Monday, February 18, 2008

A New Choice...

I've been thinking about this all day as well as yesterday, not wanting to give over to a whim or do things for the wrong reason. But I've decided that I'm going to be more balanced and flexible in my life. It all clicked today for me. I felt so burdened and bound by one of the things I love the most...raw food. This was very odd. I mean, raw and whole foods is one of the things I get very excited about. But today...raw food just didn't feel right. (hello? Is this really me talking?) But it didn't. I felt so out of the loop, so burdened. I didn't know what to do. A good part of my afternoon I spent on my bed just scribbling out reasons to stay entirely raw or just do raw till supper or even, eating some raw before supper. Paper was strewn all over the bed as I tried to figure out what I should do and why was I making an issue of this. A while later, it hit me. Two things.

1. I asked the Lord this morning to decrease my love for raw food just a little bit, because I felt like I was focusing on the gift of raw food, rather than the Giver of raw food more than I should be. I had forgotten about it. I feel that right now anyway, the Lord wants me not to be "bound" to my own rules that I have concerning raw food, but be "bound" to Him, focusing on Him more than anything else, being "absorbed" with Him. It's the Lord that I need to be in love with, not raw food. I believe the Lord wants to renew that love to greater things.

2. I need to listen to my body (with the influence of common sense). When I feel like I need to eat light, eat light. When I feel like I need something heartier, eat something heartier. When I'm hungry, eat. When I'm full, stop. Yes, I know, they're basic principles, but they seemed so new to me today. Right now, with all that's happening around me, I know it's the right thing to do.

You wouldn't believe the freedom I felt this afternoon. Once I had decided I just felt at such peace. I felt so liberated. My family had spaghetti tonight and you know, even though I had given myself "freedom" to eat some of it, my body didn't want the spaghetti. I had a little tomato sauce, but no noodles. Right now the thought of it doesn't actually appeal to me, despite the fact I haven't had cooked food for nearly 49 days (tomorrow it's 50). I'm going to listen to my body more. When I have supper if I feel like I could do with some baked yam or some brown rice, I'll have some, but if I don't feel like I really want to or need to...I won't. My body, for the most part, craves raw and whole foods. Tonight I just wanted almost all salad and then a little healthy cooked food.

This might sound untrue or really wierd, but now that I feel like I just want to hear what my body needs... I think it may end up to be a healthier than the all raw diet. Ok, now you're thinking that I'm really off my rocker. Before you click the X button on my blog, just hear me out. Take today...I really wanted my sister's homemade cinnamon buns and trying to get rid of that craving I stuffed myself with heavier raw foods such as nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. I didn't feel wonderful after that and yet, I still wanted the buns. It would've been just a better idea to eat a cinnamon bun rather than slugging down my digestive system with things that my body wasn't asking for (which are, btw, a hundred times better than the store bought, just junky cinnamon buns. We use good ingredients and healthy flours for ours, even growing our own wheat). Of course, there is a certain element of reason to this. Just because your body wants sugar, doesn't mean you should shovel down a package of candy. Use common sense. Eat something that cuts your sweet tooth that's raw, or at least, that's really healthy. Your mind knows sugar is practically poison, as does your body.

I think that the more I learn to listen to my body, the healthier I'll become...raw or not. Why? Because you're paying attention to your body's needs, not the wants and whims that can even become commonplace in a raw food diet. If I'm tempted by something, I can ask myself, "Do I really want this? Am I hungry? If so, is this really what my body needs? Why do I want to eat this?" Once again, it's important to pair commen sense and what your body needs together. If you're eating something because you just like the taste, your emotionally unstable, or bored, those are not good reasons. Eat for your body's needs.

As I learn to listen to my body better, I think, more than anything I'll be craving those raw and whole foods even more. My family and I went to the gym tonight for floor hockey, and when we came back I craved citrus, and lots of it. I listened to what my body wanted, though I still had the freedom to have some granola or a piece of whole wheat toast. I feel very free. And I know that sometimes it'll be hard to listen to what my body needs, but I really want to try my best.

There is, of course, a general list of things I want to avoid (and I'm not making them hardfast rules as much as I want to, because then I feel too "bound" again by food rules...but since I don't even really want them too often it shouldn't be too much of problem)

  • AVOID sugar
  • AVOID dairy products
  • AVOID all processed, canned, packaged, refined, or processed foods

So for now, that's my plan. There'll be days where I'll be all raw and there will be days where, shock of all shock, I might even have some toast for lunch, lol. You never know. My goal is to continue eating A LOT OF RAW and to eat good, healthy whole foods at supper. Cheer me on! :0)


Keely said...

Do you think the fact that you did eat some cooked food on day 48 may have had something to do with your decision?

Bob and I do occasionally have some cooked Vietnamese food. We love it, we crave it... we always feel heavy and sleepy after eating it. Doesn't stop us from getting it the next time we want it though! [grin]

Charissa said...

Maybe, but I'm pretty good about getting back "on track" after I have some cooked food, but you know...I don't have any desire for that food. I'm a RAW girl through and through and I'll probably eat more raw than ever by just listening to my body. I almost feel like people will get the wrong impression from my I've fallen off the wagon and I'm going to eat whatever I want. NOPE!!! Not me, girl, I'm truly a raw fanatic and that's still the same! I'm just simply stopping to count the days where I proudly "all raw" and am trying to listen to my body (which I think will make me more healthy, because I'll be umping greens and fruits, decreasing my consumption of nuts and seeds). I'm making raw a lifestyle now more than a period of detox. I think this is very important. You're a good example of that, Keely. :)

Michelle J said...

Hi Charissa, i really love this post, i can certainly relate to a lot of what your wrote! Especially the part about listening to your body! So very true! Thanks for this timely post on your great blog!

Michelle J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mandy said...

i expect to go to 80% when my 30 days raw is over. i completely agree with you about listening to your body. however sometimes i think i'm distanced from what my body truly wantes, because too often my body tells me it wants ramen noodles. i know perfectly well my body doesn't need ramen noodles! so i want to listen to the real craving instead of the mind craving. i don't think i'm there yet.

anyway, if your body says warm soup, have warm soup! i mean, the raw restaurants here in SF actually serve cooked soup, so i don't think you're the only raw foodist who eats some cooked food. in fact i'm quite sure you're not.

my $.02.

Charissa said...

Keely, I guess I should clarify something. I don't know if I'll eat more raw than ever, it sounds very likely if I really listen to my body, but I don't want to say that for sure, because once again...I don't want to make myself any more food "rules", if you catch my meaning. The cooked food probably triggered some of my thoughts about this, yes, but I've been thinking about this for a while.

Michelle J, thanks! I'm just beginning to, more than ever learn the skill of listening to my body. Thanks for your encouragement. Oh, and you posted twice accidently so I just deleted one of your comments. :0)

Mandy, like you I'm just beginning to teach myself the art of listening to my body and it's real cravings, not mind cravings. I know that I shall have lots of mind cravings win over and perhaps cravings in general, but hopefully I will soon learn the difference more sensitively. Thanks for your sweet encouragement. I like your 2 cents. ;0)