No Cheat Days Allowed

lorra fae wildfire tells you why cheat days are not good for you try to avoid a cheat day to better your life so you can create success and health and become your best self

I don’t have cheat days.

The whole idea of creating a lifestyle change and then damaging it with cheat days is bizarre to me.

When it comes to health and prosperity, why cheat? The changes made are for the betterment of the self, not to deprive oneself of anything.

Cheating on new habits is cheating yourself, and nothing more.

I find an all-or-nothing approach works the best. Give it 100%.

Without a cheat day, there will be BETTER results than expected. If there is competition involved, there will be a advantage. If there is health involved, vibrancy will expand even higher. If there is exercise involved, strength will be taken even further.

Results can only be bigger. Success can only be more imminent. Strength can only be greater. Life can only be better.

Cheating is a lie to oneself. It’s saying, “You’re not good enough to stick with this completely.” It’s saying, “You don’t really want to be doing this. What you really want to be doing is that…and you’re depriving yourself of it.” Deprivation breeds rebellion, and not many people can resist that for long. It’s also a tempting, naughty reward – something to look to the future for, instead of focusing on NOW.

We’re addicts and easy-pleasure seekers – it’s ingrained in us. Our ancient brains tell us to take the easy way, the comfortable way – and with all the choices around us and all the lies we’re fed from every direction, it’s so simple to get overwhelmed and say Fuck It and go for the easy route.

Dreams are not easy. They require complete dedication, not cheating.

Cheating is for people who don’t want the best results. It’s for people who don’t want to be the best possible version of themselves. It’s the opposite of dedication, or obsession.

Obsession is a good thing when it elevates who we want to become. We can’t cheat life, and we can’t fool our bodies, or our minds – so let’s throw the cheat days in the incinerator where they belong, along with all the bullshit that keeps us from being the most galactic versions of ourselves.

We need to remove the locks from the cages that hold those versions in, and we will never get there by cheating – we need to focus on the exact methods to set ourselves free.

~~~

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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.

Video Post: My Raw Food Journey and 80/10/10 Probs

My first youtube video in a LONG time – all about my raw food journey and struggles/triumphs on a low fat high/fully raw vegan diet.

Please subscribe to my channel, as I do plan to make more videos 🙂 Thanks!

15 Lessons I Have Learned From Raw Food, 80/10/10, and Raw till 4

Raw pesto pasta at Giva, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2013

After 6.5 years of eating an extremely high raw diet (100% for months at a time, usually a bit of cooked food in winter, nothing major) and following and learning from a multitude of sources, I am no beginner. These are the lessons I have learned:

1. Any version of a raw food diet is going to make you feel amazing at first.

I was on a high fat raw vegan diet, almost exclusively, for the first 3 years. I deviated very rarely and always stayed plant-based. I felt amazing, was radiant, and slim as a whip.

Higher fat raw foods are great transition foods, and when I ate them I followed no caloric recommendations, I just ate everything raw.

I know people on low fat raw, high fat, low calorie, high calorie, all natural, people with plastic surgery, thin, chubby – some look amazing and some look like shit. The important thing is to do raw or high raw in the way that you can stick to, and that makes you feel your best!

You must be patient as you will will probably have some detox symptoms to begin with, but they will pass and you will understand why people are so passionate about this lifestyle.

2. 80/10/10 is a good basic guide, but not a rule book.

This diet has basic good macronutrient ratios and outlines just-as-important aspects of true health. (note – my answers in the link are from 2.5 years ago and have changed greatly).

A low fat, high carb diet is excellent for mood, energy levels, and athletic endeavors. I don’t agree with all of the book, as it excludes things that I think can be beneficial (juice, herbs, certain supplements, seaweed for iodine and sodium for example), but in general, it gives good basic guidelines to follow, however, tweak the suggestions to work for you. Take what makes sense, and toss what doesn’t.  Eliminate the non-essential.

3. Raw till 4 is misleading and incomplete

This diet is better than the majority out there, but I disagree with some aspects of it. When I followed this a couple of years ago, I felt really good but still feel better being all raw.I was also bloated and rashy.

The idea that you can eat unlimited calories, and need to stuff yourself, is ludicrous. You need to take in enough. There is evidence for failure on this diet everywhere, as well as successes – generally the people who are successful are very active and have been for a long time. Newcomers that gain a ton of weight and are confused by it are going to be disparaged and either continue to gain or fall off completely. Activity level must be on par with the amount of food calories you take in. Movement is essential for health.

Restricting calories is not the way to go, either – but restricting is not the same as eating just what you need.

Another problem is lack of greens and vegetables (and variety of them). The majority of vegetables being eaten are cooked and so are devoid of most minerals that would be available otherwise.

The addition of processed food is one I disagree with. Whole foods like root vegetables, beans, and even grains (depending on what kind) are much better choices.

Lack of fat is another issue – the phobia of fat that is being perpetuated is nonsense. Most people who follow 80/10/10, or 90/5/5 and struggle are often satiated by a bit of fat – we do NEED it, but not in excess.

I do agree with getting in mostly carbohydrates because it improves your mood and your energy levels. However, macronutrients are not the only aspect of health! MICROnutrients are VASTLY important and need to be addressed far more often. Sodium is also higher on this diet (but still low) which may explain why people are so drawn to having some cooked food as sodium is required for proper health! This is one other thing I like about Raw till 4.

4. Don’t treat your teachers as gods

No one knows everything. If you start treating your teachers as gurus and leaders, or idolizing them, you will ignore your own intuition and continue to do things that do not work for you.

5. Your results should not take years

If you have greatly abused yourself for a long time, then yes, it may take longer for your body to heal – but the important thing to focus on is feeding your body the healthy amount of VITAMINS and MINERALS, and making sure that you can absorb them. Be patient and focus on feeling good first. Consistency is really the key.

6. Raw food can make you lose or gain weight

Yes, 2000 calories of raw food or whole food is going to be dealt with much differently than 2000 calories of junk. They are not the same. However, taking in more calories than you need is hard on your body and also hard on your finances. The only need for excessive caloric intake is if you are extremely active. You have a basal metabolic rate – which is how much energy (calories) you burn while at rest. For instance, for my height and weight, I would require 1300 calories just to keep me alive and functioning properly while lying bed doing absolutely nothing for the entire day. Then you need to figure out how much energy you expend while moving through your day. If you eat more than you burn, you may gain weight, unless you are regularly active and have a high metabolism.

7. Lower fat is the way to go, but protein, minerals, fat, and sodium need to be taken seriously

The main issue I had when going low-fat raw is that my skin got very dry and I had a bumpy rash on my cheeks for 2 years that mortified me. My skin was beautiful on high-fat raw. I was convinced my problems were from salt, but no matter how long I avoided it, nothing changed. I went without make-up for ages, no change. When I had a blip in my diet last winter and was questioning raw, I was eating mostly cooked for a little while and my skin got amazing. It was then that I made the correlation between lack of sodium and being dehydrated. Too little sodium will make you unable to hold on to any water you take in.

A low fat raw vegan diet is VERY low in sodium, particularly if you are eating mostly fruit and not enough greens (and you need a LOT, especially if you are eating low fat and not getting minerals from nuts and seeds). A better way to get sodium, if you are not consuming enough greens to do so (the bare minimum to live healthfully is 500mg a day, and should be below 2000mg per day) is from living foods such as miso, or the highest quality unrefined salt you can find, and a very small amount (no more than a teaspoon a day). Celery and greens are the best natural sources of sodium, however they still do not provide enough for excellent health.

Protein is to also be taken into consideration. Low-protein is touted as best, but people do get quite a lot of protein if they are eating a vast amount of calories. If you are not an athlete and do not require a lot of muscle re-building, this isn’t something you really need to worry about. If you do want to build a lot of muscle, you either have to eat a huge amount of calories (which will give you a lot of protein, yet it would be a small macro ratio) or eat a higher protein food (like beans, or grains, or raw vegan protein supplement). For instance, if someone eats 50 bananas, there is 64 grams of protein right there. But 20 would give you 25 grams. That is not conducive to building muscle mass. It is also 5000 calories vs. 2000, so it all depends on your fitness goals and personal aesthetics.

Having too little fat makes the diet more difficult to follow and makes it less satiating. You have to eat a lot more fruit to be satisfied and it might be much more than you require or want. By the end of the day I can’t wait for my savory meal. Fat is also important for a lot of functions in the body. People who eat low-fat raw, especially who avoid overt fats, will lack omega-6. If you do not eat enough greens, you will also lack omega-3. You also need certain fats to absorb certain nutrients. You do not need a lot of fat, but you do need some.

8. Cooked food is not poison, but you need to be careful what it is, and expect consequences

Living foods are superior to cooked foods, but not all cooked foods are created equal. Steaming is going to be better than any other cooking method, but even that does minor damage and should only be done for short periods of time.

A living food is still full of enzymes, probiotics, and other helpful nutrients, as in fermented foods. Sprouted foods (grains, beans) are also good, though they may be harder for you to digest – experiment.

There are some cooked foods I am still okay with, but keep to a minimum. These must be whole foods only – nothing refined and no grains unless sprouted and you feel okay with them.

I still feel better 100% raw and you may also. If I eat cooked food as a choice, it will be small amounts with large amounts of raw salad. If I start to neglect my fruit and salads and get bingey on cooked foods, then I know I have to cut them out again. It’s best not to flip-flop – either stick with raw or stay partially cooked.

9. Food combining does matter

You can experiment with combos that work for you, but this is especially important when it comes to combining fats and carbs, and also raw with cooked. You can see a good food combining guide here.  Improper food combining causes havoc on digestion and can cause bloating, gas, and improper absorption of nutrients.

10. Supplements are not evil – put health before diet dogma

If you are lacking something and cannot get it through your food, then supplement. If you are in a colder climate, or want to stay pale, take vitamin D. If you are low in B12, get supplementation in sublingual pills or shots. If you have specific body-building goals and follow a strict regime and require more protein yet want to limit your calories and fat intake, then by all means supplement – there ARE raw vegan protein powders available. If you lack zinc, selenium, or any other mineral that is available through small amounts of nuts, but are allergic, eat more greens or take a green powder like Vitamineral Green. Or simply take a supplement for whatever you are lacking – you can track on cronometer.com. You can tweak and figure out ways to get all the nutrients you need with whole foods (which is always best) but for whatever reasons you cannot eat certain things – location, allergies, previous health issues/surgeries, whatever – there are other options to help you!

There are a lot of options to allow you to reap the benefits of eating raw without falling back to cooked.

11. Exercise should be studied and taken seriously as well

Study the correlation between movement and diet, as well! So many people come to raw, or high carb, whole food veganism, and neglect the exercise part. You must have a method of aerobic movement, as that is what burns fat. Study physiology and basic exercise principles.

12. It is entirely possible to do while traveling, socializing, or on holidays with family

 With enough planning and care for oneself, this can be done easily. I have gone traveling both prepared and unprepared, and guess when I was successful? There are lots of resources online to help you, especially places like happycow.com – if you struggle with family or socializing, then simply don’t socialize with these people around food. There are many other ways to be with other humans than chowing down. I rarely go out to eat with people and when I do, I invite them to raw and vegan places. Everyone so far has liked it, and if I am invited out I bring my own food and if the person doesn’t know I eat a strict diet, then I tell them! If people make fun of you, then question how good of a friend they are.

13. No scene is devoid of drama and being pushy doesn’t work

There has been a lot of drama in the raw food movement in the last year, and it can be off-putting. Don’t allow the arguments of others taint what speaks to you. The most important thing is that you focus on your health, basic nutritional needs, and your own intuition.

Pushing your dietary beliefs on others will never be taken well. Wait until someone asks. Living your life will speak volumes more than being a raving fanatic.

14. You MUST MUST MUST think for yourself and do your own research

This is the most important point. Never take the word of anyone, even the people you think have all the answers. NO one does. I have learned so much from a multitude of people, professional and not, over the last six and a half years of daily study. Some information is monumental, and some is destructive. Some is fear-mongering, some is money-grubbing, and some is even in the pursuit of power.

If something does not ring true for you, tweak it and question it. Consider all angles and do a lot of research, on the actual science and on the person advising you.

15. A rigid, extremist viewpoint will be more detrimental to your health than anything else

Fanaticism will get you nowhere. If any of these methods work for you, CONTINUE DOING THAT, and if that changes, tweak it and question what you could be lacking nutrient wise or taking in too much of. Keep your ethics in mind as they are extremely important – plant foods are always the way to go for the benefit of yourself, animals, and the environment.

On an end-note – don’t take my word for it. I don’t know everything and do not claim to. These are simply my experiences and important things I’ve learned on my journey. I continue to research and tweak where needed. I know health is best on a plant-based diet, but I also know that health is much more than just macronutrients. There are tons of resources – documentaries, books, and ways to be raw. Do what makes sense for you, your goals, and your lifestyle. Drop the dogma, and embrace the pursuit of health and knowledge. Question everything, and don’t take any shit.

Recommended Reading:

The 80/10/10 Diet

Becoming Raw

Green for Life

Creating Healthy Children

Nutrition and Athletic Performance

Thrive

Thrive Fitness

The Raw Cure

The Pleasure Trap

Could It Be B12?

The Vitamin D Solution

Eat to Live

World Peace Diet (for ethics)

Healthy at 100

The Food Revolution

Diet for a New America

Raw Family

The China Study

Whole

The Starch Solution

No Happy Cows

The Raw Secrets

Raw Food Controversies

The Detox Miracle Sourcebook

Recommended Watching:

Forks Over Knives

Earthlings (for ethics)

Foodmatters

Food, Inc.

Eating

The Diet Wars

Fat Sick & Nearly Dead

Vegucated

Supercharge Me: 30 Days Raw

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

Healing Cancer From the Inside Out

Hungry for Change

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

10 Myths About Raw Food

1. You Can’t Get Sick

Bullshit. While it’s true you are much more unlikely to get colds, flu, and all the other things people routinely get, if you don’t have other aspects of your life in check, you are just as vulnerable as anyone else.

I haven’t had a cold or flu in years EXCEPT for when I was highly stressed last winter and barely sleeping. This led to a month-long cough-of-death, cold sore, and bladder infection, none of which I’d had in years. Anything else resembling a cold was very brief and always followed a short time with cooked foods, and was extremely minor. Do I have any notions that a raw food diet will get rid of my nasty infection? Fuck no. But I do know it has helped in me having FAR, FAR less of them. Over my years of being raw, I have had little stress and lots of sleep. I did have periods of insomnia and I know now that it was underlying anxieties and stress causing it (which led to the aforementioned sickness of January 2013). I have never had a problem sleeping since then.

Eating raw is not ENOUGH to be healthy. You must get enough sleep, be hydrated, move your body, deal with your shit, keep a positive attitude, be around good people – all are very important to your health and ability to stay well.

2. You Are Always Happy and Nice

Nope. You are very likely going to feel euphoric at first, and will be happy a lot more of the time. It will also help you stay more positive. But there is this lame myth that you will just be this happy hippie at all times, and you can feel like a fraud if you’re not. Drop it. I know plenty of people who eat raw who are mean, grumpy, passive aggressive, deal with depression, etc. Of course, those people are not like that all the time, either. We are all HUMANS. WOW, go figure! We have fluctuating moods depending on our own personal circumstances!

Now, you will likely feel good most of the time if nothing crappy or stressful is going on in your life. If you are depressed for NO reason, then you are likely lacking something (but not necessarily!). This happens to me in the winter and I either get on a plane somewhere warm or I get in a freaking tanning bed once in a while.

To become happy “all” of the time, you really have to do a lot of personal work. Raw food was a pathway for me to heal a lot of my emotional turmoil. It is still not completely dealt with. I don’t know if things can be completely dealt with, anyway. Things also come up that will set you back (like my last relationship – massive set-back in my mental health) – so don’t expect raw food to make you this magical, happy person at all times.

Also, stop looking at famous raw foodists this way. They are human, too. Stop having expectations of them to live up to your perfect ideals and start looking at them for health inspiration, not as gods.

3. You won’t get enough protein.

Answer this question – what do you need all this protein for? Are you growing? Are you body-building? Likely the answer is no. I understand the desire for more protein if you are a body-builder – but that tends to be about aesthetics, not health. If you feel like you need more protein, eat a bit more hemp or a lot more greens. If you don’t care about being 100% raw there are other options for you like beans and quinoa. You don’t need as much as you think you do. If you’re wanting to build muscle, then eat more! But don’t obsess over it if you’re just an average person, and choose healthy sources.

4. Cooked Food is Poison.

As much as I like to stick to 100% raw, once in a while I relent, especially in winter. In winter I want soup, usually only when the weather changes to REALLY cold. Once I get used to the cold, I go back to raw. I have zero issues sticking to raw in warmer months. When I do eat these things, and I go back to raw, like I said in point #1, I get a minor “cold” which is a runny nose, basically. Is this food poison? No. It depends what KIND of food you are ingesting. If you are having beans or potatoes or quinoa, you are not going to have a huge issue. You do not HAVE to be 100% raw to be healthy, though you will probably feel phenomenal when you are. Also, don’t feel like a failure if you do eat cooked foods. Just make them plant-based, eat enough (don’t starve OR stuff yourself), keep your fat intake between 10-20% (focus on omega 3s), and make as much of your diet raw as possible.
The more the better.

5. You Need to Eat Less and Sleep Less

Here’s the thing…you need to eat more raw food in order to feel full. Regular foods that people are accustomed to take a long time to digest and stay in the stomach longer. They are more calorie dense, so you get full faster. Your stomach may get full VERY quickly with a small amount of raw food at first – but you need to eat more or you will be ravenous. It digests fast.

That being said, I do NOT agree with eating more than you need to. Stuffing yourself with bananas and coconut sugar and all these other things just to get “more carbs” is ridiculous. The only time you need excess calories is if you are an athlete, and I certainly would not recommend refined, processed foods.

For sleep – sleep as long as you need to. Some nights you might need more than others. Just sleep when you’re tired and wake up when you are ready to – that is how much sleep you need. If you’re relying on stimulating foods or drinks, then you need more sleep.

6. It’s Restrictive

That depends on how you look at it – even though cooked food is not necessarily poison, a lot of “food” out there IS. If I told you that you can’t eat pus, would you be upset? Probably not. You’d be thrilled. So when I say don’t eat dairy, why think that is restrictive? It’s no better for you than pus, and is filled with it anyway.

Think about what you eat most of the time, too. Probably the same things on a regular basis, right? The things you like most. Well, I can say for myself and many others, that your world actually expands when you eat raw – you start trying foods that you probably had never heard of before.

Also, most processed foods are made of the same ingredients – corn, soy, wheat, egg, dairy, sugar.

I actually started to enjoy myself in the kitchen when I went raw, too. I got creative. My idea of cooking was mini-pizza in the toaster oven, or toast with cream cheese. The fanciest I got was potato skins. Guess what they all had? Cheese and starch. What a huge variety.

7. It’s COLD

Actually, most raw food is room temperature. Unless you are keeping food in the fridge, it won’t be cold, and most fruit should be kept on your counter, anyway, so it can stay ripe or get ripe. Some stuff can be warmed, too. I really need to find a good raw soup for winter that I can warm up!

8. It’s Time-Consuming

Not really. If you get into raw and are making all the gourmet meals, YEAH. It’s crazy time-consuming. But if you are eating simply, fruit as a focus, it’s FAST. The most I spend “making” food for myself during the day is 5 minutes for a smoothie or to grind date paste or cut something up. In the evening I spend maybe 20-30 minutes making a huge salad.

I’d say that is much less time than the average person, unless they’re living on microwave meals and sandwiches.

9. It’s the Only Way to Be Healthy

Like I said before, you do not have to be raw to be healthy. You DO need to incorporate a lot of raw foods to be healthy, though. There are a lot of ways to be healthy but DO YOUR RESEARCH. Who is giving you the information? What are their credentials? What are THEIR physical and mental states like? Never follow ANYONE blindly. There is so much conflicting information out there and seriously, I don’t agree with any of it 100%. Some of it I find completely baffling. The goal is to be healthy, not dogmatic or RIGHT. The goal is to prevent yourself from getting cancer and heart disease and other things that will KILL you and take over your life in the meantime – who has time for that?!

I know I feel my best physically AND mentally on raw. Do I know it’s 100% the way to true health forever and ever with no room for error? No! NO ONE DOES, even if they claim to.

What I do know is that the majority of people who really want to be raw and stick to it, at least very high raw, feel better than almost everyone else alive. How many people do you know that feel fantastic almost all the time? I am willing to bet hardly any. Outside of the raw community I can’t think of anyone who feels so great, but I know most people want to.

Raw foodism is something great to aspire to, and it can be intimidating for people. Just take steps. No one says you have to do it overnight. I didn’t.

10. You’ll Get Too Skinny/Too Fat (!?)

If you don’t eat enough, yeah, you will get too skinny. If you have an underlying issue, you might get too skinny. The remedy for that is to eat more. If you still can’t put on weight, then you might have something else going on.

If you are gaining weight on raw, then you are eating too much, despite what many people say. I see this “stuff yourself” mentality in fruit/starch land, and despite what many people say, you cannot just eat until you want to barf and stay skinny unless you are exercising a hell of a lot. I know this because I did gain weight – not a lot, but enough! I have no background of caloric restriction except for a brief time in 2006 and even briefer in 2007. I have eaten to my heart’s content ever since, but last year I was eating a LOT more (stress and also running) and I gained weight. This is when I was having some steamed starches, too. I put on 10 lbs, even though I was running 5k on a regular basis. When I dropped the starches and went back 100% raw with some gourmet and even more fats, all that weight came off. I was satiated sooner and didn’t feel like stuffing in so many starches at the end of the day. I also stopped eating a billion bananas, which I don’t like much anyway.

I highly doubt anyone would get TOO fat on fruit, though, but if you are eating a ridiculous amount of calories, you will, I don’t care what anyone says. But eat as much as you like – don’t FORCE it. If you want to eat 4 bananas instead of 10, that is OKAY! Eat until you are satisfied, not nauseous (which I have done…no thanks).

As an endnote, please never take what one person says as gospel. I do not claim to have all the answers. All I can share is my experience and views, which change depending on new information I might take in. If it does not work for you, keep learning. *I* am also still learning – everyone is, unless they think they know everything, and those are the people who you should be very wary of. NOBODY knows all the answers about perfect diet and nutrition for humans, and even if someone did, our current world state does not allow perfection anyway.

I wish you the best possible health and I will answer all and any questions you have, as best as I can, or at least I can lead you in a good direction. 🙂

And remember – is your goal to be healthy? Or is your goal to be a “raw foodist?” Which is more important?

You are HOW You Eat – Be Like Fruit!

When you eat fruit you become sweet.

You become light and juicy, full of life and lusciousness. You have a natural compassion. The more fruit you eat, the more ripe YOU become. You ripen into who you really are.

Raw food takes all your bullshit away. It strips you of your angst.  It might put you into turmoil at first; it forces you to face your crap, it makes you deal with all the nasty junk, it makes you say “fuck no, I don’t want this in my life.” It brings you joy and REALNESS. You cannot be fake on a diet of fruit, it is impossible.

When you eat fruit you want to spread seeds – you can do this by just BEING.

You can just sit there and glow and people will look at you with wonder and want to know what you’re doing, and then you can tell them your “secret.” You can plant that seed in them. Even if they don’t understand at first, or if they don’t follow your example, at least they KNOW – they may remember in the future, when they are ready – that fruity seed is there, ready to grow.

Most people feel like crap all the time, and it’s because they eat crap. If you want to feel like a dry, brown potato, by all means, eat chips. If you want to feel like an angry, paranoid, selfish, fearful person, by all means, eat the flesh of a terrified animal. If you want to feel fat, gooey, heavy, and nauseous, by all means, eat all that cake!

But it’s not going to do anything for you. And it’s not going to do anything to help the world, or inspire your friends, or invoke health, or spark the mad fire inside you, which can be repressed and doused by all the crap you’re pouring on top of it. Let it OUT. Let your issues surface and deal with them so you can LIVE. It’s scary, but NOT LIVING YOUR LIFE is more terrifying – isn’t it?