I'd like to talk with you about diet and experimenting. I've been learning about natural healing and foods/health since I was a very young woman. Somewhere along the line I knew that what I was eating was either making me feel better, or worse, and that food was related to health (it was more than just to fuel the body). It was with this knowledge that I stepped into the realm of natural healing and stumbled around for most of my life.I've learned about vegetarianism, herbs, the negative effects of dairy on the body, veganism, essential oils, Ayurveda, harmful chemicals in and around our foods, and so very much more. I don't claim to be an expert on any of these topics, they are just part of my overall bank of knowledge and experiences from which I pull to live as healthy as possible.
I've never been the kind of person who takes others' beliefs and adopts them as truth for myself. I need to investigate, try things out, find out what does and doesn't resonate with my own set of beliefs and experiences. Well, the same goes with my diet. When I first started eating raw foods, I didn't eat them because I knew they would cure me of my overweight and other health problems. Sure, it made a lot of sense and seemed like it would work, but I needed to try it out for myself. It turns out that there's a LARGE amount of truth in what is being written and taught about raw foods. However, there is quite a bit of conflicting information about raw foods being shared by "experts", as well, and it can get confusing.
I think experimenting is very important. Even though we are all made the same, there are still small enough differences to make us unique. One size does not fit all the same way---right? Maybe if we were all born with identical DNA, we would all have similar experiences as far as diet goes. However, that's just not the case with most people. Think about it. You either know someone, or have heard of someone, who lived to be close to 100 years old who smoked, drank alcohol, hated vegetables, ate meat and heavy fats his/her entire life and was never sick or overweight. That person, my friends, had some good DNA! His/her ancestors were healthy, and they've been mating with other healthy people, producing some lucky people who don't have to worry all that much about what they do to their bodies. Who knows how long those people could have lived, however, had they eliminated all of those harsh things from their bodies! Maybe they would have been closer to 200 years old when their bodies started to age and break down.
For a majority of us, we weren't blessed with such fantastic DNA. Some of us may actually have some pretty harsh things we need to think about regarding our health and what we've inherited. I'm thankful that cancer isn't something that is prevalent in my family (even though my mother died from cancer), but I do have other things that I need to pay attention to, or else I could end up not living as healthy or as long as I'd like.
So, I observe what others are doing for outstanding health. I read what I can find that feels like it has some truth in it. Once I found the truth in raw foods, I knew I had stumbled upon what may very well be the final piece of knowledge that I need for a truly vibrant, healthy, long life. However, I'm finding that the subtle differences in the raw food diet aren't really all that subtle. It's not only about just eating raw foods.
BIG PAUSE HERE FOR THOSE JUST BEGINNING A RAW JOURNEY
Go ahead and read what I'm writing, but don't try to follow what I'm doing. It's very important, I feel, in the beginning of learning about raw foods to have your diet simply be about JUST EATING RAW FOODS. This is even more important if you come from a background of a Standard American Diet (SAD). If you aren't suffering from an extreme life-threatening illness, then I firmly believe that slow is better for most people. When we switch to a raw diet, it's not just a change for our bodies. It's a change that eventually touches every aspect of who and what we are. So, please take it slow. Learn to love including more and more raw foods into your diet. Observe how it feels to eat vitamin-, mineral-, and water-rich foods. Notice how your body and mind feel different on raw than they do on cooked foods. Enjoy the journey you are on. What you read from time-to-time about various alternative approaches to the raw food diet should simply be stored away for future reference. Once you are comfortably living a 100% raw lifestyle and it's second nature to you, without any thought or problems, then at that time you may want to evaluate your health to see if there is room for further improvement.
BACK TO EXPERIMENTING
So, I've learned that simply eating everything and anything, as long as it's truly raw, doesn't bring with it automatic ultimate health and vitality. Don't get me wrong---it brings me pretty close to it compared to the spiraling pit of disease that I was in when I was consuming cooked foods. Since one of my main goals in life is to achieve ultimate health and vitality, I don't want to simply stop where I am with the raw food diet that I've been consuming. I want to step up to another level of health.
That's where the experimenting comes in. The not-so subtle differences in the raw food diets are mostly about balancing different things (fats, carbs, protein, greens, fruits). Since there is conflicting information available about what a truly healthy raw diet is, I'm going to experiment with the information that fits with what I'm currently drawn to (fruits!)---The 80/10/10 Diet, by Dr. Douglas Graham. Mentally, I'm actually drawn to Gabriel Cousens' theories on an optimal raw food diet---The Rainbow Green, Live-Food Cuisine---but, lately I've been drawn to so much fruit that I want to follow my instincts for this next dietary experiment.?
So, that's the long version of why I'm currently experimenting with the 80/10/10 diet. I know a lot of people are opposed to the diet, but since my instincts are drawing me to eat more fruit I'm going to experiment with 80/10/10 to see what happens with my body and health. So far, I've seen an increase in weight. That's not exactly a positive thing, right, when I'm not underweight. However, according to 80/10/10 my body needs to have a much smaller intake of fat in order to gain the benefits of the diet. So, I'll stick with it to see if that's the case--for the rest of this first ten days (out of 100), I'm going to be cutting back my fat intake at my evening meal. For the second set of 10 days, I'll possibly cut fat back a significant amount to see how that feels.
For those who don't know much about the 80/10/10 version of a raw diet, it is set on the beliefs that our bodies perform best on 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 10% fat. Dr. Graham states that insulin resistance (which I have inherited) is caused by fat in the bloodstream when sugar (fruit) is eaten. If that's the case, then it could explain the weight gain. In my body, since I have insulin resistance, when I have too much sugar it is converted to fat. It's all quite brilliant why the body does that, as a form of protection, but I won't go into it here (plus, I'm no expert on it, anyway). Suffice it to say, my body doesn't handle sugar well (which not only causes weight gain, but also causes irregular menstrual cycles), but according to Dr. Graham if I limit my fat intake my body will---for the first time since I was very young---be able to handle sugar properly. So, I'm experimenting with his theory and I'll let you all know how it works.
AGAIN, FOR THOSE NEW TO RAW: Please take things slow, be kind and gentle with yourselves. Experimenting with adding raw foods to a previously cooked diet is a HUGE experiment you are currently undertaking. Please don't think about making it harder than it already will be, unless you have an extreme personality and like to go for the hardest goal.
Lots of love to all of you!
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On August 5, 2008, wrote:
Very nice post, Wendi. I agree, we have to figure out what works for us, and the raw diet is not a miracle for sure! BTW, I'm working on that email :D
On August 5, 2008, wrote:
This is an interesting experiment you are doing and I'm very interested in your results. Personally I feel so clean and "bright & light" when I stictly follow 811. I'm not doing that currently, but I'm flowing back to it. Just taking it slow this time and letting my body do it in it's own time. I'm great at if for breakfast and lunch. Dinner isn't so easy to stick with it for right now. But eventually, I will get there.
Thanks for sharing your journey with it.
On August 8, 2008, wrote:
Excellent post with valuable advice Wendi. I agree that raw foods is not a one size fits all but there is something that each person can discover for themselves that works and taking it slow is the best advice one can give.
On August 12, 2008, wrote:
Thanks, Sarah. :-) I received your email and I appreciate that you took time to respond. Lots of love to you!
Pixy Lisa, I agree about the bright and light feeling on less fats and more fruit. However, the scale isn't reflecting that feeling. LOL I'm keeping up with it, however, to see what will happen. Have you ever gotten to a point where you're following 8/1/1 completely for a few weeks? I'm not at 8/1/1, yet, but I'm getting closer to it! Thanks for the comment and lots of love to you!
Thanks, hihorosie! I have a feeling that collectively, with all of us sharing our experiences, we'll be able to inspire and help others to take their health into their own hands and experience truly vibrant lives for the first time. Lots of love to you!
On August 16, 2008, wrote:
Thanks again Wendi, this was a very good and imformative post on your experimenting with other ratio's. Can you tell me what 8/1/1 is.