I break all the ‘rules’.
That’s right. There was a time when I felt guilty about just about everything I put in my mouth. There are so many different schools of thought around what you should and shouldn’t eat (even within a tiny niche like ‘raw food’!) and that leads to plenty of ‘rules’.
So when I ate greens I felt guilty (not enough space for fruit :)), when I didn’t eat greens I felt guilty (not enough minerals!), when I ate a large amount I felt guilty (compromised digestion!), when I ate little I felt guilty (anorexic mentality?), when I ate fats I felt guilty (sluggish digestion!) and when I didn’t eat fats I felt guilty (compromised endocrine function!). And you can just imagine how I felt when I ate…..drumroll please……COOKED FOOD!
Because truth be told, there are people in the raw food movement who will tell you that any of those things is very bad to do, using what I put in brackets above and more! And many of them will say that cooked food is toxic poison (it’s not, by the way :))
Sadly, there are people in the raw food movement living on salads and green juices who feel like they could sell their granny for some fruit, but they’re scared to eat it because they’ve been told it has ‘too much sugar’. And then there’s people living on fruits only who would sell their granny for some flax crackers with guacamole but they’ve been told its ‘too much fat’. And then there’s those who crave cooked foods constantly and are buying up every book on the market that promises to ‘cure your cravings’ when in fact if they just allowed themselves to eat some healthy cooked food, they could enjoy the best of all worlds and feel truly great AND cravings free.
I don’t feel guilty anymore, and I break all the rules. I eat fats when I want to eat them, and I don’t when I don’t. I eat as much fruit as I want and ONLY as much as I want, and I eat as many vegetables as I want, and I cook whatever I want to cook!
And you know what? I love raw food more than ever, and I feel better than ever. All the stuff about being ‘addicted to food’ that raw foodists like to project onto themselves and others to account for cravings for cooked foods, all vanished completely the moment I removed all the rules and allowed myself to eat what I really wished to eat.
And guess what – it was NOT junk food! It was only when I was so desperate to resist junk food that it had any hold over me. Now if I want to eat it I give myself full permission, and suddenly wow, I have no food addictions or cravings – isn’t that terrific?
There’s more to health than just what you eat, how you feel about what you eat factors in pretty high as well. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ something supposedly is for you if you hate it.
Another thing I realized is that people, ALL people, tend to project their own experience onto others. We just can’t help doing it, we’re human, and that’s what we do.
So if I feel better eating no fat at all, I will tend to conclude that ALL people will feel better if they eat no fat at all. And if I lost weight eating 3000 calories a day with no exercise, I will conclude that EVERYONE will lose weight eating 3000 calories a day with no exercise.
So that is why, when it comes to your health – take everything anyone says with a little pinch of salt. Listen to their stories, because within them there can be major clues about what is going to form your own personal ‘success story’, and you’ll know it by the parts that resonate with you.
Trying to copy what others were doing brought me no personal health success at all. Because I am a unique individual and any cookie-cutter approach is never going to address my unique requirements (and funnily enough – my body KNOWS what they are!).
So I follow my own rules. And I make them up as I go along according to what works for me, and I’ve never been happier.
I invite you to do the same.
Of course we can still learn from others though, so definitely check out theinterviews
section of my website, where I interview people who have had success on a raw vegan diet. They’re not all doing the same things, so check it out and see what you would like to incorporate into your own life.
We’ve also got some Raw Food Success Stories written in an interesting ‘story’ format.
And for a bit more of my personal story, read it here: Our Story