I wanted to thank each and everyone one of you for the support I’ve received over the past week from my family, friends, and even strangers. This first week back on raw has been mostly enjoyable. The first few days I was experiencing some detox symtoms but that’s mostly over now and the clarity is starting to be more present.
However, now that I’ve decided on a high raw diet for the long term, I’m finding very conflicting information about what the best way to eat raw is. It seems to break down to basically 2 schools of thought:
- Raw foods with a focus on greens with healthy fats. This means a lot of green juice and salads, but also a lot of avocado, nuts, and seeds to make sure you are consuming enough calories in your day. This school of thought also tends to eat fruits in moderation because of the high glycemic index.
- 80/10/10 or the Low Fat Raw Vegan diet. This school of thought focuses on eating 80% of your daily calories from fruits (yes tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and all other seed containing “vegetables” are considered fruits in this case), 10% of your calories from protein, and the last 10% from nuts, seed, and other fats (avocados, olives, etc). This diet also tries to eliminate salt and added oils.
Since these two views on the raw foods diet are in such opposition to one another, it’s sure to make a person confused. In the past when I’ve got raw before I would usually eat similar to #1. Trying to drink and eat lots of greens (chlorophyll reduces inflammation), but that would usually leave me hungry so avocados or nuts would help me get enough calories so I was full.
I haven’t yet decided which way I’m going this round, but I’d love to hear from you all if you’ve had experiences with either. Which diet is better for reducing inflammation?
Many of you have seen me eat different variations of a vegetarian diet for years now. You’ve seen my weight go up and down, my moods go up and down, and I’m sure it’s difficult for you to understand or remember what I can and can’t eat and I really do apologize for that.
One thing I don’t usually talk about is why I started eating this way, yes I had a goal to lose weight, but underneath all that I was in pain. Some of you know that 5 years ago I was diagnosed with costochondritis.
Costochondritis (kos-toe-KHON-dri-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum) — a junction known as the costosternal joint. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.
Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause. In these cases, treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for costochondritis to improve on its own.
While my doctors wanted to give me pain medications, I resisted and waited for my condition to improve. The pain only spread to my upper back and upper arms. After 5 years it’s clear to me that I have chronic costochondritis that is very painful and is made worse by stress and a diet that causes inflammation.
The only time that I haven’t been in physical pain in the past 5 years is when I am eating raw foods. Sure I have good days and bad days, but the pain is always there, a constant state of pressure. Only when I’ve been eating a raw foods diet has my pain level gone away completely. Even recently when I did go on prescription pain medication it still wasn’t the same kind of relief as eating raw.
With the pain comes depression and stress, which causes me to eat poorly, which causes me to gain weight, which causes me to be more depressed, which causes me to eat more, which causes more pain, which causes stress….you can see how this cycle will continue.
But for some reason stopped eating raw, because I was convinced that it was not sustainable long term (even though I had done a lot of research to tell me otherwise). People would tell me that what I was doing was unhealthy, or not natural, that I wasn’t getting enough protein, or calories. So to please everyone I started to move towards a more mainstream healthy vegetarian lifestyle, trying to eat more protein and including fish and dairy back into my diet. But nothing changed, and the past few months I’ve been in more pain than I can remember in a long time. Very similar to the kind of pain when I was first diagnosed. But I hide it better, I manage the pain by suppressing the feeling of pain. But this just led to a deeper depression that I couldn’t really find the cause of until now.
So to end this long story, I am going back to eating a raw foods diet, sure sometimes I will make exceptions, and I’m not perfect, but what I need most from all of you is your support, emotionally and spiritually. This isn’t easy for me and while I do enjoy eating this way, it can be especially hard in social situations and when you are with people you love and you just want to eat “normal” food. So I hope you all understand my reasons for doing this, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I am also going to be re-educating myself about this lifestyle, and making sure I have the knowledge to be sure that what I am doing is the best for my body.
I might not eat this way forever, but for right now I need to do what I know works to get rid of the pain.