Know Any Literary Animal Lovers?

Hi there PureJeevan readers! We wanted to let you know that Jim's new novel CHROO is available on Amazon. It's a crazy adventure involving a billionaire heiress, her Chihuahua BFF ("Chroo") and a host of human and animal characters. Find out more on Amazon! Here are some links:

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I receive many questions from our readers, and I am very happy to respond. I truly love helping others, but I don't do it just for them.When I was younger, many times I thought I was performing selfless acts of kindness whenever I'd help others. However, now I realize I am experiencing pleasure by helping others. I find it very rewarding, as though I am fulfilling my purpose in life.

Do you know what your life's purpose is? Do you believe there is such a thing These aren't rhetorical questions; I'm really interested in hearing your response. Well, I've known my life's purpose (actually, I have more than one) from a very young age, but it wasn't until recently that I began living it more fully. My purpose in life is to love others---to connect with others through an immensely deep and genuine love.One way I've found for spreading my love and realizing my purpose is by helping others.

When I answer questions for our readers, I speak from my heart. I think it's important to realize, however, that the answers we receive from others are *their* answers to similar questions. Maybe their answers will work for us, but maybe they won't.I've stressed this many times, but it never hurts to repeat it: Listen to others, hear what they have to share, but mostly listen to your own inner voice. We all have the answers deep within ourselves, even if we can't always hear them very well.

I noticed in my friend Melissa's journal that she was responding to questions within her blog posts.I thought it was clever to do that, since sometimes others may find the questions and answers helpful for themselves, as well. So, from now on if questions aren't too personal, and my answers seem like something that might help others, I will try to share them here for the rest of our readers. ;-)

The reader message that I'm answering today will require two blog responses, since this first part is quite lengthy.Even though my response isn't going to seem brief, I actually didn't go into a lot of detail about the things I was addressing!?

Violet says:

"I was impressed with your transformation and sharing of info. I, too, am vegan, but very overweight, and nothing has helped me get fitter. So, I am trying to go raw.It has been so very hard, and I am practicing a compassionate approach to this transformation as best as I can. Some days are easier than others. Life is like that.

As foods and emotional ties to them is such an amazingly strong link for me, the days I am feeling much emotion, are days I want to eat cooked foods. Sometimes I give in for 'comfort.'" ?

Dear Violet,

I'm happy you found our site! Congratulations on starting your journey into raw foods and vibrant health!

It's wonderful reading that you are practicing a compassionate approach to the healthful changes you are making for yourself.*BIG HUGS* to you for being kind to yourself. Making changes isn't always easy, especially where diet is concerned. You are very brave to take your health into your own hands and I send lots of supportive love to you during your health journey. You can do it!

Emotional eating is something just about every human being experiences in one degree, or another. I haven't had emotional eating issues where I found myself faced with eating disorders, but this is not uncommon for many people. When it gets overwhelming---when our emotions are controlling our eating habits in a very unhealthy way, it's important to get some help. I'm not sure from your letter how much "emotional eating" you are doing. Since you have noticed the pattern, however, you are already on the path to regaining control of your eating habits! So, this is great news for you! I'm going to address your message as though you are not experiencing extreme emotional eating, because I didn't sense that in your message. However, please send me another message if I assumed incorrectly and we can talk a bit more about this.

If you read enough raw food information, you will come across similar information to what I'm sharing again and again. Until you experience things for yourself, however, the information many times just seems a bit too unbelievable to be completely true. I'd like to explain my understanding of emotional/comfort eating and the role of raw foods, and share my own experiences with it.

When we consume whole, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their raw state (unheated), our bodies can begin to heal on ALL levels. There aren't only physical changes going on that can easily be measured by doctors or scientists. There are subtle changes occurring that many people are unaware of, because it's difficult to fully understand how our amazing and complex bodies work.

What I believe happens with emotional, or comfort, eating is that our bodies have started to release stored emotions. Many times, throughout our lives, we have held back tears, laughter, fear, anger, etc., for all kinds of reasons. Our bodies are designed to feel and express emotions, however. So, when we are hiding, or holding back, emotions for any reason, our bodies need to do something with them. The energy, or memory, of the emotion is then stored in our bodies.

When our bodies begin to heal on an ideal diet of raw foods, it releases not only the unhealthy fat, causes of illnesses, and other things, it also releases those stored emotions, as well! (A side note here, consuming raw foods isn't the only way to release these stored emotions. There are various forms of therapy that are equally helpful. In fact, if the stored emotions were caused from some sort of trauma, it may be helpful to release them with the assistance of a trained professional.Getting help from a therapist doesn't mean you have severe psychological problems, as I used to believe. Seeing a therapist helped me learn to open up and express myself to others, to not keep my emotions inside any more. I was able to discuss and let go of past trauma. Eating raw foods helped me move through the process a lot quicker, however.)

Emotional eating, where we are eating "comfort" foods, is something we subconsciously do to stop the stored emotions from being released.Cooked foods, particularly the "comfort" ones, slow down the healing and calm the uneasy, unhappy, sometimes sad and desolate feelings that are creeping to the surface to be released. (There are scientific reasons why this calming (numbing) happens, so if you want to know the scientific reasons our bodies respond with a calm feeling when eating cooked foods, let me know.)

So, what are we to do? Should we abstain from the "comfort" foods and face the many times painful releasing of trapped emotions? Should we give in to the cravings for cooked comfort foods and save ourselves the pain of releasing the stored emotions? What can we do if we find ourselves continually doing such emotional eating?

My advice is to step back and look at your life. Are you ready to make changes? If not, then maybe eating such cleansing and releasing raw foods isn't right for you at this time. If you ARE ready for changes, but you don't feel strong enough to face the release of the stored emotions at this time, there is still a way to continue with your healing process of eating raw foods, but to do it in a slower, gentler way. To do this, you will want to consume heavier, or denser, raw foods (like raw fats, nuts, and seeds, as well as more complex raw food recipes that consist of multiple ingredients).

Some people are ready to face the healing crisis (the body's healing, as well as the healing that goes on with our minds and emotions). They jump right into raw foods, taking on the changes that are happening in and around themselves.

Not many people are this brave, however (including me!). I've been taking the slower, gradual approach to healing. In the beginning of eating raw foods, my transition from cooked to 100% raw took many months. Once I was eating 100% raw, my meals were extremely dense and filled with heavy raw fats and nuts.

I have experienced much more emotional detox (releasing of stored emotions) than I have the physical detox many experience on raw foods. What is amazing to me, is how the body will give strong signals as your health improves. For the past year, or so, when I eat heavier, rich raw foods, I don't feel as good as when I'm eating lighter fruits and vegetable meals. The fat and nut-heavy meals tend to sit in my stomach for a long time, now. In the past, they were easy to digest and I didn't experience any discomfort at all.

I know I'm ready to physically give up the heavier, denser raw foods, but on an emotional level I'm not brave enough (yet!) to face what I believe may be the final release of stored emotions. Why am I not ready? Well, I've given that a lot of thought and I think I understand my reluctance to experience that final emotional detox: because I feel great right now! For so many years, I didn't feel great---not emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually.Raw foods have allowed my body to heal on so many levels that here I am, almost two years later, feeling better than I think I've ever felt my entire life.

So, why spoil this wonderful place of peace and happiness by allowing those stored emotions to take away from how great I feel? On a deep level, I know that the releasing will happen, because my main goal with eating raw foods is to be as vibrantly healthy and alive as possible. To keep those final emotions stored inside is keeping me from achieving that goal.

I'll continue to be gentle with myself, however. If I'm not ready to face the pain of releasing those emotions right now, then that's okay. This isn't a race I'm in, and I can experience the final emotional detox when I'm ready for it.I hope you'll continue to be kind and gentle with yourself as you continue with your journey to better health, Violet.

Best wishes and lots of love to you,

Wendi Dee



This is the LONGEST response I've ever given to someone writing for help. So, if the length of it scared you off, please don't hesitate to still send in any questions you may have. You can even include a little note to keep my reply brief---I won't mind. ;-)

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On June 10, 2008, Sarah wrote:

Great response, Wendi!!!! You hit the nail on the head. :) It never clicked for me until I quit being so mad at myself all the time. :) (((hugs)))

On June 11, 2008, yardsnacker wrote:

Spoken like a real pro! I learned great compassion for myself from you. "just let your body respond in it's own way and time" is my Wendi Dee paraphrase! :D

On June 11, 2008, violet wrote:

thanks for the great reply wendi! i appreciate your sharing. i have noticed waves of emotion releasing, some gentle and some tsunami-rific. i'm flowing with it- good, bad, ugly. i think that a year ago, it would have been very hard to flow like this. so- i'm sticking with it... the intuitive aspect of raw eating. it has proved {intuitive being} to be the best way for me to thrive. maybe the only true way at all.

be well,