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please help me to help them

heartshapedskyheartshapedsky Raw Newbie

so tonight i spent time with family “talking” with me about raw foods. i’ve posted a bit about this before, my father-in-law is a doctor….

main points their side:

why raw foods? enzymes are already in your body, what does it matter when they’re cooked?

do you think it’ll help your skin? it won’t

alkaline foods do not change the ph balance of your body- ever

B-12 deficiency

you used to love beans, you don’t eat beans???

where are you getting your essential fatty acids?

you get the idea, painful. in a way i feel like i’m 10 years old again and i just want them to understand and like me. sort of pathetic. i’m respectful of their choices and i don’t feel the need to be vocal in disagreeing with them, so why musy i be attacked?

just wondering if you have any fun answers for my fam, seeing them again tomorrow. thanks goneraw peeps.


  • Wow. That’s pretty intense. Very intimidating as well. I think what’s best is to let your self-improvement and growth from raw stand alone as your POINT. You will always be your main argument while on raw. When people see you sparkle, they’ll see it sooner or later what the truth really is—that raw food is vibrant!!!

    With your father-in-law being a doctor, it’s kind of not ‘his fault’ per se that he’s been traditionally trained. So what I’d ask is this:

    1. Have you personally done the research behind that? Did you do the studies? What sources are you citing? AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, ARE YOU FOLLOWING THIS INFORMATION AND USING IT IN YOUR LIFE? AND ARE YOU FEELING BENEFITS FROM IT?

    I don’t think there needs to be a #2 here. The list goes on. The point of raw is self-observation, learning what feels best in the body.

    Whenever anyone says to me, “But you used to LOVE _ foods!!! Why are you eating raw? What made you go raw?”

    I always say in complete confidence: “I’ve been burned by cooked food too many times to NOT be raw!!!”

    They’ll hear you…whether your stubborn father in law wants to admit it or not ;)

    Best wishes!!!

  • jenny2052jenny2052 Raw Newbie

    I have to say, I’ve read a lot on the benefits of raw, but very little of it has struck me as the sort of scientifically logical argument that would convince skeptics of raw’s benefits. I think many people have to feel what it’s like to be raw to be convinced! So I don’t bother to respond to anyone on that level – I don’t think I can win. I’m not convinced that we understand yet why raw works as miraculously as it does, so I hate to use theories that are so easily disproven (like the enzyme theory). The one exception is the greens/calcium argument. I am pretty livid with the influence of the dairy industry and this ridiculous farce that dairy is necessary for life, so I’m willing to get into the whole “protein interfering with calcium absorption” thing, and to go into detail about why I’m not at all concerned with my calcium levels. But only when people bother me specifically about calcium.

    So generally, my only response when people hassle me is to simply say that I feel terrific. And that I think that is the best indicator of what’s right for me, and at the moment, I’m not really concerned with anything outside of the way I feel. If I start to feel anything but terrific, I will re-evaluate my diet or consider making adjustments via food choices or supplements (this applies particularly to the B12, protein, etc. arguments), or even a dietary change. I always make it clear that I am willing to adjust my diet if things change (I don’t emphasize the fact that I would stay raw while making that adjustment, even though it is true). And I mention that I am planning to get extensive bloodwork done with my yearly checkup, just to put my own mind at ease (this is what Storm and Jinjee do for their family members as well), and that I’ll be very open to making adjustments if I show any deficiencies.

    And that’s all I’m willing to discuss with people! My dad keeps trying to engage me in discussions, but every time he starts, I just say “I’m really focusing on the way I feel, as I think my body knows best what it wants. I feel consistently fantastic, and have for the past year, so I’m not too concerned with any other person’s idea of what is right for me.” When I answer this (or some variation on it) to every question he asks, he eventually backs off. Perhaps the best part of this approach is that it is totally non-threatening – I’m not trying to convince anyone that raw is right for them; only that it works wonderfully for me. Of course, if they start to show an interest (like my mom has, after noticing that I seemed “more sparkly” on raw – yay!), I’m happy to provide all the details and links and recipes they’d ever care to have!

    Good luck! This is such a challenge! But I agree with Megan – the best way to convince people is just to go on with your beliefs and let them see how much you flourish!

  • elizabethhelizabethh Raw Newbie

    1- eating cooked foods creates an enzyme deficit. the enzymes in our body were never meant to be used for digesting foods. since enzymes catalyze virtually every biological reaction in existence, and since we only started eating cooked food about 350,000 years ago (a minor blip in our millions of years of existence), it is only reasonable to assume that using enzymes that are meant for biological reactions for digesting foods is unnecessary and damaging. 2- it will help your skin. the health of your skin depends largely on the health of your colon and your blood. colon health: plant foods promote regularity and lack of meat helps prevent (possibly cancerous) colon polyps. blood health: plant foods, especially dark green ones, are incredibly detoxifying and promote blood health. 3- alkaline forming foods do indeed bring your blood pH to the more alkaline side of the range, just as acid forming foods bring it down to the more acidic reactions. the acid-base buffer system in our blood is likely not designed to handle all the acid that is formed when meat and cooked grain are digested. 4- B-12, if arguing about the “naturalness” of the diet, generally comes on our food, in the form of soil and little bugs we would be eating if we were not washing our food. we only need very small amounts. B-12 deficiency can be easily averted by eating fermented foods and sea vegetables. you may want to cite that “Sun is Shining”, an entirely raw vegan supplement, contains 158% of your daily vitamin B-12 per serving. 5- beans began to be cultivated (same with grains) just upwards of 10,000 years ago, again a tiny blip in our evolution, and therefore it is reasonable to assume that they are not essential. on top of that, if you really want beans, chickpeas and lentils and adzuki beans and mung beans can all be sprouted. 6- EFA’s are no problem. omega 6’s are certainly no concern, present in more than sufficient qualities in olive oil, avocados, etc. omega 3’s are best obtained from hemp seeds (or oil), chia seeds, or flax seeds (or oil). with a proper balance of all these foods it is not even slightly difficult to obtain the daily quote for EFAs.

    hope that helps!

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    Even some doctors suggest eating more raw fruits and vegetables. I had my blood tested recently and my B-12 was way over the median reference range. I’ve been eating raw for nearly 4 years. My blood tests, even with MS, were better than my mom’s (who eats a standard diet). I had low cholesterol and she had high, nearly dangerous levels. My triglycerides were low, hers were high. She sees how much I have improved and is now adding more raw to her diet as well. She now drinks green tea with stevia instead of coffee and Sweet ‘n Low. People learn by example. They need to believe that how they’ve always eaten is healthy. It isn’t as much of an attack on you as it is that they want to justify their own dietary beliefs. It’s difficult for some people to un-learn what they’ve always believed to be right. They’re sincerely trying to help you even though they don’t realize that they’re the ones who need help!

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    I read something interesting (sorry, no link available) about B12 - That it is used to break down proteins (meat, eggs, etc.), so this person was asking what is a healthy level of B12 for a raw vegan? The person he asked (doctor or nutritionist) just stared at him. It sounds like you may not want to go into that conversation with your family, esp. father-in-law, right now, but it’s interesting. Also, my urine pH was at the same level (5.5) for weeks. After one day of nothing but green juices, the next day it was 6.0 – what else would account for the sudden change? I am talking about ALKALIZING foods, not just ALKALINE foods. For example, lemons are acidic, but they make the body more alkaline. Yeah, you could ask him where he gets his information – I have done this with a former neighbor of mine who was a nutritionist, asking her where I could get more information/read studies done on the subjects she was challenging me on, and she would never give me the information, like she thought I wouldn’t understand the biochemistry of it, etc. I wanted to read the studies or the interpretations of the studies, so I could see if the interpretations of the studies were correct and unbiased, or if there were flaws in the studies that led to a certain “result” that may be inaccurate or incomplete. Sorry if this was a long post that may or may not help a lot with the fam. situation, but I have dealt with a lot of resistance from people, too. Good luck – I agree that the best way to deal with people is to let them know that this is what is working for you right now and keep it to your personal choice and not preaching this is the way for everyone. Sometimes if they get really confrontational, you can even just add to that and say “I don’t know what’s right for you; I’m just making my own choices here.” or something like that. Or just give them some of your yummy food. :) heehee

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Oh, yeah – if you’re not opposed to bee products, bee pollen has B12 and is a good source of protein.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    i always say “look, i know what it’s like to eat the way you do and it didn’t work for me. if you would like to try eating raw foods and let me know how that feels for you, then we can compare notes.”

    they can’t argue with how great you feel or look.

    also, if you feel healthy and fit get a blood test to test vitamin and nutrient levels (even b12) and put them all to shame. i did this and my brother had LESS iron than me (surprising to him, since he eats meat, but of course not to me!)

  • heartshapedskyheartshapedsky Raw Newbie

    thanks again guys.

    i agree so much with everything you’ve written. and i think my biggest lesson here is to just realize there is no convincing to be done. no articles to forward or stats to memorize, i’ve got to be my own peaceful raw billboard, ha! the back up and compassion from you all is priceless.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    exactly. live it. you don’t have to be an encyclopedia! =)

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