For me, internal drivers more than environmental are what can get me. I had to decide that it absolutely was not worth compromising - then what others thought really didn't matter. After a few months, the urge to cheat kind of went a way. It helped that we were saving money for a while and didn't go to eat out with friends, and when we do eat out, most of my friends are willing to go to a vegan restaurant with me so I can choose a raw vegan dish.
That being said, I can't have Coconut Bliss "ice cream", Casava Chips, or Kettle Potato Chips in the house. If I know they are in the house, I'm probably going to eat them. Although I don't feel so hot after the coconut bliss or potato chips, so it may fall into the "not worth it" category. I have health repercussions from eating certain foods that are pretty immediate, so that helps with my will power. I try to be good, but slipping up is human. As long as it is vegan and fairly healthy, oh well. The chips definitely don't fall under the healthy category, so I just keep them out of the house. My husband buys chips I'm allergic to and don't tempt me :) Problem solved.
I don't eat fruit and I've been raw 3 years. Sorry I wasn't clear enough. I didn't mean which particular diet I meant what personality traits etc. make the difference or support from friends or family or financial input or living alone etc.
It helps to have very strong reasons to be raw, whether they be environmental, health or spiritual and that internal focus keeps you on track. I helps not to let the critics get to you (I found that very hard at first), and I never impose my views on food to others unless they are extremely curious and genuinely interested.
Reads lots of blogs and forums to keep you education levels up and get inspiration from beautiful raw cookbooks.
Food wise, sweet fruits with lots of greens are a staple, but personally I can't be a raw food eater unless I can have lots of 'crunch', and for me I get this from flax crackers. I also like to have salt - I know alot of people on this site are not keen, but for me a little bit of salt helps to elevate the natural flavours even more. And as everyone else on this site says - stay prepared so you always have foods to hand, and never, ever go hungry.
Honestly, I don't really need very much support. But that's just my personality. I've been raw since '07 and I have yet to actually meet someone in person who eats like I do. :)
I'm really just fine as long as I eat enough fruit. I've tested it over and over again and only when I cut the fruit do I have problems (i.e. cravings for overt fats, then cravings for spices, then steamed veggies).
I'm even dating a cooked foodist who also drinks and smokes. Doesn't bother me one bit. :)
I'd say, for me, its patience and preparation. If I slip up and eat something that I feel is a no-no, I try to shrug it off and start anew. Beating yourself up or stressing does more harm than the food itself. Also, I try to make sure I have raw goodies to replace things that would normally tempt me for myself, at family functions, so I don't feel "deprived" literally or figuratively. Usually folks like my treats better anyway ;)
I've found it is very important to first of all have a commitment to listening to your own body and yourself, choosing a sustainable diet that you can stabilize on long term instead of trying and failing to conform to someone else's extreme dogma. We are all different, and in the end we shouldn't waste our time if something isn't working.
Thanks for this thread Tahiti. It's inspiring in its very nature: formulating why I eat raw for myself again.
The simplicity and naturalness of eating raw is beautiful. In short, it makes me feel pure and closer to God. I feel a bond with nature; it soothes that intense yearning to live only in the wild, as we were wired to do originally. It helps me detach from the toxic overstressed gross materialistic western world and its mind. I actually made a wristband for myself with the word "pure" on it, so it reminds me of this sentiment that drives me to eat raw.
So, the grossness of the world and the junk/cooked food that I associate with it, repulses me daily, and it's all around me all the time, so it naturally drives me even more to eat raw food.
Other surface reasons that motivates me to stay raw: radiant beauty without any make-up/dress-up effort of mine (I like looking all-natural, and it won't look acceptable or good if I'm not exuding natural health); longevity; TASTE; thorough health, no medical nonsense; solution for chronic acne; cellulite-freedom; and I eat raw because it is a no-brain, fireproof, no-calorie-watching method to stay trim all my life, come age or baby.
Practical aids to stay on the raw track: having more delicious substitutes for things I would crave, i.e quality chocolate, curries etc. And bulking up on veg, my favourites are broccoli and spinach!
Haha, and recently, since I've started eating raw at the beginning of 2010, my junkfood-eating husband would help keep me on track: when I want to succumb to a non-raw food, he gently tells me that I know I really don't want to eat that, I'll be sorry later. Then I know he's just telling me what I would tell myself if I had the presence of mind. Oh I love my husband, he so nurtures me into being myself more and more.
That's it. What motivates you, Tahiti? How's it going with your digestion?
Great comments swayze, eva and powerlifer! I've not fallen off high raw wholefood yet and don't think I ever will. Though I will admit walking past the frozen food shop today and seeing 3 Branston baked beans for a quid made me miss them a little. I did love them on toast. I allowed myself to remember the taste (they do taste nice..) but know the sugar and things in them are not good for me, so I will never eat them again.Organic plums are better!
If you feel like you're deprived on any diet, you will fail. I feel so bad for the people who "can't" have certain trigger foods in the house--that's not a healthy relationship with food.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want steaks or butter in my house for ethical and ickiness reasons. But if you "can't control" your eating behavior when faced with temptation, then something's not right with your diet or how you view it.
Thanks so much everyone for your comments - such terrific insight and varied responses. I'm three years in to my journey and it's still very interesting what I'm learning about my diet and what works and doesn't work for me personally.
People also die on 811 diets--that is the reason why a certain hygienic fasting center had to relocate out of the U.S. a few years ago. DR talks a lot about the raw animal products people--I don't agree with them either, but that is for the most part what ex 8/11ers go into; since they spend so much time insulting and denigrating normal raw and cooked vegan diets, it logically leads them to that place when they fall off and burn out. DR's lifestyle would not be sustainable or workable for me; and not everyone is interested in athletic achievements or thinks they are healthy. What about intellectual, artistic, emotional, political achievements; what about, instead of running in the hamster wheel all day, spending time maintaining and experimenting with growing gardens and orchards? 8/11ers often sound like stereotypical high school jocks with their petty bragging and labeling of other people who don't share their interest in athletics.
People are healthy outside of the arbitrary % mark proscribed by 8/11.
Dr. Graham occasionally eating raw chocolate or a high fat/salt meal means he isn't walking the walk? I think that's pretty ridiculous. He advocates not taking food so seriously and not seeing diet as the end-all-be-all. Eating less optimal foods infrequently (whether due to availability, to please a host, etc.) fits in with that philosophy.
Plus, it's what you do on a regular basis that counts and to my knowledge, Dr. Graham eats 80/10/10.