Thursday, January 3, 2008

Let's Begin...

How to start...simply. New year, new ambitions, fresh starts, fresh beginnings. It's how I start every year. One year ago I began my adventure in eating a more living foods diet. I only wish I'd started my blog then to record everything I've experienced. Instead I am beginning now, which is perfect timing as I'm ready to blog now, and wasn't ready back then.

Over the last year I have lost 50 pounds eating this way, healed myself of a number of ailments and discovered the life I always knew I was supposed to live. The weight was put on over the course of about ten years, but mostly in the last five while being pregnant, and mothering my two children. Instead of focusing on me I focused on them. I was so careful how I introduced foods to them and what I allowed them to eat, helping them to make healthy choices, all the while making unhealthy choices for myself.

Weight, possible blood pressure issues, stomach ailments, a kidney stone, a lump in my breast (eventually found to be benign, but only after 7 weeks of worry and testing), lower back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, pms, unfocused thinking, were all a part of my life a year ago. Some had been around a long time, while others were newer concerns. Who wants to live like that? Certainly not me. I knew that I had to do something drastic to change the course of my life and where it was heading.

When the doctor gave me meds for a stomach problem and said that it may be a lifetime of taking them, I asked if there were any natural way to deal with the issue. He flatly stated no. Now I like the guy and all, but I was not about to start down the slippery slope of medicating myself daily. So began my search to prove him wrong...I was going to become my own doctor of sorts and it was then that I began to read about health.

The first book I came upon quite by accident, in the fall of 2006. A book by Harvey Diamond called "Fit For Life 3". It hit home as it was all about eating mostly raw foods, fasting for short periods, and drinking fresh juices to avoid breast cancer. Due to my earlier scare, and the fact that my mother had breast cancer eight years before, I really connected with what was being said in the book, and it seemed to make sense. The body is designed to help itself if only we let it.

In his book he talks a lot about other like-minded individuals, and a lot of them are raw food enthusiasts. I had heard about raw foods from my sister and also knew that Woody Harrelson followed a living foods diet. I had seen his movie "Go Further" on the television sometime about a year earlier...but thought - "Who could live only on uncooked foods, how boring and difficult". He did make it look interesting however and it intrigued me but didn't motivate me to try at that time.

Everything comes to you when you need it. Raw food has been trying to make its way into my life for a while. I never liked to cook, but really enjoy preparing raw food meals, treats, juices, smoothies, and other culinary delights. I spend more time in the kitchen now than I ever have and actually enjoy being there for a change! So I made up my mind in December of 2006 that I would go for it and go all raw in January of 2007. I then proceeded to eat the worst food available for the next three weeks, through the holidays. I ate everything I felt I would miss...cookies, brownies, naniamo bars, french fries, scrambled eggs, jelly bellies, toast, cereal, anything full of refined carbs. It was terrible. I felt awful; was moody, emotional, angry, tired, and unsatisfied. Guilt plagued me. I knew better but was still putting this crap into my body. By the end of this feasting I had gained another 7 pounds.

New Year's Day 2007. I decided to go 100% raw. Wow, how empowering to make that decision and stick with it...for four days. I felt light when I woke up in the mornings, I felt headaches as detox began to happen, I felt good and bad but knew it was all for a great purpose. Then I got scared. I was still nursing my son and noticed a tremendous change in his stools. They were foamy and yellow. I knew that my detox was affecting him as he wasn't sleeping right, and the foamy poop. It scared me enough to deviate from my original plan. After four days and a visit to the naturopath - who told me that I could not eat like this with my stomach problem as it would cause more problems than good?! I ate raw until noon and then cooked after that.

The headaches went away, but I did get terrible acne on my face, and some skin issues elsewhere but from all I'd read this was perfectly normal. I also didn't smell very good for a few weeks, breath, body odor and otherwise. But basically nothing really changed except the fact that I ate fruit until noon every day. I varied it by having smoothies, or fruit salad, or just munched on a few bananas. I ate when I was hungry. At first that was very often but as my body adjusted I was eating less and less while feeling satiated.

Although I was eating raw until noon, I was not eating a healthy, balanced diet otherwise. I went back to eating my unhealthy foods, and tried my best to eat well, but my intentions did not match my actions. This along with my body trying to detox to get rid of the nasties put me in the perfect position to get sick, which I did. I got bronchitis. I never had a cold, it began right in my chest, left side (I felt it the night before I began coughing). I used to get bronchitis every year as a child and also as a young adult in university. I had not had a bought with it in many years and was surprised when it came about. I had read though that when detox occurs it can rid you of seasonal illnesses and I feel that this is what happened here. That is only my belief, not a proven fact.

I was viral for most of the time but twice (after eating really badly for a few days) became bacterial. Fever and chills racked my body but still I was not willing to change my eating except fruit until noon, which I did faithfully. I did notice though that my energy levels through all of this were especially high in the mornings, no matter what amount of sleep I had the night before. My coughing was not as bad in the mornings, and the light bulb finally went on. I was feeling better in the mornings because of how I was eating! Of course I was!

In April of 2007 I decided to try eating raw until 3pm. Which I did and again noticed that my coughing was subsiding - finally after two months of it! My energy levels remained high and when everyone at work was complaining about how tired they were at the end of the day, I would be wondering why they all felt that way and why I didn't. It was an amazing epiphany. Finally the puzzle was put together and I knew what I had to do. It was now time to begin 100% raw.

I read a lot on which was my favourite resource on line to begin with. They are my sentimental favourite as so much of what I read there motivated me to go 100% raw. They also have a Raw Daily Inspiration that you can sign up for, I highly recommend you do. It is a family of 7. Their five children are gorgeous and the family is 100% raw. Their stories are very inspirational.

So it was that I had my birthday at the end of April and out came the "cake". A mound of raw veggies piled high and on top the candle. I had also made a raw blueberry pie for us to enjoy. It was a great night. I ate well, and didn't binge like I had the last time.

May 1, 2007 marked the start date of my 100% raw adventure of a lifetime. More to come on that in my next post. I think I am going to like blogging, it is cathartic in a way. Until next time, eat raw and live well.

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