I feel torn. I've been seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine specialist and he keeps insisting that I need to be eating cooked food because I have a lot of deficiencies. I believe in TCM and in Ayurvedic Medicine (Indian Medicine) and they are both thousands and thousands of years old medical systems. They both say that eating raw food is very hard on digestion and should not be eaten exclusively.
I love the idea of eating raw with fruit at the basis and low fat. Something about cracking open a watermelon and sitting out in the sunshine! It just feels so right. I havent really been able to stick with this lifestyle for longer than a couple of weeks so I dont know how it makes me feel in the long run. The first few days I feel amazing and then I start getting diarrhea and feeling light headed and out of balance. The Chinese Medicine specialist told me that it is because the my body is unable to extract the nutrients from the raw food. So this morning I couldnt figure out what to eat! I really wanted watermelon but the words of this alternative medicine doctor kept ringing in my ear. He was very adamant that I eat cooked food and even suggests strongly that I eat meat. What gives? I dont know who to listen to.
What are your opinions on this? Is there anyone here that is also interested in alternative medical systems like TCM and Ayurveda that would like to comment? I just want to hear other opinions on these matters from people that have been doing the raw lifestyle for a while. One of the reasons why I feel I keep flip flopping between raw and cooked is because I really want to eat raw but then when I eat raw I wonder if I am harming myself by not listening to these thousand year old medical systems.
The receptors will return to their normal sensitivity if you do not keep overstimulating them.
Exactly. The body is a self-regulating masterpiece that 'normalizes' automatically. It's only our abuse of it that causes problems. Stop the abuse and watch the healing happen.
peter did you learn if they receptors can ever repair, and return to normal? i hope so... because i think mine are all dead with all the abuse i have given them
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, they do return to normal once you stop over-stimulating them for a period of time.
The dopamine response to cooked potatoes in the absence of salt or other taste-bud stimulating condiments is pretty low, as it is for all natural, unprocessed foods. Sweet potatoes are not addictive. Starch isn't addictive. Gluten might be addictive for some people. But there is no gluten in sweet potatoes.
I think that some people think that starch is addictive, because they associated it with other things (eg. salt, spices, oil). Or because their amino acid intake is insufficient, either because they haven't adapted to a lower intake of protein yet, or because teir intake is actually insufficient. Starches have a higher amino acid content, which makes it easier to feel satiated than with fruit. But that is to do with protein leverage rather than addiction. Sort out the amino acid content of the fruit based diet and suddenly the cravings disappear.
I agree with what you are saying in some respects, regarding many foods. But plain, unprocessed, gluten free starch is not addictive or highly stimulating to the nervous system. If someone can get their diet to the point where they eat unprcessed gluten free starch and never ever ever eat spices, oil, salt and other tastebud stimulants, then giving them up in favour of fruit is a piece of cake if the fruit based diet is nutritionally adequate. Because fruits taste better than starch. The trouble is, when you see someone eating cooked foods after being raw for a few weeks, they don't usually go back to plain starch. They go back to starch with salt, oil, sugar, gluten, spices, flavour enhancers and other foods. When they do go back to plain starch, if they really have come from a clean diet, it is almost always related to total calorie intake, or protein intake, and almost always is corrected when the calorie and/or amino acid composition improves. That isn't about addiction, it is about self-preservation.
i got all my cavities on this diet when my mom left me with a non raw ex-nun doing it.
stay as war away from this advise as possible and don't waste your $ i say.
The first few days I feel amazing and then I start getting diarrhea and feeling light headed and out of balance.
Did this happened how many times?
Problably is detox
The first time I went hclf rv I felt really good pretty much the whole time but I was s***ting up a storm. I was mostly drinking smoothies and was not thinking about proper food combining. I definitely had diarrhea then. After that 2 week period I ate some cooked food and since then I hadnt really been able to go longer than 2 days raw. And during that time I felt really nauseous at the thought of fruit and felt really emotional all the time. At that point I decided to just eat 1 raw meal a day so I did that for a couple of months and just a couple of weeks ago I went 100% again. I felt great for 2 or 3 days (though a bit tired) and then the diarrhea and even more tiredness.
I'm having a similar experience. I think the frequent trips to the bathroom are caused by my increased intake of high-fiber foods and water, which is normal and good. I'm no doctor, but I believe the diarhea is caused by a change in my intestinal flora that is caused by my change in diet. It seems that one group of bacteria (bad ones) likes processed, refined, cooked sugars and carbs; while another group of bacteria (the good ones) likes fiber and plant-based, whole foods. I'm also begining to avoid preservatives--which kill the good bacteria, and for some reason can't kill the bad bacteria--and I'm eating fermented veggies to restock my intestinal flora, because they are important for auto-immune system health. So these kinds of diet changes (what goes in) can have effects on my BM's (what comes out). Certain types of bacteria (the bad ones) also produce gas.
I would agree with what most people on here are saying about detox. Change takes time. I had diarrhea quite a few times over a couple weeks before my poop was normal. Also diarrhea can be caused by multiple things- stress, dehydration (actually), and of course, when your body is trying to rid something from what was put into it. Your body is probably doing a good job of clearing itself.
The emotional issues- yes they come. Are there patterns of stressors from the present/past related to these emotional times?
Good luck to you, we all want you to succeed and feel good :)
I think that TCM is metaphorically right about a lot of things. I think the thing is, it isn't scientific in the sense that it has not been modernised. The language used at the time TCM was created, was suitable for that context. But we have moved on since then and have more knowledge available. The language needs to be revised to reflect that.
Raw food is hard on the digestion - if you are eating raw vegetables as the main source of your calories. that is what most people think of when they think of a raw food diet. But fruits are the easiest food to digest, because the fruit has been pre-digested by enzymes before you eat it (as long as the fruit is ripened). There are almost no other foods in the world that you can eat that have already been digested for you before you actually eat them. That is what ripening is. It is the starches being broken down into simple sugars. The proteins being digested into amino acids. The fats being broken down into fatty acids.
That having been said, it does depend on your circumstances - we don't know what deficiencies you have, or how these have been diagnosed.
If you are feeling lighthead, out of balance and having consistent diarrhoea this may be related to many things. You may not be eating enough total calories and/or protein/specific amino acids. You need to pay more careful attention to your nutritional needs when you exclude so many food groups that you previously ate. You may have a food sensitivity (the diorrhoea) or your body may just be producing loose stools because you have been constipated for a long time and haven't been consuming enough fibre to eliminate efficiently. It is difficult to know what to say given the limited amount of information we have about your circumstances and about you.
Did your tcm doctor give you an actual reason for eating meat?
Adam, thats a very good point! I notice that TCM and Ayurveda are a bit outdated in their advice. The TCM specialist told me that I need to eat meat because I have a blood deficiency and dampness in my stomach spleen. He said that raw food, cold food and sweet food is taxing on the spleen. He said that the dizziness would be cured by eating meat because its very grounding.
Yes, see that kind of language is ridiculously out of date in the modern age and is unacceptable in my opinion. A blood deficiency - which we call anaemia in the modern age - can be caused by many things. And whilst meat may be a source of the protein, heme iron and B12 that might contribute to two forms of anaemia, it may not be the cause of your anaemia (if you have anaemia, which would need to be confirmed by a blood test, not some guys belief that you have a blood deficiency). Also, eating meat isn't the only way you can improve your "blood deficiency". Since you get blood sugar imbalance symptoms (dizziness - although this could be caused by severe anaemia as well), it is likely that you consistently undereat on both total calories and/or protein/specific amino acids, not just iron and/or B12. Eating meat is an easy way to significantly increase your protein and calorie intake, as well as micronutrient intake. But you can achieve that with a vegan diet too - you just need to plan your diet more carefully. You need to get a cronometer.com account and start weighing your food for a couple of weeks so you get an idea of how much you actually need to eat.
When I say weigh your food, I mean the edible bit - once you have removed the rind from the watermelon, or the peel from the bananas/citrus etc. You then type that into cronometer and work out an estimate of how much you have actually eaten. This will also help you to keep track not just of calories, but total protein, specific amino acids, as well as iron. Until you are eating enough calories, protein and iron, consistently, you will continue to find you have anaemia (if you have anaemia that is, or as your doctor says a blood deficiency).
The ancient chinese didnt differentiate between the spleen and the pancreas. Hence the two organs are treated as the same organ. This is why you see functions related to digestion associated strongly with the spleen, as well as immune function, in TCM terminology.
Meat being "grounding" means it is high in protein, which can reduce calorie requirements and slows the release of carbohydrates in meal. Protein and sugar are both important factors in blood sugar regulation and appetite regulation.
The other aspect of spleen dampness and damp conditions in general, relates to the link with the lymphatic system. A sluggish lymphatic system is highly detrimental to the body. Since the spleen is an immune organ primarily (the actual spleen, as opposed to the erroneous spleen in TCM), this is an important factor.
The trouble is, people have this delusion that older = better. It is part of the delusion that somehow tradition is always valuable. Often tradition just keeps people rigidly locked into the past and to deny the present circumstances and the importance of each successive generations contributions and adaptations - ie. to deny evolution as a necessary process in learning and developing as humans and as a society. Ironically, this approach, including traditionalism in general, is antithetical to TCMs philosophical Taoist underpinnings. The rigidity probably came from Confucian influences, which is very much about traditionalism.
I think there are some amazing things that came from TCM - I think aspects of TCM theory, when viewed as metaphors, are incredible - they clearly understood principles that we are only just understanding now, but they just didn't have the language or scientific detail to make sense of it in a way that was accurately explainable. It was appropriate thousands of years ago, but not in the 21st century. Similarly, tai chi/qigong and acupuncture are amazing. I think their meridian system is fascinating and I believe that in the next 50 years, we will see it being linked to the lymphatic and fascia systems explicitly.
I also think it is easy to understand why people are attracted to it - in a world where doctors talk to you like they are reading a textbook, or talking to a professor, and make no sense to the average person on the street, it is nice that someone can talk in simple language (even if it is just a different sort of difficult to understand nonsensical jargon). And in a world where people are not offered a personalised health experience and are instead ignored or told they have psychosomatic symptoms, or are given a 10 minute appointment and a generic prescription.
It is nice to have a doctor who actually tries to offer an explanation to common problems. And a doctor who focuses on imbalances that are correctible, rather than disease labels which stay on your medical records for life and that they struggle to see past. It is nice to have someone try to offer explanations to symptoms, rather than to throw labels at you (ie. name-calling). It is also nice to have someone offer practical, lifestyle oriented solutions and recommendations that are empowering and include you in the process of health recovery.
I think that we are slowly realising more and more through clinical experience, and research from medical and social sciences, that personalised healthcare and patient-centred psychosocial approaches to offering healthcare has to be the way forwards as we move into the 21st century. And I hope that in the future, we are able to take the best aspects of old fashioned healthcare systems, and the best of modern healthcare systems and drag them both into the 21st century to achieve their potential, and to shed off the dead skin of habitual and useless beliefs and practices.