Monday, October 31, 2011

Busting Myths...The Raw Way

For the past couple of weeks, I have been posting pictures, of friends who inspire me. Some for their wisdom, some for their commitment to health and fitness, raw veganism, or walk a peaceful yogic life.  I am grateful to these kind souls who so freely share their light and positive energy with me.  Recently, as I began to decide who I would post next, I suddenly stopped searching and posted a picture of myself.  I decided that day, that my inspiration would be ME.  Please do not think this is a vanity move.  It is far from it.  That day I posted self inspiration because it is important to continue to believe in who you are, as you are, where you are and what you represent.

"You will never succeed if you don't first believe in yourself"

As I rejoice in the euphoria of support from those on a similar walk, I still hear echos of the voices of those who are not.  It their voices which propel me to stand strong to believe and accept the inspiration that swells within me.

"Uneasy is the head that wears the crown" from Shakespeare's play Henry IV,  is a warning to take heed -  when you accept a greatness and enjoy all which comes with it, be aware and be responsible of the opposite which lurks as well.

Yin and Yang
Co-existence:  Yin and Yang 
Throughout this walk, many positive, wonderful experiences have showered my path.  You may ask why would I choose to dwell on anything not positive.  Very simple, while focused on forward movement, it isn't healthy to acknowledge it presence, however, you should recognize that which may harm you in order to reinforce and strengthen your stronghold against it.   In this instance, for every yin, there is a yang, every positive, a negative.  They co-exist.   Yin and Yang isn't always positive and negative.  Many times yin and yang are simply opposites.  They oft times need each other. For example, yin represents senses, yang the air.  You need both in which to enjoy a warm wind blowing across your face.  So, I choose to see these sometimes negative experiences as simply....opposite.

Constructive Criticism
The "opposite" experiences received come often in the form of "constructive criticism" and "concern".  Instead of feeling defensive, I have decided to welcome comments and advice from those with genuine health or nutritional education content whose intent is to improve the manner in which I ingest nutrients.  In this instance, it would be true constructive criticism as defined by Wikipedia:

"Constructive criticism aims to show that the intent or purpose of something is better served by an alternative approach. In this circumstance, the target of criticism is not necessarily deemed wrong, and its purpose is respected; rather, it is claimed that the same goal could be better achieved via a different route."

So, ok.  We agree to disagree or to at least respect one another.  I find however, that in most cases, the source of "advice" comes from a viewpoint contrary to healthy tips.  It is usually unwarranted linked to words like "obsession",  "anorexia", "compulsion".  Hmmm.  Each one of these words are associated with illness.  So, if I understand correctly, I am suffering from ailment or soon will be because I decided to work towards improving my health.  These comments overall, are almost accompanied with criticisms disguised as "facts" which I'll call "myths", for although they have some truth, they are presented as if they can not be achieved through a raw vegan diet.

Myth # 1 - You need some carbohydrates.  You need to eat bread, potato, pasta or starch in order to get proper carbohydrates.
A good carbohydrate
True: Our bodies need carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the source of energy and is found in all of our food.  The myth is thinking we need to get them from breads, pastas, or potatoes.

Myth Buster -Actually, the best sources of carbohydrates is fruit.  Yes, fruit.  Our bodies were designed to consume naturally sweet fruits. Sweet fruits also contain water and the combination satiates the body. Cooked starches likes breads and pastas are water deficient causing the body to retain water and bloat.  These types of carbohydrates are "refined" and are actually considered "bad" for you because they increase the glycemic index (blood sugar level). Excess blood sugars become stored as fat.   Naturally sweet fruits which contain "good" carbohydrates are full of fiber and actually lowers the glycemic index.

Myth # 2 - You need to eat some sort of protein with every meal. If you give up meat, then you need to eat beans and nuts regularly.  True:  Our bodies need protein.  The myth is how much we need and where we should obtain it.

Amino Acid/Protein-filled  Simple Salad
Myth Buster - First, it must be realized that protein is not needed for energy.  That's what carbohydrates are for.  Our nerves, tissues, and bones are made up of protein.  As we age or damage these crucial body components from poor diet, we need protein to repair and replace them. Protein also helps on the cellular  level because it produces the antibodies we need to fight disease and viruses.  The amount and source of protein needed is key.  Proteins are made up of amino acids.  It is actually the amino acid that our bodies need.  There are twenty three standard amino acids. Of that, eight are crucial or "essential" to cellular health. Many argue that plants and vegetables do not provide complete amino acid.  That is because in this instance one plant or vegetable does not provide all twenty three.  That is why it is essential to eat a variety of vegetables to get all of the amino acids. You can find overlap of the amino acids in amongst many vegetables.  For example, if you ate a simple salad of  tomato, cucumber, celery, kale or lettuce with an avocado dressing you would have eaten a sampling of the eight essential amino acids...and a burst of protein.  It is not necessary to eat all eight in one setting. Some fruits, vegetables and nuts such as tomatoes, bananas, or almonds contail all eight.  It is important not to overdo it.  Only 10% of your daily caloric intake should be protein.  Too much protein can harm your kidneys.

Myths # 3  - You shouldn't skip meals. Just drinking juice isn't healthy.
Power Packed Nutrient Filled Beet Juice
True:  You shouldn't skip meals.  This reference is to juice fasting/feasting.

Myth Buster - Just drinking juice if it is raw or cold pressed in conjunction with a cleansing fast is very healthy.  Juice fasting gives the digestion process a break.  Keep in mind that the juice isn't the same as the one on store shelves with additives or preseratives.  Juices in fasting should be made with proper food combinations for their nutritional, mineral, and vitamin content to ensure energy and vitality. Juice fasting also provides detoxification of the kidneys and liver, delivering fiber, mineral balance, cell regeneration, restoring clear skin, alkaline balance and immune system.  Juice fasting cleanses the body and restores health.  A proper juice fast provides nourishment, does not leave you hungry, it replaces a meal instead of skipping one. The purpose of juice fasting is to improve health...not destroy it.

Myth # 4 - You need a "complete" breakfast to start your day.
You shouldn't eat just one thing for breakfast (a reference to mono-eating)
A Complete Meal
True:  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is key to starting off on the right track .

Myth Buster:  Eating one thing for breakfast is fine if you are mono-eating. The definition of "one-thing" is the crucial component here.  For example, if your one-thing for breakfast is eating 5 bananas, then it is perfectly normal to eat one thing.  In this instance, the criticizer sees just bananas without understanding how mono eating works. Mono eating gives the digestive process a break.  Digestion is one of the most labor intensive processes our bodies must perform.  Mono-eating allows the digestive system to focus solely on utilizing and breaking down one specific food.  Different foods breakdown differently in our bodies and requires different enzymes. When we combine foods, our digestion system must split resources to address each item.  Our bodies work harder to digest nuts than it would piece of soft fruit.  Eating them together does not allow the body full realization of the nutrients of each item.  Eating each one as a mono-meal provides full benefit of the nutrients and minerals of the food source.  If not mono-eating, keep it simple - eat "like" or similar foods in the same meal, foods with the same digestion time frames. Mono eating can be defined as one food for one meal or the same one food all day.  Food consumed in this manner also doesn't "stay" with you and moves through the intestinal track more quickly than combined meals.  Disclaimer: Of course, mono eating is only beneficial if it is with raw, fruit and vegetables.  It is detrimental if cooked foods are mono consumed.

So, for those yang to my yin...I thank you for your concern and I  hope this provides a little clarity so that we may all continue to evolve harmoniously.  Consider a few myths and the busting thereof.  If you see me, then feel and  flow with me as all yin need all yang.  We can ebb and flow together in unison. We can co-exist.

"The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves." ~ Pema Chodron

For those who eyes remain closed and shall never see or feel me, this too shall pass for I will continue to seek  inspiration and belief from within and from around, removing focus of accepting difficult times that do not to have to be received.

Yoga: Vaja Guru Mantra
Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum - the mantra for peace, healing, transformation, and protection.

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