Are You Actually Healthy?

Health is subjective – you may feel totally fine, be active, and then one day just drop dead. So were you actually healthy?

I see and hear this all the time – “I feel great!” or “I’m fine.” Yet these people take prescriptions for something or another, or they get the flu and colds every year, or they have never felt what it is like to be exceptionally healthy – and herein lies the issue – if you’ve never felt it, you won’t know what is possible. Most people have to become very ill in order to make a significant change – most people have to be desperate. Maybe they’re losing their minds (as I was). Maybe they are given a death sentence. Maybe they’re obese. I don’t know – but most people don’t find an actually healthy LIFESTYLE that works until they’re faced with dire consequences, if they find one at all.

Most people wonder, why change if nothing is wrong? Well, you don’t necessarily know something is wrong. We are led to believe that it’s totally normal to get colds and flus, and to have bowel movements once every few days, and it’s not. We’re led to believe that aging means gaining excess weight and losing our energy, becoming stiff, wrinkly, and covered in cellulite.

But it doesn’t mean that, at all.

I saw a great video recently that talks about common sense. There is really no such thing – the guy in the video is right. Our common sense – the COMMON thought, is that certain things are healthy for us when they are not. The common lines of thought are ludicrous when it comes to health.

People want a simple answer to fix them, because health is “complicated.” Health is actually simple – once you know all the factors, it’s completely simple, but UNLEARNING everything we’ve been taught our whole lives is the complicated part.

I’ve been studying health and well-being since I was a teenager, but specifically raw foods, living foods, plant-based foods for almost 8 years now. I have had an interest in it almost my whole life, and the more I learn, the more I see it pointing to a simple formula. And it all comes down to this: We have completely forgotten our nature.

You can’t unlearn everything in a day or a month – you have to be patient and learn with time. Start with the most simple things. I still am learning constantly after years of living this lifestyle – I have tried many different things, some work, some do not – I don’t beat myself up over it. If something comes up, I question what I’ve been doing differently. I question what I am not doing. I learn, EVERY day, about something new, whether it be nutrition, physical movement, something about brain chemistry – with our access to the internet and libraries (even if your library doesn’t have something specific, you can ask them to get it or do an interlibrary loan!), we really have no excuse not to learn all the time. Even when I am driving, I’m learning, from podcasts and audiobooks. While hiking, walking – whenever.

The key to learning is to develop an intense curiosity and dedicate yourself to YOU. If you put yourself first and become amazingly healthy, you have all the energy and vigor to help others. To help others you have to have compassion, and to have true compassion you must take into consideration ALL living beings (including yourself).

So to start simply, what can you do?

  1. Remove all animal products from your diet. These are acid-forming, cruel, unnecessary, mucus-forming, and detrimental to your health. They are hard to digest, also. If you are concerned about protein, don’t be – if you are eating enough, you will get enough protein. You just need a wide variety of plant-foods. To develop muscle, you need to move your muscles. Eating protein-rich animal products will not grow your muscles – moving your body will. If you are really concerned with getting more protein, simply eat more plant food. There are also raw vegan protein powders, which are not necessary but they are available.
  2. Get your body out in nature, fresh air, and get your bare skin on the earth (walk barefoot, on sand, dirt, anywhere natural), and your skin must get sunlight. I don’t mean baking in the sun, but you MUST get sunlight on your skin, and NO sunscreen. Your body will not get vitamin D through your face or hands, or even all year unless you live certain areas of the earth – the sunlight must hit your torso, back, arms, legs – this is where most vitamin D is produced. Do not wash your skin with soap except where necessary, like your butt, under your arms, etc, but you can actually wash off the vitamin D you’ve received – it takes about 48 hours to absorb into your blood stream. If you can’t get sunlight on your skin year-round the next best options are to take a vacation every winter to somewhere that you CAN get it, move somewhere that you can get it year round, a sunbed used sporadically (not to tan), or a vitamin D3 supplement. There are vegan versions. Still get daylight and sunlight even in winter months, as much as you can, as it helps regulate hormones. SAD lamps help with this as well, but will not create vitamin D.
  3. Avoid acid and mucus-forming foods. This includes animal products, grains, cooked oils, processed foods, and more. Seeds are better than nuts – almonds are the one non-acid-forming nut. You don’t have to avoid nuts completely but seeds are the better option on a regular basis.
  4. Focus on omega3-6 ratio. Omega-6 is inflammatory – and while we need some of this as protection, we need the omega-3 to balance it out. Things with a good ratio are hemp, flax, chia, walnuts. Most nuts are too high in omega 6. Leafy greens are also very high in omega 3.
  5. Eat your plants locally and in season as much as possible. Go to farmers’ markets and learn to forage the wild foods in your area. These are much better for you than the wilted produce at the grocery store that was probably picked weeks ago.
  6. Choose your water source wisely if possible. I am lucky to have well-water where I live. Otherwise invest in a good filtration system or at the very least get a good water filter. Avoid plastic bottles. Use glass.
  7. Move your body as much as you can. Stop SITTING all the time. Sitting is killing us slowly. Sitting also puts kinks in our body. I saw a documentary the other day about parkour, and one of the people in it said that when he observes a city scene, everyone is doing one of three things – walking, sitting (including driving), or shopping, and it’s true. I guess eating is another thing, but people are either sitting and eating (generally garbage), or walking and eating, which is mindless.
    There are ways to sit that are not as harmful, check out the Movnat website for their free ebook which includes good sitting postures. Sitting at a desk all day, or on the couch playing video games, are not included.
  8. If you have smoothies – CHEW THEM. We need to have saliva mixed with our food to help with digestion and avoid bloating. Chew everything until it is MUSH. This will allow your body to digest better and reduce bloating.
  9. Choose a type of movement that you adore. You don’t have to “work out” – for movement, it has to be something you adore or you will dread doing it and end up sitting again. I do martial arts. I love it so much. I have interest in learning parkour and natural movement. I hike all the time around my home. Even just walking in nature in general. You don’t always have to be doing something that gets your heart rate up – but MOVE. If you can’t think of a way to stop sitting, clean. Listen to something motivating, or something you learn from as you move. Stop driving everywhere – walk, take the bus and stand up the whole way, switch your job to something that isn’t stationary. The more you move, the better.
  10. SLEEP. Apparently the best hormone regulation happens between 10pm-2am. Even if you can’t get to bed at these times, make sure you are sleeping enough. 8 hours is always recommended, but I think that is a bare minimum. Your brain just can’t function at its’ highest capacity when you are tired.
  11. Stop cooking your food. Focus on RAW foods as much as possible. If you’re going to cook any foods, steaming is best.
  12. Focus on FIBER. This means PLANTS. Focus on CARBS. This means PLANTS. Avoid oils. Salt (unless unrefined in TINY quantities – the best way to get sodium is from plants, seaweeds, etc, and not refined, but depending on your situation, you might not be able to get all you need this way, so a very small amount – 1/4 tsp of unrefined salt will help you). You should be having bowel movements many times a day, and easily. If you can’t poop in about 10 seconds, you’re constipated, and having that stuff stay in your system is a bad sign.
  13. Question EVERYTHING. If you take advice from someone and it doesn’t work for you, really delve into why. Keep your mind OPEN. It’s like jumping out of an airplane – if you don’t open your parachute, you will crash. Same with your mind – when you keep it closed, you will be on a collision course to nowhere.
  14. Take what makes sense and eliminate the rest. We can learn from everyone. Listen to your gut and your intuition (which becomes very sharp when you’re truly healthy). When that lightbulb comes on, you are on the right track. When I read about raw foods I just KNEW to my VERY CORE that this was my answer, and I was right. It made so much sense. Everything else was a struggle.
  15. You have to WANT it. This is the most important aspect – if you don’t truly want health, you won’t get it. As I said at the beginning…it usually takes something really awful to get you to undertake a massive change in lifestyle. Most people practically have to die to really start living. Do you want to get to that point? Because even if you’re not there now, based on the state of health of most people, you’ll probably get there, a lot sooner than you’d think. That’s the direction most people are headed. So even if you don’t change now (CHANGE NOW), remember these words. Accept that you are not a victim, and take charge of your own health. You have that power. You have to believe it.

These are just simple things to START with. There is an unlimited amount of info out there. A lot of it is conflicting. Listen to your intuition, though – what makes SENSE to you, and what doesn’t?

Considering our world now, we might need to compensate with certain things. B12 is lacking in our soil, therefore we lack it. Don’t kid yourself and think it’s abundant in meat – those animals you are eating are likely getting a B12 injection as well. Magnesium is lacking in our soil. We are in a constant state of receiving toxins from the air and our environment. We can do the best we can in modern times, but these 12 steps I listed are a great START. You do NOT have to do things overnight. It is an OVERWHELMING task to unlearn all the crap you’ve learned your whole life. But you CAN. Just star where you are.

Even after all this time, I do have issues that come up sometimes. With enough investigation and patience, I always figure out the CAUSE.

Usually EXCESS is the cause of our health issues. You can guzzle green juices forever but there won’t be much use unless you can absorb those nutrients. Your health issues are almost ALWAYS caused by something YOU are doing.

A lot of people feel like victims of their circumstances and health problems. I was one of them. And I’ll tell you right now  – once you realize that you are in charge of your health and that you can heal yourself, it is SO so so empowering. This is not about blame or shame – it’s about empowering yourself. This is YOUR body – why give your power to someone else? YOU can heal yourself – and actually, it’s when you get out of your own way that the body HEALS ITSELF. Just like a cut on your hand will heal with no help, or your bones will mend on their own, so to will your internal organs and the rest of your body heal when you take away the things causing those problems.

Empower yourself. Learn constantly. Don’t settle for “here’s a pill” (unless it’s temporary or something nothing to do with food, like Lyme, or Rabies…you get the point, there’s always exceptions – I am talking about typical, chronic health issues).

Don’t listen to common sense. COMMON sense isn’t working for people. Do what MAKES sense – it’s far more beneficial.

Dogmatic Diet Guidelines and My Typical Daily Raw Vegan Meals

I’ve been on the raw food path for six and a half years now. Do I follow 80/10/10 low fat raw vegan diet? Sort of.

I have followed it strictly in the past. At times I have adhered to many people’s “instructions” even if they made little sense to me.

I like Bruce Lee’s advice (and it applies to everything) – Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. Eliminate the non-essential.

Do you need 3000 calories a day just because someone says so? Unlimited calories! It makes SO much sense, right? Come on. Eat what you USE. Figure out what is absolutely necessary for you to function at your best and fuel you through the activities you love. Otherwise you are taking in calories you do not need, and you are spending money on food which you could spend on other things you enjoy doing. Don’t make your whole life about food.

A lot of people who come to raw foods are so transformed that they want to make every aspect of their life about it (myself included – I was a zealot at first)! They want to be gurus, open a restaurant, coach people, or be youtube celebrities – and that’s fine if it is not making you forget other things you were previously passionate about.

Being healthy is the catalyst to help propel you towards the things you love with ENERGY and INTENSITY. The healthier you are, the more you will be able to go after your dreams. Health and nutrition are far more important than a set of rules or dogma.

I’ve read so much about different ways to be raw over the last 6.5 years. I continue to experiment but also stick to what I know works as my base and I advise you to do the same. Nutrition is fascinating, and also confusing. This is why you have to try things for yourself and see what happens. You should be energized, strong, clear headed, slim, satisfied, hydrated, and with great digestion.

So what have I learned? No one knows everything, and if they claim to, take what makes sense and then THINK FOR YOURSELF. Remember, things like 80/10/10 are “more like guidelines than actual rules.

Don’t let anyone dictate to you what is right or not right for you. Ethics are always important to keep in mind, and there are set beliefs I have that will not change, but they make SENSE to me. If something does not ring true to you on a DEEP level, then question it. Research. Keep open. Do not take what anyone says to you as gospel. When this sort of thing happens it is dogma, and it is cultish and extremist. Being rigid allows you to easily break and be taken advantage of.

Every time I had issues with something I learned from a raw food “leader” I tried something else to tweak what made sense.

When I had awful dandruff, skin rashes and dryness on 80/10/10 I was convinced it was an allergy, or that I was not drinking enough water, or that it was the overdose of sugar causing it even though I felt good otherwise. What was it? I found out it was LACK of sodium – this took me about 2 years to discover on my own by eating some cooked food over the winter and having my skin miraculously turn soft and beautiful again. Lack of sodium probably causes a lot of people on low fat raw vegan to turn to cooked foods as they may demonize salt as I used to do (and many people do not eat nearly enough vegetables or greens on a low fat raw vegan diet). It is not failure, it is lack of knowledge and listening to people who claim to know EVERYTHING, when they do not.

So what do I eat these days? I am not as rigid as I once was, and I will have something cooked once in a while (usually hummus) but I accept the consequences (headache, runny nose) and try to keep it rare. It is a CHOICE for me, and not a failure or a binge.

I am 100% raw most of the time, and that’s what matters (to ME).

Typical Daily Food:

1. I start out with a glass or two of water, depending on how thirsty I am. I usually wake up once to pee in the night because I hate being dehydrated. Usually it’s just plain water, and I have more throughout the day.

2. I have a smoothie. It is usually 1-2 bananas with 2-3 ataulfo mangoes. I might put a date or two in there. Sometimes I use berries, sometimes I now use a tsp of acai powder. I add in 2 tbsp of Warrior Force protein powder (raw vegan) – I am doing this as an experiment because I am wanting to gain more muscle. If you are not trying to gain any muscle mass, you definitely do not need more protein. But if you do want more, then a raw vegan protein is better than anything else. I also add in 1 tbsp of Vitamineral Green.

3. Sometimes, but not every day, I will have a piece or two of raw chocolate. Why? First of all, I really like it, and a small amount of fat after breakfast keeps me going longer without getting hungry. It also gives me magnesium which alleviates my awful menstrual cramps. When I have this almost daily, I get no cramps. Nix it and they come back – doesn’t matter what else I do, this has worked, and I’d rather eat this than take a mineral supplement. Plus it makes me a little extra happy through the day!

4. For a snack I might have dried mulberries or other berries since it’s the season!

5. Lunch I will have a bunch of grapes or another smoothie 🙂 Or sometimes I will gorge on berries. Another snack I have been having is blackberries – I go out and forage for them because they are everywhere right now.

6. For dinner I will sometimes have some fruit (not always) and then a big salad, which generally has a head of greens (arugula, kale, spinach, spring mix), 6-10 campari tomatoes, kelp noodles, some kelp and dulse, cucumber (1/2), zucchini noodles (1), and then a dressing made of tahini (about 1/4 cup), 2 oranges juiced, 1 lemon juiced, a few green onions, and either rosemary or dill. I also add a small amount of cumin and Himalayan salt (very little, only for sodium – I can’t afford to juice tons of celery every day). THE BEST. Once in a while I make guacamole and have that with cucumber slices (instead of the big salad). Sometimes I will have some kombucha.

Other supplements I now take are: cranberry/D-mannose (I am prone to UTIs and this has worked well – it’s the only thing I take daily), probiotics (I was on antibiotics for a UTI early this year and continue to replenish my natural bacteria), B12 sublinguals, D3 (mostly in winter), K2, vegan DHA, zinc. Having the right nutrients is far more important to me than following an extremist diet, and if I can get it through food or sunshine, I do.

So far, out of the last 6.5 years, this is what has made me feel and look the best. I am becoming much more lean and less bloated since doing this. I feel good. If you are miserable on 80/10/10, Raw til 4, or 90/5/5, then TWEAK it. Don’t go overboard with sodium and fat but add some back in! Don’t be scared of it because some OTHER person says to be. Don’t SMASH the calories because someone else does. How do YOU feel? If you only need 2000 cals, then eat that much! Don’t restrict either! Restriction means DEPRIVING yourself. You also don’t need to STUFF yourself. Eating what satisfies you and provides you with the nutrition you need is ENOUGH.

I would say my ratios are about 70/10/20 (carbs, protein, fat) right now and I feel awesome this way. But I am open to changing things again, because I have lost my dogma. Remember – you are a smart individual with INSTINCTS and INTUITION. USE them.

Recommended Reading:

Raw food and health books

Existential Crisis: The Purists are Doomed

Want to be pure?

In a perfect world, a purist lifestyle would be the best, whatever you think “pure” means – pure of heart, pure of mind, pure body? Everyone has a different definition of this, too. “Pure”  is subjective.

We do not live in a perfect world – in fact, we live in a toxic, messed up, fragile world, one that is rife with catastrophic events and violence, no matter how much we want to ignore it or hope that it will vanish. This is an idealistic viewpoint, and I much prefer to live in reality, even if I happen to get swept off in a fantasy ideal sometimes. I always come back down to earth – I always get an anvil to the face in some way, making me wake the fuck up and look at things from ALL sides, take into consideration ALL views, all potential consequences.

And what have I realized lately? That obtaining purity is impossible, of course, but that the more extreme and sensitive you are is likely not going to prolong your life – it will likely hinder you from it in our current circumstances.

So, if you subsist solely on fruits and vegetables and have done so for a lengthy time, and suddenly are in need of a potato, or soup, or even the dreaded animal product, and you get violently ill from it…how the hell are you going to survive if there is a flood/earthquake/drought/hurricane/war/zombie attack/etc and you don’t have access to anything you normally eat? (Just kidding about the zombies…sort of. There are a lot of zombie-like people out there).

I dunno about everyone, obviously, but the reasons I find most people go on a raw food diet are to feel better from being ill, to get slimmer, or to increase their longevity – but has anyone actually thought about how it could HINDER longevity, in terms of a bleak possible future? I like to be positive, but I also like to be realistic, and most places in the world have their particular weaknesses – for instance, I live in an area that could quite possibly be devastated by a massive earthquake – what if I suddenly had to subsist on canned stuff and donated processed foods? I know I am gonna get pretty sick – and I am not even the “purest” eater out there – and actually, because of some deep thought about it, I don’t really want to be so sensitive.

Do I want to be as healthy as possible? Of course. Do I want to be able to survive a dire circumstance? Yes. Why? To get back to the good stuff and live! It’s our only chance – whether you believe in an afterlife or reincarnation or whatever – this is your only time being YOU, NOW, in THIS life you’re living.

I find this hippie mindset of how everything is beautiful and an illusion and just focus on the GOOD can be very damaging – to have a positive attitude is VERY important, yes, but to completely push the idea out of your mind that something bad could happen is foolish, ignorant, and will possibly cost you the life you love so much.

By all means, eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, but if you are a realistic person, don’t focus on purity too much. It’s ridiculous. In a survival situation, it is the people who are more toxic that will be more likely to survive. Ironic, isn’t it?

I have been having an existential crisis lately – I am questioning a lot of things, especially my dietary dogma. Do I still think raw is best for health? Yes, to some extent. Do I think a fruitarian diet is the best? NO. A high-fruit diet, yes. A high-greens diet, yes. A diet that includes plant-based fats? Yes. I am more and more open-minded, but still will not eat animals or their secretions. If you do I won’t judge you for it, but I hope that you will expose yourself to where it comes from, how it is obtained, and the cruelty involved, and make kinder choices.

Will I always be this way? If I have a choice, YES.

I have had a very long fascination with survival – it all started when I saw Lord of the Flies when I was 11 years old, which then led me to reading the book several times. I have never lost this obsession, and honestly the only thing that has kept me from taking a survival course is that I don’t want to kill anything.

Now that I am taking martial arts, I am thinking about survival in many other ways – including how my diet could hinder me from doing getting through some heinous shit.

Yes, I want to thrive – but I also want to live.

I read a story recently about a guy who was hiking in the canyons with his yellow lab. They were about 2 hours into the hike and his dog overheated. He was a fruitarian guy at the time. His strength failed him in getting his dog out of there, and within an hour his dog died. The guy couldn’t put on a lot of muscle no matter how hard he tried, for years, on the diet. Who are we to say he could? Clearly it didn’t work for him and he shouldn’t be mocked for it. It’s his life, his choice.

How sad is that? Can you imagine not being fit or strong enough to save your dog, your child, your friend? Or fast enough to get away from someone chasing you, or any sort of situation that would rely on your fitness to escape quickly, or strength to lift you up? Can you imagine not being able to lift yourself into a tree to escape an animal that wanted to eat you? Can you imagine falling and hanging on to something and not being able to lift yourself up? Or to be able to help someone else?

This story about the dog gave me a huge shift in how I view fitness. Taking martial arts (which I have been doing sporadically only within the last year, more often lately) has also shifted my mentality towards survival and even somewhat my views on diet.

The infighting amongst the raw food community lately has led me to question everything I believe, who I trust, what actually makes sense, and to look at all sides of everything, even if I don’t like the other side. Several of my views have changed. Do I think I need more protein? Yep! Do I think YOU do? I don’t know. Do I think we need TONS? No. (I want some more because I want to get a lot stronger, but believe me, I don’t think I need a ridiculous amount, just some MORE – for a sedentary person who isn’t looking to build muscle, I wouldn’t worry about protein too much). Do I think overloading on fruit calories to “carb up” is a smart idea? HAHA, NOPE! Do you need sufficient calories? Well yeah! You don’t need to eat more than you use! Do I think vegetables and greens are even MORE important? YES. Do I think fat is important? YES. Do I think cooked food is poison? NO. Do I think you need animal products in small amounts? I don’t know, but for me it is a question of kindess, so you will have to decide for yourself and think ethically. Do I think salt is bad? No. Do I think it should be limited? Yes. Do I think supplements are bad? Not necessarily. Do I think Western medicine is bad? Yes and no…it depends what the issue is!

I am so happy to be shedding this dogmatic thinking and looking at a bigger picture. That being said, there are raw foodists who I deeply admire, love, look up to and respect. Do I think they’d survive a catastrophic event? I’m not sure, but guaranteed they’d feel really fucking sick!

I am currently playing with how I eat, especially since it’s the holidays. I have ideas about how I am going to eat and work out in the next year. I want to get STRONG, and FAST. I know the bonus will be that I will look awesome, but this time that is not my focus (just like my mental health was my focus when I went raw – the bonus was I looked amazing!)

Part of the reason this came up in my mind is that after the raw food community went haywire recently, I just thought “Fuck this!” and started to eat some cooked, simple food. And it didn’t take long for me to feel utterly crappy. I was like, “God, if potatoes make me feel so awful, how would I survive in a shitty situation?!”

Sigh…it’s hard to know what to do! I am deeply grateful for what raw foods have done for me, but as there is a good and bad side to everything, I barely thought about what bad things it could be doing to me, or could do in the future.

I will continue to learn, grow, and maintain my personal ethics without dogmatic thinking or cult personalities influencing me, and I want to maintain a very open mind. I will NEVER claim to know the “true diet of humans” because NO ONE knows, and if someone claims to, they are an egomaniac to some extent. What is the best diet for them is the best diet for them. We have a lot of clues to what is best, but no one KNOWS 100% FOR FACT. Humans and domesticated animals have a lot more weird idiosyncrasies than wildlife. I read a great quote recently by Gabrielle Reece (who I love) – “The problem with other people’s diets is that it’s another person’s diet.” This is true – some people thrive on a particular diet and others will not. This is why I think it is important to keep an open mind and not follow one person blindly. Take what makes sense for you and work around it. Learn from everyone. And go by how you FEEL more than how you look (though that can give clues as to what is working for you, too, of course!)

Please never take what certain people teach as 100% true. Try things for yourself, see how you feel, and if things change, shift your thinking and learn more. Question everything and everyone. Go with your intuition! If something seems weird or wrong, there is a REASON for that! Listen to it!

Life is a very fluid thing, and if you are unable to adapt, how will you thrive? It’s no good to throw out a good message, but mold it to fit your personal lifestyle, your needs, and your beliefs. Good luck!

Eternal Youth

Secrets to Youthfulness!

1. While you are actually, chronologically young, don’t poison yourself with dumb shit every week. If you must experiment, do it rarely, and be wary of what you choose to try. Be vegan. Eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables.

2. Do this when you are older, too. What you put in your body has the most influence on your energy levels and how quickly you age (physically AND mentally).

3. Get sunshine, but not too much.

4. Sleep. A lot.

5. Value free time + relaxation over money, and have a job or lifestyle that corresponds to that.

6. PLAY. Keep your youthful attitude. This doesn’t mean being immature in your responsibilities, but avoid becoming “serious” just because you’ve grown up.

7. Explore, as much as possible.

8. Be curious about EVERYTHING. SOAK up information – if you are in school, get the hell out and learn on your own. Your passion for learning will increase x 1000.

9. Work as little as possible for others and spend your time doing the work you are meant to do, whether it be painting, skateboarding, or activism.

10. Move. Your. Body. I don’t mean exercise, but find something you love that makes you use what you’ve got.

11. Have as much sex as possible with someone you LOVE (or at least totally adore!)

12. Have animals around you to cuddle.

13. Partake in things like waterslides and amusement parks.

14. Make sure you have a hobby that originated in your childhood. There’s a reason you loved it – don’t lose it.

15. Keep playing with your appearance. Don’t conform, ever.

16. Hang around other fun, playful people. Toss aside the boring ones, or force them to go do crazy things with you.

 

 

 

Project: Full-Body Regeneration

This is now to be my mindset, my full-attention, my real health journey.

It has been a very swell, continuous journey for 4.5 years. I’ve had bumps, and frankly I am tired of them.

Have you ever heard that all the cells in your body are replaced every 7 years? Well then, I should be well over half-way there, and so clean and wonderful I would have a staggering level of health. I see this in the long-term fruit-lovers, the raw darlings who really do things the right way and barely sway, or do not deviate at all. And this is my true aspiration.

My bumps have been few up until the last year or so, and they’ve been more frequent, and I am fairly sure I know why – there is a lack of pleasure elsewhere in my life, something I am working on – filling myself up with more friendship, passionate fun, and dancing in the moonlight on rocks by the beach, lightning hula-hoops and vibrations from others all around me, long meandering walks in the dark. I am filling myself more, giving myself what I really need, and not holding back. If I feel compelled, I follow, and I am finally unencumbered by anxiety. The last couple of months, pushing through it and having good experience after good experience – this has released me, and I am feeling fuller, more myself, and less inclined to fill a hole with things I know are not ideal for me.

Victoria, BC, Sept. 2012

Once I came to this conclusion, I knew that it was the real reason that I’ve been tempted, because for my first two years of raw foodism, I really never had any desire for cooked food. It was unappealing, it brought me down. But over the last 2, I have had more lapses, because I have had more down moods. I always regret it – the gut-ache, the disappointment in myself.

However, even being very, very high raw, and high-carb (I’d say I am 100% raw, 95% of the time for the last year), my mind has been very clear, and I am able to dig deep into my head, especially once I get it all out on paper. Obsessive writing, documenting, dreaming, hoping. This revelation, of filling other needs with “bad” foods, just came to me a couple of days ago.

Sometimes you just need the right situation, the right JAB, to wake you up, and bring a real spark back to your eyes.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, moving your body, sleeping soundly (and enough), copious hydration, loving touches, hugging, friends, dancing – all of these things will keep you young, vivacious, vivid – and most importantly, will allow you to live, fully, instead of just existing.

Never ignore your true needs, whatever they may be. And so, I want to know what sort of joy and bliss I will feel if I am 100% raw, 100% of the time.

Over a period of 7 years, you truly become a new personwho will I be? What will I be capable of? What about you?

What is your highest potential?

I know I want to reach mine, and I only have one life to do it – same as you. Don’t waste it!

Raw Food Will Not Make Your Life Perfect

Raw food should come with a warning: This is fleeting.

(and this post comes with another disclaimer: it is still worth doing).

At first you will feel so good that it is utter insanity. The trees will hug you, the birds will serenade you, you will wake up with panache, an appetite for life like you’ve never known – better than childhood – in fact, you feel like you did as a child, and who doesn’t want to feel that? Your body is celebrating, you have so much to compare it to – your previous misery has lifted and WOW, life is AMAZING now!

After a while it just becomes normal to be happy, merging with your former self, just feeling better physically, calmer, better looking. But your expectations of always feeling 100% astounding will be dashed, and like the junkie, you will be searching always for that next ecstatic high-on-life, and many people will try to sell it to you, especially if it makes them a lot of money. The next superfood, the next  amazing concoction.

I’m not saying that you will never feel that ecstasy again – you will. But it ebbs and flows. I get it all the time – but the parallel is when I get low, it is also extreme. Not as long lasting, like my previous days, but life feels overwhelming – not the act of living day to day, but just BEING ALIVE. Everything seems so poignant, so crushing, so impossibly beautiful, so damning, so frightening, so easy, so hard. Everything is magnified by thousands, and I just want to numb myself – so easy to do with food, and so many people do – though now I stuff myself with berries instead of Skittles. The overwhelm affects my ability to fall asleep, though I am a corpse when I do succumb – completely gone into the land of my brain, where dreams have become an even crazier landscape.

So am I missing something? Am I just not “doing it right” according to some self-appointed experts? I don’t know – I am doing everything I know to do, and no matter what, I still get depressed, I still get submerged into oblivion, and then I feel lame for being dramatic. And then I don’t care. I share, and will always share – it has always been the way I exist – the introvert that dresses herself in sequins and green braids, the loner who goes clubbing, the sensitive target with the leonine roar.

The last thing I want is to focus all of my energy on what I eat – I’ve done that for years now, and yes it is important to eat well (and I still believe raw is best, and what is keeping me sane), but I am at a point of just letting go, to some extent – the perfectionism, the strictness, the one-dimensional streams of neurons that could be creating meaning in my life, a purpose – they are all centered on food. I don’t want my brain to be thinking about these things anymore. I think I need a “food-thought” fast. I never used to think about food – but since it had such a profound impact on my mental health and general well-being (and my looks, too!) it has become an all-encompassing obsession. How can I make it even BETTER? I continually ask myself.

Eating raw is second nature to me now – I don’t have to “think” about it – but to worry about calories, and percentages, and all that – no thanks. I know to eat mostly fruits and greens, I know not to eat too much fat, and I know to keep well hydrated and get exercise. I know to get sunlight and B12. I know to be vegan. What else do I need to know? I think a while of being concerned with what to nourish yourself with is HEALTHY – but after four years, I am more concerned with other aspects of life that I have been NEGLECTING. No wonder I feel insane.

Maps + Update for May

I find that getting motivated and sticking to goals requires some SPECIFIC goals.

Like when I initially went raw, I had a timeline for myself:

Feb 1st, 2008, vegan, no refined sugar. Every week I would cut something else out – tofu, rice, potatoes, bread, other sweeteners like cane juice, etc.

April 1st, 2008, 100% raw vegan.

It worked, I stuck to it. I’ve had some little ups and downs but generally I have been raw for over 4 years with some minor blips. And I have never returned to refined sugars, cheese, cakes, etc – nothing like that. The worst I got was some baguette in Paris.

And so it is June 1st – I have been low-fat for the whole month of May, with the exception of today – it was a bit of a celebration, and also a good-bye – a good-bye to potatoes (which I used to help me stay low-fat this month, occasionally), and a good-bye to salt. I have been eating it way too much (I
don’t want to eat it at all) and I can push out my stomach so far that I look pregnant – that’s how bloated I am. When I gave up salt before I lost 10 lbs in a week.

Now I am dropping the salt. I am keeping low-fat and back to 100% raw.

I am also very proud of my exercise dedication this last month, and my chart has really helped – I took it seriously and wanted to make sure I filled it as much as possible. This was doable because I had very specific goals instead of “I want to be 80/10/10” – why? Without a why, I had no real reason to stick with it.

This last month I have discovered the following:

With low-fat, I get ZERO menstrual cramps. I finally found out the mystery of why I have had awful periods since going raw (everything else improved, that got worse – I had no issues with menstruation before raw, only after).

With low-fat…I can run.

Seriously, in my whole life whenever I have attempted to run, or jog…I lasted a minute at most. When I was trying to be a runner in 2000, I never improved much – I could go 30-60 seconds and have to take a break. This month I was inspired to go jogging and would improve every time. At first I could only go a minute without a break. The next week (I only went every couple of days) I could do 5 minutes without stopping – this for me was amazing.

Two days later (doing nothing on those two days except some arm weights) I went 20 minutes with NO breaks – I was BAFFLED. All this in two weeks of going every 2-3 days. I improved so much, and felt so good, that I started to ENJOY jogging. Now I WANT to go. Now I WANT to be able to do it for an hour! A new goal!

And why am I exercising? To be fit. To have a lean body. To stay healthy. To have strong bones. To have good endurance. To work out my heart – it’s a muscle, and it needs to be worked. To move lymph fluid. To prove to myself I can do something I thought I could NEVER do.

Also when I am low-fat, my skin is better. When I have no salt, my skin is better and my stomach is leaner. So is my face. Food tastes better. I can eat lettuce by itself and it’s amazing. Avocado starts to be delicious without anything added.

And on and on.

Which brings me to the map.

Along with my simple chart, I thought it would be fun to have a simple map I could just add any goal to and then mark specific steps over the month – this way I have something to follow instead of being all haphazard – maybe some people can just be like “Okay, this is this and I’m doing it” – for me, I like to have a basic idea to follow.

Little steps are much easier to reach, and to break down a big goal to small steps makes it a lot easier to get to the “end” – the whole reason I managed to run that 20 minutes the first time (which I would have thought impossible, especially since my max before that was 5 mins) was that I just kept saying “Okay you can make it to that tree…okay now you can make it to that driveway…okay now make it to that post” and eventually I thought…wow, I am almost at Oak street! Maybe I can make it there! Then I did, and I thought holy crap, I am still moving! Maybe I can make it all the way home! And I did.

ALL BECAUSE I USED POSITIVES – not “Oh god, I can’t do it, I’m so tired, omg I need a break” etc – I pushed myself maybe 10 steps at a time, and focused only on those 10 steps, and that got me all the way.

I have no doubt that I can reach one hour now. Maybe not within the next week, but that is my new goal for the next month or two – I am going to stretch it to two, but if I do it before then, AWESOME.

Same with my diet – over the next month I want to really simplify it – first week no salt, and any combo of fruits and greens, low-fat. 2nd week, still no salt, no fats, 3rd + 4th weeks, mono-meals of fruit, salads in evening, low-fat every couple of days.

In July, when it’s blueberry season, I want to do a week of JUST blueberries. Like 10 lbs a day. Oh my god I cannot wait.

I also want to drink 2 litres + of water per day and get as much sleep as possible, earlier the better.

I am going to photograph my physical progress and write down my daily and weekly changes, then share them at the end of the month.

~~

Regarding the rest of my goals in the past month, I did quite a bit of writing – I only missed 12 days of the month for writing fiction, and I only missed 6 days of writing for the blog. I only missed 5 days of exercise. I stayed 80/10/10 (with occasional potatoes) 30 days of the 31 – today being my bye-bye to salt and fancy foods. I had a bit too much fat today! Oh well.

So, bye-bye to May! I enjoyed you and the first sunny days of 2012. June is going to rule!

~~

I have been finding this guy’s videos hella inspiring.

Daily Health + Simple Raw Meal Ideas

There is a lot of confusion out there as to how to eat, when to eat, how often, and on and on.

I have been asked lately to post how I eat – and so I will! There is so much more to being healthy than JUST food, though. Here’s some thoughts, then I’ll get on to the food itself.

To be a truly healthy person there are a few factors you must remember:

1. We are meant to eat WHOLE foods, which means foods in their unrefined state as you would find them in nature. This leaves us with a few options – fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds, and nuts – there are several other things, but mostly our diets should be comprised of these.

Based on our physiology, we do best on a high carbohydrate, low fat diet. Protein is a non-concern as long as you are consuming enough calories. Don’t even worry. The only time you have to think about protein is when you get monotonous questions about it!

If you don’t want to eat raw, make sure you are still consuming a HIGH raw diet, and low-fat (it’s either gonna be high carb or high fat – a high protein diet is impossible).

2. You must have adequate sunshine. This depends on where you are in the world, the time of year, and what your skin is like. Supplements are no match for sunlight – the only thing remotely close is a tanning bed with UVA and UVB rays – this can be utilized safely when not done for vanity. You must have vitamin D in your system for many reasons – you also cannot absorb calcium without it.

3. Enough sleep. We are chronically overtired. Set your alarm to go to BED. Aim for 9-10 hours a night, MORE if you are active. Try to sleep when it’s dark out (I need to take my own advice, here).

4. You need to move – variety, intensity, neurological fitness, balance, flexibility – all important.

5. Make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements, at least mostly – use cronometer. Keep your fat intake between 10-15% of your total calories. Anything under 1500  calories is a starvation diet (for real). Aim for 2000 or more, minimum. More if you’re a dude. For your B12, please supplement with a liquid methylcobalamin – this is a highly overlooked vitamin, very difficult to get no matter what you eat, based on our fastidious nature and deplorable topsoil (B12 is a bacteria from soil – the B12 in seaweeds + algaes is not absorbable and can actually block proper B12). Even animals that are raised for slaughter are given B12 injections.

6. Think POSITIVE thoughts. If something negative enters your mind, turn it around and see how the opposite is equally true, a la Byron Katie.

There are many other things you need to do to become truly healthy. As Douglas Graham says, you are only as healthy as your weakest link.

For other tips on thriving, please see my article on the topic!

To give some examples of healthy meals, first figure out what amount of calories you need to maintain your IDEAL weight. This would be that weight x 100 (for me, my ideal weight is 120 so for me this would be 1200 calories just to lie around and do nothing at all). Then you have to add on calories for your activity in the day. If you are athletic, you will need to figure out your output and eat accordingly.

Calories are not the enemy. They’re just units of energy! Fuel to fire you! You need to eat enough of the right things in order to get enough nutrients and to be able to assimilate and digest them well.

For example, this is my typical daily menu:

Breakfast: First, I drink water – about 1/2-1 litre. I wait 15-30 minutes and then start to have my breakfast, which is usually a blended meal of 6-10 RIPE (freckled) bananas, 4-10 juicy dates, and a cup or two of berries (frozen or fresh – preferably fresh or thawed). Sometimes half of this is enough and I will drink the rest for lunch. Often I will add some greens like spinach, kale, parsley, etc.

Another meal type I have is a fruit soup. I’ll find the ripest pineapple possible, chop it, then blend the core with 8-10 dates, water, and berries of my choice. This is then poured all over the chopped pineapple. You can pour it over bananas, apples, whatever you like. I do not recommend eating bananas with acidic fruits, though, as it is not able to digest properly. However, you can do it if you like – it’s still gonna be better than typical breakfast fare.

You could also just make date sauce (blended dates and water) and pour it over chopped bananas.

Dates and bananas are great because they are a high calorie fruit – good for energy and good for digestion. They are also low-water fruits so you must drink water to compensate.

~~

For lunch I may have more of the same, or I might just eat a full-on meal of one fruit. Mono-meals are great for digestion, and it is easy to tell when you are full. Just eat the fruit until you are satisfied. I like to have grapes or mangoes! If blueberries are in season I practically live on them (at all meals!)

~~

For dinner I will typically have a wrap of some sort, or huge salad (or both). I usually start with fruit.

This is also when I will have a fat source if I feel like it. It is best to have it in the evening because it does not digest well with sweet fruit.

Often I will have a nori wrap – I will fill this with romaine lettuce, pea sprouts, tomato, avocado slices (I will only use half an avocado based on my typical calorie intake),  fresh pineapple or tomato salsa, red bell pepper, cucumber, sprouts, and possibly some dulse. Seaweed is not actually an ideal food because if it’s B12 analogs but…I love it. It’s a hard thing for me to give up! (and yes when I see it on the beach it looks tasty to me!)

For salad, this is a fool-proof way to make a yummy dressing:

Choose an acid-fruit – orange, pineapple, etc – blend with tomato, celery, lemon or lime – this will always make a delicious dressing. Last time I also added some blueberries which made it super amazing (blueberries are a sub-acid fruit so combine okay with fats). Pour this over an entire chopped head of lettuce or romaine, or get a mixed box of baby greens, toss in some other chopped veggies, or cherry tomatoes. If you have not had any fat yet, you could always blend some avocado or an ounce of nuts or seeds to make the dressing creamy.

For snacks – they should not be necessary if you are eating enough calories at your meals. As always I am going to say eat fruit for snacks – the simplest and healthiest snacks you can get. A bag of grapes, a bunch of dates, 2 bananas, 2 apples, raisins, some fresh orange juice (NOT bottled…it is not real orange juice – read more about that here!

The thing about health is that we all try to make it so complex. It is actually insanely simple – but we all need to relearn the basics 🙂

Go forth and have a fruity life!

Raw Food Diet TIPS After 4 Years Raw!

So, guess what!

That’s right, I have been on a raw food diet for FOUR YEARS!

Amazing. Hard to believe! Well, not really.

When I first started on this journey, I had a deep feeling it would be for life. It was one crazy epiphany, you know? And I asked the universe to show it to me! Show me my answer, please! And there it was! Under my nose, so simple. Fruits + veg. Nature. Sunshine. Wow.

So here are the most important things I have learned over my years as a raw foodist .

I am still learning all the time, and will never stop. I consider this few years as my baseline – I only just now think I am starting to know enough to be able to lead others in the right direction.

1. If it seems daunting, read up, and go at a pace you can handle.

I read for a couple of months before I switched to raw. Seek out some books at the library, your local bookshop, or find some blogs you enjoy. There are so many out there – way more than when I started. Find one that speaks to you.
Don’t think you need to do it overnight, though you can if you like. For me, I started out for 2 months as a vegan, cut out refined white sugars, and then slowly cut out things over that 2 month time-frame.

Have a farewell dinner to your favourite junk foods – and make sure you have something similar to replace it with at first. Your tastebuds change pretty quickly – about 7-10 days, and then you will crave whatever it is that you eat the most of.

2. Set dates for your transition.

This is important so you can work towards something specific.

3. Expect detox.

This will depend on what your current health and diet is like. I was a vegetarian and did not eat a ton of junk, though I did eat a lot of candy. I didn’t think my detox would be very bad because of this – it wasn’t – I did get huge pimples and lethargy and diarrhea, but that was about it. If you eat a lot of animal products, meat, coffee, etc – you will probably have a much worse detox, and it doesn’t necessarily happen right away. The animal foods can stay with you for a long time, so expect a harder detox – things can still show up months later.

4. Be patient.

Don’t expect to be a glowing beam of light within a few days. You very well could be, it depends on your current lifestyle. Things will change, just give it time. Most people are malnourished and toxic. These things need to time to come out, time to absorb and replenish. For me, I felt amazing after 10 days.

5. Expect miracles.

They will happen. Your chronic issues will vanish, your moods will improve, your weight will drop + stabilize, your attitude will shift, your life will change in numerous ways.

6. Keep the carbohydrates high and the fats low.

Take note of this one especially – it’s the mistake I made and most raw foodists make – don’t worry about it TOO much at first, just eat as much raw food as possible. As long as it’s raw, eat it. But once you are used to eating all raw for a couple of months, start to really lower your nut + seed intake and ditch oils – up your fruit intake BIG TIME. Keep track of your calories and make sure you are getting a good amount. Your body needs carbs. Eat tons of fruit + greens right away. You might be able to eat copious amounts for a while – when I started i could eat 2-5 avocados a day, along with everything else – now I eat 1/2-1, and not daily.

Fat slows insulin in your blood. If the insulin cannot bring sugar into your cells quickly (we need those sugars to live on! our bodies run on glucose) then our blood sugars will rise. High blood sugar will cause a multitude of issues (candida, diabetes, etc). This is not the fruit’s fault, it is the result of too much fat. How much is too much? Keep your fats to about 10% of your total caloric intake. Put your meals into cronometer.com and you’ll see how much fat you actually ingest. If you go a bit over, don’t worry too much – it is consistency that is key. If you hit 15%, that is fine, but try to keep it around 10%.

I would actually prefer people to eat a partially cooked vegan diet that is high carb, low fat, than a high-fat 100% raw food diet. Potatoes, quinoa, rice, etc. It is not optimal, but it is your second best choice if you cannot fathom eating so much fruit. Complex carbs, however, have no taste, so do not slather them in fats and salts – find something else that will add some flavour instead of fats. You also want to avoid too much salt, but if you do use it, avoid table salt at all costs!

7. Gorge on fruit + greens = do not be afraid of overeating.

Fruit will not make you fat. If you have been starving yourself, you will gain weight – this is normal. For everyone else, you will lose weight. Your body needs glucose, your brain will probably be having a party once you start eating raw food. It will be so excited it will be insatiable. That’s good. Eat as MUCH as you can. If you crave calorie-dense food like animal products or starches with lots of fat added, you need more calories, not dense ones –  more fruit is needed. It is the calorie source raw foodists need, without the mass amounts of fat.

8. Fresh, ripe, raw, organic is best.

Fresh = something that can grow in the ground or on a plant. Like it was just picked. Ripe = depends on the fruit. Most people don’t know what a ripe piece of fruit looks like, because it is not sold in stores. Bananas for instance, are not ripe until they have some spots. Pineapples never ripen once picked, and are never picked ripe unless you are getting them in Hawaii or somewhere similar. I’m not saying never eat pineapples, but know what a ripe piece of fruit looks like, because that is when it will have the most benefit to you. Raw = not heated over 115 degrees. Preferably never heated at all. Organic = grown without pesticides, herbicides, larvicides, fungicides, GMOs – “cide” means DEATH. Avoid conventional whenever possible. Failing that, at least eat organic when you are eating the skin of the fruit, or greens.

A lot of people eat a ton of dried fruit and dehydrated treats when they first go raw – that’s okay at first, but work towards these four particulars as the main components of your meals.

9. Health care is more expensive than eating healthy.

People who whine that eating healthy is expensive need to think this way – your health is gonna go to hell unless you eat properly. It just is. You may feel “fine” but for how long? Do you want to live an unhealthy lifestyle and pay the price later when it might be “too late?” The people who live to be 100 and still smoke, etc – what is their quality of life like? Are they still thriving? Are they on medications? It is likely. If you take care of your health NOW, then you will also be taking care of yourself LATER – degenerative diseases will not be a worry for you. Spend the money now (it’s a lot less than healthcare will be later) – it’s worth it. Make your health a priority. I went raw when I was making minimum wage at a part-time job.

10. Only listen to people getting results you want.

There’s plenty of people out there talking about their version of a raw food diet – are they vibrant, glowing, slim, fit, healthy, and actually interested in your health instead of their bank accounts? Make sure, or you could get swindled into things you don’t need.

11. Question the people trying to sell you supplements and expensive “super” foods.

A good way to look at vitamins + minerals is something I heard via Dr. Douglas Graham. Can you fit more gas into a gastank than it can take? No, it would just spill out. The same is true of your body + cells. Why is more of something a good thing? If you are eating something with 1000 times the vitamin C of an orange, do you actually absorb and use all of it? Nope, you probably pee most of it into the toilet. Also, when you eat a food in its whole form, any nutrients in that food are likely working together with other nutrients present in that food – refining something down to one vitamin, or one mineral – sort of useless. For instance you cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D present in your body. So you could take 10000ui of calcium – without vitamin D, it all gets pissed away, literally.

Fruits + vegetables do not make a lot of money for people in the health movement. But supplements sure do. They will tell you all sorts of nonsense to make you believe you need their product. Don’t listen to them. What you need is real food. There is only one vitamin out there that is difficult to get, for many reasons, and if your health was absolutely perfect, and our world was pristine, it would probably be a non-issue, and that is B12. I’ll talk about that later.

12. The simpler, the better.

The simpler you keep your meals, the better your digestion will be. That means, the better everything will be absorbed. It will also save you a lot of time. Raw food does not have to be a hassle. You could spend hours in the kitchen, or you could spend minutes. I like the latter. If I want something fancy, cool, but I know it’s not necessary.

13. If you fall off the fruit truck, just get back on and don’t make it a big deal.

I’ve had times where I went off raw food, briefly. I ate a little when I was in Europe with my family, and I had some potatoes when I was stuck in Seattle when I had a choice between Denny’s and a whack of fast food restaurants. I did when I had my heart broken, for a day. Did I berate myself, and give up? Er, no. I realized it was just a blip, and I took it as a blip.

Some people are super addicted to some foods. If you are a food addict, then be very careful if you have to eat something other than what is in your best interest. For me, I know the things I need to avoid, always. However, if I am stuck and very hungry, I know I can have some potatoes or rice and I won’t be too damaged. I’ll get a runny nose the next morning and back to fruit I go. if I eat bread, though – bad news. It will be very hard for me to stop myself, so I just avoid it forever. Know what your trigger is and avoid it like the plague.

14. Learn as you go.

You don’t need to know everything to start. Just grasp the basics. I am giving you the basics right now! Yay! Keep reading as you go and you will learn an amazing amount of information that is not widely known. This information is kept from the masses on purpose. Keeping the population sick and submissive is good for government, good for corporations, and how things typically work. We are all slowly waking up.

15. Shut yer yap unless questioned.

Let others see the changes in you – you will feel so amazing and youthful and ecstatic that you will want to run around yelling about raw food, and you might want to tell people they are killing themselves by eating whatever they are eating. Don’t. It doesn’t work. Let them come to you – they will.

16. Take advantage of your new energy.

Once you feel vigor again, use it. You might feel so great that you don’t know where to channel your energy – exercise! Your body wants to move. It needs to. Move it or lose it.

17. Join a forum, get support.

If you don’t have people around you for support, then an online forum is your best bet – even if you DO have people around you that are cheering you on! The more you are uplifted by others, and the more inspired you are, the better you will do.

18. Socialize with people doing the same things.

When I first went vegan I started going with someone to a restaurant where I met some new friends. I also started to go to raw restaurants and associate with other people in the lifestyle. I knew no one else before that – I knew a couple of vegetarians and that was it. I pestered my way into working at the raw restaurant, my vegan friends had raw potlucks – I made it easy for myself. I invited other people to eat with me at raw places, which they were totally fine with. Don’t make it a huge deal and it won’t be. Most people like yummy food no matter how it is prepared.

19. Find a physician who works with you and supports your lifestyle.

If your doctor is telling you this lifestyle is bad, consider that most doctors have no nutritional training, are parroting what they learned in school and that they get subsidies and are controlled by government and pharmaceutical companies. In many places it is illegal for them to suggest a lifestyle or dietary change. Society is a mess of greed and tactics to keep us sick and under control. The people trying to do this want our money, and they want us easy to manipulate – they control the masses, the doctors, everything – don’t let them. If you need to see a doctor, make sure they are cool with what you are doing, even if they didn’t suggest it themselves. Find one who will work with  you, not against you. Eventually, you won’t really need a doctor unless you have an emergency.

20. Supplement ONLY with things you cannot get via raw plant foods.

This would be vitamin D and B12 – vitamin D is best received via sunshine, or a proper tanning bed in small amounts, with low pressure lamps and UVA+UVB rays. There are vegan D3 pills available now – the regular kind are not. D2 is synthetic and possibly no good. B12 must be the proper type – methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin. Get it in a liquid sublingual (under the tongue) form, or get injections.  If you take pills they will most likely not absorb. Have a doctor test you via blood test AND urinary MMA test. Stay clear of cyanocobalamin, as you cannot absorb  it (most types in stores are this sort). The types of B12 in seaweeds is also analog and cannot do you any good – it also blocks the right type from getting to you.

21. Share information in a kind, non-confrontational way.

No one likes to be badgered – people have strong opinions on food, because everybody eats. Mind your own business, allow people to question you, THEN share your answers and opinions.

Don’t preach. I share videos sometimes, and even that can get me some drama. The most effect I’ve had is by just doing my own thing, and getting a few people to watch EarthlingsThen they make up their own minds.

22. Put yourself first.

The only person you can control is you. If you don’t believe you are worth it, you will never change, and then one day you will think “Damn, I wish I’d done that.” I could have waited four years to start eating healthy – then I could have said, “Wow I wish I’d done that when I first learned about it.” Do it now, you are important. If you are healthy + vibrant, then you will be a happier person to be around, have more energy for others, and you will be able to better care and be there for your loved ones. You first, always!

23. Bring things with you.

I bring everything with me, wherever I go. I take a bag of food to work, I take my own food to family functions, and if I go to the movies, I have something in my purse – raisins, dates, dried apples – whatever. It’s easy to bring your own stuff, no one will mind. If someone has a problem with it, just say “My doctor put me on this diet” – you don’t have to tell anyone your doctor is YOU.

24. Tell yourself it’s easy.

A lot of people think that eating healthy or raw is hard. If you go into this with that attitude, then yeah, you will make it hard. If you think it is easy, it will be easy. And it is. Nothing is simpler.

25. Podcasts are your friends!

If you have a busy life, then podcasts and audiobooks are for you. I listen to them constantly when I am doing other things – when I work alone, when I drive, when I walk the dog. These are all opportunities to learn more, and so I take them. There are lots of raw podcasts to download for free.

26. Surround yourself with health + ditch the crap. Now.

Go through all your cupboards and throw everything out. If it’s salvageable from the trash, spray it with Windex or something, then you won’t be able to dig it back out. Give cans to the food bank. TOSS it, get rid of it. Then go and buy lots of luscious fruit. If you get hungry, that’s all that will be there. Eat it, savour it!

27. Use what you’ve got.

Some people think they need tons of fancy equipment to be raw – craziness! I had a really junky blender and a food processor that was given to me, plus a simple juicer. I used the blender most. You actually don’t need any of these things, but if you want to have something to start, get a blender. Get a cheap one, thrift one, or ask for one on freecycle.org. You don’t need a Vitamix, even though they are ultra awesome and worth every cent. I used a cheap blender my first two years raw – at the end it was being held together with duct tape. It still did the job.

28. Garden, forage, freegan.

Still think it’s too expensive? Plant seeds, learn to forage around your neighbourhood, go in to the forest. Along with that, check the dumpsters behind organic shops and groceries – you’d be astounded at the quality of stuff they throw away.

29. Keep inspiring yourself.

One of my favourite things to do is to read and listen to stories of what a raw food diet has done for someone – there are countless stories of transformations out there – massive weight losses, terminal disease turnarounds, “incurable” problems overcome. If there is a problem you have, guaranteed someone has turned it around via a raw food diet.

30. Ditch the people who vehemently oppose you.

There are always going to be people who don’t like what you’re doing. Most likely you are just making them jealous or they feel bad about their own lack of dedication. Put those people in the compost, find new friends. If your family is the culprit, ignore them and do what you want anyway. If they see how much you improve, they may change their minds in the long run. If not, well, move out, avoid conversations about food, etc. Put you first!

31. Enjoy yourself.

Don’t look at raw food as a restrictive diet. There is a huge amount of variety out there amongst “fruits and vegetables” – it seems like only 2 things, but really, it is thousands. I probably eat more variety of food than everyone I know, combined. It’s also a wonderful chance to try new things you never would have eaten before. For me, it was durian, sapodilla, horny melon, longans, kelp, daikon, jicama…on and on! I don’t like everything I’ve tried, but I sure have broadened my horizons.

Also, you can make some pretty amazing concoctions – gourmet raw is fun for treats, but not every meal. Even with the low-fat options, there is some amazing stuff you can do. It’s fun! I used to hate cooking, but I enjoy preparing!

32. Keep track of your progress.

I wish I had kept a better log of my first months of raw food. I have a few things written down – it’s odd that I don’t have more, because I tend to write everything out that happens to me. I could go back to it now and see how far I’ve come. To track diet, sleep, moods, and all of those things – that can be the key to success, so if you have problems, you can look and see the days where you felt the best, and what you ate and did.

33. Stay hydrated.

Just because you are eating lots of water-rich foods, does not negate the need for water on its own. You probably won’t need as much as someone eating cooked food (why do you think people are told to drink 8 glasses a day? It’s because they get no water in their food, it’s all cooked out!) but you still need it. Spring water is best, if you can get it. Otherwise filter it, or drink distilled. Failing that, tap water is better than nothing at all.

34. Get enough sleep.

Overlooked – sleep until you wake up. If you sleep 12 hours, that’s how much you need. You cannot oversleep. The body will not sleep if it doesn’t need it. Some people feel awful if they sleep “too much” – most likely they are just in need of massive detox, then wake up and feel the aftermath. Sleep is a healing time. It’s when everything repairs. If you are sleeping a lot, waking up still feeling gross – that’s why. Sleep as much as you need, ditch the stimulants. They just make you more tired by pumping you full of adrenaline and overworking your adrenal glands. This will eventually cause things like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Just sleep!

Food does not give you energy. Think of your body like a car. You can put in a full tank of premium gas, but the car will go nowhere without a charged battery. Your brain is the battery and to recharge, it needs sleep. To run, it needs fuel/food. You don’t get tired when you run out of food, you get tired when your battery is depleted. So recharge as long as you need to. Go to bed earlier. If you have more energy, the hours you are awake will be more eventful because you’ll be energetic enough to enjoy them. The earlier you go to bed, the better – your hormones and melatonin are linked to the sun and the rhythms of nature – just because you like to stay up late (I do, too) does not mean you are exempt from nature’s laws.

35. Keep your thoughts + wording positive.

The happier and more positive you are, the more good things you will notice – about others and about yourself. The more you accomplish, the better you will feel about yourself and then you will believe you can do even more. You can. Make it all easy on yourself. Believe it can be done. Believe you can afford it, stick with it, and make your life better.

36. Consider the produce section the only part of the grocery store that is actual food.

Your brain will eventually realize certain substances are not food anymore. You will not regard them as such. I walk past things I used to eat and I don’t even notice them – these are things I used to eat 3-5 times a day. Now it just looks like cardboard + poison (because it is).

37. If you’re an extremist you will get extreme reactions. Be prepared.

Not everyone is going to understand. Sometimes it’s best to keep things to yourself. If someone asks, that’s fine, but a lot of people will feel threatened by your changes. It’s funny, because it’s just fruits and vegetables. If someone is offended by what you do, keep doing it and shrug your shoulders. Don’t start drama. If someone has a question and you don’t know the answer, be honest. You will get monotonous questions. “Where do you get your protein” will be #1, guaranteed. You can answer with a studious reply (if you think they actually want to know), or you can say, “I don’t know, but I seem fine, and my doctor isn’t concerned, either.” (again, they don’t need to know your doctor is you!)

38. Get enough calories.

On a raw food diet, there are two sources of calories – fruits (carbohydrates), and fats. Protein is a non-issue. Don’t even worry about it! No matter what you do you will not be getting the majority of calories from protein. Don’t even think about it. There is no such thing as protein deficiency – only starvation. Some people try to live on green juice and lots of nuts. The problem with nuts is that they are acid-forming and are mostly fat. Yes, they have protein, but so do greens, fruits, and all other foods. You just have to eat enough of them to get what you need. Greens and vegetables are very low in calories, so in order to have enough glycogen to burn, and enough nutrition to thrive – fruit is where it’s at. Copious amounts of greens are also necessary for minerals, but the calories in greens are so minimal that you’d have to eat an insane amount to feel like a normal human being. Anything below 1500 calories is a starvation diet. Aim for 2000 calories if you’re a female, OR MORE, and 3000+ if you are male. This is a lot of fruit, yes, but think about other anthropoid apes – we are like them. We have the same anatomy and biology. What do they eat? Fruit and greens. A lot of them. Until they are full. One kind at a time.

39. Realize all the ways you are helping yourself, the environment, animals, other people.

This diet is great for your health, but it is also the most sustainable way to live. No animals need die for your meal. If all the land used for livestock was used to plant fruit trees, this world would be a happier, sweeter place. Everyone would have food. It’s a win-win-win-win situation. Win for your health, win for the animals, win for other people, win for the earth. The only things that lose are the multi-trillion dollar corporations that profit off of your ill health. You think they’re gonna give that up to tell you just to eat some simple fruits + veg!? Ha!

40. Love yourself!

To stick to a diet like this, you need to feel you are awesome. You need to feel that life is worthwhile. Feel it! Some of the most inspiring people out there were once completely depressed, suicidal, and had no self-worth. I was one of them. Every being on this planet is worthwhile, it’s just that most of them do not see it within themselves. It is so easy to become jaded.  We are brainwashed every day to think we suck! There is so much awful stuff out there, but there is intense beauty, too! You must first love yourself before you can love another, or the world. It doesn’t make sense until you feel it, man. So feel it. Do it. This is the best, and first way to loving yourself. You will feel so good that you can’t HELP but love yourself and everyone around you!

Here are my top personal health benefits from adhering to this lifestyle!

1! Acne is gone!

2! Depression vanished in 10 days!

3! No more bladder infections (used to have chronic ones!)

4! Sleep very deeply, easily, and vivid dreams.

5! No flu, or colds! In four years! Worst I have had is a runny nose if I ate cooked food.

6! Lighter periods!

7! Self-empowerment!

8! Candida/itchy skin gone after switching to low-fat!

9! Mental clarity like no one’s business!

10! More energy to do stuff! Woo wooooo!

11! Attitude shift! People who knew me before were like whaaaaaaaa?? especially my parents.

12! Delayed aging! Can you guess my age? I’m probably a lot older than you think.

13! A lot less irritable + more patient!

14! Lost 20 pounds with no physical effort.

15! Hair is glossier and thicker. It also grows very quickly.

16! Improved dental health (except for a stint eating raw honey).

17! Brighter eyes.

18! I don’t burn in the sun anymore (I do not use sunscreen).

19! I recover more quickly from any physical exertion, especially since lowering the fat in my diet.

20! I don’t have to worry about being smelly!

21! Healthy blood, no worries at yearly check-ups, and no medications needed.

22. No cold sores.

23. Perfect digestion.

24. Calm, positive attitude, but also very happy and excitable in general. I used to be a gloomy, cynical mess. I can still get that way, but it’s not as common, and usually due to winter and lack of vitamin D!

These are just some of the benefits I have experienced – many of these are typical, but people with worse problems have also healed.

So try it out! Don’t knock it til you have. I originally started a trial of 30 days, but deep down I knew it was for life.

Save