Rabbit food – ask any one of my immediate family members (or members in-law) about my ‘Dietary System’ and their reply would be rabbit food. Though my diet does include lots of lettuce and carrots, it is far more nutritious than that of a rabbit and well suited for human dietary needs. For years I have been striving to educate myself on nutrition and after a long journey, landed in the middle of a high-raw plant-based diet.
Although raised on a ‘healthier’ version of the Standard American Diet, I knew very little about nutrition. Once I began fending for myself in regard to meals, I put on weight and felt terrible. So, I began exercising and applying every nugget of ‘common knowledge’ in regard to ‘health’ and ‘dieting’ I found. My new low-calorie focused program consisted of fruits, vegetables, food that was ultra-refined and ‘reduced’ in fat and calories (ultimately of any nutritional value!). Additionally, I fueled myself with tons of caffeine, regular use of diuretics, lots of chemical stimulants, weight loss supplements, and synthetic vitamins. This lack of nutrition along with obscene amounts of physical and emotional stressors sent my body into a panic. I constantly battled my body’s healthy cravings for sustenance and eventually developed a full blown eating disorder.
One day, by the grace of God, I stumbled upon a documentary called Food Inc. This reset my entire food journey and started me on a discovery of real food. Though the curtain had been pulled back, I could not afford grass-fed, free-range, organic produce or products at the time. So, I did the best I could with the knowledge I had. I began eliminating refined foods full of chemicals and additives but stayed with my calorie restrictive diet. Though I was ‘smarter’ I was no wiser. My eating disorder continued to rule my life and I felt unable to break free of my self-destructive patterns. I ate as much ‘whole food’ as possible, but with my limited budget and without letting go of my old ways I literally still struggled to survive.
I began learning more about plant-based diets, particularly vegetarian and vegan. I was introduced to healthy fats and lots of very nutritious calorie dense foods that brought vitality back to my body. Though I still had no qualms against eating grass-fed, free-range, organic animal products; my financial situation still didn’t allow for it. However, my diet was much more balanced and the healing process had begun. Engrossed in plant-based diets, I learned that once cooked, the vital nutrients and enzymes in the majority of vegetables I was consuming were being destroyed. So, my pseudo-vegan diet became high raw and my body was reaping the benefits.
Now married, Peter and I can afford access to grass-fed, free-range, organic products and are blessed to find them locally. I feel great on a high-raw plant-based diet and though I still rarely eat meat, I now enjoy bone broths, raw milk, full-fat organic yogurt, etc. My husband Peter ironically falls into the Paleolithic dietary pattern, but we agree on the most important aspects. Our food is sustainable, organic, ethical and local. Being part of a CSA affords us the highest-quality fruits, vegetables and animal products available to us.
Though Fully recovered from my ED, I know I am still in a learning process and am excited about the journey to wholeness. I couldn’t be more thankful for all I’ve learned, for the healing and wellbeing I’m walking in, and for the opportunity to share this knowledge with others.