In My Mind's Zen Garden
No Comments 17 Views

Deconstructing The Appetite With Raw Foods

Although I consider myself a “Raw Vegan” I am still a bit skeptical. But I’m still intent on doing all the research I can on nutrition and trying my best to apply what I’ve learned to my life experience. But so far, I’m pretty convinced that animal products tend to lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes… while fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds seem to help the body to rejuvenate.

What would be my reasons for adapting a healthy diet?

Optimum Health

I supposed I am concerned about my health. Diagnosed with high blood pressure, I wanted to investigate all those foods that would be beneficial to me and would help lower my blood pressure.

Also, I know that in the past I’ve eaten a certain way and although the food tasted exquisite, it didn’t do my body good and in the end I felt miserable and sluggish.

And I do remember when I was a child and felt so much energy and just felt so great, as a musician I need to always feel that way now, because I know that the way I feel affects how I perform. Which brings me to my second reason…

Performance

In the 1990s, I remember that a LOT of my performance enhancing items (with regards to my drumming) fell into two categories:

  1. Caffeine – I would have to go to Starbucks, or any coffee shop just to get my fix of caffeine just to wake up. I was dependent on it and always felt it was a type of drug that, in the end, didn’t do anything for me nutritionally. And, it made me lose a lot of sleep.
  2. Ginseng – My life back then also consisted of taking vials of Red Panax Ginseng to enhance my musical performances on drums. I still think Ginseng extract is a good thing. My performances always seemed more focused and I seemed to be in the Zone more with Ginseng. And I still do.

But seriously, I’ve always wanted to eat the ideal diet that would help make me feel great and with abundant amounts of energy, and perhaps some energy on reserve.

And as I grow older, it’s more important for me as a musician to be physically fit and healthy. So, eating to benefit my performance is something I’ve always strived to perfect, and is an ongoing process to this day.

Weight Control

I’ve always had a problem with one particular food…. RICE!

Once I eat it, I’m not entirely satisfied unless I’ve eaten at least a couple of plates full of it. Then, because of my Filipino heritage, in the past I remember eating lots and lots of rice with chicken adobo and pork sihnigang, along with lots of fried lumpias (egg rolls), and noodles laden with lots of grease.

Some people seem to do well with eating the SFD (Standard Filipino Diet)… I myself don’t. I gain a lot of weight and no matter how much I exercise, I gain even more weight and feel sluggish all the time.

Eating pizzas, spaghetti, meatloaf, burgers, blah blah blah…. I would just gain and gain more weight. Then I would have to buy new clothes because I could no longer fit into my old clothes. It doesn’t sound right, does it?

What I’ve noticed about a raw vegan diet is that as far as weight goes, it’s easier to maintain and control one’s weight while eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. There is lots of fiber, no empty calories, and more nutrition than eating a SAD (Standard American Diet).

So far with a raw vegan diet… I’m losing weight. And, I’m able to control my weight without having to do tons of exercise just to maintain my weight. And I’m able to eat a LOT of food, feeling lighter and with more energy. A raw vegan diet is definitely not a diet of deprevation as far as volume is concerned.

Ethical and Ecological Concerns

Believe it or not, I also became a vegan because of my concerns for animals.

For one, animals are “tested on” regularly in labs. And animals are used as food in a multi-billion dollar industry that is more concerned about profits than our health or the health of the animals that are killed for food. And from my research I’ve discovered how horrible those conditions are for cattle, pigs and chickens, etc…

I’ve always wondered why society has singled out certain animals for food and certain animals for pets. Shouldn’t all animals be treated equally, and fairly?

Once, when I was with the boy scouts, we witnessed a large cow get slaughtered for food. It was the most horrific sight I ever saw, and was one of the main experiences of my life that caused me to become a vegetarian.

Sure, it’s just an animal, and not a human. But it seems to me that animals have feelings too, and they don’t want to die. It seems that although they don’t have an advanced form of life that humans have… their lives should still be respected.

I know, I know….

The main argument is that, what about plants? They’re living things too. And perhaps they have feelings too and would feel pain as well.

But when you harvest and kill plants for food, as far as we know we can’t detect (at least to our senses) any suffering… what more when we slaughter a pig and hear it squeeling for it’s life?

So, as humans we make a conscious decision to draw the line somewhere. I would rather draw the line to where I’d spare all the animals and instead at all the plants. At least my conscious would feel better.

But this is just my personal decision, and we as humans can rationalize however we feel our lifestyles should be. But I been feeling compassion for all the animals in recent years. So, by consciously avoiding all animal products I guess I’m not hoping that helps keep those animals alive that would’ve been slaughtered for my benefit.

Well, this last reason is the most controversial.

. . . .

But to summarize… my food experiences have lately been a Scientific experiment to see which foods make me feel great both immediately and in the long run.

The more I investigate the human consumption of animal products, the more I read that too much animal foods can lead to stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Where one moderates when it comes to animal products is up to the individual. For me, when my doctor gave me a sheet of paper that said would I could and couldn’t eat, most (if not all) animal products were eliminated from the diet. With exception to seafood once or twice a week….

…once or twice a week!

That’s practical a vegan diet already.

I rationalized… might as well eliminate those two servcings of fish and become a vegan?

And the more I read about raw foods, the more I experiment with focusing on raw foods and how it’s making my body feel.

Raw foods seems to be a step in the right direction. But, is all cooked foods actually detrimental, and perhaps a form of slow poison? That would be hard to say, since most humans nowadays enjoy their foods cooked.

. . . .

Refined Sugars and Refined Grains

Recent studies I’ve been reading have pointed out to a reduction in white flour products, like donuts and pastries, etc… Obviously though, I think everyone by now knows that foods made with white flour and refined sugars are bad for you.

Moderation is the key. But, how much is moderation? And what happens if someone completely eliminates those things from one’s diet?

I figure that, if someone had an occasional donut or two after church. Or, an occasional indulging in apple pie or cake, is not going to hurt one.

Who knows…. in the end it all boils down to the individual’s personal experiences with food.

. . . .

Anyway, from my personal experience, I’m going through a period where I’m literally “deconstructing” my whole concept of eating. Questioning why I’ve been eating certain foods in the past. Experimenting with what makes me feel good and what impacts me negatively.

All my research and experimentation has brought me to this “raw vegan” lifestyle. By eating foods with a lot of fiber and roughage, my stomach is feeling satisfied without taking on too many calories. And foods containing more vitamins and minerals give me that added energy and don’t weigh me down. And I end up eating more while controlling my weight.

Life, though, continues on and is a process of continual change. Hopefully, it is evolving as it should and for the better…..

It’s amazing how much my appetite has changed, how I’ve realized that I’ve had certain cravings for foods that weren’t exactly good for my body. Humans can change bad habits in 19 days, from what I’ve read. I don’t know where I’ve read that but it sounds right.

Well, it’s better for me to crave cucumber juice and broccoli, rather than crave a Big Mac and fries. So, let the deconstructing begin!



About the author:
Has 3076 Articles

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

RELATED ARTICLES

Back to Top