Image via WikipediaRaw Food Diet...how raw do you have to be. Victoria Boutenko's posting in her most recent newsletter may surprise you If you struggle with a "Raw Food" lifestyle perhaps it will inspire you to take it easy on your self...and others.
Why I Say I Am 95% Raw
By Victoria Boutenko
January 9th, 2010
This month my family celebrates our 16th birthday as a Raw Family. Raw food saved our lives and I love every aspect of my raw life except for one. It becomes increasingly uncomfortable to feel the separation of us "purists," (100% raw foodists) from anyone who is "below" that standard.
I first experienced this unease four years ago. I visited my relatives who eat a standard American diet, when suddenly my 9 year old nephew confided to me that he decided to become a vegetarian. He asked me if I would teach him to cook a vegetable soup. I froze, thinking. "How can I do that? I am a 100% raw fooder!" Yet, after looking into Sasha’s excited eyes, I went ahead and helped him cook a soup, which he loved.
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Soon after this episode, I participated in a weekend workshop with Byron Katie about self-realization, along with 500 other attendees. That was the very first non-raw food event that I had been to in more than ten years. I remember feeling different, weird, and completely out of place. In addition, and contrary to my expectation, those people did not look particularly unhealthy. I did a lot of thinking at this workshop about why I felt separated and the importance of happiness in one’s life.
Since then I noticed feeling progressively more sensitive when talking to people who were struggling to stick to a 60%, 70%, 80%, or whatever % raw diet. All of a sudden, I realized that my book 12 Steps to Raw Foods (first edition) contained fanaticism about 100% raw foodism. Soon I completely revised this book and published the second edition, which I find to be a much kinder book, and perhaps more useful because of that. I shredded and recycled the left over copies of the old edition.
I have noticed that when I was telling other people about myself being a 100% raw foodist, it came across as if I was claiming to be a better, higher, more spiritual person. I felt so uncomfortable that I repeated in every lecture, "I am just a woman in a green dress. Please don’t put me on a pedestal."
We are all pioneers, still in the beginning of our research of the human diet. Nothing is set in stone and our bodies continually change. For example, while I enjoyed gourmet raw food in the beginning of my raw journey, for several years now, I have completely eliminated food prepared with nuts. In recent years I have decided that it can be healthier, to eat a bowl of cooked green vegetables than a whole jar of raw nut butter.
While I believe with my whole heart that, when done correctly, a raw food diet is the optimal way of eating for humans, and my present diet is almost exclusively raw, I prefer to resign from a "100% raw" position.
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The quote in the Raw Food Wisdom Header is sometimes missed but after Victoria Boutenko's posting it might be worth a read.
From John H. Tobe A Raw Food Pioneer...
"Many people are of the impression when they go on a raw food diet that they are becoming something wonderful or that they are making a great sacrifice for mankind. You are not dieting, you are not starving, you are not being a martyr, and you are not even being noble...but for the first time in your life you are showing good common sense about maintaining your health"