Alcoholic Bartender Syndrome
I am having trouble staying raw. I have really, really good intentions, but a really, really bad addiction to cooked food. I don't know if this is physical or emotional, but either way it's really hard for me to resist eating certain foods (noodles, beans, bread...) and I tend to suddenly find them in my mouth after days of not eating them... So, my problem is that I live in a cooked (mostly vegan) household, and I am the one that makes dinner for my family. I make them the foods that I would like to eat, and while I'm making dinner it's a huge struggle not to eat anything. So, last night I made tacos and resisted all throughout preparing dinner, all through dinner, all the way until I started to clean up the kitchen (probably eight-ish). I said, Emily, DON'T eat those refried beans. And I was being really good, and then all of a sudden I had eaten all of the leftover taco filling. Gaahhhhhhh. Then, once I eat a bite of cooked food, I go around the house eating anything I can that is cooked until I am wicked full and feeling sick. This must be some kind of mental trigger, because all of a sudden I've broken my raw streak for the day, and I suppose that I'll just start over in the morning or something and at that point I might as well eat whatever I want. This seems to me like a serious eating disorder. I need to be 100% raw in order to overcome my addictions as well as my various health problems.
Take it easy,
I think there may be a few ways of looking at the situation... I've found that sometimes if I look at things a slightly different way, it makes things much less overwhelming. I would feel guilty when I would break down on the weekend and have a raw vegan baked good or have sushi with my friends. I came up with a sort of compromise. I allow myself to have vegan sushi when I eat out with my husband or friends. This amounts to once every couple weeks. It helps sometimes during the transition period to allow yourself a small "break." If you schedule the break and plan out what you are going to eat (<- this is the important part!), you still feel like you have some control over the situation and you're allowing yourself to be human. I also allowed myself to have tea in the mornings. These were calculated cheats that are still pretty healthy for cooked. I no longer reached for baked vegan goods because I feel gross for at least a day after (over full, head ache, etc). I still have vegan sushi on occassion with friends to maintain my sanity and keep that social bond going :) I am gaining friends in the raw vegan community, but the majority of people I associate with are neither vegan nor raw. Having that occassional "cheat" and being OK with myself for doing so was important to me AND limiting the binging! Tea is something I still have on occassion. It has medicinal properties, but I've found that a hot cup of water will suffice most of the time. I was just craving heat.
Over time on a raw diet your tastes change and you tend to start craving different things. It's important to listen to those cravings though. Are you eating enough fruit? It sounds like you are craving starchy carbohydrates...this could just be a sugar addition, or you may need more fruits. I had a craving for salty food for a while which turned into a craving for sea vegetables. I'm pretty certain I need more minerals and have started my adventure with live foods. Sprouts give us such a fabulous range of nutrients and protein. Having a couple cups a day in salads, juices, etc. may help with the cravings.
Don't beat yourself up or try to self diagnose. We are all human; we all have our vices. Just try to steer your cooked "binges" towards healthy options and stay as raw as possible. Over time you will probably find that you have these cravings less often and you'll need less "breaks." I love finding raw living recipes that my family enjoys and sharing with them. My mom enjoys the recipes and both she and my grandmother are looking into incorporating more raw into their diets. My husband is an omnivore, but he still loves my desserts so there's hope :)
Take care and please keep us posted on how you are doing.
I had the same problem that you talk about. I would be very strict for awhile, then binge later. I stopped finally, after I realized you cannot deprive yourself. Like the post before said, you have to allow yourself pre-meditated cheats here and there. Once you tell yourself you cannot have something, you want it only more. I had this issue with chocolate and the very large candy bowl sitting by me at work my boss constantly kept filled to the top :) I told myself I can have whatever I wanted, its not off limits. Suddenly, its appeal sort of went away. I still allow myself a mini dark piece here and there if I want it. Just dont beat yourself up for it!! And dont try to be perfectly, 100% Raw. Gradually you can get there, in time!
I eat a high raw diet, but I'm not 100% and this works best for me. Once I took the "pressure" off of myself I found myself eating less and less cooked comfort food. I love to think about all of the healthy things I ate or drank during the day and focus less on the cooked food. I definately have days where my cooked percentage is higher than my raw, but usually it balances back out the next day. I even have 100% raw days. I suppose I'm trying to say that everything with my diet and my health ( physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ) fell into place once I stopped being so strict and hard on myself. Of course everyone's experience is different. I wish you many blessings on your journey :).
Perhaps you need some of the nutrients that are in the foods you crave. Is your raw diet providing you with enough protein and salt? Some will say fruits and greens provide all the protein you need, but to me this is dangerous thinking, and in many cases blood tests will prove my theory is correct (look for 80/10/10 here: http://www.rawfoodinfo.com/hotline/Jan06_hotline.html and here: http://www.rawfoodinfo.com/hotline/May06_hotline.html). Sprouted legumes, grains, seeds and nuts are great raw sources of protein. Maybe you just need some foods that make you feel warm, like raw crackers and breads and soups--or just more food in general.
Is there a way that you could not be the cook for your house? If not, making sure you're full of raw food before you start cooking would help.
Finally, it doesn't sound to me like a serious eating disorder, it just sounds like you haven't yet worked out a diet that makes you feel satisfied without feeling guilty. Just give yourself time to work it out.
Thanks everyone! You are right, I should not be so hard on myself. I do get a pretty good variety of raw foods, I eat mostly fruit, kale and spinach with some nuts, seeds and superfoods (mainly hemp, cacao, and spirulina) from time to time. I really, really love beans though and I have tried sprouting them but this really hurts my stomach. I should def. be doing more sprouts but, like you said, maybe not be so hard on myself. I would like to be grain-free, as it aggrivates my allergies and makes me quite puffy. But it is a journey and I've been going at this for almost two years- since then I've quit smoking, quit drinking coffee, and become totally vegan, so I am definitely moving in the right direction! Big problem is being the cook, but I really love to make food for people so I'll just have to make sure I'm prepared for it. Thanks again :) Emily