Hello there, My name is Vanessa I am from Sacramento, CA. I am very new to the raw scene, and have become interested in it due to some research I've been doing and a book I read recently about Yoga and healthy living. I am currently overweight and have always focused my dieting practices around trying to lose weight, with little to no concern about being healthy. I have failed in both areas.
Recently I've become frustrated with my lack of energy and shifting moods which I believe I can alter through changing my diet. My goal is to transition to a 60-70% raw diet and to focus on making the healthiest choices available to me. I know these kinds of changes can often end up being short lived or "just a phase" but I feel extremely motivated this time, and in the past few weeks the subtle healthy changes I have made and the yoga/exercise I've been doing has already shown me that only great rewards are ahead.
My diet right now consists of fruits, oatmeal, frozen lean cuisine/smart one meals (for lunch at work), coffee with soy milk, and steamed vegetables with pasta/chicken or something similar for dinner. I am far from raw, even far from vegan. I've committed as of today to give up dairy completely (which I pretty much already avoid) as well as any kind of meat. Giving up warm food is going to be that much more of a challenge and I don't suspect that I'll ever make it all the way, but you never know. Im mostly concerned with seeing my physical responses and monitoring how I feel as a gauge of what works and also I of course want to be being able to control my own hunger and cravings etc etc. I am enticed by a lot of vegan/organic products on the market but alas a lot of them involve cooking.
From reading through the various posts on these forums I've noticed that many of you are like me, without a local support system of people with like minded goals/diets/etc. The closest thing I've got is a vegetarian sister, who doesn't even eat vegetables! (not the best influence). My boyfriend is extremely unhealthy (smokes, drinks only soda, lives primarily on fast food/processed foods) but seems to be relatively supportive and willing to try new dishes.
Anyhow, I am looking forward to trying out some of the delicious recipes I've found on this site and continuing to experiment along my journey to a healthier way of living.
I do have a broad question, but it's kind of hard to phrase. I'm going to keep reading through the forums for more information addressing my questions, but I'll put on here in case someone wants to respond directly. I'm really curious regarding the physiological/emotional changes that occur as you shift from cooked/meat to vegan/raw. I was wondering how long people took to make the change, what a good timeframe would be, or how they incorporated these changes into their lifestyle, if they had any type of negative physical responses, etc etc.
Also I was wondering how long it takes before you stop craving these kinds of foods. Some of the literature I've read says that eventually some people get to the point where they don't see meat or processed food as food anymore, and therefore they don't desire it. Has this happened for anyone?
The short answer is YES this has happened to me...
Congratulations and welcome to our community!!! My advise is to go slowly and think about why you are making changes to your lifestyle...
I first stopped eating red meat because of high cholesterol, Then I stopped eating chicken because they feed the chickens arsenic to keep the paracytes (sp) down in the flesh... The brother of a friend of mine works at Perdue and reported the reason for the use of arsenic... I know I don't want to eat paracytes or arsenic..
So I ate Salmon as it was high in Omega Fatty Acids...
I stopped eating white things like potatoes, light breat, crackers as when chewed they mix with your saliva and the result is a simple sugar which increased my blood sugar... I cured my diabetes with this simple change...
All those reasons made it easy to become a vegetarian... I then cut out dairy and began reading about what it means to be Vegan... I stumbled upon the raw lifestyle and spent several days watching youtube recipes and read every word on BlindGuru dot com... Bought a Waring Xtreme blender and the rest is history... I found many different raw sites and bumped into GoneRaw...
Every now an then I will eat raw Tuna ( so high in mega 3's) from my local Whole Foods Susi Bar but that is the only flesh I eat...
I feel wonderful, my B/P is low normal as well as my cholesterol and blood sugar and my energy level is through the roof... He is an example, last week-end I worked in my garden all day, cleaned up and went out for dinner and dancing... We danced to every song ( in high heal strappy sandals ) got to bed after 3 am... Awakened at 7 went to the Winery after my breakfast fruit smoothie and picked 6 gallon of blueberries for 4 hours... Then went to my 80 yr old friends house and weeded by hand and hoed her flower garden in the 90 degree heat... Went home, took a shower and went out dancing at 8pm, the band started at 9 and again danced to each song until they stopped at 1 am... Sunday was just as full, cleaned house and had company for dinner...
I truly feel like the more I do, the more energy I have to do more.... And you will too!!!
By the way, I am 62 yrs young... smile
Again, welcome and Good Luck!!!
Yes, for ethical reasons, I don't view animal products as food!
Welcome to this board. I like your enthusiasm for the lifestyle and your willingness to try to find real health/wellbeing!
You may find that eating things at room temperature pleases you or if you get a Vita-Mix you can "heat" foods a little, like a blended soup!
well, to be perfectly honest, I was having such gastrointestinal issues eating cooked foods that the transition to vegan and then to raw foods was SUCH a happy and issue-free time, that it seemed easier than continuing the sad/cooked diet.
let me explain: I was diagnosed celiac about a year ago, and even when I cut out gluten, I'd still get this wretched/horrid/no-good/really bad stinking gas that I was desperate to do something, ANYthing...I read on another site that mixing fats with sugars can cause gas, bloating etc, but also that cooking foods destroys enzymes, etc etc etc, and so I somehow found this site while poking about for more info....
The raw diet cleared up my symptoms within a matter of hours, and I've been too terrified of the stink-ass gas that I've not "cheated" at all, since it's just my lifestyle now:)
given the alternative, I'd be mad to go back to my old diet....Oh, I do think that my taste buds have changed...and I've been hungry too, but it's a sort of different hunger...one where my stomach actually growls for food !I"ve not felt my hunger like this in ages....and then I'll eat something, something small (I find that I nibble a lot all day long, I don't eat just 3 meals - that's a social construction you know, humans are animals, we're meant to graze) and then I'm satisfied for a half an hour or so, then I'll find another tasty bite to eat...and so on:)
lIkely the hardest part is not cravings, but thinking of raw food as a "diet" which it's not; it's a lifestyle change. If you keep in mind that it's your lifestyle, then there's no risk of cheating. Calling it cheating will only depress you and make you feel as though you're not being successful, which you likely are:)
welcome to goneraw! I hope we can help!
I would recommend you read a book called Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman. It is not a "Raw" book, but the ideas expressed are *very* well backed up, and it's easy to take those ideas into a raw lifestyle if you choose. The reason I suggest it is because the information provided is so well backed up that it makes it much easier to commit to long term change. It also has explanations of why people have such a hard time making dietary changes stick. This information may help you if you have a history of "dieting" and are worried that this may just be another phase.
Also, my own personal experience is complex. I originally thought a raw lifestyle was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard, but I was led back to the concept over and over and over until I found out about some of the changes that occur when you eat more and more raw. I had been sick for about 10 months and had unintentionally been losing weight (not a good thing b/c it was mostly muscle). I found that I had several major food allergies and was in the process of removing them from my diet, but I couldn't seem to really recover any of my health. I had only stopped getting worse. Despite my health problems, what really drew me to raw food was the hope for more spiritual connectedness. It's hard to describe, but as my health declined I was less connected with the world and people around me.
After only a few days of high raw, mostly fruits and a little veg, I noticed significant changes in my ability to connect with others. I was a bit "brighter" and was able to give happiness, not just suck it away from others. This success motivated me to continue for the health benefits I was seeking, and they came as well. My energy is back and I can actually go up and down my stairs without pausing halfway.
Where I'm at now is really only about half raw. I tinkered with it quite a bit, and the place I'm most comfortable at now is about half of my calories from raw fruits and veggies. The rest comes from home ground whole wheat, cooked veggies, and a very small amount of meat. I'm not in a position to be able to deal with a major detox crisis right now, so I deliberately slow it down.
I hope this helps, and I hope you can find your own path with what you need.
Wow thanks for the lengthy and friendly responses filled with great advice!!
Waterbaby12347: Wow I am really amazed at how energized you are. That is certainly one of the main things I am looking forward to/working towards. I hate feeling sluggish and weighed down at barely 22!!
tabbycats_tofu: I agree with you completely about not mentally constructing these behaviors into a “diet”. It’s really important to me to treat this as a lifestyle change, like you mentioned. I don’t want it to be like other diets I’ve seen/tried in the past where you are knowingly and consciously convincing yourself that you are depriving yourself to get to a certain weight or physical projection of success. I want to eat healthier, I want these kinds of foods. I can see that meats, dairy, processed, fried and otherwise damaged foods aren’t good for me. I’m really just caught up in comfort and trying to fill a void with food. Being overweight for me has always been about anything and everything but the food.
Anyways thanks again for the great responses!! I feel really welcomed and even more motivated towards my goals. I went to a whole foods store after I spent all day at work browsing the forums and recipes and picked up a lot of great fruits and veggies and I’m ready to grub!!
oh and rainylanie thanks for the tip on the book! I'll definitely check it out.
Welcome Vanessa, I think you have a great outlook and I'm sure you'll do really well.
It was after decided to get fit (through running) that I started to focus on my health and that's when I started to question what food I was eating and what I considered 'healthy'. I read a great book called Eating for Energy and everything just clicked. I gradually started cutting out meat/diary and really upping my fruit/veg. After a few months, I realised I'd been wanting to go veggie for ages but just hadn't thought about it enough to actually take action. I do still eat fish occasionally (so guess I'm actually pescitarian) but that is becoming less and less. The though of eating animals now makes me feel ill. I've been eating high raw for almost a year now and am really starting to feel the benefits. All of my friends/family have noticed how well I look and I do feel like I'm starting to glow. My skin used to be terrible and it's very rare now that I get a spot. I am very keen on starying fit, so exercise most days, which I think really helps. I am probably going to go vegan soon but just taking it slowly so it happens naturally.
I love eating/living this way and although I'm not 100%, I have really felt the difference.
Good luck in your raw journey. :-)
I went vegetarian over 20 years ago and I can safely say that I never look at meat as a foodstuff, it's just an section of the supermarket that I never need to go down and stuff in the fridge that I don't want to eat (BF eats meat). I don't think it took very long to feel like this either, although it took me longer not to feel revolted by meat. Concentrate on the positive and try and forget about any stumblings along the way, in time they will become fewer and fewer. I am not yet as raw as I would like to be but this is happening for some forms of cooked food now - they just aren't appealing anymore.
Also if you look at this as a "lifestyle change" then you can use it as an opportunity to buy new sports clothes, uncookbooks and other bits and pieces, then you feel like your all ready to go and this helps keep you motivated. I like to read through and choose a nice recipe for diner that night or the next.
Although a lot of us (including me) have no people offline to talk to on gone raw and other forums there is always help and inspiration, so use us!