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After my 5-year-old experience with raw, I have observed the issue of control emerge, the issue of emotions emerge,
and so I came to a conclusion that, rather than focus on my colon (what I eat etc) so much,
there are other, far more important areas to address.
In fact, focusing on the colon is like putting the house upside down,
or building a house without the fundations.
It will collapse or sink.
So, thanks Bryan, for sharing your insights, very very good insights, very very helpful indeed.

There's more to health than diet
by Bryan Yamamoto
(rawfood support forum)
(also, go to
A radio talk with Bryan Yamamoto)

Many raw foodists, when they see they are starting to have problems with their health, almost instantly assume that there is something wrong with their diet. Perhaps this is because when they first went raw, that changing over to raw foods healed a plethora of health problems. Certainly a major aspect of being healthy is a healthful diet. However, having a healthy diet does not guarantee being healthy.

So why is this? Simply put, there is more to health than just diet. There is a whole set of healthful lifestyle habits and practices one needs to become and remain healthy. Many of these you will know - being fit, exercising, getting fresh clean air and sunshine, getting plenty of rest and sleep, engaging in healthy relationships.

A person might have a healthy diet, and even practice these healthful lifestyle practices and still be unhealthy. So what other things can influence one's health?

An often ignored aspect of health has to do with mental/emotional/spiritual balance and poise. As we become more sensitive, this poise determines how we will fare when challenged by the world in our new raw bodies.

One of the more difficult challenges of going from SAD to raw is that as the body becomes lighter and less dense, the fat and density that used to insulate us from energies coming from the outside are no longer there. In some sense the SAD diet gave us some shields to help keep those unpleasant energies from affecting us, and the foods served to numb us, so we could easily deal with the prevalent pain that is all over our society. As we become more sensitive on the lighter diet, we get to feel more intensely the pain that others are experiencing and we get more in touch with our own pain. How we deal with feeling this pain and our reaction to this pain is largely driven by our pre-existing mental/emotional/spiritual balance. And many of us don't have the tools necessary to navigate the modern industrial world without our shields on or without our desensitizing foods.

The place where we really feel our pain is around our attachments, specifically our preferences, desires, judgments, and criticisms. To see if you have some attachments, ask yourself the following questions:

Are you OK with the current state of the world? If not, what is it that is bothering you?

Are you OK with the way people are treating you? If not, what is it that is bothering you?

Are you OK with they way people with whom you interact behave and live their lives? If not, what is bothering you?

If your answers to these questions is "yes, I am OK with this" and you are a happy person, then this aspect of balance and poise is not your issue. If you said yes and you still feel unhappy, then it could be that you need to get a bit quieter and go inside and see if your answers really reflect how you feel.

But for most people, there will be a list of things that are bothering them. This list is a gift, as it points to places inside you where you resist your world and reality, and bringing this to consciousness provides you with a beginning place to start your exploration of getting free of pain of these issues.

Another place I see where raw foodists create pain in their lives is how they exert control over themselves. For many, controlling how one lives their day to day life is a means of avoiding pain and not feeling bad. And when we first engaged in some of these control tactics, they seemed to work well and kept us from our pain. But often these control tactics become abusive to ourselves and they create more pain than they prevent. Certainly controlling what one eats (especially when there is high desire to eat things that aren't on one's officially approved list of good foods) is a form of abuse or violence.

Freeing oneself of one's self control is not as easy as it may seem. First one has to get in touch with the feelings that put the control there in the first place, and then bring these feelings to consciousness and find it within ourselves to let this stuff go.

I had this control issue come up with going to a low fat diet. At first I exerted control to keep my fat very low. But the desire was there, and it wasn't going away. So I let go of my control, allowed myself to eat more fat, and over time (about 2 years) the desire for fat disappeared all by itself.

There was a point early in my raw foods process where the desire for cooked foods simply disappeared. It happened after I went to eating high fruit and a lot of mono eating. But I often meet raw foodists who don't ever get to this point, the desire for cooked food is always there. What I recommend to them is to let go of the control, and allow themselves to eat the cooked foods. At some point the body will either tell you that this doesn't work, at which point the desire will go away, or if it does work, then why change it?

These issues described here - dealing with new found sensitivity, feeling more strongly the pains of attachment, and use of control to achieve one's goals, are problems I see time and time again in the raw community. And these issues, if not brought to consciousness and resolved, will create a painful life that will hamper or even cease one's healing that came with the raw diet, to a point where the raw diet no longer works. For many people, this will mean needing supplementation to cope, or needing to eat heavier foods including cooked grains and animal products.

I have seen so many times where a person eating a raw vegan diet has experienced very poor health on the diet, and once they re-introduce foods that desensitize the body and shut down feeling, they get better. Of course this is not real healing, its just that the wound is now protected behind a shield, and while the person may look better, the wound and pain are still there, but hidden.

And of course the person blames the raw vegan diet, citing deficiencies and the general unsoundness of the diet. And yes, when they introduced cooked foods back into the diet (or superfoods or whatever), they returned to their old health and their old bodies again.

However, if you pay attention to how the person's energy feels and if you can see their face, you can feel their pain. And until the person deals with and releases this pain, they will not be free.

I like to share one more thing about this shield we create to keep the energies and pain out. While the shield is effective at keeping the pain suppressed it also keeps out the love. This love is everywhere in our reality and in our world, and we can't feel it if we are living behind a shield. This is why people shrink as they get older, their hearts become more protected and closed and their musculature contract as if the brace themselves against the world. I have seen women in their 60s who after working on themselves lose the big worry wrinkles on their faces and their bodies become more supple and they seem to lose 15 to 20 years of aging as they quit constantly defending themselves against the world and the reality.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
(Stacia Tauscher)

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
(Franklin P. Jones)

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.
(Bill Vaughan)

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music.
(William Stafford)

Children are one third of our population and all of our future.
(Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981)

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
(Rabindranath Tagore)

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.
(Thomas Szasz)

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.
(Franklin P. Jones)

Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.

Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything.
(Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone Scelto)

Women gather together to wear silly hats, eat dainty food, and forget how unresponsive their husbands are. Men gather to talk sports, eat heavy food, and forget how demanding their wives are. Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.
(Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960)

Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed.
(Robert Gallagher)

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
(Walt Streighttiff)

A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.
Copyright © Dr Gosia O'Reilly. All Rights Reserved.
Acknowledgements: Maura (logo).
Quotes on raw foods by fellow raw foodists.
Other quotes from The Quote Garden.
Photos: Free Stock Photos