I used to be a big food worshipper with an over-the-top appetite. Seriously. I used to proudly boast to my male friends that I could “out-eat” them…not the most feminine challenge. At restaurant buffets, I would bring 2-3 plates full of food back from my first trip to the buffet bar (one in each hand plus one plate balancing on my forearm). But, I didn’t stop there. After the main meal, I would use a dinner size plate for the dessert table. I mean, come on, you can’t fit three desserts on that tiny plate they try to give you, right? And, how can you possibly choose only one dessert from all that are available? I had to at least try them all.
Basically, I loved food. I come from a family that is in the restaurant business and I grew up following my mom around the kitchen. My “high” in life came from the weekly trips to the grocery store with my mom, where she let me help her pick out ingredients. It wasn’t long before I became a little obsessed with food. In fact, it was not uncommon for me to think about what I was going to eat for lunch when it was only breakfast, as well as eagerly anticipating dinner before my lunch even started. And, I was always hungry.
The challenge was that being in shape and maintaining a healthy, slim waistline was, and still is, important to me. I feel the healthiest, sexiest, most playful, and have the most energy when I’m not carrying around extra weight (even if it’s only five pounds). Therefore, always being focused on food, eating a lot, AND trying to stay slim made my life quite a challenge. But, when I went Raw things changed. Whereas before I found myself with a crazy hunger, after starting to live the Raw lifestyle, I began experiencing a healthy appetite that was appropriately hungry before eating and adequately suppressed after eating. Now, I’m not obsessed with food and eating like I used to be. As a chef, I still get excited about food preparation, but now I’m content to eat the same delicious Raw vegan food for 2-3 days straight. I tend to drink the same smoothies for breakfast days in a row and it’s not unusual for me to eat the same Raw desserts over and over. Nowadays, my focus falls on getting fresh organic ingredients for my meals, but that’s about it. Life is healthier, simpler and much more enjoyable.
I think one of the reasons I was always starving in the past is because I wasn’t getting the proper nutrition I needed. My body was crying out for nutrients that were not to be found in all of the cooked food I consumed. Finally, I listened to my body’s cries for nutrient dense, uncooked food. When this happened, my hunger (and obsession) decreased, almost magically, and I was able to focus on other things…like my life.
When you say good-bye to something in your life, especially something like food that you’ve lived with for so long, it can be a tough transition for your mind (and your body). My advice is to take your time and enjoy the journey. Raw can seem like such a huge change, and indeed it is if you go 100% overnight. But, you don’t have to go 100% in the beginning (or maybe ever for that matter) to have some amazing results. Just start eating “more” Raw and listen to body as you go. You’ll probably find yourself in the same boat as many others….it becomes so delicious and healthy that you get excited about adding more and more Raw to your life. I find that the only people who question living a Raw (or high Raw) vegan lifestyle are the people who haven’t tried it. So, if you’re one of those people…to you I say…go ahead and just try it. See for yourself how easy it is and how great you could feel.