A few weeks ago I was re-watching Alissa Cohen’s “Living On Live Foods” video & was struck by a comment she made about the raw vegan diet being considered “radical”. It put me in mind of a very sad conversation I had with a woman earlier this year about this very subject. The woman, a cancer patient & I boarded our horses at the same barn. She’d just gotten back from a wonderful trail ride with a friend. It was a glorious morning! At the time I was doing one on one coaching in raw vegan food prep & making a few simple foods for clients to help with the trasition. She had heard I was a raw fooder & asked for confirmation of that fact as she untacked & cooled out her horse. I had heard she was a cancer patient looking to go raw months previously & asked her about her progress. What she said next nearly knocked me off my feet. She told me she was researching it because raw vegan living was a radical change. Her prognosis was beyond poor at this point & she’d been doing this research for months as the cancer made its own radical changes in her life. As she was saying this her companion was plugging in the clippers to shave off what sparse tufts of hair she had left from chemo treatments. She was literally dying, at the point where short of driving off a cliff nothing she did could make things worse. She could have found out everything she needed to know about the benefits of a raw vegan diet in an afternoon or in the very least in a week, yet she’d been “researching” for MONTHS. What was the hold up? Her fear. Her fears kept her from making the changes that might have done “miracles” for her just as it had for so many others. At the very least it wouldn’t have done her any harm & she’d have gotten the opportunity to experience some radically awesome cuisine. I’d have helped her just for the experience & the joy of it. We exchanged our pleasantries, I put Pea Pod up & left. It was the first & last conversation I was to have with her. When I returned 2 weeks later I discovered that she’d gone into the hospital 3 days prior to my arrival at the barn & died 2 days later. Friends & family were drifting in & out trying to figure out what to do with her things, where to place her horse & dogs. She never took the opportunity to find out what the raw vegan diet could do to help her. She never lived long enough to see the benefits of her research.
Recently I’ve been noticing comments from people on Facebook & other social networks I frequent expressing a desire to try the vegan diet, get active & improve their health. Always these comments are followed with defetist thinking or excuses as to why they “can’t right now”. Really? Anything else you might want to do – go to the movies, watch tv, call a friend – you think of it then do it. It takes a thought, then a small movement with intention & you’re doing it. Improving your diet & your health is no different. Today, right now you can make small changes that will bring you steadily in alignment with the person you desire to be. Instead of fries as a side at lunch choose a green salad & leave off the animal products. Try a night or 2 of vegan dining per week, or go vegan all day until 6pm. Park further away from the building when you go to work or go shopping. Take the stairs, go for a walk after dinner, get up & stretch during your break to refresh yourself mentally & physically instead of mindlessly reaching for the coffee or the energy sucking super-caffeinated drink when you get up from your desk. You can have the drink later if you still feel you need it, but often the problem of fatigue is a problem of low oxygen intake. Try the good stuff before indulging your habit & see what you feel you need afterwards. While you’re implementing these small changes you can continue your research into a healthier lifesyle. Or you can research heavily for a few days to a week & dive in all the way if you’re an all-or-nothing kind of person like me! Either way you’ll make necessary changes & get the ball rolling in the right direction. If you don’t like it you can always go back to your old habits, but if you never give the new ways a try you’ll always wonder about what might have been. What are you waiting for? If you wait too long you may never have the opportunity to find out. Life holds no guarantees, so go for it! You’ll be really glad you did!