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having trouble

Hey all,

Just wanted to confess. I have been desperately trying to go raw since last April. I made a promise to myself that I would go 100% on January 1... for some reason I thought that would give me more will power than ever. I made it about three weeks totally raw, but recently I have been slipping... I try to hide my slips from my fiance, but he finds out anyway, then I feel like crap. I think I'm sick of winter fruit and frustrated with not having many choices (or at least I feel like I don't). Is it stress? Am I not strong enough? What's the deal? It's not even like I'm actually hungry, it's just that I don't realize I'm eating something bad until five minutes later. I need to have more control, more motivation. Cooked food makes me feel crappy. Raw food makes me feel nice. I suppose I'm doing better than I was, and it will happen for me eventually. I just wish I could be 100% and stick to it.

Any advice? Sympathy? Support? Suggestions?




  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    "Trying desperately" doesn't usually work for me - I have to WANT to do something for it to last. :) Something that might be helpful would be throwing out your New Year's resolution & focusing on nourishing yourself - emotionally, spiritually, socially AND with good food. Feeling like crap emotionally because someone saw you eat something doesn't sound helpful in a journey to vibrant health & lasting happiness. Best wishes! :)

  • This was happening to me this year--I'm trying to go raw, and at first when I would slip up I would really beat myself up about it. But now, I really try not to. If I eat cooked food and I feel sick, I try not to be blaming toward myself, just accept it as a learning experience. And if I do it again, that's okay, too, it's all part of the journey. The more I eat mostly raw, the more I am able to see that I feel much better than when I eat cooked. But I'll still eat cooked if I feel like I really, really, want it. For me, at least, being gentle with myself has really helped me to stay mostly raw, and I'm confident that I'll get to 100%.

    Now, when I'm craving cooked foods, and I know that they will probably make me feel sick, I try to feed my enthusiasm for raw food by going to raw websites, reading books about raw, listening to podcasts, etc. But I don't even have to do that that much. The biggest thing that has helped me is being gentle with myself, eating cooked when I feel like I really really want it, and observing what I feel in my body.

  • drgonflydrgonfly Raw Newbie

    I have been transitioning to raw for a year now & was disappointed that I am not yet. Then I realized I had food habits/addictions I need to break & am concentrating on just becoming vegan (I come from a meat background) and will continue to have the majority of my diet raw. Perhaps I will become raw, or maybe I will just be a vegan who includes mainly raw foods in my diet. That doesn't mean I won't stop attempting to become raw, I just realize now the journey may be longer than I thought.

    After reading Chris's post the other day that it took him 3-4 years to transition to raw, I felt better. I have many food habits/addictions ingrained (at my age) and have relaxed my expectations. I know I feel blah when I eat cooked food. I am on a journey to better health and this site has helped me a lot. Keeping cooked foods out of the house would help. I have a non raw husband, so at times it is a challenge for me when I am at that "bored" phase & don't feel like making anything. But I do notice I am doing so much better than 6 months ago & expect the journey to continue to improve.

    Wind to your wings!

  • Blue_EyesBlue_Eyes Raw Master

    Don't beat yourself up. This is a hard transition to well it is for me anyway.

    I have been trying for about 8 months to go raw maybe a little longer. and i feel best at 100% but that is a rare feat for me. try to do the best i can and not get mad at myself for slips. like this last week i was not able to get to a store so i had to go sad at the truck stops ( i can only eat so many bananas lol). i guess i could go to the salad bar but what passes for salads out there on the road sucks big time and in no way looks fresh!!!

    even tho sad food makes me double over in pain, i cant for the life of me understand why i do it when i have the good stuff right in front of me. one bite turns me into a shark on a feeding frenzy!!

    this site is one thing that really helps me so much so i am always looking even when not logged on. trying new recipes helps me also because i think sometimes i just get bored

    above all do not get discouraged and remember why you are wanting to do this and celebrate living!

    best of health to you

  • Hey, thanks for all the encouragement. I didn't mean for my first post to come out as whiney as it did. I have been transitioning for about eight months and, overall, I have been doing really well. I suppose we deserve more credit than we give ourselves sometimes. In the long run, I've made some great progress and am eating wayyy better than I was last spring... no more lattes or pizza, and that's a big step! And I totally recognize how different foods make my body feel- whether I ignore these signals or not, they're there. I never really paid attention before. I guess we're only human, after all, and addicted to all sorts of junk. Best to just keep on keeping on- in the right direction, at least.

    Again, thanks for the good wishes. Right back at you :)

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    Ooh, hiding slipups isn't good, babe. Why hide?

    If you're eating without realizing it, you're on auto-pilot. Like my man Ram Dass said - be here now. Everyone is allowed to daydream, of course, but there are simple practices to cultivate mindfulness like brushing your teeth with your other hand, standing on one leg while you wash dishes, etc. - the goal is to get out of your comfort zone for these routine tasks so you apply more awareness to everything you do. If you don't meditate, perhaps you could try.

    And as already mentioned, it's not necessary to be so hard on yourself. We all do the best we can every day. I'm sure you would have compassion for me if I posted the same thing, so save some for yourself!

    I grant you I am nowhere near 100% raw, and I don't automatically dismiss all cooked vegan foods as crap (flesh and secretions are another story), but the key for me is to not to be so focused on the ego of it...not even, 'I want to feel good so I'll eat that' or 'I feel bad after eating that.' The motivation has to be external for me. If I am in an ego space of wanting self-improvement through food, it's the same ego space of seeking self-gratification through food.

  • ParsleyParsley Raw Newbie

    Wow Suasoria! Thank you for that deep and insightful piece of wisdom! You are so right that a lot of our problems, food related or not, come from not being present in the moment. Sometimes I find when I am eating that I am eating only out of routine, without thinking about what is in my mouth. When I do this, I finish eating without even feeling like I have eaten! I continue to desire food. My partner can tell when I am doing this because my breathing is not peaceful. When I catch myself eating mindlessly I try to stop eating or slow down until I can simply think about the process of my meal.

    Also, I am also curious about the hiding. Why hide?

  • Hi there,

    I have found the same problem this year. I got through Christmas this year fine, but after christmas I am eating all sorts of stuff in the closet like a "closet drinker".

    However i am a little relieved as Karen Knowler took 5 years to go fully raw. This made me feel much better. But may be it also let me 'off the hook' so to speak, making it easier for me to goof off.

    I have decided to include steamed veg and some sprouted breads (essene) in my diet this year. I found that I was not getting enough variety. It also makes it easier for me to stay on the right pathway. Bit of a contradiction i know after what i wrote in my opening paragraph. I use the same dressings on my vegetables as i do on a salad and ensure that any combinations of foods that i eat have all the recommended taste requirements of texture and taste in them. I'm not sure of it off my head but i know it should include sweet, sour, crunchy, green, bitter salty etc. etc. Some one else may be able to throw more light on this for you. You may also need to consider eating 5-6 smaller meals per day and drinking a good lot of water about 3 liters per day. No matter where you live, central heating and air con takes the moisture from your body.

    hope this helps


  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    Taste = sweet + fat + salt + acid

  • DeborahBeeDeborahBee Raw Newbie

    I've been raw for 2 years and like most people I was very regimented about my diet at first. When I ate something cooked I would feel terribly guilty and like a failure.

    I realised, the longer I was raw, the more I naturally desired raw foods and found cooked food unappealing. This has continued. Also, my reactions to cooked foods has made me want to avoid them. The day after eating cooked foods I feel sick, unmotivated, full of pain in my sinuses and very down. I've learned that these feelings are linked to eating cooked foods, so I avoid them.

    Things that have helped me to stay raw are:

    * Having a variety of food in the fridge, ready to eat when I get a craving, such as coleslaw, chocolate mousse, "spaghetti" (grated or spirilzed sweet potato mixed with olive oil and basil), sunflower seed cheese and bread. All recipes can be found on this site.

    * Being relaxed with my eating habits. If I want chocolate or a muffin, I buy it, eat it and forget about it. If I don't give in to myself I think about it even more and crave that thing even more.

    * Having a "Craving Sunday*. Only allowing myself to eat the cooked foods I'm craving on a Sunday.

    * Making delicious raw recipes full of flavour. This helps lots and lots!

    * Thinking "Why do I want to eat this?". Usually thinking about why will lead you to not eating that food.

    Be gentle with yourself and remember that it takes a long time to transition. My cravings are much much less these days. I'm so glad I've stuck it out. I'm really reaping the rewards of my diet lately. I'm HAPPY and feel alive.

    Take baby steps and you'll get there happier.

    Good luck.

  • DeborahBeeDeborahBee Raw Newbie

    Here is some useful advice I received in an email from Karen Knowler:

    Step 1: Awareness

    The next time you go to eat something you know you don't really want to (or is not good for you) ask: "What am I looking for in this food?"

    Example: You go to reach for some chocolate, ask this question and get the answer from yourself: "A treat. Indulgence. Love. Time out. Rewarding myself. It makes me feel better."

    Step 2: Choose a Raw Alternative

    I have found that for most people making a complete switch to a different way of doing things (especially with food) is a real challenge. For example, I could ask you to jump straight to Step 3 (which you are welcome to do), but know that this is difficult for most people to do right away, so know yourself well enough to know which of steps 2 and 3 is going to be most appropriate for you right now.

    Step 2 is about taking the answers from Step 1 (for each food and drink that you'd rather not use unconstructively) and find a raw alternative. This may be as simple as swapping like for like, such as commercial chocolate for raw chocolate or shop bought bread for live sprouted wheat bread, and so on, but I encourage you also to take a look at those words you gave in step 1 for your "vice foods" and see if those needs will be met with the new food. If yes, then great. If not, then ask yourself for each need listed, "What raw food will meet this need in me or give me the state change or texture I seek?" and then add it to your menu.

    Example: Say one of the foods you listed for Step 1 was "hot buttered toast" and your answer to "What am I looking for in this food?" was: "Warmth. Yumminess. Dripping butter sensation in my mouth. Crunchiness. Being loved. Times with mum." You would need to take a look at each need in turn to find potentially a RANGE of foods that would meet these same needs OR create/find a new raw recipe that would tick all the boxes in one. Yes, this may occasionally be tricky, but if you're keen to kick the habit then you've gotta do what you've gotta do!

    Step 3: Ditch the Food

    No this doesn't mean don't eat! It means when you realise you're about to go eating for non-hunger reasons and you're thinking about that vice food, rather than eat something else to replace it, you can do something incredibly powerful that is far more useful than Step 2, ultimately, and that's to DO SOMETHING ELSE.

    It's no secret that over-eating on raw food can sometimes feel just as bad as over-eating on cooked food - it depends what it is, but purely on an emotional level, if you're looking to stop using food as an emotional band aid, then sooner or later this step has to happen.

    How to do it? Simply take those words that are coming up over and over again from Step 1 and find or create a behaviour, ritual, habit or activity that fully meets that need or, even better, EXCEEDS it.

    Example: We'll use the chocolate one from Step 1. This means we're looking for something or things that feel like:

    "A treat. Indulgence. Love. Time out. Rewarding myself. It makes me feel better."

    So you'd start by asking, "Is there ONE single activity or thing I could do that would tick all these boxes for me AND make me feel way better on all levels than eating chocolate?"

    (NB: You have to want to find out the answer before you ask this question!)

    NB ALSO: Your answer will be entirely personal as your likes and someone else's may be very different, and also your associations with chocolate.

    For me, my answer to this would be spending 40 minutes reading a magazine undisturbed with a blanket or duvet over me just totally vegging out with no demands on me or my time. Your answer might be "Going for a long walk by the river with my partner." It really could be anything. What you need to do is make a list of these alternative NON-EDIBLE choices and be fully prepared and excited to start doing them instead of munching your way to nirvana (which we know is a total myth anyway, right?).

    If you find that you can't think of one single thing that covers all the bases, that's fine. Just create a list of 2 or 3 activities that can take care of them when combined. Having said that, I really do think there's always going to be a way if you think long enough and creatively enough to find one thing you can do that can take care of everything.

    How to Pull it All Together

    I recommend that you create yourself a chart or spreadsheet on your computer in order to record this information. You'd start with a column marked "Vice Food/ Drink". The second column would contain all the words that sum up "The Promise" of that food or drink to you. The third column would be "Healthy Food Alternatives" (as per Step 2) and the fourth column would be the activity or whatever it is you chose in Step 3.

    Your goal is to have listed all the trigger/ vice foods and drinks that you've been eating or you want to eat that you're ready to let go of/replace, and to have "nailed" all the words that each of those things means to you.

    When you're done you can choose to move to Step 2 and complete that or skip straight to Step 3 and replace eating with doing or being.

    As you can appreciate, this may take some time, both in terms of becoming aware of how many foods and drinks you rely on to feed you emotionally and sensually and also to come up with the replacement items or activities. However, I think realistically you could have this nailed in 7-14 days depending on how much attention you give to it and how serious you are.

    Step 1 in and of itself can be tremendously powerful, but when you take action on Steps 2 and 3 and make those changes, the long term benefits on every level are going to be absolutely phenomenal!

  • sarawsaraw Raw Newbie

    I've been trying to stay raw for almost a year now, and I struggle so badly with it. The best thing, is that every time I start over, I stick with it so much longer. I'm betting one of these times I won't look back.

    My body just does not function on all cooked foods. Journaling helps me. Writing how bad I feel, and then how good I feel. Use the most descriptive words you can when writing about how you feel.

    One of my favorite things about being raw, is the extra hours I seem to have in a day. I also love that I sleep soundly.

    I hate that my blood sugar goes out of control, waking to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, feeling completely fatigued, and looking like I've aged 5 years in just a few short months of eating cooked junk.

    I think that when we experience great energy, and then hitting rock bottom with feeling like a slug helps us to remember why we do this, and eventually we will stick with it.

    Over the holidays, I binged so badly, and I gained so much weight in just a few months time of eating crap. My health started to decline. I hit rock bottom, and said enough is enough. I have to eat healthfully so I can take care of me, and my family. I wasn't getting enough sleep, and suffering some horrid illnesses. I home school my children, so sleeping, or attempting to sleep until 10 am doesn't work. Believe me, I kept trying. Depression creeping up on me, and not being able to be nice to my family was taking its toll. So, I have many good reasons to eat a raw diet, or at least making the best effort I can to eat right for my body.

    There is such a drastic change for the better when I eat raw. My family and friends notice the difference, and when they see me go through my cycles of eating raw, and not eating raw, and how it helps me, they become more supportive in this process with me. Just know that you are not alone in this journey. It will take time, so be kind to yourself. ((((hugs)))

  • just registered , didnt realise was a raw food site, i got drawn to a hormone imbalance thread.

    this is looking well interesting ,so glad i went with decision to get this laptop.(uniting technology)

    this isnt simply a site about raw food (only been on 1 hr or so), this is about life ,human beings ,energy, psychology, behaviour patterns,conditioning,emotions, needs and desires(conscious or not) and sharing . makes me smile and feel connected !! :)

    i am in no way a raw foodist , have had a few harvests of alf alfa and mung been sprouts which i thought was AAA grade, know many people who are , especially now with all the scrummy raw chocolate on the market and all that DIY activity in kitchens adding goji berries ,agave syrup , nuts , barley grass , or was is wheatgrass ?

    anyway just wanted to highlight a very common theme or trend amongst us earth dwellers ,

    BE-AWARE of the GUILT !! notice what you are thinking and feeling about yourself , i guarantee you that all the mental anxiety/anguish/pain and stress caused by not being able to stick to initial "unrealistic goals" or the slip up here and there , is more harmful than cooked food !! (am waiting to be slaughtered here) the beating ourselves up habit is a website in its own right.

    Changing life habits and conditioning surely is a journey , glad to see feel people feeling better when they find out how long it has /is still taking people to switch .sharing is marvellous. :) is there a goal of 100% continuously going raw ? surely this doesnt suit everyone , is it not about what is right for the individual and their experience?

    so gonna take break and check site out in a bit. could be the year to dip toe into the raw-side...

  • oftheseaofthesea Raw Newbie

    what worked the best for me was slowly incorporating things over a couple of months. when i started to lose interest with raw food, i'd get a new recipe book or look for things on this site. that got me all excited again :) dont think of going raw as giving up everything you love. instead, it's an opportunity to discover a whole new world of foods. i'm eating things now that i hadn't even heard of or never would have tried a few months ago. raw restaurants and listening to your body are also big helps. good luck and dont push yourself!

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