Ever wondered why it is that some people stay effortlessly raw or high raw while you keep falling off the wagon? If so, chances are one or more of these factors is at play, says Max Tuck.
1. Being malnourished on raw food. I know this sounds totally counterintuitive, but hear me out… Many people have poor or sluggish digestion. If you can’t properly access all of the nutrients in the lovely raw food, or if the food doesn’t have the correct balance of nutrients in it in the first place – such as that old trap of inadequate consumption of greens and sprouted foods, and too much emphasis on high sugar – then the body’s craving for minerals just sends the brain into “eat everything available” mode once again. Physiological food cravings occur usually for one of two reasons – either inadequate levels of minerals, or inadequate levels of healthy fatty acids.
2. Inadequate calorie intake. This seems to be more of an issue for men, but can happen to women as well, particularly if they are fast oxidisers. These people need to eat regularly and I recommend smoothies with Sunwarrior protein as a staple for them. It enables them to boost the calorie intake without resorting to that unfortunate “nuts and dried fruit” combo that really throws us off balance and has us continually craving fat and sugar.
3. Moving on from physiology, we get onto that amazing subject of how the brain works. A wise man once said that the only purpose of the body is to carry the brain around. The brain takes 20% of the nutrition that we consume – way more than any other organ. Unfortunately, as a result of previous disastrous eating habits, our brains really aren’t properly nourished when we start off on raw food, so we can’t expect them to behave properly. I go into a lot of detail on this subject in my CD and MP3 Feeding the Brain, but fundamentally it takes time for the brain to become fully nourished again with raw food, and until it is, it isn’t necessarily going to be our best ally.
4. There is so much psychology involved with eating! We may fall off the wagon if we have an unsupportive significant other, for example. One of the major causes of yo-yoing comes down to psychology, personality type and mood. How many of us are “comfort eaters”, eating when we are bored, not hungry, emotionally upset, etc? This can take a really long time to resolve. I believe it is very hard for emotional eaters to stay raw unless they also deal with the emotional stuff that’s coming up. That might involve counselling, hypnotherapy and other such methods.
5. Blood sugar imbalances. Brian Clement states that 60% of people in the developed world have blood sugar regulation problems. Not only is this a result of demineralisation, and lack of chromium and vanadium, two minerals that are essential in pancreatic function, but it is also determined by stress levels, adrenal and pancreatic exhaustion, inappropriate protein to carbohydrate ratios in the diet and a lot of other stuff besides. If we get hypoglycaemic, which can definitely still occur on a raw diet, we get mood swings and irrational behaviour, which can then cause all sorts of previous issues around food to come up. We need to eat a proper raw diet that balances blood sugar, otherwise we are asking for trouble.
Max Tuck is a long term living foods vegan, Hippocrates Health Educator, athlete and the author of the Raw Food Scientist blog. She offers private and group consultations on the living foods lifestyle, and is available nationally as a motivational and inspiring speaker on the raw food diet and human health. Visit her website to sign up for her free newsletter and browse her selection of educational CDs.