Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Here We Go Again!

Today, Helene, posted this discussion on RawFu. Here is a snippet of the discussion topic.

I realize that I was addicted to sugar (the bad kind as in I used to eat lots of candy) but now that I switched to a raw food diet I'm still struggling with a sugar addiction but now it's in the form of more so-called better sugars (fruit, natural sweeteners, dates, etc.). This may be one of the hardest things yet to get away from. I do especially love fruit. But as an old owner of a local organic health food store said to me: Fruit nowadays is 30% sweeter than it used to be when he grew up due to hybrids. even the organics...

Anybody have any luck getting rid of most or all sweets?

My reply is exactly what I wanted to talk about, so welcome to where I am right now, and buckle up. We're going on another ride!

Helene, this has been my uphill battle with a high raw lifestyle. Sweets in my diet cause me to obsess over food, and to overeat emotionally. Because of my struggle with sweets, I joke that a raw food diet helped me gain weight and develop an eating disorder! Of course, raw foods have been an amazing miracle in my life over the past two years. Today is my 2 year anniversary of going a raw food diet. And is the anniversary of me going on a journey that would teach me so much about my body, and how it digests and metabolizes food.

One thing I have learned most profoundly is that the same diet will not work for every person the same way. Some people can thrive on a raw food vegan diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sea plants. If that person is you, you've hit the raw food jackpot! Some people need to add more proteins and fats to thrive, and use more nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut that others. Some people thrive on the high carbohydrate plan, eating more sweets, and less fat. I think it takes a leap of faith and a lot of trial and error to navigate which version of a raw food diet is going to work for you.

I have been where you are, and honestly, I had to cut out all of the sweets. In doing so, I explored adding more non sweet fruits and vegetables, but that alone left me feeling hungry and deprived. So, I explored adding more fat and protein via nuts, seeds, avocado, etc. This left me much sicker, and threatened the longevity of my gallbladder. So, there I was, stuck between a rock and hard place. Can't eat sweets without becoming food obsessed. Can't eat fats without gallbladder attacks. My food world became extremely small. I could eat greens, non sweet fruits (cukes, tomato) and vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, etc), avocado, and coconut. I was cool with that for a while, but then realized that I was creating a raw food trap for myself. This diet wasn't going to keep me satisfied. And when I felt unsatisfied, I would binge on the worst foods possible.

This is one of the reasons I have asked RawDawg Rory to come in and lead a challenge. He will lead you all on a challenge that will rock the raw vegan lifestyle, and I look forward to everything I can learn from him.

Meanwhile, I want to explore what my options are outside of the raw vegan arena that may help me feel more balanced, less obsessive, and less food focused. I have a vision of what this looks like for me, and I feel like I have to explore it. I envision a series of cycles, much like seasons that I can create to allow me to accomplish all of my health and wellness goals. A season of fat burning, a season of cleansing, a season of resting, a season of nourishing. I'm not exactly sure what it looks like yet. But my hope is to create an environment in my life where I am able to include the most broad spectrum of food choices possible through the entire cycle of seasons.

I know my body, and my body cannot have all of the seasons mixed up into one big soup. I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. I hope the next two years are as pivitol an life changing as the past two have been. Raw food changed my life, and opened my eyes! I am forever humbled and grateful.


shannonmarie said...

You're right about fruits being just as addicting. I can't seem to go a day without them. Luckily, I seem to do better overall with them in my life. It's like my body needs them to function properly.

I always make sure to recognize my body's reactions to certain foods and what it needs. That's why I added back some cooked foods during the cooler months this year, after I noticed my immune system suffering (it doesn't like the cold, and a diet lacking in warm foods wasn't helping). I did much better after that. Now, my body is craving more raw again.

I hope this journey helps you get more in tune with your body, too :-)