Last night was an amazing night. Not because everything was perfect, but because it wasn’t perfect. We’ve had lots of expenses in the past few months and have been consistently low on money at the end of the month. We had to use a Wal-Mart gift card to get food yesterday and we ended up eating a spicy and fatty dinner. Guacamole, hummus, chips, bread, salsa. We washed it down with plenty of juice. We’ve been getting out of cooking, since our water here is very metallic and has made us feel funky, to say the least. This dinner was really our only option at Wal-Mart for vegan foods. We did get a watermelon too and we had some lettuce, tomatoes, and small bit of other fruits & veggies.
This Salsa/Chips/Dips meal was not a new thing for us. It is something we’ve done many times before, but it has been a long time. We got into raw foods over 6 years ago. We initially followed Gabriel Cousens and then David Wolfe. What this created was a propensity to spend a lot of money on supplements, super foods, and gourmet fatty foods that were marketed as “raw”. It made us feel high and healthier, for a time. We ate tons of garlic, cayenne pepper and smothered all our food with oil. We were under the impression that fruit was bad for us.
One of the first things we learned about raw foods, was that “fruitarians are crazy”, “if you eat a lot of fruit you’ll go crazy and lose all your teeth!”, all fruit is hybridized and therefore evil. We learned that we could only eat fruit if we ate it with fat, and that we should rarely eat bananas, especially. If we ate bananas they should be as unripe as possible. Within a couple years Raa Shambo and I were constantly light-headed, constantly trying to find some cleanse to improve our “dirty, evil, inner conditions”, in chronic pain, and I developed a bad case of hypoglycemia, while he was considering rather he had become diabetic.
I was pregnant with our first daughter while eating this way, but connecting more to my intuition with the pregnancy and birth of our first child, I started to develop an insight into what was really natural eating. I began to eat more raw oat groats, cooked sprouted breads and apple butter, as well as adding fruit to everything I ate. It was summertime, I was living closer to where I grew up than I had since I got into the raw food philosophy and the fruit was calling me. I started eating more cooked carbs and not feeling guilty about it, I started dropping the paranoia with my body, and the elitist ideas concerning food I’d been fed.
I was doing tons of yoga at this time, being much more active, drinking more water, and being in the deep south of Columbia, South Carolina, with a baby on my body at all times, I started writing about becoming a fruitarian someday, writing about fruits, such as watermelon and peaches, and I started to detest the idea of raw food complexities. The first thing I ate after my daughter was born, was a beautifully ripe, organic and local peach. During the end of birth Raa cooked a sweet potato stir-fry concoction that smelled wonderful after I ate it, but during the last stages of birth, I thought it reeked and I craved that lovely peach. I turned down the food he’d made specifically for me, and devoured the peach…I could not think there was anything evil about fruit.
However, it took a while for me to trash all the propaganda I’d been studying for years about raw food nutrition. I was breastfeeding my daughter and eating a high fat diet. I ate more fruit than I had in California, but I was convinced that I still needed to eat fat with my fruit. I frequently woke up weak due to nursing my daughter all night most nights and being under-carbed. I would wake up shaking sometimes, short of breath. It wasn’t until my daughter was over a year old that I discovered Natural Hygiene.
I’d spent the past couple months fasting usually one day a week, while breastfeeding, then drinking apple cider vinegar. I found a raw webforum I spent a lot of time studying and learning from people all the different ways raw fooders eat and eventually I saw a link to the website of Nora Lenz. Everything clicked when I learned about Natural Hygiene. This was during the Christmas holidays and Raa was at our home in South Carolina, while I was about an hour away, in my hometown in Georgia with my family. When we reunited, he showed me the book 80/10/10 and we both dove head first into the common sense and instant proof of this system.
We changed our lives to accommodate this lifestyle goal and it has really paid off. It has been a profound lifting of barriers on our minds and bodies to discover all the ways into which we were duped and destroying our pocketbooks and our bodies. It has taken something else to discover how to make this lifestyle work for us. But most of all, we are thankful we don’t have the health issues and delusions we had before. There was so much misinformation that we are still uncovering a lot of it now, almost 3 years later.
In the raw food world, there is a lot of controversy about these raw food teachers we followed in our early days of raw food nutrition. Did we deserve to be fooled by this information? What we knew was that we wanted and needed to change our health. We knew the conventional (Standard American Diet) was not working for us, and we saw the truth in eating raw, what we didn’t realize was the right way to do raw.
There are people who get upset about blasting raw food leaders who present themselves as authorities when their policy is misleading and hurting people. They say they have the right to make a living. They say raw is raw, and it should be promoted no matter what. I disagree. I think it is more important to present raw food nutrition in its sustainable form. It will only be seen as a joke and not taken seriously if people think raw eating is the high fat, high stimulant, gourmet raw, supplement, and superfood movement that is massively promoted.
If David Wolfe is the voice of raw food to outsiders, we have a problem. People can turn on VH1 and see this guy on TV talking about raw foods, and millions of people will see raw food as a scam and tell those trying to pursue an alternative path to health that raw food is a joke, it doesn’t work. Those who try this way of eating and think that is the only way will say “raw foods ruin your health”, that is what they have experienced.
Not enough people know about the ins and outs of the raw food world. Not enough people know about the diversity and experience that exists. So I think it is very important to allow consumers the knowledge of the leaders they attempt to follow. I think it is very important to show the truth of what happens when you follow a low-fat raw vegan diet overtime, versus a high fat raw diet over time. I think it is important to present a standard and be serious about demanding the truth.
The truth is, as soon as my family dropped the high fat diet, most of our issues went away. We have not recovered completely from the misinformation we studied and believed for so long. We still have not been lfrv for more than a few months at a time. We are still finding our way, but we are willing to take chances to get to that place where our goals can be truly realized. Right now, that includes going through financial hardships, but constantly working to achieve a truly healthful lifestyle.
Last night we ate a high fat raw dinner. The shortness of breath, faintness, and hypoglycemia were back. I was actually glad to experience the side effects because it gave me gratitude and remembrance. I remember how I felt with my first child. I see how much stronger I am now. I see how different things are now that I have two children, and I see how far we have come, how close we are to aligning our lives with a natural hygiene lifestyle that is sustainable and appropriate for good health and good times.
Raa Shambho took out the ukulele and played a beautiful yogic tune. We chanted Wahe Guru and Sat Nam together and he improvised an amazing lyricism incorporating quotes from Dr. Doug Graham(The 80/10/10 Diet) and some beautiful truths about our journey and living a healthy and fun-filled life. I put our daughters to sleep to this song meditation, and I dreamed of the progress that Raa sang about in his beautiful Waking Life inspired song.
Today is a day of yoga…Sat Nam.