Last Updated:16 Jun 1999
Created on Wed, 28 Jan 1998

E-GADS! This lurker's been identified....there goes my Secret Identity!!! ;-) Thanks again for the RELEASE post, Ronn. Like you, I subscribe to the Digest version of this list, and no, I did not get #540 for some reason. Once in a while an issue slips by without it being sent to me, so I always check the numbers and if I didn't receive an issue, I check the archives. So that's how I got your RELEASE post. The archives always work for me at (I just worked) so maybe if it's not coming up for you, it's a problem with your server or a temporary thing. I will mention, Ronn, that your RELEASE post, and some of your regular emails do have codes in them (see above for an example). Not that it really bothers me, just thought I'd mention it in case you want to know.

Everyone here is so helpful and friendly, and the support (even for us shy lurkers) is so extremely beneficial in trying to stick to a raw food diet. It helps me to know that no matter how looney or weird my friends and co-workers think I am, I know that the raw diet *is* what's right for me and is not just some bizarre fad. Reading my email from the list every day helps me remember what's important to me: NOT the immediate gratification of giving in to the craving for cookies or bagels, but instead the long-term benefit of eating what I know my body really wants & needs to flourish. So I want to thank everybody for all the information and experiences they post...those that take the time and effort to type in published info, or share personal feelings, philosophies, inspirations (Ronn, Gene, Aaron, Tammy, Jo, Troy, Bob, Tatiana, Alan, the Lis(z)as Carol(e)s and Ann(e)s, so many others I could just keep going....). All the newbies that ask questions which probably haunt me as well...all the vets who share their years of experiences. I love to read all the different perspectives, experiences, and opinions, whether about raw food or any other aspect of life...everyone's contribution is really are *all* of you! :-)

Okay, since my secret identity is no longer a secret, let me tell you a little about myself. I came across eating raw almost by accident. I'd been working my way toward eating vegan (mostly for health reasons), when I came across a book at Barnes & Noble on eating raw, picked it up, and the information just really clicked with me! It made sooo much sense, and the studies all seemed pretty convincing. So I tried to go raw, and managed to eat mostly raw for a month or two, but unfortunately because of stress and other pressures I slipped back into vegan.....vegetarian.....eventually SAD :-((( So now I'm re-motivated...I KNOW eating raw is what I want to do! I am determined to make this make eating raw a habit, a natural for me. I'm sure if I can just stick with it for a while, eventually many of the cravings for cooked food and junk will go away, but for now it's really tough...especially being under a lot of emotional stress at the present time. So for now, reading lotsa books (just finished Conscious Eating and will start Blatant Prop. next) and this email group, both help keep me motivated. The sooner I start eating healthy, the sooner I'll build the healthy, clean & clear body and mind I desire. Wish I'd learned about eating raw sooner, but at least I've only had 27 years to build a state of unhealth (not that I have any major health issues, but no doubt I'm toxic due to overeating and such, as I'm definitely a recovering emotional eater and starch addict). As well as eating raw and avoiding toxic stuff, I'm trying to incorporate other positive habits, such as meditating and doing the Tibetan Rites every day, regular cardio/strength training, thinking positively, etc.

Next week I'm on vacation from work, so I'm heading away from home to a peaceful place, to do a water fast for 7-10 days. I think this will help detox my body some, so that when I return to work the following week, I will hopefully be better able to resist the lure of cookies, crackers, and bagels (which are unfortunately always available free at my work). I actually just started eating raw again a few weeks ago, and for two weeks I was sticking to it really well (my goal is 80%+, but I was achieving 95%+ most days). Unfortunately, the past few days, my emotions have been overwhelming me, so I guess I've turned back to cooked food to "numb" myself. But I know if perservere, I *will* win out eventually! Transitioning to this diet has been tough for me in a lot of ways (mentally, physically, emotionally), but I will no longer fear change...I refuse to be complacantly happy with status quo! The time to stretch the boundaries of my comfort zone has arrived. I am really looking forward to peace and quiet next week....a fast to heal my body, quiet my mind, and reset my taste buds. And I get to spend a week away from work, where everyone thinks I'm absolutely nuts! Nobody at my work really believes the "toxic" theory...then again, I work at a chemical mfg. plant (note my apologetic tone), so what does that say??? Ok, it's definitely not right livelihood for me, but for now it pays the bills and my college tuition at night until I can quit and get a satisfying job;)

Most people at my work think chemicals are safe, and that the gov't and people make too big a deal about regulating them. I'm definitely considered the REBEL at my work.....nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned! Oh well. It's kinda fun being an oddball -- keeps everybody guessing as to what "new" and "exotic" food I've brought in that day (not that sprouted seeds and nuts, avocados, papayas, mangoes, etc. are really that unusual). The chemicals we mfg. are water-based polymers (on the "safe" end of the chemical hazard continuum, unlike some of our raw materials), and I'm the lab coordinator, but at least I have my own office and don't work directly in one of the labs. Still, I gotta wonder....

Considering how my friends, family and co-workers feel about eating raw foods (depriving oneself, etc.), I can just imagine what something such as dating will be like! You eat WHAT??!! See ya! LOL But it's nice to have discovered, thru the internet, that there are many others who live the raw lifestyle, and that there's a ton of info out there too. Prior to an internet search, I'd never met anyone else who'd even heard of enzymes and raw food and such. So it's good to know I'm not alone (I'm not the only looney bird), and to hear the personal benefits others have experienced from eating raw.

Oops, I think I've rambled on quite enough for this post, but I just felt it only fair to introduce myself after having lurked a month or two and gotten to know some of you thru your posts. Sorry if this email sounds particularly sappy or's just that I've been in "appreciation mode" the past few days. So...thanks again everyone!

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 01:26:55 EST

Leona here....back from my vacation in Mt. Washington Valley, NH. Getting away from home, work, and the usual routine for a week was wonderful! I can't report I accomplished every objective, but the vacation was definitely a healing one. I had planned and packed for a week-long distilled water fast, and started the drive up Sunday evening. An hour and a half into the trip, not having 50 change handy for the Spaulding Turnpike, I drove up to the "any car" toll window, and the toll booth operator waved me on, explaining that the driver in front of me had already paid for my toll -- how thoughtful! The second toll booth--same thing :-) I think it was the same driver, but I wasn't following her on purpose (honest!). I'd recalled once reading about paying the toll for the person behind you (in Random Acts of Kindness?), and at the time had thought it was a good idea, but then I'd never remembered to practice it, or even given it another thought. It was nice that someone else had!

Anyway, I made it to the resort where I had a motel-type unit waiting for me. Went to check in, and they ended up giving me a one-bedroom condo unit for the same price because it was available....which was really cool! After having my tolls paid and my room upgraded, I was feeling pretty special that night! (so to all the cynics in the world who say "nice things don't happen to good people" I say HA!)

I started the distilled water fast Sunday night, and ended it Wednesday night, about 72 hours total. It was my first fast, so I don't feel too bad about it being only 3 days, instead of 7 as originally planned. My symptoms were mild. I did experience minor physical hunger a half-dozen times each day, but these were brief interludes and most of the time I did not think about food at all. In fact, all of my physical symptoms were pretty minor. I definitely had the heavily coated tongue and bad breath. A couple of times my right hand went slightly numb, and the second night, I got an irritating chest pain like heartburn, which sent me to bed. I slept about 6 hours each night, and had about one nap a day, when I felt like I could sleep. Most of the time I felt very energetic tho, more energetic than when eating. I took in nothing other than distilled water when I was thirsty (1-2 quarts a day). I stayed inside most of the time, reading, listening to music, relaxing, meditating, walks outside for fresh air (I know, ideally I should have stayed in bed with eyes closed). I expected worse detox symptoms, since I'm just a raw-fooder newbie, but I guess I shouldn't complain about feeling good! Besides, I'd only fasted for three days, and not an extended period. I did note that my mind was quite active tho', churning up all sorts of crazy ideas, hashing over a lot of problems and unpleasant situations, so just lying there trying to rest or meditate was quite tough. I couldn't manage a week of lying there like that....perhaps I was detoxing of all the negative and limiting thoughts and emotions that were harming me...I dunno. I did resolve a few issues anyway, so that was good. While fasting, I did notice that my senses were more heightened, as the sounds of the lights and the people above me were very irritating, and the sunshine was very bright. Nothing unusual....I didn't even experience any headaches, nausea, aches, etc.

As much as it probably would have healed me physically to stay inside and do nothing all week, mentally I just could not do it. The weather was gorgeous every day except one...forties, sun, blue skies with scattered clouds...and the restless little kid in me wanted to go out and play! To ski, snowboard, spend time gazing at the majesty of the mountains or the clouds...didn't matter, but I had to get out and do something! And because I had a much larger place to stay than anticipated, I wanted to invite friends up for the weekend. So Wednesday I went to Shaw's and got some organic pears, apples, and lettuce (not much organic selection, but at least they have some). On the drive to Shaw's I noticed the plethora of food places in the area.....seemingly half the businesses were selling either cooked-to-order meals or convenience foods (with one store boasting: 30 feet of chips!). It's sad just how much our social culture is deeply ingrained in (junk) food.

:-( On the way back, I stopped at the video store to pick up a couple of movies and found the clerk was very gabby. However, I had completely forgotten about my sewer breath! At least out of politeness he didn't offer me a Breathsavers or something as a subtle hint ;-) So I ended the fast Wednesday evening with an apple hunk every hour or so....boy, did they taste sweet and juicy. The next day I ate a couple more apples and a pear, and the next day ate mostly raw stuff, but then by the end of the weekend had regressed to pasta and other cooked starches :-( I probably should have brought my juicer with me and ended the fast with juices...oh well, next time. Next time I'll probably just be doing a juice diet anyway. Live and learn....that's what experience is for!

I took a day trip home Thursday to get my ski equipment and clothes, and to invite my friends up to the condo. On the drive home, at each tollbooth, I impulsively paid the toll for the car behind me as well. It felt good--and was particularly amusing--as I drove off and in my rearview mirror watched the driver behind me take longer than usual, as the operator explained why no toll was due. I imagined the driver and passengers' reactions to this unusual event, and delighted in what it was....a cheap and clever way to "shock" someone into thinking from a different perspective: a paradigm of a kind, generous world...even if only for a moment. I decided it would be not such a bad habit to cultivate, even tho' many would see it simply as a waste of money. My analytical mind began questioning: perhaps paying the toll was justifyable in a more rural setting...but smack in Boston? And $1 extra rather than 50? Yes! I decided in fact the city probably needed even more acts of kindness than the boonies.

So two of my good friends came up for the weekend, and I enjoyed a different kind of healing with them as we exchanged thoughts and stories and laughs around the fireplace Saturday night. And Sunday, in perfect weather, I skied and they snowboarded all day (as much as I loved snowboarding when I tried it last year, I had zero chance of keeping up with them on steep terrain if I'd snowboarded). On the mountaintop, I knew it had definitely been worth ending the fast early -- if, for nothing else, the breathtaking view of the valley and the mountains in the distance. I started thinking about the similarities between skiing and life, and the various aspects one may choose to put their attention on. To stand high on the mountain, with the sun blazing on you and all the mountains in the distance. To look at the animal tracks in the snow on the way up the lift, deducing whether they belong to a rabbit, or a deer, or even a wildcat! To turn your way down the mountain, thinking about form. Or staring off into the woods or the beautiful view in the distance while gliding down the mountain "Look where you're going!!" (oops...sorry) Or....the aspect of skiing which I particularly enjoyed yesterday: a trail with fresh powder from snowmaking, where the slope flattens out to the perfect angle for cruising fast but in control, with bumps near the bottom of the trail (kinda like small ramp/jumps). I would point my skiis straight ahead, crouch down, gather up as much speed as possible, and prepare for the bumps! My legs would feel a bit wobbly going up the bump, but with enough momentum, my skiis would leave the ground and I'd sail free for a few seconds! Landing again was the challenging part....each time I was able to keep my balance and not wipe out. This brought a certain momentary elation, but if I stayed on this prior accomplishment too long, instead of preparing for the next bump, I would have surely wiped out, for another bump was never too far down the trail. And yet, how easy it would have been for me to do as the majority did, to go around the bumps, to avoid the risk of falling....but also avoiding the possibility of experiencing the few seconds of freedom and accomplishment. Personally, I'm for examining all options (even those crazy enough to escape the imagination of most) and taking some risks, rather than staying blindly on the path of least resistance.....of custom, upbringing, society, tradition, standards, dogma and any other useless second-hand notions that were never examined and questioned for oneself.

Anyway, I made it home last night, tired but safe and sound. And I wish I had some sort of inspirational ending to report...but unfortunately, I didn't even pay tolls for anyone behind me on the final ride home. Didn't have exact change, didn't want to take up extra time, in a hurry, a myriad of useless excuses. So now I'm back to work, back to the routine, struggling to eat raw again. Today it wasn't much of a struggle, because the hallway near my office was being painted, and with noxious fumes permeating the air, how could anyone even think about food?? yuk So now I'm just trying to remember all that I reflected on during my vacation, my reasons for not giving into starch and sugar cravings...remembering that a temporary fix is just that -- temporary and fleeting -- but true satisfaction comes from living up to what I've chosen for myself and what I'm capable of. Far from perfect, but putting in my best effort anyway.

So, if you ever find yourself on a highway in New England, with a ten-year-old red Celica in front of you, I would suggest getting behind it in the toll line! It just might be me, and I would be happy to pay your toll for you...a small token of appreciation for all the support and good that makes its way into my life. I have decided paying an extra toll is definitely worth the bother...including the dirty looks from an annoyed toll booth operator because I'm not following the system! Hey, whether it's how I choose to eat, derive pleasure, spend my free time, or whatever else, I'm definitely the first to admit I'm unconventional. I will do my best to always be true to myself, to never give in, and to never apologize for being unusual -- for being me! I guess that's what we're all here for, be examples beyond the be true to ourselves, rather than blindly following the be called "strange" and not feel bad about it....repeat after me "I AM A FREAK AND I'M PROUD OF IT!" LOL Sorry this is so long (but I did not keep your eyeballs glued to the screen and force you to read it) -- it's late and I'm getting quite silly so I'll go to bed now before the guys with the white jackets show up at my door..... (again)

With Love from a Pensively Rambling

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