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Hoping for some advice...

Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

Hello everyone! I’m somewhat new around here… been getting a lot of great advice just from reading the previous questions, everyone seems very helpful here. But there’s something that I would like your opinion on… I’ve been vegetarian forever now, and vegan not so long, and recently upped my raw intake to about 50-90% a day. While that has been very enjoyable, this has been a bit of a problem in my case. You see, I had an eating disorder for the last few years, which was aggravated a few months ago and I had a slight “relapse” in which I lost a lot of weight and started feeling very tired and worn out (moreso than before, it was an ongoing trend). I would drink ALOT of coffee and artificial sweeteners on a very low fat diet. After a few months I was shocked into realising how unhealthy I was being, and decided to become healthier, also promising to put on some weight. I was on a higher alkaline diet, mostly greens, whole grains (no breads) and beans, a lot more fat than before (vegetable and cold only) and no poisons at all (cut out coffee cold turkey, that was a painful week…) I completely cut out fruits as I believed it would do harm, and also lost a lot of my tolerence to sugars because of restriction and low body weight. A friend of mind who is a naturopath told me that my diet is healthy but not sufficient, too many vegetables and not enough grains and beans to promote weight gain, and started treating me like a patient, giving me a menu to follow that included ALOT more of those, plus small amounts of animal protein (not meat or dairy though, ew). I continued to be drawn to the raw food diet, especially with how heavy and sick I was feeling on her diet. I am no longer following it, and started to work on raising my tolerence to fruit, even though I still get sugar crashes from them at times. I also haven’t had a period since the disorder started which was over 2 years ago, except when I take birth control pills which are horrible, I know. I have no clue how to normalize that, my friend said I have to gain weight.

What I was wondering with this loooooong story is: do you think I should continue to try and eat raw, or should I take my friend’s advice and gain weight before I try to cleanse myself? Am I trading one disorder for another?

Thank you so much to anyone who has the patience to read this!

Comments

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    I don’t understand why you should gain weight before a cleanse. Also, what kind of animal protein were you eating that wasn’t meat or dairy? Eggs?

    Maybe you should eat lower glycemic fruits.

    Those BCPs are bad news, as you already know. Have you considered that they may be why you have some health problems? Aspertame could (and probably is IMHO) a contributor too.

    Your diet seemed too limited before, not containing enough fats or a variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s possible to be in the same position eating raw. Eat raw, but eat balanced as well.

    There are a lot of issues mentioned here. It will take more than a short answer to solve this for you. This will take some effort on your part to research a healthy diet for YOU. Diets don’t come in one size fits all.

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    Thank you for your response! I’ll clerify… My friend thinks that all of my health problems (lack of energy, no menses, sensetivity to sugars) comes from being underweight. She’s perscribed me a diet high in cooked complex carbohydrates that would promore weight gain. And yes, the animal protein is eggs and fish, which were ok for a while but they make my stomach feel sick a lot of times. I know birth control pills are bad, I used to take them regularly a long time ago, and only went back on them a year ago for a couple of months because a doctor recommended them. I hate being on them and don’t plan on doing that again. And yeah… Aspartame is evil… I don’t touch anything like that anymore. I do try to eat mostly low glycemic fruit when I do, I just sometime have trouble getting enough calories… Too many warnings about excess fat that scare me a bit… But I do get quite a bit of fat from nuts, seeds, avocados and oil. I guess my questions is, should I keep trying or is it possible I’m not ready to go raw? The more raw I eat, the more sick I feel after a cooked meal. But I’m afraid of doing more harm than good. Thank you!

  • Morning_theft First off I to am recovering from an eating disorder going on 3 years now:) I think you need some time to figure out what you want out of life before you spend so much time worry if every little thing you put in your mouth is “RAW” or not. You need time to heal your spirit and learn to Love you for you, and nothing else. If you are fat,skinny,short,tall,black, or white. You are someone Very special and worthy of love, and a full rich life. You need not fret about food being cooked or not cooked. The main thing is being a whole person. Pleae take care of yourself and remember this is YOUR life how do you want to live it? Once you have figured somethings out and you can make decicsion with out your disorder running your thoughts, then and only then should you try to decide on being Raw. Peace-Lilt P.S. If you ever need to talk about your disorder my ears are always opened.

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    That’s very kind of you lilt2n :c) I completely agree with you, I did rush into physical healing before emotional, previously though. That is why I had such a hard time getting myself to put on weight. Now I do not mind gaining weight, I just want my energy and strength back. I missed enjoying my food and not counting constantly. That is in fact happening as I’m learning more about raw food, as I don’t feel “guilty” when I eat fats now (I used to barely eat any at all) and raw sweets that are completely indulgent. I’m enjoying the exploration of raw food as I don’t feel obsessed as I did before, I’m just trying to follow my instincts. But I’m still rebelling against my “doctor”! I’m not sure anymore, do people really have to be at a certain weight to be healthy? Is forced weight gain (and by that I mean cramming more food into yourself than you feel you need in order to put more fat on your bones) really always necessary to physically recover? And all the power to you lilt2n, ED is a very dark place to be in, be proud of your recovery and never let it suck you in again :c) Thank you for responding.

  • writeeternitywriteeternity Raw Newbie

    Hi MT- I hope the best for you. It is nice to hear you are trying to do the right thing. My opinion ( I wish I had more information to base it on) is that you are right in thinking about the negatives of cramming food. This should never be a thought in your mind when it comes to nourishing your body. Starchy root vegetables and beans are good on one hand but they aren’t the most dense in nutrients which is the goal of the raw diet. You should focus on the magic in certain foods and their ability to regenerate your cells. I wouldn’t recommend a fast for this reason- I would say you need to get the nutrients in- not just any food.

    One thing to try would be to start sprouting all different kinds of beans- garbanzo, lentils, mung beans, etc. The starch is converted to pure energy when they are sprouted- thus giving you more of the life force available. Juicing is a great way to get a lot of nutrients without feeling like you are cramming. But when you juice you should used several bunches of kale, spinach, and other veges per day.

    Sugar snap peas are a great thing to eat too. High in protein and vitamins. Berries would be a great thing to eat or drink more of- and look into spirulina- very very nutritious.

    Something you may want to do is make a raw cheese cake and eat a slice of it for breakfast. If you can- make a smoothie or green juice and add spirulina to it and have this in the morning as well. For lunch have something like the eggless salad and dinner have a raw lasagna with berries and almond milk on top for dessert.

    Does that sound like cramming to you? I hope it sounds reasonable. Quinoa would be a great thing to sprout too – very high in a lot of minerals.

    What’s really important is to have fun with it and really explore how amazing fruits and vegetables- sprouts and seeds are. If you grow your own you can get to see this and have full control- no pesticides only sunlight and water to bring them into being. You are an even more intricate and intelligent kind of miracle and I hope you see this in yourself like others do.

    I hope this helps a little. Bravo to your courage in facing everything you are right now…=)

  • Yes I would have to say ED is the worst friend I ever had, so glad he is gone. I am happy to hear that it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. No way! forced weight gain is one bad idea. No one should have to cram food in their face. I think Writeeternity has some great info for you, sprouting is a great thing to do and fun too. Try to eat lot’s of nuts ( good fats ) I know you can do this and get healthier, and stronger. Good luck

  • laurajlauraj Raw Newbie

    Once you start incorporating a variety of raw into your lifestyle, your body will eventually find it’s true healthy weight. You won’t need to stress over your weight and your health anymore, because a raw and living foods lifestyle that is filled with dark leafy greens, sprouts, essential fatty acids, fruits, sea vegetables, root vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds, water, fresh juices, exercise and sunshine will be supplying all the right nutrients your body needs. So I suggest you let go of the old ghosts, live a raw and living foods lifestyle, and give your body and your mind time to heal and detoxify. Detox your body, your mind, your world and your life. And let your free spirit soar!

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    Thank you everyone for your responses! You’re being very helpful… I have been already eating atleast 2 meals a day raw- usually breakfast and dinner, and it’s been so much fun! I don’t feel like I’m restricting at all anymore. It’s very indulging to be able to have something as tastey as a smoothie or raw cookies and not think about how they might harm… I will have to tell my friend soon I cannot continue with her treatment… She is a naturopath but ironically, follows a lot of allopathic medicine guidelines, such as BMI, protein requirements and supplements galore. I’ve been feeling a lot better since I started this and I feel a lot more beautiful than I’ve ever been (no clue what I weigh, don’t want to know). It’s funny, I haven’t been following her menu for a while now, but told her I’m trying to, and today she saw some pictures of me from a week ago and said I look so much more vital and healthy than before. I’m glad I’m on the right track. I hope things will only get better :c)

    Thank you again for all your responses. You’re all wonderfully supportive.

  • Hello! i just wanted to say that i too have been recovering from an eating disorder. i can relate to you on the weight gain part. i have been extremly underwieght for a while now, which i now realize was destroying my body and really not attractive, and not having a period. i started eating raw about 4 months ago and it has really changed my life. i am finally gaining wieght, almost 10 pounds now!,and i just have so much more energy. i just want to say keep it up because ED arnt worth it. when i first switched over i starting loosing more wieght untill i added a lot more food in, more than i thought i needed, and a lot more good healthy fats. another thing that really helped me was young coconuts and making green smoothies. when your body has been deprived for so long it has a hard time absorbing the nutrients. the green smoothies really helped with the stomach acid and asorbing nutrients. i also see a naturopath and he did pretty much the same thing that your friend did. when i switched to raw he was really worried and it was just another ED saying i was going to end up in the hospital again if i didnt gain wieght. i kept on it and now he is just amazed at how well i am doing. i have him really thiniking about the benefits of a raw diet now! another interesting thing i found out is that i was dificient in zinc and zinc deficiency is linked to anorexia. i just started taking an extra zinc supplement to see if it helps. definitly keep up because there is so much more to life. i realize as i keep getting healthier how much of my life i missed out on…best of luck to you and if you have any questions or want to talk let me know, i have been through a lot with this. support is always good on both ends

  • Have you ever looked into the 811 diet? It is a low fat diet that allows you to eat all the fruit you like without any of the negative effects. It has cured many of some very difficult to deal with diseases (diabetes, cancer, eating disorders, digestive diseases, heart disease, etc.). There is a book called the 80/10/10 Diet that explains it all. In any event, I suggest that you do a lot of your own research before doing anything new. Speak to people who are on the diet you want to try and see what they say about it. I have been on the 811 diet since November and I feel much better than I felt before when I was on the high fat raw diet that most people choose. I agree with the notion that fat is bad for you even if it is raw, fat is still fat and it does have adverse affects to our body when too much is eaten.

  • MT As an exercise physiologist with a strong background, I can say first of all…CONGRATS at first realizing what is happening. Too many clients that I have worked with cannot grasp such insight about their ED, and they have lost the ability to grasp what it means to be “healthy”. Having said that – make sure that you are incorporating exercise into your lifestyle if you are not already – it can do wonders! Whether it’s yoga, running, pilates, strength training, the hormones released after exercise will help you get to the utopia that you are seeking.

    I would clearly recommend seeing a nutritionist, and may you need someone who actually understands what living RAW means. I saw a naturopath for awhile, who said she understood – but was continuously telling me all I was doing that was harming my body…..BTW – she is about 60 pounds overweight, highly stressed, and not entirely healthy. I learned that she was just a bit jealous of my motivation to change my life….

    SO, watch out for people trying to tell you to gain weight, or that you are going to be deprived, b/c some of them are not clear in their own motivation for saying those things. Your body will find a “set point” that it is comfortable with!

    Good luck. I commend your strength! You are well on your way!

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    Heh, it’s funny… My naturopath friend is a little overweight and not the healthiest either… BUT a lot of it is “in the works”... She’s been getting better… And yes, excercise is very important… I actually LOVE running but was told by a doctor not to for two reasons: 1. the fact that I’m very thin and don’t get periods and 2. (and most important) I get patellafemoral pain from muscle imbalance and can’t even walk much if I try running again. That’s another thing I would love to find a sollution to.

    SocaL, I did look into 811, and while it does sound like a good concept, I don’t think it’s good for me at the moment. I am currently very sensetive to sugars and have to mix them with fats or fibre to make sure my blood sugar doesn’t go insane. Also, it seems a bit too planned and involves a lot of counting which I really don’t want to do, restricting fat and calorie monitoring to me right now is too similar to behaviours I’m trying to forget. Maybe in the future, from your previous posts I noticed how you swear by it :c)

  • I agree with SocaL about the 80/10/10 diet.. hey you don’t have to take it so far as to count everything. Just get the concept and you’ll be half way there.. it’s easy to learn to eat that way once you try awhile. Ok, so here’s my suggestion if you afford it.. first fire your naturopath.. cooked grains are BAD! Don’t worry about your weight right now, just get healthy and your weight will stabilize- along with your hormones and cycles. Even if you aren’t ready to try the 8/1/1 diet, you should really try a private consultation with dr. graham. he’s full of info, or check out the hippocrates institute. Raw is the way to heal, you just have to figure out what you’re willing to do. Best Wishes & I hope you feel better

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