The Raw Vegan: Another Look at Listening to Your Body

This is something I touched on in yesterday’s post. I believe it deserves a more in-depth analysis (how’s that for high-falutin’ talk?).

Let’s start with the requirements. First you have to have a body. We all have that. Then you need to have the ability to be introspective. Third, honesty is imperative. Fourth, if you take medications, be assured the results may be from the side effects and not how your body would naturally react.

First, I’ll address the medication-takers. I still take one medication—levothyroxine sodium (and I can spell that without looking it up)—even though it’s been reduced by half since I’ve been eating raw food. Before that, I also took Detrol LA, Prometrium, and estrogen. With the Detrol LA, I noticed I felt better BEFORE I took it and my feeling of well-being was perceptibly reduced after a few minutes of having it in my system. I took my hormones at night before I went to bed and would, sometimes, feel a little queasy. I was encouraged to quit taking the Detrol when I realized its effectiveness wasn’t as pronounced as it once was. The pros concerning quitting outweighed the cons (one being that it’s a premium prescription with the highest co-pay of any medication my insurance covers). It was easy to put it down and not take any more. My hormones were a different matter. My gynecologist gave me instructions on how to wean myself off them. I did it and haven’t had more than an occasional “glow” since.

Read the inserts that come with your medication so you will be educated as far as dosage instructions and possible side effects. Whenever you take it, note how you feel before and after. If it’s a medication you can safely quit taking (like my Detrol and hormones) consider discontinuing them. As far as a thyroid medication is concerned, I’ve been told it’s a life sentence. I’m hoping that isn’t true. After you read all the material, talk to your doctor to see if he/she can move you to a prescription with fewer side effects or even a natural remedy. Be careful taking over the counter supplements (even natural ones) with prescription drugs as they sometimes can either magnify or lessen the effects. Personally, I don’t take any supplements since I get enough vitamins and minerals my food.

Now, on to what you eat. Until you know how your body will react to an abundance of a particular raw food, it’s a good idea to “test” it first. If it’s a new food, eat a small amount first to see if you even like it. If you do, sit back and see if it “sets well” in your stomach. Your body will let you know if it’s happy with your choice. Don’t let your tastebuds always be your guide. Listen to your belly and your gut, too.

If a conventionally grown food upsets, try organic. One of my forum members thought she couldn’t eat bananas until she tried organically grown ones. Now she can be right up there with the rest of us on her banana consumption.

Water? If you are fasting, drink lots. I try to get at least a gallon in a day. I haven’t ever made it past the first day so I’ll admit I’m no expert on fasting. When you are eating your usual raw foods, watch your urine. If your pee is concentrated, drink more water. If your output is low, drink more water. If I have no trouble with either one, a liter of water is enough. That includes what I wash my med down with and put in my smoothies. You might need more. Listen to your body and observe what it’s doing.

Flatulence (aka farting) can be indicative of bad combinations or eating fatty foods first and sweet fruits later. If there is noise but no smell, it’s fermentation caused either by a bad combo or it’s mixing with material left over from previous meals (that’s why it’s important to let enough time elapse between heavy meals and fruit ones). If it smells really bad, there is putrefaction going on and you don’t want to repeat whatever it was that caused it. That’s a setup for toxins that can cause serious diseases. Another condition is bad breath. So many people pop antacids when they should be getting rid of the problem at its source.

When you aren’t feeling up to par, back off on the activity and rest. That’s what I’ve been doing the past several days. Try to retrace your steps and see where the problem might have started. For instance, I have been feeling definitely under the weather since Friday of last week. I hadn’t really felt wonderful since that fateful weekend at my son’s place. First, I had packing, loading, and the trip to their neck of the woods. Then, the day to cap all days. My BIL from the Great Northwest who is a retired but still licensed physician diagnosed my episode as hyperventilation. Whatever it was, was wearing. The next day, I left my son’s and hit most of my usual spots and arrived home late. It was a rough weekend, to say the least, and I didn’t have a chance to recover before I went back to work. I didn’t listen to my body. It was trying to tell me to slow down but I didn’t. I was going at breakneck speed until the end came yesterday and I couldn’t go any more. I’m still paying for it.

Which brings me to rest. There are so many theories out there about not needing as much sleep when you are eating raw food. That may be true for some people but for most of us, it’s rubbish. When I first went raw, I didn’t sleep as well as when I ate cooked. I felt “hyper”, like I was ready to jump out of my skin. When my body adapted, that wore off and I was back to needing eight hours per night. If you are feeling the need to sleep, sleep. Don’t try to fit the “pattern” that someone has arbitrarily set as being what a raw foodist should do. We are all individuals. We need to behave as individuals and not let someone dictate how we are supposed to feel.

If I’m leaving something out, please dash off a comment and fill in the gaps. This is an important topic and shouldn’t be left incomplete.

And now I’m going to take my own advice and get some rest. Work tomorrow? I don’t know. I’m going to listen to my body.

4 Responses to The Raw Vegan: Another Look at Listening to Your Body

  1. susan February 20, 2008 at 3:58 am #

    Oh, verrrrry good!! I like it – when you don’t fill the space with your daily menu, we get some wonderful Tommie insights – yeah!!!

    You have been raw for quit some time and it is very special to have you sharing your experiences and thoughts!

    I love reading this stuff! I didn’t mind reading about your daily menu and your friends, work situations, and shopping trips either, but, this recent sharing is very valuable to me as you have more time under your belt being a raw food lady and it guides me and gives me something to think about!

    Let’s keep going…’ve got a new groove going on!!


  2. Tommie February 20, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    I’m glad you are benefiting from it, Susan. When my DD and I were talking, she suggested doing some “how to” posts since I was getting bored with my own round of days. Your vote to keep it going will give me the incentive I need—to keep it going! Thanks!

  3. joe February 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    My wife and I started on the raw food way of life Oct 12 2008. Since then I have shed 40lbs and my blood pressure is much lower. Very satisfied. Lately though my wife has been having intense cravings for chicken. She feels as if she is lacking something,any ideas?


  4. Tommie February 27, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    Not knowing what she eats or the quantities, I’m left with guessing. Usually, cravings come on with not enough calories. Could you give me an idea of her intake in a day’s time? I’m not a trained nutritionist or a doctor but maybe together we can figure it out.

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