Hi there! My name is Catherine, I’m
51 52 yrs old, although truth be known I’m really 24 25 at heart . I believe that the food we eat has a huge (HUGE) impact on our mental & physical well being, after all it is our ‘fuel’ and feeding our bodies the wrong fuel will impact our entire being in ways far beyond what we see.
Myself, I have discovered I am super sensitive to the foods I eat. I suspect we all are, but some of us (like me) feel it much more intensely than others. But it’s only within the past 6 years that I’ve made the connection that the foods I eat can either make or break my day!!
As far back as I can remember, I often felt sluggish, tired, or at times I would eat like a maniac and just couldn’t stop. The feelings were not consistent, sometimes they occurred when I ate something that seemed to trigger me, and at other sometimes the feeling was just there.
Was it just me?
I asked around, family & friend, but no one seemed to have the same difficulties. Truth be known, they all thought I was a little odd!! (ok, so maybe I am a bit ) My conclusion – “must be part of my genetics!!”
Seems I would just have to come to terms with the fact that some days I would feel sluggish and other days I would feel amazing.
Oh and I did discuss this with my doctor, several doctors over the years in fact, but none of them had anything to offer and none of them inquired about my diet. Hmmm!! So life continued and I learned to live with it, while all the while still knowing that something just wasn’t right.
It was my birthday, celebrating with my family, February 2007. I enjoyed a small, very small piece of homemade cake with some ice cream – yum!!!!
Ok, but here’s the not so fun part!
Within only a few minutes of eating the cake I felt this overwhelming draw of energy from my body. All energy was just sucked out of me. I had to excuse myself from the table. I was struggling to keep my eyes open, my entire body felt limp, heavy, like all the energy had been zapped out of me. I felt awful!! Not only that but I felt this wave of emotional change – all of a sudden I was grumpy, edgy, and I just wanted to be left alone. Really, I just wanted to curl up under my dyna at home!!
Ok, so I had had similar reactions before that day, but nothing so severe!! The reaction that day was extreme, really really extreme!!
The good part – it was a major AH-HA moment for me!! The connection between food and mood was undeniable!!
From that day forward, I started to experiment with different foods to try to determine what did and didn’t work with my body. Sure, I could have had allergy tests, intolerance tests, but from the research I had conducted, I learned that many of those tests were inconclusive. So for me, I trusted my body – my very sensitive body would let me know pretty quickly what did/didn’t work.
First I eliminated all the common allergens – Brendan Brazer’s The Thrive Diet – was a godsent for me!! Not only did his book educated me and provide me with great insight, but his recipes were also fantastic and gave me some options for meals that were free of wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, etc. – I started experimenting with different types of “diets” in hopes of finding the right-combination-for-me. At times I still ate animal products, I tried vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan and many other combinations, you name it I tried it – and I was amazed to learn just how sensitive my body was and how profoundly some foods affected me.
At the same time, even though I rarely ate meat, I did enjoy chicken or fish once in a while, and I’d have eggs and/or baked good with eggs and butter occasionally. But during the course of my evolution, I made the personal choice to eliminate animal products from my diet. The main catalyst for this was movies like Food Inc and Forks Over Knives, and books like The China Study, Crazy Sexy Diet.
After lots of reading, learning (check out my Library & sources of wisdom ), experimenting and listening to my body, I discovered that I felt best when I followed a raw vegan diet, my skin looked better, my eyes were clearer, my mind was clearer, not as foggy, my spirit was more positive. For me raw vegan approach was without a doubt the best for my body, it was as if I had blossomed!! And if I added the wrong-foods-for-me to my diet I would become lethargic, tired, experienced more negative thoughts, glass half empty vs. half full… it was like night and day.
Thinking back to my younger years it occured to me I would often have bouts of depression, lethargy, negativity…. and I can now see that those changes were a result of my diet!! Thanks goodness I figured it out
And even though the effects are profound when I eat the wrong-food-for-me, I still struggle with maintaining a raw vegan diet all the time. But maintaining 100% is not really what I aspire to – after all, I am only human and life and social events, holidays, birthdays, and the gambet often add complexity. However, I’m learning (albiet slowly) that only I can take charge of my life, and the negative impacts of not eating the right-foods-for-me are far reaching, so not only for me but for those around me . So it’s really in everyone’s best interest that I eat the right-foods-for-me the majority of the time .
So today, my diet consists of a lot of organic greens, leafy greens, sprouts, vegetables, raw nuts & seeds, with some gluten-free grains (quinoa, buckwheat, etc.).
We also don’t eat anything processed, if I buy something with a label I only select products with ingredients that I would add if I made it myself, i.e. ingredients that are real food!! I don’t eat wheat (I have Wheat Belly syndrome, i.e. I become an additive lunatic when I eat wheat), and I don’t eat refined sugars – but I love sweets and I have discovered that if I eat raw vegan desserts, Cocoa Chews or Cashew Cranberry Chews or Chewy Brownie Balls are great examples (raw vegan desserts do not include refined sugar, flour, eggs/butter), I can pretty much eat as much as I like with no adverse effects – how great is that!!!!.
My diet is very varied, I don’t feel deprived in any way at all!! What I love best is knowing that I’m feeding my body (and soul) with foods that are highly nutritious, nutrients that every inch of my body can use to be healthy and strong.
And that’s my story. Thanks for listening perhaps my path resonates with you? I’d love to hear from you either here through comments on my blog, by email at AlmostRawVegan@bell.net or on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
To get you oriented with the ARV approach, I’ve included a few links below:
- About Me
- Why eat Raw?
- Almost Raw Vegan Food Pyramid
- Buying Fruits & Vegetables
- My Library of books & video’s
- Typical Meals