Something finally clicked for me about raw foods. It took a few weeks (months?) and a few different things to make it stick in my brain. I'm a little dense that way! lol
A while back one of my friends who eats a raw foods diet, said that she eats something like 10 or 12 bananas a day. I thought WOW! That's a lot! Then not too long after that another one of my raw foodist friends said the same thing. Then I read on her blog how she ate 15 oranges for one meal and her husband had 25 fruits in a day. That really surprised me, so I tried to figure out why that was such a big deal to me.
I eat a LOT, so it wasn't really the amount of food that shocked me. If you know me, you might not be able to believe that my 130 pound, 5'9" self can eat an entire medium sized pizza, a whole pie, a box of cookies, or a half gallon of icecream as one meal, but if you REALLY know me, you've seen me do it. So, why did that much fruit seem so crazy?!
My friend suggested that maybe it was because of culture and habit. We just aren't used to buying fruit by the case. We just don't see it in our shopping carts and our kitchens. I thought about that, and agreed with her, that was part of it. I also realized that a lot of times, I limit myself to less fruit than I really want. I might eat 2 bananas, but then I think that there's only a few left and a week till I go grocery shopping and I should save some for the kids. Also, I tend to feel like produce is more expensive even though really it's not. Most of the produce I buy is less than $1 a pound, some of it way less. But some culturally conditioned part of my brain wants to tell me that it's expensive and special and can't be a whole meal.
I used to eat a banana or two (or whatever fruit, that's just an example) and then still feel hungry. So I'd think I needed protein and I'd eat some peanut butter or keifer or yogurt. Or something heavier and cooked. When I realized how much produce my raw friends eat it was like duh! If you're still hungry after the first 2, have 2 more! The thing that made that click was reading about the calories. Cooked food can have a LOT of calories, but no nutrition. Raw food has lots of nutrients but you need to eat more to get the same amount of calories. But the cool thing is that the more you eat, the more nutrients you get too!
The other thing was that when I tried to do a raw foods diet before, I was "committing" to it and then I'd eat something cooked and feel guilty. I'm not doing that any more! I'm not making any commitments and I'm not claiming to be "going raw." I've been reading this book called Willpower is not Enough and it makes some great points about willpower vs. heart power. The things that we try to do through willpower rarely work, because we can only grit our teeth and bear it so long. But the things that flow from our hearts desire, come easier, more naturally and stick with us because they are internalized. When I made a list of my mind's desires and my hearts desires I realized that I was trying to go raw before because of my mind. Logically, I know that eating raw is more healthy, so that's what I wanted to do. On the other hand, my heart's desire is to have lots of energy to play with my kids and follow my passions, to feel good and strong, to stop having headaches, stomach aches and allergies. So, now I want to eat the way that helps me follow the desires of my heart, which is much more sustainable.
I also have discovered over the last few months that I really use food to drown my emotions. The day I had the miscarriage, I went right to the store, bought a frozen pie and inhaled half of it. I would have eaten the rest, but my family was helping me. Combining this knowledge with the information about following my heart's desire not just my willpower, has been really helpful! Now I can approach this not as a diet issue that I need to over come with my will because of the logical reasons to eat better. Instead it's an emotional and spiritual issue- I want to eat in a a way that allows me to feel all my emotions, deal with them and turn them over to God. I want to eat in a way that allows me to follow my heart's desire of having more energy and feeling good to be a better wife, mother, and to serve God through the passions he's given me. I'm really excited about this new paradigm shift and I can't wait to see where the journey leads!