Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why I Do It

I have been blessed with overall good health and an upbringing of open mindedness, good nutrition and accessibility to healthy food. My family went vegetarian when I was 13 simply because we thought it would be healthier. Since then I have continued to be vegetarian for 18 years, and within that I was strict vegan for 6 and for another 5 years, was a mixture of vegetarian/vegan/raw. I have to say that I have always felt my best when I ate mostly raw foods.

I first became aware of the raw diet when my uncle was diagnosed with cancer. His wife, having a history of raw food eating and detoxing introduced the practice to him. With a variety of detoxing, healing herbs, ph awareness/balance and a raw food diet, he was able to cure his stage one colon cancer.

A couple years later, I moved to LA and was living with my uncle, his wife and my cousin in our family/my grandparents home. My uncles wife and daughter would prepare a variety of raw foods for him and I got introduced to a lot of things just by being around that. I learned about juicing, blending, dehydrating, sprouting, and ph balancing. It was something I eventually tried on my own, simply out of an interest in being more healthy.

I did a long cleanse and ate raw afterwards for a few months. It wasn't until I started introducing certain foods back into my diet that I learned that my body didn't prefer them. I "can" eat things like sugar, dairy, soy, and wheat without having major problems but i now KNOW all the intricacies of why they are not good for me. And I can tell the differences in how I feel, and I don't like it. Also, in once having a partner with candida, I learned a lot about foods that can grow bad bacteria and cause problems to the intestines and your overall health. Not surprisingly, I found some major similarities in the foods that cause candida and in the foods that I was starting to learn about, which only furthered my interest in eating better.

So I have been healthier since then, taking breaks from cooked food, limiting my dairy, wheat, soy and sugar intake, and doing cleanses at least twice a year. I figure why not try to PREVENT problems from happening instead of ignoring what might happen if I continue to eat an American FDA approved diet.

Improvements I have experienced by eating a more nutritionally dense, ph balanced and inflammation free diet include:

almost no back pain and tension from my scoliosis
no crazy mood swings or anxiety attacks. I have overall emotional balance and happiness
feeling inspired on a daily basis
stable energy levels, no need for stimulants
no cravings for unhealthy food
clear radient skin free of eczema (which I used to have a small amount on my face)
ph balance (I was always a tad on the acid side, which can be a breeding ground for disease)
no yeast/bacteria imbalance
good check ups at the doctors including the dentist!
sick only once a year or less
a feeling of self control and pride about being in charge of my own health
piece of mind knowing that I'm treating my body the best I can (a priceless feeling)

In the contrary when I have eaten wheat, sugar, soy and dairy for an extended amount of time I have experienced:

moodiness or irritability
sugar addiction
felt temporary lumps in my breasts and breast tenderness for long periods of time (SCARY)
severe back pain and muscle inflammation
ichy dry skin and breakouts
chronic, week lasting coughs after having a cold
mild depression, lack of motivation to go out and be social
guilt about how I was treating my body

When you know things, when you have researched nutrition, eating in not so healthy ways isn't as fun after a while. Sure I love to try all kinds of food, especially differing cultural foods, but in terms of my daily regime, I try to treat my body the best I have found for myself.

Which speaking of, I firmly believe that everybody is their OWN best judge for what is best for them. I have never been interested in imposing beliefs of dietary habits on people especially fueled by fatphobia, classism, and racism. There are limits in the world to the amount of information and accessibility to food for people that is very real, that makes everyones situation different. I personally love to share my experiences and hearing about others and hopefully we can all take charge of our own health, in the ways in which we feel fit for ourselves; but that is certainly limited by accessibility to such things. Further, being vegetarian for 18 years, I 'm definitely used to being around differing lifestyles and accepting of varying eating habits and know first hand that judgement and isolation are the worst things for anyone!

So I continue to find what is best for me, and I hope you can find what's best for you. I can only hope for self love and empowerment, for EVERYONE. We don't need that other shit.

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