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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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Jim here... Here's an interesting way to finish out the week: Today just happens to be my one-year "rawniversary." That's right, for the past full year, I've existed as a 100% raw food vegan.

Sure, I'd been "high-raw" for a couple of years prior to September 18, 2008 -- and it was during those high-raw years when the bulk of my weight came off and when I kissed prescription meds goodbye (I'd been on powerful beta-blockers for my heart and blood pressure).

But, on that fateful day a number of tumblers simply aligned in some magical way in my brain and a huge "aha!" moment unlocked. Among the numerous realizations that hit me at once, I knew from that moment on, I'd be living in a new way, permanently. It's tough to capture in words... I can only say that something clicked and changed me on some fundamental level. My entire chemistry changed in an instant, in fact, both physically and metaphysically.

High-raw (in my case, a 75-90% raw existence) is a wonderful dietary existence, to be sure. For me, it was step one -- something necessary to heal the body. This makes sense, looking back, as it's critical to get your body functioning properly when it's in crisis. (I didn't know at the time that I was in crisis, but I most definitely was, carrying so much excess weight and relying on those heart pills.)

I realize that we're all about a holistic approach here, and think that it's wonderful to apply that approach when possible. But it's also true that, for many, the most critical step is often to address the body. After all, if it's entirely possible that you could actually have a heart attack at any moment and actually die, then maybe you should table some of your emotional issues at least until you're physically strong enough to deal with them.

Mind and body are so tightly interconnected, after all. For example, we were just speaking a few days ago about the passing of an old beloved dog of ours, Christabel. I remember telling Wendi that I thought I was going to have a heart attack because of how upset I was after losing her. In the shape I was in, I honestly think I could have!? I'm sure you can think of a similarly painful period in your own life as an example of this powerful link between body and emotion.

So, back to addressing the physical domain first... This would be in accordance with many well-known psychological theories such as Abraham Maslow's famous heirarchy of needs, in which the physiological aspects of human beings serve as their very foundation. Of course, at some point far short of physical perfection, that foundation can surely be built upon by striving for a healthy emotional state, a healthy mental state, and a healthy spiritual outlook, whatever those all may be for you. Once you're reasonably physically healthy, you should then work on all of the domains simultaneously. (And when, exactly, are you ready ?I think we'll address that one in a future post.)

After a few years of a high-raw existence, my body reached a definite plateu -- relatively much healthier, but still not quite where I should have been. To be sure, I was thankfully off the medicine and enjoying a new, much lighter physical feeling pretty much all the time. I'd also become in tune enough with my body to know that, when I wasn't eating raw (e.g, out to lunch with office mates or attending some board dinner or something), I would feel it in a negative way later.

For me, hanging onto that 10% of cooked foods represented not fully living as the singular identity of who I wanted to be. It was as though that 10% gave me permission to live in two separate worlds -- one in which diet didn't matter one day out of 10, and the other in which it was critical nine days out of 10. This, my friends, was the powerful dissonance that was keeping me at the plateau I'd described -- and, musical as I am in nature, it took me a while to hear.

And so I needed to transform that dissonance into a harmony of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. I think that, without the physical foundation I'd built over a transition period, I would have been unable to focus in on my own conscience as deeply and truly as I did.Yes, there were external catalysts for all of this introspection, but the introspection itself was authentic, and the resulting connection with my inner self was profoundly spiritual. I've described some of this before in more grounded terms (e.g., in my "Thoughts on Meat" post from around six months ago).

I wish I were a strong enough person -- or, maybe strong isn't the most accurate word -- to have come to the crossroads that I did come to without any kind of force or unusual catalyst. I wish I'd been more proactive in nature back then rather than simply reactive. I do feel I'm proactive now, which is a wonderful feeling. But, even though I needed some nudging to find the type of consciousness that I did, maybe that's not true for everyone. At least, I hope it's not.And just maybe there's one person out there to whom these rather ethereal words may speak -- and that these words will be all the catalyst you'll need to realize that you can access your true self and bask in the absolute freedom available to you if you're courageous enough.

So, in short, going from 90% to 100% raw was HUGE!? It took that dissonance I spoke of and force-filtered it through an honest representation of my purest core being.Old discordant beliefs were jettisoned; new harmonic truths surfaced. The tumblers aligned, the vault door swung open, and I saw limitless possibilities for the first time ever. And then, my friends, the ride got truly interesting!

"the moment I jumped off of it
was moment I touched down"
?~Alanis Morissette, Thank You

Your mileage may vary, of course. But, that's my story. I hope it wasn't too "out there," but it is very late on a Friday night and that's what came out! Don't worry; we'll balance this off with a nice practical article on kale or something.

Original Comments

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

On September 19, 2009, Midnyte wrote:

It's a wonderful story and thank you for sharing with us. No need to justify why you posted it. I hope that one day I will be where you are now.

On September 19, 2009, Bethany wrote:


On September 20, 2009, Errigal_lass wrote:

Congratulations, Jim! So inspiring to hear success stories such as yours!

On September 20, 2009, Yardsnacker wrote:

Congrats! Are you going to try the super higher vibrational power plants now? I have had some folks recommend those...kinda lean away from that hoodoo voodoo stuff though.

On September 21, 2009, Lori wrote:

Very appropriate and timely for me at this moment - I'm currently "wrestling" with similar issues and needed this "push" - came here to you this morning knowing I would find it! Thanks!

On September 21, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

I'm sure you will, Midnyte! You just have to stick with the program. Have you been raw long?

On September 21, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Thanks, Bethany! :-)

On September 21, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Thanks, Tracey. It was fun to realize that I'd hit that milestone and do a write-up on it.

On September 21, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

What do you recommend, Sam? I've gotta tell you... I'm kind of going through a grape thing at the moment. I think I could monomeal on red table grapes for like 2 months. (They're high-vibe grapes, though.) ...although we *have* been sprouting more lately, and those are pretty high-vibe.

On September 21, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Bottom line, Lori, is: Follow your heart. :-)

On September 21, 2009, cazore wrote:

Wonderful words and obviously genuine and straight from the heart, a joy to read, thank you :)

On September 21, 2009, Yardsnacker wrote:

haha I was thinking ayuasca lol no I haven't tried it. But you are right, kale juice for me really gets the peripheral chakras open as does other juices. Grapes are amazing!

On September 22, 2009, Midnyte wrote:

No, not long at all! I've been a vegetarian for 23 years (not so much for health reasons as just a strong aversion to meat), and in the past several years have been trying to eat low-grain. So I was already a pretty high percentage raw but just in the past month I am shooting for 100%. I am loving making fresh juices every morning and green smoothies, and giving up dairy products, wow, that is HUGE for me! A former cheese addict who has learned to love salads that are not filled with cheese and creamy dairy dressings! :)

On September 22, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

LOL... I was reading about that stuff in Amazing Grace by David Wolfe. I think he's really into it. Sounds druggish, though -- although I guess in a ceremonial kind of way. It would probably send me off into outer space, considering I've gotten a mild buzz from my very innocent Celestial Seasonings "Bengal Spice" tea. (Cloves & nutmeg are plenty powerful enough...) I did actually buy some Kava tea lately after a bunch of people were talking about it at RSF. Says the box, "Kava is also recognized for its ability to promote a state of relaxed awareness without compromising mental functions." A lot of people were talking about how it opens your ability for communication, etc. (must be a throat chakra activator). Honestly, I never used to notice all of this stuff, as I think a lot of what people describe about various foods, plants, teas, etc. is actually a subtle/metaphysical effect, and I think you have to be tuned into that in order to recognize it in the first place. So, once the 100% raw opened those channels within me, I noticed that kind of thing more.

On September 22, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Thanks, Cazore! :-)

On September 22, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

I think cheeses are pretty tough for a lot of people. That one wasn't too tough for me because I was always scared of the cholesterol and fat in cheese. I did like it, though (quite a lot). I just enjoyed it in relative moderation. You do know about the opiates in it, right? Have you tried some of the amazing nut cheeses out there? There are some super-awesome ones. We have a great cashew cheese recipe on this site somewhere. I'm sure you can search the blog for it. Oh, and sometimes, I'll drop 4 or 5 brazil nuts into a vitamix... Blend until fine & you'll have a nice "parmesan" cheese topping for your salad.

On September 23, 2009, eowina wrote:

Thank you so much, Jim. It was so inspiring for me, something I need a lot these days.

On September 25, 2009, Midnyte wrote:

I have never been afraid of cheese with regard to cholesterol or fat. The past few years I've adopted the "perimeter of the grocery store" mentality where anything is good in the produce, meats, or dairy section (well obviously no meat for me as a vegetarian, but just for general good health for those with no meat aversion).

However, I think I'm getting back to my roots now though and feel better without the dairy. "Roots" meaning 23 years ago when I first subscribed to Vegetarian Times in my early 20s. I am enjoying the creaminess of avocados and cashews. If *I* can give up dairy, *anybody* can! I am realizing that for me, going raw isn't necessarily about giving up cooked food as I wasn't eating that much of it anyway. It is more about giving up my beloved cheese and sour cream and Marie's dressings!

Thanks for the tips, I'm off to look those up now. :)