A raw food lifestyle can be strict, rigid and come with different sets of rules and regulations based on which raw food “guru” you happen to be following. You can eat foods that are high fat, low fat, high salt, low salt, high calorie, low calorie, rich in superfoods, low in superfoods, fruitarian, no fruit, high greens or no greens. You get the picture. There are so many options that make it confusing and more than a little intimidating when you’re first starting out.
To add to the confusion, each raw food leader will have a specific diet and lifestyle regime that claims to be the ultimate path to health, vitality and wellness. Every which way you look you’ll find an e-book, program, course or video professing to be the “best” or “only” way to get you to the results you desire. Attached to each program, you’ll find a whole slew of testimonials attesting to the amazing benefits through eating raw foods following that leader’s specific formula.
While I really do believe that most raw food educators have the best of intentions when promoting their products or programs, I also think that they’re missing a very basic and essential truth:
Every person will need to tailor his or her individual raw food lifestyle based on preferences, age, gender, current health, fitness level, location and climate.
When any of us make blanket statements like “My way is the only way to thrive on a raw food lifestyle!”, we neglect to realize that each person is going to thrive by eating raw foods in a slightly different way. In short: There is no one “right” way to live a raw food lifestyle.
It took nearly seven years of eating different variations of the raw food diet for me to come to this realization. For years, I followed guru after guru, hoping to achieve the same results that they had. The idea that I had subscribed to was this: If I wanted the results that another individual had, all I needed to do was eat and live in the exact same manner.
The problem with this line of thinking, though, is that I never checked in with my own body. I never once asked myself, “Do I truly feel my best eating this way?” Instead, I kept living by the rules and regulations of the specific guru I was following, hoping that one day I would feel balanced and at peace with health and body.
While I did feel better than I ever had before, I was aware on a deeper level that something wasn’t quite right with my health. After many years of eating a low-fat, raw and plant-based diet, I was still retaining fat and water weight. I craved avocados, nuts and seeds constantly but wouldn’t allow myself to eat them because I was so attached to the “low-fat” diet label. Any time I ate out at a raw food restaurant, I immediately felt guilty because the food I had eaten didn’t fit within my diet guidelines.
And then one day, something within me changed. I was craving fat, feeling bloated, frustrated and questioning my raw food lifestyle. In that moment, it hit me—I was still practicing the same self-sabotaging behaviours that I had prior to finding the raw food lifestyle. What was supposed to be the path to becoming my most vibrant self had transformed into new ways of restricting, bingeing and feeling guilty about my diet.
I knew in that moment that I was done with following gurus, guidelines and diet restrictions. I began to look for other options and stumbled upon the idea of eating intuitively. The thought of eating raw foods, assessing how I felt afterward and then eating more or less of those foods based on my body’s reactions resonated so deeply within me.
Finally, I had found a way of eating that would allow me to tailor my raw food lifestyle to fit my needs perfectly. Slowly, I began to alter my diet based on how I felt. Step by step, I let go of guru’s opinions, macronutrient ratios, calorie guidelines and started to see a glimpse of what it felt like to truly feel healthy and happy in my body.
Once I was able to let go of my rigid diet structure, my body and mind began to change rapidly. Within a few months, I had freed myself from the desire to binge or feel guilty about my food choices. Intuitively, I increased my dietary fat intake, stopped obsessive high-intensity exercises and let go of calorie counting.
Fast-forward to the present moment. Almost one year has passed since I made the decision to eat intuitively, and my life has changed in ways I could have never imagined. I practice yoga, mediation and energy healing daily. I feel peaceful, happy and in tune with my food and body. Gone are the feelings of guilt, frustration, rigidity and limitation that had stuck with me since childhood.
I’ve finally found my own personal path to health, happiness and abundance, and it all stemmed from understanding that there is no “one perfect way” to live the raw food lifestyle. All that was required was to trust my own inner guidance and intuition.
Who knew that the answer to health and happiness could be so simple?