To Be or Not to Be a Raw Vegan…

I discovered the raw food diet/lifestyle in a kind of roundabout way. I was already immersed in the world of organic eating and took up an interest in Ayurveda (Indian natural or alternative medicine) and yoga. One of the yoga instructor’s whose blog I followed posted an article about her friend’s new Raw Vegan Beauty online store. She had me at the words “beauty store”. I promptly looked it up and after reading about her various health struggles and how adopting a raw vegan lifestyle and using only raw vegan skincare and personal care products had completely healed her, I became intrigued and decided to check it out.

After researching everything I could get my hands on regarding this diet, reading hundreds of testimonials from people who had been healed from whatever sickness or disease they were struggling with, I decided to give it a try.
If you have never heard of the raw food lifestyle, I’ll give a brief explanation.
The raw food diet is a plant based diet where the foods are not cooked at a temperature higher than 118 degrees Farenheit (some raw foodists won’t go above 115-116 degrees F). The reason behind this is that by cooking the food at a higher temperature, their natural enzymes are destroyed. Enzymes are needed to aid with digestion. And yes, I know that our bodies do produce enzymes, but in limited supply, so the bulk needs to come from the foods that we eat. By eating a heavy diet of over cooked, refined and processed foods, we are taxing our bodies digestive systems and creating all sorts of havoc for our overall health. Raw plant foods..raw organic plant foods are full of living enzymes that help to make the digestion process easier. While they do all the work, our bodies can then have energy to work on healing whatever disease we’re struggling with. Plant foods are also more alkaline, whereas cooked and junk foods are acidic and having a body that is too acidic is giving sickness and disease an open invitation to destroy your health.
 Now, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to turn into a vegan overnight, if at all, or even give up all cooked foods, so how could I make this work for me?

Well, for starters, I made gradual changes. I had already cut way back on meat and dairy (about 2-3 times a week) and gave up refined sugars and starches and junk foods. At the same time, I began to increase my intake of organic, raw fruits and vegetables. Having read about all of the unpleasant detox symptoms people described going through when they went 100% raw, I decided gradually would be best for me. Ok, so I was chicken! I also knew that living in New York State would make it difficult especially in the colder months to forgo cooked or warmed food, so I basically adapted the diet to fit my lifestyle. I pretty much follow the dietary guidelines of Kimberly Snyder and Natalia Rose, which allows some cooked foods (which you cook with either organic butter or organic coconut oils only- all other oils turn to trans fats when heated at high temps), organic lean meats, eggs and some goats cheese. Also, wine is allowed as it is considered to be the healthiest of all alcohols and also essentially considered raw. And organic dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao only).

I had also switched to raw, organic skincare that I purchased from Living Earth Beauty’s website – mostly ISUN and Living Libations. My skin fell in love with the healing ingredients.

Just from these simple changes, I saw amazing results. Though it did take about 2 years to see any noticeable results in my skin, my overall health benefited almost immediately. And while it is much easier to eat a higher raw diet in the warmer months (since our bodies naturally crave cooler foods then), I was able to still eat about 50-60% raw in the colder months. By eating a raw green salad with a homemade oil & vinegar (stevia or honey to sweeten – no white sugar!) dressing before dinner, or having snacks of raw fruits or veggies or juicing or somehow incorporating something raw with our cooked meals, I was able to make this work. Now, that’s not to say I don’t still have “cheat days” because I do. I just try and make healthier choices when I do stray. It’s not always easy, especially around the holidays, or at family get-togethers, and of course I can never give up pizza no matter how hard I try! 🙂

Maybe someday I will actually get up the nerve to go completely raw vegan, if only for awhile, but right now, I’m just trying to enjoy the journey that I am on, and looking forward to what the future will bring.

Peace and Love,
~Sabrina

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