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2016 update: Aha, you noticed?! Welcome. Yes, we wanted to bring the site back online again, mainly because it's so packed with articles and information. It will be a work in progress for some time, as we changed web platforms and all sorts of tech stuff. So, a lot of links are hard-coded to old Wordpress-style links... just awful. But, in time we'll get all of it back in shape. For now, enjoy clicking around and reading!

Jim here... A health-conscious friend of mine was feeling sick today. And, while I certainly do not advocate harping on the sick, I did have a very mild discussion with her when she phoned me for some advice. I asked, "Do you know what cognitive dissonance is "

"I'm not sure," she replied.

"Well, it's a psychological term, but you'll recognize the concept instantly when I give an example. You're what ...40 years old ?So, let's say that you've lived your whole life -- four whole decades -- absolutely hating mushrooms. But then, one night, you go to a dinner party and there's a decent-looking casserole there, and you take some--"

"--and then it turns out to be mushrooms "

"You got it...You know, you're sitting there with your wine and what not, chowing down on the stuff and just loving it. And then when you ask who made it and what it is, someone says it's their Amazing Mushroom Casserole. That's cognitive dissonance -- cognitive meaning 'thinking' and dissonance meaning something like 'disharmony.' All your life you simply knew how much you hated mushrooms, and here you are clearly loving them. So, those two opposing forces are in major conflict in your head, right "

"Been there, done that," she affirmed.

"Well, a select few health-conscious people in life -- like you, and also like me before I finally decided to eat only healthy foods -- find themselves living in two separate worlds."

"Separate worlds "

"Yes. But first, let's take a look at other kinds of people... On the one side of the spectrum, you have people like those I work with, absolutely under-exposed to the principles of health and nutrition. So, they go out and eat absolute junk all the time. They're not exactly what anyone would call vibrantly healthy, but the food also doesn't make them outwardly sick (though I'm certain many of them are in awful shape internally). Part of the reason for their outwardly-seeming health is their mindset. They actually don't know that the food is awful for their overall health. So, in a weird way, they're able to ingest it regularly without at least too many outward signs of illness."

I could hear her blowing her nose, yet listening.

"Then, on the other side of the spectrum are people like Wendi. She's actually found the optimal way of eating that prevents almost all illnesses, inside and out. Right "

This friend knows Wendi, and quickly agreed. "Mmm-hmm..."

"Okay, so then you have this special, much more rare category -- people like you. You're in the unusual position of knowing something to be true, but not following it yourself. I mean, everyone knows that pizza is not health food. But you know it on a deeper level than they do. I mean, not too many mainstream adults have heard of the China Study, right ? So, those people can actually eat all sorts of toxic junk without fear or guilt... It doesn't mean the stuff is good for them, or nontoxic. But they at least do not experience the guilt and other dissonant emotions. The thing is, though, our brains are amazing chemical factories.You know how, when you're sad, you can feel tired or lazy throughout your whole body ? Or, how when you're happy, you can feel good and tingly and energized all over "

"Yeah..."

"Well, that's how your thoughts can actually affect the chemistry of your whole body. So, other people eat junk, and there's no cognitive dissonance to drag them down. But you eat it, and there's a cognitive dissonance. And that phenomenon, just like all thoughts we have, sets off chemicals in your brain."

I could hear her wheels spinning via the phone lines...

"Look, I know you didn't ask to have this knowledge about health. And, I'm not saying you have to choose a certain diet now or go 100% raw or something. But, I think, for those people who are in this position in life -- meaning, they fully understand what kind of food is biologically right for humans -- there's just always going to be this dissonance when you don't eat in harmony with what your core beliefs are. And, that can create this chemical release I'm talking about...and that in turn can contribute to your getting sick more than other people."

She didn't disagree, and thankfully didn't seem to react as though I were harping on her or blaming her for her own sickness.

I finished off with, "It just seems to me that, at some point, people like you and people like me the way I was before, are simply heading toward a choice. And, all of this sickness and so forth is simply part of that process. You might not choose today or tomorrow or next year. But, at some point, you'll probably decide to embrace it fully. And then, hopefully, you'll just go forward in continual good health."

Pure Jeevan's logo is, of course, a paisley -- and paisleys are actually seeds.We can't force a plant to come alive, but we can certainly plant the seeds.

Original Comments

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

On November 3, 2008, Kristin wrote:

Jim, oh my goodness, it sounds like you are preaching (in a good way) directly to me!
Thank you so much for writing this. It is so clear to me now how I must fuel my body from this point forward. I am high raw now and each time I eat anything cooked, I feel guilty and just dumb to tell you the truth. I know sooooo much, why would I posion myself that way. Raw foods from today onward :)
Raw Love,
Kristin

On November 3, 2008, violet wrote:

poignant explanation here. i have lacked the wording in the past as to why i feel like i'm lagging behind on my journey towards destination:peak health. sometimes, having too much information has overwhelmed my concentration and clogged my body/mind communication lines- then add in guilt about ingesting certain foods- or guilt about even craving them, well, that can merely set the ball rolling... rolling downhill and catching speed that is.
we can not truly experience true health if there is one layer/part of us that is not willing to be examined- be it small and hidden, or great and obvious. sometimes other healing needs to take place in metaphysical or mentally before the physical layer can even be effected. we're all so different.

On November 4, 2008, Shelley wrote:

Very well said! When I slip off the raw food wagon, I've often been frustrated because I know I'm doing something that my soul doesn't believe in and its frustrating to see SAD eaters seeming so happy-go-lucky. So many people don't have the same struggles with illness when they eat SAD, so I've always felt kind of "stuck" eating raw. BUT...I only feel that way when I'm not on a primarily raw diet. When I'm on a raw diet, I'm soaring with happiness in my soul and not feeling stuck at all, but instead I feel full of gratitude for the awesome natural foods the earth provides!!! Its just the way I've gotta eat given the knowledge I have. I guess ignorance can be bliss, but wisdom and living out that knowledge brings a healthy bliss that rings true to the soul, along with peace. :-)
Thank you, Jim, for giving me a new term to add to my vocabulary, "Cognitive Dissonance". I clearly see this in other areas of my life, too, not related to food. Thanks for sharing this great information!!!

On November 4, 2008, Jim Dee wrote:

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

If you're high-raw, I *was* preaching to you, just as the friend I spoke of is largely raw (or, at least highly aware of it) herself. But, this wasn't something I've known for long. My high-raw path to this took years, only adopting it fully in recent times.

I commented to someone recently that, whether you built up to an *all* raw/living foods diet or whether you switched "overnight" like some of the people you read about did, it's really exactly the same -- because, at some point, you literally do fully embrace the lifestyle and finally "make that change" as Michael Jackson says. So, whether it took you one night or 10 years, it finally happens *instantly*.

I can tell anyone who is high-raw that the change is dramatic for a few reasons: First, it's simply healthier. You stop poisoning your body with toxins, which allows it to truly focus on optimizing from the cellular level on up through all of your systems. Second, your desire for even small amounts junk diminishes greatly. When I was high-raw, I'd say, "Oh, sure, a few cookies here, a slice of pizza there." Now, I simply don't see these things as food, which has melted all temptation. (Well, for most things... Some cooked things really DO smell pretty good! But, that sensation usually just means I'm hungry.) So, your whole perception changes -- which in turn allows *further* changes in your perception -- which gets into what Shelley is saying. In fact, I have quite a bit to say about that... Could be another post coming. (In fact, I've already written much of it! ... More later!)

On November 5, 2008, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Kristin-

Thanks for the comment. I certainly hope you don't spent too much time feling "dumb" or "guilty" -- because you're clearly the opposite: wicked-smart and innocent! Instead of focusing on lapses, etc., simply be glad that you *know* about this life-giving path, this noble *journey.* And, like *all* journeys, just accept that it has its ups and downs -- all part of the process... Even once you're fully raw, there will still be dietary challenges (e.g., times you'll eat more nuts or fats than you wanted to, or other such issues) as well as other challenges. I'm happy to have begun feeling the mental clarity necessary to reflect on these things from time to time, a clarity that I beleive comes from the diet itself, and a clarity that I truly beleive will only increase in many ways as time goes by nourishing myself in this way. Keep in touch & keep the raw love flowing!, -Jim

On November 5, 2008, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Rubarb- So, you're new to raw foods? That's great! It's an exciting time, and I know you'll be absolutely overwhelmed (in a good way) with information. That's the great thing about exploring raw NOW as opposed to even 5 or 10 years ago: The abundance of information and community support available is unprecedented. I also loved the Rawkathon -- expect a hard copy from Kevin G. in the mail soon so I can rewatch & study some of the inspirational / educational information again and again! -Jim

On November 5, 2008, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Violet-

I agree. It's a lengthy process for most people, as it's not just about what you eat. I notice a lot of people, myself included, bringing up the topic of guilt rather frequently in the context of foods eaten and/or craved. Surely, this is a topic deserving of much more exploration, study, and reflection. On a basic, rather practical level, I would say that quite a lot of the guilt comes after people give in to simple hunger -- which is only human, right? To me, that underscores the importance of literally surrounding yourself with good living foods at all times. When someone breaks out a pizza at the office, and the smell tantalizes you, it probably just means you're hungry! So, simply grab that banana or flax cracker or handful of walnuts or whatever! I know there's *much* more to the guilt issue than that, but at least that's a start. I can say, though, that once you get to the point at which you truly *want* to eat only raw and living foods, the cravings melt away considerably, and in turn, so does the guilt (which goes away by default because there is simply no temptation for you to give in to). -Jim

On November 5, 2008, Jim Dee wrote:

<<So many people don't have the same struggles with illness when they eat SAD, so I've always felt kind of "stuck" eating raw.>>

Hi Shelley-

Outwardly, they don't. But, more and more, I suspect that inwardly they do. I, too, have felt frustration throughout my life about this. I mean, I always ate relatively healthy (so to speak). I *did* eat meat and so forth, but I was also always with Wendi and ate quite a lot of vegan and vegetarian fare by default. Friends and coworkers who were completely SAD-based seemed thin, fit, and not reliant on prescription meds. So, why was I out there jogging all the time, unable to lose weight? Why was I eating vegan stuff all the time with Wendi, and yet still having to rely on heart medicine? ... and why can the guy in the office next to me eat cheese steaks and fries several times per week and yet have no "spare tire" to speak of? I *love* what you said, btw:

"I guess ignorance can be bliss, but wisdom and living out that knowledge brings a healthy bliss that rings true to the soul, along with peace. :-)"

Thanks for that,
-Jim

On November 5, 2008, Jim Dee wrote:

Glad you liked it, Pixy! I have a number of these more philosophical thougts in mind, and am grateful that there are others in the raw community who like to read them and discuss them with me. You bring up a great point -- that, once people really understand/grasp what this is all about, they really do KNOW that it's right -- and that it's right on all levels for *individuals* (mentally, physically, spiritually) and also for the *community* for so many similar reasons.

On January 26, 2009, Dave Higgs-Vis wrote:

Thanks so much!! I've come across the term "cognitive dissonance" before, but I never connected it with the phenomenon you describe. It's spot on, though. For instance, I had tortellini for dinner on Saturday, knowing full well that I would regret it later. Even as I was eating it, I was regretting it. The negative cycle of thoughts and emotions this regret caused probably dealt far more damage to me than just the physical effects of a cooked, ill-combined meal.

Now that I've wrapped my head around cognitive dissonance when it comes to eating raw, I have an easier time letting go of cravings and instead eating something raw. Thanks again! Peace and Love!

On January 26, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:

Dave,

Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I'm going to make sure Jim reads
your comment. It's wonderful that what he shared has helped you have an
easier time of letting go of cravings! That's so fantastic!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO