The year was 2000, and I was hanging out with a lot of people with a wide variety of eating habits. I myself had been a vegetarian for over 7 years. Some of my friends were vegetarians, some were vegans, and I even knew a few baconitarians (they mainly ate bacon. Long story). One day, one of my vegan friends told me about how she learned about raw food, and she was now a raw foodist. In fact, she made a raw apple pie that day, and offered me a piece.
There, in front of me, was a raw apple pie. It looked like apple pie – there was a crust, there were apples, and there was some sort of crumble on top. I took the fork, and ate the first bite of “Official Raw Food”. It was crunchy, and tart. It was……well….. raw! There was this moment; it happened like a bolt of lightning right into my brain. Raw food instantly made sense.
I understood raw food. Right then and there. I didn’t need a book to explain raw food.
I could hear my mind exclaim: “raw food is awesome!”
But how do you live as a raw foodist? That was the first question in my mind as I took another bite. I don’t remember what the raw apple pie tasted like because I was so deep in thought as to how I was going to become a raw foodist.
And after that night I went out to the library. It was always the first place I went when I was learning something new. Huh. I was surprised. There were no books on raw food at the library. Bummer. Next stop was the bookstore. I was ready to be a raw foodist. It must be easy, I thought. After searching at three different bookstores, I found one book on raw food: RAW, by Juliano. I bought it. I took it home, and read it over and over. I was going to be a raw foodist.
I had big ambitions. I’d daydream about being a raw foodist. I even met some people who were raw foodists. For some reason, it wasn’t as easy as the beautiful pictures, or as easy as all my new raw food friends made it seem.
I can’t quite remember how I would “fail” at being a raw foodist, but I did. I was never 100% raw. Every week I would try again. I would make a plan. Buy groceries. Try to make recipes, despite the fact I did not have a blender, food processor, or dehydrator. I’d get hungry, and I’d have cheese, or cereal.
It was a cycle: Buy raw food. Love eating fruit, or vegetables, or salad. Get hungry. Eat something cooked. Feel sad. Read the un-cookbook. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
I wanted to be raw. If passion created success, I would have been raw over six years ago.
I never gave up. I knew someday I would be a raw foodist.
Slowly over the next year I started a downward spiral of illness. Migraines, arthritis, sinus infections and more. Just when I needed some raw inspiration, I went searching for a cure with doctors and magic pills. March 2002 was the last time that I would look at RAW for what seems like an eternity. It sat on my bookshelf, patiently waiting. I went back to my old ways of being a vegetarian, eating out at a lot of ethnic restaurants.
In June, I met someone who looked radiant and healthy. I asked her what she ate, and she told me she was into macrobiotics. I instantly forgot about raw food, and began to learn about macrobiotics. The library had many books on macrobiotics. The bookstore did too. I was sick, I had migraines, and I wanted to get well. I read about people curing migraines with brown rice fasting. I wanted to try it. Before the Holidays in 2002 I ate brown rice for a week; they called it a brown rice fast. It was gross, it made me feel weak and tired, but I did it because I was going to be healthy and thin. After that brown rice fast I was macrobioic for a year. Here’s the short story of the year of Macrobiotics:
We were unhappy. We hated brown rice. We were sick of Macrobiotics.
We were macro for a year. Then in 24 hours, we were done with macrobiotics. And we ate standard cooked vegetarian fare. It was delicious.
A few weeks after swearing off macrobiotics forever, Justin found RAW sitting on my bookshelf. Just watching him take it off the shelf made me realize I was ready to get back on the raw path again. And we’ve been on the raw journey ever since. This time, I now have someone to share in the fun!
And now you are a part of our journey. Thank you for reading!
Have a fantastic day!
* If I were to recommend one raw food book that people could start making raw food, I could recommend a dozen. I will devote a future post to all my favorite raw food books. For now, if I had to choose just one book, I would pick Raw Food Real World, because their recipes taste soooo good, and delicious food is a great way to start the raw food journey!