To some people, this may come across as the most boring blog topic ever. To me, it is a lesson in knowing yourself, while learning how to become your best self.
My husband and I last had a cooked meal the day after Christmas with family. I had eaten a green curry with vegetables and rice. It was delicious, but the rice seemed to expand a bit painfully in my stomach. I may also have over eaten that night. Since then we have been completely raw, with the exception of a bit of maple syrup or an olive or two. I have lost weight. Puffiness under my chin and jawline has gone down significantly. My cystic-acne prone skin has seen some significant improvements. I have not had a single boil recently, which I had suffered from frequently before.
My switching to a raw diet has also included quite a few other changes. We have removed most of the chemical cleaning and beauty products from our house. Our son is eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as taking herbal supplements and consuming much less dairy (we are hoping to ease our way away from dairy altogether, eventually).
Last week, as a departure from my son's dairy cheese pizza, I made him a pizza with Chao cheese (made from fermented soy and coconut oil), homemade sauce (tomatoes, olive oil, and spices), and sprouted wheatberry frozen crust. He ate two slices, half of what was placed before him. If you knew my son, and what a challenge new foods can be, you would say this was a mild success. I asked him if there was something about the pizza which could be better, and he said, "The sauce." So next time I will use some organic sauce from a jar, but for this time I had six pieces of vegan pizza that would likely not be eaten when reheated.
So, after a busy Saturday rushing around, getting my son shoes and a haircut, getting groceries from two locations, buying pet food, and fighting traffic, we finally made it home by 6 PM. The pizza was still sitting there. It was either going in the trash or our stomachs.
Now the moral dilemma came into play. We have been eating raw for our health benefits, and we have felt them. We are not interested in dogma for its own sake. We do not like to waste food or money either, but we don't want to revert back to our old ways when we are so happy with the path we have taken. So what did we do? We loaded the pizza with mushrooms and green peppers, warmed it up and ate it.
Impacts? Not that good, but not that bad. We were not emotionally eating. We were not wasting. The food was still vegan and relatively healthy, but also an out of the ordinary treat and viewed as such. The taste was nothing astounding, and didn't seem much different than raw pizzas I have been creating. I didn't feel sick afterwards, but I didn't feel particularly energetic either.
Sometimes it can be better for your emotional health to be 99%. Living to fit a standard that you did not even write can limit what you actually want to achieve. I want to be healthy, and obsessing about what I do not eat is not healthy. Eating the Standard American Diet is not healthy either. Whether it is the raw norm, the vegan norm, or the SAD norm, I am not interested. I am interested in what will make me and my family thrive.
This scenario speaks of a broader issue which everyone faces in their own way. Vegans condemning others for eating honey and still using the term vegan. Religions and political parties coming down on their own members for not agreeing on specific issues. Where does the humanity fit in? When can we just be viewed, not by our categorizations, but as the choices we make and the goals we set out to achieve?
Will I eat a cooked meal every few months? Probably. Will I still make raw food, take pictures and write about raw veganism? Of course. Because while I cannot say that it is always the right choice for every person 100% of the time, I do believe it has been the best choice, for me, the greater majority of the time.