Since returning home to Christchurch we have gone to the organic and vegetarian market near our house every Sunday. It's a sweet little routine to have, not to mention a nice walk along the river to get there.
This is a stall which sells sauerkraut, raw crackers, raw truffles and other chocolate delights.
I don't like the word hate, so let's just say I have a strong dislike for wheatgrass that sends me running from the room screaming.
It's funny how people don't like certain foods, and others do, or is that just me who finds it funny? I guess it's normal. I know someone who doesn't like chocolate, a lot of people who don't like avocados, another who hates milk, and someone else who detests anything with cumin added.
I have my own personal likes and dislikes, and to me this poses the question "Can I be raw if I dislike certain raw foods?" But before I answer this question, I'm going to give an example of 10 year old Felicity's dislikes and likes, and the present Felicity's dislikes and likes.
10 year old Felicity hated:
Asparagus, mushrooms, brown bread, salad, vegetable soup, porridge, tomatoes.
10 year old Felicity loved: Candy (and lots of it), white bread, crackers, cookies, fried food, coke, waffles, potatoes, sausages, pasta.
As you can see, my former self wasn't exactly healthy... I sure liked my starchy, fatty, sugary food. I don't blame myself, fatty and sugary food appeals to primal urges -- yes. We are programmed to be attracted to that kind of food, because when we were all cave men those were the rarest foods in nature while also being the foods that provided the most sustenance. In brief, we are programmed to go for the biggest slice of cake. Most of my friends ate similarly to me, but it seemed that I was the only one who it reflected on; I was overweight, and my skin was bad from an unusually young age.
16 year old Felicity hates:
Any fast food, white bread, artificially colored food, asparagus (some things never change), coke, coffee, wheatgrass, spicy food, sprouts, blueberries.
16 year old Felicity loves: raw chocolate ice cream, mushrooms, raw chocolate cake, raw pasta, essene bread, raw sushi, juice, kale, salad, avocados, pineapple, young thai coconuts, walnuts, miso soup, oranges, pears, apples, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries, chia, goji berries.
You'll probably see I dislike wheatgrass and sprouts, what sort of a vegan am I?! This is where the question comes into, well, question. When I first went raw my mum was so convinced I was going to die without all this protein that she made me a lentil sprout smoothie, but didn't blend it very well. I sat at the table crying for an hour like a 2 year old forced to finish my dinner, but in the end I managed to eat and keep down this smoothie. Of course, I don't hold it against my mum, she has my best interests at heart, but I specifically remember her saying, "You can't eat like this if you don't like sprouts." I happen to hate sprouts, they make my mouth taste... like a sprout, which to me tastes like fresh green colored air. Same goes for wheatgrass. I tried some, and my mouth smelt like a lawn for what felt like an eternity afterwards.
Another thing about my list is that I noticed that my 10 year old 'like' list is completely different from my 16 year old 'like' list, which is a lot more balanced and varied. I noticed that when I went raw I was trying more foods that I'd never bothered to try before, and realized that all the time whilst eating a typical diet that I'd never ventured to eat anything other than meals I'd been eating my whole life which usually were comprised of meat, something starchy, and some dead looking vegetables. In other words, I realized that pre-raw I ate the most boring and bland looking diet on the planet.
Another point is that some people don't like certain foods because they were served the food 'wrong'. For example, my best friend hates ALL salad with a passion because she has never actually had a salad that didn't taste like it had already been eaten. Sometimes we hate foods because we were served it up in a disgusting way. The sad thing is that a lot of healthy foods are made wrong! Raw food is so versatile and tasty, but when you see 'healthy' salads and fruit salads at a restaurant they usually look and taste like cardboard. I think better education on how to prepare good healthy food really is required!
But all in all, I think that even if you don't like sprouts (this is referring to me, haha) you CAN still eat a raw vegan diet, there are still millions of other delicious things to make up for a lack of one thing.
I know, I know, the last post I did was called 'Update' but I'm getting desperate, and I completely lack originality as far as post titles go.
So, what is this exciting update? Well, there are two, really.
1# I am moving back to Christchurch! For those of you who have been readers for awhile, you might have seen my post here about the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, forcing me to move to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. My adventures in Wellington thus far are detailed here. Anyway, after 6 months, we are finally moving home. When we moved we didn't know how long we were going to stay, but at that time a lot of things have come to light. Let me elaborate. When I was living in Christchurch, I didn't really like it. A lot of kids hate their hometowns, and I really wasn't an exception. I couldn't wait to get out. Looking back, I see that I didn't appreciate the beauty that was around me. They say you have to lose something for you to appreciate what you have, and that is definitely the case. Living in Wellington has been a great (but painful) experience, and I am so glad I had this opportunity, but I am so relieved to be going home.
Beautiful views of Wellington
2# if you read my last post here, you probably saw that I'd actually added some cooked food into my diet. While I was ok-ish with that (it wasn't ideal), my mum said we really should eat some cooked vegan food until we got home, due to the high prices of organic food in Wellington. However, my heart always yearns to be 100% raw, and I decided that I would! For the past 3 days, I have been 100% raw, and I'm loving it! I always feel great, I have increased energy, my body cooperates with me, and my stomach is always really flat when I'm raw haha. We have a lot of food, but we always seem to buy 'new food', so I'm doing my best to use the food we have. As a result, I have been trying so many new meals! I've been having Chia Porridge/Pudding for breakfast, and I've also started making wilted Kale salads (thank you, Russell James!) We've also been putting our dehydrator to good use and making heaps of crackers, and I've also taken a liking to Strawberry ice cream recently. Our camera isn't very good, so I haven't been taking photos, but I intend to start posting more recipes and photos on this blog.
Anyway, my posting might cease again (no surprise) for awhile, too busy packing, studying for exams and practice exams, and seeing family and friends before leaving.
I really think it's about time I did a post. I know, this year I have been a complete failure when it comes to blogging, but... life has taken it's own turns, so I've just had to cope with it. I'm going to do an honest post. I want to share with everyone the struggles and triumphs after the earthquake, and how I'm dealing with everything.
Am I still 100% raw? Unfortunately no. Organic food is verrrrry expensive in Wellington. I am about 70% raw throughout the day. This is what I usually eat day to day.
1 glass of Kombucha
1 glass of freshly squeezed juice (usually contains carrots, apples, wheatgrass/kale/silverbeet, oranges, pineapple)
Small bowl of homemade cooked vegan soup (usually contains leek or pumpkin, agria potatoes, onion, organic olive oil)
Or if I'm eating 100% raw for the day I'll either have
More juice from lunch, or a small bowl of miso soup.
*Throughout the day I also snack on seasonal fruit, and occasionally raw treats like cake and ice cream.
I usually have maybe 3-4 days a week where I try to be 100% raw. But the strange and funny thing is, I don't even care about percentages anymore. I measure things by how my body feels.
I resented cooked food for a long time. I hated the way it made me feel. I was convinced it would hurt me. I still support those ideas, though. I know the way processed foods make me feel, it's no secret that they don't support the body. Since moving, I tried to comfort myself with foods from my past (that were vegan, but when you binge it makes no difference), in the mistaken idea that they would make me feel better. BIG MISTAKE, I gained about 28lbs. Not cool, at all. I ate a lot of bread, rice, oats, chips, and flour that really just made my life worse. I don't blame me though, I was confused, depressed, lost, torn, and just really screwed up in general. It was also because we were staying with someone who had these foods easily accessible. I also got into some unhealthy patterns of fasting. I want to warn people (especially young people) about their intentions when it comes to fasting, and also urge people who are or want to fast to seek proper support. I didn't have good intentions while fasting, and bingeing on cooked food immediately afterwards just confused my body even more.
When we moved to our little flat in the beautiful Aro Valley, I immediately tried to go 100% raw, but after eating so much 'white food' all I could eat was muesli, nuts, seeds, and as much fat as possible. It really made no difference. I was upset about the way my body looked and felt. I wasn't used to being 'fat' again, especially after being so comfortable and happy in my old slim figure. I relapsed off being raw, and then of course I tried to go raw again, and then relapsed. This continued for awhile. I got very depressed, not just about my completely ridiculous eating habits, but also because I felt like the earthquake had ruined my entire life. I'm not going to lie, I was crying every single day, and seriously contemplated suicide. I was behind in schoolwork, and I couldn't concentrate at all, which for me was difficult, as I was a straight A student. I still got As surprisingly, but I still found myself depressed, and being away from Josh (one of my best friends) upset me all the more. I didn't want to go to a normal high school, because I felt it would distract me more, and the only person I saw for about 4 months was my mum and her boyfriend, and I hardly even left the house, because I actually stopped fitting my clothes for awhile :/
I discovered after visiting the doctor that I had low iron. It was true, if we went out I would come home and end up being able to do nothing for about 5 hours afterwards, yet, at the same time I also had insomnia, where I couldn't sleep till about 2 or 3 in the morning.
We bought a Hurom juicer. Possibly one of the best purchases ever made! We started having juice everyday, and I did start losing weight again, but I had an insatiable appetite for cooked food and craved it madly. When I was raw vegan before the earthquake I would eat hardly anything, which I couldn't help, because I wasn't really hungry often, and I didn't need much for unlimited energy.
Now for the event that changed my life. My mum (who had suddenly become the social butterfly) had made a friend while gardening in the community garden called Lyndsey. My mum told her our plight and Lyndsey, who was very interested in EFT (also known as tapping) suggested that we come round to her house and try some. My mum went, but I didn't. I was a recluse at that stage haha. She came back with a spring in her step and a twinkle in her eye, which I'm aware sounds rather strange, but she told me it was great and that we should try it together. So we did. My food issues were the principle stress in my life, and I knew exactly what I didn't want. I didn't want to be tempted by cooked food, I didn't want to binge on cooked food, I didn't want to be thinking of food constantly, I didn't want to be bloated, I wanted to be raw, I wanted to weigh the same I had before the earthquake. We tapped on these issues. At first it didn't work, and I started crying again. We tapped again a few more times, without much change, but we started to change up the issues a bit more.
Then it was like I woke up. Something changed. I don't even know what it really was. I stopped needing to eat all the time, I stopped craving foods, I stopped bingeing, I stopped stressing, I stopped telling myself how much I hated myself. As of today I have lost about 20lbs. We continued tapping on other issues in our lives, and I feel as though I've left behind so many issues that were constantly plaguing me my whole life. I had a whole new energy about me.
Something else exciting happened after that, but I think this post is already too long, so I'm just going to leave that till next time.
A week (or two) ago, we went to the local doctor's to get ourselves 'signed up' should the godforsaken happen and we actually need their help. They were really lovely, anyway, and I was really impressed when they were impressed by my raw veganism. To quote the doctor, "I personally wouldn't recommend milk myself."
Sadly for me, since the earthquake very very strange things have happened to my body. First of all, I gained 10kg, which is about 20lbs (or a bit more), and I have had quite bad depression, lack of concentration, and low energy, among other things. Strangely, even though my mum and I eat the exact same diet, she has not gained any weight and doesn't suffer from any of these symptoms.
I have also been having completely random episodes of bloating, where I feel like my stomach is about to burst, and then a very painful stomach that's impossible to sleep on.
When we received the results, everything on my mum's were perfect, but then I found out, shock horror, that I had low iron! Though we were happy that our B12 were great. I have heard that sometimes earthquake trauma can cause iron levels to be depleted, as I never had this problem before this whole thing, but oh my word, I am so over this. It follows wherever I go.