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The foods you put into your body can have a profound effect on your health. Here are some things to consider...
My migraines (and other headaches)
When I was growing up, I grew used to occasionally being incapacitated by migraines and other headaches. I recognized the different headaches I would experience and the way they could incapacitate me. There were the "classic" migraines that would start as a faint numb pain on one of my temples and grow into an excruciating pain that would prevent me from doing anything and everything, with the exception of just sitting upright, completely still, either in a tall chair, on a couch, or in bed (I found that keeping my head higher than the rest of my body, would reduce the pain and discomfort). After popping some prescription Fiorinol or a few strong over-the-counter aspirins, and a few hours of incapacitation (hopefully asleep), the pain would subside. There were other headaches too!
There were the occasional migraines "attacking" me on both temples. There were the headaches that seemed to hit the entire top of my skull. Then there were the ones that would strike (blind-side me, really) when I was working outside, crouched or stooped over. I would stand up and start getting a throb in the top-back of my head, that would seem to be building steam with each throb, each throb striking me stronger than the last. I would begin seeing white stars dancing across my vision. I learned to immediately crouch down until it passed, recover, then get up slowly. There were a few times I almost passed out from the headache locomotive. There were also the headaches that would come on slowly in the back of my head (or the front, sinus areas) preceding a cold or flu. There were probably some other types of headaches I experienced, but they ended so long ago, they don't come immediately to mind.
How I overcame my headaches:
Over the years, since I was about 18 or so, I have paid attention to the cause-and-effect relationship of the food I ate and my health (how I felt). One of the first "foods" I eliminated was coffee. I had begun drinking it when I was 17. I would naturally stay up late, but have to wake up early to get ready for school. "Everybody" at school was drinking coffee, so it must be OK, right? It seemed to help me wake up in the morning. As I realized when I was in college, it was just an illusion. I did feel more alert while/after drinking coffee, but then had the realization that I was groggy in the morning, not because that's part of life, but because of the coffee I had consumed on previous days! I had already noticed the cyclical effect the coffee produced, having ups and downs of energy, as well as ups and downs of irritability, etc. Once I realized my over-all energy level was actually less while drinking coffee and that my morning grogginess was actually from the coffee itself, I gave it up! I believed I would had a better chance of living up to my fullest potential by staying off coffee and I wanted to reach more of my potential, so I stopped drinking it. It may have taken several days (or likely more) to recover from the effects (including some withdrawal headaches), but I did it. And that began my path of correcting my diet to take back control of my health and my life.
Later on, in my twenties, living in Colorado, I was told I had hypertension (high blood pressure). I was prescribed diuretics to reduce the blood pressure and was basically told I would always be taking medications to keep it under control.
I had been raised to eat a fairly Standard American Diet (SAD), though mostly whole foods (my mother cooked a lot of our food from scratch - not a lot of junk food). This included flesh foods and other animal products (eggs and dairy, etc.) I had an insight at one point that milk (cow's milk) seemed to give me gas. I tried cutting it out of my diet. The gas issue improved and I began noticing I had less headaches, as well as less colds and flues! Over the years I experimented with lactose-reduced milks, goat milk, and taking Lactaid tablets when eating dairy. I was never diagnosed as lactose-intolerant, but I did notice dairy did not optimize my health and vitality. I continued eating cheeses and ice cream on occasion. I became very aware, that I was more likely to "catch" a cold or flu after eating dairy (primarily cheese) more than once in a week. I gradually tapered off eating the cheeses. While not frequent, I did continue eating ice cream until December of 1997. I also began noticing that consuming meats did not optimize my health. I felt more tired and felt lethargic after eating "flesh foods". My energy level was not where I wanted it to be. My last steak (and probably burger too) was in 1989(?). While not as noticeable as the beef products, I soon realized, similarly, chicken and other non-red meats also did not optimize my health and actually reduced my vitality. I ended consuming those in 1991. I continued eating fish on occasion (gradually tapering off) until early 1997 (?). I had my last Ben & Jerry's (my ice cream of choice) in December 1997, becoming a strict vegetarian (vegan). Through all these dietary changes, I noticed I had less and less headaches, including migraines, as well as less colds and flues. My overall health improved, my disease (dis-ease) symptoms decreased, I felt better, and had more energy and vitality. My doctors had never tell me I could take such charge of my life and health, and that I could get off of all my prescription medications, but I had done it (at least at sea-level and lower altitudes.)
At that point, I was living in Hawaii. During my transition to a vegan diet (purely by wishing to improve my health) I had come across a small book, Gospel of the Essenes, which confirmed for me that my dietary changes were on track! The book also introduced me to the concept of raw foods, eating an all-raw food diet. At that point I was not ready for such a diet, but it did make sense to me and planted a seed in my mind.
In the late 1990's I moved to Seattle, WA and joined/volunteered with the non-profit group EarthSave. At some of the events I met some raw foodists. It was interesting to finally meet some people eating primarily or entirely raw plant-based foods. I had been naturally increasing the quantity (and percentage) of raw foods in my diet over the years. It was finally time for me to commit to raw foods, which I did on 12/31/2000, beginning my life as a raw foodist. I was eating about 80% raw through April, then went to 100% on 4/29/2001, ending my life (as I knew it) as a cooked foodist. While my life as a vegan saw no headaches or migraines, other than faint discomfort, my new life as a raw foodist saw even less! In addition, even at higher altitudes, such as in Colorado, I no longer had any signs of high blood pressure. While a vegan, I still showed elevated blood pressure at higher altitudes, even though it was normal at sea level. Finally, I was clear of blood pressure issues, colds and flues, and migraines and headaches. I had even overcome the gastritis/ulcer I once had and eliminated the prescriptions for that. I don't specifically recall the last time I took any of my prescription Fiorinol or even over-the-counter headache "remedies", but I believe it is safe to say it was in the early to mid 1990's! I don't miss them at all! I enjoy taking charge of my life and my health. What I have found is my body seems to work far more efficiently on a raw plant-based (predominantly organic) diet. Every step in that direction saw improvements in my health. I have also learned that the human body appears to be designed/adapted to eat this way (after all the "other" "nutrition" I have been taught over the years... go figure!) I have realized I have to do my own research, my own re-learning, to find the truth. I can't rely on others to help me maximize my health. I need to listen and discern the truth for myself. Of course, it is important to listen to many health "teachers" in the world, I just need to take things with a grain of (whole, sea-) salt. BTW, I have also learned that most doctors and their staff have had little, if any, training in nutrition and diet!
Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of how I overcame my migraines and other headaches (as well as other health challenges). Perhaps it gives you some insights into your own health and how you might be proactive and take steps to take back control of your health.
Things to consider:
Of the millions of species of living organisms on the planet Earth, how many of them cook their food??? Answer: 1 (one)
Animals in nature do not experience problems with obesity, as well as so many other diseases common among humans.
If the very first known fireplace was discovered to be from around 2,000,000 years ago and most early fires were around 400-800 thousand years ago, then we would not have begun cooking foods till some time after that.( Probably long after that!) That was the first evidence of a fire, not the first evidence of cooking. Most likely, the predominant motivating factor to use fire, was for warmth. We likely would not have cooked food immediately and would have made that transition, once we discovered "cooking", very gradually and would have continued eating a majority of raw foods, if available. If the first evidence of humans was from at least 35 million years ago, then cooked food would have been only a very tiny part of our evolution, especially considering we would have been on raw foods long before the "first evidence of humans!" As our "evolution" began perhaps over 400 million years ago, the time we have been consuming cooked food is insignificant when compared to our overall time consuming raw foods.
When we look at our anatomy in terms of signs of our ability to catch and kill animals without the use of weapons or tools, we see that we do not have the natural tools, such as claws and sharp teeth, for killing the animals humans now commonly eat. Our anatomy seems to not be designed for such activities. While animals in nature, which actively kill animals for food, have sharp teeth, hinged jaws, acidic saliva, very strong stomach acid, and short intestines, humans have none of these. Our teeth are designed for grinding, our jaw is hinged and does not lock like those of animals which kill and eat animals in nature, we have alkaline saliva, very weak stomach acid compared to carnivorous animals, and we have very long intestines. Prior to our discovering weapons and tools, if we consumed any animals at all, they likely would have been small, slow, or injured (or dead) animals, and only on rare occasion as long as we had a supply of plant-based foods available. When there is food natural for humans available, then there is no need to look "outside" our natural diet.
Our bodies produce their own cholesterol. There is no need to consume "dietary" cholesterol, which means there is no need for us to consume animal products! If our bodies need more cholesterol, they will produce more! If we choose to go outside our natural diet and consume animal products, our bodies may then have too much cholesterol, which becomes a burden. It's no wonder there is an epidemic of cardiovascular disease among westerners, who eat a large percentage of animal products.
When we look at true instincts, are we naturally drawn to animals for food? When hungry, do we instantly salivate at the sight of an animal? Do we instinctively want to catch or tackle that animal and take a bite of its flesh? Or suck its blood out? If people salivate at the thought of animal flesh, they are likely imagining a plate of food, already prepared: cooked, marinated, seasoned, with sides of other cooked seasoned foods. That has nothing to do with a human's natural diet.
If testimonials from raw foodists are any sign of the benefits of adopting a raw foods diet, then the diet may help people overcome health challenges from colds and flues to cancer and diabetes. Note to the overweight: One side-effect for the overweight seems to be weight loss! Many raw foodists claim they experienced weight loss without even trying!
Overcoming colds and flues seems to be a common effect of the diet. In theory, the symptoms of "colds" or "flues" are simply the body's way of cleaning and healing, which is increased when we eat improperly. Anything we put into the body that is foreign to the body, the body needs to purge! It's amazing (or, at least, seems to be) that all of a sudden, we can stop "catching" colds and flues, even when everyone around us is getting sick. I've watched "influenza" go round and round "the office". People believe it "spreads" from person to person. So, why then, does it skip over people who stopped eating cooked and artificial foods? It is my impression that, as long as I stick to the raw food (vegan and organic) diet, my body no longer needs to produce the cold and flu symptoms it used to. I certainly don't miss it! Years ago, I used to "catch" flues, including bronchitis, several times a year (3 to 4). I used to call in sick to work several times a year, as well. I haven't done that since January, 2001. I enjoy taking control of my health! Is it time for you to take control of yours?
No disease was ever caused by a lack of the medicine that is supposed to "cure" it: Ex: headaches are NOT caused by a lack of aspirin; cancer is NOT caused by a lack of chemotherapy or radiation; high blood pressure is NOT caused by a lack of blood pressure medication!. So WHY, then, do we give the body these "foods" (we "eat" the pills don't we? BTW, injections are another way of "eating" they just bypass the digestive system) when our bodies are suffering? They suffer from what we have already done to them, so why make it worse? Why not just stop feeding it what makes it suffer? How about we give the body a break and allow the body to heal itself and recover?
Raw Food Articles
From Raw Sacramento:
USA-The Least Healthy Country
From Towards Freedom: (a must read!)
Cooked Food Effects
by Wes Peterson
During the past few decades there has been much research done in the area of nutrition. Some of this research casts light on some important insights regarding the foods which Mother Nature offers to us in its whole, raw state, and what happens when we tamper with it.
From Raw Health:
Living nutrition is the most health building and cost-effective health program available. The healing ability goes beyond regular Vegetarianism and Vegan diets, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and synthetic-drug dependency. Roll back the clock of aging and cultural "dis-ease". Take full responsibility of your" wellness program."
From The Living and Raw Foods Frequently Asked Questions
Why would someone want to eat a raw and living foods diet?
There are many reasons why people eat a raw and living foods diet.
1.Health: Persons embracing this type of diet invariably experience improvements in their general physical and mental status, including more energy, better health, more energy <smile>, weight loss, detoxification, and a sturdier immune system that better resists and recovers from just about any kind of disease... and the list goes on...
Raw Food Personals/Raw Food Singles:
The living and raw food personals! http://www.living-foods.com/personals
Nature's First Law Raw Personals http://www.rawfood.com/cgi-bin/singles/singles.cgi
If you were my sister/brother, I'd encourage you to move towards a raw plant based diet!
Vegetarian Protein Sources / Vegetarian Calcium Sources / Vegetarian Iron Sources
Vegetarian Fiber Sources / Vegetarian Fat Sources / Health Facts / Vegan Recipes / Vegetarian Organizations
Celebrity Vegetarian Interviews / SoyStache Project / SoyStache Home / A Letter From the Cows / Raw Food Links
Famous Vegetarians: A - D > E - L > M - R > S - Z / Famous Vegetarians A - Z (the LONG list) / Natural Weight Loss Diet
Nutrition Tables / Vegetarian Events / Extensive Vegetarian & Vegan Links / Jesus - vegetarian / "Not-So-Famous" Vegetarians
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