This stuff is hard. But I made it... with my hubby's help again.
It's not really the food part, although that certainly takes a lot of adjusting...
The hardest part is all emotional!
I was definitely aware before that, under stress, I craved certain foods for entirely emotional reasons.
- "I've had a bad day, I need some chocolate."
- "I'm so tired, let's just order pizza."
- "Work has been so tough this week, I want breadsticks and nacho cheese."
- "Hm, I'm so hungry, I don't have time for something complicated. Spaghetti sounds good."
- "I want to relax. I'll read a book and have hot cocoa."
- "I've had dinner but I'm still hungry. I'll have some gluten-free cookies, those are healthy, right?"
Over recent months, but strongly highlighted for me this past week, I've come to realize that what foods appeal to us - what sounds good for dinner, what we pick at a restaurant, our favorites foods - are rarely a matter of choice OR a matter of listening to what our body needs and wants. Mostly they are from
- What we are used to.
- Smells, tastes, and textures associated with (usually unconscious) positive memories
- Addictions to things like wheat, cheese, sugar, etc.
Honestly, I had this thought (perhaps a horrible one) that I couldn't be using food to hide from emotions, because if I was, surely I'd be eating way more sweets and I'd be much more overweight, right? I had it in my head that only *really fat* people had issues with using food as a major emotional block. And while I'm not as slim as I'd like or could be, and I have days where I feel fat, I know I'm not really fat. So I couldn't have any serious food-emotion problems... right?
I feel so dumb... it's very humbling.
And now I realize that if I was/am doing it... so are most people, probably!
I've seen Valya Boutenko call part of this the "Food Imprint." The food imprint happens when we are young. Whatever solids we are fed early on by our parents, our bodies associate with health, nutrition, and comfort. Evolutionarily speaking, this is so we learn to crave those foods that our parents - who have our best health in mind, of course - would naturally feed us. We crave foods suited to our environment and suitable to health.
Except, you know, most of us aren't getting weaned onto green smoothies and fresh ripe fruit. (With some inspiring exceptions!) In American and many other industrialized nations, we are mostly weaned onto over-processed crap.
Wow, it's just a lot for me to think about. And damn, day five was HARD. I was overtired from lack of sleep and stress and I just wanted bread and cookies, chocolate and tortilla chips...
And wheat, dairy and corn are all extra bad for me (and many people). They are some of the most common allergens out there, period. They are also in everything! (Which is why they are common allergens!) So it is hard to avoid them all and easy to crave them!
I think I'm detoxing hard. I have had a headache for a few days and intermittent nausea for three days. It is NO fun. I am debating whether I need to pull back a little and eat 90% raw for a while instead... but given all this emotional stuff I am uncovering, I want to be careful not to make that decision for the wrong reasons. I really need to listen to my body. Mostly I think my body is saying, "lay off all the fatty foods, yeesh!" I need to eat more fruit, I think.
~40oz green smoothie
chocolate mousse (this is so amazingly delicious and healthy too!)
flax crackers with nut pate
nori rolls with apple, avocado, lettuce, and raw honey (YUM!)
~35oz. green smoothie
salad of mixed greens with sliced tomato and avocado
collard wrap with carrot, zucchini, onion, avocado, kale, and portabello mushrooms
Lots of delicious food!
No matter where I go from here, I am proud of myself. Every day, every hour I stay 100% raw is another day/hour longer than I ever have before. And so even if I don't make it through a whole month at 100% raw, I've still accomplished something. I know I can eat way more raw food than I thought before!