I was working as a personal fitness trainer at the time I became raw vegan. My business card said “Balance. Strength. Vitality.” I knew all about how to offer the balance & strength, but felt there was a lack in the vitality department, so I went in search of something to offer my clients that would bring vitality. I hit the library for nutrition information & stumbled upon an old book on the raw vegan diet. I read the book then immediately did some internet searching & a couple days later I made the switch. I tried a partial switch on the first evening after all day raw. I had a cheese sandwich on a toasted bagel. I felt horrid! The next day I committed to all raw & that was that. I did “slip up” a couple of times around the holidays, felt icky & finally said no to eating anything from an animal again.
What I love about the raw vegan lifestyle is the freedom. I was working out 6 days a week for 1.5 – 2 hrs a day & instead of getting trimmer I was getting fatter. I was 180 pounds when I found the raw vegan diet & I had a whole host of minor complaints & irritations like foot pains, acne, chronic heavy nose bleeds, odd itchy pimples on my arms, very oily skin, crazy heart palpatations & racing pulse, though my BP was “normal”, not to mention the excess weight on my 5′ 2.5″ frame & a constant undertone of being drained. I was a mess though I was doing all the “right” things according to conventional wisdom. I dove into the raw vegan diet not in an effort to “fix” any of my issues, as I considered them just part of being almost 40, nor did I look to raw as a way to lose weight; I loved my lush body & didn’t put much stock in the current fascination with thinness. Why I went raw is still a mystery to me. I may never know what my reasons were originally & I’m okay with that.
Within 4 months of eating raw vegan I’d ditched 60 pounds & my whole body seemed to reorganize itself & reverse any aging that had crept in. Grey hairs that were peeking out began to change back to my regular color. Granted it was something my hair had done previously, but seemed to have decided to give up on until I went raw, not that I had many grey hairs. My hair also got thicker. My skin cleared & tightened & all those nagging “just getting older” issues disappeared. I’d been having daily nose bleeds that lasted anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes, sometimes several times a day. In 2 days they’d stopped completely. Heart palpatations? Racing pulse? GONE over night. I was stunned! I was also happy. Now I could speak about the raw vegan diet to my clients from experience. Everybody at the gym where I worked could see plainly the changes my body was undergoing & started asking me what I was doing. I told them that all I’d done was change my diet. I didn’t get the “raw high” so many talk about, though. It was almost 2 years before that came. My body was detoxing hard & an undertone of fatigue was my constant companion. I had plenty of energy to get through my day & rarely needed a nap but if I offered, my body would never say no. I could sleep easily & often did.
It’s been about 4.5 years since I found the raw vegan diet. I’ve had turns in the road, gone in some wonky directions (oddly enough it took raw to make the vegan part stick & even there I occasionally ate vegetarian) & always keep ending up back in the raw camp. I feel phenomenal when I’m raw vegan. Cooked food never fails to disappoint no matter how much I imagine it will taste awesome. I have almost no body odor no mater how hard I work out, my skin is fabulously clear even though I don’t do much to it & the oiliness seems to have balanced itself so my face is no longer greasy. I not only enjoy exercising, my body demands I move. So much has changed for the better since I went raw that this post would seem more like a laundry list were I to mention everything that’s improved. But it has been & still is a process. Sometimes I get lazy & don’t make food, veggies go off & I have to throw them out or I leave home hungry & end up having to get a partially non-raw meal out because that’s the best I can cobble together from the menu. So far it’s not happened often this time around the raw-verse, but once or twice is enough of a reminder to keep plugging away until this lifestyle is as unconscious for me as breathing. I’m still learning & when you’re learning there are no failures, no mistakes only lessons to be practiced. So I keep my raw vegan practice going, falling, getting up, falling & getting up again & again. Eventually I won’t even notice the falling & be all about the getting up. To that eventuality I tip my green smoothie cup!