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Eating disorders and raw?

So I've been seeing a psychologist for about 2 months now because of my battle with anorexia for a year and a half that then turned into binge-eating disorder. She referred me to a nutritionist which I saw and talked to last thursday. I told her that i'm vegan, and she seemed ok with that, but now, I'm really wanting to go raw again. I feel best when I'm on a high-raw diet. I'm seeing my nutritionist again next thursday and I was hoping to talk to her about it. What do you think I should say? Will she disagree? I'm only 15 by the way. Does anyone have experience with this?


  • There are quite a few posters on here that have been very open about their struggles with eating disorders and their experience with the raw lifestyle, and I really hope they answer so they can share that with you =). The only advice I can really give is do your research! Knowledge really is power, write the statistics and key facts down about raw, vegan diets down so that IF they try to dissuade you, you can pull out your information. If you have a printer, you can print out articles from reputable sites, or go to the library and find books supporting raw diets. Not only will this show them you are serious about wanting to go raw, it will also show them that you have put the time and effort into it and that you have done your research. I go through this every time I take my kids to the docs for their well-child visits because I choose not to do vaccinations. As soon as they start in on me, I whip out my vax folder and start throwing back studies and numbers from the CDC, ingredients in vaccinations etc...back at them (in the nicest way possible of course =) and now they pretty much leave me alone. Know your stuff, its hard to dissuade someone who is well-educated in their beliefs. Good luck!

  • I was vegan when I went into treatment for anorexia. I can only speak from personal experience, but for me I found it was not a good idea to transisition so early on in treatment. I stayed vegan, cause that was my lifestyle already, but I did transistion into raw while in treatment, and it did some good things for me, like making it easier for me to eat.

    But it also made me relapse very fast cause I wasnt ready to handle cutting out parts of my diet, so in a place where you are so sensitive it can be hard to handle making big changes in your diet, when what you really need to focus on is your relationship with yourself and food. YoU matter right now, not the food.

    I think at this point its better to focus on a healthy diet, whether all raw or not, that doesnt mean you cant incorporate a mostly raw vegan diet, but it can be hard not to use it as a coping mechanism at this point in treatment.

    So for me, I didnt focus on transistioning 100% before I was a lot better, but I had a raw diet as a goal for me when I was healthy, and at that point it really helped me to stay in recovery.

    One last thing - please be aware that you really have to be exstra aware of yourself from now on, even when recovered it can be hard not to relapse, so please respect that you've had a eating disorder, and even when you feel healthy, wait years before doing juice feast or fasting etc.

    It takes years to recover.

    ::infinite bliss::

  • Juicefastfan- Thank you so much for the advice! That is a very good idea, printing out facts and having something for her to look at. I definitely will bring some books of mine in, and print out some things. (:

  • Indigo- VERY well said.

    I personally dont think it is wise for ANYONT to transition to a raw diet while JUST entering rehab. Raw foods are used as PART of treatment at times BUT it is most likely too early for you to be concerned about raw foods and switching to this lifestyle.

    Work on a healthy vegan lifestyle, RECOVER and move into raw foods when you are mentally sound and have a good relationship with food!


  • I don't know....I would think for some people, eating cooked food might trigger issues, so I'd say go with what you want (raw or cooked but vegan) but make sure you try to eat enough and develope a healthy relationship with food again. If I wanted to be raw but ate cooked food to appease other people, I would not be happy or have a healthy outlook about it. We want you to be happy and so should your psychologist.

    Your nutritionist doesn't have to be okay with what you do - YOU do. Just remember that. I mean, I imagine these nutritionists approve people eating processed junk, so their "approval" doesn't mean much, anyhow. Be you, whoever that is, and accept and love yourself as you are. :) We welcome you here and will try to support you as best we can.

  • I don't put much weight into anything the Beyond Veg author says. He didn't eat a balanced diet, felt bad, so now he can't seem to put the blame where it belongs (himself) and tries to blame a specific type of diet for his own issues.

  • Hello love! I am so glad that you decided to post here, support from many areas in your life is going to be infinatly valuble to you on this recovery journy. I have struggled with anorexia since I was about your age, and I have been in recovery for over a year now. So I know how you are feeling, and egzactly what you are going through. Through my personal expreieince, I would have to agree with the other posters on this one. At this stage in the game, I do think it would just be to much pressure on your already overly active mind to try and make a diet switch. This should be a time soley dedicated to sorting though all your emotional issues. Use as much of your energy on this as you can. I would say trying to transition to a new diet right now would just split your focus up to much. But also remember, recovery is NOT FOREVER. You are going to get better, and if you still want to be on the raw diet then, it will be here waiting for you. It is important to remember that this life is not all or nothing. Now or never. You can have the raw diet if you still want it, just wait untill you are a bit stronger, ok? I did the same thing, but I also stayed vegan during my recovery. We have a forum here called ed takedown support group, and also I have a blog edtakesdownsupport.blogspot.com, I would love you see you there too. Hang in there ok? This is only for a time, and you will be so glad you waited, once you are recovered. The process is worth it, I promis.

  • Dancin Durian: It's so nice to have support about this. It's really difficult to find common ground with anyone around me right now- especially my friends. Eating disorders are very isolating and I have nearly been ignoring my friends, and everyone else for that matter, for about 6 months now. I will definately check out your blog.

    Everyone else, thank you for your input, I will definately take everything into consideration, I have a lot to think about (:

  • Take your time on your decisions. No rush or pressure. :)

  • hmm.. I would give you advice from your OWN words. "I want to go back to raw food" "I feel best on a high raw diet"

    If you ate raw food where do you feel like your cravings would be at? And if you ate raw, and binged but kept it raw food, it does not seem like there is any issue, other than your emotional state. Once you can eat and binge on whatever you want, and it doesn't really matter because you're eating raw, and not gaining weight, then you can start asking yourself why you want to binge in the first place. Issues are like a bug under a rock. Remove one rock, and the bug just scurries under another rock. You have to find the "bug". From the 6 months i've been raw, even when i've binged, i never purged.. i have also never gained weight. maintaining my normal eating raw habits helped stabilize that. And even if maybe i missed the pound or two that i gained, I definitely had lost it again within just a few days because i was bingeing and eating raw. I feel it too easy to binge when eating cooked food. I eat potatoes, and I want to INHALE them. so if you ask me, i feel like it's way easier to keep cravings under wraps within raw, rather than cooked. What do you binge on? How many days do you binge for? Do you purge as well? I realize these this is a sensitive issue, and I promise to handle you, and everything you might say carefully. Anything I will say will be for the sole purpose wanting YOU to be HAPPY. People should be happy. I want that for everyone. By knowing, or discovering your patterns it might be easier to offer any kind of support or advice because I would be giving an answer that had context. I do not have a e/o but i have had much experience with debilitating negative cycles. THe other question to ask is will eating raw food trigger anorexia back? Is there even a chance that it would? Make the choice that has you in the safest place for recovery, but also in the happiest place.

  • luxdivon --

    I totally agree that there is almost no point in binging if you are eating raw, which forces me to figure out a solution to what is really bothering me... There was one time in the last two weeks that I have been raw, that I felt so upset and in the need for comfort food, and I ate an extra bowl of salad and a big bowl of extra "non-budgeted" banana / blueberry ice cream desert. But that hardly made any impact on my weight the next day.

  • If you really feel that you want to do raw, then I say do it, but VERY CLOSELY monitor how it is affecting your behavior/thoughts/feelings. If it casues a flare up of any kind, or distracts you from emotional psychological recovery, then stop. But if it can give you even an ouce or relife or peace then for sure do it. I agree with superfoods2, you cannot do any of this to appease any one else, you need to do what is right for your body. Just make sure what you are doing is not what is best for the little demon in your mind, ok? And of course, we are always here! Keep us posted! Blessings.

  • Luxdivon: I haven't binged in about 3 months, which is a really big accomplishment for me. When I was binging, I would binge for hours at a time on peanut butter sandwitches and anything else- that went on for about 3-4 months, out of control. I would then take laxatives and/or exercise for hours on end. It was my way of purging I guess. Now that I've been seeing a psychologist, and a nutritionist the triggers (for binging or not eating at all) are getting less and less, and I feel like I'm finally thinking in a rational way again. I just don't want my choice to eat a predominantly raw diet to make my family, psychologist, or nutritionist think I am just looking for a way to restrict. That's mostly what I'm worried about.

  • ahh.. well that's awesome to hear. I am so glad .. that is a great accomplishment :) A few more thoughts.. What you are doing is working, so that gives a big green flag towards that. It seems like if you stick with it, you'll be even stronger over time, until you are absolutely sure that you have a happy healthy releationship with food. Raw could either be even better, or be the step that throws you back off. That would depend on your mental state/logical mind. Are you looking for a way to restrict? If the answer is no, then I believe you could draw up a meal plan with the kind of things you would eat, all the daily values of vitamins/minerals/calories etc that you could show/prove that you are doing raw food for health. At that point they should support whatever will make you happiest, and healthiest. If they don't, then they don't matter, and you should do what you want anyway. As long as you know your facts, and know you are doing what the best thing is for your true self. Are you doing raw food for health? What is appealing about raw food? What is different about eating vegan cooked food and raw for you? Clarifying will help you see if yes you are ready to move back to raw, or if you might want to stay where you're at. Why would there be such a big deal between cooked vegan and raw? It would seem a bit ludicrous to me if vegan is great, but oh raw how could someone think of such an idea? it seems like, you're just eating the same food. One is cooked, one is not. Of course I know the difference in how i think it makes me feel, but to a bystander, veggies are veggies are they not? You could also make a compromise and promise to eat at least 1 or 2 cooked meals a week. for me, i do just that and it's usually potatoes & eggplant. I do this, and I think its a good balance for me. Maybe a compromise could work for you too. Sorry for such a long post. hope it is of help.

  • Luxdivon: Thank you for the support and advice. I do think that it would be be benificial to take it slow and maybe even just start out with a green breakfast smoothie each morning and just include more fruit and veg throughout the day instead of jumping into it at this time. I do suppose there is no rush, and I can dip my toes in the water to make sure there aren't any chances of triggers or relapses. Thank you so much (:

  • you're welcome. glad i could be of help.

  • Fonky,

    I have to agree with many of the points made about idealism being an issue for some (not all) in the raw food movement. It's dangerous to put dogma above health. I certainly did not see the article as attacking the raw food movement- but making some valid criticisms. Personally, I wish more people looking into raw food would consider some of the points made (especially people with eating disorders) . Raw food diets can be healthy, if approached sensibly.

  • Actually I just started on a high alkaline diet i'm having a full lemon in water daily two sometimes and eating mostly everything thats alkaline in some way. Low acids like chicken and eggs and some cold water fish i still eat just not as much meat I haven't had any in weeks and feel much better. I told my aunt who works at a anorexia treatment center about how it seems to be helping me. And went off telling her how plants get sick from water and nutrients which have very high or low ph's and need to be kept in balance. No different than our bodies.

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