Just wanted to introduce myself and my journey. My name is Jess and I hail from Ontario, Canada (it's snowing today!). I've been vegetarian for nearly 10 years, and first learned of raw food about a year ago. Since then, I have slowly (very slowly!) been becoming more raw. I've been vegan for about four months, and just completed a one month detox where I consumed no caffeine, alcohol, refined grains, table salt, artificial anything, or - a huge one for me - refined sugar. For the last week of the detox I was close to 100% raw (I ate some cashews, which of course aren't truly raw, and drank some herbal tea), and I feel fantastic! I'm now at a point in my life where I feel I can commit to being high raw, and never go back to the dreaded sugar that was sapping my energy and making me sick. This hasn't been easy for me - I used to have a serious sugar binging problem and I work as a baker and server at an ice cream parlor! (Talk about needing a career change, eh?) Right now, I'm allowing myself some cooked whole grains once a week if I feel so inclined, and am otherwise mainly raw. Every Thursday I feast on green smoothies only, which I find helps keep me in check and feeling "rawsome." At the moment, I'm in LOVE with raw lasagna, and I currently have some chick peas sprouting so I can try whipping up some raw chana masala tomorrow, which was one of my all-time favourite cooked meals, especially in the winter since the spices are so warming.
Even though I consider my raw story to just be beginning, raw food has already made a huge difference in my body and outlook. I'm about 20lbs lighter than I was before discovering raw (I've never been obese, but have had a higher-than-healthy BMI for most of my life), I sleep better, and my adult acne finally seems to be clearing up. My boyfriend and family have followed my lead and begun eating healthier too. I'm an animal lover also, and now operate a recipe blog where I offer healthy meal ideas you can share with your companion parrot! http://eatinglikeabird.wordpress.com  Might seem weird I know, but parrots thrive on fresh, whole foods the same way that humans do. I think the biggest push I've had to eat healthily was when I looked at the fantastic meal I'd prepared for my parrot, Ellie, and thought - hey, how come I'M not eating that?! Some of the blog's recipes are cooked, but a lot more will be raw from now on.
Wow, that got long-winded! Sorry! I'm really looking forward to trying everyone's recipes and chatting with other raw fooders! See you around!