View Full Version : I need help
04-24-2006, 10:02 AM
I am a 48 year old woman, overweight & depressed. I have high blood pressure, sinus problems, joint pain etc. I feel about 90. I am thinking about trying raw foods for 30 days to see what benefits I get. I would like to hear from other people who have turned their health around with raw foods.
04-24-2006, 10:10 AM
Hi! Wow... I think you're going to hear from a LOT of people here. I haven't met anyone who did the 30 days and didn't have health results. I lost 20 pounds, I started sleeping really well, and my moods evened out in a big way. I'm on day 52 now, and this week I've noticed some back & neck stiffness I've had for years is suddenly gone. I just feel so much better... like I've finally got things under control. Pre-raw I felt like I had so little control over what I was eating, was depressed, very over weight, and moody because of it. What a difference now! You'll find so much support here! it's hard the first few weeks, but it gets so much better. The best of luck to you! We're all here for you! :)
Avate, I do not wish to make things more complicated for you by 'muddying the water', so-to-speak, but the symptoms you describe suggest very strongly that your body is struggling with an excess of toxins.
The very first stage of healing one's body, despite the almost complete ignorance of the fact in mainstream health texts, is to cleanse one's body of toxins. No amount of fresh, raw, mineral and vitamin-rich nutrition will circumvent the negative effects of retained toxins.
I urge you not to dismiss this factor if you wish to heal yourself, both physically and psychologically. Once you have purged the toxic wastes from your colon, the rest of your tissues will be able to follow suit. THEN, eating a diet primarily comprising fresh, raw, vibrant fruits and vegetables will begin to show some benefits. A clean colon will far better absorb the wonderful nutrients your body is craving.
Highly recommended reading on the subject of cleansing are:
Richard Anderson's 'Cleanse Thyself - Book 1' (and 1.5, if you can get a secondhand copy)
And Bernard Jensen's 'Guide to Better Bowel Care: A Complete Program for Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management' (a wonderful, wonderful, compassionate and wise man whose passing is a huge loss to mankind, IMHO).
Also, for a great summary, check out John Barron's 'Lessons From The Miracle Doctors', a free eBook with a host of useful information on natural healing:
Sorry to labour the point, but I implore you not to dismiss internal cleansing as some kind of fad or practice for the lunatic fringe - nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is the present-day reluctance of people to address the issue of auto toxemia (internal retention and circulation of toxins) that, as much as diet, and possibly more so, holds so many people back from achieving and maintaining good health.
Once you have cleansed yourself internally, the consumption of significant quantities of fresh dark leafy greens (they are bitter, but you do want to heal, right..?) will provide you with excellent clean protein (the constituent elements of protein being amino acids). Put simply, one amino acid, tryptophan, is a critical component used by the body for producing neurotransmitters. By consuming high quality proteins such as that available in greens, you will improve your body's ability to manufacture the neurotransmitters it requires for optimal neurological (and thus psychological) functioning.
An excellent book on the benefits of, and means by which to begin, increasing your intake of greens is Victoria Boutenko's 'Green For Life'. It is not overly-detailed and strikes a good balance for people to read without getting bogged down.
These same greens are also some of the very best sources of alkaline minerals. By consuming a greater proportion of alkaline-forming foods than acid-forming foods, you will improve oxygenation of your body (an extremely beneficial thing to do as it improves the functioning of every cell in your body, reduces the viability of pathogenic organisms which thrive in an anaerobic (low oxygen) environment, and improves brain functioning). Moreover, alkalizing one's body will reduce the likelihood of joint pain (often the result of unneutralized local uric acid congregation at joint sites, contirbuting to inflammation of the joint tissues). Even further, you may expect your blood's viscosity to reduce ('thin') as toxic acid wastes are gradually eliminated from the body due to the neutralizing effect of higher levels of ingested alkaline minerals. When the body is faced with inadequate alkaline mineral ingestion, it cannot netralize the toxic acid wastes that are a natural byproduct of cell metabolism. Because it cannot neutralize the toxons, it shunts them into fatty deposits at the extremities of the vascular system. This gradual closing down of the peripheral vascular pathways can contribute to higher blood pressure. If you drink soda, STOP IMMEDIATELY - it is one of the most acidifying substances on the planet, chock full of phosphoric acid, and will undoubtedly increase your chances of high blood pressure, for the reasons just stated.
If at all possible, try to consume sunflower sprouts - all sprouts are healthy, but sunflower sprouts are particularly high in lecithin, which is great for fat emulsification - your liver needs to emulsify fats in order to break them down. Note that I'm not talking about Brussells sprouts, they're a totally different kind of sprout to the sprouts you will hear about in raw food circles, although they are healthy in their own right. Think of the beansprouts you see in chinese cookery and you'll be on the right track.
04-24-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks Amanda and Arky for taking the time to reply. I feel so desperate right now but I know in time I can heal myself and feel better. Wow, Amanda 20 lbs in 30 days is great. I know it's not just about losing weight it's about getting healthy but thats a great side effect.
Arky, are you saying I should do just the green foods for a period of time and maybe leave out the fruits until I've detoxed some?
Thanks again for the encouragement.
04-24-2006, 10:48 AM
You have made the right choice as far as getting advice on a raw food board.
I had been sick with stuff and raw food helped me alot.
I am sure you will get alot more replies about people who have been healed by eating raw foods.
If you will, may I suggest you do a search on the subject? You would be surprised as how much information is on this board as there are many posts and threads about this very subject. Please don't take this wrongly, but I think that in so doing, you will find alot of the help you need just by typing one word!, LOL!
much luck and progress to you.... it's not all over, there is hope, and you have found it in raw foods.
Arky, are you saying I should do just the green foods for a period of time and maybe leave out the fruits until I've detoxed some?
No, I'm not saying that at all (although I understand how you may have got that from my emphasis on greens). However, while we're on the subject of restricitng certain foods during detoxing, keeping your fat intake to a minimum, just to begin with, may help to accelerate your detoxification - followers of the Anne Wigmore approach will be familiar with this viewpoint. Be careful, though, this is a fine line to tread - if you restrict your fat intake too much you are more likely to crave rich, unhealthy foods, so a little HEALTHY fat can help to alleviate such negative cravings. Coconut fat is a great fat to consume (still in moderation, of course ;)), since, unlike other fats, it assists insulin response and provides the liver with energy in a more immediately-usable form than other fats. You might be surprised to know that coconut fat can actually increase metabolism a little, too, strange though that may sound for a fat (actually other healthy Essential Fatty Acids <EFAs> can assist metabolism, too). Always try to avoid oils - if you want to consume a healthy fat - even olives, seeds, flax, nuts or coconuts, then try to find it in its original wholefood form rather than as a refined oil. Oils really are 'empty' calories (not a good thing - you want every calorie to include healthy phyto (plant) chemicals, minerals and vitamins with it, if you are seeking good health).
A fantastic book on weight loss and nutrition, with a strong emphasis on vegetables and fruits and specific discussion on the dangers of the empty calorie so prevalant in the Standard American Diet, is Dr. Joel Fuhrman's 'Eat To Live' (http://www.drfuhrman.com/weightloss/default.aspx)
I am fortunate that although health problems led me to eat a high-raw wholefoods diet, weight loss has never been a necessity for me - we all have our reasons for seeking better health and it is very telling that the consumption of a natural wholefoods diet is a point of convergence, whatever one's particular catalyst for seeking health improvement. There's a simple reason: it is the diet humankind has evolved to eat. The fact that Fuhrman's book is actually right-on-the-money', in so many respects, therefore, means that I feel it is an excellent book, despite the fact that, intended, as it is, for weightloss, it is not specifically aimed at me. In other words, its truths are applicable right across the board, whatever one's health issues. Fuhrman discusses what he terms the 'calorie-nutrient ratio' and this parallels the work of Roy Walford, who found, in his longevity research, that rats and other animals fed a deliberately calorie-restricted diet (upwards of 30% restriction!) lived significantly longer lives than their counterparts allowed to eat as much as they wanted to. Conclusion: Fundamental truths lie within these pages - beware the empty calorie so typical of the conventional Western diet :) Fuhrman's book is an excellent investment.
Put very (overly, really!) simplistically, fruits are excellent cleansing foods and greens are excellent building foods. My emphasis on greens is due to the fact that, aside from followers of the Anne Wigmore approach to 'Living Foods', the majority of raw foodists invariably fail to TRULY appreciate the utmost importance of consuming adequate quantities of greens (a pound a day is really a minimum if you want to make a significant and lasting contribution to your health). I know this quantity may seem a little scary right now but that's only because, like nearly all of us, you have been socialised to get the majority of your calories and 'nutrition' from non-greens sources. We have, as a population, in Western society, been socialised to revere the sweet, the salty and the spicy, and to avoid the bitter. Bitterness of greens is largely a function of high levels of alkaline minerals (potassium, for example). It is really important to tackle this issue head-on if you are going to improve your body's constitution. Obviously, it may take time to achieve such a level of bitter greens intake, and perhaps even longer to feel comfortable with it, but it is amazing how one's taste bids change over time - the body DOES grow accustomed to bitter foods and it does respond postively to receiving the nutrition the human race evolved to derive a good proportion of its nourishment from.
Do eat cleansing and protective fruits in abundance, but balance these with the building blocks and alkaline minerals provided by a healthy greens intake - tipping the balance too far in the direction of fruit or nuts, and away from greens, will not yield excellent health in the longrun - many have tried to circumvent this fact and failed ;)
Oh yeah, and if you need more encouragement to go heavy on the greens, remember that alkaline-mineral-rich dark greens will help soften your cravings for unhealthy foods. This is not dogma, it is absolutely true. Just try it and you'll see - if eaten in good quantities, greens are very centering, calming and do help reduce cravings. I personally feel noticeably calm after eating just 200grams of rocquette (arugula). Obviously, foods affect different people in subtly different ways, but the principle remains and is one that has been observed by raw foodsists the world over.
Best of luck to you, and don't forget to check out the books I mentioned, for inspiration!
04-24-2006, 11:00 AM
I don't have any scientific knowledge to offer you like some other folks. But I also am overweight and was suffering from blood pressure issues and VERy sever cramping and bleeding, etc. I had dark circles under my eyes and friends were always commenting that I looked tired. I was tired! And I felt awful. After only 1 week (!!) on raw foods, my energy levels were noticeable and my dark circles were clearing up. I had bronchitis which cleared up within that first week as well. no more cramps at all. My blood pressure is down. I have not been checking my scales because I don't trust them entirely but I have almost lost 4 dress sizes in 3 weeks!
My mother is suffering from an array of health problems and lost 8 pounds withing 4 days! :eek: her blood pressure went down (it was high, high, high before) and she could feel a difference in her energy.
This works! It is the only lifestyle (not diet in the usual way it is used) that will give you quick results and make you feel so good.
I hope you give this 30 days. You will not be disappointed. Expect some cravings and expect some not-so-pleasant side effects as you detox. I went through (and still am going through) this. But I can tell you that you will see amazing results. And then you will be going around telling everyon about raw foods. ;) Also, it's hard to feel deprived when you get to eat pecan pie, corn chowder, onion dip, ice cream and fudge balls!
Some great tips that were given to me that REALLY helped out were:
*keep it simple...don't try to make everything into a gourmet meal. Enjoy the simplicity of a juicy mango
* always keep some food prepared and ready in the fridge/freezer (this is a great tip!)
* always take some sort of food with you. You never know when you will get delayed from coming home and get the munchies. (another great tip!)
* stick to it no matter what your cravings
* get Alissa's book if you don't have it
You can do it. And with a supportive forum like this, you are not alone in journey or your struggles.
Let us know how it goes.
04-24-2006, 02:22 PM
Hi Avate, yes, definately invest in Alissa's book!
some of us just started a 30 day challenge, the thread is called "April 21"
so come over there if you want support!
i am sure this way of life will heal your ailments, like the others have mentioned though - you will probably experience detox symptoms - just push on through! educate yourself as much as possible - read all you can about raw,, but the most important is to do it! :)
04-24-2006, 04:06 PM
I went and bought a lot of organic greens and fruit. I don't know if I can always do organic, it was pretty expensive. I know organic is better but is it always necessary? Thanks
I don't know if I can always do organic, it was pretty expensive. I know organic is better but is it always necessary? Thanks
All of us here know that feeling, Avate!
Until organic gets a wider consumer base, it will remain pretty expensive. My best advise to you is also very simple:
buy organic as often as your budget will allow. It's not just about avoiding pesticides, it's also about higher mineral content (sometimes organic contains more than double the mineral content of standard commercial produce - read the classic literature on soil health and it's easy to see why. Here's a good one to get you started: http://www.rawfoodtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13588). Even BETTER than organic would be to grow your own, according to permaculture principles (Mollison is the man whose books you should read on this topic, if you wish to learn more).
Don't get too hung up on this to begin with, just buy and eat as much fresh fruit and veg as you can sensibly consume (remember, it has very few empty calories, unlike refined foods, so you can eat raw fresh fruit and veg in relative abundance without fear of weight gain. The fibre and, perhaps, the enzyme content will do wonders for your digestive tract, too :)).
04-24-2006, 04:53 PM
I know organic is better but is it always necessary?
NO. If your budget can't afford it, then don't worry about it, just consume fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. When I first started out I bought NOTHING organic and still got great results, compared to how I felt before I went raw. Buying organic for me has been a natural progression, not a pre-requisite.
My health issues which have either healed completely or significantly:
weak immune system (chronic infections, and recurring antibiotic use)
I am 41. And yes, detox can be very difficult sometimes but it's different for everybody. Some people get it intensely, some don't experience it at all, some get it mildly. It's all a part of the journey, and when a specific detox bout is over, you will feel better than ever.
I also encourage you to purchase Alissa's book and DVD. It will inspire you and give you tons of information.
04-24-2006, 05:21 PM
I join the others in welcoming you to this supportive forum ... and, hopefully, to a lifestyle change to living foods.
Yes, eating all raw and living foods can allow your body to heal itself. This includes your mind and emotions, too. Many have done so. Read the testimonials (I think they're still accessible from Alissa's homepage) and her and Dennis' stories for some quick reading.
Also, I urge you to go to www.ibeatobesity.com for one woman's story. There are lots more. I don't have them at my fingertips, but they've been posted here in this forum over the last 18 months or so.
Definitely, the best and easiest way to start is to get Alissa's book and DVD. Her book will teach you not only the underlying reason for going raw, but will give you skills to help you succeed in your first 30 days and then your confidence will carry you past that.
All raw vegetables, fruits, and some soaked nuts and seeds are the way to go. Until you get her book, just stick with those -- there is a thread here titled something like Easy Recipes. That might help, too, though I know someone right now who is in her 2nd week all raw just by doing green juices and smoothies in the morning, crudites during the day, and a big salad at night. Many people can't keep this up since it's such a radical change from their cooked food diets, but it's a way to go until you get the book!
Best of luck -- radiant health does await you!!
p.s. I have a success story myself. You can email me private if you'd like.
04-24-2006, 08:38 PM
Thank you all so much for all the support. I really didn't expect such warm and encouraging words. I will keep you posted on my results!
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