View Full Version : Hard times--how to stay raw without comfort foods?
02-08-2005, 07:52 PM
Hi folks. Those who read my journal yesterday know that I've been dealing a mentally ill relative in crisis. My journal entries have more info on how this has been affecting me and my family. It has been beyond stressful and, after three months 100% raw, I went on a cooked food "bender" the last two days and feel horrible in every way. I feel cursed in a way (I know it's irrational) because two years ago I went all-raw and then broke down at the three-month mark and returned to cooked.
Is there something about three months? My fibro came back worse than ever at that time. And I've noticed that my healing is much slower this time. I don't know why. My weight loss is stalled at 18-21 lbs. lost after three months (most of it was lost in the first month and not much since) and many symptoms persist even though I've been really faithful (until now).
Success breeds success and I've begun to feel so discouraged and sorry for myself, especially as I read other people's reports of total transformations after 30 days.
Here's the question: How can I stay raw when stressful situations arise and how can I keep my hope up when I'm feeling like raw isn't "working" lately? I do still believe it can help me. I want to be raw for life. I want to be WELL! In my journal entry tonight I confess to not liking many raw food recipes...finding no comfort foods, etc. I'd truly appreciate help and advice friends. I feel so down tonight and need to get a handle on this and turn it right around starting NOW! I can't stop life from handing me stressful times now and then but how can I cope a la raw? :confused: :(
Juan, Judy & Alex
02-08-2005, 08:12 PM
We are all here for you through this crisis. Like to recommend you start slowly by setting a goal of eating at least 50% raw then progressing. As impossible as this may sound to you right now, to get to your plateau may take weeks, months or even years depending on your motivation. Whatever the time, it doesn't matter - just do it. As for recipes, we took the foods we enjoyed and through lots of trials & errors experimented making them raw a big thanx to the internet searches, books and this site :)
For stress relief we enjoy the fresh air through daily walks eases the mind.
Take care and remember we're all here.
02-08-2005, 08:26 PM
Thanks so much J, J and A. I feel supported and I'm grateful. Helps a great deal. About going to 50% raw...Well, I've been 100% for over three months so I think I'd feel defeated somehow to slip back half way now. I'd probably feel quite ill too, since I can see how fast I react to two days of processed foods. It's instant now, like a drug. I was 75% raw for several months before going 100% (and really being faithful!) on October 27th, 2004, my raw "birth day" ;) Can I ask how long you've been raw? I'll have to go see if you're journaling...I'm curious what you eat day to day. I found a few recipes I like but I've just about had it by now with stuffed pesto mushrooms and raw chili. I've got to find a way to make this work for me. The only time I feel any significant improvement in my fibromyalgia now is when I'm juice fasting. As soon as I start eating, I'm back to kind of BLAH, though not as bad as when eating SAD. Anyway, just meant to say thanks and any other ideas, recipes, thoughts so very welcome.
02-08-2005, 08:37 PM
My heart goes out to you for all you've had to deal with regarding your relative...that had to be very rough for you.
Would it make you feel ill/bad if your cooked choices were vegan wholefoods rather than processed things? I mean, how would it affect you to eat the raw items you DO love (fresh fruits and veggies, smoothies, salads, etc.) and have vegan "comfort foods" around for now?
I know it's hard when you don't care for the recipes and when you're emotional and eating accordingly and nothing raw looks or tastes good during those moments. But it's times like this that you have to lean to your higher power, prayer and meditation for inner peace. Probably easier said than done especially when you're actually going through the situation, huh?
Do you feel like what you've eaten will send you on a downward spiral? Can you just not feel defeated about having eaten what you ate last night and today and just look towards tomorrow as a new day and fresh start and continue on? What about a fast?
I don't know...just trying to help and offer some kind of support.
02-08-2005, 08:46 PM
Last year was a stressful year for me, but it was also the year that I lost the most weight. I realized that eating right was the only thing in my life that I could control, and it was helpful to have something to control. Maybe thinking of it that way would help.
02-08-2005, 08:57 PM
I am sorry that you are suffering with this struggle of family and food. You probably headed for the cooked food out of old habits. Don't give into the powerful hold that the cooked food can sometimes have over us. The tastes are familiar and seem to give us that sense of comfort. Even if it is a false comfort. It's no different than other addictions. Most of us have eaten cooked food for over 40 years and that habit just don't die overnight. It is a daily conscious decision for me to make the right choices and when you are stressed, one less decision was probably what you were looking for. You are not defeated by a long shot. You can still make this work. Don't be too hard on yourself. I know that you can do this! :)
02-08-2005, 09:21 PM
Melissa, i feel for you... i'm fortunate enough not to have any 'dis-eases' or major stresses, so i don't know what i would do in such situations...maybe instead of copying other peoples reciepes, try making something totally new with whatever you want in it...you know, keep it fun...if you're craving bread, make dehydrated bread...if you're craving sweets, eat somedates...and remember it's still better to overeat on healthy fats and grains and sugars then to go back to cooked...so when you're feeling stressed, don't worry about proper food combining and not so much of this or that, and keeping the acid/alkaline balance yada yada yada...just eat whatever you want, whenever you want as long as it's raw...doing that helped me alot...well i hope it helps you...just remember to have fun with it and experiment...i hope you will feel better soon...and your family, too :) lots of love to you
02-08-2005, 09:28 PM
I absolutely empathize with you. I have been in a similar situation to yours (with a very close relative), and I really understand the impulse to drown your sorrows in food.
I strongly suggest you read 12 Steps to Raw Roods: How to End Your Addiction to Cooked food. Also, if you can possibly arrange it, the fellowship of an OA meeting can be lifechanging. (Please don't be insulted by the suggestion. I'm not implying that you overeat -- the program is perfect for those who seek solace in food, and it provides the kind of support that this forum does --though not specifically raw -- but it's real live people who can hug you!)
I've read much of your journal, and I know you're strong enough to stay raw. Just pick yourself up and start again tomorrow. Don't look back and dwell on this relapse. You haven't failed; you've just stumbled. Dang! Guess that means you're human!! :p
Remember, God gives heavier burdens to those who can shoulder them.
You can do this, Melissa. This is a path, a journey, not a destination.
p.s. I respectfully disagree with my delightful raw neighbors to the North while acknowledging that each person has to walk her own path. I agree with Alissa that it's best to go 100% for all the reasons she discusses in her book.
p.p.s. Re: Recipes -- maybe, for a while, don't worry about raw gourmet. Instead, just eat more simply. Maybe, fruit and salads and even veggies eaten out of hand. Nuts eaten the same way. If you have a juicer (I can't remember from your journal if you said you did), then make "soups" which can be warmed and can be comforting.
02-08-2005, 09:41 PM
My heart goes out to you Melissa. I think what would really help is to remember to take it ONE DAY AT A TIME or even if you have to, take HALF A DAY AT A TIME. Don't look at it as having to be raw the rest of your life for right now. look at it as getting thru TODAY being as much raw as best as you can. amethyst rain had a good point too about not worrying about the details either. eat what you want as long as it is raw. try and make those comfort foods a raw dish as close as possible. Pamper yourself a little more. take a hot bath, etc. you'll be okaky ;)
02-09-2005, 05:29 AM
Thank you all so so much!!! I just woke up and saw these messages and feel touched by the care and support. It really helps me face this situation and not let it throw me. My goals and my health are so important to me. I'm "fighting mad" now to not let ANYTHING or ANYONE keep me from taking care of myself. Thanks again for the words of understanding and the suggestions. You are all wonderful! Love, Back to Raw Melissa
02-09-2005, 05:46 AM
Melissa- I also suggest you read 12 Steps to Raw- I am reading it right now- and it is awesome! It really brings things into perspective and it has helped me focus on why I am doing this to begin with-
You are a strong and beautiful person- you can do this :D
02-09-2005, 05:57 AM
Thank you! I feel that hug. Right back at you too! I'm going to order the 12 Steps book right now. I definitely need more perspective on staying raw long term. I'm fired up and DETERMINED this morning...Watch out world!
02-09-2005, 06:10 AM
GOOD for you...that's right, get fightin' mad girlfriend!! :mad:
You CAN do this!
And just for the record, I wasn't trying to condone eating cooked or anything as I'd LIKE to see you all raw and getting healthier. I was just trying to be supportive and sensitive to what you were going through and I realize that not everyone can do 100% all or nothing, all at once. But I'm glad you're gonna fight this thing and go for the gusto! :)
02-09-2005, 08:01 AM
Just don't be too hard on yourself. I'm enjoying raw much more now that I know that I might slip up now and then. Just get right back to it. That's how I look at it.
02-09-2005, 08:07 AM
Thank you Rawkin and Debbie for more great advice. Rawkin' I did take what you said as sensitive and supportive, no worries. I know everyone has to figure out what works for them percentage-wise. At least for now, I'm determined to get right back to 100%, no binges, no cheating, no slipping. I guess that fits my VERY stubborn personality ;)
02-09-2005, 08:35 AM
Three months is quite an accomplishment! There are a lot of good suggestions here, Melissa, and I guess you know yourself well enough to know what will work for you. At another message board, they have a saying, "Progress, not perfection." Or, as someone else put it, you haven't fallen, just stumbled.
02-09-2005, 09:45 AM
Oh Melissa, blessed heart~ you have had an intense and emotional couple of days! That is a lot to deal with, and I dont think you did so badly after all, truly. Love yourself ( so easy to say that to someone else, isnt it?) through this. Really! Pick yourself up and keep moving towards what you want...realizing its about the journey or path, and not the destination.
The saying, you get what you focus on is very true-so please dont focus on the cooked food that comforted you or how you wish you didnt do it...focus on what you want to do next and what you want to become-!
I have the urge to share this with you, in case it brings you comfort or inspiration.
(It's from a song that has comforted me many times)
It's hard for me to stay
Centered in the Spirit all day
I find myself drifting away
On my river full of worries for that day
Then suddenly some little thing
Will remind me that my heart should ever sing
All the time, every moment that I live
To thank you for the love that you give
I want to thank you~For the sun as she shines
I want to thank you~For the flower on the vine
And I thank you for the stones in my path today
Even the ones in the way
Sometimes I see the rocks in the road
And I wonder why we carry such a load
I wonder why we're limited by fear
And why we have to bathe ourselves in tears
Then suddenly I hear Your voice
Telling me that the fear is my choice
And You remind me that the struggle and the strife
Make up much of the learning part of life
I want to thank you~for the chance to give
I want to thank you~for the chance to really live
And I thank you for the stones in my path today
Especially the ones in the way.
Wave of love to you Melissa and many blessings
Sharon in Colorado
02-09-2005, 09:55 AM
It is interesting what you say about the 3 month thing. The longest I've gone is 3 months, and it was when we went to visit my in-law's. I made sure to bring a case of fruit for me, but other relatives were there and ordered me some vegetarian chinese food. I didn't *have* to eat it, but I smelled it, and I went for it. My DH said it wasn't all that great, and had I already been eating cooked I'm sure I'd have though the same thing. But it was like a dam opening up the floodgates or something. I ate it like a pig! Then I had such a hard time getting back. At first it was high raw, then healthy cooked choices, then downright cooked processed bad vegetarian food!
That was 2 years ago on my first raw stint. The first ones are always the best, I got more immediate results and had so much more deterimination!
It is a learning process for me. Now I know that if I'm going to indulge in a cooked meal, I have to realize that it's not going to be so easy to get back to all raw. While I'm not pure raw right now (I'm allowing salad dressings and such during my transition), I am currently staying away from any kind of cooked meal for that very reason.
I know it is hard to do, but you are probably in a way better place healthwise than you were a couple of years ago, yes?
02-09-2005, 12:08 PM
I too absolutely empathize with you and know that emotions are the roller coaster that plaques us. First, give yourself a hug for having them, it is a blessing to be able to feel. I also hope that you are taking some quiet time for yourself - even 15 minutes at a time with deep breathing and invite calmness to yourself
It is there in your soul, and I see you are ready to get back in and have your mind meet your heart, to move forward. So you go girl.
What type of food do you like? Have you not found anything is similar to what you like. I know that you have fasted before, so perhaps you may wish to join us this journey.
I will keep you in my prayers, and offer support as best I can.
02-09-2005, 09:22 PM
I can totally relate. I went back and forth with raw and binging on my favorite cooked vegan foods out of a need to eat emotionally. The problem was that I got extremely sick whenever I ate cooked. Instantly the headaches, back, neck and shoulder pain and weird cold chills would be back. I was desperate. I finally realized that no matter how much I craved my old comfort foods, I simply could not eat them, not even a little bit. They were no longer edible to me. It was hard to accept that. I had to mourn. I got angry at my body for not "letting" me eat like a normal person. Then I made a commitment to just do it. I began to "white knuckle" the cravings and was soon surprised at how quickly they passed. Just like when I quit smoking the super intense cravings only lasted a few minutes. They would pass even more quickly if distracted myself. I would distract myself by getting on my rebounder for a few minutes (rebounding for some reason always makes me happier), getting on the floor and doing some yoga, calling a friend, writing a list of all the horrible physical things that would happen to me if returned to cooked food (headaches, back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, painful bladder, painful breasts, horrible IBS, sores in my mouth, depression) to remind me why it was so important to not eat cooked. I thought of how many days I've wasted in bed, feeling horrible when I could have been spending time with friends, or enjoying the day with my girlfriend. I'd think about how incredibley patient my girlfriend has been the countless times I have been irritable and moody because I didn't fell well, the countless times I couldn't make love or go do something fun with her because I was sick. I just got sick of it. Eating raw is much easier than being that sick. I'm a student and a part time nanny and I simply can't live my life if I am sick. I have things I want to accomplish and things I want to experience and I can't do those things if I am sick. I wrote a list of things that I really do like to eat raw and I was surprised at how long it turned out to be. I don;t make myself eat things I don't like. Smoothies became my comfort food, they are my lifesaver. Frozen banana, coconut milk and raw almond butter smoothies got me through many cravings. Now, I caution you to not eat too many nuts, they defintiley can make me sick if eat too many. Cashews in any quantity make me extremely ill. I didn't respond to your post about wine because I didn;t want to seem judgemental but I really think you should give it up, I know it is incredibley hard to give up so many things, but I really feel it may be retarding your healing. Have you checked out www.dyingtogetwell.com? I can't remember her full name, but the lady's name is Shelly and she had to go on a very low fat raw diet to heal. You should check out her website and consider ordering her book. I know I feel the best when I eat the least fat. Thank goodness one of my favorite smoothies is orange juice, bananas (not frozen) and blueberries. It is so yummy and satisfying I could eat them all day. I recently starting throwing in some green and red lettuce in an effort to get more greens in and was surprsied that I really cant taste the lettuce in it. You might want to consider hypnosis. I could only afford one session, but I do think it helped. I asked the hypnotherapist to help me reprogram my subconscious to think of raw food as nurturing and abundant instead of restrictive and limiting. It was a great session. I explained to the hypnotherapist that I had to eat raw to stay well and he came up with some great material. Find every inspiring raw healing testamonial on the internet and bookmark them and read them daily! Do affirmations. I go to sleep repeating "I love raw food" and wake up repeating "Today will be an awesome raw day". Don't try to go to restaurants. I simply can;t. It's not worth it. See if there are any other raw foodists in your area and connect with them. Keep on trying recipes. You will find some you like. It doesn't have to be that many, only a few will get you through. Seriously try writing the list of things you know that you do like raw. You may be surprised at how many things you come up with. You have a lot of support here. You can do it!!!!! Life is not worth living if you are sick, I can;t even imagine how horrible I would feel today if I hadn't of discovered raw. I would probably be bedridden and suicidal. I have gone from feeling angry and deprived about having to eat raw to feeling incredibley grateful for raw foods. So what, we can't eat food that isn't all that good for anybody anyway? We should be grateful that our bodies decided to let us know in these relatively harmless (although painful) ways that we weren't giving them the proper diet. Don't think for a moment that all those people who are eating cooked are getting away with it. Their bodies may much worse fates than chronic fatigue and fibromylgia to contend with in the future. I wish you the best. You CAN do this. It may be a little harder this time around because you are older, and have been abusing your body longer, but raw will work! Have faith.
02-09-2005, 10:04 PM
Your post really touched me and all the responses here made me teary - boy aren't we all lucky to have such a supportive non judgemental place to share?
I feel for you - I can relate to being hard on myself when I don't stay on a path, or slip somehow -
The lesson seems to be
Loving myself no matter what.
No comparing to others - this is YOUR journey. And I too compare to others that I've not lost a single pound in 30 days. What's up with that? But it doesn't serve me to compare. It goes against me. Like an abuser.
YES I'm reading that 12 step book and it's getting it cemented in me - Love that book.
You said you enjoy juicing. a suggestion would be to juice more - instead of doing a juice fast - just add more juicing to your daily ritual.
a coconut smoothie is my momma when I feel sad - mad or need a comfort food.
But I didn't have the tolerance to actually make one today....so I overate all day long.
I too struggle with emotional eating.
I do feel that RawTruth has some truth in her post about the support in OA. I like how she stated it. I might try it out to see if I can't ease my discomfort in other creative ways other then eating.
Seems like eating cooked foods is creating a distraction for you - because now you have this drama of the slip to deal with instead of the day in day out's of a somewhat boring raw food routine.(?) I don't mean that in a mean way - and I hope it's not taken that way! I know for me I can distract myself from myself by creating chaos in many ways. without realizing it.
Anyhow - I think it comes down to just making a new choice to love yourself no matter what you choose to eat or the consequences you have as a result of eating those foods.
Mucho amor to you!
02-10-2005, 05:51 AM
I want you all to know how grateful I am. Your posts have carried me through a few super-difficult days and helped me get to the other side. I feel hopeful and very determined now. I've been reading your words over and over again, feeling better each time. Not only did you give me great ideas about raw foods, but you gave me quite an infusion of faith in humanity.
A few particulars:
Carmel, the song lyrics brought tears to my eyes. I love the idea of being thankful for the stones in our way. We do grow in strength by climbing those boulders!
Sharon, thank you for reminding me that I certainly AM doing much better than two years agol. Two years ago (after falling off 3 months raw) I had so much numbness, finger cramping and mental "fog" that I had to be worked up for multiple sclerosis (negative). I was so distraught that I would routinely go into public restrooms to cry for a minute and then go on with my mothering and my day. I am NOT that woman any more. Great reminder.
Sweet Lips, thank you for suggesting fasting and for always keeping me (and all of us) in your prayers, as we keep you dear. Fasting has always helped me a lot. My symptoms seem to melt away and I get so happy and hopeful. Today I am starting the Master Cleanse for the first time to see how that goes! It will also give me some food-free time to organize my plan about what to eat.
Audrey, your post was very important to me, thank you! I related to everything you said. I've had that thought many times: This ISN'T living if I'm this sick. Did you know that Dr. Kevorkian's first assisted-suicide patient was a woman with crippling fibromyalgia? When I think of that, I am so angry, sad and so determined to heal completely and turn cartwheels in the back yard, to really LIVE instead of existing. Thanks for reminding me of affirmations. I'm going to start doing that again.
Catherine, thank you for your empathy and for the great idea of a coconut smoothie. Can you believe I've never made one? And I love coconut. Do you just buy a lot of brown coconuts and keep them on hand? Or is there any kind of coconut milk/pulp that is okay to buy in a package? I know anything that sweet and creamy would be major comfort food for me!
I'll close with something I wrote in my journal last night:
"I am so thankful to everyone on this forum who gave me encouragement, care, wishes, advice. All of it helped me. What a gift it is to be able to receive love. The love we receive from "strangers" online is, I believe, a perfect metaphor for our Universe. We are all connected, transcending time and space, and there is a constant abundant supply of love available to us, pouring through us, if we just tap into it. Or more exactly, this love is available to us if we ask for it and open ourselves to it. Our exchanges online probably help us improve the lovingness in our face-to-face relationships, don't you think?"
02-10-2005, 10:24 AM
I'm so glad my post helped. I know how hard this is, believe me. I am amazed at the people who stay raw who don't have the motivation of getting very sick if they don't. I definitely wouldn't be able to do it otherwise. I was a junk food vegan for many years who NEVER ate fresh fruits and veggies, I thought I didn't like them! So I know if I can do it, anyone can. I've never considered myself a person with strong willpower, it's just that I am so sick of being sick. Try keeping a journal and writing down your feelings about all this food stuff. Food is a very emotional thing. People use it in so many ways that have nothing to do with sustenance that it is natural that radically changing your diet will bring up some emotional issues. For me the issue of safety, security and comfort kept coming up. I realized I was getting a false sense of safety and comfort from my favorite cooked foods. I realized I had to find that security and safety in non-food ways. It's not easy work, but it is very rewarding and liberating. I just kept reminding myself that food cannot really make bad feelings go away, it's just a temporary illusion that it will. I remembered that when I was younger and hung out with people who drank and did drugs a lot I couldn't understand the appeal of those activities because the physical recovery time from doing them was so long. My motto was that I don't do anything that has a longer recovery time than the time I had fun doing it. I apply that now to cooked food. I might get 10-30 minutes of temporary pleasure from eating something cooked, but is it really worth a couple (sometimes more!) of days of feeling horrible? Absolutely not. Now, it really is important that you find some really yummy stuff you like, I will start a separate thread about the raw comfort foods that got me through the tough times. My prayers are with you and everyone else struggling with this. WE CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!
02-10-2005, 12:00 PM
So good to hear your post. It made me teary again. I too feel the support of the forum to be divine!
About the coconut smoothies?
I buy young coconuts - they are white on the outside and have a cone shape on the top of them with a tip.
I found this link for you - it shows you how to open them without smashing them on the front porch the way I do it!!!!
I like it straight - just the meat and the milk in the blender. But others don't like it. I bet a banana would be yummy in there too.
ohhhh....gotta go make one right now!
I hope you have a really good day today.
02-10-2005, 12:04 PM
So, what are some of the raw comfort foods that folks like to eat around here? Has anyone found anything that can satisfy those cravings for real?
02-10-2005, 12:10 PM
guacomole and a spoon
hummus and a spoon!
young coconut smoothies(!)
tomatillo avocado salsa on anything! or make a taco with cabbage leaf.
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