I embarked on my raw vegan path 8 years ago now. It started several years before, actually, when I read The Essene Gospel of Peace. Even though the words were very clear in that book, it didn’t actually occur to me there was such a thing as a raw vegan lifestyle until several years later when I read UNCOOKED by Juliano. At that time, my self-remark was, “Well, I guess if I ever get sick I’ll go raw.” Lo and behold, a couple years later, I had become quite fatigued and had headaches which lasted four days in a row. One day I simply woke up and remembered my promise to myself. I went raw. Practically the next day, a physical trainer named Robert showed up in my life, who happened to know David Wolfe and be raw himself. We ended up collaborating on a class at a local Unity church, where I facilitated the consciousness piece and he facilitated the raw foods and workouts. I literally went 100% raw overnight. I felt horrible for three months. After 6 months, I was feeling better and was no longer hypoglycemic. My weight lowered, my energy increased, the headaches were gone, and I felt great. Of course the additional result was that my family’s belief in my total wackiness increased. Ah, life. Allow, allow, allow. This motto helps maintain a positive attitude in the midst of just about anything. As the Buddha said, “Nothing can resist a nonresistant person.” So as I moved forward, sharing my new recipes and my newfound inspiration and health with several friends who were very intrigued, Richmond, Virginia began to get the raw upgrade. There were three of us. Me, MeMe Davis and Alive & Raw’s Lynda Carter. We started holding Raw Vegan Potlucks. David Wolfe, Paul Nissan and a few other great raw teachers were among the first to come through. The Richmond Raw Vegan Community grew and we now have over 150 members on our meetup site. My friend Rob Murphy is now heading up the Richmond Raw Vegan Meetup. He is getting his health back by leaps and bounds after a triple bypass, drinking green smoothies daily. Even his hair, once tinged with gray and turning lighter, is now fuller and dark. We have a great group in Richmond.
Friend by friend, potluck by potluck and one free educational event at our local health food stores at a time, our raw reknown grew in Richmond. Now, MeMe is in NYC, Lynda is in Richmond, Petersburg and DC, and I am travelling widely working on diverse events for raw foods, ecology and higher consciousness raising. The early days of RAW were also very exciting, as there was a feeling of a building of something new. People were startled yet open when they started hearing me talk about enzymes, mineralization & bodily rejuvenation. They didn’t have to hear my words, they could see it for themselves. “You look like a teenager,” one woman said one day after not having seen me for a while since before I had gone raw. In my eighth raw year, I am still and continually grateful for friends who inspire me. In my recent travels, I have been a ‘raw vegan who occasionally eats healthy vegan cooked food,” mostly because I have been spending time with amazing, conscious, awake people who don’t eat all raw. Somehow, my body had healed enough to where I could ‘get away’ with bits of cooked food and still feel fine. My preference is always to eat 100% raw, because philosophically, physically and logically, this is what ‘works’ best for me. And… it’s important for me to stay this side of dogmatism with food choices — to always feel I’m doing what I’m doing out of a personal sense of liberation and choice, not self-imposed ‘shoulds.’
I had the pleasure of spending some time with Janabai Amsden of Rawvolution last weekend here in the Bay Area, and her Raw Tenacity has been turned on full force for years. Being with her among my many friends helped me to get my RAW back on steady. Friends and the Circle of Community is so important with creating ease in such a central part of our lives – Eating. It is not a judgment for me any more, even if in the ‘old days’ I had moments of rawghteousness… eating is such an inner calling and to shift one’s entire dietary lifestyle is a huge change, as some have said, probably the biggest change a person will ever make in their lives. I celebrate people feeling free to choose their own dietary life path.
And, simultaneously while holding the space of unconditional love for all choices, — and for the freedom of choice itself — because I have witnessed so many amazing healings from Raw Veganism, I do have an inner drive to share this wisdom with others. Raw Veganism, the sustainable feast, is friendlier to the planet, makes for a healthier, happier physical experience of life, and it is a more direct connect between humans and Nature. Humans are, after all, a part of Nature. We are a part of Nature.
So while I am at peace with food choices made by others, I am holding the high watch, and ever on the lookout for opportunities to inspire people to ‘add more’ of what I feel is the most sumptious, loving, delicious, colorful and healthful way of eating on the planet – raw veganism.
Special thanks, for with gorgeous help and inspirations from my friends, I’m keeping it RAW.