Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow, whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die.
—Tao Te Ching
When I first switched to a raw food diet, chronic conditions that plagued me since childhood began disappearing, and I thought I had my overall health and well-being completely figured out. I didn’t think there would ever be a need to search for answers or solutions regarding my health again. However, even though I did have a large piece of the puzzle figured out, over time, I realized quite a bit of tweaking was still necessary.
Changing to a raw food diet was the best decision I have ever made regarding my health, but as time went by and my body adjusted to the positive changes, new situations surfaced that needed to be addressed, and I came to the realization that a raw food diet did not make me invincible.
The first situation that arose was my contracting parasites. Despite the fact that I stopped consuming all animal products, with all my food now being uncooked, I was still susceptible to the organisms on my produce. Even though I was washing it very well, stuff that my body was not able to defend against was left behind. Tests confirmed multiple parasites in my system, which were causing a variety of very uncomfortable symptoms—mainly digestive issues with terrible bloating and constipation along with headaches, blurry vision and difficulty sleeping.
Watch Alicia Grant Discuss How She Got Rid of Parasites
After trying prescription medication, multiple rounds of herbs and other remedies with little or no success, I finally found relief with a parasite zapper, a little battery-operated unit that emits a low-level electrical frequency throughout the body. You can’t feel it, but it makes the body an unfriendly habitat in which parasites can no longer survive. I continue to wear this device at night while sleeping as maintenance to prevent further infections.
The second and third health issues revolved around my dedicated approach to the 80/10/10 lifestyle. When I first dove into an all-raw diet, I was eating raw vegan gourmet without many restrictions and loving it until my digestion started to slow down from the heaviness of my overt-fat intake, which was just too much for my system. My digestion, however, was much improved on this raw diet and aside from its slowdown, my body was singing with joy over how well I was feeling as I watched all other symptoms that had been ruling my life for decades disappear. These symptoms included debilitating PMS, cramps, menstrual migraines, mood swings and chronic headaches. I needed to find a different way to thrive on raw food and soon adopted the fruit diet, which consists of 80 percent or more of my calorie intake from fruit carbs and 10 percent or less from protein and 10 percent or less from fat. I love this diet even more than the gourmet raw diet.
The principle of 80/10/10, also known as Natural Hygiene, however, strongly suggests no supplementation based on the premise that you get what you need from food as well as no vinegar of any kind, no added salt and no fermented foods, among many other guidelines.
Since I am an all-or-nothing person, it was my strong desire to follow the “rules” precisely so I could achieve the best results. So I cut out all the things not recommended, even ones I loved.
Though I did achieve many more improvements following these new principles, after many months, much to my surprise, my menstrual migraines returned. I couldn’t understand why because I was following this lifestyle to a “T” without wavering. I was experiencing this horrific pain a couple of times each month. I spent a lot of time racking my brain, trying to figure out the answer. I kept going over my previous way of eating, which caused the migraines to vanish, and eventually narrowed it down to either a lack of omega-3 fatty acids or that I had stopped consuming the raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) I had used almost daily during my time eating raw gourmet. After a two-month experiment using ACV in my salad dressings again, my hunch was correct, and my menstrual migraines vanished once more and have not returned since I have maintained my intake of either raw apple cider vinegar or raw coconut vinegar. I haven’t been able to uncover the exact reason why this is such an effective remedy, but at this point, I’m just so thankful to have a resolution that the reason is secondary to me.
The third situation I encountered was nutritional deficiency. Without supplementation, I became deficient in Vitamins B12 and D and also discovered I was deficient in iodine.
I noticed that I began to feel dizzy after flying, after riding in an elevator or even after an earthquake. Yes, I did say earthquake! I live in Southern California, where we feel a quake at least twice a year. After any one of these experiences, for many hours and sometimes up to a day or two afterward, I felt like the ground was swaying, almost like I was on a boat. When I asked Dr. [Doug] Graham, author of The 80/10/10 Diet, about this, he suggested it could be a Vitamin B12 deficiency. I began supplementing right away and noticed an improvement immediately. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are very serious and not to be taken lightly. I’m really grateful I am tuned in to my body, didn’t ignore this symptom and supplemented right away before more major damage was done.
Even though I live in sunny California and I’m often in the sun, I still came up critically low in Vitamin D. I began supplementing and got my levels up to a recommended level but then noticed my digestion was compromised again with constipation. I stopped taking the Vitamin D, and after a few months, my digestion returned to normal. I am now at a crossroads regarding what to do about my Vitamin D intake. I will continue to test my levels of D and take the necessary precautions as the need arises.
And finally, I had my iodine levels tested with the help of Don Bennett. I also tested very low in this nutrient. I began supplementing based on my personal needs according to Don’s recommendation for me and was able to achieve the recommended level. I definitely saw improvements in my overall energy and motivation, which had started to dwindle over time.
Watch Alicia Analyze Results of 2015 Blood and Iodine Test Results
Had I not been flexible with all these issues and willing to break the “rules,” I could have seriously compromised my health. I share this information now so you can avoid being rigid with your dietary approach and find a balance that works for you. Be flexible and fluid and experiment, and if something doesn’t work for you after giving it a fair chance, try a modified approach.
The longer you follow a raw, plant-based lifestyle, the more you become in tune with your body, knowing very well when something is working and when it’s not. And you likely will find that you are often tweaking and modifying as your body heals and evolves, but you probably won’t have to change a lot. If you are willing to go with your own flow, it will most likely be a relatively smooth and enjoyable ride.
Check out Alicia Grant’s transformation profile!