Today is the beginning of the second three-day focus on the attributes of a different Goddess who is most worshiped during the Hindu celebration of Navratri. She is Goddess Lakshmi, bringer of wealth and good luck. Let's focus on the idea of wealth. When we first hear the word, many of us think about monetary wealth. However, there is a much deeper meaning ... that of abundance. Feminine energy has the ability to bring forth, to birth, abundance that is beyond the imagination, in every aspect of our lives. Female energy is fertile, able to create a beautiful life and future, shine forth and bring wisdom into view, all with grace and beauty. All of these are attributes of Goddess Lakshmi, qualities we all have within us. Qualities I celebrate within myself and within all of you (male and female, alike).
End of Day 3:
I ended up not eating anything else, because my tummy was queasy most of the day/evening. I had some water, but nothing else. I imagined eating some of the fermented cooked food I had been eating prior to the mono-mealing and wondered how it would make me feel. My body cried out, "Yes!" But, I'm still not certain. Am I desiring the cooked food for some other reason, or is it truly to benefit my digestion and overall health
Part of me thinks it's a combination of my physical health, in addition to my emotional health. We all know that cooked foods tends to cause a bit of a sedation for the body, to ease the mind and dull one's senses a bit. Maybe I want the fermented cooked food for all of those reasons--physical as well as emotional.
Once Jim is here, we'll have all of our testing equipment and I'll be able to see what my body is doing and know what I need to change to help my body regain its balance. I would have loved to see my blood under the microscope, for instance, when I was feeling so tired and queasy after consuming the avocado.
8:02... I woke around 2:00 in the morning, after going to sleep with extreme heartburn (I haven't gotten heartburn since before I was eating only raw foods), with cramps/pains in my entire abdomen. It was difficult to sleep on my sides or my back, so I got up and had a glass of water with some acidophilous capsules. That was the extreme case of what's been happening with me when I eat 100% raw foods over the past few months. I'm pretty sure the extreme reaction was mostly to the avocado, though. I have dark circles under my eyes, now, which tends to tell me my body had a tough time with the fat and my liver is struggling.
This all makes sense, because my liver had to work harder than a normal liver to clean up all of the herbs, supplements, antibiotic, and bacteria die-off debris from the lyme disease. My liver may not have been in such great shape before the lyme disease, either, since I was a life-long sufferer of migraines and I relied on Advil as my pain relief. Before I found the raw food diet, taking a pain medication was the only thing that I found to help with the migraines, so it wasn't uncommon for me to purchase the largest containers of Advil on an almost monthly basis. I knew it wasn't healthy for my body, and it was the only medication I took, but it was my only way at the time to deal with the headaches.
Anyway, so what will I do today? I still have no idea. I'm definitely learning from this mono-mealing, so I might continue for a bit longer. I've learned that if the fruit sugars are too quick to enter my bloodstream, I feel jittery and a bit spacey. If I consume a healthy fat like avocado, my body is going to have an extreme reaction to it. If I eat cucumbers, my body is also going to have a reaction. With the avocados, it wasn't just the fat my body was responding to. In the past there were times, even as a 100% raw foodist, that when I ate avocados I would break out in hives. It probably wasn't a good idea to try it as a monomeal, but my body was seeing it as some good fuel when I was feeling weak in the grocery store so I tried it.
For now, I'm going to have some slightly underripe bananas and see how I feel. What I'm mostly going to do is sit quietly before I eat, whenever I'm hungry, and see if my body is giving me any direction in what I should and shouldn't consume.
8:29... I ate a very small banana. At first the coolness of it felt nice in my empty belly, almost soothing.
9:35... Still feeling okay after that one small banana. May eat another in a bit, since slightly underripe bananas seem to be doing okay with my digestion.
10:31... Two small bananas. Feeling okay, but very cold.
11:43... Can't believe how cold I've been feeling, so I researched bananas and feeling cold. Turns out that not only are bananas very cooling to the body (I knew oranges were cooling, but never knew about bananas), but they cause the liver to work harder. Hmmm... just doesn't seem like a good thing to be eating, even though it's not making me feel unwell (other than feeling extreme cold).
I've made a decision to just follow what my body is saying, even if it makes absolutely no sense. My body wants the cooked, fermented rice and lentil pancakes and that's what I'm going to give it. And, that's all my body has been wanting for quite a few months, now. So, for the rest of my nine day celebration of Navratri, I'll only be eating mono meals of raw foods if my body feels drawn to doing so.
I can't remember if I mentioned this already, but when I do consume the fermented rice and lentil foods, they digest beautifully and I have bursts of energy. I do end up feeling a bit too full, though, since cooked foods are heavier than raw foods. In addition, I have learned through the past few days that I was also retaining water while consuming the cooked, fermented food.
We'll see how it goes. I'll continue to share my journey with you, even after my celebration of Navratri is over (but, I'll go back to blogging after Navratri, rather than including these diary-like posts).
Maybe you can learn something through what I share? Maybe you can be inspired to experiment with your own diet in different ways, to tweak and work on always trying to feel the best possible at all times.
Here's an overview of my health journey:
- Born into a poor household, fed formula and given antibiotics, nourished with government-subsidized "food" (which included a lot of powdered milk, white flour, and cheese).
- At a very young age, felt and inner knowledge that animals are not to be killed and eaten, and the earth is to be respected. Disliked meat and began refusing to eat it.
- Noticed that what I ate affected how I felt.
- Learned that people fear for one's health if meat products are not consumed, and somehow learned to search out books about vegetarianism to better understand the inner calling I had to abstain from animal products.
- Forced to occassionally consume animal products until about 11 years old.
- Around age 11, was no longer forced to consume animal products. Was elated and my diet was now fully my own responsibility!
- Entered college and found a wealth of information about diet, health, and even met a few individuals who also abstained from consuming animal flesh.
- Became even more interested in how my body responded to the different foods I ate. Began experimenting even more with restricting foods to see how my body reacted. I learned a lot about dairy and chocolate during this time.
- Was invited to assist with a garden party for one of the professors and was embarassed that I wasn't able to identify the herbs I was sent to the garden to pick for part of the meals. My only knowledge was about spices -- Indian spices.
- Dove into the study of culinary herbs and fell in love with basil.
- The knowledge of culinary herbs took me on a journey learning about medicinal properties of those same herbs.
- After college I was fascinated by essential oils of herbs, as this was the essence of what was so healing about the herbs I had come to know and love so much.
- Experimented with herbs and spices to heal my body of all its ailments (obesity, migraines, edema, PCOS, etc.), enjoying the fact that I was always trying to find an answer to all of my problems, knowing that one day I was sure to heal myself and then share what I learned with others.
- Tried dairy-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, soy-free diets, as well as many others.
- Consumed only whole foods, exclusively organic. Switched personal care products to solely organic products, as well. Still no health benefits, but mentally it felt good to know I was doing the best for my body and the planet.
- Went on the first medication I ever agreed to take as an adult: Metformin. I was extremely obese, unwell in many ways, depressed, lacking energy, and much more. I figured I'd experiment with the medication and if it helped regulate my menstrual cycles, I could find out exactly what it was doing in my body and find a natural way to do the same thing.
- Had regular menstrual cycles for the first time in my life, because of the Metformin medication. However, I also began to have a heavy feeling in my chest and my heart didn't feel well.
- Stopped taking the metformin and decided to only eat raw foods, to see if it would work.
- Began feeling better on the raw food diet, eventually dropping nearly 100 pounds and becoming very well--healthy and happy in just about every way.
- Started this Pure Jeevan site to inspire others who were possibly struggling with their health, but not finding things that worked for them.
- Was bitten by a tick after many years living a healthy, 100% raw lifestyle, and contracted Lyme Disease.
- All previous health issues returned, as well as others that manifested. My weight increased by 20 pounds because I developed Hoshimoto's Thyroid Disease, the PCOS came back (but not as severe), my energy plummeted, and the depression returned.
- I continued to not give up, even though the diagnosis of lyme disease rarely turns out good if it's not caught within the first few months (and mine was detected too late). There was no way I was going to just accept a life of pain and eventual early death. So, I continued what I've always done ... experimenting with my diet to see what works, doesn't work, as well as researching about the body and modes of healing.
- Cured myself of the debilitating pain of lyme disease and claimed myself fully healed, after learning so many things about the body and how it needs to be balanced in order to remain healthy. However, it's not an easy/quick fix to bring the body back into a healthy balance (especially if it might not have been in a balanced state to begin with).
- Continuing to experiment and test my body, to see how it's responding to my diet/lifestyle. This mono-meal celebration for Navratri was part experiment and part celebration.
Why did I share all of that? I wanted to show that the path to health isn't always a straight one. We don't always find the perfect answers that continue to answer future questions that come up in our lives. But, most of all I wanted to show that it's important to keep searching, keep experimenting, and never giving up on the quest for a fully healthy, vibrant life! We all have the feminine qualities of Goddess Lakshmi within us, the ability to shine light on our deepest wisdom, to birth an abundance that is beyond the imagination, in every aspect of our lives.
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On October 12, 2010, wrote:
I wanna find more info about this, anybody could?
On October 12, 2010, wrote:
unripe bananas create heartburn
unpasteurized miso soup with sprouts inside and some previous soaked wakame or whatever you fancy would maybe settle your stomach or a vegetable soup super simple with no fat or baked pumpkin or potatoes ?? ???
only to give you ideas, hope you feel better, and i would go for what appeals to me, and to be alone with Bailey and having to be strong and missing Jim can also affect the stomach
i send you all my empathy and hugs
On October 13, 2010, wrote:
Wendi, I'm just curious if you have ever explored the idea of eating right for your blood type? I'm basically following a similar path as you with my health, and this idea just popped up on my way. However, I never came across any opinions from raw foodists on this subject, and I think this idea might be also a good contribution to our health journey..
On October 14, 2010, wrote:
Hi there, Eve!
Sure, we've considered the eat-right blood type diet. But, to be honest we didn't see proof of the "negative" foods in our own blood after testing it when consuming the "bad" foods for each of our blood types. There is a lot of debate as to whether that particular theory is accurate, and also whether the science of finding the "negative" foods was able to be duplicated (some have tried to duplicate the experiment and have not had the same results). I may try it in the future, however, just to see if it makes a difference on how I feel. If you try it, let us know how it goes!
Lots of love to you!
On October 14, 2010, wrote:
Well, I guess that would explain the heartburn I felt the other night, then! I was never a fan of miso or seeweeds, but Bailey loves the taste of both. My tummy is feeling well right now, since I'm not monomealing with fruits and I'm including some cooked, fermented rice/lentil food.
You are so very right about the stress of being separated from Jim and having a lot of new things to deal with on my own. It wasn't exactly the best time to try a slight fast. I'm continuing with my celebration of Navratri, but not making this any kind of fast at all. I am eating less, but still consuming what my body tends to say it wants.
Thanks so much for your empathy and hugs! You are so sweet!
Lots of love to you,
On October 15, 2010, wrote:
Bodies change. A year ago, any cooked food did not feel right and my body rejected it. Now I am digesting cooked food and I crave lentils as you've described. I am glad you are experimenting with cooked vegan foods to show that there are options out there.
On October 16, 2010, wrote:
Change is definitely what it's all about...and we'll continue focusing on that as well as experimenting with what is right for each of us, individually, which isn't always going to be the same thing for the rest of our lives.
I'm still very interested in consuming 100% raw foods and when my digestion is working properly again, I'll see if it feels right for me at that time. For now, however, my body is really needing easier-to-digest foods that contain a lot of protein and iron.
It's all so fascinating, isn't it? I wonder how many 100% raw foodies experience digestion issues after a few years of exclusively raw diets, and how many find relief by adding in some simple cooked lentils?
Thanks for your continued support and love, Bitt!
I love you!