I'm new and have a concern....
I've read and studied nutrition/health as a hobby for many years now.
I am at the place where I feel that beginning the raw path is the way that I should go to improve my health and age successfully. I'm not concerned about vitamins or protein, mildly concerned about calcium, and planning to supplement with B12.
The thing I worry about most about Raw is that people can (and do!) harm their body by not eating enough, eating too much of one thing and not enough of another, etc. and with raw it seems that all the body's potentially serious cries of warning could easily be dismissed as "detox." I worry that the word "detox" is a sometimes overused word to excuse a harmful diet.
Honestly, I've seen some frightening blogs and journals by raw foodists that appear to constantly take in far less food (calories/energy) than the human body needs just to function at its most basic level. All bodies, whether they are raw or cooked eaters, need a certain daily caloric intake or they inevitably take the long, slow road to starvation and death.
How are you certain it's "Detox" and not "I'm screwing up my body and slowly killing myself!"
Bumping.....hoping someone will answer......
I'm not a doctor, and I have no medical training, but I do have a few thoughts on this. They're fast ones..... basically- if you were starving yourself, wouldn't your symptoms last longer?...and your body would be on a constant downward spiral, all be it a slow one. I'm on day 40 of FINALLY being 100% raw, and my detox symptoms lasted only two days. -as far as that goes, we're all different & I feel lucky that it was so short. My proof that I'm healthy is in the way I feel. Even people who weigh 300 pounds can be VERY malnourished- in fact, it's very common due to over consumption of a certain type of food, and not enough veggies, fruits, and grains. Everyone is different..... the proof is in the way you feel. I for one have more energy than ever (and with a 3 year old running around my feet all day, I think that says something!), my skin is glowing and clear for the first time in my life, and I wake up happy! I wouldn't worry so much about what other people are doing on this diet... you need to do it the way that's best for you. :)
"All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I've read, probably on thihs board, that eventually the body requires less food and calories since you're getting all the nutrition you need. I think the RDA standards don't apply to raw food the same as they do to cooked. As long as the person is consuming a variety of foods and proper calories I think there shouldn't be a problem.
~Dream For Life~
Incurable means curable within.
Welcome and congrats on your choice to take the raw path.
With all due respect, may I ask at what point was it in our existence as humans that it was discovered we have to have "x" amount of this or that?
I keep hearing people say that you have to eat a certain amount of calories daily (or you have to have this much of this nutrient or that mineral), but unless a person has a pre-existing eating disorder such as bulemia or anorexia, how can one force themselves to eat more than what their body wants in any given day or time period?
I don't concern myself with that...if I get hungry, I eat...if I'm not hungry, I don't eat (and trust me when I say I'm not one of the "emaciated-looking" raw fooders!) but isn't that the way every other species on the planet does it...eat their biologically appropriate foods when they are hungry and when they are not hungry or when they are sick, they simply do not eat?
I don't sit down to big meals, but I eat many small meals throughout the day as that's what works for me (presently, anyway).
When I was eating cooked food, I didn't worry about caloric intake then either. I was dying a slow death anyway by merely eating all the cooked (excuse my expression) "crap" that I was eating.
I think, too, that when you read the journals of others that you have to keep in mind that while it may look like this:
- a green smoothie
- a salad
- another green smoothie
It may REALLY go something like this:
- 32 oz. of green smoothie made with 3 bananas, 2 apples, a handful of berries, half a bunch of kale and water
- a banana and then another one an hour later
- a HUGE salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sprouts, radishes and creamy cashew dressing
- 1 lb. of grapes
- another 32 oz. of green smoothie (like the one earlier)
Sometimes people also forget all that they ate during the course of the day and just jot down what they can remember (or, if they're like me, they don't document it all as to not appear to be a greedy pig! ;) )
As for the "signs of warning" being dismissed as detox...in the cooked food eating world, what would those same signs of warning (due to not enough calories being taken in) be dismissed as? More than likely as some kind of disease for which they will prescribe something.
Perhaps "some" (but certainly not most) raw fooders will get stuck in eating too much of one thing and not enough of another...but for the most part, I'd feel safe saying that MOST of them (us) eat a nice variety of foods and even change it up and often times, the body actually leads the way for the changes. For example, I LOVE cashews! For a while, I was consuming a LOT of cashews daily (along with other things, of course). Then one day, I didn't want them anymore. I took a long hiatus from eating them and I think during that time I consumed a LOT of green smoothies with lots of greens in them. Then, one day, I was drinking a green smoothie and it just wasn't appetizing to me. I then went for a while not wanting green smoothies, but then I started craving salads. Then, my salad phase was gone and the green smoothies kicked back in and eventually, I found myself wanting cashews again...see what I'm saying?
So, my body won't allow me to get "stuck in a rut" of eating the same things over and over. Sometimes I want the prepared raw meals and then I'll not even want to THINK of making that stuff, but prefer to eat fresher...then after a while, I'll find myself in the kitchen whipping up all kinds of recipes. My desires for certain foods changes and I believe it's based on my body's needs.
Most can probably attest to similar situations.
I've read that, too, Dreamrawlz, but it doesn't make sense for your body to ever need "less" calories than what it takes to sustain life. If someone drops below about 900 calories a day, technically they are starving to death because the body's organs will not have enough fuel to function, no matter how many nutrients they are getting.
A calorie is nothing more than a unit of usable energy, like gasoline is to a car, and each body needs a certain amount of them just to keep the life process going. All foods have calories and the nutrient density varies widely (kale vs. deep fried mushrooms) and that is where raw packs in the nutrients and supports health. But you still need a certain number of calories just to biologically stay alive.
I want to go raw so that my body will be the healthiest it can possibly be, and if people are consistently undereating, it will ultimately be disastrous for them, and they'll unknowingly perpetuate the stereotype that raw's adherants are strange people who are starving themselves to death. I'm concerned because I haven't read many raw authorities who address the fact that they and/or their devotees may not be eating enough calories to benefit them long-term.
Also, starvation can often produce feelings of well-being and euphoria similar to the natural high that eating healthfully will provide. It's a slippery slope, and I feel that these joyful feelings, as well as the detox vs. poor health symptoms, may sometimes be misinterpreted.
I'm not playing devil's advocate or being argumentative, because I know that raw is completely a no-brainer for health when done right. I'm sincerely seeking clarity on this subject because I want to be wise to what is happening with my body and make certain that I'm interpreting things correctly. Also, this issue has been the main stumbling block in my going raw, and I need support.
Well, if making sure you take in enough calories daily is your biggest concern, there are some raw fooders who do very well with using things such as www.fitday.com and similar food intake trackers to keep track and make sure they're getting a certain amount of calories, etc.
So, that will probably be a viable solution for you as well if it is a concern of yours and you'll put your own mind at ease by doing what works for YOU...which is to monitor your caloric intake and make sure you're eating enough calories (and anything else you might feel you want to keep track of)...that way, when your body starts giving off signs, you'll KNOW it's detox! ;)
My above post was being typed as you posted yours, so this is my actual reply to you....
I appreciate your thoughtful answer, and you make alot of sense. I am not defending cooked food at all, and illness symptoms in SADers is (in my opinion) nearly always a body suffering for lack of nutritional care, and is rarely in need of medication (unless it is an rx for daily kale, oranges, and almonds.)
I may be getting a little nosy into other's business, but since I'm new, I'm going to have to answer many questions about this path to everyone I know, and I want to make sure that I have solid answers that won't cause eye-rolling and dismissal. The more I know, the better ambassador for Raw I can be. I have definitely considered the amount factor not being posted, but I've also seen intakes posted quite often that read something like (2 juiced apricots, 5 grapes, 2 celery sticks, 10 almonds - oh my God, I couldn't control myself with the almonds!)
A healthy body will tell you what to eat, how much, and when. It is beautiful! But disordered eating can send all sorts of screwed up signals. It's very insiduous and frightening, especially when it can be easily justified as detox or euphoria.
Thanks so very much for your help.
And, yes, fitday looks awesome and I can't wait to start using it to make sure that all is going well, at least until I can get the hang of things and learn my body better. I'm currently out of touch with my physical self from years of eating for pleasure instead of nourishment. I look very foreward to taking care of it properly!
Thanks again for your help.
You're welcome and I'm glad you didn't take my post as too harsh or anything as I wasn't trying to be!
I understand your concerns and I also understand that much of it comes from your studies over the years. I'm not sure if you're raw yet or not, but just go for the gusto for 30 days...carefree of calorie-counting, etc. and then from there, make adjustments as you see fit and keep track of things, etc.
But just allow yourself and your mind to be free from the nutritional rules for just one month and then from that point on, do raw the way you see fit to do it!
Do you have Alissa's book? If not, get a copy! You're gonna do fine with this...I just know it! :)
I just got Alissa's book and I love it!
I am just beginning raw, having maintained raw except for dinner for the last few days. My breakfast, snacks and lunches so far have made me feel way better, cleaner, healthier than my dinners, which have consisted of the most 'healthy' cooked foods so the comparison could be made properly.
This experiment has prompted me to believe it would indeed be helpful to go "all the way." I'm just weird about my need to flip the coin over and analyze all 10 sides before I change anything in my life.
Your suggestion for a carefree 30 days is tempting and daring.
The opposite of my normal analytical obsessiveness.
A few things I wanted to add to the discussion.
I am not advocating it, but I believe that restricting food intake is something that has been proven in many studies to increase longevity in all species of animal.
I also think that a person eating a wide variety of fruits, veggies and nuts who is eating less than a typical daily calorie intake will probably do all right for themselves. Especially if they happen to be a bit overweight to begin with. 900 calories a day isn't the same if you are 30lbs underweight compared with 60lbs overweight. That is why the body stores fat, to provide energy in times of famine. Not that I have personally gone anywhere near a 900 calorie a day diet!
I can see that this type of diet could be appealing to someone with an eating disorder, but only if you actually restrict the amounts of food that you eat. I eat when I am hungry and it has been easy to stay raw and I feel satisfied. I expect that I eat less calories than I did before (not sure as I have never counted them), but that is because this food actually nourishes my body whereas the food I ate before didn't.
I agree that people posting their food intake could easily be deceiving. My breakfast smoothie typically has 6 strawberries, 20-30 blueberries, 1-2 bananas, 1 pear, 1 orange, a handfull of leafy vegetables, some fresh corriander, a piece of fennel, some Udo's oil, some maca, some spirulina, 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed, some bee pollen and a bit of anything else that I have on hand which catches my fancy.
Finally, are you actually concerned for yourself about developing an eating disorder or some form of malnourishment? Or is this just a general discussion because you do not like how some people seem to be following a RAW lifestyle? If you are worried about being malnourished then go to a nutritionist who can test you for deficiencies and then compare the results as time goes by.
There are many ways to be RAW, but if you try it for awhile you will find the way that works for you. You will learn new information as you are ready for it. 'When the student is ready the teacher appears.' My best advice for you is to approach the RAW lifestyle with a spirit of fun. Enjoy learning new things, trying new foods and enjoying foods that you may not have had for a long time. Follow Alissa's advice to 'Just eat raw'.