I have not had such a strange week in a long, long time. Seven days ago I started an almost entirely raw food diet. I have been into raw food for awhile, and my interest in it is growing.
It all started when I joined a raw food club in Edinburgh. I can’t remember why I joined - I guess it seemed like something different and a little eccentric, which is my kind of experience. At our first potluck I tried some fresh sprouted greens. All of my senses went wild, because I could taste the sunshine in the leaves I was eating. My body lurched in recognition: “I KNOW this! This, this -give me this!”
I would like to say that I am not one to ignore my body, but I am. For years I have gained and lost weight, and gained (and gained and gained) some more. Every day would see me numb myself with a range of high-fat, high-sugar foods. I do this, sometimes unconsciously, other times consciously, in order to keep myself from something, some kind of feeling or experience that I am afraid of. This is also the reason I can’t seem to meditate when I am alone. I am afraid of getting into a place I won’t be able to get out of again. It feels like going exploring, but without a safety rope to guide me back.
At first I just loved how the raw foods tasted. I’m a pleasure girl; if it doesn’t feel good, it’s generally not for me. Let me qualify that this introduction wasn’t just about fruits and veggies. It was sauces, living sprouts, dried seed crackers that tasted like the sea and summer all rolled into one. It was nut butters and spices and bizarre dips and pungent sun-dried tomatoes.
I bought a couple of raw food recipe books and started experimenting. I bought a juicer and a larger food processor. I made almond milk, tropical fruit tarts, carrot and apple juice, cashew vanilla cream sauce to go atop berries. I also discovered dates. The first time I bit into an organic medjool date, I had to clutch onto the side of the counter to steady the wave of ecstatic pleasure that swept through me.
For several months I dabbled in raw food this way, but always went back to bread, went back to big sandwiches and loads of milk and sweetened tea and coffee. Went back to my food cocoon.
Again I don’t know what brought on this sudden decision to go raw for two weeks. I think it was mostly spurred on by some recent health problems, which confirmed once and for all that my body is intolerant to alcohol, and is also not fond of coffee. If I was going to have to give up coffee, I thought I may as well just launch myself into the whole raw experience.
The first couple of days went well. I had plenty of energy. But then by Tuesday I could feel myself sinking. The depression that I have struggled with most of my life was tugging at my ankles, pulling me down. And I couldn’t move. Because the raw food was meeting all my nutritional needs, my body wasn’t craving anything, so I didn’t have that desperation to just fill myself up and forget. But my mind was in shock. My mind wanted the shutters back up in a big way.
The game my mind plays with me is to be cruel. I’m useless, I’m ugly and fat, I have no talent and my life is going nowhere… Over and over the voices battered me, trying to trick me to just go and eat. Eat anything, as long as it covers up this pain. Buy the bacon roll. Hell - buy two. Get the big chocolate bar, wash it down with a double shot mocha. Do it, do it. Do it and we’ll make it stop. At least for a little while.
Thursday was the worst day. Sometimes I would have to creep away at work so I could cry, and other times I didn’t feel like I was even there. It was like the world was happening around me, but I was on the other side of the glass.
Physically I also hit the wall. I was exhausted and slept for 10 hours that night. When I woke on Friday, something small had broken open and I felt a little better. It was like whatever wound needed to bleed had done so, and I felt lighter as a result.
Today it has gotten a little better still. I’m so relieved, because when I was in so much pain, I was convinced it was never going to end, that this was life without my food shield.
Despite this week’s emotional rollercoaster, I am still excited about raw food. More excited than ever, actually. My body likes this. My body is actually fiercely in love with this, like the sunflower turning and turning in flat-out ecstasy towards Ra.
Things that I have noticed as a result of my raw food week:
-I sleep better
-Because of the high water content in the foods I’m eating, I suffer less in the heat
-I don’t struggle as much walking up hills
-I have less pain in my hips
-I feel more flexible
-My face is less puffy and I don’t look as tired
Next week will bring more raw food, some addition of a couple of “superfoods,” plus extra exercise. The scale says I’ve not lost any weight, but I’m trying not to let that bother me (without much success I might add). A couple of times in the week I’ve eaten some cooked brown rice, which my body was craving. It’s so strange to hear my body’s “voice” so clearly. “Brown rice please. I would like some avocado now. Give me spinach. Stretch my back.” It’s so blunt, so straight forward. Not like my brain at all. Stupid brain. Mean brain.
I didn’t mean for this to be so long. I guess I just needed to write it all down, primarily to get things clear in my mind.
Anyway, wish me luck.
The hill at Snurrom
10 hours ago