PROFILES OF DIETARY CHANGE
by Amy Adler
I initially added more raw foods to my diet because I was curious about the impact it would have on my health and energy level. There was also something very appealing about eating foods in the form they take in nature. I have to admit, though, that I was thrilled that I could be lazy about preparing my food. Raw foods are the best fast food there is!
My experiment with raw foods started when I changed my breakfasts from cereal and soymilk to fruit. Even though I had been mainly eating cooked vegan fare the rest of the day, it wasn’t long before I realized that my mornings were more productive; the raw foods were energizing! I felt comfortable with my breakfast choices because I didn’t feel like I had forced myself to radically change my diet. Raw foods fit right into my lifestyle.
Once I started eating fresh salads on a daily basis, I noticed that I could sleep about an hour less each night and still feel refreshed in the morning. My digestion was much better than it had ever been – the cooked beans I often had trouble with were noticeably more digestible as sprouts. Even I, who could never get a houseplant to thrive, was able to grow alfalfa, wheat and lentil sprouts in a jar on my kitchen counter for just pennies and minutes a day.
Since I started going raw, I’ve realized that raw foods can be prepared to resemble other foods I was used to. For example, raw almonds make delicious nut milk, frozen bananas become a creamy mock ice cream when whirred around in a food processor, and fresh fruit and nuts make delicious pies. Raw foods are simply scrumptious!
Amy Adler has been a vegetarian since 1994 and a vegan since 1995. She is a board member of the Vegetarian Society of DC (VSDC).
by Dorleen Tong
My immigrant parents worked around the clock and needed my sister and I to be able to feed ourselves, so I was subsequently raised on a diet of Campbell’s soup, Ramen noodles, white bread and Spam.
My first encounter with living foods came in the form of wheatgrass juice. I noticed that by taking just one ounce three times a week, my immune system improved greatly (e.g. no more post nasal drip, less colds). I began reading about the Ann Wigmore Hippocrates diet (totally raw vegan with an emphasis on live foods, enzymes and wheatgrass juice) and embarked on a 12-year transition to the diet I consume today – 95 to 100 percent living foods.
A major problem I encountered when I first began adopting the living foods lifestyle was being too strict with myself. I brought and only ate my own food at all social events and felt very isolated. Now I join in more. For example, I’m socially active with an outdoor group and with my colleagues, both of which have gatherings centered around meals. During these instances, I may not eat raw, but I do stay selective and eat only the vegetarian foods. Now, isolation and food is no longer an issue, although I do get a “cooked-foods hangover” the next morning! I feel groggy, sluggish, and might get a stuffy nose.
Emotional preservation is my strongest motive for staying with the living foods lifestyle. I used to obsess over things and rarely let things slide; I was argumentative and had a chip on my shoulder. By incorporating more raw fruit and vegetables and wheatgrass juice into my diet, I experienced an increased sense of well-being – both physical and emotional. The clarity of mind that I’ve found from the living foods diet has enabled me to flow with life and its joys, and to get in touch with what I want out of life. Now I work part-time, love my work, have lots of time to play and am able to “follow my heart” with volunteer work.
A side benefit of living foods is being physically healthy. I used to be hypoglycemic, but now that’s completely gone. I used to sleep until noon whenever allowed to do so (no matter what time I went to bed) but now wake up rested and happy when the birds sing in the morning. The only ailments I’ve had in the past eight to ten years are one cold and one scratchy throat. It’s a good feeling to be able to count on good health; you can really make long-term plans.
Dorleen Tong teaches English as a Second Language and is a member of the San Francisco Living Foods Enthusiasts (S.F. LiFE). Established in 1987, this non-profit group provides public education and member support for individuals and families who are pursuing the healthful benefits of the living and raw foods diets and lifestyles. Members of S.F. LiFE range from people who are merely curious about these lifestyles, to those with a life-threatening illness. For information on S.F. LiFE, write to 3640 Garden Bar Rd., Lincoln, CA 95648.