It is the middle of January in Canada. It’s dark, it’s cold, and it’s hard to keep a positive outlook. All I really want to do is give in to the ‘hibernating bear’ impulse that overcomes me until March. I must report, however, that my “winter blues” have been kept at-bay so far this year and I believe “juicing sunshine” (mango, papaya, pineapple) is helping a great deal.
I find it hard to believe that I’ve been at this blog for over a year already. It has been such an incredible odyssey, restructuring my diet, which then led to reassessing so many other aspects of my life that related to my health and well-being.
It has been four months since my last post and I’m chagrined to admit that I’m very much in the same place as I was when I last wrote. I’ve not YET had the success I had been looking for with integrating focused exercise into my daily routine. I’m not giving up, I’m still working on it. However, I could have written the forthcoming update earlier, but I also blame winter for my lack of motivation to write. Sorry ’bout that, we do the best we can! 🙂
But describing my exercise challenges is not why I am here today. I am here to report on the integration of ‘the raw food lifestyle’ into my existence. Yes, I slip. Yes, I sometimes revert to old habits when it comes to meal preparation. Yes, sometimes I become too tired, sleep too late, run out of the house with no food, and then have to resort to the cafeteria food ‘with a side of fries’. And lately I have discovered a new tendency that I haven’t had before: comfort eating. It usually takes the form of a chocolate bar. I can now find myself eating 2 or 3 a week, where before I could go months without one and not notice. I find this all incredibly interesting and I’ll tell you what I think is happening….
I think my move to primarily raw food and the good it does for my mind, body, and soul, has revealed a whole skein of personal challenges, or long held beliefs that are so well entrenched that I didn’t even recognize that I had them, that I am now unravelling. This is good. Really, really good. I didn’t know that when I made the choice to evolve my diet that I would be healing so much more than my physical body but I’m happy to be going through it. I’ve uncovered so much resistance to the change, a desperate need to retreat to the comfortable, and the more I persist with raw food/juice/smoothies, the better I feel, and the more I feel better, the more fear of feeling so good I experience. It’s whacked! But my brain (whatever part of it that is resisting the change – maybe it’s the 10 year old, maybe it’s the Scorpio, maybe it’s the stubborn mule) tries to find a way to cope with that fear by offering me something that it hopes I’ll just love and give up feeling that unfamiliar “good” for, like a chocolate high. The untangling can be very complex, but the path through the muck is so clear: keep on eating raw food. Eventually feeling so good is going to win my inner arguments and I’ll understand that this change is nothing to fear but something to be wholly embraced.
So all this being said, although I have my ‘I can’t believe I just ate that” moments, the integration of raw food into my daily diet has become so much simpler. And I look forward to it: sitting down and eating something so incredibly healthy fills me with so much joy, and where it used to taste a little blah at times, now a salad or a fresh juice or a smoothie tastes so luscious. It is completely fulfilling. I guess that scares part of me, being completely fulfilled. Surely I’m not alone with having to deal with these contradictions that swirl within when making changes?
I haven’t any photos of wild or complex recipes this time around because, truth be told, I am enjoying the simple form of all raw foods so much these days that I’ve had no impulse to try and dress it all up. I’m just as happy now with a bag of raw nut mixes, a cucumber/celery/tomato salad with herbs and olive oil, ‘as is’ fruits, and fresh juices, raw crackers, seared tuna, spiralized sweet potato, marinated mushrooms, (and the list goes on and on and on) as I would be with a raw tartelette, or a complex raw lasagna. Although those recipes are wonderful for a change of pace, they aren’t essential to loving the presence of raw food in your everyday life.
I will leave you with a recommendation though. I bought “Raw, Quick, and Delicious” by Douglas McNish (available on Amazon – I’d hyperlink it for you but for some reason WordPress says it’s a no-no to link to some commercial sites and I don’t want to get in trouble 🙂 ) and am mad for it. His juicing recipes and salads are especially easy, balanced, and so incredibly flavourful. I highly recommend this book for novices and experienced raw foodists alike as it’s good for changing up a few old standbys with some new ingredients that make them new again. His mixing of spices and herbs are unique and quite lovely.
After living with a Hamilton Beach electric juicer and a manual juicer for wheatgrass and greens, I finally got rid of both and invested in an Omega. It’s an electric auger style which is great for everything – fruits, greens, veggies – and doesn’t oxygenate the living daylights out of everything by whizzing it through a mesh screen, so the juice retains its nutritional value longer. I can now ready my veggies and greens the night before, cut the fruit in the morning, as well as juice in the morning, and then take it to work for lunch time. This pleases me greatly and I’ve found my propensity to become a zombie at 2:00pm has been eliminated.
So there we are then. If you’ve been following this blog to learn about the raw food lifestyle and adoption thereof, I hope you are seeing that it can be easy, is a bit of an evolution and not an ‘overnight’ transition, and if you are mindful of all the changes it creates within you, you will encounter other opportunities to heal and grow. Me, I’m back at another ‘kick of the cat’ (which I would never REALLY do, it’s just a saying…) tomorrow morning: adding the physical fitness component that is sorely lacking from my “whole life” experience. I deserve it, damnit! I must succeed! Hopefully I’ll have some good news for you next time I post. Until then, I wish you health and joy…