Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where to Begin

Raw chocolate w/goji, maca & raw milk.

Eat dessert first.

That was the recommendation inside the menu of the raw restaurant I visited in Santa Monica. It was a suggestion based on the idea that the acidity of sweeter foods and fruits often used in desserts would aid in proper digestion if consumed a few minutes before the meal itself.

Of course, I'm only two months or so into my own Raw foods journey, so I cannot attest much to how any of this stuff works or why - only that I believe Raw foods are working for me. Despite that short time and my still very limited knowledge on the subject, I've been inundated it seems with requests from friends and strangers who also see this new diet working for me, people who want to know more about what specific changes
I've made since the New Year.

To begin, I will stress that I did NOT stress - as much as possible - about breaking into the Raw food scene. I remember as I was reading and learning about it, either many of the ideas seemed pretty "alternative" or unsafe (at least within the narrow view of what's considered conventional wisdom), or the idea of undergoing a lifestyle shift as drastic as this seemed incredibly overwhelming and expensive. And yet here I am, with no more income than I had two months ago, feeling better than ever, happier than ever, measurably healthier than ever, and perhaps even more of a social butterfly than ever.

(I include the last part because I've often speculated myself on how sustainable a social life or even a romantic relationship might be on my now tighter budget and necessarily more choosy Raw diet. That's a topic for another time, but for now, let it suffice to say that - if it isn't clear by now - the whole point, for me, in going Raw is so that I might expand life, and not restrict it. To that end, I am not in the habit of putting such regimented rules in place that I find it difficult to follow the Raw lifestyle I've chosen. For me, this is no diet. It is a balls-to-bones shift in being. Certainly, I still crave some junkier foods from time to time, but these cravings no longer rule me in the way they did previously, because I have seen I was held to them by the chains of my own consent. The difference now is I no longer consent to feeding myself government-backed killer mutant zombie products whose consumption challenges health and healing while simultaneously triggering terminal environmental deterioration and economical diarrhea and then calling it "food"... Who *would* consent to that?)

Any feelings of intimidation I may have had upon embarking on this journey were soon crushed by a very underwhelming series of baby steps, which I have outlined below. After making these minor adjustments, one by one, over a period of just a few weeks, I blinked one day and realized I was 90-95% Raw. Again, I do allow wiggle room as necessary, in the interests of enjoying life and loved ones, but I don't view it as straying from my path. Life *is* the path, and in my view, a Raw lifestyle brings more life. My ultimate dedication to Raw is maintained, however, not merely by my deliberate intention to heal from diabetes, but also by a commitment to my body to nourish and nurture it in gratitude for the innumerable services it performs for me, without my even having to think about it.

Here's a more detailed, chronological list of my activities since early January:


1) Began educating myself... out of boredom, no less. I wasn't *looking* for a Raw food lifestyle. I stumbled upon it by happy accident. And what do I mean when I say "killer mutant zombie" products? By killer, I mean they're saturated with harmful pesticides, fertilizers or hormones. By mutant, I mean they're genetically modified. By zombie, I mean the enzymes and nutrients that would otherwise be helping you fight illness are dead after cooking. I found these ideas after watching the videos listed as links in the "Watch Online" section of the right margin of this web page, and by reading the books listed in the "Additional Resources" section. All these sources have been instrumental in my own education and paradigm shift, especially the book by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. I am still currently reading it, and will be adding more sources to these lists as I uncover them.

2) Talked to people about what I was learning. Not only did I feel like I was spreading some really good - albeit little known - news, but have also found and continue to find handfuls of very knowledgeable, very influential new friends/mentors.

3) Stopped buying and, when possible, consuming anything NOT organic. This applied immediately to food and drink, but I continue gradually to weed out other non-organic, every day products such as conventional shampoo and toothpaste.

4) Halted all drinking of soda, diet or otherwise, as well as any other caffeinated beverages, like tea. I drink mostly mineral water and *fresh* vegetable juice (NOT the bottled stuff), which I find at my local Co-op market.

5) Ate desserts first, so to speak. When purchasing Raw foods for the first time, I started small, and with foods I already knew I liked, such as chocolate. My first ever deliberately Raw purchase was a Raw chocolate bar. It was about $8, but it was delicious and encouraged me to move on to the next Raw food purchase, and so on. Not all my first purchases were winners where my palate was concerned, but that's true of processed foods as well. In any case, I've since found several Raw products that I like, and even some that I love.

6) Been loving on my pancreas, and my body as a whole. One night I took a few minutes and just praised by body for all those amazing functions it performs so well without a thought required from me. I encouraged it in the areas where I knew it struggles. I let my body know it had my full, conscious support, that my intention was to nourish it and work with it to get all parts functioning at 100% again. I have continued this conversation with my body up to the present moment, and I see no reason ever to stop.

7) Made it my goal to take as little insulin as possible, so that the synthetic stuff wouldn't interfere with the healing of my pancreas. According to Aajonus, prescription drugs and the like tend only to get in the way of the body's natural healing function. I haven't wanted to make my pancreas's job any harder than it already is; so I've made some necessary sacrifices where higher-carb and higher-sugar foods are concerned. Instead, I've been choosing foods that are more friendly to the blood sugar and require less insulin.

8) Had a piece of fruit a few minutes before most every meal. As I mentioned above, I've read this habit can help ease digestion.

9) Focused especially on the foods recommended for my specific condition - diabetes. This means, I've been eating lots of avocados to help increase energy levels, and lots of Raw unheated honey to help heal the pancreas. Because Raw honey seems so much sweeter than conventional honey to me, to balance the sweetness, I had been pairing it with peanut butter on Ezekiel bread and making sandwiches. I also incorporated a raw honey/raw butter mixture which I occasionally spread over a slice of that same Ezekiel bread.

10) Been eating lots of vegetables. In my case, salads seem simplest, with either organic salad dressing or Raw salad dressing (available at Whole Foods).

11) Switched from my usual organic fat-free to organic whole milk a few weeks before switching to Raw organic milk. I knew the Raw stuff wasn't going to be fat free, so I wanted to prepare myself.

12) Embraced fruit smoothies as a tasty way to get raw eggs, kale, flax seed powder and apple cider vinegar into my diet early in the day. So far, so tasty!

13) Took the plunge and sampled raw meats, which I have now fully integrated into my diet. (I understand people have all kinds of differing opinions and feelings on this topic, and at some point, I'll no doubt want to address them, but for now, I'm still experimenting.) Obviously, raw fish has been less of a stretch for me, as I've had and enjoyed sushi many, many times. But even the raw beef, and now bison, is considerably less daunting than I expected. My primary concern was to make it palatable, as I'd greatly anticipated a vomitous reaction, thanks to 30 years of anti-raw meat programming and propoganda. So I seasoned it thoroughly with different spices in olive oil and added a few other ingredients I associated with hamburger meat - raw red onion, some greens and some cheese... raw cheese, in fact. I pretended I was having carpaccio at some fancy restaurant. But I didn't have to pretend for long. After just a few nights, the raw meat seemed to just melt in my mouth. (For any who are curious, Aajonus makes a case for eating Raw meast in his book, which I do not yet dare to attempt to paraphrase for him.)


It's truly remarkable the things a person can learn and unlearn, when properly motivated. What keeps me motivated is the series of healing miracles I've already begun to witness with regards to my own diabetes, and what that could mean for others with chronic ailments, who are willing to unlearn the programming that tells them they have no choice but to remain unwell, or at best, under the influence of a sickly compromised healthcare system.

Mine is a journey away from that programming and back into vibrant health. Even if my baby steps these first couple months have felt a little wobbly at times, I already feel my stride becoming longer and my balance becoming sturdier. At this rate, I'll be skipping through life very soon - without diabetes and the need for insulin. And, if memory serves, I'm one helluva skipper.

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