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Growing Raw... with Baby
by Brigitte Rondohlz
I have grown to think of raw food as simple, joyous, and great. And the longer I live on raw foods, the more I wonder, Why is it so hard for so many people to understand the benefits of raw veganism?
The three most common questions people have asked me concerning my way of eating, have been, How did you ever find your way to eating only raw food?, What can still be eaten?, How can you carry on when eating only raw foods?
If I am asked these types of questions by mothers, who are usually double burdened by a schedule involving a profession and household maintenance, I often respond by presenting a series of situations that they may like to consider. Please, imagine, a fairy coming to you who wants to fulfill what may be three of your wishes She releases you from the daily interrogation of, What shall I cook today?, from having to cook anything, and from the biggest part of dish-washing.
When I feel all of the benefits of following a raw vegan diet, I think, Who wouldnt accept this right away? I dont think people should wait for the fairy. For me, the dream of simplification I experience by following a raw vegan diet is a reality, and has been for a long time.
By the time I explain these things, many listen carefully, and become eager to hear my story. Most of all, they often want to know how I came to practice such a diet.
My venture into raw veganism began a few years ago. Sometimes, I dont remember it (but more likely is that I dont want to). Today I dont understand why I didnt start practicing this lifestyle much earlier. Now it seems so obvious and natural, as if Nature meant for us to be this way since we were in the cradle.
A small retrospect
I have always been a conscious eater. When I was married, and had my first three children, everything still happened in normal cooking-style. I, however, refused to use as other modern housewives did canned foods, or even fast-food, that were very popular. No, I was more interested in learning the art of cooking of my ancestors. I wanted to feed my family a healthy diet. Therefore, I bought wonderful, fresh produce, and then proceeded to devalue the quality of the nutrients in them by cooking them in hot fat, boiling them in water, and baking them.
It was during my researches into healthy eating that I found books leading me to high quality food.
When I became pregnant again in 1992, I was sure that several things had to change. I had decided that, in order to have a natural and healthy life, I had to change more than just my food. I had to change just about everything around me. Things that I did not question before became suspect.
One of the main things that I questioned during this pregnancy was the way pregnancy and childbirth are treated in todays environment. I was convinced that it could not be in Gods will, or in Mother Natures plan to experience the wonders of childbirth in the unnatural surroundings of a so-called sterile hospital filled with various high-tech apparatus, technical jargon, and toxic medications.
All three of my other childrens births were assisted either by either Caesarian section, or by the use of forceps. These were things that I did not want to experience again. In opposition to the recommendations and warnings of the medical specialists, I decided to have my fourth child in a more natural setting.
To experience a more natural childbirth, I felt that I needed to live as much as possible according to Nature. Most of all, I needed to eat more naturally. Because of this, I became aware of the big influence that food has on our course through life.
Determined to meet my goal of eating more in tune with Nature, I began eating mainly fruits and vegetables, the latter however were mostly in a stewed form. I could not easily give up my beloved potatoes
Following a pregnancy without any complications, I gave birth the natural way, without any technical means, invasive procedures, or toxic chemical medications. And it was a wonderful experience.
As I began to nurse, my will to succeed at this natural lifestyle became stronger. But, even after following the advice of Walker, Shelton, Fry, Wandmaker, and other followers of the Natural Hygiene movement, who gave me much enlightenment, I was still experiencing ravenous hunger attacks.
But I finally had the chance to read Der große Gesundheits-Konz, by Franz Konz, who, in my opinion, is THE author to read concerning the raw vegan lifestyle in Germany. I even read every page of his mammoth 1,456-page book I read the book as if it were a personal manifistation. I was highly motivated after reading his concept that wild plants have been the missing link to good nutrition.
After the experience of reading that book, I ate more raw foods. And I found my energy level was increasing drastically. Where I previously had to fight against the mid-day fatigue, I now felt fully satisfied with eight-hours of sleep per night. My digestion also improved in such an incredible way that, I am sure, I wore out the patience of whoever it was who found themselves listening to my stories of my wonderful digestion. In my euphoria, I seemed to have overlooked that this topic was a bit taboo among normal cooked food circles. But the best thing was that I could fully nurse my baby, Laura. This was a pleasant surprise because, with my previous babies, the doctors had diagnosed me with an inherent lactation weakness.
During her first year of life, Laura received mothers milk. But she soon began to grab bananas, watermelon pieces, and other raw delicacies out of my hands, and sometimes right out of my mouth. More and more vegetables and fruits were now in her diet. And none had been prepared, or sliced into small pieces. Her standard seemed to be, whatever fruit or vegetable fit into her mouth was okay for her. She was thriving and prospering faster than what I remembered of her older siblings. She also never became sick. Even as of today she has not had any medications in her body, and has had no vaccinations. She continued to have breast milk for over three years.It was a few months before her fourth birthday that she stopped nursing. I will never forget hearing her words, Mamie, now I will stop nursing myself. I had always thought that it would be my decision to stop nursing! But, perhaps the best lectures in life are given to us by the actions and words of our children. With breast feeding, Laura seemed to know the right time to stop. This made me consider the thought that perhaps a mother suddenly deciding when to stop nursing was against Nature. I know of children as old as six who occasionally have mothers milk.
By witnessing Laura grow unlike any baby I had known, I was encouraged to continue the Natural, simple way of eating that I had adopted. It was a wonderful experience, and I felt like what at times seemed to be a permanent search for a better way, was now completed. And the positive effect of this is that my life now seems much easier.
And this meant I was now experiencing the fairy blessings that I had mentioned at the beginning of this article. There was no more cooking, hardly any dish washing, and I was discovering that there was life outside of the kitchen. My life had become simpler, and more pleasant.
Now, the second question that I am often asked: What can be eaten?
This question can be answered quickly and easily: Nearly everything that is growing. Nature has provided us with an unbelievable variety. There are multiple varieties of wonderful and tasty fruits, vegetables, and wild plants. I find it joyous to eat juicy, sweet mangoes using just my hands. I enjoy the creamy, fine fruit pulp of ripe avocado. Even a fresh, juicy apple just taken from a tree offers a sensual high delight.
It was in the splendid magazine, Just Eat An Apple, that I read about the paradisiacal Asian fruit, durian. The article mentioned that they are sweet, filling, creamy, and sexy. I have since found that this is true. Whoever has experienced the delight of eating a perfectly ripe durian will likely confirm this, and conclude that eating fruit is joyous.
The third question I am asked may also be answered easily by a counter question: Why should we stop practicing such a nice, joyous, and simple lifestyle?
Now, why is it that many people find it so hard to carry out eating a raw vegan diet? Perhaps this is a difficult question to answer because each person differs in their experience with food. Here we have to differentiate. It is really the raw food that is so hard to understand? My answer can be found in the above.
Another variant of uncooked food, one called instinctotherapy, searches for the solution in the problem of always being hungry. They practice the consumption of raw meat, which, I believe should be refused because of physiological, ethical, and spiritual reasons. A friend of mine who has been practicing instincto nutrition recently told me that he was eating snails in the forest, alive! Brrrr!! I feel instinctively that this is the wrong way to eat.
An answer to why some people decide not to follow a raw vegan diet is because they are influenced by the people around them, and the media. Of course many of us give up things because we are afraid of becoming an outsider, or are not strong enough to cope with the general pressure of groups. One friend of mine who is in high school simply tells her friends that her doctors have prescribed a raw food diet to her because she has so many allergies.
I just find it amazing that people will stay away from a lifestyle and way of eating that will greatly benefit their health and life in many ways. I have seen raw vegans return to the cooked food nutrition that soon makes them gain weight, and experience health problems.
I encourage everybody, always and everywhere, to abstain from eating cooked food. The raw vegan diet is the most healthful and natural way to eat.
Author: Brigitte Rondholz Schubertweg 17 53340 Meckenheim Tel.: 02225- 911 722 Fax: 02225 911 733 e-mail: Brondholz@aol.com
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