My decision to begin a raw lifestyle didn’t happen overnight. Any type of life changing decision takes research, prep, and dedication. If you decide, “I’m going to start tomorrow,” you’re simply giving into the spontaneous “gotta have it now” part of your brain. It’s likely that without prep, you will fail.
My journey actually kind of started 14 years ago. When I was in high school, we were subjected to a video that showed farming and slaughter homes at their worst. As an impressionable 14 year old, I was shocked. I watched in pure disgust as the film showed the deplorable living conditions of animals before their unethical end. Cows living in small stables, nearly unable to move. Chickens in cages defecating on one another. Four or five pigs in cages smaller than an average bathtub. I was sick. The next day, I went cold turkey… Vegan.
I kept up my vegan lifestyle for nearly 4 years. My family was very supportive and helped me in my journey. I am a born again Christian, and I do believe that animals were put on this Earth for our consumption. However, God did not give Adam a cow so that it could be abused and then have its life inhumanly ended. I know that not all farms are like this, but most of the large corporations and farms that they utilize have similar practices.
Throughout my years as a Vegan, I used every opportunity to research these farms and what I could do to make a difference.
Now, in my late 20’s, my life is a far stretch from my Vegan days. I have gained 100lbs, I can’t go through the day without a nap, and my skin is also showing its displeasure with my food choices. It baffled me that I am the way I am, because I truly don’t eat that much during an average day. The problem is that I am eating the wrong things. I stay away from cakes and cookies, crisps and chips, chocolate, and so on. My diet primarily comprised of cereal, cheese, salad, nachos, yogurt, sandwiches, and juice. I used the aid of a calorie counter app that helped me realize that I was eating too large of portions, and high calorie foods. Most days I was exceeding 2000 calories. Very few of which was fruit or veg. Something needed to change.
While sitting on my butt one night, watching the tele, I cam across a few documentaries. In one night, I went on a spree and powered through 5 documentaries about farms, fast food, and how my obesity was affecting my body and life. Two documentaries that truly opened my eyes were Farmageddon and Frankensteer. I do realize that both of these, as well as many documentaries, try to make a point by altering facts in order to persuade audiences to see their side of the story, even if it isn’t the whole truth. What I saw made me realize that even if this was half true, I need to change.
I started with choosing how I would adapt this new lifestyle. Not only did I begin to set up a recycling program in my home, but I also did my research on what it meant to be raw. What seemed to work best for me was a 70 10 10 10. Usually, it’s referred to as an 80 10 10, but I wanted to start slow. So what does this mean?
- Well first off, all products are organic. All fruit, veg, nut, and legumes will be certified USDA organic. Luckily, I live in a large city and have a few different resources to obtain such products. There is a myth that organic produce is expensive. While yes, it is more expensive that non organic, the price difference is usually minimal. Plus, now you’re not wasting money on take away or dining out every week.
- The second rule is to purchase locally grown. Locally grown produce not only helps support local farmers and keeps large corporations at bay, but it also cuts down on the amount of emissions spent by trucking the food across the country. Plus, if it’s picked that morning, it tastes better because it’s fresh. The hard thing with this is that I live in a desert and farms and hard to come by here. So I will obtain what I can locally and get the rest of my diet from farms only 1 or 2 states away.
70 10 10 10 refers to how your diet is broken up. 70% fruit, 10% veg, 10% nuts or legumes, and 10% processed foods. Yes, processed foods are still in my diet… I didn’t want to continue to fail and cheat by not allowing myself the things that I am craving until I have the knowledge and resources to fully embrace the raw lifestyle. Eventually, I will have enough practice with recipes, as well as creating my own, and will find alternatives so that I can combat my biggest temptations dairy, nachos, and pizza.
I may also eventually shift my percentages as I learn to love veg more and more. For now, I love all fruits and they help curb my cravings. The only veg I can seem to manage at the moment is spinach and cauliflower. I’m warming up to some peppers and while at the farmers market, discovering new veg each week.
This blog is to help share my experiences and struggles, recipes, resources, and any advice that I can provide to help you embrace this lifestyle as well.
Come with me, and see how raw can be awesome!