Friday, November 17, 2006

Advice to the hosts and guests on Thanksgiving!

It has come to my attention, as it does every year, that many people on a raw or vegan diet are now cringing about going to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And many people hosting traditional Thanksgiving dinners are now cringing about having to prepare something for the vegan or raw foodist coming to your dinner.

Firstly, let us all remember what this holiday represents.

We give thanks for the freedoms that our forefathers worked so hard at attaining.

We also give thanks for everything we've been blessed with and those we love and cherish.

We also give thanks for having food on the table.

Are we specific about the kind of food? No, we are just thankful that we have food to eat!

So here are a few words of advice to the host/ess:

1) Please don't feel offended if one of your guests won't eat the food you've worked so hard at preparing.

2) There is no need to ask why they are eating this way, where do they get their protein or calcium, or pressure the person not wanting the food. Maybe they don't care for the food, maybe they have an allergy, or maybe there's a health reason behind it, but don't allow it to bother you!

3) Be sure to offer fresh food, at least a nice green salad with fresh vegetables (things like croutons, meats and cheese would be better on the side), and at least some fresh fruit. This way everyone at the table can enjoy the food.

4) There's no need to obsess over a guest who might look like they are not eating enough. Trust me, it is much more uncomfortable for the guest who is made the center of attention because their eating choices are different from everyone else's.

And here are a few words of advice to guests:

1) Ahead of time, casually let the host/ess know you eat mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. The word "raw" confuses most people and the host/ess may try to make some kind of elaborate raw dish which may not go over well.

2) Offer to bring a big salad or a fruit plate to share.

3) Do not make comments about how unhealthy everyone else's food is.

4) If someone asks you the protein question, Dr. Doug Graham suggests just telling them you feel great and you really never thought about it. The last thing you want to do is get into a big debate. If you get questioned a lot let them know you'd love to talk about it later.

Above all, just enjoy one another. When everyone is happy and relaxed the tension will be eased all around.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Do you feel like you are deficient in something?

A look into deficiency vs. dependency.

I feel led to address this very issue because it's a concern I see so often when people are ready to embark or are starting out on raw, fresh foods.

Usually it goes like this:

"When I stop eating meat, I feel like I need to eat protein, so then I eat some meat and immediately I feel better."

"If I stop using this special oil or supplement I feel terrible, I have pains, and I'm weak, so I need to keep taking the supplement so I don't feel this way, which I know is a deficiency".

"I have to eat an egg every day otherwise I don't feel right".

When something cooked or not particularly natural or fresh for human consumption is removed from our diets that we have probably been eating for most of our lives, and especially have been eating on an everyday basis, we will experience heavy withdrawal symptoms.

Take coffee.

If you are a heavy or daily coffee drinker and remove it from your diet, what is usually going to happen?

You are going to have a withdrawal symptom from lack of coffee consumption, usually a very bad headache.

Why is this?

Because your body has become dependent on the substance and it actually requires you to coninutally eat or drink it in order for you to feel like "yourself" which is actually a lie. The body becomes accustomed to what its been given. You have conditioned your body to feel normal or even peppy by drinking your daily cup of joe.

Now, you know how to get rid of that headache immediately? Of course! Have a cup of coffee and your headache will be gone. Does that mean that your body was deficient of a nutrient?

Of course not!

Maybe it was deficient of COFFEE...but that isn't an essential nutrient you need in order to live, correct?

In the same way, taking away cooked food, animal products, grains, refined sugar, chocolate, alcohol or even certain supplements that you were once using daily is going to cause a withdrawal symptom. Maybe a headache, maybe nausea, maybe dizziness.

"But I just know I'm deficient because I just feel like I neeeeed this substance in my body because it is giving me SOMETHING my body needs", you may say.

Here are a couple of sure-fire ways to find out the truth if you absolutely think that your body needs something:

1) Take a blood test to see if you are really deficient in the said nutrient.

2) Take the substance out of your diet for 3 weeks. See how you feel. Actually record it so you remember how you felt the first 3 days that you stopped ingesting it vs. the end of the 3 weeks.

You'll know based on the blood test, or how you feel at the end of 3 weeks if you are really lacking something essential.

Natural, whole, fresh plant food in its raw state are going to give you the PERFECT amounts of optimal nutrients in their optimal state for your body. Nothing else can or will. Supplements that have been extracted, concentrated and processed may not even be recognizable or useable in your body.

Just knowing that your body can function optimally without the need for supplementation or other products can really save you a lot of money and peace of mind.