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Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
(Swedish proverb)
Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.
(Sicilian proverb)
Your friend is that man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
(Elbert Hubbard)
You can always tell a real friend; when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job.
(Laurence J. Peter)
Friends are family you choose for yourself.

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4 July, 2006
Commitment Day 13
I did not record all the details of what I ate since Day 7. I do not usually access computer during the weekends. Sorry! I ate mostly fruit, but had some foods that I do not usually eat too. For example, I made a (raw) apple pie on Saturday, and a flax-seed pizza on Sunday. I am back in my office today and enjoying some perssimons that are finally ready to eat. Mmm mmm mmm. : ) If you never had a persimmon before, I highly recommend that you try them, they are the Gods' food!

And yes, I did not attend the school morning tea last Friday. And yes, I did not have any salt so far (no cooked foods either). And yes, my kids keep being all-raw!!! : ))))

Pears in the afternoon. Flax-seed pizza for dinner, later mandarines. Luke and I decided not to have pizzas for a while. We both find then dehydrating, and prefer fresh foods instead.

5 July, 2006
Commitment Day 14
Mandarines in the morning and around midday. Apples in the afternoon. Young coconuts in the evening. : )

6 July, 2006
Commitment Day 15
Mandarines in the morning. Apples in the afternoon. In the evening......gotya! No, no coconuts. A salad!

10 July, 2006
Commitment Day 19
It's Monday today. I am having mandarines in the morning. Again, no detailed record of my Friday-Sunday menus, too busy for that! But it was all-raw. On Friday, I avoided going to the department morning tea again. So far, no salt. No artificial salt that is. During the weekend I had a big appettite for lettuce with avo and tomato, which felt quite salty to me. I had more avoes  per day than usual, perhaps about 1 - 1 and 1/2. On Saturday Julia asked me what was it I was eating, so I let her have a taste. She loved it. She requested I spread some vegemite on it. I made her a few "lettuce sandwiches" as I call them, small ones, bite size. On Sunday she requested to have them again. Later she was commeting how yummy it was, and she said that she would be happy to have it for lunch every day! This was the first time she had some lettuce and really enjoyed it. She was not a big greens eater before. As far as Odys, he has a big bowl of simple salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomato plus orange and tahini dressing) every day. On Friday I was very concerned about Odys. In the evening, a strong strange odour was emanating from him, it was totally awful. He said he felt sick. But the next day (and after going to the bathroom) his breath was fresh and fruity, and very nice. I figured out that some detox was going on. After all, this is the first time Odys was all-raw for more than a few days.

Pears in the afternoon. A salad in the evening.

11 July, 2006
Commitment Day 20
Pears in the morning.

I should mention that a week ago Luke and I had a meeting with Julia's teacher, and we are very pleased with the way Julia is going. Julia's teacher is aware of our dietary preferences (and familiar with my website) and supportive of them. She mentioned that she observed that those children in their class who have a better diet (including Julia) are also calmer and better behaved. She said that Julia is a gifted child. Luke believes that Julia is normal, it is simply that children whose diet are unhealthy or who had adverse childhood experiences (like being deprived of motherly touch), are not able to perform their best.

Apples in the afternoon. Young coconuts in the evening.

11 July, 2006
Commitment Day 21
Mandarines in the morning. Apples in the afternoon. A salad in the evening.

13 July, 2006
Commitment Day 22
Pears in the morning. A handful of mixed nuts in the afternoon (suddenly felt like having something different :) ). Make it two. Oh, I overdid it! I bought these nuts from the uni shop, they had very little salt on them (I wanted nuts badly, but I did not take any from home, cause I don't tend to eat nuts). Later on, I couldn't it my usual salad in the evening, and my sleep was disturbed. I had a couple of bananas at night. I think there was something in these nuts (some kind of irritants). I will never buy them again!

14 July, 2006
Commitment Day 23
Mandarines in the morning. In the afternoon, I started having cooked food fantasies, so I figured out that the best thing to do is to go to the uni bar and stuff myself with a delicious (raw) salad. Twice. :) Mmm mmm mmm. My tummy feels good.

Young coconuts in the evening. A couple of bananas at night.

17 July, 2006
Commitment Day 26
During the weekend, I enjoyed more salads again (as well as fruit, naturally). Julia joined me! She asked what I was eating (she is always interested in what I eat and often takes over my food), and decided to try. She loved it! We shared the meal. This was Julia's first time eating salad and loving it.

I tried make things more interesting and used some seasoning in my salad, but this negatively affected my sleep. It's amazing how strongly my body reacts to  things that I once used to have on regular basis. Well, I learned, and I won't do it again.

Pears in the morning. Mandarines, unripe, non-sweat and completely unsatifying .... Cooked food!!! :( Clearly, I am not immune to making mistakes. We tried to save some money, and bought some cheaper mandarines (about $2 a kilo as compared to about $5). Bad move, the mandarines turned up to be less than desirable. Eating unripe foods makes my body feel like starving. And, when I starve, I will eat (nearly) anything (some people would do well and fast in such situation, but I am not good at it all)! In the afternoon I went shopping and bought myself bags of beautiful, sweet mandarines.

18 July, 2006
Commitment Day 27
Last weekend we bought and planted a few fruit trees: apple. pear, peach and cherry. Other fruit trees that we already have are: fig, persimmon, apricot, plum, walnut. We plan to plant at least another ten. I look forward to having some home-grown fresh, organic, sweet, ripe fruit.

I am munching on the mandarines that I bought yesterday. They are absolutely delicious. With each bite I can nearly hear my body speaking "mmm, this is exactly what I wanted, mmm". It's nearly as if it felt relieved (from being starved earlier by my silly mistake). Staying raw is effortless as long as I feed my body well.

19 July, 2006
Commitment Day 28
Mandarines in the morning. Hazelnuts in the afternoon.

I have to go to this Friday morning tea in our department, because this time, I am one of the two people responsible for it! This will be an opportunity for me to face my salt addiction. My long-term plan is to participate in morning teas, but bring my own food with me instead. I actuclly have done this many times before, it's just that in the recent weeks, I've been finding myself drawn to anything over-salty on the table, eating it and then feeling terrible. I now feel ready to face the salt!

Gee, I really can't have any fats during day (those hazelnuts were too much for me). In the evening, I hardly touched my salad. Later, at night, I had some bananas. This did the trick for my tummy.

20 July, 2006
Commitment Day 29
Mandarines in the morning. Apples in the afternoon. Young coconuts in the evening, plus a bite of avocado (when preparing lettuce sandwiches, made from lettuce, avo and vegemite for Julia).

21 July, 2006
Commitment Day 30
I made it. I did not eat any salt during the morning tea today. Just fruit (persi-mmmmm-on).

27 July, 2006
So many things happenning, and I have hardly any time to write.

* My 3 year raw anniversary. I have been raw for three years (since mid July) and getting more and more comfortable with this lifestyle. Actualy, I have had been raw before in my life, but never thought of staying raw, like I do now. For example, in my twenties, I had times when I would eat salads only all day, for days and days. Later, during my stay in Greece, I was quite happy to eat whatever fruit I had access to. When I worked on grapes fields, I would eat grapes. In Athens, I loved going to markets, buying rock-melons and eating them all day. My 43-rd birthday is coming soon too, so it is a double anniversary. I requested a watermelon for my birthday cake and a fruit tree for my present.
* We had a satsang in our home, for the first time. Luke and I delibarated for a while whether to follow our guests' eating habits or not, and finally we settled on serving raw foods only. I made raw lasagna, two types of salads, cookies and lollies made from nuts and dried fruit. Our guests looooved the food and where asking for the recipes. Someone commented how many fruit we have in our kitchen (it looks here like in a supermarket). We had such a lovely time, singing Amma's bhajans. I look forward to the next one.
* Julia had a go at some of the cooked foods that our guests brought for sharing. She is sick now (high temperature, pain in the right ear). She pledged that she will never have cooked foods again and asked me to remind her next time not to have any. She is sleeping now on the couch in my office, while I prepare the lectures.

28 July, 2006
I would like to share with you what I wrote yesterday on Alissa's forum, in response to a post by a fellow raw foodist.

<<I think it's time for some input
Ok, I'm getting a weeeee bit discouraged and trying not to.

It's been a year since I went raw. I probably can count less than 30 days that I had cooked food. But many days where I've questioned what I do. When I'm well rested, confident and balanced...I'm all raw and no turning back. I love it. When I'm tired, unbalanced and insecure...I question this whole thing and wonder if I'm just nuts.

So, the last couple days I've been so insecure and unbalanced (not sure why, I'm working on that). I was doing 8/1/1 and loved it for a week, and was 100% before that, but I just crashed and though I'm not eating "junk" food, my body is definetly thinking that cooked food is "junk" food right now. I nibbled on some popcorn today (organic, air popped), I nibbled on some sprouted bread, some peanut butter, some beans and some rice cakes. I felt so ill afterwards. So, so, so ill. My heart was racing, my stomach ached and I just wanted to curl up in a ball.

Not that all of you aren't fabulous, I just feel so unstable. So, I'm sipping on my cleansing tea, haven't eaten since 5pm and going to bed. Just trying to ride this out. I really never saw this coming. I was going so strong. Hmmmm.>>

May I share my approach to raw foods and other matters with you here?

In my view, all experience is good, and there is no need to get upset about anything. There is no need to put oneself down or restrict oneself in any way. Let yourself free to experience whatever your spirit wants. Let yourself experience feeling bad after eating cooked and then perhaps decide that you may prefer being raw, without any judgement.

The most helpful realization of my life was this:
Only if the choice is truly YOURS (rather than coming from the point of feeling gulity when you do not do what you are expected to do) then your path will be EFFORTLESS.
Realizing this has helped me so much in my journey, not only in the sense of my diet, but in a larger sense.

When I once decided to become a Christian, I used to beat up myself for not being good enough. After several years of ups and downs, and deep unhappiness, I finally decided that enough is enough. I decided that I was going to discover what I wanted to be, not what I was supposed to be. I decided to reject all the rules and instead, observe the world and how I felt, and make my decisions based on that. Several months after my decision, I found myself in a state of bliss! Moreover, I was behaving in a way that once, as a Christian, I thought I should, effortlessly! How on earth did that happen? I realized that once I let my spirit free it went where it wanted to go, without me having to do anything at all, apart from intensely observing the world and my thoughts and feelings.

There is no need to put a human in a cage of rules to follow, no matter how perfect or right they might seem. A human has the ability to arrive at the place of perfect harmony as long as he/she is fully aware.

The raw food diet is not exception here. There is no need to try to be raw, there is no need to try to avoid eating cooked, there is no need to try to follow any system of rules. As long as one intensely observes one's body, a spontaneous transition in the right direction will occur. For example, when I ate unripe fruit, I realized that doing so was leaving me starving. I learned that eating ripe fruit is best. I could have learned this rule by reading a book, and try to follow it without understanding it. Some other time, I tried a little bit of coffee and had a disturbed sleep after that. After doing this a few times, I learned that I do not want it anymore, because I hate being sleepless and tired afterwards. In a similar way, by merely observing my body and allowing for gradual changes, my diet spontaneously progressed to high-fruit diet. I am still in transition. I still make mistakes and learn from them. My dietary and lifestyle patterns are still developing. I still have cooked food desires or even relapses. But this is getting rarer and rarer, and staying raw is easier and easier. And, I have made a big progress! We got rid of the stove from the kitchen. My kids are finally all-raw. I now have the courage to ask people at after-hours-school-care not to feed my daughter anything except fruit (she brings her own foods as well). I LOVE eating fruit in the morning, afternoon and having salads or young coconuts in the evening. All these changes happen because we(my family) or I WANT THEM, not because we think we should. And because of this, they are effortless. I eat what I eat because I love eating it, not because I think it is the optimal diet.

My inner self tells me:
Release your self. Be free. Enjoy the journey. Make your own choices whatever they are and do learn from them, but do not beat yourself up for making them. Live your life the way you want to live it. You are on the right path.


(I realize that expaning a little on the topic could be helfpul. I am preparing an article in which I will tell about my approach to raw foodism in more detail.)

31 July, 2006
The fight with my salt addiction is not quite over yet. We have a (nearly empty) jar of vegemite, which I sometimes use when Julia asks for it (usually as an addition to avo or lettuce-avo sandwiches). I usually avoid it, but last weekend I had a little bit with my lettuce wraps. Luke too. Later we both could tell that we were affected by it. I talked to Julia and asked for her permission to throw the jar away, and she agreed. We have a few other cooked food leftovers that, although we do not use, they are still there. I decided that today I am going to get rid of them, except for the spices, which I may use to create some gourmet dishes for the times when we have visitors.

I would like to add a little bit more to what I said yesterday:

I am coming to the point when I am becoming more comfortable with not being perfect. I think that the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them is better than the paralysis from some external rules that we are afraid to break. For example, I think that
* when suffering for days from some cooked/unhealthy food desire, and trying not to eat that food, hopelessly, with the thoughts of wanting to eat it reoccuring without the end (because on some level we do want that food),
* it is better to go and eat that food, experience the misery associated with it, and finally let go, not because we think we should, but because we WANT TO.

So if I really suffer, and nothing works, and despite all the arguments that I constructed, I still create the thoughts of wanting to eat something, I will go and eat it. I will observe every moment of my experience. Including how I feel afterwards. Then letting go happens spontaneously.

I am not saying that this is the only way to be. This is the way I am and I could not do it any other way. I just can't live in the cage of rules.


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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: Geek Philosopher