The other day, I saw a woman from church and we got into a conversation about (what else?) eating raw food. She told me she knows a man who has started eating a high percentage of raw. Curious, she asked him if he were following the same plan I’ve been on since mid-2005. He said no. He still eats fish. That makes it definite he isn’t. Fish isn’t a vegan food. It seems to be working for him, according to what she said.
Then she got more enthused. She’d informed him that my weight “just fell off!” Every time she’d see me, I was smaller. As the months went by, it became more and more obvious.
That was the point where she asked me if it wasn’t really hard to stick to eating only raw food. I had to confess it was at first—for the first few days, that is. Then things smoothed out and improved once I hired Roger Haeske to be my coach. Without being able to tap his knowledge about eating a raw vegan diet, I would have been a dismal failure. I was fine until eight months in and I had raging cravings for, of all things, lentils and boiled potatoes. It was all I could think of for days. Roger told me to go ahead—fix and eat them.
Oh! They smelled so good and felt wonderful going down. I pictured myself having one “cooked day” a week. Then the next morning came. The Morning After. I had a cooked food hangover. It had been eight months since I’d felt that way. Instead of feeling light and energetic, I had a dragged out, heavy feeling. Unlike a hangover from drinking too much alcohol, it didn’t go away in a few hours. It persisted for four days. No “cooked day” a week for me. Never again.
My friend was surprised and she had every reason to be. Unless a person has experienced the feeling of well-being eating raw fruits, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and avocados, there’s no understanding.
Going back a few weeks in time, I was at the produce place where I get my oranges and other assorted fresh stuff. The lady behind the counter was talking about all the produce I buy. One thing led to another and I confessed I don’t cook any of it. She asked me why I eat that way. I went into the health issues I used to have and the fact that (I thought) I was nearing retirement. The medications I was on were very expensive and Medicare Part D didn’t exist. It was either get rich or get healthy and since the first was nigh onto impossible, I chose the second. I quickly outlined how I got into eating raw food and then pulled out my pictures. DS1 tells me, “Mom, quit bragging!”
This one was taken for my 15th anniversary at the hospital. It was to go into the “annual” that’s published every year of the honored employees. Not satisfied with taking just one humiliating picture, here’s another one. As you can see, I had plenty of curves. They were too big and in the wrong places. They’re still in the wrong places but they are a reasonable size now. (Any of the pictures on this page are linked to larger ones. If you click on the ones displayed, the others will open in a new window and it will permit even more horror.)
The lady was impressed and went on to the other two.
I can’t remember for sure, but I think the reason I was at my sister’s was to celebrate my mother’s birthday. The checked fabric at the left was my mother’s dress. If you click on the picture and open it up larger, you can see my double chin in all its glory. Kinda scary if you think about it. Someone had given me some apples. If I ate them, I probably fried them in butter. At the time, if it’s the birthday I’m thinking about, maybe they were fried in coconut oil instead. I’d bought into the hype that I could lose weight if I cooked with large amounts of it—or just took it like medicine. Yeah, right.
Then there was the picture of me at the 50th anniversary celebration for my sister and my brother-in-law. I think I’ve posted it somewhere else—I just looked and I did. Anyway, it’s part of my bragging so I’ve posted it again. The lady leafed through the pictures slowly and examined each one. She looked up at me and said, “I remember her but I didn’t know it was you.” That could be one of the best compliments I’ve had.
Our conversation went on with her telling me the son of someone I used to work with doesn’t eat any processed foods and he says he feels so much better. I remember him as a little boy but I would like to see him now.
A week later, I was in the produce place again. The woman who’s in charge was there and she said, “When I get a minute, I want to see your pictures!” I asked, “Who’s been talking?” She said it was her mother. She had to go wait on a customer so I went about the business of loading a bag with tomatoes.
As soon as she was through, she came over to see and I pulled them out. They are getting a little worn and dog-eared. I need to put them in an envelope. She was gratifyingly surprised and echoed her mother’s words that she knew me from before but she didn’t know I was the same person. Her husband had to see them next, at his wife’s insistence. I think he felt a bit threatened but that could be my imagination.
People can’t see how I do it. It’s second nature now. I don’t have to think about it. Seeing and smelling cooked food doesn’t tempt me. I can remember how it tasted (the vegetarian versions, anyway) but I can also remember how it made me feel. I’ll take raw food any day.
Note: You can see the progression here.