Today, a friend commented to me about how much I have changed in the pretty short time I have been raw. I am never the kind of person who gives up on something, so know this is something that is permanent, and will form part of my "identity" for the foreseeable future.
As I have said elsewhere, I am a long-term vegan and lifelong vegetarian. I came to raw food because I felt this would be more natural, and was concerned about chemicals, and the impact of processed food on my body, the environment, and other animals.
I decided I would go raw when I moved to Holland, but initially started off just on 70% raw, from around 19th August 2011. I then went on a gourmet raw cooking course after about a month, after which I went 95%+ gourmet raw, with a gradual, inevitable transition to LFRV. The coach herself was very well-intentioned and well-informed, and her course was incredibly helpful, and largely in the right direction, but I was nonetheless sceptical of a couple of things:
1) We didn't get that much food! The raw food coach commented, "It's good to always be a little bit hungry."
- I thought, really? Is it REALLY good to always be a little bit hungry? That seems counter-intuitive.
2) Whilst the focus was on healthy salads and smoothies, of which 90% were LFRV and the other 10% contained only a small amount of something gourmet, or was a little high in seeds/protein, the coach also recommended colonics and cleansing juice fasts with sauna trips.
- The coach looked quite healthy, but no healthier than other long term vegans, and less healthy than some - she had just been on a juice fast and said she was particularly slim for that reason, but I saw her a couple of months later, and she was still the underweight side of slim.
3) The coach was linked to David Wolfe - selling tickets for his event.
- I was sceptical of David Wolfe from the outset, largely because of the cost of his events, the relative simplicity of what he was saying, and the lack of any moral motivation behind his promotion of raw veganism. If I was charging as much as him, I would be giving a lot to my favourite animal rights and environmental causes, and making that fact known. Why wasn't he? Of course, I found out later he has been accused of plagiarism, and sells deer placenta as a supplement on his raw website...!
When pursuing a generally raw vegan diet, I was naturally leaning toward mono meals and fruit. I just felt better with mono meals of fruit, smoothies, and salads. I noticed the massive improvements in my health and digestion when on the salad and smoothie days, but felt sluggish on days when I had more protein and fat in the form of seed crackers and nuts. Don't get me wrong, I think they still have a place, but more and more I think they do not have the place people think they do in our diet. I now believe it is not only meat-eaters who over-consume protein, or vegetarians, but vegans, too! When you fill your body with protein from processed sources, or in quantities one would never normally be able to get their hands on in nature, you are subscribing to the protein myth - the same myth that justifies the slaughter and slavery of other animals! VEGANS: LAY OFF THE DAMNED PROTEIN!!! It is making you fat, sluggish, and look not much better than the damned animal abusers! If we want to fight animal abuse, we must be fit, full of energy, and healthy - so stop poisoning yourself with soy in particular, but other excess proteins, too. Of course it IS better to consume soy than meat, but come on, that isn't a hard act to follow!
Our diet should be about consuming what is there in nature: no excess protein, no dead rotting flesh, no mammary secretions, no bizarre or even toxic superfoods. Society falsely teaches us that protein is good. No. In excess (which is how nearly EVERYONE consumes it), protein is bad. Very bad. Society also teaches us that fruit is good, but we should never consume too much. THANK YOU, FREELEE for your videos, explaining facts like calorific density. Common sense many doctors seem to lack.
Going raw has really changed me. I will include my before and after pictures to give you some idea. I hope others will learn from my crucial mistakes, as proof that even a vegan can be unhealthy thanks to following the advice of ignorants. When I was vegan, I ate far too much protein - I thought I needed my protein, so consumed a lot of toxic soy. I also ate hardly any fruit - having been told by my ignorant father, like many folk, that it was calorific and fattening.
We need to stop listening to what society tells us - stop "replacing" meat or dairy because we "need" excesses of protein - we do not and it will make us sick. We need to stop thinking fruit is bad for us and limiting our consumption, whilst reaching for the diet lemonade or strawberry-flavour desserts - we need to fill up on the fruit our body craves!
Unbelievably, after a lifetime of hating sports, I now have the body confidence, stamina, fitness and positive attitude I need to start running! THANK YOU, DURIANRIDER for your videos, explaining the importance of running and the real connections between nutrition and fitness.
Freelee and Durianrider in particular, but also Chris Randall, the moderators, and all the rest of you involved in 30BAD - you are real heroes. You have helped so many people - both here and through YouTube. You've turned lives around. Most importantly, you have made me realise one of the best weapons I have in the fight against animal abuse - my own health and body. My tales of painless periods, less sleep, easy weight loss, clear skin, good moods and excellent health are converting people like never before. Everyone I know is stunned by the transformation. You made me realise that being a shining example is the best method there is to prove that animals have no place in our diets. I have new motivation to keep getting fitter and fitter, healthier and healthier, more and more knowledgeable... So I can be the example I want to see in the world.
....Now, those before and after photos I mentioned: