Addiction and Tricks of the Mind

raw foodTo go raw and stay 100% raw I had to learn all my little mind-tricks that I play on myself. I learned these first when I quit smoking at 24. I started smoking at 14, and it took me years of trying to quit smoking to learn all the little tricks that I would play on myself to get myself to start up again. But when I got wise to them once, I wouldn’t fall for them again.

Some of the tricks….
1. I’ll just finish the pack
2. I’ll just bum cigarettes, I won’t buy them
3. I’ll buy a pack, just smoke one, then throw it away
4. I’m not addicted anymore, so I can smoke just one easily
5. That worked, so now that I’m not addicted I can just smoke a couple a day/week
6. I’m addicted again, but it will be easy to quit again next month / week / tomorrow
 etc….

What finally helped was two friends saying they believed I could do it, that I was too good to smoke, and they would help me if I needed someone to talk to. Just knowing they were there for that and wanted me to quit was enough. Also, bumming cigarettes was too demeaning. Plus, I had started smoking at 14 to gain access to the social circle I wanted to be in, in Toronto. But in California, almost nobody smokes, so I quit for the same reason I had started; peer pressure.

Going 100% raw, I used the same strategy of getting to know my mind games and getting wise to them. And this has helped me to stay on the 99.5% – 100% raw path for the greater part of the last 18 years.

Some of the mind tricks that derailed me from time to time:

1. Its too dogmatic to be 100% raw. I’m going to allow myself to eat some “healthy” cooked foods in moderation, on occasion.

2. I don’t look or feel as good as I should on raw foods. Maybe I need something else. (After a few times, I noticed this one would only happen after I had been cheating or eating borderline raw foods like Larabars or agave, or toxic raw foods like Braggs Liquid Aminos or raw cacao).

3. I can’t do this diet in the cold. (We moved to Canada for 5 years. When I did commit to eating 100% raw I was able to eat raw in the winters no problem).

4.  Some people are able to eat 80% raw and thrive, I’m going to try that too. (I always started out eating “healthy” cooked foods in moderation, but over a few months would descend to eating “unhealthy” cooked foods and not in moderation, and un-health would set in).

5. If I say I have to eat 100% raw maybe I’m making that true. (quantum physics says we create our own reality with our thoughts). Maybe I should try to create another reality (same results as above, see 4).

After I learned all my little tricks, and got over my raw cacao addiction (see previous blog posts), I was able to stay 100% raw for a year, after eating 99.5% raw for 8 years previous to that, and the 9 years before that were 100% raw alternating with 75% raw.  And then an entirely new trick surfaced!

Raven started eating some cooked foods this past summer, and I started nibbling occasionally on her food. And I noticed none of the un-health symptoms that I used to experience when I cheated! Dairy no longer digested through my face (previously any dairy resulted in instant acne). And previously if I cheated a few times within a week or two, my candida symptoms would return. Now, I could cheat without any noticeable un-health! My body had healed on such a deep level, from nearly 20 years of eating a predominantly raw vegan diet, that my candida was wiped out, and the dairy allergy I’d had all my life was cured. So now it seems that I can eat cooked food without any un-health. But I know that is just an illusion! It is just a matter of time before all these years of hard work and dedication and healing are undone! So, I’ve been playing with the edge of addiction…testing my new limits.

….And I’ve been through a period of questioning: Should I go back to a 100% raw diet and keep the seal on for good? Should I limit my cooked intake to one “healthy” cooked snack a week and if I can’t stick to that, then go back to a 100% raw diet? Should I just go with the flow and accept whatever my body/being wants to do and honor it and trust that I am all about my greatest good and my health and well-being in the long term? Should I try to find some 80% / 90% raw / vegan balance?

I know what I’d tell someone in this situation is to be gentle with themselves, to honor and love their processes, to pray, to meditate, and to search their soul for what they truly want to do, for what they truly believe is right, and then commit to that and believe that they can do it, that the Universe will make a way. Focus on their soul’s inner journey, and the rest will follow. And I think I’ve been able to take my own advice.

Although I’m definitely maturing, able to keep the cooked food in a healthy balance more than before, I’m still seeing signs of my gnarly old food addictions creeping back in, and so I believe I need to recommit to the 100% raw vegan diet for now. I’d love to say that I’m not so dogmatic any more, and that I can be like these balanced older wise women who are able to honor their bodies without any strict rules about eating, but I know who I am, and this is just too dangerous of a game for me right now.

Storm calls addictions “demons”. And it was almost like a demon lying in wait for me for 18 years…waiting until I was healed and didn’t need to stay raw for healing purposes any more…waiting to tempt me. It is almost like there is always this shadow side of our being, who wants us to be miserable, who tricks us into unhealth and unhappiness, skillfully, with new tricks up her sleeve all the time. Some say we have to face the shadow and merge with the shadow in order to be whole. I don’t know.

My answer to the questions…

– Am I 100% raw? — I’m back to my “100% raw with cheating” lifestyle, but aiming to get back to “100% raw with the seal on”

– Do I want to be 100% raw? — Yes! I really think it is the best way for people who have food addictions to stay on the wagon. I’m hoping that a level of maturity will set in, in which moderation may finally be a possibility, and I won’t have to stay on the 100% Raw Wagon! But this hasn’t happened yet for me.

– Do I think that 100% raw is important? ….For healing, yes. For those who want to live to be 120 – 150 years old, yes. For food addicts, yes. By food addict I mean one who eats in a way that hurts their body.

– Is 100% raw a cure-all? — Yes, but not on its own. It needs to be done in conjunction with regular vigorous daily exercise, and a spiritual / religious / or inner journey for well-being on a mental/emotional/spiritual level.

– Can healing, rejuvenation, and longevity be achieved without a 100% raw diet? — I think if you have these other areas wired – exercise and mental attitude / spiritual well-being then you can afford to be a little less vigilant about your food choices. Perhaps it may even be healthier to indulge in cooked foods a little now and then. There, I said it! Storm would vehemently disagree with me, but isn’t that a lovely thing when we can live in harmony with people with whom we vehemently disagree!

– Is the 100% raw vegan diet the healthiest diet for humankind?  — In my very humble opinion: “Yes”!  But to believe that it is always the right thing for every person on earth to do at all times right now seems to me a very artificial construct. It seems to enter in to the world of dogma.

For instance, having a bit of cooked food has been a part of my journey in understanding how to best teach the art of overcoming addiction. It has also made me feel more connected to humankind on the planet right now, which was important for me on many levels, including my work, and connecting more in to my friendships outside the raw circle from which significant spiritual sustenance was drawn…

Also, for another instance, the sparing and strategic use of stimulants (cooked foods, sugars, cacao, chocolate, MSG) helped jump-start a higher activity level in my work-outs. Ultimately I know that working out is the correct stimulant to help us lead a more energetic life. But I was stuck in the doldrums of inertia due to overwork addiction and I justified eating raw cacao – really I was doing it because I was feeling low – but I justified eating it by saying I would use it to kick-start a more vigorous work-out habit, and that actually worked. This was my way to turn an addictive behavior in to a positive habit. (not a safe thing to do, not something I’d recommend, unless you are already addicted to cacao and could see this as a way out — use the energy to transition into a serious workout regimen — and then instantly get off the cacao…while you can! Eventually cacao can deplete you to the point you may not be able to get up the energy to work out…as complete adrenal failure is a common result of long term raw cacao addiction)……Another strange situation is that raw cacao has a much worse affect on me than cooked chocolate, so for me the healthier of the two evils is the cooked chocolate!

I’m also of the opinion that Emotional Eating is not always a bad thing. When nursing babies as long as I have, one notices that mother’s milk is not just for nourishing the body, but also for pain relief, comfort, and bonding. Isn’t it wonderful that good food can do the same for us adults! If it is used sparingly as needed and not abused, I think Emotional Eating can be healthy, especially if raw vegan comfort foods are used.

There are a million different factors in considering health.. Health is so complex because it isn’t just the body, which is complex enough, more complex than the most advanced super-computer on the planet… It isn’t just food, which is highly complex also, so complex that scientist are still discovering more things in fruits and vegetables such as the recent discovery of phyto-nutrients like electrolytes….But humans are also made of mind, emotions, and spirit, which are collectively and individually so complex as to be almost completely unexplainable in scientific terms! Add to these individualities and uniquenesses the variations in each person’s hereditary and genetic makeup, evolutionary level, environment, lifestyle, needs, beliefs, experiences, goals, intentions, dreams, attitudes, energy levels, and the fact that we are all constantly changing, and it becomes highly unlikely that one particular diet is going to suit everyone at every time.

We try to simplify things, to make them black-and-white, in order to have easy answers. Well, the answers can be easy, for ourselves, if we embark on a conscious journey of awareness of our health and well-being, if we seek to live according to our highest light, and if we can through spiritual practice leading to some kind of relationship with a higher power and/or oneness consciousness become aware of our inner guidance system. But to say that we can do that for someone else seems folly. Does this fly in the face of our work in raw food education? I don’t think so.

Our tenet has always been to share our own experiences, as there is not much unbiased scientific research done in to health and diet and food and nutrition, so we are all experimenting on ourselves, out of necessity. And I think it helps if we all share our experiences. As we have had some success with eating raw vegan for long periods of time and bringing up children raw, we felt our experiences might be valuable to some. But I think in this sharing, our failures may be just as important as our successes, as we all trudge our individual paths towards truth, light, understanding, balance and wholeness.

In Joy!
Jinjee
TheGardenDiet.com

This entry was posted in Addiction, Food Addiction, Raw Diet, raw food, Staying Raw, Vegan Diets. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Addiction and Tricks of the Mind

  1. Carolyn Boni says:

    Hi Jinjee!

    I am starting a raw food diet tomorrow. I am following Storm’s motto, *Fresh is Best*. I am 47 and about 70 pounds overweight. I do not suffer from any health problems (yet), but am always tired and cranky! Do you think I will be able to regain my health and vitality eating this way? I have become so depressed and have lost a lot hope. I want to feel alive again.
    Your children are so BLESSED to have you both as parents. I hope I can start being a better mom, wife and person to myself. I really am motivated, but afraid of the withdrawels I may feel. Any advice you have to get over the withdrawels at first?
    And do I just eat till I am full? Thank you so much I really appreciate any feedback you may have

  2. Joy says:

    Wonderful post! Your observations on nursing and emotional eating were very insightful, what a refreshing take on a topic that plagues many! And what you had to say about cacao is very true as well. There are many benefits to questionable foods but that is not to say those foods are desirable. I have found whatever benefits may be in a food like cacao they are also readily available in another food Without the downside! But these “super foods” can be advertised in catchy ways and sold for inflated prices making the seller a tidy profit. That and only that is the reason things like cacao are so popular IMHO. Often when a food is controversial it ends up being something that’s best to have been avoided in the first place.
    One thing I am curious about in regards to your personal diet is if you are supplementing with B-12 at all? It can take years to develop a deficiency but it would explain your body’s acceptance of dairy if it’s something that you are in need of. Just a thought.
    Blessings to you!

  3. Eva Rawposa says:

    Jinjee, I was directed to your blog while looking for the BEST resources on the Net for raw vegans. I’m so glad I was reminded of this! Thank you for being so open, thoughtful, and compassionate in a way that others on this journey can benefit. :)

    http://uncooking101.com/site/hot-topics/online-resources/

  4. Roban Bieber says:

    This blog entry was straight from your heart, mind and soul…. best thing I have read from you that you have put out into the universe for others to see….
    Peace be with you,
    Roban

  5. rachael says:

    Hi Jinjee,

    wow this is such a great post. My problem..is not being raw- i seem to be good so far with that the last two years, although i am still open to cooked foods like steamed vegetables, for example, if i get into awkward situation. And i also agree with Victoria that having steamed vegies is a better choice than some of these raw cuisine dishes with oil and too many nuts. But my problem is going weeks at a time eating some raw eggs, raw goat milk or on the occasion fish because i hear and feel at times that i may need some..just a little bit of animal products in my diet and then weeks i hear all the horrible reasons and should not eat any animal products. I guess i haven’t did it all long enough to see the real benefits of having animal products or not but i know benefits of being raw. amazing!..could i ask you opinion on animal products?

  6. Mary says:

    Thank you for this blog. I too struggle with food addiction and have found that raw seems to be the only way to keep it under control. Not there yet, but still trying.

  7. Eva says:

    I love your blog!
    Raw choc doesn’t affect me at all,- I do only eat it occasionally. But after eating dehydrated things (crackers&bread) I don’t feel good. They are almost like cooked food,- do you feel that way too? or am I just being oversensitive?

    Thank you for your work.
    Love, Eva

  8. Jo says:

    Hi JinJee,
    Thanks for this article… I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and was wondering if I could write to you for some help. Do you have an email address I could send a letter to, if you don’t mind?

    Thanks,
    Jo

  9. chris keinath says:

    Love & Blessings to you and your family… Grateful for your candid sharing & insights, Jinjee. You (& Storm) are an inspiration to me on this journey…
    (not quite even 99.5, but aspiring)
    peace,
    :)

  10. Stanley Lewis says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your life experiences with raw eating. I have just started the 2nd of January and have had many positive changes in my body and health. I have been using your writings as a guide in this process and have found much important and meaningful information in them. A friend introduced me to cacao and I had no idea the problems eating it regularly could create. Thanks for the heads up. I had been having a problem with frequent urination such that I couldn’t sleep through the night and often had to rush to the bathroom during the day. I was checked for prostrate cancer, which turned out not to be the case, and given a prescription for a medication, but before I had it filled and took any, I started the raw eating and within two days my problem ended and I’m able to sleep all night, and go to the bathroom when I choose rather than when I’m forced to. This ability of the body to “re-set” itself is truly amazing…and humbling. I knew the body could do amazing things but had no idea how fantastic it truly is. Thanks again.

  11. Theresa Bailey says:

    Thank you so much for your website and your blog. I have been an extremely poor eater most of my life (I’m 46 now), eating mostly cooked meat and starches, and very little vegi’s and fruits. After being diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Inflammation and an auto-immune related disease (which is medically incurable), I started eating what most considered healthy (chicken, fish, vegi’s and fruit – all organic or wild caught)… hoping to give my body a chance to heal. I did experience some minor improvement in how I was feeling just cutting out the wheat and other processed foods …

    A week ago a someone shared with me the health benefits of eating a raw food diet, as well as how toxic cooked foods can be to my body. I immediately stopped eating meat and cooked foods, other than some leftover roasted sunflower seeds I had, and am already feeling a difference. There is all so very new to me, and I feel like I have so much to learn. For now I’m keeping it very simple. I don’t have and can’t afford a food processor, dehydrator and juicer, and I’m just now learning about sprouting seeds and legumes…

    SO your website and blogs are a HUGE help to me… especially this article. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  12. Barbara Lowell says:

    Thank you for your integrity and generous sharing. For 30 years or more I have gone back and forth from vegie/vegan/lacto/vegan etc. and found raw vegan to feel the most wholesome and a fit for me for the past year. Occasionally I will eat potatoes in a stir fry with kale, or sweet potatoes, and I used cooked chick peas in my hummus, and make some dehydrated things, but the rest I am raw and 100% vegan. Since I am 68 I am wanting to do what’s best for quality and longevity of my Life. I appreciate all your writings and you willingness to plumb the depths is a comfort to me as most people don’t want to reveal themselves. As far as animals are concerned, I just cannot condone what farm factories do and cannot compromise myself to use any of these products. Their suffering is my suffering bad enough, I don’t want to ingest it on top of the indignity and spiritual inequity that it is. I feel MUCH better once I knew that this was part of humanity’s heartbreak, albeit that it goes largely unrecognized. People teach their children not to be mean to the domestic aimals, and that very evening serve them veal or lamb … its all because of lack of awareness, not evil. For me this is the best part of being vegan, and raw living foods are a gift to me by me! Thanks again for your awesome sharing.

  13. Shannon Stewart says:

    Thank you Jinjee. Honesty is always the best policy, for without it people may become confused and even embarrassed concerning their own bodies and food addictions if those, whose voices ring out, claim they have never experienced what you have written about today. Or worse yet modify, change, embellish, or diminish what truly happened during their own journeys.

  14. Teresa Ott says:

    Hi Jinjee. Loved this post. But can you tell me – where did you get your research on adrenal failure using raw cacao? I’d like to learn more. And I wonder why David Wolfe claims that raw cacao is one of the world’s greatest superfoods, and that you could live on nothing but raw cacao for long periods of time. I find it interesting that the two of you – both being raw food gurus – have such diametrically opposed opinions. Hence, I’d like to learn more.

    • M says:

      Yes, but lately David Wolfe also promotes consumption of deer placenta, ant extract and cow colostrum… to name a few things. I would never trust him with my health.

  15. Leah says:

    Jinjee – I loved this article – and loved how personally honest, well thought out and written it was.
    Also think your new blog is looking great.
    Best,
    Leah

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I loved reading your post, very personal and very informative. You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself.
    Those of us fortunate enough to REALLY know the benefits of a raw living foods lifestyle have a great deal to be grateful for! I think it is wonderful that we are able to pass this on to our children who can then educate others purely by their example.
    Peace & Raw Health,
    Elizabeth

  17. Karen says:

    Jinjee – thank you for this post – so well written. I echo the above comments. I really appreciate your honest sharing – it so helps me on my own path. Love and blessings to you and everyone here.

  18. Thank you for this wonderful posting. I share many of the same thoughts as you. This was very helpful to me. I love being raw and I have learned to not be so hard on myself too…We will connect soon…I appreciate you, Chase

    http://www.chasesteelegreye.com

  19. I love your blog! I love everything that you write. I find it so authentic and true. You are a blessing on my raw food path! I am finding such important answers for me and my children here. Thank you so very much!

  20. J says:

    You know I had the same issue with raw chocolate/cooked chocolate. I get no reaction from cooked chocolate but a little bit of raw affects me like cocaine or speed or something. What’s up with that?

    • Jinjee says:

      Strange isn’t it! Many people are affected like this. Heart palpitations, staying up all night, then sleeping for days in what feels like a coma. Storm won’t do raw cacao. He calls it “a nasty high”. Over the last few years more and more people email me saying they had to go off the raw diet due to adrenal gland exhaustion, adrenal failure, and chronic fatigue. I always ask them if they use raw cacao, and every one of them was a daily raw cacao user! I personally think its the bane of this movement. On the other hand, some people seem to do fine with it.

  21. D says:

    Hi Jinjee, thank you so much for this very compassionate and nuanced view.

  22. Janet Doane says:

    Jinjee… this is a most wonderful article, so well presented, fearless, thoughtful, aware, and deeply inspiring. I absolutlely love what you’re doing, and am so grateful for your honesty and healing presence on the planet!

    • Jinjee says:

      Thanks! This was a tough one to share right now, because there are so many stories going around about raw teachers who are starting to eat cooked foods, raw dairy, and even meat, and I know people are going to put me on that growing list! But it doesn’t matter. I’ve always had to fight to stick with it, and have often fallen! Overall it keeps getting better, easier, and more worth it! And the more I experience the healing and rejuvenation that 100% raw provides, and see and hear it all around me, the more I’m a believer in living and sharing this way of life!

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