Acceptance and Love on the Raw Food Journey
When you're trying to make positive changes in your life, the last thing you need is criticism. The other day, someone in the raw food community asked me, "Are you 100% raw?" When I responded that I wasn't, she told me that unless I was 100% raw, she wasn't interested in what I have to say. That kind of response always hurts.
No, I'm not 100% raw. On a good day, my diet is about 80% raw, living foods. On another day, it's probably about 30% raw. I eat what my body tells me. The day before a blizzard if I'm craving warming foods, I'll eat about half my day's food as raw foods and indulge in something hot and vegetarian, like a nice lentil and rice curry.
Before you go emailing Rick and Katy Joy and demanding a 100% raw person take over my contributions to the site, let me explain. That's where I am today.
I look back over my eating habits and I'm amazed at the progress I have made. Ten years ago, I lived on coffee fumes, donuts and pastries, luncheon meats and frozen entrees, and dinners of heavy, greasy foods. If I'd have eaten a raw and living food my colon would probably have gone into shock.
After many years of stops and starts, commercial diets and funny meal plans, I've learned that to boost my energy, get a good night's sleep, and feel my best, I need raw and living foods! Eating mostly raw and living foods is my way of telling myself, "I love you" every day.
But in order to keep loving myself through a healthy diet, I also have to respect my body's needs. I don't feel well eating 100% raw. I do sometimes need a boost of protein, whether it's a cooked egg (thankfully, a neighbor raises chickens as pets, so I get free range, totally cruelty free eggs!) or some other cruelty free source of protein. For me, showing love means I demonstrate my love for animals by eating without harm and by loving my body enough to give it what it needs to feel its best.
I'm learning and growing all the time. I'm constantly reading website such as RawPeople to learn more about this way of living. I learn from you, our community, by your comments and feedback and your own sharing about your journey through your blogs, posts and comments. I read books and I try new things every day.
I used to be a very perfectionist person, a black and white, all or nothing thinker.. Because I was always seeking a perfect grade, I grew very tired of my favorite subjects in school. Because I thought I had to look perfect all the time, I spent way too much money on clothes and items to enhance my appearance.
The trouble with all of this is that perfection is an illusion. My sister, who enjoys drawing and painting as a hobby, once told me with a sense of awe and wonder that there's no such thing as a straight line in nature. Nature herself never creates a perfectly flat rock, a perfectly straight twig or branch. There's no such thing as perfection in the natural world, so how can we think we ourselves can create a perfect anything?
While it's wonderful if you can eat 100% raw, it's really important to enjoy where you are today – right now – on your journey. Celebrate your successes. Don't berate yourself for not eating "perfectly raw." If you can, that's wonderful – but if you can't, don't waste a single drop of energy worrying about it. The fact that you're eating raw and living foods and have grown in awareness of how important a healing, plant-based diet is speaks volumes.
Each day brings new challenges and triumphs. Whether it's the temptations of baked goods at a company meeting or just a craving for something you've chosen not to eat any longer, striving for the ultimate and elusive perfect 100% raw diet can bring about stress and tension.
If you're feeling sad and down because you're not "100% raw" or "eating perfectly raw", it's time to refocus. Focus on loving yourself, wherever you are today on your raw food journey. Celebrate the positives. Look in the mirror and tell your reflection you love her. Remain thankful for the foods you've eaten today and the steps you've taken so far to embrace this healthy, healing lifestyle.
Perfect? No. Loving? Yes! This February, when all the advertising world is agog with ads for flowers and gifts for Valentine's Day, give yourself the ultimate gift – the gift of loving acceptance, one of the brightest gifts of the raw and living foods lifestyle.
These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.
Written by: Jeanne Grunert
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