Monday, March 3, 2008

My story

I first heard of raw food in 2006, while reading a newly released Brazilian magazine for vegetarians. At that time I was not even a vegetarian, but I was always interested in "natural foods" (as well as junk!). At first I thought raw foodism was far out, but still it sounded interesting. There was a website listed at the end of the article (Raw Fit), and I checked out some recipes. I started with the Refreshing Soup, a mixture of cucumber, mint, and other ingredients, and for a while I was hooked on that! Then I started reading all sorts of material on the web and saving recipes, but there were so many hard-to-find ingredients and recipes that called for a dehydrator. Yet synchronicities started to happen and soon a friend lent me a book by a Brazilian raw doctor called Lugar de médico é na cozinha (“A doctor’s place is in the kitchen”), which was great because of all the recipes with regular Brazilian ingredients. Things only got better when I met the first 100% raw person (and chef) in my city, Gorette, and took two one-day raw food courses with her – seeing someone actually make the recipes in front of me was so helpful, and meeting other like-minded people was just as great!

This story could be told another way… When I was 11, my dad was diagnosed with myeloma (bone marrow cancer). We were very close. At first he stayed about one month in intensive care and everyday after school a friend of my mom would take us to the hospital in her car, and she had a boy that was about my age who would go too. Visiting hours were restricted (even more for children), so we would sort of just hang out in the parking lot and around the hospital. I don’t remember details, but I remember there was some sort of snack bar and we would eat this guava-jelly cake (and other stuff too, I suppose). Three years later my dad died, two days before my 14th birthday. Again, food was present. People brought me all sorts of edibles – I remember I got like six birthday cakes and a bunch of other stuff to eat. Sometime in those three years I developed a binging disorder that has lasted to this day (almost 18 years!).

Besides teaching me a lot about myself, raw food was the first thing that really started to change my binging pattern. My weight stopped being important too. I’m still not cured from it, but I think I’m on the right path. My biggest problem is cheese – which is also something that I feel is very hard on my body. I rarely have digestive problems, but food that is not good for me is for some reason always extra-hard on my lungs. I never smoked or lived with smokers, but if I binge (especially with cheese) the next day I’ll be coughing and my lungs will be full of mucus. I don’t know why it’s the cheese (I would think I would want to binge on cake!), but I think I’m on the right path to find out.

All this seems obvious to me now, but I only traced my binging to my dealing with my dad’s disease/death story about a year or so ago, when I started on raw food and blogging about it. Before I knew there was something wrong and tried to change it (I did about 8 years of therapy), but what worried me most was my body weight and the like (although my self-image was always bad no matter how skinny I got). My weight fluctuated a lot too.

Thus, I know more or less what my reasons are and how my pattern works, but I still don’t know how to get out of it. One of my aims in juice feasting is to find out “the complete story” around my binging disorder and to get rid of it once and for all!

My relationship with juice fasting/ feasting also goes back in time. Years ago when I was a teenager and had never even heard of raw foodism, I discovered a book that had been my dad's, called "The Juiceman's Power of Juicing". It talked about juicing and brought several recipes and tips. Now that I think of it, I believe the author was a raw foodist, although he didn't say it with all the words. I started juicing daily (I had three old juicers that had been my dad's) and went on and off over time. He also suggested a weekly juice fast to cleanse the body, and I did that for a while too. Then I started getting interested in juice fasting and bought some books on that. One day I finally did a fast, which was supposed to last 10 days but only lasted three – though it felt wonderful and I lost 3 kg and fit back into my favorite jeans! :)

Now I know that it didn’t work because I was fasting for the wrong reasons and at the wrong time. This year I am more focused on what I want and why I am feasting. I have been writing my goals and will be posting on that here soon…

On to the feast!


Sarah said...

Awesome story, Ecodea. I find it so interesting that you discovered raw foods in Brazil, of all places! That is super cool.

Little Miss Sunshine said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story! I can relate to it so much and I'm glad we both discovered raw food. I know some times are worse than others when it comes to BED. I received the message you sent out for the BED group on GI2MR and though I can't provide you with examples of people who are completely "cured" of BED, I do believe it's possible. We just have to find a way to concentrate our energies into more positive things instead of wasting them on obsessive thoughts about food and our bodies. I know, easier said than done! It's a process and you are not alone!!!