April 18, 2001
. . . The other problem I have is that, I seem to need to always be eating… And when I'm at my school for example, it's really hard for me to bring with me enough food to last me the whole day. Yesterday while I was home, I ate a huge salad … Massive.. The size of Arkansas and I was so full when I finished it… Felt so satisfied and happy… It was so good… Green leaf, spinach, carrot, jicama, green bean, red pepper, tomato, cilantro, black olives, greek olives, garlic, sunflower sprouts, broccoli sprouts, broccoli, apple cider vinegar and olive oil… And DAMN, it was GREAT!!!!! 2 hours later… I am STARVING… I did it all over again… Same thing (I made enough for 2 servings)… and Yum yum… Great meal.. feel great.. Who needs meat?? Looking around at all the restaurants in my city as I'm driving… thinking "Fools! Eating death on a plate…" … and then 2 hours go by… OH MY GOD… I'M GONNA PASS OUT IF I DON'T EAT. And then I just am like… I can't make like 8 servings of salad for a day… That's insane. Isn't it???
When people convert to a raw food diet, sometimes they feel very hungry in the beginning. This is what is happening to you, as you so humorously expressed!
Some teachers say that this hunger is because the body has been deprived of real nutrition for so long that when it finally gets some — it can't seem to get enough. It could also mean that your previous diet was primarily made up of very concentrated foods which took many hours to digest. Raw food meals digest in 1/2 to 1/3 the time of cooked food meals.
You have only been on a raw food diet for a short time — this hunger should taper off gradually. And actually after about a year or two, you will find that you eat much less than you did before you began. However, the appropriate amounts of food to eat also depend on the type of work that you do. People who do hard physical labor would need more food for energy than people who sit in an office all day.
All studies done on the optimal amounts of food to be eaten for longevity, indicate that less food is best. We can all get along on much less food – but again, NOT IN THE BEGINNING of the changeover to raw. Right now, just go with the flow of what your body is telling you it needs. Listen to your body – it will get easier.
An idea for you – so you don't have to eat so many salads – is to also eat WITH the salads some raw foods that are more concentrated. Like have some dehydrated crackers and/or a pate with the salad. Pates and crackers are more concentrated foods that stay with you a while longer. I believe that if you have these in addition to your BIG salads, you will probably be able to last until the next regular mealtime (approx. 4 hours).
Also, in my book Hooked on Raw, in the Main Course Dishes section there are many, many recipes which are a little more concentrated and guaranteed to stick with you a while longer. Masala Mung and Masala Medley are two very easy and fast recipes to prepare (once you have the legumes and grains sprouted). You just toss them with a little oil, lemon and spices and ready to eat!
I know it is hard to believe now, but there will come a time in your raw food odyssey when you won't want so many of those big salads. Don't get me wrong, I love BIG salads – but at some future time you will be satisfied with more simple fare, and you won't be getting hungry every two hours!!
Many blessings to you,
May 2, 2001
Thanks for your email… Always overflowing with thoughts and information, which is greatly appreciated.
What you say about eventually not having a big salad is hard to imagine. I know that when I eat solo vegetables like multiple carrots or celery.. I feel very unsatisfied.. In fact almost unpleasant… But, I do enjoy like eating cucumbers solo.. Those are one thing that I really like, but if for a whole meal I were to just eat 3-4 carrots and some celery… I know I would feel very unfulfilled.
One thing I can say about this raw food diet: Before, I was NEVER enthusiastic about food. I actually hated having to eat. I felt like it was a waste of time and just was never appealing unless I was STARVING… anyway, I think since I've gone all raw, is when I really start getting excited. When i make my julliano's bread, the mock tuna, or even, when I make a big salad, I feel like it's SO good… Today while I was driving home, I started thinking about what I would cook before… I imagined the smell and taste.. I thought about eggs, meat, etc… The thought that came to my mind was lethargy. No appeal really. Especially thinking about how I was eating on the body ecology diet (all steamed vegetables and meats like fish & eggs) made me feel like yuck..
What you say about me needing to listen to myself is true. I guess I just want to have black and white answers to a colored world… Guess it doesn't work that way. I just think I really want to know as much about what is good and what is bad, and why..
But what really bugs me is when I think about traveling. How hard is it to visit my Grandparents and eat raw.. It's nearly impossible. And I feel like how can I go against everything I've been doing and eat meat or cooked food again.. it's so hard… So very hard.
It's not hard.. no it's not hard. And if it is hard now, it'll become easier once you get the hang of how to handle food needs in all situations. . It's EASY …
1. You will start to feel good all the time, like you're on some kind of high.
2. You will have so much energy, you're still going when everyone else has pooped out, like that little bunny on TV (oh you don't watch TV, but it's an advertisement for a battery that just keeps going and going).
3. You will find that you may lose some friends that can't adapt to your new ways and you'll gravitate towards friends that are more flexible and tolerant
4. You'll make an impression on all those around you and sometime when they are in trouble with their health, they may call you for more information because you planted the seed in their mind. Others will just want to go the raw way because they are inspired by your example. And of course others will just think you're weird.
5. You won't have any doctor and dentist bills, or very few.
6. Family situations may be challenging at first. But when you persevere, relatives will come around to at least tolerate or even respect your ways. I always take food to family gatherings, enough to share. And if somebody (like a Grandmother) puts something on my plate out of love, I take a teeny little bite and say something loving but then stick to my own food. David Wolfe's father and mother are both medical doctors. When he made his changes, they were up in arms, but now I hear that they respect him.
7. Over time you will come to know all the places and sources where you can buy superior food.
8. More raw restaurants are going to be opening up soon – I hear there are at least 7 in the works. There are health food stores in every major U.S. city.
I'm glad you're now enthusiastic about food. Food IS a Celebration – the earth celebrating itself, its life and diversity, and sharing it with us and all the creatures. Maybe before you weren't enthusiastic about food because on some subconscious level you were aware that the food you were eating was an artifact instead of a real food (food artifact = something created in a factory by chemists). When you see, smell, handle and taste real food, it's a pleasure. And if you could have a garden, I encourage you to do that because you will get so much joy out of seeing things grow and tending them.
April 23, 2001
Do you ever sit down and eat.. and say..
"mmmmm.. vegetables…" then say "mmmm.. nuts…"
and then the next meal say "mmmm.. vegetables…."
and then say "mmm vegetables and nuts…" and then say "…. nuts…"
and then say "salad again?" and then say "more nuts?"
and then say "tuna that is really nothing more than nuts?"
and then say "salad and nuts?" and then start feeling like you have
no variety in this raw food quest??? That's how I'm feeling right now.
You are very funny!!!
No, I never feel that way because in Nature's garden there is so much variety and diversity. There are literally thousands of different vegetables and fruits to choose from and then there are thousands of different varieties of the same fruits and vegetables. Then there are countless varieties of nuts, seeds, legumes, rice, grains, roots, weeds, herbs and spices. Then there are tens of thousands of ways to prepare this bounty into delicious and satisfying gourmet meals.
Of course you are not going to find all this diversity in your local health food store. But it does exist and is available. Sometimes you will have to plant it yourself from heirloom seeds, sometimes you can forage for it, sometimes you will find different fruits and vegetables in the ethnic communities of your city. And when you visit foreign countries, you will discover yet more unusual fruits, vegetables, etc.
In our own American Indian societies before we took away their autonomy, they consumed hundreds of different types of foods that we would not even recognize, because they are not made available today.
I think that as you get further along, you will discover more and more flavors to please your palate.
July 26, 2001
I have seen the light. When I looked back over my initial emails to you, I found myself asking, "Who is this Patrick character? He sounds vaguely familiar but I can't be sure!"… Meaning that, I found myself saying "Oh yeah… Huh…".. Remembering how I was endlessly hungry.. Yet now I find myself completely satisfied with every meal… And might I add, every meal is becoming more and more of a masterpiece as I refine my rawfood preparations skills. Even times when I am a bit busy with my life, I might go for a very simplified meal.. A carrot, some cucumber, cultured vegetables, and a few olives… This in itself satisfies a Collins… But a new Collins mind you.. The old Collins indeed would have tossed and turned a salad a mile high to reach that realm of satisfaction.
Speaking of which, lets talk about size… Back in the day, I was making these salads that barely would fit in my 5 quart glass bowls. Seriously, I had to use two bowls just to toss the damn things.
This being how I was generally in life — Huge appetite —, has made it kind of difficult for me to break this habit. Now I find myself countlessly saying, "Damn, I am hungry..", and making me some kind of awesome rawsome meal.. Piling on the ingredients… "No, I can add broccoli too.." — "wait.. I've also got celery…. and we can't leave out the spinach".. It goes on and on.. And the end result..
COLLINS IS FULL!!! 1/4 of the meal is eaten.. and I am wishing I had invited 3 others over for lunch so that this food could be eaten.
"What happened to my appetite?!?" I ask…
So now, I am having to readjust how much I make… And it also then helps out with grocery costs because I spend less on produce because I get more greens of collard for my dollar. …
The bottom line:
I don't pass out when I don't eat.. I eat less. and I am happy about it. All of it.