Well this is a big post, one I have been afraid to make but after going within and considering everything I see in the community I really feel its necessary.
Enjoy my new video entitled
“Confessions of a Raw Vegan of 12.5+ years” plus new years resolutions!
Interestingly this is a title I have thought for a long time about, one that I intend to write a full book on documenting and sharing my experiences as a raw vegan. While I will likely do that at some point this video is a snippet from my most recent deviation from the raw diet after 12.5+ years as a raw vegan.
If you want to learn more about my early years with the raw food diet, my past with depression, my biggest binge’s and what I learnt from them, check out this in depth tell all podcast I did with Jackson Foster for his “Plantriotic Podcast”!
In truth this video isn’t a confession as a confession is a admission of guilt or wrong doing, instead this is more of a proclamation or declaration. My biggest wish is to help others find ease with a vegan, high raw vegan or all raw vegan lifestyle, to help make it more attractive and accessible to others! With this video I am calling us all to action as a community to grow in more consciously loving, supportive, encouraging though word and action toward self and others along this path.
The raw food lifestyle is a journey, the kinder we are to ourselves the more smoothly we shall grow in health as we learn through concious experience.
Looking at youtube videos and social media I see a lot of Guilt, Shame, and Judgement in the raw food / vegan community, both toward self and to others. Most often these feelings arise from dualistic thought around food, some food choices being “Good” “Right” “Success” while others are “Bad” “Wrong” or “Failure”. Coming from a holistic perspective, body mind, spirit, holding such energy is certainly is not health promoting nor attractive to those looking in / interested in health creation.
I am a huge believer in experiential growth, that is growing through conscious meditative experiences. In relation to food this looks at aknowledging of those things we truly want, what we are resisting, contimplating the reasons behind our desires and from there making a clear conscious choice. If our choices lead us to eating something we have a judgement on to attempt to let go of any feelings of “right or wrong, good or bad” and instead make a meditation of it, love it with all our hearts, love ourself with all our hearts and be present to grow experientially with it.
Go MUCH deeper into the subject of Emotional eating with this Popular video
In truth I do not think there is a definitive “Right and Wrong” or “Good and Bad” but rather these are value judgements based on our perspective / philosophy / needs.
We could go Much deeper into that in relation to certain issues but for the post at hand lets say we are talking about vegan food choices. Letting go of such dualistic thought and instead coming to a place of choice and experience, a place of knowing all simply is, that each choice we make has consequences and owning up to those realities helps us to drop a lot of the stress and tension around food choices. This way of thinking helps to dissolve resistance which is very helpful as what “they” say is true, What we resist Persists.
The thought I will be Perfect “When” only separates us from our truth, that we are perfect as we are.
To my deviation from what I normally eat / teach, to the confession 😉
A few months ago my girlfriend Lena from Sweden came to visit me in my hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada. Upon arriving she asked what typical canadian cuisine was expressing her wish to eat vegan versions of our most well known / typical meals. My first thought was poutine, partially because it is known as Canadian and partly because it was one of my old favourite foods, one that I have not been able to re create a raw version of.
If you don’t know what poutine is it originates in French Canada and is simply French Fries with Cheese and gravy. When I went vegan 13+ years ago and raw shortly after that there was no quality vegan cheese out there, since Daiya cheese came out a few years ago I have been intrigued. A few friends told me that this new vegan cheese actually melts and tastes like real cheese but is completely vegan. I gotta say I did want to try it but not enough to buy it and try it myself so when Lena wanted to try it for the first time I decided I would try it with her. After feeling out such a decision we talked about a few other meals, most centred around Daiya Cheese, that we could eat together. All in all we shared a handful of cooked vegan meals together, poutine, nachos, pizza as well as a simple meal of rice and beans and a east indian feast with samosa’s, a old favourite I haven’t been able to recreate raw.
Part of the reason I wanted to try these cooked foods after so long eating raw foods, besides the simple desire to try some old favourites with new vegan options, was to see if my old addictive tendencies would still come up. When I first went raw I had such a strong identity around being raw, feeling that any deviation from “perfection” would be failure or bad and wrong, that when I did feel crappy and binged (as talked on in the podcast) I hated myself and was incredibly hard on myself. Through that expereince I learnt first hand that our guilt and judgement of self can effect our physical mentally and spiritual health more profoundly than the effects of food itself. While not universally true, dependant on what is consumed and how much / often, in this case a simple vegan meal may pass through you in a few days and be detoxified to the greatest degree shortly after, but with guilt, we can hold these heavy energy / emotions for weeks months and years. In trying these foods, consciously, deliberately and without judgement I found that the results were not so dramatic beyond feeling a bit slower and worn down for a few days.
This all said I want to make it clear this isn’t a video saying I am going back to cooked foods, in fact it has only strengthened my feelings about raw foods and the raw food diet. I feel stronger in my convictions, that I let go of even more layers of self judgement and guilt and in the end really recognize how far I have come and the self work I have done. I feel blessed to have enjoyed and shared such experiences with my amazing girlfriend and have only gratitude for my choices.
With 2017 just around the corner I am making my new years resolution to habitually come back to heart centre, to grow in the choice to be as loving, supportive, forgiving, encouraging and unconditional as possible with myself and with others.
I invite you to join me in this, to grow the community through conscious thought word and action.
I hope you find this post and the videos attached helpful, wishing you a epic new years with much