7 Reasons Why Raw Doesn’t Work

August 8, 2013
by Amy Rachelle

Hello Friends,

Do you put pressure on yourself to eat a certain way, do yoga/exercise, or feel guilty if you’re not taking care of yourself according to particular practices (i.e. beliefs)?

 As a naturopath, I see people approach health from many angles, with varying results.  People teach me that health often has less to do with the chosen course itself, and more to do with the beliefs we associate with it.

In the raw food and detox world, many of us have come to belief that we’ll only be healthy, clear minded, and “clean” if we eat raw and detox.  There’s validity to this, when approached from a grounded, practical, and truly self-loving perspective.  Otherwise, these beliefs can create alienation, self-flagellation, and ultimately confusion – which can set up a host of negative patterns that make us feel “bad” about our selves.

I’ve certainly felt this at times in my 22+ years healing journey with veganism, raw, detox, yoga, meditation, etc. – and even more etc.  Whew!  Looking back I’ve made huge strides in my health on all levels, and become so super passionate that I simply love being of service to others out of what I’ve learned.  Admittedly, I’ve also created tension with people I love, been rigid at times, and learned the hard way why raw doesn’t work with certain mindsets.

I’m sharing the following in hopes that you’ll be inspired to take pressure off yourself, allow for the natural and organic process, and enjoy what we can sometimes feel disenchanted by if we’re approaching it from anything other than true self-love and care.

7 Reasons Why Raw Doesn’t Work

  1. 1.    When you tell yourself you have to – or do it for any reason other than really wanting to.

Who really wants to do anything that isn’t coming from a big yes from within?  Not too many.  Getting caught up in the head, and attempting to reason with one self as to why you should eat a certain way will surely take the joy out of eating, and more than likely make you rebel at some point.  Incorporate living foods (and detox) from a place of true desire – step by step – and its likely to grow.  Let it happen naturally from a place of excitement and joy, and it will become easy.  This may require slowing down and taking the pressure off your self.  Go easy and in your own pace so that your yes comes from curiosity and joy.

  1. 2.    Believing it’s the only and purest way, and you’ll be unhealthy if you don’t.

The key word here is “believing.”  We know that what we believe we make true.  What do you believe as truth?  Truth is, there are many ways of eating, according to different peoples needs, that constitute being healthy, which may or may not include raw.  Expand your belief systems to truly be healthy, and to remain open to a bigger picture of what comprises health, beyond food…. and to avoid being rigid which can cause inner turmoil, and hamper your social and family life.  Eat raw because you love it, rather than living under narrow belief systems that may, or may not, be true.

  1. 3.    Forcing yourself to eat raw and detox when it doesn’t feel instinctual or natural to you in the moment.

Ever tell yourself you’re going to eat raw no matter what – even though it may not feel good to you in the moment?  Trust your instinct, and challenge yourself to find out what’s true!  Many simply don’t have the digestive enzymes to break fibrous raw food down, yet belief this is what they should be doing, though their gut says otherwise. Challenge these beliefs by slowing down and trusting yourself, and give time to rebuild what you may have lost from not having enough living food in your diet.  To rebuild these essential enzymes, try taking a shot of strained lemon juice before eating and take HCL (Hydro Chloric Acid) and probiotics daily (look for a combination of strains that contain L-Salvarus and L-Planterum – this is what mother’s milk gives us as an infant that’s meant to sustain our immune system through life).

  1. 4.    Eating raw for someone or something else other than for you – or expecting someone else to do what you do.

We’re sure to rebel in time if we’re eating a certain way for anyone other than ourselves.  It may last short term, yet beyond that, if what we eat and do isn’t motivated from that yes within, we may end up not liking it at all, resenting who or what we associate with it, and in general probably feel frustrated because we haven’t honored our own needs and truth.    Eat what you eat for you – free of self – or projected pressure onto another.  Let it be natural and of ease. What are your needs?  Get to know them and be forthright in your communication to build and maintain trust in your relationships, to take care of yourself, and be true… to yourself.

  1. 5.    Eating raw to be fashionable or part of a clique, group, or movement.

Many years ago when some of us started on this path, there were little raw food fashionistas or fads to compare to, compete with, or otherwise belong to.  With the advent of a growing movement, it’s common to witness identities develop out of superiority/inferiority, specialness, elitism, etc.  These likely pitfalls are typical to any identity we create to cope, feel loved, and gain approval with.  Problem is, like all identities, they often erode in confusion, and keep us from truly connecting with our selves – and one another – authentically.  Setting this one free is to cut away aspects of self-isolation and alienation.  May we eat and do what we do – regardless of what others do – keeping clear of facades that eventually crumble and create confusion and self-doubt.  Build self-confidence and stability from your self-care practices that no clique can either give – or take away from you.

  1. 6.    Punishment/Reward System. 

Ever punish yourself for eating something you deem “wrong” or unhealthy – then vow to stop that – and reward yourself with something else?  “Ok, if I stop doing that, then I can have/will get this.”  We know what this usually sets up:  a yo-yo effect that’s based on feeling good about oneself, only after we’ve felt bad.  In this sort of thinking, we build ourselves up from a false structure (low self-worth talk that motivates “being good”), force stages of growth we may or may not actually be ready for (for example:  “I’ll only eat raw, keep 10 kilos off, then I will – fill in the blank  – after I’ve been good”).  Then once we’ve been “good” for a while (gotten the reward), we often find ourselves right back where we started, feeling worse and like a failure.  Sound familiar?  Accept where you are, take the bait reward (wrapped up with your sense of self-worth) off the hook (let go), and simply accept where you are.  With honest self-reflection, you can rebuild based on steps that honor your needs (step by step), rather than feeling like eating healthy isn’t doable for you consistently.  Being honest about where you really are and accepting yourself – equals getting centered in your true needs – honoring them, and moving ahead, yo-yo free.

  1. 7.    Eating raw and detoxing solely for body image.

Eating raw and detoxing for looks is a great place to start, yet may not be sustainable in the long run, and send one back to the drawing board.  Listening to the deeper messages and insights that often occur as we connect to nature through eating natural food can inspire meaning to where beauty with longevity comes from.  We may find ourselves on the weig
ht and image rebound after some time eating (high) raw if those messages aren’t heeded and tended to.  Just as a house isn’t a home until someone caring lives there, the body tends to not be as beautiful without its greater presence taken care of, awakened, embraced, and embodied.  Be sure to pay as much attention to cultivating your peace of mind, knowing of self, and spirit of soul – as you do to eating raw and detoxing for beauty – to be truly beautiful, no matter your age or circumstances.

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As a naturopath specializing in raw food, detox, and emotional processing, Amy has a specialized intuitive gift that benefits clients in resolving health and emotional issues, gain insights, clarity, and life direction. (Also available on Skype).

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