Hello everyone.. my name is Nikki and I live in Western MA. Sorry if this turns into a novel, just want to share my story and possibly get some feedback!
I grew up in Washington state with my father, brother and step-mom. My step-mom was stressed out and overworked and to be quite frank, she was a monster. I can’t blame her—she had health problems that the doctors couldn’t solve, she was dealing with two kids with mental illnesses and my father was suffering from pretty severe depression. She turned her back on traditional medicine and began seeing a Naturopathic doctor who not just turned her onto a raw vegan diet but an entirely new lifestyle. She was transformed almost instantly into a newer, happier, more vital person.
My brother suffers from ADD and since he became addicted to Ritalin at 9 years old, he has never gone back onto medication. However, even today as an adult he has maintained the lifestyle my step-mom instilled and manages his illness through lifestyle choices and healthy eating.
I can’t say the same for myself. I moved to New England to live with my boyfriend, who is wonderful and supportive of me. Unfortunately, I moved into an environment that was absolutely alien to what I was used to back home and I fell off the wagon in a big way. I went from never drinking soda, never eating fast food, running 10 miles a day and living a vital life to being sedentary, guzzling carbonated drinks, eating out nearly every day. My boyfriend is not the most open minded about food—he didn’t know what a cucumber was until I made a salad for him and his family still can’t believe that I’ve gotten him to eat vegetables. He was raised on boxed food, fast food, and TV dinners—his mom is proud of her inability to cook, in fact! I have slowly been trying to draw him out of his culinary shell (I am utterly in the opposite direction, I will try anything once) but it has caused delays.
I suffer from PTSD as well as Bipolar I disorder. Lately, I have been hospitalized, medicated, and undergone a lot of behavioral therapy to fix my problems.. nothing has ever seemed to work. Interestingly though, right after I was diagnosed with having bipolar my family became vegan (and then at least partially raw vegan) and I went most of my teenage years without needing to be medicated—diet and lifestyle kept me mentally balanced and my anxiety issues at bay. I think the best way to put it right now is that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s not even just the gained weight—I look in the mirror and see dull hair, dull grey skin, puffy circles under my eyes even after full nights of rest. Psychologically, I’m trying to pull out of one of the worst bouts of my bipolar I have ever had to face. I’m pretty sure right now that eating cans of spaghetti-os and drinking a liter of soda a day is really not helping things!
My plan right now is to slowly transition. I am not and never will be a cold turkey person—the first time I slip and fall will make me snap and binge, so easing into things I think is the better option. For now I think I’m going to be a raw omnivore (in that I plan to include sashimi and raw milk in my diet.. two animal proteins I’m just too in love with to give up quite yet) and as time goes on I’ll re-evaluate and start cutting those things out of my life when I’m ready to do so.
I should also note that by trade, I am a Pastry Chef. Some people may find that hypocritical given that I make and give unhealthy foods to other people but won’t eat them myself.. we’re all entitled to our opinions. I just hope that I can learn a thing or two by going down this path and finding a healthier way to help people satisfy their sweet tooth. Amusingly I have never been a sweet tooth—I just love making food and am pretty good at it!
Anyway, thanks for reading my novel and I’ll be lurking/posting as I get my journey kicked off.
Well done Nikki, I think you are doing the right thing. I am not 100% raw but aim to do a slow transition. My mum had pernicious anaemia (Vitamin B12 deficiency) and I worry I might get it too so going slowly is best to work out what your body wants. Go for it!