revoltofthebarbarians.wordpress.com)
- Mindful Eating as Food for Thought (nytimes.com)