View Full Version : The raw dilemma
05-06-2006, 10:34 AM
I posted this on my blog today after my bif McDonald's snafu yesterday. I am looking for a kind mix of opinions.
I've been thinking a lot today about what being raw means to me. There are many schools of thought as to the best way to go raw. There are a lot of experts in the field are divided. One group believes that the best way to fight the cooked food addiction is to go 100% raw and to never look back. This involves avoiding temptations like parties and restaurants for a couple of months. The other school of thought is that you should go raw in stages. They feel that going 100% at once is too much for some people and it will make them give it up completely when they stray.
It's so hard to decide which stance to take. For me, I am more comfortable with the second. I think that if I try for perfection, I am setting myself up for failure. I know that a lot of it is a justification to eat cooked foods now and again which allows for the addiction to rear it's ugly head, but it is all a learning process. Usually the people who believe you should go 100% all the way are people who have battled this food addiction for a while. They know that they didn't truly beat it until they went 100%. They don't want others to go through the painful experiences. What they are forgetting is that it was a learning curve for them. I visualize like a butterfly breaking from a cocoon. As much as we want to help, if we do help, the butterfly won't be strong enough to fly. I do know that 100% raw is the ultimate goal. I also know that this is what my body craves. Right now, everytime I choose to eat cooked foods, I am getting my wings stronger. I recognize that everytime I eat cooked foods, it allows the cravings back in, but I also realize every time that the food doesn't taste as good and I don't like what it does to my body. For me at least, I need this transition time.
05-06-2006, 11:02 AM
I hear ya! I tried for perfection on my last raw food journey and I did well for 8 months, but I fell down one time and I couldn't get back up. This time around I am not going to set myself up like that. I am not going to focus on percents. I am trying to eat all raw Monday through Friday (allowing myself the occasional exception) and On the weekend allowing myself 1 or 2 cooked portions along with my raw meals
05-06-2006, 01:18 PM
There is a difference between transitioning with a plan of getting to 100% and just outright justification for eating cooked whenever. I'm not saying you should be 100%; that is a very personal choice.
Actually I hate percentages because then everyone has a different idea if the use of spices or suppliments etc takes 1% away. Good Grief! It can be so confusing for people starting out and even people who have been doing it for a long time only to find out that a single grain of something they add to their smoothie once a week is technically heated to 119 degrees then they worry the raw police will be at their door demanding their raw title back. :eek:
I say, eat as much raw as you can from the start of your day. If you are transitioning to 100% then come up with a plan of how you will remove the last bits of cooked from your diet. If you are just saying that you dont want to be 100% because you keep eating cooked; thats a different issue. If your goal is to be 100% then just be it and don't beat yourself up when you find that you can't beat the craving that one time. Make plans for how you will avoid or beat that temptation in the future.
Personally, if I'm not "100%," I backslide into a vat of cooked nonsense justification and last supper syndrome (I'll just eat my favorite cooked food until sunday and start 100% raw again monday). I look at every bite as a raw start sorta like looking at every day as a new day.
Good luck sorting it out. Love your life and your live food.
05-06-2006, 01:34 PM
LOL... the raw police!
I have to agree with you... transistioning is a very plausible way for a great many people. I think it is all about what your goals are and how you are going to get there. Afterall, you wouldn't just go out and run a marathon if you had never run one before?! You would have to train, work up to it... and sometimes accept slip ups... an injury, an illness, just too tired to train that day...
I want to be 100% raw for life. Every day I become closer to that. As Dragggon says, Life is a journey. I would say enjoy it as it comes and as has been said above, correct when you are off track of your goal, but dont beat yourself up. Just accept it as a learning experience. Then, be one of those wonderful people who teaches their own example and have patience with those that want/need to transistion slowly as well.
05-06-2006, 01:57 PM
I've gone raw so many different ways, and all I can say is do what works for you.
there are people out there who eat 50% raw and are happy with that, they can maintain that and they are thin and fairly healthy and happy. GREAT!!!
There are people like me who are 100% raw and are happy with that, they can maintain that and they are losing weight, or staying thin, and happy and healthy with that.
I know this about myself, I can justify anything, I'm a Pisces with a Virgo rising so I can make anything sound good to anyone pretty much LOL
and with that said, I have justified my eating just a bit cooked to not be too radical, to transition, to allow planned cheats, whatever, and FOR ME, it doesn't work, because there is always another planned cheat or day that must be cooked or birthday party, or reunion, or anniversary, or granddaughter's birthday, or day before the party that I must taste the food I'm making, or the day after the party, where I don't want the food to go to waste, or the day I wash my hair, LOL, or whatever excuse I can come up with.
I went vegetarian 11 years ago, and never wanted meat again, it was an "aha" in my mind and that was easy, I can honestly say that If I was starving to death and someone gave me a meat product, that I couldn't and wouldn't eat it.
But that is me, and that is about meat, it is an ethical thing with me.
So, that was easy, but cooked vegan food isn't so easy, some people say you can have it steamed, or slightly broiled, as the enzymes only START to break down, so it's no big deal, some people say you can have a teaspoon of dijon, (I can't do this) but many people CAN eat just a bit of cooked.
Well, when I eat any cooked, even one canned olive, I have cravings.
Now that is ME, and that is RIGHT NOW, it may change and I can eat whatever I want later, but right now, I MUST stay 100% raw and keep on keepin on, as I've tried it every other way, and the cooked food just sneeks back into my life.
So, if it works for you, I say great, do what works, if it doesn't I say, then do it Alissa's way, go 100% raw for 30 days just to see how you actually feel afterwards, then make your decision.
good luck in all of your choices.
05-06-2006, 04:17 PM
I don't look at it like by being 100% raw as I am trying to be perfect. I look at it as...a little cooked and I'm a goner. :p
I tried and tried to be raw throughout the week and weekend eat with the fam...it just didn't work for me. Like RP said, we are all different...and for me a little bit of cooked was the kiss of death to my raw lifestyle. I would crave things...and think ok...I'll start tomorrow.
If you truly want to be high raw...than that is great. You will see many benefits to adding all the good healthy foods to your regular diet.
However, if you want to be 100 % raw you should keep trying. Go as long as you can eating 100% and let your body get use to how the food tastes and feels. Then when you have cooked food...listen to your body. Does it really taste as good as you remember it? Do you feel as good after eating the cooked? After just eating high raw for two months...I couldn't go back. My body told me to keep going more raw...based on what tasted good and how I felt eating it.
Be encouraged! If you want to live high raw...then make this choice for you, so you don't feel like you are constantly failing yourself. But know that when you are transitioning...there is a difference. When you are moving towards 100 % raw and slip...you learn something. ;) And that just makes you eat better. (((HUGS)))
05-06-2006, 06:21 PM
Thanks everyone. I think that the big issue for me is that I really want to be 100% raw but my head keeps saying things like what about social events and well once in a while won't hurt? Also, the justification comes that I've always been a meat and fat eater and here I am raw vegan overnight. I really do agree that the bite of cooked food makes it harder to stay raw. It is truly an addiction. My body really does feel better but my mind is rebelling. I have a lot of stress going on right now so I know that my eating is more emotional. My mother-in-law just had a double mastectomy after surgery for a benign brain tumor last year. My mother is coming to visit this week for the first time in three years and the first time since acknowledging I was abused as a child but letting me know that it is all really about her and she doesn't care. My oldest daughter is making her First Communion even though I am not Catholic anymore (I changed to a liberal religion a few years ago) but my husband is. I'm really not trying to justify my eating but trying to be kind to myself when I do slip. I plan to maintain eating as much raw as I can for now (which should be about 90%) and trying to go 100% when I can cope a little better.
I definitely believe that we are all unique and have to do what works for our own mind/body/lifestyle. The more reading you do (and I'm a huge reader!) the more confused you can get with all the "shoulds" and "should nots". For me, I eat raw for two reasons: to improve my health (including weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, nutrients, etc) and to rid myself of eating disorders. If eating raw does not work for me in any of those areas, then I adjust.
Right now I eat hummus that is not raw because it's easier and cheaper for me (i've made raw hummus before). I have also eaten non-raw milk cheese a few times because I like getting some of my protein from cheese but I can't always find or afford the raw milk kind. I also eat hemp bread for the protein- that's not raw, although it's made from sprouted whole grains. As for % raw, I wouldn't even know how to caculate it.
As long as I'm healthy and not bingeing or suffering in any way, I'm know I'm doing what's right for me, even if the raw person next to me must do it differently. :)
05-06-2006, 07:08 PM
I can understand what you mean.... It's kind of like smoking...
Some people say to gradually cut back until you don't smoke anymore.
Some say to quit "cold turkey"
I think it depends on the individual. But the individual needs to make sure they are doing the gradual process, because they TRUELY feel it will help them get to their goal in the end. If the gradual process is used as an excuse to stay addicted... then they may never quit.
One has to really take a good hard honest look at themself and find the best way for them. But if they realize it might not be working... then they should be open to the other approach. Sometimes you can acheive things that you thought you couldn't.
I personally have to take the "cold turkey approach". For Raw or anything else. I wiped my place clean of any SAD foods completely. That way when I'm tempted.. I have no choice but to have RAW. And when I get the urge to order something RAW.. I'm usally not patient enough to wait. (for example.. a pizza) I say.. "hmmm.. I could order a pizza. Then I have to wait 45 minutes. Oh shoot.. I'll just go whip something new up from my RAW recipe books." I usually have something tasty whipped up in less than ten minutes and I'm happy with myself afterwards.
My recent problem with RAW.. was when I went out of town unexpectantly. That threw me off.. and I ate SAD. But I'm home.. and back on RAW 100%.. and couldn't be happier.
And that's just a little of my experience :)
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