I LIKE IT RAW!
Yes….life tastes better RAW!
On July 28th, 2007 I began a new lifestyle….
Since I was 14 years old, I have felt insecure about my weight. My family who contributed to my insecurities would feed me traditional Cuban and Caribbean foods….which included much fried chicken, fried steak, fried platanos, fried EVERYTHING……(well at least we weren’t going to McDonalds everyday like a lot of families do here!)
Over time I had become co-dependent on an unhealthy diet; by the age of 9 I had developed a sugar addiction…and later in life…..(college to be precise)….i developed a caffeine addiction (from the many years of soda, and now coffee to keep me up all night studying for midterms and finals!)…..
So up until recently….i had not been treating my body with the care and nurturing it deserved, for 25 YEARS, I have been putting junk into my body….partly done through ignorance, partly done for comfort, partly done through insecurity and partly done for punishment and the self-fulfillment of disappointment.
As I continued to grow in the realms of spirit, intellect, and awareness of the world around me, I had not developed a healthy consciousness over my own body and it’s need to heal from all the extreme crash diets, and unhealthy (almost self-mutilating) patterns that I would submit myself to, which often left me spiritually and emotionally depleted, 10-15lbs heavier, more insecure, more self-conscious, and worse….more unhealthy….
It wasn’t until I began to listen to my body and my spirit guides that I decided to try RAW foods…at first…I was only going to do RAW foods for 2 days before entering the master-cleanse for 10 days; but after two full days of nothing but RAW foods….my body was in a strange shock…and it was asking me for more of the same….So I decided to extend my RAW foods to a week…..and after 7 days had passed….i was experiencing so many changes in my body, new energy and understanding of foods, self-love, active self-care and renewed self-confidence.
I decided that I wasn’t going to give myself an end date and that I would continue a RAW foods lifestyle until my body and spirit guides told me otherwise….
I have to say that since I have been eating RAW, i have never felt so full of energy, so full of life….now my physical body is a reflection of my spirit and mind. Everything is aligned and flowing with the grace of the universe….As a water flows down a creek, as the wind blows through the valleys, as the earth is fertilized by the rain, I have aligned myself to the natural flow of my body through the ways in which I have learnt to feed it…..now I know this sounds super NEW-AGEY……but there’s really no other way for me to explain the changes I have witnessed myself undergo the last few months!
i have lost 20lbs (for the first time in a HEALTHY WAY) a goal I had never been able to accomplish before; my moon cycles are now shorter, regular and painless (no CRAMPS!)….my skin feels and smells different, I was able to kick my addictions to sugar and caffeine; and i have never been so connected to my body, which in turn, has allowed me a deeper connection to spirit, and a clear connection to my mind…..
So not only has my RAW life-style helped my physical body, spirit and mind, but it has also influenced my relationships with my family and friends; transformed my perceptions of life and the people in it….
What’s been amazing is that my friends have witnessed a tremendous difference in me….from the way I look, to the way I interact with them, to my energy levels, my “glow” (like they would call it), to my emotional state of mind as well.
So now when we go to the movies, instead of buying popcorn, my friends bring me nuts and grapes! Other community members send me editorials and articles on nutrition; other friends recommend lists of super-foods while others send me RAW recipes. I feel blessed to be surrounded by a community that supports my growth and my health……And its been good to have inspired people around me to also try out the RAW foods lifestyle for themselves.
I LIKE IT RAW…YES….FOOD TASTES BETTER RAW…and full of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and living organisms…YUMMY….
So finally…the second part of my RAW foods article….in which I will tell you about all the delicious superfoods available for your consumption…..as well as recommend some ways of staying raw…..ENJOY…INDULDGE…IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!
RAW foods is not a DIET…it is a LIFESTYLE….and what this means is that you CANT starve yoru body from the nutrition that it needs….before you start eating RAW….ask yourself what it is that you want to manifest for yourself….
All the foods I have eliminated from my diet:
- Anything cooked (except when I am on my cycle, I do add cooked lentils to my diet for extra protein, I add boiled beets and some cooked veggies).
- Anything processed, pasteurized, or non-natural
- No lactose products, no rice, no pasta, no refined sugars
- No meat (with the exception of Raw Fish in Peruvian Ceviche…which I have learnt to make exceptionally well!)
- Any food that is not organically grown…..! (since I am eating so many veggies, I’d rather buy organic food to eliminate pesticides and such!)
- No Tofu or “imitation” meats
All the foods that I have added to my diet:
- An Abundance of fruits and Veggies
- Bee Pollen
- Ginseng and Royal Jelly
- Hemp Milk
- Sprouted lentils, and beans
- Maca Powder
- Agave Nectar
- Flax Seed
- Nutritional Yeast
- Gogi Berries (and other dried berries high in Omega3 and Fatty acids).
- Acai (lots of it in my morning smoothies)
- Kale, Kale hmmmm…yummy kale!
- Noni Juice
- Raw Chocolate (Cacao Nibs)
- Raw Coconut and Coconut Milk
- Medicinal teas such as Dandelion, Licorice Root, Burdoch, Pao d’ Arco among others
- All kinds of soaked Nuts and dried fruits
- Dates, figs and an abundace of fruits
- Abundance of Kale, Spinach and other greens and veggies
Some people have asked me if I feel at all limited with this new lifestyle….and my response is usually the same….IF ANYTHING…I feel like now….i have to be a whole lot more creative about what I put on my plate….which fuels my imagination and gives me the opportunity to experiment and create new and delicious healthy options for myself….for example…
If I have a sweet tooth…instead of resorting to the local bakery, I will make myself a concuction of nuts, dates, raw chocolate, mesquite and carob powder into a most delicious desert…
If I have a desire for ice-cream…I make myself a fruit smoothie
If I desire coffee…I make myself a glass of MACA
If I feel like chips….i eat flax seed crackers or kale chips….
If I feel like a light snack…..i dip my chips in some raw humus or home-made spinach dip!
There are so many possibilities and I am so excited to get creative and explore all of them! I am looking forward to loving my body and allowing it to reap the benefits from my new relationship to food and nutrition!
Some books I would highly recommend which helped shape my new relationship with food:
Michael Pollan “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”
Michael Pollan “In Defense of Food”
Brigitte Mars “Rawesome: Maximizing Health, Energy and Culinary Delight”
I would also youtube David Wolfe and Gabriela Cousens!