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Jim here... An unusual occurrence prompted this post, and I'm unsure as to whether it's significant. I've talked about some of my favorite non-raw items before -- things that were tough to leave behind as I embarked upon this raw foods journey. I think I covered pizza in a relatively recent post.

Corn chips were another. In fact, after Wendi went 100% raw and I more or less began to follow her dietary choices, I clung to corn chips for dear life for quite a long time. I began eating a LOT of salsa in those days. Sometimes, that would be all I'd eat for lunch -- just an entire jar of salsa and a bag of corn chips (though, by then, I'd at least usually buy the organic ones and, quite often, a baked variety of chips as well).

When I finally decided I'd be better off transitioning to an all raw lifestyle, I figured my love affair with corn chips had come to an end. Farewell beautiful chips, I thought. I'll never forget our delicious crunchy time together. And that was that. I never looked back.

But then, at a local raw foods pot luck, I met a raw chef who had more or less perfected a raw corn chip recipe. Could it be , I thought. Has this delicacy returned to me after all, as though via some sweet culinary destiny? Ahh, my friends, that was a glorious day. Chips and salsa had returned to me in an enlightened raw form. I could enjoy them once again, guilt free. And enjoy them I did -- usually using a local shop's "Peruvian Purple Corn" (a living, sproutable, dried corn product).

Alas, fate stepped in once again. "Thou may partake of these crisps any time thou wishest," fate boomed. "Yet, in order to do so, thou must prepare them thine self using thine Vitamix and requiring an enormous flax-sticky mess with extended clean-up time, and thou must have parchment paper available at all times, and thou must exercise great care and patience in using your Excalibur, for these chips must dry for many an hour before ready."

Yeah, it was a bit of a chore to produce them. So, as the novelty of chip making and eating wore off, I slowly decreased the frequency of going through the messy, time-consuming hassle of preparing them. Until yesterday, it had been literally months since I made a batch. But... we'd ordered a few pounds of the corn from Natural Zing lately, and I found myself with some extra time the other night. So...

Now, I'm going to pause for a minute for a tangent on digestion. I know a great majority of people, it seems, complain of various digestive disorders. As a result, we have many raw foodie specialists schooled in the nuances of food combining. Oddly, I never paid much attention to these discussions, nor offered input on these matters, because they simply weren't relevant to me.

In fact, I likened my own digestive system to some kind of nuclear powered garbage disposal. It didn't matter what I ate; digestion wasn't a problem for me. So, for example, I'd routinely finish off heavy meals, and then follow them with a huge slice of juicy watermelon (a major no-no according to common wisdom). It just never bothered me.I always joked that, even though I'd been raw for ages, I could still probably go eat a Big Mac (not that I would) and be unaffected by it.

So powerful was my stomach acid that, admittedly, I sometimes privately *worried* whether this might mean something was wrong with me. I mean, shouldn't some of the things I was eating make me sick? Was it "good" to not be made sick by what is generally regarded as poor food combining choices? Do people commonly suffer from problems of efficiency as well as deficiency ? I still do not really know the answer to these questions, and suspect the answer is rather complicated, anyway. Fortunately, it doesn't matter now because...

Something finally made me sick!? I'm laughing now about that, but I spent most of the evening in terrible stomach pain after having over-indulged in some of those (in)famous raw purple corn chips.

So, what happened ? That's an interesting question for me. Here are some possibilities: (1) Perhaps my hyper-active digestive system *was* in fact a problem, and now it's beginning to normalize. Perhaps, had I been healthier all along, I would have been made sick by some of my food choices, but now my health is improving!? (2) Perhaps it's a fluke and I simply shouldn't have eaten mass quantities of corn and flax so late at night. (3) Perhaps my body is improving in its ability to communicate with me, and/or that I'm getting better at listening, and that the message here is that corn is not something my body gains nourishment from -- at least, not in this dried-reprocessed-redried form. After all, some leading raw food authorities, like Gabriel Cousens, aren't fans of corn (even fresh corn!).

Oh sure, there may be other explanations (e.g., "a bad batch of corn"). But, I'm actually most interested in #3, above. Even though this is an extreme example (more intense than it needed to be), I'd like to think that I'm getting better at knowing what I'm being nourished from and what I am not. I'd like to think that this is a latent sense that can be developed, much like our ability to know things by feeling and intuition rather via pure rationality all the time.

But, with food, I think it's a matter of inventorying your physical sensations head to toe, and also as a whole. How is the food you're eating making you feel? Do you feel satisfied or still hungry? Do you feel light or is the food sitting kind of heavily? Do you feel energized or dragged down? How's your mental clarity? Do you feel spacey or more grounded? Do you feel noticeably happier or more sad than before? How are all of these things mapping out over time? Is your weight moving in a positive direction for you? Are your illnesses improving? Food is medicine, after all; it has all of these effects and many more!

For now, I think I can safely check purple corn off of my own personal list of foods that make me feel good. I suspect my old assertion about "being able to eat a Big Mac without any side effects" no longer applies -- and maybe this is a good thing. I think perhaps it signals some progress in my journey toward optimal health.

In any case, I think this kind of purposeful introspection is healthy, and something we should all strive to do more often.How about you? Had any similar experiences? What have you learned from them?

Original Comments

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

On April 15, 2009, essie wrote:

i'm from texas so a big fan of tortilla chips too. so i was so happy to find some raw recipes. both of the ones i have used use frozen corn, not dried corn. one is here and the other is from matthew kinney's book everyday raw.

i've not been made sick by either of them--and both are delicious with salsa. but because of the flax the matthew kinney ones do have a lot of fiber. if i ate half the batch or more i could see myself in a bit of distress!

thanks to you both for this site, by the way. i'm sort of new to it, but have been reading daily in my feed reader. :)

On April 15, 2009, Veganmimi wrote:

Thank you for sharing your experience with the raw corn chips. I too love corn ( and corn chips) And i know just eating palin corn can cause my digestive sysyem to have some sort of a reaction. Not pleasant really. In being new to actually eating 100% raw (just this week) I saw a big reaction to a slight cooked food I had a a friends house a couple nights ago. She invited me over for tacos. But had refried beans in the place of meat for me and soft corn tortillas. But plenty of veggies! I only had 2 but the way I felt afterwards was not great. I was really tired. And when I woke up the next morning I was so tired and groggy. Good experiment for me. I had only been eating raw for 3 days. Our bodies are amazing in letting us know what is good/not good for us.

On April 15, 2009, debbiedoesraw wrote:

Jim, I too, am a or was a, chipaholic. It is the only smell, that of fresh tortilla chips that can make me have a slight yearning.
That said, the culprit is probably flax, I know me and flax get all messed up in the innards area. not fun. or pretty.
Matthew Kenny's frozen corn deal does work, try using less flax in the mix.
deb xoxoxo

On April 15, 2009, randomguru wrote:

from experience, about a month and a half ago, i tried eating a little cooked food at a church gig i was doing. bad move! it was basically vegan with rice and beans. and the whole meal felt like a big rock in my stomach. my logic was to just eat cooked food once in the weekend, so then i tried vegetarian thai curry, and the same thing happened. it felt like i had rocks in my stomach.

so, i learned my lesson that my body is simply 100% accustomed to 100% raw foods.

maybe the corn chips, though raw, is still having a similar affect disrupting your digestive system. since i've been 100% raw i am hypersensitive with how i'm feeling with raw foods. and i now know cooked foods are out of the question. i couldn't go back if i wanted to.

although, i did try some raw corn chips purchased from whole foods and didn't really have a problem.

On April 16, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Essie!

I've tasted a few different recipes. Our most *excellent* purple corn chip recipe appears in our free Raw Recipes eBook. Not sure if you downloaded it or not but, if you didn't yet, just click on "Subscribe to our Newsletter" on the right side of our blog & you'll get it. Or, if you usually read this in a feed reader, subscribe here:

I think you have a point about the *amount* that I ate. I probably should have taken it easier on those delicious chips. But, chips still have a power over me, I suppose! :-)

One quick note about frozen veggies: It's normal for frozen vegetables to have been blanched prior to freezing. I did a little research on corn blanching. According to the article here (, corn needs to be boiled for 7-11 minutes prior to freezing. The whole blanching process, in fact, is designed to *stop* the enzymatic activity in the corn. So, give it a try with fresh or dried, sproutable corn if you can. (Of course, *freezing* anything -- even fruits -- also damages it a little. I've read varying estimates of how alive various fruits are after freezing. Here at Pure Jeevan, we've eaten moderate amounts of frozen fruits without any noticeable negative side effects -- in other words, our health has continued to improve during this time. Personally, I suspect that that drying some things may also have *some* effects on the nutrition. Perhaps we'll run some articles on this topic -- freezing, drying, etc. -- in the future.)


On April 16, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Wow, Mimi. It's cool that you were able to notice the bodily effects so fast, after just three days raw! I think this is a wonderful thing, as you'll likely notice how amazing you'll feel on raw after just a short while. Were you vegan prior to going raw?

On April 16, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hey Deb- Yeah, Wendi was saying that, too. Maybe it was the flax. I suppose you always need a *little*, just to make everything stick together. Plus, I also forgot to mention that the ground flax I used wasn't freshly ground. It was leftover ground flax from a batch I'd made a while back. So, maybe it had gone bad or something. I may try chips again in a while... And, as others have suggested, I'll attempt to keep my portion reasonable! I'll take a look in MK's books. We've had RFRW for ages, but we just bought his new one recently. -Jim

On April 16, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

"my body is simply 100% accustomed to 100% raw foods."

Yeah, I suppose I'm there, too. I think it just took me longer than most to get there, which is why I always had this sense of being unaffected, in a digestive sense, by any food choices. So, I've revised my bold statement about the Big Mac. I think if I ate one now (not that I would), it would not sit well with me. This is really a positive thing, though. I think being 100% accustomed to raw foods means you're really on the right path toward optimal health.

I was just telling Wendi the other day that I really feel best when I just have smoothies. I think I could pretty much live on them. Smoothies and salads and fresh whole fruits. Okay and maybe some various powders that I like, like VM Green. And maybe a handful of nuts from time to time. And the occasional raw sandwich on a Love Force raw seed bread. LOL... Okay, it's morning here and I'm obviously hungry!


On April 16, 2009, Lois Kubota wrote:

I gave corn up about 6 years ago. I get migraines. I'm not sure if it's just processed corn, maybe so. I can't do corn starch or corn syrup. Really not a bad thing since I am mostly raw now.

Corn, like wheat and soy is in everything processed. It has tons of different names too.

So I've been afraid to try real corn ever since. I'm sure if I want to go there and risk a migraine

On April 17, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Lois-

I'm extremely fortunate in life to have never had a migraine. I rarely get headaches, either. However, based on my being around when Wendi has had them in the past, I definitely understand how seriously painful and debilitating they are. If you truly feel there is a link, then it's probably not worth the risk of such agony just to try some corn. But, if you ever do decide to test this out, I'd definitely recommend fresh (as fresh as possible) raw corn, in some minimal amount (like, sprinkled on a salad or something).

I think you bring up a great point here -- one that I think we'll cover in a future blog post: "Can raw foods cure people of food sensitivities and allergies and, if so, how should people go about testing the waters once again with the foods that historically bothered them " So, thanks for the inspiration, Lois!


On April 17, 2009, sheryl miller wrote:

hello everybody,

i did post a comment there the other day!
Now it's not there!

Kepp up the good work and thanks Pure J eevan Team!
sheryl miller canberra australia

On April 18, 2009, MindXdreamz wrote:

We're not eating corn at all Jim... I totally understand your corn "experience". We used to LOVE tortilla chips, especially when we went to eat out at our SAD Mexican restaurant... now we are eating dehydrated chips only, from and loving those!!! It really is something how our bodies change, inside and out, from feeding it RAW.
Love your posts! All appreciated. :)

On April 18, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hmmmm, wonder where that comment went? Strange behavior sometimes, eh? Thanks, Sheryl.

On April 18, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Yeah, I think there's a list of things (pizza, chips, etc.) that are just TOO powerful and really give people a hard time when transitioning. I may yet try some dehydrated chips again sometime -- perhaps in the summer when I can get some fresh organic corn somewhere. So, if you're not eating corn, what kind of chips are you making? Flax crackers? That type of thing? I've tasted some pretty impressive raw dehydrated things lately. The health food stores & co-ops here are starting to carry a wider selection of raw treats. Still, it's better to make your own most of the time... A lot of those are $$$.

On April 18, 2009, Karina wrote:

The issue may be (and this is a wild guess) the soluble fiber -- the kind that swells in your stomach/gut, like apple pectin or flax seed hulls.

Thus, I just learned (today!) that I have to be careful when I dehydrate apple slices (for 'apple chips') and decide to eat them in mass quantities (something not really possible when you consume the fresh fruit). >.<
I suspect flax in quantity would do the same -- i.e. make you feel distended and unpleasant as the fiber expands.

I bought a small bag of purple corn as well, to give it a try, but it's been sitting around unused lately. I used a bit of it when I tried making an improvised recipe for purple corn chips recently, only to discover they were way too salty for my tastes -- yet my omnivore dad ate them up!

Speaking of "way too salty", I suspect that increased sensitivity to salt is another not-uncommon side effect of going raw -- along with sensitivity to sweetness, perhaps. (I still have my faithful Iron Tongue for spices and hot peppers, though. ^.^) So, do you think that a taste of the old corn chips would have you thinking "whoa, too much salt"?

On April 19, 2009, MindXdreamz wrote:

Hi Jim, and all...
We're eating the Punkie Buck Flax crackers from and here's what's in them:
Sprouted buckwheat*, sprouted flaxseed*, sprouted pumpkin seed*, onion*, garlic*, Himalayan Sea Salt
We're also eating the Pumpernickel onion crackers:
Sprouted buckwheat*, sprouted flaxseed*, onion*, garlic*, raw cacao powder*, carob powder*, raw agave syrup*, Himalayan Sea Salt.
I just copied the ingredients from the site.

I hear ya about the cost of some of these but so far Melissa's crackers at getrawsome are the only ones that fit our budget for this kind of thing. We've not bought a dehydrator and most of the reason is that I am kind of concerned (since my hubby and I both work and we have our beloved doggies in the house all day) how to run something such as a dehydrator all day - we unplug and turn off everything when we leave the house to prevent a potential fire. So... if anyone knows of another way to dehydrate without electricity or such I'd love to hear it. Plus I figure Melissa already has done all the trial and error and her crackers are delicious so why should I need to fuss with figuring it all out. (me the lazy one!)

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