Why I Am No Longer A Raw Vegan After 7 Years

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Why I Am No Longer A Raw Vegan After 7 Years

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For those of you that don’t know my story you can read more about it here.

Have you noticed that we all seem to get wrapped up in our own story? I’ve found that over the years my goal is to not attach myself with my story because stories can always be changed.

That being said I’ll touch on it a little bit just to lay some background. I originally started on the raw food diet when I read a book called Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond which espoused a natural hygiene approach to diet and lifestyle. For those not familiar, in a nutshell natural hygiene (also called orthopathy, founded by Herbert Shelton) is simply the idea that…

“NATURAL HYGIENE holds that health is the normal state of all living organisms and that health is maintained through natural, self-initiating, self-healing process. NATURAL HYGIENE maintains that health is the personal responsibility of each individual, and that vibrant health is achieved only by the conscientious application of healthful living practices in all areas of one’s life. (Victoria Bidwell 1991)”

That eventually led me to Jay Kordich the father of Juicing, and that led me to David Wolfe and raw foods which I did from 2003 to 2010. Ahh the glory days of the raw food movement. Everything was so fresh and new. It was then that I gained access to The Best Day Ever and took my knowledge of heatlh and nutrition to a new level.

I think many of you can relate if you have been following the raw food movement for any length of time.

At the beginning of 2009 I stumbled across the work of Weston Price and began following some of that information.

As you can see I was always learning and in search of new and alternative information. Once you get on this path it’s like a never ending rabbit hole that leads you as far as you want to take it.

Looking back around 2005 to 2006 it was interesting that it wasn’t cool NOT be 100% raw. People would ask in the online raw food communities if others were 100% raw or not. That seemed very strange to me as if the other person wanted a label to identify with, rather than a person to identify with.

I think we do that a lot in life, neatly categorize people or situations into nice neat boxes and then slap whatever judgement or label onto that box. Heck this way it’s easier to just deal with the label. We don’t have to mess around with these pesky humans and their emotions arising from all the judgement we’re throwing around. Labeling people also makes us feel better because we have every person figured out and neatly categorized.

It makes our ego feel good.

It’s not just raw foodists that were having these labeling issues, it happens with everybody, even myself. But I will say that I was noticing a lot arguing and bad blood in the raw food world for a little while. Hopefully it’s all settled down now. People would be arguing about being a fruitarian or eating high fat raw foods or not. Looking back I’m glad I never got involved in all that nonsense. There’s so many bigger battles in life.

Why I Started To Change My Diet

I didn’t really feel the need to change how I ate based on the raw food diet not working any more, because I felt great on it. If I have to put a percentage on it, I’d say I’m still about 80% raw vegan. The other 20% happens to include cooked (and raw) animal products. Currently I don’t do any grains, wheat products of any kind or gluten.

The reason for the shift was learning about a lot of fat soluble vitamins that are good for proper bone and teeth mineralization. What I did notice about being 100% raw (a label I don’t like) was that I was getting more candida issues. I started to notice some flaking on my scalp, itchiness and redness under my eyes, some bloating a little tiredness etc.

I was eating lots of sugar and didn’t really know it. Looking back that was probably fine as I was really overhauling and transforming my eating habits. I basically allowed myself to eat anything as long as it was raw. I’ve heard Philip McCluskey mention that this was his approach for a while as well. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, he lost over 200 pounds by switching to a raw vegan diet overnight. Eating anything that was raw had its good points (I completely changed my cravings and eating habits forever) and its bad points (candida).

How Did Our Ancestors Eat & Does It Matter?

I started to think of how man probably ate thousands of years ago. They probably consumed a high percentage of leafy greens (that they could either cultivate or pick wild), some fruit if they could find any, and the occasional wild game that they were able to hunt, kill and eat.

I’ve heard different arguments from both sides stating we’re frugivores, carnivors, omnivors etc. I don’t think anybody really knows what we were designed to eat. Maybe it IS possible to know that, I’m just not sure. Many people argue we don’t produce the enzyme cellulose to properly break down vegetable fiber. I solve that by blending my greens for about 10 seconds in my high speed blender. I seem to digest greens fine even if I don’t blend them up.

The arguement that our ancestors ate a certain way, doesn’t seem to add up. On one level it does but what I don’t understand is….have any of these people done conclusive research about the timing of our ancestors’ diet in relation to a genetic change in cellular metabolism? That is, has their been enough time that has gone by to warrant genetic changes where we are now adapted to completely new foods, foods we weren’t originally designed to eat?

Let’s suppose the earth is 10 million years old and there is a God, which I believe there is. If God designed us to eat only plants, and my ancestors ate primarily meat for the last 500,000 years that only takes into account 1/20th of the total amount of time we’ve been on earth. On top of that the first 19/20ths of time we ate plants. So even though my ancestors ate meat for the last 500,000 years, we might have been designed originally to eat plants.

Or it could be the other way around. My point is I think we can digest meats just fine as well as plants just fine.

Cutting out a major food group for many years is a big deal. Imagine when you’re 70 and you realized that for the past 40 years you ate a diet you just found out was wrong?

The raw vegan diet is extreme. Not in terms of having enzymes, minerals, phyto-nutrients and life force, but it’s extreme in the sense that it excludes animal products. If animal products are not good for us, then by all means exclude them. But I’m learning that animal products not only are not harmful for us, but can be essential in some people for optimum health.

I just don’t want to look back and realize I marginalized major food groups to my detriment. If I am wrong about the meat issue at least I’m only wrong with 20% of my diet. The 80% of my diet includes organic plants, superfoods, herbs, medicinal mushrooms and fermented foods. I doubt I could be wrong about that.

According to the work of Otto Warburg when a cell is deprived of 30% of oxygen, cancer cells can start dividing and proliferating. This is also been studied by John Apsley if you would like more information.

Eating alkaline rich foods like greens, vegetables and fruits in their natural raw state enables the oxygen to be transferred more easily to cells through the cell membranes. Essentially I’m relying on the fact that the 80% raw vegan I do eat, will offset any of the harmful substances in the cooked and raw animal products (if there are any – which I do not believe to be the case).

You Are NOT What You Eat!

Your body and health are a reflection of what you eat, but who you are has nothing at all to do with food or what you eat.

I think the bigger picture with all of this is being flexible, open minded and willing to change if new research and information becomes available. I’m enjoying eating some animal products but I would give them up in a heartbeat if somebody could prove conclusively that they are detrimental to my long term health (yes I’ve read The China Study and don’t agree with all of it).

I think that people like to identify and label themselves as being a “raw foodist” a “vegan” a “vegetarian” “primal diet or paleo diet follower” a “macrobiotic eater” etc. These are just labels that don’t mean anything. The problem is that we identify so strongly with this label and then we think we are these labels, when in fact we are not. We are soul or spirit that has inhabited human corporeal forms for a handful of years until our bodies die and we move on.

Since I’m not any of those labels I’m free to eat whatever I want and feel great about that. Are you? I hope so.

The bigger picture is are we open and able to change? I am because I’m not attached to any dogma or style of eating. If there’s new research that’s brought to the light, then I’d love to take a look at it. In the meantime I’m doing what seems best for my health right now.

Are you a vegan? a raw foodie? a vegetarian? What are you? Who are you?

I hope a lot more than what you eat each day…

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