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Raw & Abuse

StrongAndRawStrongAndRaw Raw Newbie

Hello everyone!

This is a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit since going raw.

We all know that eating raw, whole and living foods is healing.

What I am curious about is how many of us out there come from a background of severe abuse (verbal, physical, sexual or any kind of severe abuse) and so we gravitate towards health and healing, but because we "feel" so much more on raw food than on SAD food (because of numbing affect) that life becomes more difficult and more painful. I am speaking from experience.

I am also wondering if some of us that do come from severe abuse need to sometimes eat cooked food to stop the pain or stop the re-living of the abuse (PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Even though we know that raw and living food is the best for us...sometimes because of what raw brings to the surface it is almost impossible.

I accept in myself that the raw feelings are literally too raw. I do do something about it when that happens...the alternative could very well be suicide.

I hope for those reading this, especially if you do not come from a place of severe abuse, that you be very careful about your comments. Judging those who may post or minimalizing their experience will just add pain.

I am mostly wondering if there are those that struggle with raw, not because of will power or cravings, but because it sometimes becomes to painful.

If you are not comfortable posting, I definitely understand. It took me a long time, many years raw, to even want to bring this topic up.

Gone Raw has been one of the most supportive places that I have found for all those incorporating raw into their lives and so I felt it was the best place to broach this subject.

Much love to you all!



  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    I had some severe emotional detox at first. Seriously, it was almost violent.

    But ... now that I vibrate from within and raw has made me so healthy, I find that my reasoning is better, and I think logically and can step back and analyse things ALMOST objectively... -since that doesn't exist...

    But, studying logic and other forms of reasoning has helped. When I studied literature I was an emotional mess. Too much metaphor and feeling...

  • I definitely made the same experience. I started eating raw foods a year and a half ago and had severe detox symptoms with lots of crying and emotional stuff coming up, sometimes feeling so out of it I would spend a couple of days in bed. Then I started feeling better but had Candida flare-ups, which caused depression. And then my husband freaked out. Looking back I know that I had been in a verbally abusive relationship for 9 years, but last year the abuse multiplied in intensity and started to turn physical as well. A not-so-nice divorce followed and I started covering the pain with sugar and bread and dairy and you-name-it. I gained weight and felt miserable.

    This year I started to reverse the process and tried a juice feast. After 3 weeks of feeling absolutely terrible, crying a lot, feeling shaky and week and anxious I started eating whole fruits to slow down the process. My divorce went through during that time but unfortunately my ex-husband continued verbally and emotionally abusing me worse than ever in writing before all contact finally seized.

    I am completely torn between the 811 or 80-10-10 theory and the no-sugar theory of Candida. I've tried the no-sugar version and couldn't stand the cravings for fruit, kept relapsing, especially since my depression got worse. Now I started the 811 program, but during the 3 weeks of juices, no fat whatsoever my Candida got so bad I thought I was loosing my mind. Eating whole fruits slowed it down a bit, but it is still really bad and I am now cravings nuts so badly that I started eating fat again.

    And yes, in the midst of it all I am overwhelmed with flashbacks, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD. I'm not sure where to do from here...

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Gypsika - I sympathize, and although I haven't been in the same situation as you, I'd like to express my utmost compassion and hope that you realize you're in a much better place. You're a strong person for walking away. I have had the same situation regarding candida, however. I'd like to tell you what works for me. Greens help me to banish candida. When my candida flares up, (often due to stress+high sugar intake), here's what i eat:

    breakfast: chocolate almond milk w/ agave, green smoothie

    lunch: green juice (romaine + apples + lemon)

    1/2lb-1lb spring mix with oil dressing.

    snack: a piece of fruit or some nonsweet fruits chopped with herbs (ex cucumber dill salad)

    dinner: fresh peas and dill or some savory dish (raw tacos, cabbage slaw, etc - I use one of my many recipe books to enjoy a nutty pate or cashew curry dressing or alfredo sauce on zucchini etc)

    snack: a piece of fruit (optional)

    the chocolate cures my sugar cravings, gives me a boost in my mood and energy. and i just need a little bit of raw chocolate cause it's strong. when my candida is better, i return to eating more fruit but STILL include plenty of greens as it cleans the system.

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    On another note, I tried some raw cheese a couple of weeks ago and became an emotional mess again. It really taught me how bad dairy is. It took 6 days to get back to normal.

    I would blame others for things, try to find faults with other people, cry at the drop of a hat, had aggressive thoughts,

    could only do half the sports I normally can, and could not for the life of me concentrate.

    It was so wierd.

    So, it will take awhile, but raw/vegan will totally clear your mind out to think and reason clearly.

    I found this quote on someone's blog about the china study and how he felt after being vegan :


    A side effect I

  • Thanks for bringing this up. I won't get too into it, but it's something that has crossed my mind as well. The emotions seems to take over at times. Good luck to everyone! I will watch this post and see what you all have to offer on the subject. ;)

  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    gypsika- you could post your 811 questions on the forum www.30bananasaday.com, a forum for people who follow the diet.

  • i went through feeling a lot of things at first. There were a lot of cycles of trying the high raw thing before i actually got to a place where i felt i could stick with it forever. And i'm not talking about a few weeks- a long time of trying and trying again. i realized i needed to make adjustments in the places of my life that were driving me crazy in those emotional detox moments. Like stitches, it hurts then it heals. Now i feel really great and optimistic. If you fall off the wagon, don't feel bad about it. You are trying to rescue yourself and even if you fall, that's a wonderful thing because you applied your stregnth, your will and your vision.

  • Annabelle77Annabelle77 Raw Newbie

    I think that there is a very strong connection between abuse of various types and diet-- diet is one of the only things that we can truly control-- which is why anorexia isnt about eating per se-- it's a way to have control over something when other areas of life are out of control.

    I am glad to see that many of us chose to control our diets in a very healthy and constructive way-- raw as opposed to anorexia... but I still think there may be a deep-rooted connection that stems from a need to control an aspect of one's life in the face of abuse or bad life circumstances.

    And, if feeling more emotions comes from eating raw (spiritual detox?) then I would do my best to accept it, and get through it--- because you will come out of it stronger and brighter---

    I dont think that I thought about it at the time, but in retrospect I think I have become more sensitive (physicially, emotionally, biochemically) since eating mostly raw--- fascinating

  • I don't have a history of severe abuse, just the garden-variety kind that attended growing up in the '60s and '70s. I think I dealt with most of my eating-disordered behavior in therapy years go, at least for the most part. The thing I noticed when I went raw almost a year ago (April 6, 2008) was that it seemed to help me transcend a lot of emotional problems, including those associated with eating.

    I agree that controlling our diet gives us the sense that we have control over something, at least. As I've progressed from vegetarianism to veganism and now to raw vegan eating, I've often thought that my preoccupation with what kinds of food I eat is both a curse and a blessing. It was a curse when I was in my 20s and 30s and wasted way too much time thinking about weight loss. Now, with the transition to raw food, I've begun to be actually grateful for everything that has ever happened to me, both good and bad, because the sum of my experience has brought me to this place of peace and happiness that seems to be the result of simply eating lots of fruit, greens, and nuts (which I've struggled with limiting until recently). It's as if nature, or God, or whatever--maybe just your body's innate wisdom--offers everyone the chance to heal from whatever has happened to you when you eat the food you're intended to eat. In the past year, I've often felt as though I am literally one of the luckiest people who has ever lived because the events of my life have led me to this way of eating.

    To those of you dealing with a history of severe abuse, please give this way of eating time to help you heal. Listen to your body and just take good care of yourself. You're on the right track.

  • I came here from Rawfu to read the thread and comment..

    This is something I really struggle with.. I was severely sexually/physically/mentally abused as a child by my father and his friends.... part of that was actually starving me. The worst abuse happened before the age of 8 (my parents divorced then and we moved out of state).. my mother would go on long trips out of the country and leave me in his care and it was really horrible.. being starved really does a number one you.. when I went to my grandmothers house he would stick his finger down throat and make me throw up to see if I had eaten and I would be punished if there was food in my stomach. I used to eat out of trash cans at school because I was so hungry.

    ... so being hungry really messes with my head and being raw brings up so many emotions... I am not raw right now.. and am very overweight. I struggle each and every day to find a balance and a way to just use food as fuel and not have it be tangled up in so many areas..

    I have only been heavy the last 7 years... before then, I used to receive sooo much male attention and that freaked me out too. (I am 37)..

    Obviously, I stuff my emotions down with food, gluten to be exact. Whole wheat bread and pasta.

    I am really sick of this cycle though and want to change. It is so scary to go through that..

    I did a 30 day raw challenge last summer and my emotions were all over the place. It was really scary.

    Thanks for starting this discussion. I think there are many of us out there who have had to deal with this torture.

    It affects everything in my life even to today.. I sooo want to garden, but my father and grandfather used to make me stand still with my arms out and they'd throw huge nightcrawlers on me.. and they'd be hanging off of me and it was horrible, so I have this huge fear of worms no matter what I do. (I used to container garden and that was ok).. but I have this great opportunity to garden for someone and we'll share the produce (they provide the land and seeds, I do all the work).. and I don't know if I can because of my fear of worms.

    I HATE being this way.. and so want to overcome it all.


  • Annabelle77Annabelle77 Raw Newbie


    I dont even know what to say besides from 'bless your heart'! I wish you everything good!!

  • StrongAndRawStrongAndRaw Raw Newbie

    Thank you so very much for sharing Melody! I appreciate you sharing a part of your story...you are very brave.

    I come from a similar place. I don't think many others can understand the panic, fear and absolute oppression that can occur in our lives (even though the abuse may have ended many years ago).

    Food can be a HUGE comforter. To me it is the numbing affect that some food has on me.

    Raw food does not give that comfort. Yes, raw food can bring a lightness, weightloss and some healing...BUT I have found that there are some times that the PTSD is so severe that I need to STOP the detox or the intense feelings it brings.

    Several of you have posted about letting the process happen. Unfortunately, it is so much deeper than that. I am not talking about normal emotional and physical detox. I really do not know how to describe it. I think those that have gone through it will understand.

    I know there are others out there suffering too. I hope you will feel comfortable sharing or if nothing else reading and learning from those that do share.

  • I realized I was not comfortable with my post. Thanks to all who did share! I think this is an important topic for many people interested in raw food.

  • this is such a personal journey, there is no "one way" to go 100% raw. I think that for those who have serious abuse in their lives, they will have such a more difficult journey towards overall healing. It might take many years to work through it. I think it is fine to moderate how raw you eat; when the emotions get too intense, add some more cooked grains or cooked veggies into your diet. Find some healthier options than processed food to slow the detox down though. This way, you can continue on the path, but at a slower rate.

    For people who haven't suffered through intense abuse, there is no way for you to understand the lingering affects.

    For those who've shared your stories, you'll be in my thoughts. Your bravery and perseverance to thrive are an inspiration.

  • there's a book called raw spirit by matt monarch. i haven't read it, but i've heard that it talks a lot about the emotional detox when going raw that a lot of the "gurus" don't talk about.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    it's odd, but i feel more emotionally relaxed on raw than i did with cooked. i feel more in control and this helps "ground" me. i don't look to cooked foods to ground me is what i mean. i have experienced abuse in the past and actually the growth i've experienced by eating raw is helping me be more ready to face it.

  • StrongAndRawStrongAndRaw Raw Newbie

    Okay...I was concerned that this thread would turn into "who has emotional detox?".

    Although you have every right to post where you want, when you want and about whatever you want....that's partly why gone raw is so great....posting about one's emotional detox is not what I intended when I began this thread.

    I was hoping for a place where those of us who have been severely abused could come and discuss our specific struggles with being a raw foodist, especially if you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of the abuse.

    Our raw journey is much different, I believe.

    I hope those that have had the experiences that I refer to in the my first post will have the courage to share and will also gain strength from others that share.

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