So For How Long?

I ran into a friend at the grocery store today. She was there to pick up wine, cheese, veggies, and a number of other delicacies. I was there to get cat food, raw cashews, raw peanuts, mango, bean sprouts, and, well, cat food.

“Hey,” she called out when she saw me. “It’s the raw girl! How’s it going?”

We chatted a few minutes about life in general and work before turning the conversation back to diet – in particular, my diet.

“So where do you get your protein?” she asked as she handed her kale to the woman behind the register.

“Same place you get yours, ” I quipped as I nodded at the huge bunch of leafy greens. “You’d be surprised. My kale smoothie this morning had 18 grams of protein in it, which is almost half of the daily recommendation for women.”

She nodded in sober agreement: “Kale is an amazing vegetable.”

We talked a little more.

Essentially, I told her some about what MJ and I have been eating and how much better I’ve felt. I told her about the medication that I’d been able to stop taking, and how much more time I had now that I didn’t have to work out three hours a day just to keep the shape that I had bought in exchange for months of calorie counting.

“That’s amazing,” she said, but then added: “So, how long are you doing this for?”

Huh?

“I don’t know,” I responded, somewhat hurriedly and a little more defensively than I wanted to. “I’ve signed up for this eleven week thing. We’ll see how it goes.” (I am pretty sure at this point I also mentioned that my personal standard was 80% raw, though for three out of the last four days I’d managed to hit 100%, just in case she ever wanted to invite us out for dinner!)

“Eleven weeks, huh? That’s a long time.”

What was interesting to me about this whole exchange is that I hadn’t even crossed my mind that going raw (that is incorporating more raw food into my diet) had a stop date.

To me, choosing to eat uncooked food is just like the choice to go gluten-free: If gluten-makes you sick, you don’t eat it.

If eating raw food makes you feel better and helps you maintain your weight without having to spend three hours working out every single day, then you continue to eat it.

I also realized that in that brief exchange, that I have already adopted the identity of “raw foodist.”

It’s not really a label, per se, because I probably wouldn’t describe myself that way to anyone else. But it is how I’ve been thinking about myself. God knows I’ve spent enough time in the last four weeks obsessing over it! And I’ve spent more than enough money on information products and cookbooks to make the thought of exiting anytime soon down right painful.

So, back to the original question – which I thought was a good one – for how long? How long am I planning to do this?

Well, for as long as it takes – whatever that means.

The good news about being 80% raw (as opposed to 100%) is that you can still choose to be 100% most days. And on the days that you’re not? No one – including me – has to feel bad about it.

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