To help keep all of you inspired, we ve asked some
remarkable individuals to share their raw food stories with you. Enjoy!
Healthy, trim, and athletic are not words I'd have used to describe myself during the first half of my life, but I'm pretty sure they're going to apply for the rest of it.
Before I discovered my raw food diet I was very overweight and suffered from headaches that left me confined to bed. My back would frequently throb for days at a time, and ever worsening constipation and intestinal problems left me dreading my days.
I got sick a lot, and for periods I was depressed and withdrawn because of my troubles.
I look back at that old Andrew and wish I could could walk back in time and slap him across the face to wake him up. "There's a better way!" I would tell him.
I remember thinking to myself at the time that I was eating a good diet, and to be fair, I probably ate more fruits and vegetables than the average person.
It really made me angry that I suffered from all these health problems when my older brother could eat far worse than me and remain effortlessly trim.
I wondered what was wrong with me. Was I cursed? Why did I get these genes?
I, like many people, just saw myself as a collection of genetic misfortune. I felt trapped by my body.
What I ate was was not particularly horrendous by societal standards, but given just how bad the Standard American Diet is compared to a healthy raw food diet made up of fruits and vegetetables, its fair to say that it was bad enough.
The problem, of course, was not my genes. They're serving me well enough today.
I know now the problem was the food I was shoveling down my throat and the lifestyle that went with it.
The eggs, salt, meat, dairy, caffeine, processed foods, and mostly sedentary behavior can explain most of my problems.
All I needed to do was start following nature's laws so my body could heal itself.
Since age 17, when there were 220 pounds on my 6-foot frame, I've been been gradually ratcheting up my health. First junk foods were cut out and replaced by more fruits and vegetables. I also started a regular intense exercise routine, and by 18 I'd dropped to 190 pounds.
I felt a bit better, my headaches decreased in frequency and intensity, but there was still a backbone of disease in my life.
There was blood and pus in my stool, and I was frequently constipated. I still had a few headaches, my energy levels were not fantastic, and I was still getting sick several times a year.
By my second year of college I'd spent the better part of two years reading up on the health benefits of a vegan diet. Books like "The China Study" make it clear animal protein is a major cause for most of the western diseases of affluence that affect us, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and type two diabetes.
I decided to make the plunge and cut out meat, dairy, eggs, and coffee. I also started a daily running tradition that I maintain to this day.
Another 10 pounds flew off me, and my energy levels increased. I got sick less often and my headaches disappeared, but my intestinal problems, which had by this point been diagnosed as colitis, actually got worse because I upped my consumption of grains, which are problematic for the body because of their high gluten content.
I was so tired of being constipated.
I sought advice from a number of cooked food vegan doctors, but none could offer me a solution. Eventually I found a book called "Grain Damage," by Dr. Douglas Graham, and later picked up his "The 80/10/10 Diet."
Suddenly had a solution: Cut out unhealthy cooked food, especially grains, and treat my body to delicious fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Graham's program worked. A diet of just fruits and vegetables cured my constipation and Colitis problems within months, gave me more energy than I know what to do with, and after a brief period of detox, I haven't been ill since.
At 24 I'm a trim 165 pounds, 55 pounds lighter than my all time high at age 17. My running stamina has easily doubled, and last year I ran a race for the first time, finishing in front of more than half the other runners.
I managed 20 miles without too much of a problem, and hope to do much better soon. My mind is clear and functions better than it did before, and I just feel great most of the time.
Physically, I'm an entirely new person. I climb mountains and do yoga. My flexibility is through the roof. Those headaches and backaches are long vanished.
But looking back, it makes me furious that there was no one around to give me the advice I needed. Where were the trained doctors with this simple but profound formula for health? They were too busy peddling pharmaceuticals. They told me I'd be stuck with colitis for the rest of my life.
Last year I decided it was ridiculous that I wasn't doing my best to change this sad situation. I'm a reporter by profession, and decided I could have an immense impact by writing articles. I created my website as a free resource to inform people that they don't have to suffer from diseases or obesity.
I'm considered something of a purist even by raw foodist standards, and I get a bit angry that there are so many raw food gurus out there peddling unnecessary supplements, superfoods, and other unhealthy junk to get rich off the health misfortune of others.
I've written article about problems with superfoods, salt, B12, supplements, acne, "raw chocolate," sun exposure, recipes, overcoming diseases, and dozens of other topics.
I can't go back and save my wasted youth, but I hope through my articles I can give you the slap in the face you need to wake you up. You can heal, lose weight, and be healthy, if you're willing to adopt a proper diet.
Email: andrew [at] raw-food-health.net
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On May 21, 2009, wrote:
boy, that is a great success story! :)
On May 21, 2009, wrote:
You Dee's know how to inspire with great true life stories!