Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Journey (Evolution)

As I look back over my journey of being raw I see so many changes.

My journey started on May 7, 2007 when I went on an 8 day juice fast followed by 80-100% raw for the next several months. By that summer I had even quit drinking alcohol and was nearly 100% every day. The 2007 holidays were a crazy time for me. All the holidays were at my house yet I fixed both the standard holiday fare and my raw without a complaint. I specifically remember those Thanksgiving "mashed potatoes" made from cauliflower (YUK!!!) and the mushroom gravy made mostly with nama shoya. By Christmas I realized holidays would never be the same for me so I made myself a raw lasagna instead and was very happy with the results. By winter 2007 I'd lost most of my weight (75 lbs) and had found all the high fat raw recipes that reminded me of SAD food tastes. The beginning of 2008 until that summer was a whirlwind of making costly and difficult raw recipes, dehydrating and sprouting. I liked what I was eating and was, at that time, still enjoying the time fixing those meals for myself in addition to cooking for my family. We sold our ranch and moved to Texas the summer of 2008. There was a month that we lived with my parents that, at the time, seemed so difficult to stay raw. My parents house was full of so many foods that I had quit buying for the family and items I knew better than to keep in one of my cabinets for fear I'd cave and eat it myself. What I didn't realize was that one month with my parents was only an introduction in the difficulties I would face in Texas. The first few months here we lived in hotels because our house wasn't finished. I drank a lot of raw cacao smoothies and ate a lot of plain salads. We moved into our house but for 11 weeks we didn't have electric so storing raw foods was nearly impossible. We had a generator and ran it for several hours a few times a day but fresh foods didn't keep for very long in the oppressive heat of that house. We ate out a lot at that time because of the difficulties of cooking at the house. By that time I was so very tired of salads that I started eating a little cooked vegan. Then cheese on my salads. Then SAD salad dressings. Then Southern desserts. Then bread. By the time our house had electric my whole way of eating had changed. Around the same time I started working full time with a 45 minute commute. When I went raw I was working out of the house so if I was hungry I had my blender, juicer and a fridge full of fruits and veggies. As I look back I realize how much easier it was for me to BE raw as a stay at home then while working. Working has definitely been difficult as far as being a raw foodist. I'm lucky we have a small fridge to keep things in but everything else is hard. We have a small little grocery store here on campus and it's filled with everything SAD including pre-made bakery items not to mention candy and chocolate bars. It's pretty close to food Hell for me. Another thing I didn't realize while living in Nebraska was that our small towns lack of decent restaurants was actually beneficial to me. The few restaurants in town really only served plain white lettuce salads so we got used to not eating out. Once we moved here, was forced to eat out because of our house situation and then got used to eating out several times a week, well, it totally changed the way I ate. Salad? Sure but it has this, and this and this on it. I used to carry raw dressings with me but after a few days of trying to carry them in this East Texas summer heat I realized I might kill myself with my own dressing if I wasn't careful. And, as you all know, eating plain lettuce salads over and over again does get a little boring. This past year I've enjoyed being in Texas. I've enjoyed the weather, the people and the opportunities. But what it's done to myself as a raw foodist is, to me, a sad thing. Pulling myself up and out of my SAD slump has been a roller coaster of emotions and difficulties. It's been hard on my body too. I've gained 20 pounds, taken myself on numerous sugar and bread benders and reactivated my rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

I see, now, how my previous beliefs that "one little bite won't hurt me" couldn't have been more wrong. For me being a raw foodist isn't a luxury, isn't because I want to be skinny, beautiful young or even just different than everyone else - but for my health (though I DO love those side effects ;) For me being raw is how I save myself from a life of joint and muscle pain. My choice is simple: be a raw foodist-100% or eventually end up in a wheel chair, sad, fat and in horrible pain.

My blog has always been about my evolution as a person or as this post title says "The Journey". Lately I've been angry with myself for the detour I've taken. Now I see that I needed that detour to show me why I need to STAY raw. It's obvious why I went raw but staying raw is just as important. I can't let "just one little bite" literally ruin my life.