My husband (a vegan) and I (a vegan and sometimes raw foodist) often marvel at how our food becomes a topic of conversation in social eating situations. I have been at work, out with friends, or on an airplane, innocently chomping away on my unintimidating meatless, dairy-free meal and someone will invariably make a comment on my food. It is usually in the form of, “Is that all you are going to eat?” or “Don’t you crave meat?” or “Can’t plants feel pain too?” or, my personal favorite, “Aren’t you hungry all day?”
Now, for those who know me, I hardly appear malnourished or underfed. That is not a concern. Plus, my job and goal in life is to care for and cure the masses. So to even imply that I would intentionally risk nutrient depletion and undernourishment would also imply I was misguiding and ill-advising multiples of people. I take food seriously, of course, but only because it is such an important part of our health and our culture.
I think food is our medicine and it should be treated as such. It is not something to taken likely, as we have the options of soothing our body and tending to its needs approximately three times each and every day. And while thinness is associated with fewer health concerns and common disease patterns, then obsession to simply be skinny for the aesthetic sake of being skinny can lead to a range of negative psychological patterns such as stress, anxiety, obsessions and compulsions .
But to eat for one’s health is not only imperative in today’s antagonistic health care climate, but EMPOWERING. To feed one’s body, on a cellular level, so that it has a multi-organ effect, is to give one the physical and mental clarity necessary to be truly present in life and enable one to confront all of life’s obstacles and focal points.
So, then, why do I not take a peek at my neighbor’s plate and make comments? Something like, “Don’t you know what you are doing to your (fill in organ)?” or “How can you eat that?” or, perhaps, “Doesn’t that food make you feel full and stuffed all day?”
Because putting someone on the spot to defend what they have chosen to eat for that particular meal is really not the kind of conversation I hope to have. There should be a certain expectation of respect for personal dietary choices. I sometimes get frustrated at the prospect of having to explain my food choices in a social, non-clinical, setting. I am bewildered by the amount of people who do not seem to appreciate the myriad of food choices there are for those who choose a natural path of eating. I do not want to be made to feel as an outcast at a dinner party or a restaurant gathering (“what are you going to be able to eat, Ilene?” “Should I prepare a different plate for you, Ilene?)
Life is what we make of it and I am trying to make mine consist of a raw, vegan diet. And while I am not always successful, I try to take it one meal at a time and make a good choice for my state of health. If one is interested in alternative food choices and the reasons behind it (of which there are many), I am more than happy, in fact, welcome the opportunity, to engage in a friendly discussion. But, please, not at the dinner table.
Ilene S. Ruhoy, MD, PhD was born and raised in New York City. She received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Nevada. She is a neurologist who is extremely passionate about nutrition as medicine and human well-being. Having recently relocated with her husband and daughter to Seattle, she is excited to be a part of the Thrive community. Ilene thrives on helping other people find their way to optimal health and happiness. Ilene can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every day when we arise we are presented with the opportunity to begin our lives all over again. This is the grand gift of life, which allows us to reinvent ourselves over and over again throughout our time in the physical body.
In that awakening, the digestive fire that dwells in each of us is ready to be fed – or suffocated. This is determined by what we eat, and the essence or theme of our day depends on the eating choices we make.
Food is combustible energy for the body. Choose good food and the body runs well – with energy, health, and immunity. Choose poorly…well you see the picture.
When someone says “raw food” it brings to mind florets of dry broccoli, a bunch of lettuce with no dressing, the produce you pass by each day in the market. In the past this has been an easy image to hold. Not so much any longer. Thrive has reshaped that image, redefined “raw food” such that it is now a mental aroma wafting through the thought center, making the mouth water and the body navigate of its own accord.
I am guilty of mainstream taste buds. I own them. Never liked the foods my parents insisted I have, perhaps for that very reason. And, like so many people in our society, tantalizing those taste buds is simply a matter of mega doses of refined sugar. So common is this paradigm that 2/3 of the sugar consumed in this country is used in manufacturing our food products. We have, as a society corrupted our sense of taste over the decades to the point where we no longer have alignment between what is good for us and what tastes good to us.
Healthy foods are a tough sell to mainstream taste buds.
Enter Thrive. It’s very simple. You can tell you’re being transformed in two ways. The first is when you start loving foods you’ve previously rejected. The second is when the person preparing your food does so with such joy that the energy of the preparation actually is absorbed in the eating.
My thinly veiled excuses are shattered. No more can I say ‘well that just doesn’t taste good’. No more can I claim cooking is too complex; thinking of menus, too complex; preparation, too complex.
I’ve been redefined by Thrive’s raw food menu, by their love, by their attitude, by their caring. I’ve been hydrated, oxygenated, alkalinized, and empowered. My food is free of chemicals and my body notices the difference.
The road is just beginning – as it always is – and there’s much still to do. But, Thrive has shifted my perspective from one of eating what is good to eating what is good for me. And, in the process, Thrive has unified what was previously two opposing forces – food that is good for you and food that tastes great.
Submitted by Gordon Kaplan, an awesome Thrive customer, for publication on our blog.