Four years ago we changed our entire diet to accommodate a Raw/Vegan lifestyle. It was a lot of hard work and a total re-wiring of the way we viewed food. It was also amazing. We had so much energy and we felt like we could really ENJOY food. I experienced the flavor of food on a completely different level.
If you're not familiar with a Raw/Vegan diet let me tell it simple! It's basically whole, unprocessed, fresh, organic, uncooked food. We didn't eat meat or dairy of any kind and our diet mostly revolved around fresh fruits, veggies and nuts. It probably sounds impossible (or boring), but I'm telling you - this is some good shit! We're talking green smoothies and fresh juices, dehydrated pizzas and cheesecakes made from cashews, chocolate you could eat for BREAKFAST and tacos made from crushed walnuts. The very best part was how we felt AFTER we had eaten: satisfied and energized. There was no sluggish-after-meal lull. And, with a Raw/Vegan diet, you are almost always eating, so you never feel hungry.
Needless to say, the hard work part has slowly outweighed the benefits of eating this way and we have found ourselves eating crap. And feeling like crap. It's been such a slow progression that we almost missed it. How did we end up here? We're eating tons of sugar, processed junk disguised as "healthy" and hardly any greens. Dude, we are ALWAYS sick these days. I can't help but think that this is WHY we're sick. Didn't God make our bodies to live in synch with creation? Didn't he make creation capable of healing us; of nourishing and sustaining us? We're not living in harmony with creation. Not at all. We're partaking in something closer to a SAD (Standard American Diet) diet which consists of fillers and an excess of corn, wheat and sugar. Our bodies can't heal themselves because they are so busy trying to process the junk.
After nearly 3 months of fighting one virus after another Joe and I have decided that it's time to rearrange our diet. We're choosing a high raw diet this time. We're not returning to a full vegan lifestyle because we feel like it's important to get some protein in our kids and, honestly, there is no other way - we've tried. We never drink milk, but we do eat cheese and greek yogurt. So, the cow products stay (although we do purchase hormone free dairy products). I hit up our farmer's market on Saturday and came away with an abundance of veggies and fruits. I resisted the urge to buy processed snacks for my kids and I picked up some Ezekiel bread at Trader Joe's (we've been avoiding wheat so this is a trial run for us). Joe picked a giant bag of oranges from a friend's tree and we've been juicing like crazy. This morning we had carrot/grapefruit/orange/mint juice and it was delish!
If you've ever made a change like this you know how hard it is! I'm craving sugar and bread and basically anything that would put me in a food coma! But, for lunch, we had mock tuna salad sandwiches and I am SO thankful I stuck to it. I am remembering that food is meant to heal us, not wound us. Food is for our freedom, but we use it for our slavery. We let it be something that controls our lives - the food rules or lack of them. But food wasn't meant to sit on the throne of our hearts. That space was meant for Jesus alone.
So, four years later, we're back where we started. Hopefully we are wiser with more humility. Hopefully food will be healing and an extension of kindness within us - kindness towards others and towards our own bodies.
Wanna try it? Start here. Start with a choice to honor the life you've been given. Start with kindness towards your body, without rules or shame. Just one good meal after another.
Mock Tuna Salad:
7 shredded carrots
2 diced tomatoes
1 diced red bell pepper
2 stalks of celery diced
1 handful of basil chopped
1/2 onion chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Mix it all together in a big bowl and serve with a baked potato, half an avocado or on Ezekiel bread with a slice of cheese.