After 12 years following the raw food lifestyle, I have found myself delightfully doing the backstroke downstream in the river of health, while most around me are swimming upstream and telling me I’m going the wrong direction!
I want to prepare you for some things you can expect over the long term when you truly become clean and healthy, inside and out. Your body will not function quite as it used to, nor will it function like the body of the “average” person. You will react differently to foods, medications and lifestyle choices. It will not be possible to compare you in any arena to the average Joe because you’ll no longer be average.
1. Doctors and you
Doctors won’t know quite what to do with you. For instance, one of my readers wrote:
"I had my white blood cells tested about three weeks ago, and my result was 2.9. The normal range is 4.1 to 5.6. My doctor ordered a repeat of test. Knowing my raw food diet was responsible for the test results, I ate some bread and cooked vegetables the afternoon before my next test. Next morning the result was 4.2! I was happy I’ve proven to myself one more time how sensitive our bodies are to the quality of food we eat. Can you imagine my delight, when several days later in your book Quantum Eating I read that you experienced the same thing?"
Here’s the explanation… Cooked food sets off an immune response that raw foods do not. That the blood of most cooked food eaters is infiltrated with white blood cells means that the body is fighting back, sending immune-cell soldiers into battle against infection. But with most folks on a raw food diet, there’s little or no infection – hence few soldiers.
In the hospital or in the doctor’s office, the parameters you will be measured by aren’t normal – they are more aptly termed average. They are derived by experimenting on people who eat cooked foods. The healthier you become, the more you will find yourself – quite literally – off the charts!
You will need less sleep. I sleep only five or six hours a night. Cooked food is damaging, so we need more time to recover. If your body is abused either by cooked foods or by stress, it needs more sleep to heal. The absolute opposite is true if you are healthy. Remove the cause of illness, and you reduce the needed healing time. Sleep is like a recovery room. The more you hurt yourself, the more time you need to spend there in order to recover. After being on a 100% raw lifestyle for over 12 years and experimenting with different raw foods and quantities, I feel confident in saying that nothing influences your sleeping needs more than the amount and quality of food you eat.
It always amazes me when people go raw, get more nutrients in one day than they had in a month on their former cooked diet, and then ask: Am I getting enough nutrients?
What nutrients are in the food does matter. But what matters more is whether your body is cleansed and efficient enough to absorb what you are getting. Don’t just load your body with more and more nutrients and calories. Instead, clean it. Make it more efficient at getting those nutrients. I eat fewer calories than ever before, after following a raw foods lifestyle for many years. My body now gets more nutrients from less food. Yours can, too.
There are, however, situations when short-term supplementing of a particular nutrient can be helpful or even necessary, if you are deficient. If you are not energetic, you are not healthy, and taking a pill is not going to change anything permanently. I am discovering: no supplementation is needed for the healthy body to feel great! (Okay – one exception: B12. But this is a topic for another article.)
4. Water, water, everywhere
Many health-conscious people are plagued with the question: Which type of water is the best to drink? After all, if we’re to be drinking the proverbial eight glasses of water per day, shouldn’t we drink the best? Should it be spring water or distilled water? Or maybe ionized water or silver water? When I am asked this question, I honestly say: I have no idea. Nor do I think it will become a topic of my research. Why? After 12 years following the 100% raw food lifestyle, I have no need for free water. I don’t drink water. Am I dehydrated? Not at all.
How can I do it? I do not eat anything from which water has been removed. I no longer consume dehydrated or concentrated foods. I get all the hydration I need from my daily juices, smoothies, melons and other foods with high water content. In my book Quantum Eating I use the analogy of dried prunes. If you place them in water, will they ever look like fresh, plump plums again? Is a soaked prune really hydrated? It’s the same with a person who eats cooked food and drinks lots and lots of bottled water. All that drinking swells you up without really giving you the dewy look of youth you desire. I believe that the best biologically active water comes from nature’s own vessels – fruits and vegetables.
However, if you are still transitioning, you must, I repeat, you must find out what is the best water to drink and drink lots of it.
Buy the Spring issue of Get Fresh! magazine to read the rest of the article and discover what Tonya has to say about the changes you can expect in the following areas when you go raw:
- Sun exposure
- Calorie requirements
- Cravings and binges
- Freedom from diseases
- Avoiding middle-age spread
- Muscle cramps
- Recovery time
- Peaceful mealtimes
- Spontaneous bliss
- Finding your destiny
- Peace of mind