This is a good one!
So, I went to India almost two years ago, and took an Ayurveda and yoga training for 1 month at an incredible ashram.
I got clearance ahead of time to eat a raw food diet throughout my stay, and was pretty excited about this.
From the moment my Ayurveda course began, I felt attacked for being a raw foodie.
I felt like a failure and total crazy person.
Every single insecurity about whether or not a raw food diet can actually work came up.
“OMG this is really just an eating disorder in disguise…”
“This is orthorexia…”
“I am nutrient deficient…”
“I am unbalanced…”
“This is unsustainable.”
And, so on.
My Ayurveda teacher had a lot to say about my diet.
She said I was using diet to solve problems that were mental and emotional.
Instead, she thought I needed to focus on yoga and pranayama to address mental and emotional problems, which fueled my binge eating and problems with food.
She said a raw food diet is too sattvic in nature for most ordinary people. Only advanced masters and yogis can sustain a raw food diet.
She said most people develop imbalances and cravings, and always fall victim to cravings and binges.
I remained as open as I could to her opinions. Honestly, a lot of it matched my experience.
I had suffered from many cravings and binges. I had started, fallen off, and re-started the diet more than I could count, especially in times of stress and mental and emotional turmoil.
Maybe she was right…
But, my body said time and time again that it didn’t like digesting grains and beans, and ballooned when I ate a lot of fat and oils.
We debated the raw food diet many times throughout the week. Honestly, I got pretty worked up and heated. Again, this triggered at least three years worth of raw food doubts.
My yoga teacher shared his perspective.
He said the raw, fruit-based diet is the ultimate sattvic diet.
In other words, a raw vegan diet is a pure diet that promotes truth, contentment, stability, and a higher frequency mind and body.
Living foods are full of life force or prana. They help us cultivate a state of mind that can comprehend deep truths while also remaining grounded and functional in the material world.
Most people do not have the state of mind to eat a diet so pure.
Most people are so hung up in their addictions, short-term sensory pleasures, and other forms of mental conditioning (e.g. worries about protein, advertisements to “enjoy” the Standard American diet, diet gurus and doctors who promote other dietary trends) that they cannot carry on.
They may never even try a raw food diet. If they try it, they are likely to get distracted or otherwise stray from this totally against-the-grain eating pattern.
This perspective totally matched my experience.
When I followed a raw food diet for a number of months, I felt so good, clean, pure, uplifted, and all around high vibe.
Then doubts would creep in, or stress, or other life events…
Ultimately, I’d fall off, because I had not yet developed the mindset of single-pointed focus.
In the past, I had not fully bought into this being a day-by-day process of making the best possible dietary choices.
I had not committed myself to evolving beyond the binge-purge-restriction cycle.
Nor, had I developed enough confidence in myself and my research to decide that this is what I am doing.
I had not fully developed my tool kit, so that I consistently dealt with mental and emotional problems in ways other than addictions, binge eating, and overeating.
I had not yet found a way to do a raw food diet in a healthy, sustainable, balanced way.
Now, I have.
A Balanced Sattvic Diet: My Approach
Now I believe my mental and emotional frequency is such that I can sustain myself on the highest frequency foods.
I am facing my challenges head-on, and supporting myself with a consistent yoga and meditation practice. These are the foundation. These are non-negotiable.
I must remain as self-aware and consistent as possible to sustain a raw food lifestyle.
In addition, I have given myself the stability of living in one place and following a steady routine. This makes a raw food diet so much easier, because my mind is more grounded and less stressed out.
Things I’m doing differently in terms of the food:
- Including a greater variety of vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, bell peppers, cauliflower) and mushrooms than in the past.
- Using dehydrated foods a few times a week (e.g. marinated mushrooms and vegetables, cauliflower bites)
- Incorporating spices, onions, garlic, and certain condiments, like mustard, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and coconut aminos
- Including small amounts of nuts and seeds daily. In the past, I’d only have them once a week or less, and this was not enough for me.
- Eating enough calories: fruit for breakfast and lunch, and large evening salads or savory meals.
- Addressing imbalances with Ayurvedic herbs and vitamins, as dictated by regular blood work.
My yoga teacher and I have stayed in touch.
As it turns out, he is now enjoying a mostly raw diet. I laughed so hard when he told me, because he and my Ayurveda teacher gave me such a hard time for eating raw. I am glad he has found a way to make it work for him, and that I was able to expand his view of what is possible.
He also stressed that to do a raw food diet properly, one must consume pomegranate and coconut daily. In India, this is usually the small brown mature coconuts that you can easily find at grocery stores in the West.
If it resonates, you may want to try including pomegranate and coconut daily, and see if you notice a difference.
I do not consume either daily. I recently discovered that I have a moderate food sensitivity to coconut. So, I’ve eliminated all coconut from my diet aside from coconut aminos. I rarely eat pomegranate, because they are so much work to open!
If you are drawn to a raw food diet, you may have been an enlightened master or great yogi in a past life.
LOL, just kidding. But also, not really.
You have to have your mind right if you are going to sustain a raw food diet long-term.
It’s not enough to just eat a bunch of fruit, and go with the flow. You can do this, but you are setting yourself up for nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.
According to the perspective of Ayurveda and yoga, a fruit-based raw diet is the most sattvic diet possible. Your mental and emotional frequency must match the frequency of the super-charged, prana-filled raw fruits and veggies.
Don’t expect raw foods to solve all your problems. Deep self and emotional work is necessary to make this diet a lifestyle.
Are you serious about improving your health?
Do you want ongoing support in achieving your health goals?