Whoa, Pure Jeevan's Back?!

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!

When we were heading out of town, I said that this trip might be a bit difficult on Jim because it's his first time being exposed to our friend Mamta's Indian food while he's 100% raw. I created some rich, delicious dishes to keep him satisfied, so that the temptation wouldn't overpower him. I expected no problems for myself, since I've been raw for more than three years and have been exposed to this temptation before without any problems.

Well, guess what? The cravings are here! You see, Mamta is THE BEST Indian food chef EVER. We've eaten literally thousands of Indian meals over the years, and even enjoyed it while touring India for nearly a month in the 1990s, but nothing has ever compared to Mamta's skill at creating the most delicious food on the planet. As usual, she sent home lots of food when we left this weekend -- this time all for KDcat, who is so very happy she's not eating 100% raw foods. I don't even know how many different dishes came home with us, but their aroma has been extremely tempting.

Being out with friends and having a great time, all while being surrounded by tempting foods isn't such a difficult thing for me. I'm so into being with my friends that the food isn't even a consideration for my time and thoughts. However, when I'm not with my friends and I'm at home with my daily schedule, the aroma of Indian food wafting through the house for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks is extremely tempting! After three years eating raw foods, I'm seriously craving some Indian foods!

Just today I stood looking down at the aloo paratha (a spicy potato-stuffed bread) and wondering if it tastes as good as I remember it tasting. I wondered how my body would feel if I ate some of it. Then I took a step back, horrified. Did I really just have those thoughts ! Why would I ever waste my time wondering such things when I know I don't REALLY want to eat the food?

The way I dealt with cravings when I was first going raw would be to ask myself some questions. What is it about this food that I'm craving? Is it the texture or some particular taste (salt, sweet, spice, etc.) Usually, I narrowed down what it was about the food that I was craving and I'd create something raw to meet those cravings. For instance, at times when I was craving pizza I found that what I was really wanting was something salty and oily. So, I would make a salad loaded up with lots of good oil and salt. It was very satisfying and the craving quickly faded.

So, there I was horrified earlier today and I remembered what I needed to do. I asked myself the question: What is it about this food that I'm craving? EVERYTHING is what came to me, first. I knew my emotions were overriding my ability to find an answer. I wanted the taste and smell of the COOKED spices, I wanted the oily, salty, warming sensations of the food. I wanted the LOVE that went into the food as it was being created by Mamta. I wanted what was familiar, what was comfortable, what made me feel good.

BINGO! There it was. I wanted what made me feel good. That's what my emotions were telling me, anyway. But, guess what? I know that my emotions can't think about what is best for me. My emotions, some of the time, are conditioned. That's definitely the case when it comes to Indian food. Over the years I've learned to question my emotions, rather than just experiencing them or allowing them to dictate my actions. So, I questioned the statement: Indian food makes me food good. "Does it really " I asked myself.

Here's something big that I've learned: When it comes to food we need to realize that food has only one purpose: to provide nourishment. So, when we are looking at a food and saying it makes us feel good, we need to dig deeper and find out HOW it makes us feel better. If the answer is that it floods our bodies with nourishment and therefore provieds us with renewed energy, then it's a good thing to eat that food. If the answer is anything different, however, it's probably best to consider skipping that food. In most cases the "feel good" feelings that come from foods are really emotional, not physical.

Why would we settle for a food to meet our emotional needs? Foods don't truly feed our emotions, right? They may pacify us for a little bit and numb our feelings long enough for us to stop experiencing something unpleasant that we don't want to deal with at the moment. But, let's not fool ourselves about foods feeding our emotions. They simply aren't capable of doing such a thing.

But, what do we do when we're experiencing cravings and they aren't really physical cravings? Well, the first thing is to back away from the food and ask yourself some questions. Now that you know the craving isn't physical, do you really want to consume that food? It's a choice. You are either going to eat it, or you aren't. You know the food isn't nourishing your body. Do you still want to eat it, or do you want to take some time to dig a little deeper and find out in what way that food was going to make you feel good If it makes you feel happy, why aren't you happy? Are there changes you can make in your life to bring more happiness? If it makes you feel calm, why aren't you calm? Are there changes you can make in your life to bring about a more calm atmosphere (inside and outside your body)? If it makes you feel love, why aren't you feeling loved? Are there changes you can make in your life to bring about more love?

It's not an easy process to go through. At times you may not be emotionally strong enough to answer the questions and you'll make a decision to consume the food you're craving. That's okay. Just know that you made the conscious decision to eat the food and enjoy it. Don't let guilt enter into your mind or body. You weren't ready to answer some tough questions and that's okay. In the future you'll be ready to answer them because you want to be healthy on all levels.

So, today I was standing there, smelling that aloo paratha and not wanting to ask the questions because I might not like the answers. Sometimes it can be scary to dive deep into ourselves, to find out what we truly desire, to fully understand ourselves. In the end, however, going through those sometimes scary inquiries will help you change, grow, and ultimately blossom into the beautifully unique flower that is YOU.

I know I don't really want that food, no matter how wonderful it smells. I want health above all else --- total health of body, mind, spirit, and emotions. I'm going diving...how about you I'm sure to uncover some treasures. If they're something that I think might help you along your journey, I'll be sure to share them with you.

Original Comments

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

On July 1, 2009, Bethany wrote:

Great post!
Definately hit the nail on the head. Lots of times, I turn to fruits high in sugar when I don't want to deal with my emotions. But, I'm getting in the habit of stopping that. On my fridge, I put a question mark and the words, "Am I really hungry, or do I just want to change the way I feel "
And you know what? 9 times out of ten (hey, I'm human =] ), I walk away.
Being raw is not about weight loss...its about being the healthiest we can be-emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.

=]

On July 1, 2009, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks for your comment, Bethany. :-)

I've actually been overeating on raw foods, rather than giving in to unhealthy cravings. I really need to get away to deal with whatever is lurking below the surface, I think.

It sounds like you are approaching things in a very healthy way!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO

On July 1, 2009, Melissa wrote:

Great post, Wendi!
Dave and Ella went to Maharaja today, and when they got home I said, "come here Ella, let me smell you" - for that quick fix of yummy smelling Indian Food! I know what you mean...Indian food can be hard to resist, and you are amazing and very inspiring. (I had a tomato, basil and avocado salad with olive oil and salt which was quite satisfying.)
Love,
~ Melissa

On July 2, 2009, sheryl miler wrote:

Thanks for your post Wendi,
I am going to copy some of the blue writing and put it in my journal and on my fridge.
So I think about it alot!
Thanks for sharing your inner most thoughts.

Sheryl Miller
Canberra
Australia.

On July 2, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:

Melissa, I giggled about you smelling Ella. A tomato, basil, avocado salad with olive oil and salt
sounds much tastier than I remember Maharaja food being! So, you made a much better choice! :-)

XOXOXO
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On July 2, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:

That's great, Sheryl!!! And you are very welcome. :-)

XOXOXO

On July 2, 2009, tinaintheraw wrote:

I love this post, Wendi. Very insightful. Very inspiring.....this came at a perfect time.

Love you girl,
Tina

On July 2, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:

Thanks, Tina! I'm glad the post was inspiring for you. :-)

I love you, too!

Wendi
XOXOXO

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On July 2, 2009, Joanne wrote:

Great post Wendi ! Sunday evening I cooked a pot roast for my family. It smelled sooooo good. As I stood there savouring the aroma I closed my eyes and envisioned biting into it to discover for myself what it was about the food that I really wanted. Within moments, in my mind's eye, I could taste the fat and the salt on my tongue. THAT is what I wanted! The fat and the salt, not the meat ( which would always get stuck between my teeth anyways and really has the taste value equivalent to cardboard once you take salt and fat out the equation!:-) I often just smell my families cooked food and let the aroma satisfy me. In the grocery store the cold cuts smell more powerful than I ever recall them smelling before LOL! So I stop and take in a couple of deep breaths and then move on. GREAT suggestion to make something raw with the aspects (ie: salt, fat) of the thing that one is craving. Fortunately for me the desires pass quickly but knowing how the smell of curry and spices lingers for so long...that would be a challenge for anyone!:-)

On July 2, 2009, Lori wrote:

I'm in total agreement on the Indian food! If you are going to not eat raw that would be the food to do it with! I find using the Indian spices helpful too and hey, just had a thought, I could use those in some flax crackers to mimic the "Naan" bread, sort of? Man this post sure made me hungry! Oh, and I've enjoyed the "traveling" raw this week as I'm about to do some flying and visiting of my own (and keeping my fingers crossed, not because of being tempted but being limited) By the way, do you have your RV yet?

On July 2, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:

Thanks, Joanne! :-)

Yes, I love being able to identify what it is about a cooked food that my body wants and then
eating it in a raw form. Right now, I think the Indian food is much more an emotional issue than
anything else for me, though. :-P

Thanks for your comment! So glad you are doing well with your own cravings!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO
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On July 2, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:

Sorry to have made you hungry with the post, Lori. I think a lot of us are fans of Indian food and
so this probably wasn't a good thing to share publicly since it may have set off cravings for a
lot of our readers. ;-)

Be sure to stay hydrated before and during your trip! We did a blog post about packing for flights
some time this past winter if you have time and feel like searching for it. I gave tips on some
ways to eat raw on a plane. I hope your trip is enjoyable and you have lots of wonderful fresh
produce to eat!

No, no RV yet. Everything hasn't fallen into place, yet. Soon, though...soon!

Thanks for your comment.

Lots of love to you!

Wendi
XOXOXO

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On July 5, 2009, fatima lachporia wrote:

maybe you can suggest to your friend to try and prepare some raw Indian food.It can be done and it taste absolutely delicious.
love peace and joy.
fatima

On July 8, 2009, purejeevanblog wrote:

Thanks, Fatima. :-)

I actually make some Indian food myself, but even though it's very delcious there is something
quite powerful about the aroma of the heated spices! I'm hoping to encourage my friend to learn to
create raw Indian food, since she's extremely gifted with preparing foods!

Thanks for your comment.

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO