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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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Quick note: Jim here... So strikingly pervasive is the "winter blues of 2010" that I suspect many of my friends will think this is about them. But, it's just some thoughts, really -- not in response to anything or anyone in particular. (In fact, if anything, it's in response to something related to our dog, which we'll no doubt write about at some point.)

I sense that there is a useful blog post on the topic of "raw during tough times." However, after pondering the topic at length, I'm just not exactly sure what to say about it. I do know that quite a lot of people come to feel disappointed in themselves for straying from the healthiest path. It's a story I've read over and over on raw web sites and blogs, perhaps more frequently in the winter. It starts out the same: Someone goes raw, gets all fired up about it, and soon starts feeling youthful and vibrant again. The high lasts for a while, but then ... something happens. They slip back to cooked foods -- or worse, to junk foods. Sometimes the process repeats itself for years.

It could be *anything* that causes the regression. While raw foods usually does, in my view, improve your mood and mental clarity, it cannot change the fact that you're human and that, along with that comes all of the normal, attendant pain and suffering associated with this existence. You may be raw, but that doesn't erase painful experiences and memories. You may be raw, but that doesn't mean loved ones won't leave you or pass away. You may be raw, but that won't necessarily solve your financial troubles. You may be raw, but that doesn't mean you're immune from having a bad day, bad week, bad month, etc.

Now, I do like to think raw foodists are generally better equipped to deal with these things (owing to greatly improved physical health which, in turn, often leads to greater mental clarity, emotional stability, and spiritual peace), but you can trust me that there are events in anyone's life that can render caring about food the absolute last priority in the world. The day you happen past the Heart Attack Grill and see Dr. Gabriel Cousens hunched over a Quadruple Bypass Burger, you can rest assured that something major happened.

Now, of course, being human also comes with a ton of joy (the more the better, which is part of what living a raw lifestyle is all about). But, no raw foodie ever suffers a full-on "Pizza Hut" regression after fitting into those jeans from years ago, falling in love, winning the lottery, or [fill in the blank with anything that might make someone very happy]. No, it's usually the negative things that send people back to other foods.

The thing is: Who's going to chastise someone for binging on Twinkies after some awful thing has happened to them? Certainly not me. Honestly, can you imagine the absurdity of even thinking something that unfeeling "I'm sorry about your Aunt Mable's death, Tom. I know she meant a lot to you, raising you as though you were her son, sacrificing so much for you your whole life long. But, you really shouldn't eat that cheese danish."? Come on ... that'd be crazy! It would be terribly uncompassionate, during such a time of stress, to show greater concern about another's diet than one would show toward another's emotional well being.

Of course, not everyone uses food to cope with stress. While that Dr. Cousens remark, above, was meant to be humorous, I can't imagine a scenario that would actually push that man into such a situation. I'm kind of like that as well. In fact, when life turns truly sour, I'm more apt to not eat at all rather than stuff down pizza. That's been my own experience, anyway. But, I do recognize that everyone probably has his or her own personal way of coping and, thanks to its efficacy in this department, cooked food will always be there to deliver the desired anesthetic.

In the end, if food is your anesthetic, the least you can do is not judge yourself too harshly for it. It's not good or bad; it just is. In time, you'll return to what you know is healthy. And, if it's any consolation, I do believe that if your food is your anesthetic now, that may not always be the case. I remember that, years ago, this was true for me. While I (thankfully) don't recall having ever felt much loss or depression in my younger days, I think in general I did eat whenever I was upset -- and it was always unhealthy stuff. So, in my opinion, the human coping mechanism is probably a learned thing and probably can change.

(I'm curious about others' thoughts on this topic! I know I've really only scratched the surface, above.)

Original Comments

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

On February 12, 2010, Connie wrote:

This has definitely been a problem for me. Not sure when it started but somehow food became linked with comfort and consolation. I do have hope of overcoming it but am not there yet. It always helps to realize that we are not alone and that there are people who understand and will not judge us. I am so hard on myself that I expect everyone else to be thinking the same kinds of things. Good to know not everyone is. :)
Love & Sunshine!

On February 13, 2010, sherylmiller wrote:

yes I too eat when I am upset, stressed or annoyed, not as much as I use to though I work through the scenario in my mind asking myself various questions.
Where as before I would just find myself at the pantry or fridge door looking for something sweet that I stuff into my mouth.

The realisation came for me one day when I was watching Kung Fu Panda for umpteenth time and Po( the panda) was at the tree of knowledge(peach tree) stuffing them into his mouth and the Master( old turtle) comes over and asks him" Why do you eat when you are upset" and Po says with a mouthful of fresh peaches, which was making my mouth water, "Upset, I'm not upset".
It dawned on me then and the light bulb went off in a flash.
I could not beleive it!
I am so grateful for my family at Pure Jeevan.
Thanks to everyone

On February 13, 2010, bitt wrote:

this is such a powerful post! i got down in the dumps due to a death in the family a few months ago and ate some junky stuff. i just felt worse. it numbs for awhile but not worth it! I prefer to numb with medicinal teas or herbs that don't give me a food hangover after.

you know what? today i was at my therapist and was going through some BAD stuff. but she commented on how i seemed calm and somewhat hopeful even though i had some anxiety and depression about it. it was nice to hear that. i think i would be more down if i didn't have my raw food mellowness to me.

On February 13, 2010, MARY wrote:


On February 13, 2010, Toni G. wrote:

Thank you for the post. The comment from bitt is right on. I have found that IF I choose to eat poorly I feel worse. My last 12 months being raw were definitely tested to the hilt with stressful situations. But, I have also stopped being so hard on myself about doing something (in small amounts of course) that may not be considered raw. It's a great place to be when you don't put guilt on yourself, it spreads quickly to others.

On February 13, 2010, Robin wrote:

I have two sons in Afghanistan. And sometimes, when I hear that the nasties were bombing them again, or something of that sort, I'll want cooked food, or chocolate ice cream - which does make me feel better, in a way. (And worse in another way.)

But I try to stay positive, and I try to stay raw. And when I don't, I just accept that I'm on a raw *journey*, and I'm not at "perfect" yet.