I am 51 years old and I suffer from chronic pain from a fall off our roof in 2000. I have been exploring different methods of pain maintenance since then. Last year I spoke with a friend of mine who has been a raw foodist for the past 5 years and who raised her 5 children in this lifestyle choice. She recommended that I try it for 2 weeks to see if I could make the transition from a meat-eating diet to a raw food diet. I made that choice and my husband and I started to eat raw food a year ago. He's as invested in finding ways for me to manage my pain as I am so he's shown only enthusiasm and support in this new eating choice.
I start every morning with a glass or two of live green juice (a smoothie) made from 2 cups of fresh Kale, an apple (with peel), an orange, a handful of frozen strawberries and blueberries and 2 TBSP of Salba and Flax seed and 1 cup of cold water. I throw everything together into my VitaMixer and enjoy a thick sweet smoothie.This drink keeps me statiated until it's time to eat lunch.
For lunch I prepare a salad of fresh Kale, almonds, avocado, dried cranberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and celery mixed with a homemade dressing of balsamic vinegar and grape seed oil.
For dinner I prepare the same salad for my husband and I. He has a very physically active job but swears that he's never hungry, that his salads are more than enough to keep him satisfied. To supplement our evening salads I also make a fresh ceviche from 8 cups of sweet corn cut off the cob (this is a lot cheaper to make in the summer than it is in the winter when corn is not in season), about 2 cups of orange and red peppers diced, 1 cup of red onions chopped finely, 1 cup of fresh strawberries sliced and 1 cup of pineapple sliced finely. I mix all of the ingredients together and pour 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice over it, mixing it well. This stays crisp in the fridge for almost a full week. I put a couple of big spoonfuls of this ceviche over the salads for our dinners and it makes not only a very enjoyable and tasty meal but one which is quite lovely to see, as well.
Since we started eating raw food the benefits have been enormous. We both lost 10 lbs in the first month and none of it has been gained back. My blood pressure dropped from a very alarming 205/90 to 120/60 within one month of eating raw. All of my husband's hay and straw allergies disappeared as did his deviated septum (he can now, for the first time in his life, breathe out of both nostrils at the same time). Within the first week of eating raw we both noticed a surplus of energy and Terry says that he hasn't felt this energetic since his teenage years. That's a big plus for someone who is as active as he is. My skin is healthier, my hair is shinier and my friends say that my eyes sparkle. I feel really good and I'm rarely hungry in between meals.
As part of my daily regime I practice yoga for about an hour and I work with weights for another hour. I try to include a hike through the forests and field everyday (weather permitting) and in the winter I cross country ski or snowshoe on a daily basis. These are some of the methods which I have included in my life to help manage pain. I find that these physical life choices not only help me to manage and distract me from the pain but they also have helped me immeasurably in a spiritual and emotional sense.
Before making any kind of radical changes to your lifestyle or diet you should first speak with your doctor and do a lot of research on the Internet or in your library. I will include a couple of sources for information about Kale and raw eating for informational purposes.
It's March 9, 2009 and we're having a gust of winter weather today. After decidedly flipping the bird at the weather I have started making my seed list up and planning my garden. Moving it over to Terry's farm last summer was a brilliant idea ... and hopefully this year I'll be able to seed it earlier and see more success by the end of the summer.
I am particularly interested in seeing the kale come to maturity this time. Grow more kale!! We are raw foodist and kale makes up about 74% of our diet so this would defintely have an impact on the freshness of our food. I wonder if kale can be harvested from under snow ... I'll have to do some research on that.