Hello! I'm excited to be here. My name is Karina, I'm in the Boston area, and I'm just beginning (well, re-starting) a raw foods lifestyle.
My story is a back-and-forth experiment with veganism and raw foods. Short version: I ate raw, caved to pressure, felt awful, and now return to the fold.
In college (a few years ago) I was largely vegan (with some free-range organic eggs) and ate "rabbit food" (i.e. mostly raw) out of choice, without any study. I didn't even know raw food diets existed! I just liked eating real food, fresh, and without the moral and nutritional weight of meat. (Oh, and my college had a huge salad bar at every meal!)
During that early period, I largely felt fantastic, but I made people around me uncomfortable (don't we all?) just by my choices. I enjoy target-shooting, and my teammates were all country boys who hunted and ate meat at every meal. My other friends at college were omnivores, and by the end of college they had all convinced me that the way to get more energy and be healthier ("you need protein" ARGGGH) would be to start eating like a "normal person."
Because I'd never studied the raw-food lifestyle, I couldn't justify my choices against their challenges, so I became a "conscious omnivore."
Ohhhhh, what a bigbig mistake that was. I've learned a few things:
(1) Eating like a "normal healthy person" really lowers my expectations for "normal health." Fatigue, weight gain, and lots of little problems. I thought I was just getting older (and I'm in my mid-20s!). Yikes.
(2) Your friends are not nutritionists, even if they kill and farm their own food. Yes, even organic farmers (I shot with some) can't give you dietary advice.
(3) Eating processed foods/grains/meat/dairy is addictive in many ways. You can't even see what it's doing to you, you can't imagine living without it -- but once I stopped eating it, I stopped wanting it anymore.
(4) Good, evidence-based, non-confrontational defenses of your choices are so important both for you and for other people to learn from you. I'm capable of fully explaining my views in a friendly debate now.
(5) You can clean up pretty quickly and see a difference. I've gone back to vegan easily and now transition to a goal of 70-80% raw foods. I already feel so much better.
I'm here for general social and nutritional support and camaraderie. It's so easy for now, but I'm sure it won't always be.
Pleased to meet you all!
(Oh, and I'm using all my new raw energy to build a jewelry business with my chainmail. Small self-promotion: http://www.silverfallsdesigns.com -- small self-promotion over! Thanks.)