Sara gave me the following reply (to the large amount of information I replied initial comments with):
"Thanks. You gave me a lot of information I really didn't know.
Figured it definitely couldn't hurt to ask. Maybe [raw food is] something I [should] look into more, because I'm on six prescriptions right now and its side effects are knocking me down.
I missed two weeks of work and feel generally sick all the time the past couple years. Lately I don't have an appetite for anything, but I had some strawberries and its the one thing that tasted great and I kept down.
I love fruit. Thank you for the answers. I appreciate it."
You're very welcome. :D
I used to feel sick constantly and I missed two weeks of school or work regularly. It's hard to keep a day job when you're sick that long, that often! It's hard to do anything when you feel like crap.
The six prescriptions thing...
There is this guy, he calls himself the "Raw Food Trucker" because he is a truck driver. He used to be over 400 pounds, was on 25 prescription drugs and was diabetic. He went on the same diet I'm on -- he did it the right way, not the half-ass way -- and (over time) he lost more than 200 pounds, got off all the prescriptions and reversed his diabetes. So, if he could do all that, I'm sure you could get off the six that you're on.
Just adding one fruit and one vegetable a day and removing one or two sugared things from your diet can have a huge effect. If you have any more specific questions, ask away.
At this point, Mary joined the conversation as well:
"I was on over ten scripts myself when I came home from the hospital and I started to cut sugar and red meat out of my diet and felt better, then because of packing I reverted back to cooked fast food and I feel like crap again. Today and tomorrow I am going to try and go back to water and 100% juice. It's hard to get fruit when your house bound like I am. Once I move I want to work on my diet more."
My letter to Mary:
Drinking lots of water is something I used to underestimate the power of. I always thought, "yeah, but water doesn't offer any nutrition, so it's not important, right?" Little did I know that without water everything in your body functions less effectively.
Each cell in the body needs a certain amount of water, sodium and potassium in order to be hydrated, and if the cell isn't hydrated, then it isn't functioning correctly. (Two great sources of potassium are bananas and coconut juice or coconut meat from a young coconut. Very specifically a young coconut.)
Digestive cells, cells that are meant to take toxins from the blood, cells that are meant to transport nutrients from one place to another of need, cells you need in order to think clearly, cells you need in order to smell, cells you need in order to feel cold and heat the way they actually are (and not overly too hot, or too cold), cells you need in order to heal, etc. All of those cells need to be toxin-free, and have a balance of sodium and potassium, and have a certain level of natural sugar (that came from a whole fresh fruit or vegetable - you can get enough sugar from carrots to survive), and so forth, in order to perform their functions.
When the entire society is not feeling, smelling, thinking, tasting, healing, hearing or seeing correctly because of a diet loaded with toxins and depleted of nutrients... A recession is bound to happen, crime rates are bound to spike, and drama is just waiting around every corner. Why? Because everyone feels like crap inside their own body.
This is why I gravitated to raw foodists. I discovered that they were happy! Every raw food potluck I've been to I've met people who were deeply satisfied with their lives... Why? Because they were truly healthy, not merely getting by with being "not sick" which is what most people call "healthy."
On the topic of meat...
Occasional meat accompanied by lots of fresh vegetables before hand is okay for most digestive systems as long as the ratio of vegetable to meat is around six cups of vegetable to one cup of meat, and the meat is eaten twice a week or less. While a meat-free diet may be optimal, having a little meat with vegetables before hand can be perfectly "safe." Personally, I would highly suggest using only organic grass-fed meat sources.
The reason to eat raw vegetables before you eat the meat is because it's very hard to digest meat and the meat itself offers you nothing to help you digest it. When you eat the raw vegetables your body gets loaded up with enzymes, including digestive enzymes which will help break down the meat and allow you to actually use some of the minerals and protein in the meat that would usually just clog up your body unused and eventually pass out of you body.
Conclusion: Drinking water is important. And: Whenever eating anything hard to digest (meat, dairy, bread, pasta), it becomes more important than ever to eat raw vegetables beforehand to prime the body to digest the food after.
I've been thinking about the butterfly effect of poor health a lot lately. One domino after another, living in a ill and poorly "functioning" body has a negative impact on our whole life. For example:
- Say you spend twenty minutes a day rubbing your eyes because you feel tired. Five minutes in the morning, another five at work, another five in the bathroom, another five around bed time.
- Perhaps you spend ten minutes rubbing your temples while you're at work due to a headache three times a week.
- Once a week you might have a stomach ache and end up laying down for an hour feeling uncomfortable and sick, and possibly have to cancel plans with friends.
- Twice a week you might have muscle pains that cause you to continually have to get up and stretch, rub your neck with your hands, hold your lower back, or simply space out and try to escape the pain with television, or a day dream. Perhaps this lasts an hour each time.
- Each night you may spend twenty minutes tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable, unable to sleep.
- Each morning it may take you ten minutes to get out bed. Stretching, yawning, rolling about in bed, fiddling with the alarm, feeling tired and down about having to get up.
- Perhaps once a month you are feeling unwell and break a commitment to do something someone was depending on you to do. They feel hurt by this and argue with you over it. Or perhaps you get into an argument with someone because you refuse to do something due to not wanting to get out of the house due to cramps, depression, or irritable bowels. The argument may last ten minutes or half an hour, but the emotional hurt will last longer. Repairing the damage always takes time.
- Say once a month you fall into a lull for a couple days, not wanting to accomplish anything at all, feeling depressed and down about life, spending more hours than usual watching TV, spending the entire day playing video games (not that I see something wrong with video games, but playing all day because you're depressed is not healthy), perhaps emotional eating takes place, perhaps during this lull further disagreements may occur. If you normally sleep eight hours a night, then you're awake sixteen hours a day. That's thirty-two hours you throw away when you spend two days depressed and down on life.
But, let's say the above is you for a moment. If you do the math, this is the time wasted on "not feeling so great:"
- 10 hours a month rubbing your eyes, tired and groggy
- 2 hours a month rubbing your temples, with a headache
- 4 hours a month lying about with a stomachache
- 8 hours a month with muscle pains
- 10 hours a month tossing and turning, unable to sleep well
- 5 hours a month sleepily trying to get awake, feeling tired
- 1 hour a month in an argument or upset about an argument stemming from illness
- 32 hours of depression in a month
Beyond that, the healthier you are, the easier it is to do every single thing you like to do throughout your daily life.
Do you like to dance? You can dance better and longer if you're healthy.
Do you like to play games? You'll think faster and have better coordination if you're healthy.
Do you like to write? Your ideas will come faster if you're healthy.
And let's get something else straight: It's not as simple as "being healthy" and "not being healthy." There are many levels of wellness, and it's not a linear scale. It's not even "how healthy am I?" It's more like, "How healthy am I in this particular area?" You can have very healthy hair and finger nails while the rest of your body is falling apart.
As a side note, today my husband and I went out on a date. I find it's very important to still go out on dates no matter how long you've been together. I braided my hair for him. He put on the clothes I like to see him in best. We saw a movie with the tickets a coworker gave him for Christmas and we went to Cafe Gratitude (in Berkley) beforehand to have a lovely meal.
We ordered their Live Spring Rolls (an appetizer we hadn't tried before), and I adored their wonderful diverse flavor. We ordered their Live Nachos, one of my favorite items on their menu (also listed as an appetizer). And, also, their raw pesto pizza which I now believe is my official favorite on the entire menu.
Some photos from today:
Chips made from seeds in a bed of greens, guacamole, spicy "cheese" that is made from nuts and beans made from seeds and other things.
Raw Pesto Pizza
Crust made from seeds, "cheese" made from nuts, greens... Similar sounding ingredients to the Live Nachos, but very different flavor.
Raederle enjoying her Live Pesto Pizza
I didn't manage to photograph the Spring Rolls because we ended up eating them before I thought to take photos. They were served with a delicious Thai sauce that was mildly spicy and very creamy.
Raederle, January 16th 2011
Raederle, January 16th 2011
Raederle and her husband at Cafe Gratitude
It's been a lovely day. A day that wouldn't have been possible if either of us had felt unwell. Your health is your ability to do everything that you love, it is your time, and every time you invest time or money in your health, you reap what ever you put into it five-fold down the line, if not more than five-fold.
~ Raederle Phoenix