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THE RAW FOOD DIET: SOCIALLY ISOLATING?

ONE ASPECT OF DIGESTIVE FREEDOM IS THE ABILITY TO MAKE CHOICES AROUND FOOD, AND TO NOT BE MANIPULATED BY OUR ADDICTIONS. A BOTTOM LINE WAY TO BECOME MORE CONFIDENT, PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY, IS TO IMPROVE DIGESTIVE HEALTH.

Not everyone who eats a raw food diet feels socially isolated, but some people do. It is probably one of the major reasons people do not continue eating a 100% raw food diet. Another is the obsessive ideal of maintaining a  100%  raw food diet. Eating an organic raw food diet is sometimes explored  because so many people do not feel well. Often having  tried macrobiotic,  vegetarian and vegan diets they decide to give something more austere a try. The social support for eating 100% raw is very limited.  Forming a community based on what people eat makes sense on paper, but for the majority it  is not practical or desirable.

A strategy that can work for everyone  is to strengthen our digestive systems to process incoming toxins. Also, to  eliminate toxins already present in our bodies. This strategy can lead to living in this world and  making  choices that empower  us. To be able to make food and lifestyle choices and to overcome food addictions is a goal for many people. It may not always be something people manage to prioritize. Often this vision falls by the wayside of everyday life. Completely understandable.

Eating organic foods in their simplest form has many benefits. It feels the best when it is a choice and not a prescription to follow. A prescription that feels like a life sentence. Again, not everyone feels this way. Not everyone will allow themselves to admit to it. However, raw food followers often dread mainstrem social events, family gatherings, traveling becomes difficult. In the end some relationships are severed because of food restrictions and lifestyle differences. This is sad to me and both sides are responsible and suffer. Crazy.

To feel alive and healthy is to make choices based on how we feel. To make choices from the place of addiction is a major cause of failing health. Possessing strong bacterial flora in the intestines is the crux of internal strength. This allows us the freedom to explore the world and not be restricted by the food that may or may not be available. To be able to taste the cuisine of other cultures and not fall ill due to our weak digestion. To not be afraid of food and know that we can make healthy choices in every situation. To easily resume our usual way of eating without addictive cravings. This is one aspect of  biological freedom, this is what happens when our micro flora bank account is far from being overdrawn.

If you are a person who was drawn to the raw food diet and is finding it hard to maintain it, you are not alone. Many raw food proponents promise  digestive wellness without ever clearly defining what that exactly means. I have often read and heard that having a bowel movement after each meal is a sign of digestive health. What is not mentioned is the quality of the elimination. The form, size, color, odor [ or lack of ], and whether it floats or sinks. I imagine people becoming uncomfortable with the mention of all these details that they live with everyday. Ironic.

My experience in giving colonics to people, to myself  and receiving them [since the late 1970’s] has lead me to finding more questions than answers to what constitutes a healthy gut.  I was originally attracted to David Wolfe’s Longevity Now Program because he was questioning why many raw food eaters do not outlive there contemporaries. His program is very informative, but did not specifically pinpoint improving digestive health. For many people following his program would very positively effect their digestion. The LNP  greatly focuses on the over consumption of inorganic calcium and the inability to utilize it. This is a simplification, but in essence fairly accurate.

Donna Gates has been included in  later Longevity Now Conferences. Truth Calkins is another. There information is some that I am familiar with and have utilized. Grateful for their research and hard work, they’ve  educated me. Their work has helped me appreciate the work of Donna Pessin and  The Unique Healing. I feel her program can be right for many people, especially if you have tried  other methods  of improving digestive potency and have not attained digestive freedom.

Donna Gates  Body Ecology Diet  click here. This book is worth reading.

Truth Calkins is part of David Wolfe’s  Best Day Ever click here and Longevity Now Programs.

Donna Pessin / Unique Healing click here. This is the most comprehensive explanation of  how to heal the gut and regain health. She has compiled 70 videos on youtube along with her blog, website and two books. Keep an open mind if you are a raw food eater, vegan, experienced juice feaster and /or juice faster. If you decide to investigate DP and UHP, please be aware of  the audience of high protein and SAD people she, on the surface, seems to be primarily addressing. When you really get what she is saying, you will realize it applies to all of us.

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SODIUM BENTONITE CLAY: THE UNIQUE HEALING PROGRAM DONNA PESSIN

FEELING SECURE ON THE MOST PRIMAL LEVEL: THE GUT

So much time, energy and worry is given to how to avoid the unavoidable environmental toxic substances on this earth. While we all need to be conscious and educated as to what we can do to limit our exposure, there is only one sure way to have some kind of peace of mind : strengthen our own immune systems.

IT IS IN OUR GUT

It has been estimated that 70% to 80% of our immune system defense lies within the microflora of our gut. This protection is weakened by the constant exposure to the toxic elements that our gut is meant to defend us from. This is job is  compounded because of the exhaustive challenges of the modern world. Other more personal challenges include the health and lifestyles of our parents and ancestors, medical histories, where and how we live and so much more.

After many years of receiving colonics, administering them as a colon therapist, experimenting with cleansing diets, herbal cleanses, Macrobiotic style eating and cleansing, 13 years of experimenting with raw food eating, juicing and juice feasting I have become grateful for the internet and all that it provides. Through the internet I was able to watch some videos that helped provide, what I know and believe, is one of the primary missing links for my healing: bentonite clay.

THE UNIQUE HEALING PROGRAM DONNA PESSIN

I plan to write more about bentonite and my experience with the Unique Healing program, but in the meantime I highly suggest watching The Unique Healing Program videos on youtube that explain many of the concepts I have very lightly touched upon here, especially sodium bentonite clay. What bentonite clay does is to harness new toxins that are being absorbed and those stored in our bodies from the past.  Toxins get  loosened up by cleansing diets and sodium bentonite clay absorbs and helps remove them from the body efficiently. I did not experience as profound an  outcome when I used zeolite drops or clay. I also did not come across anyone touting Zeolite clay or drops to specifically heal the upper and lower GI tract.

Sodium bentonite clay helps to absorb and collect toxins, by absorbing acidity, which creates a formed bowel. IBS and other bowel irregularities are due to not enough healthy intestinal flora – healthy bowel bacteria. Without that the body becomes a cesspool, saturated in its own waste products.  This problem is universal and epidemic. The amount of commercials in all forms of media for digestive and gut over the counter drugs speaks volumes.

The detoxifying aspect of sodium bentonite clay is profound. Eliminating toxins creates a feeling of less stress physically and mentally. By absorbing toxins in our bowel, bentonite clay can only help our micro flora replenish themselves and perform more efficiently. This is one aspect of how  sodium bentonite clay is a also a de-stressor. The feeling of relief is one we can all appreciate, understand on some level, or want to experience.

The Unique Healing Program Donna Pessin.  70 videos on youtube and growing click here.

I have written a few posts about Unique Healing recently because I am so grateful to have found something that is so straight forward and makes so much sense. After using natural methods to try to heal my gut for many, many years I have not been able to find long term solutions. I believe the creator of this program, books and videos offers some vital answers. What is really amazing is that you can get a really good feel for whether it is for you or not without initially spending any money. The videos are a great start, and may lead to a minimal expenditure with her two books. At least there is a minimal outlay to figure out whether this is something you may want to investigate further.

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RATIONALIZING FOOD ADDICTION

THE COMFORT OF FOOD AND “RELIGION”

There is something that I have noticed over the many years of attending groups that often take place at healing centers, yoga satsangs, churches, temples and synagogues. I have not, as of  yet, been to a mosque. In general, the physical health of the majority of the attendees does not look very strong to me. On the other hand, when I have been to fitness, yoga, or athletic events there is often a hard competitive edge to the buff crowd. Add to that a strong sense of superficiality. The fitness crowd usually does  look better, at least on the surface. Plus the majority of the crowd are younger. This is a generalization, and a pretty reliable one. I do realize there are people that work on embracing both physical and spiritual health. But my experience is they are not the majority.

MAC AND CHEESE WILL  ALWAYS PLEASE

At this time, I live in a desert area of southern California. There are a few healing centers that I have gone to for different kinds of group activities and workshops. There are some churches that we have attended for social events with friends who are members. A NYC and Upstate NY second home owner of the past, I have gone to many church events, while living there.  At 99% of these church events there is usually a very welcoming feeling and the people seem kind. The food served is a mixed bag of 1960’s health food, mainstream comfort food and just plain junk. The message I derive from my experiences may be a stretch for some: The connection between health and the quality of what we eat has not been concluded by medical science. Also, the belief that food is the primary substance that is  more than okay to  have an overriding weakness for. The other is work. It is okay eat to comfort yourself about how much you hate your job.

One message: traditional medicine is the “go to” place for aches, pains and whatever else that ails you. Back that up with some crystal, reiki or other kind of healing therapy. You can try eating “healthy”, but when it comes to long term health, that  is a crap shoot. You might as well indulge, meditate, chant and pray. In the end you will probably go down the traditional path and end up in the hospital, assisted living or nursing home. Oy.

In this desert community there is not, to my knowledge, a significant health conscious community, but it is not completely absent. There are some individuals out there. This is evident because of the existence some health food stores and a couple of organic restaurants. The main thing that draws many to explore healthier living, in my experience, is from a broad and very personal array of reasons. Curiosity sometimes sparked by fear and paranoia from the media and their intuitive sense. In some cases just plain old common sense. Many people are questioning the way family members, as well as themselves, have suffered from our societal way of living, eating and the traditional medical paradigm. They are observing that band- aiding symptoms, both physical and mental, with drugs really is not working. Band-aiding with supplements ain’t workin’ either. This will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

A RABBIT HOLE

My point is that many are deeply limited by their addictions. The religious / spiritual rationale that we are just human. not sacred deities, is  a rationalization to not change. Food and work are the most acceptable addictions in all kinds of communities. The use of new age spirituality or traditional religion as a crutch is pervasive. To not face the responsibility that we all have to ourselves and to our community is destroying our collective and individual health. It is also destroying our economy. What is our responsibility? To face how the quality and quantity of what we eat, and the way we live, and using drugs to mask symptoms deeply effects our health, our families, communities and the world.

Pay now or pay later is a reality. This truth is greatly ignored because of the addictive nature of people which is exploited by the powerful fast food, drug and other  industries. How many of us are invested through the stock market in the same companies that are destroying the ecological health of the planet and its citizens? We can not afford to be sick and yet, we are so addicted to the things that are creating ill health. It is a huge blind spot.

The other night at an evening workshop, one of the attendees mentioned that it was their birthday. In their late 50’s, someone wished them many more years. The person recanted with a “no thanks” and that they had had their share of life’s lessons. Not verbatim, but damn close. Look, everyone has their experience here and it is definitely not all the same. Obviously, this person’s words were heard by me. I am not going to go into my perception of the general  appearance of this person, but it was not good.

Our addictions are sickening us and numbing many, many individuals from taking  meaningful, or any, action. At this time I live in an area where many people glorify the 1950’s. Steak houses, martini cocktails, cigarettes, streets names after that eras icons, and gas guzzling cars are proudly driven. I understand these romanticized feelings, but it is an anchor that is no longer truly stabilizing us. It is pulling us down. Spirituality and  religion are, on a greater scale. deeply helpful when they lift us up. Putting our heads in the ground until the time for our physical bodies to return there does not sound like something to aspire to. More like the last hours of the Titanic.

What typifies the disconnect can be seen in the protestation of Sarah Palin in November of  2010.  Her behavior after Michele Obama proposed her desire to encourage daily fitness and  lessen / eliminate  sugary and refined foods in the schools. Palin showed up at school with sugary cookies. Her argument?  That government should stay out of what we feed our children. Similar, in my mind, are the people at churches and healing centers, often struggling with health problems. People looking for healing and not addressing the issue from one of  the most primal areas: the quality and quantity of the food that we put into our mouths.

Just to reiterate, I do know there are people who are spiritually connected and very health conscious. I acknowledge these people. I am one of them.

THE BODIES BRAIN: THE GUT

There are ways to live in society, make healthy choices, not feel helpless around sugar. Constantly arm wrestling with food and other addictions is exhausting. I am currently exploring the website and videos of The Unique Healing Program Donna Pessin. Her work is designed to heal the body and mind at one of the most primal levels, the digestive system and gut. Truly worth checking out.

Postscript 12/2013: I have been part of the Unique Healing Program Donna Pessin since 3/2013. I highly recommend researching her information. It has truly changed my life for the better. It is not a quick fix, but I do believe a lasting one.

notyourrawmama


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RED MOUNTAIN FOODS, PATAGONIA, AZ.

THE HEART OF PATAGONIA, ARIZONA CAN BE FOUND AT RED MOUNTAIN FOODS!

In December of 2010 my husband, I and our two dogs, Hazel and Lester, left New York City and traveled by car across country. We made several stops, but the  primary place that was on our list,  before reaching Los Angles, was Patagonia, Arizona. Our main reason for visiting Patagonia was the Tree of Life Center founded by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD.  I was interested in meeting one member of his staff concerning an injury. Our weekend experience had us return for a longer stay a couple of weeks later. We rented a place in nearby Elgin, Az. and a month late Patagonia. Patagonia is a very intimate town and finding an available rental is not so easy.

Anyway, I could get into a whole lot of details that might give more texture and color to this story, but I won’t. I just want to get to the inspiration for writing this post, and that is Red Mountain Foods of Patagonia. Red Mountain has two dedicated and caring owners, and a great staff. In there original location, when we discovered it, they had an amazing array of organic and high quality non-organic foods, produce and much more in a very, very, very  cramped space. They have since moved close by and have more space and products. Everything they carry is a reflection of the owners and their customers. It is a refreshing bit of inspired “small”  business success. I have to say that their is nothing small about Red Mountain Foods except square footage. That has all changed.

The Tree of Life was a bit of a disappointment for us. It lacked what Red Mountain Foods radiated. We lived in Patagonia for approximately five months. I can say that when I think of Patagonia I remember Red Mountain Foods. It is the heartbeat of this beautiful high desert town in the south eastern part of Arizona. Hats off to Annie, Barry and the entire staff of Red Mountain Foods for their beautiful new store and all the hard work they put into building their business.

For some basic information about Red Mountain Foods click here.

Total population of Patagonia, as of 7/2011, on record at 918. Yes, you read it right, nine hundred and eighteen people. Coming from NYC, or almost anywhere, that is one intimate town. There is nothing small about Patagonia.

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THE RAW FOOD MOVEMENT: WHAT IS IT? IS THERE ONE?

RAW FOOD MOVEMENT OR BUSINESS MODEL?

Gary Craog, the founder of EFT / Emotional Freedom Technique, has said that in order to know what the market will bear all is needed is a little research. Does product listing of prices of product, product sales  constitute   a movement – diet?  In the market place there are more products being sold that mention the words Raw and Raw Food then ever before. Not just the things that are obviously raw, like fruits and vegetables, but the packaged / dehydrated stuff, the nut butters, supplements, super foods and more. Eating raw foods is  great adjunct to any kind of diet, or as the largest percentage of food intake for many. It is also being sold as a complete way of eating and lifestyle.

To eat only raw foods is not a guaranteed road to better health. It is an indicator of the quality of health of each persons digestion who embarks upon it. What does that mean?  To have some or an increase of  burping, farting, loose bowels, constipation,  hemorrhoids, rectal itching, vaginal itching, ear itching, bad breath, skin rashes and skin break outs can be early signs that the raw food diet is releasing too many toxins – acids into the blood stream. Notice that the immediate and unpleasant symptoms very often occur at the orifices of the body.

WHAT TO DO?

Temporarily slowing down the cleansing symptoms can occur with more vegetables, much less fruit and some steamed foods. It is important to understand acid and alkaline forming food balancing. Notice the kind of foods you crave and let that be a barometer for what you may need to avoid or greatly limit. The truth often hurts. The things we most like are often not so good for us. Recognizing that opens the door for things do get better.

There is much information about the raw food diet on the internet. On the surface it sounds like a great idea. One thing I can caution people about is that the proponents of the diet are often sales persons for  products that are on their websites. Some of these people have basic good intentions, but they can have another agenda that blurs their original intention to help people. Making money and helping others can be, when done in earnest, very profitable.

Here are some thought about the raw food business:

1) Raw food business owners / gurus are very often extremists who sell to other extremists– and they really know that psychology. Eating all fruit, juicing or juice feasting for 90 days, 100 raw, water fasting, etcetera. This may, at first and for short periods of time, work for some people. For most, depending on age, health history, exposure to environmental pollutants, family home, city living, etcetera, it is probably way too cleansing. It takes way, way, way more than 90 days, a colon cleanse or two to deeply improve the health of most people. It is a great door opener and it could, for a limited few, have a deep effect on their cellular health. For real healthy people this would not be the case. What do I mean by real healthy? Well formed bowels, that are very regular, do not have a bad odor, digestive complaints are none to few, have not been exposed to a bevy of environmental toxins. Get the idea? Very few people meet this description. If  you do, you are part of a very small percentage of our populatin and probably would not seek out a raw food diet in the first place!

2) Raw food entrepreneurs are younger, may have less toxins to clear and  do not know the long term repercussions of their diet choices. They may have a much lower load of heavy metal related toxins, drugs, antibiotics, and other environmental toxins to clear. Their knowledge is limited because of their years on the planet. They ARE great spokes people for selling the Raw Food Lifestyle because people feel inspired by their energy, healthy look and promise of eternal youth.

3) Many of the raw food spokes people are men and are not qualified to give advice to women of any age. Case closed. Recommending a high fruit diet to women is usually not going to work for the vast majority. It may take longer for younger women to figure this out. Yeast infections usually come with sugar addiction. These powerful cravings are a real draw to a raw diet high in fruit. The  80 /10 /10 diet  of mostly fruit is one example.  Again, it might work for some, but for how long? The addiction to sugar can really blind our choices.

4) People who define themselves Raw Food-ists and make a living from that definition, have an image to maintain. Why? Because their business is based on that identity. Most importantly this is how they make a living, and in some cases a very, very good one. Ironically, they often tell people that being 100% raw is not the best plan for most everyone. Matt Monarch is one person who says this, but implies that to be completely raw is something virtuous. Is it? He would probably deny that he implies this. See for yourself if you choose to view his many youtube videos.

There is a lot more to say here, but improving digestion is the primary component for really good health. Period. Removing heavy metals, controlling and eliminating parasites, fungal  and bacterial infections by strengthening the immune systen [aka, improving gut health] is the answer.

HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

Here are some ideas:

The Best Day Ever has some really good information on Candida. You can find lectures by Truth Calkins and information from other people. Interviews with David Wolfe are available. His Longevity Now first edition is something I am familiar with and can personally recommend as a good resource for some ideas on how to improve digestive health and begin to eliminate acidity and toxins throughout the body.

The Unique Healing Program Donna Pessin truly sums up what is necessary for better digestion and health. Ms. Pessin personally designed The Unique Healing Program over the past 25 years. Her personal journey to find better health created her program. The Unique Healing Program is an investment of time, money that is worth every minute and buck. I am in the beginning stages of learning about what she does and implementing some of her products. She has 70 + videos on Youtube.

Postscript 12/2012: Have been on The Unique Healing Program since March of 2012 and have never looked back. Investigate it and if it makes any sense to you, do yourself a favor and get on board.

Donna Gates and her Body Ecology Diet are worth checking out. Creating better digestive health and understanding Candida overgrowth is her main emphasis. The Unique Healing Program is the most complet answer for healing bowel and digestive problems. Hands down, this is my experience.

Get some colonics, do some enemas, look into home colonic units. Do some research. It is all for our benefit to know more.

EFT / Gary Craig / Tapping is a helpful adjunct to improve health and life in general.

Depending where you are  on your quest for better health you may want to check out EDTA suppositories by Remedy Link and a seller of their products Peak Health Now. Lots of information on this PHN website. Ellen Landauer, founder of PHN, offers one on one sessions for guidance on these products and others that she sells. Have not spoken with her personally. Look at her website and let that inform you as to whether you want to go down that road.

Is there a raw food movement? There is a market place for the products. I know one thing, incorporating the knowledge of raw foods, super foods, etcetera into your life is embarking on a road of self discovery and better living. The thing it is missing is how to absorb all the toxins the diet loosens up. That is where The Unique Healing Program comes in.

I hope this information will help.

notyourrawmama