Go on, admit it. If you’re like most people on or exploring a raw food diet, you might’ve thought or might still think that because well more than 90 percent of the population eats meat or at least consumes dairy or eggs, we have to eat animal products to be healthy.
“Practically everyone is eating this way, so this must be the right way.” Any chance that was or is a thought bubble for you? After all, the idea of eating upward of dozens of pieces of fruit a day sounds just, well, bananas, right? At least it does to almost everyone the first time they hear about it.
I admit I had some reservations about a raw food diet when I started on my journey, and yesterday, I had a good reminder why.
During a visit to my sister’s house, I saw on a countertop a brown paper lunch bag belonging to my youngest nephew, who’s almost 6 years old. A square containing the following poem was pasted to the bag: “Fruit and vegetables/Milk and meat/Bread and cereal/Are good to eat. Good nutrition/Every day/Keeps you healthy/As you work and play.”
Frozen yogurt, broccoli, eggs, cheese, grapes, lettuce, chocolate milk, chicken, bananas, bread and other foods—all just begging to be colored, and they were, outside the lines, thankfully—are strewn around these words, part of a message from The Education Center Inc. dated from 2000. It’s clear we’re subjected to misinformation and social conditioning at a very early age, and how’s one to challenge some or even all these notions when inundated with demands that we learn “X” and “Y” before moving on to master “Z”? By the time we’re out of school, more demands call on us to feed the system, so we get jobs or careers to pay for many things we don’t need but think we want because we haven’t had too many free moments to awaken our consciousness and tap in to our true selves. Our true selves, meanwhile, go dormant as we spend our time under the spell of endless screens—television, computer, tablet and phone—forsaking the beauty and simple pleasure of barefoot walks and watching the sun set.
It’s easy to see that we have to be hungry and downright curious to want to explore beyond that which we’ve been told—and told to do. Life is moving faster and faster, and finding the time to slow down and actually think—rather than merely consume and react—is becoming increasingly challenging. Society is blitzing us with information and raising the bar of demands and responsibilities by the day.
Undoing propaganda certainly takes some doing—and takes time. When you’re on the road to questioning the foods you eat or digging deep in matters of spirituality or politics, for example, to discover a truth that resonates within you, you ultimately have to blaze your own path—no hand-holding. Railing against conventions likely will spark fear among many in your life because, simply, we’re told from a very early age to follow the leader and to be quiet and accept things as they are.
Be strong. Be dogged if you have to.
When you’re leading a low-fat raw food diet—a tremendous catalyst for invoking all kinds of positive changes, by the way—layers of who you were and what you thought and believed will continually peel off you month by month, season by season and year by year. You might catch yourself laughing as you look back from time to time on how you once lived your life compared with how you live now, surrounded by the peels of 22 oranges and 22 bananas you ate one day. Shake your body and feel the freedom emanate. Celebrate the dance of rejuvenation.
If you’re still wondering whether we need to consume animal products to lead a healthy life, what sealed the deal for me was reading the “Humans vs. Carnivores” sidebar in Dr. Doug Graham‘s The 80/10/10 Diet. These facts resonate with me, and I’ve put myself to the test for the past three-and-a-half years. I’d say I’m passing with flying colors.
No matter where you are on your journey, give yourself opportunities to color outside the lines. See where a little good-natured rebellion gets you. Accept nothing and question everything.
Color big. Color loudly. Color richly. It’s yours to make.