The Raw Vegan Month
Today I want to give you all some insight into what has been going on with my health lately, and to share with you the way I am currently eating in order to support my body. I want to make it very clear that I am not declaring that one way of eating is better than another. In fact, I believe that someone’s diet should be fluid and flexible, and very much based upon the season of their life that they are in. Rigidity and rules tend to foster disordered eating habits, and that is not what we are going for. The way that I am eating now supports a very specific health goal, and when that goal is reached and sustained, my diet will likely change once again.
So before I start, let me back it up a little bit to give you some context for how I got here. I am typically a pretty balanced person when it comes to healthy eating, exercise and self-care habits. But I’m also human, and sometimes I get out of balance. This past holiday season was a particularly indulgent one for me, and stretched on a bit too long. Since my birthday is in the beginning of October, and that also marks the beginning of pumpkin season (aka an excuse for me to bake all of the things), the “holiday” season sometimes stretches a good three months for me. Between several international trips, baking (and sampling) lots of goodies, and indulging in a coffee habit that I developed last year (super out of the ordinary for me because I never enjoyed coffee before), my body was definitely feeling the effects.
Needless to say, my body was already off-kilter, so when I picked up an infection from food poisoning, it doesn’t surprise me that my body had a hard time fighting it. A few months ago I got sick after eating at a reputable sushi restaurant, and when weeks went by with no improvement, a test revealed that it was indeed a serious E. Coli infection. Not exactly the good news I was hoping for, but it was a great indicator for me that I hadn’t been taking good enough care of my body. Even though I had still been eating reasonably healthy and exercising frequently, my body needed some extra TLC and I wasn’t listening. But this infection certainly got my attention.
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I do my best to avoid prescription medications unless absolutely necessary (I do believe in the power of Western medicine, but I also believe that we are an over-prescribed, under-nourished society and there is a time and a place for different aspects of medicine). Plus, this just so happened to be an antibiotic-resistant strain, and I was happy to avoid the ill-effects that meds would have on my body. So I opted to treat this infection holistically, and put myself on a structured regimen of whole foods and natural supplements. I started to notice some improvement, but not as much as I had hoped for. I gave it some time, and intuitively knew it was time to take my healing to the next level.
As someone who previously affirmed that I would never go vegan or vegetarian for any reason, I have found myself eating an increasingly plant-based diet over the past year and half. I was noticing that I felt better when I cut back on animal products, but never eliminated them entirely. I actually firmly believe that everyone’s body is very different, and some people do well on a vegan diet, while others thrive with some animal protein in their diet as well. Again, it’s all about what works for you and the season of your life that you are in. It is not about one diet being better than another. But I began eating more plants and fewer animals just because I intuitively felt that's what my body was asking me for.
That being said, I became very clear that the best healing diet for me right now would be an entirely vegan diet. And to take it a step further, I decided to complete one month of eating a fully raw vegan diet. In the past I would’ve never thought I’d be able to do this, but my body and mind were ready for it and I truly just wanted to heal.
So that brings us to today…I have just completed the fourth week of my raw vegan diet, and I am so happy with the decision that I made. I’ve eaten more fruits and vegetables this past month than any other time in my life, and my body feels so much better for it. I can tell that my liver, which has previously been a little sluggish, is already starting to function and detoxify better. My skin is becoming more clear than it has been in a while. My energy has returned in a big way. My digestion is improving, and the symptoms from the E. Coli infection are almost gone. I honestly never cease to be amazed at the healing power of food.
I still have some work to do, so I will continue to eat this way for the most part, while incorporating some more cooked foods at certain meals and allowing for more flexibility to go out and eat with friends. But it has also been really empowering to get even more creative in the kitchen and find ways to make fruits and vegetables exciting. (Honestly I already think they are really exciting, but I still love to have fun in the kitchen). I also made it a point to try new foods that I didn’t normally include in my diet, and am happy to say that I have some delicious new staples in my meal prep rotation.
I could go on and on about the healing powers of specific foods and supplements, as well as the benefits of different types of diets and my personal experience with them. But I’m curious what you guys want to hear more about? Recipes? How to eat to heal specific conditions? What my journey has been like? Client stories and testimonials? Let me know so I can tailor my next post to you!
I want to reiterate one last time that there is no right or wrong way to eat. But there is a right or wrong way to heal. If you are experiencing a health issue, the foods you consume can either help or hinder your healing process. But once your body is in balance, you have a lot more freedom and flexibility to eat any way that you’d like! So this post isn’t meant to advocate for a raw vegan diet. It’s meant to advocate for you taking ownership of your health in the best way for you.
Love you all!