Saturday, July 3, 2010

So, my raw food journey begins...

I just thought I'd stop by and write a quick  post on where things are at for me right now. I like to keep a record here on my blog for myself as I so easily forget the ins and outs of my days... just ask me at the end of any given week what I've been up to and I draw a blank! This blog is in many ways an on line diary or journal - I find physicially writing things out in a diary like I used to do as a teenager too time consuming & I never seem to get around to it, so this is the next best thing.

Lately I have been on a pretty intense journey with regards to what I put in my mouth:) It's amazing to me just how powerful our diet can be. I am learning an incredible amount about all the healing qualities of fresh vegetables and fruit and all the medicinal aspects of whole foods. I find it quite incredible that these days the pharmacy has almost been replaced by the health food store! Not all health food stores are like this of course, but I find your average health store retailer has the same old 'pill for every ill' mentality as the pharmacist down the road! I am really moving away from using supplements and moving towards a completely natural, stripped back to the basics diet. As the well know Hippocrates quote goes "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". I am inspired to eat in a wy that we are biologically built for. Our bodies just aren't equipped to deal with todays 'technology food' and 'Junk food'. To think that I ever put something called "JUNK food" into my mouth and still wondered why I had chronic dis-ease! 

At this stage in my health/healing-evolution I am extremely excited to be experiencing all the wonderful health benefits of going raw. I wrote a little while ago about my transition from vegetarianism to a more traditional and animal protein inclusive diet which was inspired by the nourishing traditions book. I have given that a good amount of time I feel, but it just hasn't been working out for my particular issues. My body just doesn't appreciate having meat and animal products being put into it I'm afraid! So here ends that chapter:)

After reading about a freind's adventures with going raw, I was inspired to look into it myself. I am gearing up to going 100% raw at the moment and am starting off with a juice feast. I discovered there is a good reason it's dalled a juice 'feast' and not a juice 'fast'. I was SO FULL the whole time! I actually found it somewhat difficult on occasion to finish off the whole juice based on the recipes I was using from the wonderul book Raw Food Clease by Penni Shelton. I guess what I've been reading about how our body processes food must be true - apparently our bodies register the nutrient value of food and not the calories. This is why we can chow down on junk food and feel like we need more, more, more - the body is searching for something it can use - but with nutrient dense food we feel fuller more quickly because the body is satisfied that it has been truly 'fed'.

I juice feasted for two days this week and can't even begin to describe the amazing results I've had! To put it simply, my body, mind, and spirit is just working for me now! I no longer feel betrayed by my own body and I have more energy than I did even as a child. In this week of cranking up the rawness of my diet I lost 3kg over night and lost another 1kg over the span of the week. That's 4kg in one week! I have been placing extra emphasis on detoxing my system in any way I know how to as well, which may have also contributed to this weight loss. I have been using my neti pot, oil pulling, ingesting all sorts of wonderful intestinal enzymes (from Eden Healthfoods based only on the professional advice of my bioresonance practitioner and energy healer) to clean out the system, getting as much sunlight as possible in the middle of winter, exercising every day, getting back into my old favourite passtime - yoga, drinking litres of water, going to bed a couple of hours earlier than I used to, meditating more often and with more focus - and I'm also about to begin dry skin brushing. Basically I'm giving this lifestyle shape up a really good hot go!

I'm finding that the more raw food I eat, the better I feel and the more momentum I gain which propells me further towards my goal of complete health and healing. Besides 'devouring' some wonderful books, the internet is also an amazing tool for which I am constantly grateful:) I have joined many raw food sites, found many inspirational channels on youtube, discovered lots of wonderful documentaries, subscribed to news letters and joined an online community where I am inspired and supported. And, of course, I've also begun to find some amazing blogs! I am still constantly amazed by the generosity of those who give their time and energy to share recipes and techniques that heave worked for them. There are some truly loving people out there despite what the popular media will have us believe!

My sister has also been upping the percentage of raw in her daily intake of food and we have been comparing notes most days. I'm very grateful to have a sister who I am so close with and who shares my interest in living the best life possible! My little brother (well, he's not that little any more at age 19) is coming over to stay this coming week and will be participating in a full on life overhaul/detox with me. It will be fantastic to go into this juice feasting week with somebody else to share it with!

There are many, many more amazing resources out there, but here are just a few of those that I've found helpful:)
Raw food rehab - the most wonderful and supportive on line community hosted by Penni Shelton. There is a wealth of information on this site.
Sarma's raw food blog
Russel James of The Raw Chef fame has some really useful videos and delicious recipes. Yum!

Some must see films:
Simply Raw - a very inspiring movie which follows 6 Americans as they reverse their diabetes by going raw for 30 days
Break through
Supercharge me and her video channel

Anyway, I guess that's enought of a rant for now. Maybe I'll write some time about all the health benefits I am experiencing as I embark on this raw - whole foods life style choice. I am in two minds as to wether it might just be too much information for some! So on that note I'll just say that I hope everyone is having a beautiful and nourishing weekend.

With love and light


Shar Lawrence said...

Hey Melissa, speaking as a health food store owner i feel things are the other way around. Pharmacies stock and prescribe drugs that are made from synthetic chemicals (that kill 1 in 4 Australians annually) and are certainly not the “same old 'pill for every ill' mentality” as the health food store down the road. Pharmaceutical companies are buying herbal and natural supplement companies as they see the shift towards natural medicines away from pharmaceutical drugs and conventional medicine, this has increased 10 fold in the past 5 years, the pharmaceutical approach to natural medicine is tokenistic and driven by profit. Aside from a health food store stocking a huge range of natural supplements, super foods, whole foods your average health food store “pill” usually contains potent herbal combination's, such as reishi and astragalus. All though I recognize that brewing your medical mushrooms into a tea and consuming liquid astragalus is the absolute ideal at least consuming it a tablet form gets people off the pharmaceutical drugs and onto something more supportive. Good independent health stores like ours are the complete opposite to a pharmacy, we live wellness and if health food stores were to disappear where would you buy your whole foods, super foods, super herbs, see a naturopath and supportive staff for free and how would you support your local community?
The only option will be multinational supermarket chains and pharmaceutical companies or all interactions are reduced to internet shopping. I don’t mean to rant but it’s important to me that a clear distinction is made between the role of a health food store and pharmacy in the community (it’s kinda close to my heart!!). I think it’s awesome that you are shifting your diet to a cleaner way of being and offer you support and wish you wellness on your journey and no doubt you will see the benefits in every aspect of your life xxx

Melissa said...

Oh NO - Shar! No, no, NO I wasn't talking about awesome health food stores such as yours that are an absolute asset to the community and provide a much needed dedicated and thorough service! I really should have made my distinction a little clearer! I have been sold a hell of a lot of supplements in the past at those sort of chain-store 'health' stores and feel that they are quite misleading and flippant with how they deal with customers. I am by NO means an expert, but from what I can tell, just because a the term 'health store' is on the front of some shop doesn't neccesarily mean you can take it for granted that those people have your health in mind over a sale. The independent stores that usually have the owner out the front of the shop are often amazing places of support with such a wealth of knowledge to share. In fact, come to think of it, on the whole I've been really impressed by most of the health shops that I've shopped at on a regular basis. I guess I was trying to express my disapointment at some other places that I've been to in recent years - typically the chain stores in major shopping centres where the sales people don't seem to know much about the product other than what is written on the bottle. It just angers me a little as what these pseudo health food stores are doing seems quite irresponsible and many people aren't able to tell the difference between a credible shop and one that is just trying to push their sales. When I first started out on the road to a more natural and clean way of living I had absolutely no idea where to begin and went along to the local health store only to be sold a whole lot of products that were completely wrong for my system and that only covered up symptoms rather than considering the absolute foundations of what may be behind it all. Again- I'm generalising here and my comparison to a pharmacy was more than a little harsh! I'm sure not EVERY one of these chain shops is like this either. I guess, as with everything, it is up to us as individuals to really do our research and discover what truly sits well within our spirit. I think we need to take responsibility for our own health and I don't mean to say that a health food store should have all the answers. Heck, it can take years and years of a dedicated journey towards healing to get to the bottom of some of this stuff! While lots of health stores definitely have the customers health in mind, I take exception to those that seem to take advantage of the 'pill for every ill' mentality that has been bred into most of us from childhood. On the other hand though - I can definitely see where selling these sorts of products to customers with that inherited pill mentality could definitely aid their health and prevent many health problems that would otherwise be enflamed by the toxic medications pushed by pharmaceutical companies.

I feel quite embarassed and wish I hadn't written anything to tell you the truth! I was just having a little grumpy gripey moment of reflection and without putting too much thought into it those words just rolled off my fingers:/ Compared with your knowledge and experience on such matters, I obviously know very little - I'm just a muso! I would be absolutely lost without the help of the wonderful and genuine health food stores that I've been to when I've desperately needed some assistance.

I'm going to stop writing now as I seem to be suffering from a bit of foot in mouth disease today! :P

Plese know that I really didn't mean any harm - sometimes I forget that someone else might actually be reading what I've written! Thanks for broadening my perspective on this Shar:)I genuinely value everything you've written here,


Anonymous said...

enjoy your journey to raw foods! it is a blessing indeed, i hope you find the results you are looking for in terms of improved health!
i understand what you meant about being bombarded with supplements when you walk into the health food store. lets be honest, your body absorbs nutrients much better when its picked straight from the plant and eaten raw. i feel you on eating local, and seasonally, its the way to go!!!
there is also something to be said for the other more astral awareness that comes when you embark on live foods, you vibrate on a much different level than others...its amazing! <3 <3

indigomumma said...

Your new food ideas sound wonderful Melissa. I hope you have an energy filled and inspired week. Please do blog about all your favourite recipes so we too can try them out! I am SO glad you have listened to your body and heard the signs of what is most nourishing for YOU. That is so very important. I must say, we always do a 6 week raw detox at the beginning of spring, but generally we follow a plan, which is not entirely raw, some lightly cooked - but this year, I am excited now that I REALLY know what raw food is, to put together our own spring detox and go FULLY raw for 6 weeks. I'm really looking forward to that. Thank you also for all the links you share. Graham has been looking at the raw for 30 days and wanting to see that, we may have to watch it soon. Thanks for the links and all the info :) xxx love love love

indigomumma said...

I didn't have time to read Shar and your comments this morning when I posted my comment and also Jamie's which followed on from the conversation from Shar and yourself as well.

Shar - I can see why you wrote what you wrote, it is obvious you are one of those very dedicated and responsible natural health store owners. We have a few of those locally as well with folk who own them generally in the store all the time being a wealth of information and an invaluable friend in those places.

But the reality is, as Melissa spoke about in her post, that there is 'health food stores' around that really are of the type Melissa spoke about, that really are not of the caring league that you yourself are Shar. I hope I am not out of line saying this, and it is meant with respect to the natural health industry, because as I said, I too am blessed to have many natural health folk in my life that are of the caring, genuine concern character that you are as well.... but the issues spoken about in the doco 'Food Matters' regarding sponsorship of medical journals , conferences and the like by pharmaceutical companies, which controls the information presented and the products pushed to doctors as being the wonder drug of all wonder drugs that will cure X ailment...... I really have no doubt that in some level this also goes on in the natural health industry by supplement companies etc. At the end of the day, our health and our buying of these wonder supplements is a business to these natural health supplement companies, many of which are huge companies, some just as large as some of the pharmaceutical companies. (I am not referring to the stores here, which in all honesty, stores are still a business too - but I know that many stores (like yours sounds Shar) are operated out of heart primarily and the flow of business just comes - it's the law of giving service with no thought in return and the return will just flow, if only we could all live in Zeitgeist's Utopia Village, that would be such a nourishing, harmonious place to be!

So whilst yes, we are blessed to have valuable people like yourself Shar in the health industry, as there is also (rarer occurrences of), but doctors in the medical industry who we can trust who try extremely hard not to be caught up in the wash of controlled info presented in sponsored journals, conferences etc, what Melissa writes about is a very real issue we need to be aware of when entering the natural health arena.

From what you write Shar you sound like a very aware and knowledgeable health adviser, who has a passionate and caring heart and folk like yourself are so precious. When we know that the natural supplement industry can be just as burgeoning and sales driven sometimes as the pharmaceutical world, it is wonderful to know there is genuine folk like yourself with our true healing in mind.

oooh... I'm being word limit cut off, hang on... I'll have to post in two parts :) xxx

indigomumma said...


Going even beyond the natural health movement, there is a community of I guess you would say even more radical extremists who do very much support the notion of the supplement industry running a very close second to the world of pharmaceutical drugs in terms of sales drive etc. I have read and heard some of their information and the notions that one particular component of a food can act a particular way in the WHOLE food, but when it is taken out of the WHOLE food and placed in a supplement, it can act in a very different way and not be so SUPER as it appeared in the whole food. I know you spoke about this in your reply Shar, about how yes, optimally if one can be brewing up their own wildcrafted herbs etc and tending to their own health in a highly conscious way, then that is optimal - but for many, that is not part of their awareness or place of being at that point. I guess this is where it comes in, I guess, the awareness and place of being Melissa is now in and where she writes out of. A heightened awareness and more awakened place where she is becoming aware of the presence of that (and this is meant with respect) 'pill for every ill' that CAN be found in natural health supplementation. We are a society condition (by pharmaceuticals) that 'this pill will fix this' 'that pill will fix that', so when we turn to natural health, there is a period of adaption and transition that goes on to arrive at a place where we realise... oh my goodness, these 'pills' are not my total cure all, I have to be making other changes in my life, diet, mindset, belief systems, the way I live etc etc... but UNTIL we arrive at that place, the natural health industry does, as I said before, these supplementation companies are still a BUSINESS... then some avenues of the natural health industry do offer their own form of the 'pill mentality cure'. Going back to the 'supplementation having different properties when taken out of the whole food' issue, the flow on effect is that we are told x, y, z, a, b, c are all GREAT for healing said ailment or dis-ease, but then there is a new issue that arises - do x, y, z, a, b, c supplements which each have wonder healing super food properties in them, then act in that same super food healing way in our body that they act in the whole food (in case point 1), but in case point 2, do they act in that way now that they are synergised in our bodies with the host of supplements we are taking together that are all said (in their whole food state) to be of miraculous healing properties, really holding those properties in their NEW synergistic state of being....


indigomumma said...

...continued (again)....

So with all this, we can see that even in the world of natural health, we need to be very aware, ask questions, think it all through, do the research and make informed decisions and be responsible for our own health - regardless of who is advising us, we need to ask what feels right in our gut, what answers do we hear in our prayers, what resonates with our Source energy, whatever one's personal beliefs are, what feels right and harmonises with that energy?

Melissa, you are reaching a very amazing, inspiring and aware place - congratulations. Shar, you are a precious being in the world of natural health that can be an overwhelming place for many folk.

PS - I didn't add my two cents worth, to jump in and have my own rant, I just wanted to share that I could see both sides to the views shared - and I also know how off putting it can be and a little regressive in one's journey when something one writes is taken as offence when it is not at all intended. Melissa, keep writing, keep discovering and keep evolving - you are beautiful. Shar, thank you for sharing your position and views which are very important to remind folk of, that there is genuine concern natural health folk in our health food stores, and for your aware services and advice you offer the lucky folk who see you for natural health advice :) love and blessings to all :) xxx (I hope this reply is read with all the love and respect it is written with) xxx :)

and that's the end..... sorry for the long reply on your blog Melissa :) xxx Hope you do not mind :) xxx

Shar Lawrence said...

It's so good to have this discussion and I really value all of your opinions.
Having been on my own healing journey for the last 15 years one thing that I have really embraced over the last few years is to not rely on things outside of myself for 'fixing' my situation, that be it health stores, naturopath's, practitioners and healers ( and i have seen a few!!)All these people out there are resources to help us along our journey some good some bad.
The key I have found to help me discover the best healer for me or what will help me achieve optimal wellness is my intuition.
In my experience amongst other things raw food/super food/super herb nutrition is the super highway to expanding clarity and intuition.

I wish you all wellness and magic on your journeys.

Shar xxx

Melissa said...

Absolutely! Isn't it such a huge evolutionary process of trial and error - and such a personal thing too. Gone are the days where I think there must be one ultimate style of eating that is good for all human bodies. I'm amazed at how much my intuition is freeing up - so many blocks are just fading away:) I'm remembering my dreams (which is great - I love interpreting dreams as I feel they hold so much divine guidance)and am having more 'knowing' moments and periods of clarity. It is so much easier to meditate and be still - inwardly and outwardly. I am so excited and grateful for this new stage in my health journey:) It was MUCH needed!

Twig and Toadstool said...

Raw food hit our community in a big way about 5 years ago...while it worked wonders for many people, for others it didn't, and they have since modified their diets. I think with anything, you just have to find what works for you...our bodies are just so unique! I don't know where you live, but here it's summertime, and what better time to go raw!!!
Happy eating!! Hope you get the energy you crave!!!
:) maureen glad I found your blog!