Hi everyone- I'm going to be visiting my mom in the US for a couple of months, and wonder if anyone has any specific advice for helping an elderly diabetic become more raw without extreme measures. I'm a little worried if she would go primarily raw all at once, it would be a shock to her system and she is on a fairly high dose of oral meds. She has also had a stroke and wears dentures, so a lot of chewing is a problem. She will drink carrot smoothies with me but green ones make her gag. I just wondered if anyone here has some words of wisdom for me in helping her to eat more healthy and raw, gently. thanks in advance!!
I'm glad you asked! I am type 1, so I don't know how it would be different for her, but I'll just share my experience with this one: I thought I had to go raw all at once (because I was addicted to junk food, so I would eat 100% raw or 90% junk), and I had a holistic person warn me against it, saying that going 100% raw all at once would cause me to cleanse faster than my weak body would be able to handle. She wanted me to do no more than 85% raw. I didn't listen, and I did what I thought I had to do. Even though I was eating quite a bit of raw goat cheese in my diet, as well as Manna bread (which I found out later isn't really raw), I went through some MAJOR problems in cleansing too fast. I got weak, sick, etc. - I wasn't healthy enough to handle the detox I was experiencing. A lot of other things happened at the same time, and I gave up on raw. Several months later, I finally settled on eating exactly what my body wanted, whatever that was. I didn't give myself any rules, I just cut out first the things I knew weren't good for my body: sugar, white flour & chocolate (I didn't know about raw chocolate yet & I knew the cooked stuff gave me headaches, depression, PMS...even when it was "healthy" chocolate with no refined sugar or dairy in it). After a few weeks, I wanted to eat all raw, but I felt intuitively that it wasn't what was best for me. I ended up eating A LOT of salmon the first few months, and I'm guessing it was at least partly because meat slows down the cleansing process. I was basically eating salmon (or other meat - all natural, and all cooked) and everything else raw. I gradually ate less & less meat, and now I hardly ever eat any, but it's been 3 years & 9 months. I still can't usually handle a juice fast or feast for longer than one meal at a time, and I still don't feel good about doing any kind of major cleanse. I also still eat a lot of nuts, which help to slow down cleansing, although not as much as meat does.
Sergei Boutenko, who had been diagnosed with Type 1 but never took insulin, went Raw overnight (see the book Raw Family by Victoria Boutenko) and suffered quite alot for a few days. My son, who is also Type 1 (for 8 years now), went RAW overnight as well and got quite alarmingly ill. So, as Angie says, it is probably too much of a shock to ones body to change too suddenly. A good way to ease into RAW would be green smoothies. If the greens bother her, then start with mostly fruit and slowly increase the greens at rates she can tolerate. Bananas are great for masking the taste of more greens. Spinach is great to use as it has such a mild flavor. Although smoothies don't need to be chewed, they digest better if you chew and swish them before swallowing ("chew your liquids and drink your solids" being the mantra of optimal digestion). Although she will be consuming lots of carbs, when my son has green smoothies his sugar levels don't seem to spike due to the abundance of fiber. A wonderful addition to the smoothie is chia seed which "creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar" (http://www.living-foods.com/articles/chia.html). A teaspoon is a good amount to start with. One word of caution if you don't already know this, be careful not to introduce too much fiber too quickly.
Then, after this gentle start she can slowly cut out the usual bad stuff like coffee, sugar, white flour etc. Hope this helps