If you happen to follow any other blogs in the raw food movement, you may have noticed that there is a bit of a split happening between strict raw veganism and non-vegan raw foodists.
Is there a movement away from Raw Veganism?
(Click here to watch the embedded video about raw food.)
It’s a very interesting phenomena, and I think it’s one that really needs to be addressed. Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw wrote about her commitment to being vegan and how she was vegan before going raw. I respect her position and determination, and love the piece she wrote about her stance on the issue.
On the other hand you have people like Anthony The Raw Model and Daniel Vitalis who are into the more primal way of eating, including animal products. They are also to be respected for openly discussing their own trials.
Where I Stand on the Issue
As you know my approach to raw foods has never been one of all-or-nothing. Because of that, I don’t see this split in the raw food movement as being such a monumental shift.
The truth is that I think a 100% vegan raw food diet is great if you really need to cleanse or purify your body. Most of us do at some point, if the food industry is anything to go by.
However, I don’t think it’s perfect for everyone in the long term. I think that different people have different body types, live in different climates, and have access to different quality foods.
I am very much in tune with the animal rights movements and treading lightly on our planet.
However I don’t think that adhering to 100% raw veganism is the only way to champion those causes. If you think about it, you can be a good steward of the earth even if you do consume animal products.
Raw Veganism For Health Reasons
Chances are you came to the raw food movement to improve your health, and I think that it is a great starting point to changing unhealthy habits.
I also think that it is your responsibility to do your research and eat the way that makes you feel your best, and if that means taking supplements or eating something that is not raw and/or vegan then I say go for it.
The raw vegan diet is very idealistic, but the truth is that most of us don’t live in an idealistic society.
I admit it, I am an idealist and I wish that it could be as simple as surviving only on raw vegan foods.
With books like The Vegetarian Myth coming out and more research and discussions about how environmentally friendly a vegan diet can be, I think it’s necessary to take a step back.
Raw Veganism and Animal Rights
I know of monks in China who are completely vegetarian. Still, there are other monks who choose to eat animals because they say that eating only vegetables does not limit the amount of harm done to other life forms like bugs, worms, etc.
Of course the real problem is not so much the fact that some people choose to eat animal products at all. But rather the way animal products are sourced unethically.
We are growing animals in factories. These dark conditions are certainly no way to raise animals, let alone animals to be eaten.
So here’s my take away point
You are an individual and you are allowed to research, experiment, and see for yourself what works best for you and your body type.
If that includes raw dairy products, a little bit of meat or fish, or some ethically sourced eggs then I say go for it.
Some of the most nature-respecting native peoples were hunters who ate animal products. They never abused the earth and they made the most of their position as shepherds of the planet.
It’s our time to do the same.
If you’re going to take care of yourself, you need to care of the planet as well.
That means eating organic, grass fed, ethically sourced animal products if you choose to do so.
That also means including lots of raw fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
Finally, breathe deep…
Just because there is division in the raw food movement, doesn’t mean that eating fruits and vegetables raw is less effective or less important for your health.
I believe it’s important to get everything out in the open and to really dig deep.
In January I was on a trip in China and Korea, with my boyfriend Robin. The idea for The Raw Foods Witch web site was still marinating in my mind. I was blogging as The Billionaire Woman.
The Raw Food Switch web site was created. Note that the site was actually called Raw Food Switch and not Raw Foods Witch. That little witchy switch took place later on.
In April I started a series on the benefits of eating raw food. Some of the articles were about using raw food for weight loss, and how more college students are turning to raw food to increase their performance.
I maintain that it’s not necessary to eat 100% raw to enjoy the benefits of raw food.
Then I wrote a cheeky article that hypothesized that it is easier to become raw than to become vegan.
June was also the month that Raw Food Switch became the Raw Foods Witch. :)
In July I went back to basics and explained what is the raw food diet.
In one of my most popular articles to date, I shared the 13 Witchy Ways Green Smoothies Make You Feel Good in 13 Minutes or Less. Yum, yum.
I also weighed in on the debate over organic food, and shared in the advantages and disadvantages of organic food.
August saw the harvest from the garden and so I explained what a raw food dehydrator is. I also shared 21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Day, because we all know that eating more veggies is good for us but putting it into practice isn’t always so easy.
I also answered 2 of the most commonly asked questions: Is it better to blend or to juice? And whether a certain symptom is just detox or not, in my article on Raw Food Detox: The Myth, The Madness… The Magick?!.
In September I opened up more and shared the story behind why I started eating raw food and what has happened since then.
October was a busy month for The Raw Foods Witch. First, I wrote about the difference between healthy food and unhealthy food.
October was also the month I posted my Raw Pumpkin Pie recipe with a quick video to show you how to make it.
December was all about celebrating the season. I posted the raw food gift guide to help people shop for the raw foodies in their circle.
I explained the benefits of goji berries, and gave away my secret to buying them for a good price.
December seemed like a good time to answer another question I get asked a lot: what is a raw food coach?
What’s in Store for 2010?
I hope you had a great 2009, and are looking forward to a fantastic 2010. I’m wishing you nothing but the best in health, joy, and prosperity.
As aspiring raw foodies and health revolutionaries, I think it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. You’re here already, so you’ve already taken the first step. Woohoo!
I’ve also noticed that once you start making changes to the way you eat, a lot of other little things start to fall into place. Or out of place. You notice certain things that used to be normal, but that now seem odd or out of place. Maybe it was normal to watch TV for hours while chowing down on a whole bag of chips. But suddenly you realize there’s more to life than that.
That’s one step toward changing the world.
Two people who know a lot about changing the world are my good friends Pace and Kyeli – cofounders of the Freak Revolution.
I had the pleasure of talking to both Kyeli and Pace about the work they’re doing to change the status quo. We had such an awesome conversation that I know will inspire you and give you insights into your own life.
Since learning about the Freak Revolution, I’ve really been able to return to my true roots. (It even gave me space to make this the Raw Foods Witch, and not just the Raw Food Switch.)
If the idea of changing the world really calls to you, then you will LOVE the Freak Revolution Manifesto. You can download the Freak Revolution Manifesto for free now.
I encourage anyone who is interested in real change for our planet to grab a copy of the Freak Revolution Manifesto and share it with as many people as possible.
It’s a call to
arms hearts, and we can do it together.
Photo by Louise Docker
One of the things I learned early on in life is that an attitude of gratitude goes a long way. Sometimes it helps to say thank you to nothing in particular, and other times it helps to highlight the people that make your life better.
These are some of the delightful people I’ve been blessed to work and interact with, while bringing more raw food magick into their lives. They’re all outstanding, so check them out. :)
Emily of Hello!Self: Emily was inspired by the first free Raw Food teleclass I gave. It was so humbling to see Emily undertake a raw food trial shortly after the class too! Emily is a Life Coaching for Positive Living, you can follow Emily on twitter @HelloSelf.
Rohan of Rohan Mitchell: Rohan is a Software Engineer (not unlike myself!) living in Australia (unlike me) who shares his passion for personal development and freelancing. Rohan is into veganism, and my latest love Dance of Shiva. He mentioned giving green smoothies a try, so follow him on twitter @RohanM.
Kyeli of Freak Revolution: Kyeli is like my long lost faeriedust sprinkling sister, who also loves Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She is currently doing a rejuvenating self-care retreat while going raw, so send her lots of love and support, read her microfiction and comment, or follow her on twitter @Kyeli. You can do it Kyeli! :)
Sean of RebootSelf: Sean is an inspiration to anyone who wants to change. He has quit alcohol, smoking, and coffee. Now he’s retooling his eating plan and has started a raw food trial. Let him know what a fantastic job he’s doing and follow him on twitter @RebootSelf.
Andrea of Holistic Show: Andrea is the host of Holistic FM and she exudes a passion for helping parents make great choices. She’s a green smoothie mommy and we share a lot of common ideals. Follow her on twitter @HolisticMom.
Sigve of Sigve Alsvik: Sigve is a long time raw foodie from Norway who is a passionate multimedia musician. He’s got a great creative flair and is a wonderful person to connect with on twitter @SigveA.
Nathalie of One Peaceful World: We share the same name, and we happen to have a lot more in common than I originally thought. ;) Nathalie is a recovered lawyer into human rights, health, and living in a peaceful world. We need more lawyers like her, so follow her on twitter @NathalieMe.
Carla of Green & Chic: Carla and I met through personal development blogs, and as it turns out we both like things that are green and chic. I just wanted to commend Carla for her dedication to her health as an MS survivor, and for the incredible transformation that she’s undergone. Follow her on twitter @CarlaRose.
Now I’m passing the gratitude flowers onto you, who would you like to say thank you to? You can do so in the comments publicly, or just send an email to someone you appreciate!
Sending lots of raw magick juice your way!
With more and more talk about the benefits of a high raw diet, I think it’s important to stress the idea of transitioning to raw.
I don’t think everyone can go 100% raw overnight on their own, and that’s why I’m putting on the “Flip the Raw Food Switch” teleclass tonight. If you haven’t signed up yet – do so now, it is going to be full of awesome information, plus you get the recording to listen to over and over again!
Raw as an Investment For Your Health
For most of us, food is a nuisance. (I used to think this a lot before I went raw!) It’s a drain on our bank accounts, our schedules, and our energy.
Sometimes we eat out of necessity, opting for the quickest option that we can chow down on so that we can get back to the real important stuff.
Other times food can be a way to medicate ourselves. We might eat when we’re bored, feeling emotional, avoiding problems that need to be solved or work that needs to be done, and so on.
Let’s take a different perspective of the food that we eat. What if the food that we ate was solely seen as the fuel for our bodies and minds? Just like you wouldn’t put random household ingredients into your car’s gas tank, you should invest in the correct fuel for your car.
In this case the food you eat is an investment for your body, for the long-term.
Photo by John Watson
Raw Food Diet Definitions
In the spirit of accepting that every one of us is at a different place along our journey, let’s look at the different options that you have for incorporating more raw foods into your diet.
- 100% Raw: People who go 100% raw overnight, tend to experience great benefits soon after they go raw. Sometimes however, being 100% raw is too strict and these people can flop back and forth between 100% raw, high raw, and going back to their original eating habits. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, as long as you aren’t taking yourself too seriously, or are afraid of reverting back to your not-so-good eating habits.
- High Raw: The definition of high raw is between 80%-99% Raw raw foods. What this means is that people who are high raw intend to eat raw all of the time, but that there are certain circumstances that are beyond their control. For example, they might eat a condiment or a sauce that isn’t raw, or even go for some cooked vegan options if they are stuck. People who are high raw have the advantage of being lenient with themselves, and not beating themselves up for not adhering to their standards.
- Raw Until Dinner: One of the simplest ways to add more raw foods into your diet, is to go raw until dinner. The idea is that you eat raw meals for breakfast, and lunch, and your snacks are raw. Then dinner is up to you, you can choose to eat the foods that you always eat, but you’ll notice that soon enough you’ll be attracted to eating more healthful foods even in the evening.
- Transitioning To Raw: If you just learned about raw foods, and you want to take the slow and steady road to eating more raw foods, transitioning is the way to go. When you’re transitioning, you choose exactly which meals and what it is you’re going to eat for each day, and try to fit in as many raw fruits and vegetables as you can. One of the ways of doing this is to drink a big green smoothie either in the morning, or as a snack in the afternoon. I personally transitioned to raw foods for over a year, before actually choosing to take the high raw path.
Bear In Mind
Everyone is different, and we all have different experiences with food from our past. It’s important to take into account that just because your mind has decided to eat more healthful fruits and vegetables, doesn’t mean that your body is in agreement yet.
Sometimes we have resistance when it comes to changing our eating habits. It helps to have a buddy who can keep you accountable. Having a whole group to support you is even better!
There’s no raw food police, and you don’t need to destroy yourself esteem trying to go 100% raw overnight.Read More