Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

March 12, 2010

raw food and fasting

One little chard plant that survived the winter. Picture taken by Maya.

One of the reasons I became interested in experimenting with raw food was to get me in shape to participate in the Baha'i Fast. I've had a hard time fasting since I started again after I was all done having babies and nursing. Last year, I got sick after the first few days, and I really wanted to be healthy enough and have the stamina to do it this year. The fast was such a special time for me pre-babies and it taught me all I know about obedience and submission to God. The fact that I still have a long way to grow in these virtues really motivates me to get my body ready for it, so I can keep working on those and whatever other virtues I feel I need to grow in this year.

Two aspects of the raw food movement have really helped me handle the fast better this year than last. The first one is mental. There's such a lot of knowledge out there, talked about ad nauseum by raw foodists, about how the body digests raw vs. cooked food and especially how to get the most nutrients out of foods and choosing the most nutrient-rich foods out there. Basically, it's about optimizing the eating experience for efficiency, while keeping and even enhancing taste. The effect this had on me was really liberating because I didn't feel like I had to worry so much about trying to get all the nutrients I need every day from the guidance of the USDA food pyramid. Trying to follow that guidance always left me feeling like nothing I did was good enough- I could never succeed in having a healthy, balanced diet- it was just too hard, partly because I'm allergic to half the foods on that thing. But I got the feeling from both how the food science was pursued and also the focus on simplicity in the raw food movement that if I ate certain simple raw foods, I could get all the nutrition I needed without having to even encounter my allergens, in practically any recipe. It gave me an attitude of suffiency instead of lack. My efforts are enough, I am enough, and if I eat fresh and simple and follow some basic science of nutrition, I will get enough good food to not have to worry about food all the time. I can move forward and focus my attention on the life I want to live! That attitude has been a God-send for me during this fast. I don't feel deprived by not eating food all day because I know that the food I eat before the sun rises will keep me going and healthy all day. Even if I feel hungry, I know, deeply, that I am nourished.

So the other aspect that's helped me through the fast is the raw food itself. Is it a placebo effect where I've decided that I'm getting enough of the right things to eat to keep my spirits up or is it really what I'm eating that's making the difference? I have no idea, but it sure is working. And the food that's helping the most is the smoothie I have for breakfast every day. First of all, it's just easier to digest liquids than solids because your body has to do less work. Because it's so easy on the system, I can drink a smoothie even if I'm really sleepy or even sleep deprived, as I often am during the fast. Second, I put enough protein in them that I feel like it's a substantial food, not just a fruit drink. I've posted my smoothie recipe already and there are infinite varieties out there, but I have learned a few things that are especially important to include for my particular body. I gotta have seeds for protein- I like sesame, hemp, flax, and pumpkin so far. There's gotta be coconut oil to make it smooth and rich. Just a tablespoon or so really makes it a meal, and that stuff is just so darn good for you! It's gotta have a couple servings of fruit, especially a banana, again for smoothness and also sweetness. And it's gotta have green superfood powder so I can get all those minerals and great proteins from algae and seaweed and grasses. Also, I really love goji berries, and always put just a few for their taste, although I've heard they are a nutritional powerhouse too. Those are the highlights. Read anything by David Wolfe if you want to know which foods do what for you and why. He's a fun teacher.

Just though I'd share my experience. I still eat plenty of cooked food for dinner, just so you know. I haven't eliminated many foods so far, just added on.

Posted by Bahiyyih at March 12, 2010 04:51 PM