The Health 101 Newsletter

Issue 3
Your Questions Answered
 In each of these newsletters I will address one of the issues you have
 asked me to write about, and that's what this column is devoted to.

The Raw Food Diet: Successes and failures, why?
By Don Bennett, DAS

What seems to be most on your minds is the subject of "why the successes and the failures on the raw food diet?" I touched on one of the reasons in the last newsletter; there being more than one kind of "raw food diet". So to have the best odds of success, it's important that you adopt a raw food approach that will end up having worked for you, long term, and not one that just appears to work for you in the short term. How do you know which raw food diet this is? There are some tests that I discuss in my book that can help you determine what you're designed to eat and what you're not designed to eat. The tests are the "Can you eat it as is" test, the "Can you make a meal of it" test, and the "Mmmm" test. There are also many articles about the raw food diets on the website.

You should also subject the diet you're considering to certain scrutiny. Nationally advertised weight loss plans spend tons of money to create a program that will be appealing to the greatest number of people. The purveyors of some raw food programs do something similar (sad but true). You should know that the easiest plan to adopt is not necessarily the plan that will get you the best results in the long run. And if the "best results" means never getting a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness or resolving a serious health problem that you currently have, having to do some work to achieve success is worth it in my opinion. If the picture that's painted by the raw food educator sounds fun and delicious and easy, then that program is not likely going to be in your best interest health-wise, which is one of the reasons you looked into the raw food diet. I touched on this subject in the last newsletter also.

If it sounds too good to be true...

To be successful, avoid like the plague those educators who advise "doing whatever works for you" because you're not going to really know what works for you for a very long time. And that's why it's critical to choose the right diet and lifestyle plan from the get-go. And if they're promoting "different diets for different people" I'd run from them as fast as you can if I were you because every animal on this planet has a species specific diet, and humans are no exception; the pace at which we adopt a new diet is the individual thing.

Don't embrace a particular diet just because you like the health educator who's promoting it, or because you like what he or she is saying. A diet and lifestyle plan should respect your bio-physiology; your design. Believing that a particular plan will work for you is nice, but believing that a diet that you're not designed to eat will work for you, won't make it so. (When you think about, it's actually better that you adopt a diet and lifestyle plan that will end up giving you what you want even though you didn't think it would work.) But the best scenario is knowing that what you are doing will work because you have the knowledge needed to support your efforts. And by-the-way, knowledge is truthful information that you understand. Incorrect information that you believe to be true is not knowledge. This is why knowledge is power and information is just information.

So obviously, one reason people are unsuccessful on a raw food diet is because they're following an unhealthy or unsustainable raw food diet. But lets assume from this point forward that you are following the healthiest of the raw food diets. Another reason for failure is not giving it enough time. It's been said that it takes about one year to undo the damage from every four years of unhealthy living. Of course this is a generalization, and how long it actually takes you depends on a number of variables. But I can tell you that people who are trying to resolve an ill-health issue often get impatient and either give up or change ships midstream. Or they misinterpret symptoms that arise, and take them to mean that what they're doing isn't working, when in fact those symptoms mean just the opposite. And this underscores the importance of knowing what to expect, or of being counseled by someone who knows what's going on and can explain it to you so that you understand it.

It ain't just physical

Another reason for failing to stick with a healthy raw food diet is emotions. We all want to be with like-minded people. These are the people we feel most comfortable with. I've seen strangers in a bar who were rooting for the same sports team revel with each other as if they'd been friends for years, and I've seen people come to blows because they were cheering for different teams. So when everyone you hang around with eats differently than you do, this can make it difficult to stick with a healthy eating plan, especially if you're being given grief by your friends and family members. On the other hand, if your close friends and family are supportive of your efforts, this can make a world of difference. Just understand that those who tell you – in no uncertain terms – that what you're doing is crazy or unhealthy are saying this not because they are experts on psychosis or nutrition, but because they see what you are doing as a condemnation of their lifestyle habits, or because they want you back on their team so they can feel comfortable with you again. Yes, there can be folks who are genuinely concerned about you, but they will end up supporting you because they care enough about you to take the time to look at the science that supports your chosen path that you share with them. And even though it's "not for me", they will still support your efforts because they truly care about you (and that's one way to tell if someone really does care about you; will they take the time to understand what you're doing, or will they just dismiss everything you say out-of-hand).

Another emotional reason for falling off and staying off the wagon is this: with improved physical functioning comes improved emotional functioning. And for many people this means having to come to grips with any underlying things that have been bothering their subconscious. These issues, many of them "unresolved issues", can bubble up to the surface and need to be dealt with. If you can't deal with them directly, head on, then the only other way to deal with them is to put them back wherever they were. And we intuitively know how to do this: put whatever you were doing in reverse. So to prevent this from happening, seek counsel of some sort. Going over with someone the reasons you are making these modifications to your lifestyle practices so you can be reminded of your sound judgment is a good idea. Just don't try and bottle things up to deal with them "at a later date", and certainly don't try to deny that you're feeling something.

This improved emotional functioning can indeed be a double-edged sword. You'll laugh easier and heartier over the things that make you laugh, you'll be happier about the things that make you happy, and you'll come to appreciate life and all the good things life has to offer (and may even be able to comprehend the expression, "the best things in life are free"), but you'll also be more aware of the things that are potentially saddening and disheartening. So to avoid derailing your health creation efforts, make sure you balance these new emotional sensitivities, and don't let yourself become wrapped up in the distressing things; seek out the joy in life... it's there, it just might not be as obvious as the sad 'n disheartening stuff.

A more powerful you?

One last aspect of more robust emotions you should be aware of: you can become more in touch with your own life. You can become aware of where you'd like to be and where you are now, and this can be a huge awakening for some. People can be rattled by this not because of the realization that they're not where they want to be, but because they realize that they are now capable of making changes for the better. This sudden awareness of emotional empowerment can be overwhelming for some. When you've lived a life assuming that you were doing the best you could, and you then realize that you are capable of attaining even greater heights, and that you are more powerful than you imagined, this can be a daunting realization! Type A personalities are usually jazzed about this, while others find it unsettling. And we again seem to intuitively know how to deal with unsettling feelings: stop whatever you were doing that unearthed these newfound powers. So even though you may not automatically know how to handle your newly discovered awareness, embrace them anyway; they will eventually come to serve you well... dwell on that.

So, in a nutshell...

Reasons for failure: following incorrect information • following correct information less than 100% (not giving it "your all") • not giving healing and health restoration enough time • a lot of seesawing back and forth between your diet goal and aspects of your previous diet • allowing yourself to be influenced or affected by others • not having enough support • being derailed by strong emotions that surface • being put off by, and not dealing with conflicting information • thinking that what are actually symptoms of detox are a sign that all is not going well • didn't really want to do it in the first place (did it at the urging of someone else or because you had to) • self-doubt • not eating enough fruit (and thus losing too much weight) and not knowing how to eat enough fruit.

Reasons for success: doing your due diligence and researching the health creation arena so you can find the hard-science-based, reality-based, human-physiology-based, logical and common sense information that you need, and not following someone's advice because they're popular or because you like them or you like what you hear • valuing robust health and wellness-peace-of-mind • knowing and holding very clearly in your mind why you are doing this, and remembering that what's worth doing is worth doing well • unlearning what you need to unlearn and then learning enough so you are confident in what you are doing • surrounding yourself with like-minded people for the support you need, and seeking the guidance of knowledgeable health creation educators (but if you find yourself wondering about something they advocate, don't blindly accept it; research it – health educators are only human) • giving it enough time • making dietary changes at a steady pace • and most important: giving your body what it needs and not giving it what it doesn't want.

Your motivations play a role

I should also point out that those who've been the most successful were not necessarily the ones that had to succeed; where failure wasn't an option because they were dealing with a serious condition. Far too often, after folks who came to the raw food diet because of a health challenge resolved their problem, they felt they were cured and then went back to some or all of their previous habits, and inevitably their problems came back... often with a vengeance (and sometimes they didn't get a second chance to resolve them). But people who make positive changes in their diet and lifestyle practices because they "see the light" are often the ones who achieve the greatest degree of success. This is because they didn't have to do this, they did it because they wanted to; because it was a wise thing to do.

So if you came to the raw food diet out of need, and you want to be successful, your odds of success will be greatly improved if you decide that you want what a healthy diet and lifestyle can give you. The more you value robust health, and the higher it is on your internalized list of priorities, the greater your chances of being the healthiest you that you can be.




Featured Article
from the website

Happiness is...

"...Happiness is a state of mind, and whatever affects your state of mind, obviously affects your ability to be happy. This article will explore the things that influence your state of mind, and therefore your "happiness potential"." (Read the full article...)


A Highly Recommended Documentary

Joe Cross was overweight, and a health disaster in the making. One day he decided to do something about it, and he decided to document his journey. I got to meet Joe at a screening of his film in South Florida, and he understands the value of fruits and vegetables. (Those are his before and after pictures.)

Even though it's the healthiest way to go, it's a fact of life that many people who need some kind of intervention for the sake of their health are not going to ever consider eating a raw food diet. But they might incorporate some juicing into their diet if they could see the benefit. If this film doesn't convince them, nothing will. Highly recommended. Watch the trailer, and consider getting the DVD for those you care about. And you never know, for some people, juicing can be the "gateway" to a healthier diet.





  Quote of the Day


"Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old." - Ralph Waldo Emerson




  Photo of the Day




  Video of the Day


Click the PLAY button above to view
a short video on protein




Item of the Day


The BEST home gym there is!

The Bodylastics home gym is the best exercise/resistance bands made. I recommend the Basic Tension set. It's best to use them following the protocol in this article. Go to their website here.




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