How often do people focus on how they look on the outside even if that means applying and consuming poisons? Is it not better to cleanse from the inside out, by eating foods that truly nourish the body resulting in bright eyes, energy to enjoy life, youthful skin and shiny hair?
Raw foods can easily be incorporated into everyday life. I heard so many people say that they couldn't eat raw food, they worry about the lack of calories or think that it means that they can never eat anything cooked again. I think this comes from not understanding that it is an individual thing, that can be tailored to suit ones needs.
I'm going to explain how easy it is easy for most people prepare half or a third of their plate raw. Even meat eaters could have some raw food with their steak or chicken. There are certainly cleansing and education benefits to trying to go for it perhaps with 70/80% raw diet or a juice cleanse. However it is not for everyone and can be hard to maintain.
Try a little to start and see how your body responds. Here is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to start:
- Start the day by eating fresh fruit
- Or start the day with freshly squeezed juice
- A citrus juicer is portable and from as little as a £1.00
- It is not strictly raw but homemade oat granola with dried fruit, nuts and seeds is a healthy breakfast
- Leave the oats out and dehydrate for 100% raw
- Add to nut milk or have compacted as a cereal bar
- Take four vegetables and chop them into a salad. Add nuts, seeds, olives, capers, vegetables and avocado. Mix with a homemade dressing.
- Eat with homemade flax crackers for 100% raw
- Add hummus, falafels or bean salad for vegan and mainly raw
- Or some hot smoked fish and a potato or rice salad for some raw
Raw food is a journey something you can do some days than others depending on everyday factors, such as, time, money, health and even the weather. Don't feel bad because you want a baked potato with your raw food. Just something fresh than over processed or cooked is better than nothing. Don't feel bullied by the food police because one day you aren't eating raw and have been 'caught' having a slice of cake. Know that your healthy diet will mean you body can tolerate and eliminated some processed food without it impacting your health.
Everyone can start to add something raw into their meal and soon reap the benefits. As one starts to feel the benefits, we become more in tune with our body and naturally want to continue to feel healthier.
The day your body attracts you to the fruit or vegetable it requires to heal it's self is a humbling one.
Seasonal food is more ethical and nutritious. Food that is seasonal and ideally locally produced has many benefits. There is a lower carbon footprint where food has not travelled far. Mother nature also gives us everything we need in our food. Seasonal foods contain all the elements that we need to be healthy for that time of year.
The fruits and vegetables of the season are abundant with vitamins and minerals. The autumn and winter brings hearty fibrous root vegetables and squashes that fill our belly's giving us slow release carbohydrates to keep our bodies warm in cold. Winter fruits contain the vitamins we need to stay healthy when there is less sun, more colds and cooler weather.
In the spring the vegetables become greener, fresher offering folic acid and nutrients that aid detoxing and cleansing. A spring clean for the body and a time for renewal and growth.
Summer is the time for berries full of anti-oxidants, juicy and thirst quenching. High in sugars, easy and quick to digest they give a thirst quenching burst of energy.
Seasonal food is fresher and tastes better!
Eating fresh living food takes the pressure off the body's organs enabling them to perform to their best. This can improve the elimination process, get rid of toxins, release energy, keep blood sugar levels even and hormones balanced. The vitality of living food cleanses and heals. The body is able to perform better.
Likewise yoga tones, relaxes and stimulates the body. It helps balance the body and mind; yoga works on a subtle but deep level to cleanse, purify and heal. Simply put many of the benefits of yoga are complimented by the consumption of raw foods.
Both are effective on their own, however together they rebalance the body in an extra ordinary way. It is a natural path after practising yoga for a while to become considerate of the food we consume. Yoga makes us more aware of our body so naturally we may start to notice when certain foods don't suit us or create unnatural peaks and dips in our energy levels.
This perfect combination can result in physical healing and even an emotional or spiritual one. There is nothing better than knowing that what you eat stills contains the enzymes needed to digest the food, and the vitamins and minerals your body requires.
It feels special to be respectful to your body and the earth. Living this way uses less resource and connects you on a deeper level to the universe.
Just a quick line to say how especially beneficial I found last night's class.
I felt noticeably refreshed both during and after the class. Don't get me wrong- every one of your lessons are beneficial, but in my case the physical benefits are obviously better if I have already been practising regularly since the previous class.
Last night I came in not having done any yoga really since 2 weeks ago;neither had I attended the gym for about three weeks. So I was not supple, but although I found myself physically straining during the postures, I felt equally relaxed and mentally calm throughout. I felt that you were employing a slightly altered teaching technique. And at the end there was the extended Savasana. So I returned home with a sense of tranquillity which seems to have lasted to overnight.
I have experienced similar states in the past during my sporadic sessions with TM or zazen/mindful meditation; but of course I'm notorious for my lack of long term perseverance.
Last night's asanas had a sense of "meditation in motion" about them; then I recalled that you did say something about techniques for people who were unable to relax properly in Savasana.
Beth and I met at the pot luck I hosted earlier in this year. She has a passion for raw food and healthy eating. This is an intro to her new blog...
'I am not a writer; I definitely am not! I do not even have an abundance of recipes, at least, not compared to many people out there. So now, bearing both of these points in mind, I am wondering why I am starting a blog….
I think it's just that I know apples make you feel so good. And for now, we'll leave it at that.'
Check out her delicous broccoli salad.
Here are some of the wonderful recipes and pictures from the Potluck. Please all recipes are copyright of the original creator. Thank you to everyone who came and contributed to a great evening.
Please contact me if you would a PDF of these recipes and to see some of the images.
- Raw Broccoli Salad
- Cookies and Cream to Live For!
- No Waste Pulp Cheese
- Kiwi Zingiber Indulgence
- Kale Salad with Tahini
- Chocolate Torte
- Carrot salad
- Amazing Raw 'Peanut' Sauce
05th March · 19:30 - 23:00
Deganwy, Conwy (TBC depending on numbers).
£3 per person donation towards green juices, raw dressing, crackers, bread etc.
Bring a bowl or plate of food to share. Something raw/uncooked or wholefood if you cant thing of anything. Vegitarian.
Bring a bottle (wine is RAW).
Places are limited so please confirm if you like to come. I will forward more details to the attendees.
Any questions please ask.
After weekend at an Ashtanga yoga workshop I feel like I want to cleanse more and get back on track. Although the best time of the year to do a juice cleanse is in Spring I feel that a seven day burst would realign me. It will be hard to organise whilst at work but I am hoping that if I start on my first day off I will get into it before I need to work in the day.
In yoga cleansing is called Shatkarmas or Kriyas, these techniques help the body to get rid of toxins. Tongue cleansing rids the mouth of huge amounts of bacteria by simply scrapping the tongue. Nasal Cleansing (Neti) involves pouring a saline solution into one nostril and letting it drain through the other is an excellent way to clear the sinuses; giving relief from colds, asthma and even allergies.
Other techniques involve cleansing the abdomen and colon. Some of the techniques are very advanced and should not be attempted at home. If you want to try colon cleansing you can go to a colonic hydrotherapy or colonic irrigation practitioner who will offer the treatment in a safe clinic environment.
Now that I've spent a few months eating a much cleaner diet I am going to start reintroducing the kriyas back into my routine. If you want to try a cleansing technique I recommend introducing one at a time until you are used to it. Trying two or three at once can lead to an overwhelming feeling of feeling sick; trust me I've tried it!
It has been 4 1/2 months since I started doing raw food. I have slipped a bit over the last month. I went on holiday and although I tried to eat raw until the evening meal I did eat foods that I had previously eliminated.
I know I've slipped into some old bad habits. My skin is more sensitive, I caught two colds and I have less energy. Part of this is due to the chance in season. As the seasons change so does our body. The desire to wrap up and get cosy, do less activity and eat stodgy food kicks in. I am less organised and less desire to eat cold raw foods in the day.
The question is how does one overcome this desire? Many raw foodies say that you need to detox before you can really absorb all the benefits of the food you eat.
It is amazing the amount of pulp that juices create. There are many recipes on-line that you can search for to make a bread or cake from. I've experimented with making raw bread, pizza bases, wraps and carrot cake.
I have not posted a bread recipe as I wasn't 100% happy with the outcome. However I learnt some definite lessons.
- Separate the pulp by juicing one type of food at a time.
- Lettuce doesn't make a good base for bread or cakes.
- Lemon peel pulp is very bitter.
Some of the recipes aren't raw for example you could make the vegetable pulp into a base for pasta sauces, soup or a curry. It is better to use it than waste it.
If you don't get chance to eat it give it back to the earth as rich nutritious compost.
The key to detox is the green juice. It is refreshing, cleansing and energising.
It is an easy, lazy way to get plenty of greens everyday. I don't have any guilt if I don't have any greens the rest of the day as I know I've had so much in the morning.
Practically I make it in the evening so that I can drink it first thing before work or on the way. It is best made fresh if you can as the bright greenness
of the juice does darken which indicates to me that has lost some of its vitality.
This recipe is based on green lemonade recipe in Natalia Rose's book The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss
1 Roma Lettuce / Gem
Chunk of ginger
½ bag of spinach
It is best to buy organic to reduce the amount of toxins in the food. Natalia recommends using kale instead of spinach. In my experience the spinach is milder tasting and any dark greens work. I found that in the UK it is easier to get organic spinach than other greens. However if you can get local seasonal produce that is better. You substitute apples for carrots if you run out and lettuce for celery.
Simply juice and drink.
Just when you think you want to get away from having more stuff you find yourself lusting after new kitchen equipment. I was lucky when I started this diet; I already had a blender, juicer and sprouting trays. All which have been in and out of favour in my kitchen for years.
My blender was the cheapest good domestic brand one I could find. It looks under pressure some days and I am aware that it may not last for more than a few months perhaps a year at this rate. It doesn't chop seeds or liquids into a smooth finish but I have food socking them first helps; all in all it does the job. My juicer is also a good brand but again not an expensive one; it works well but looks tired. I did waste £10 on a blend and go smoothly maker. Thinking it would be ideal for work, I used it once, put it in the dish washer, which you aren't meant to do. I tried to use it for a green juice, it fell apart and covered the kitchen and I in green juice. Use items that you already have you probably don't need something else. If you do get new equipment read the instructions.
I would recommend to anyone starting out use everything you have. Make sure if you invest it is for the long term. Good blenders are a much as £400 which to me is a huge amount. Dehydrators are also expensive if you want one that works well for breads, wraps and crackers. The cost can be anywhere from £100 to £250.
In the first couple of weeks I experimented with some ready made foods. The crackers I ordered cost nearly £5 for four not a cost effective solution. I ordered them from London as I couldn't find them in North Wales; I think I was expecting a few more for the cost. I have also been buying sprouted bread, but again I am unable to find sprouted pita or wraps. These foods are useful when you have a family or want something convenient.
I said to my Husband that I would wait until my Birthday in December before buying anything else, it is currently July. If then I still thought I could benefit from professional blender, juicer or dehydrator I would look for them then second hand. A week later I purchased a second hand dehydrator. So far it has been great; I use the pulp from my juice to make vegan, gluten free vegetable bread, crackers and wraps. Crackers of any flavour are easy to dry, great with dips, for guests and to take to work. It is hardly used, came with a set of sheets for drying wet items and a free cook book all for £40 plus the costs of the post. Next I am going to make vegetable crisps. Once you aren't buying convenient foods and are making your own snacks it pays for itself very quickly. Plus it is healthier, more nutritious and fingers crossed tastier.
I still don't recommend purchasing lots of items, but making your own food is cheaper than buying it. If my juicer or blender dies I will look to upgrade. To save money I will still look for a second hand one; there are some great, good condition items at the fraction of the price.
If you want to look for an item try searching on Google, look on the Gumtree, eBay, Loot, Preloved or any other site you come across. Put an advert on Freecycle, or ask friends and relatives if they have unused equipment at the bottom of their cupboard that you could have or buy off them.
One of the most amusing and sometimes emotionally charged parts of this experience is the reaction of others.
My colleagues of work have looked intrigued and sometimes disgusted at the boxes of 'strange' food that I have pulled out of my bag. I work with a lot of technical people so they are very keen to have the science of every meal. Sometimes I don't have the answer because I am new to this and learning myself and I may simply be experimenting with a recommended dish. Comments vary from, "Oh, that looks nice, may I try some?" to "That looks better than what you where eating the other day." I know they mean well and do have a genuine interest however it is partly an emotional decision and not something I can always answer.
About a week ago we have friends to stay for the weekend. It wasn't as challenging as I thought. Everyone enjoyed fresh dressing and salads. I made fresh soup, bought goat's cheese and organic bread to 'fill' up the non-raw people.
I know I have bored a few friends about but that is only because I am in the heady early stages of something which to me is exciting and life changing. Friends that I have told have said various things from, "That is really interesting and inspiring" but I have heard the words, "Other fad diets" or "Don't know how you could be bothered". After a girl's night of two vodkas with un-fresh orange juice and a vegetarian curry I came home looking like I was six months pregnant. I was in bloated and in pain for the next few hours. I swift reminder of why I made this decision.
The funniest thing was when my friend told me she ate raw sausages and thought that was what I was doing. Her husband commented that he has advised against it, to which I agreed. She said that she had down it since being a child; she eats bacon also, cutting a little treat off the slice when she is cooking it. She didn't make our girls night out because she was ill with a bad tummy.
I don't think most of my family are surprised. My sister has IBS and crones which I think would be greatly improved if she changed her diet. She is going to try and cut out dairy and gluten to see if her symptoms ease. I don't believe I have either of those illnesses but I do get some of the symptoms if I eat things that do not agree with me. My father in law thinks it is, "a load of old rubbish" and my brother in law wants a dehydrator so he can shrink a roast dinner. My Mum laughed and said that I was wonderful, she did want to make sure I was eating and feeding my family something from each food group. She thinks it was great that I am eating bread made from my juice pulp.
I think people think I am making a statement when I am not. It may make people think about the way they eat. Perhaps it brings things up for people that they are not ready to face. I don't expect anyone to change.
People who I have met in the last few weeks through Raw food have seemed to be open, honest, giving and gentle. They too have experienced the transition throughout their life. Eat in a way that brings you closer to nature and see the whole world open up to you.
Taking bits from different websites and books helps to build up a collection of favourite dishes that are good for guests, the family and everyday life.
I've experimented with various dishes, ready bought items and have another book. Ani Phyo's, 'Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes' is a great book. Although there is a slight downside in that some of the ingredients are available in the UK and certainly not as locally produced items. I have tried a few dishes some of which have been great such as the nut and broccoli and cauliflower mash. They were quick and easy to make, keep in the fridge and are easy to take to work.
I am generally finding that I prefer a lot of the dishes in books with less salt, soya and oil then they recommend. I like to be able to taste the flavour of the vegetables. I tried one soup that called for a cup of olive and even with just half it was too oily for me.
The main thing I have learnt is to experiment as you would do with normal cooking. I have also wondered how I can make it more convenient for a family and work. I was given a book by Kate Wood which is good for people who have children in the UK. All the ingredients are easy to find.
One of the best places to find a recipe is online where people are posting their best dishes in blogs and on websites.
Four weeks into raw food I feel good and grounded. Some days my body still feels like it is detoxing. My skin is clear, my energy levels are consistent and I sleep well. I don't think my weight has changed but I have lost my bloated tummy and look slimmer.
A typical morning consists of a green juice first thing, fruit until lunch and a break of at least half an hour before lunch. For lunch I have raw crackers or sprouted bread or some goat's cheese, and a mixed salad consisting of anything I can find in the fridge. I try and avoid anything cooked until dinner although if there is something left over from the night before I take it with to work. I make sure that I have lots of raw vegetables and try and have a raw dinner instead. I try not to have starches with protein so that the meal digests well. I haven't made any cakes or biscuits yet but I try and have something sweet after a meal.
Generally I found that you need to find the right balance for you. When you have work and a family it can be too ridged to have a specific type of meal at a specific time. I bought and offered my husband fish or a pie with his raw meal. Some days he chooses to eat like me; he isn't hungry and has commented that he feels energetic after less sleep.
I noticed that I am left with a lot of pulp after each green juice batch. I don't have much soil in the garden so composting it isn't a great solution. I was grateful when I found a recipe for making basil crackers from juice pulp, the details of which I will post later. I also found a second hand dehydrator which will also go into more detail about later.
On the whole it is getting easier, more enjoyable and tastier.
- 3 cups basil
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp salt
Delicious and easy.
Used to dress quinoa (cooked), grated carrots and beetroot.
Going to add to some soup for lunch. Look at the lovely colours. xx
Even though it's only a week or so I know this is something I will always do. First of all my creative energy is flowing. I spent the whole day writing at work and then came home and carried on. I feel happy and confident, calm and assured. I am using less gas to cook, washing fewer pots and spending less on food.
I wanted to get rid of the drugs I took whilst giving birth, the crap I've eaten and drank in the past and the toxins I've smoked. I want to feel energised in the morning and feel like I am giving my family the best I can. I wanted my skin to be vibrant and improve in tone. I noticed during the last stages of pregnancy cellulite started to appear on my thighs.
As the weight went and my hormones balanced so did the cellulite, but I was still left with a lumpy, fatty uneven tummy. I believe that as the body lays for fat for feeding the baby it also pushes the toxins away from the womb leaving many women with a 'baby belly'. Exercise can help tone the area but I felt that what was left needed to be cleansed from my body. I believe that even if you are toned and slim you can still have cellulite if your body is out of balance.
Perhaps I am worried about getting old or perhaps by husband finding a lump just before we went on holiday was final trigger. We don't know if yet if it is something or nothing. However I have warned him; if he is sick the burgers and sausages are going for good and he will learn to like green juice!
Nothing is certain in this life other than death but if I can do something to keep my family healthy and together I will.
I met a few Shamen in South America and met who took peyote as part of a journey. One Shaman told me a few things about my future which has come true. That is as far as my experiences goes.
Recently I was asked to help a therapeutic shaman find venues for a workshop in Llandudno. It is being held on 7th August at The Loreto Centre in Llandudno. I was kindly offered a free place for my help. If you are interested in helping arrange a workshop near you in return for a free place, or attending the one in Llandudno, contact
Paul on 01524 67009 or email email@example.com www.therapeutic-shamanism.co.uk
A few weeks later I learned that Danny Paradise a yoga teacher who teaches about Shamanism and yoga coming to Manchester. I booked on the workshop as I thought it would be an interesting follow on from my other course. www.dannyparadise.com
Last night I picked up my new raw food magazine www.funkyraw.com/magazine and read an article about the shamisitc aspects of a raw food diet. There were other articles that just clicked with my own experience.
Big changes are coming into my life.
My daughter loves raw fruit and vegetables. Given the choice she will pick them off a plate of food. My husband on the other hand is finding the transition difficult. I don't want to force him into my way of thinking and am also pleased he isn't really into it as I can discover it at my own pace. Watch this space though, we've been here before ; )
He loves fresh food but is very worried that he is going to waste away. Even though I give him extra food and 'man it up' which involves adding extra white carbs and flesh protein he is still very worried. He has taken to purchasing lots of sausages, burgers and bacon ready in the fridge and freezer. He brings bowls of cereal to bed just in case is intense hunger is going to wake him in the night.
So whilst he's been stocking up on processed foods I've been scouring the internet for suppliers of raw crackers, honey, olives and snacks. I food a number of great websites with recipes. I ordered some food from Funky Raw www.funkyraw.com including a magazine.
As I read the articles I realised that there were other people sharing my experiences.
The first couple of days were hard. I had odd head pains, felt dizzy and strange almost fuzzy at times. The next couple of days I felt my skin sticky as stuff seemed to seep out. Although my energy is returning, my skin is a bit spotty.
It feels like an emotional detox also. I feel like I need to take responsibility for my emotions. I feel excited but also apprehensive knowing that I am starting a journey into the unknown. It takes a while to make sure you are eating the right balance of foods and enough. My nails seem to be growing quickly but they look a bit grubby.
Yet as these symptoms pass I have moments of blissful energy and mental clarity, where I feel connected to the world. My energy is uneven and changing; tired then wired. It has given me time to think and write. I am enjoying the discovery of something new. My teeth feel cleaner, my tummy isn't bloated after food, and my senses are coming alive. I can hear the slightest sound, feel more, taste and see more.
Note to self - At dinner time eat more root vegetables and starchy food like sweet potatoes and sprouted bread. Feel full and sleep well!
I looked for a book online and ordered the one that seemed to the most popular on Amazon. Finally the book arrived, 'The Raw Food Detox Diet' by Natalia Rose www.detoxtheworld.com which gives simple easy to follow recipes and a works out where you should start based on your current lifestyle.
I spent the first half of the week getting my head around food combining and organising myself to have the correct ingredients to hand. Natalia doesn't recommend going 100% raw straight away but instead you start a transition that can last for years. Some people choose never to be 100% raw but use many of the principles to have a healthier diet and therefore experience well being and vitality. She recommends starting the day with a green shake, eating fruit until lunch, a starch or protein meal at lunchtime and a partly cooked starch or protein meal in the evening.
Lots of the recipes are delicious, but I have been hungry and husband is petrifed that he is going to wither away.
Whilst strolling around a gift shop I stumbled across a Shiva stone necklace. I didn't know what it was but thought that it was interesting. It was only a few pounds and accessorised by beachy outfits perfectly.
I wasn't aware at the time that it was a Crypto-crystalline quartz stone, meant to be a powerful cleansing stone. Shiva lingham stones are a beautiful smooth oval stone, my daughter loved sucking it. I discovered at the time that her Hebrew name is Elishiva and wondered if that is why she has a natural affinity for it.
Over the next few I had an overwhelming desire to cleanse. After a holiday of not so healthy food I was desperate to change what I was putting into my body.
I started to look into raw food diets.
I decided that I needed to inspire myself with a couple of yoga books on holiday. I didn't want to read a text book; I have hundreds of them sat at home gathering dust. I picked two books, Yoga School Dropout by Lucy Edge and The Yoga Teacher by Alexandra Gray.
Whilst my daughter slept and my husband surfed I lay with the sun warming my muscles and reading. I felt happy and peaceful that we had survived the first year of the first born. I loved both books; Lucy's book, 'The Yoga School Dropout' was all about her journey to different ashrams in India. I couldn't put it down and was ready to leave my family for India the next day. By the end of both books the penny dropped. I didn't have to travel anywhere, hunt for the perfect teacher or look for something that was already inside me.
Other people can teach you a lot, but most of the answers are found inside. Listen carefuly and you will hear them.
I wanted to return to teaching soon after my birth. I felt I had to teach pregnant ladies and post natal students. I wanted to provide somewhere safe for them to relax, stretch and be with other people in the same situation. I know some students may think that I bounced back after my pregnancy as I was teaching with my baby girl when she was three months old.
I didn't bounce back; I dragged myself back into society. I went to an ashtanga yoga class six weeks after the birth. I didn't have any strength in my tummy, I was two stone heavier then before and my pelvic floor was weak. I was bright red and sweated like a pig. I felt like I needed to be fit and thin again before I could go back.
I struggled with sleepless nights that pushed me to the edge of sanity. I felt the rising panic one feels when you worry about doing the right thing and being a good mother. I resented my husband for getting me into this situation and barely held myself together. I met mothers who waited months to get diagnosed with post natal depression and wondered if I would be next. There is such a fine line between those who supposedly get it and those that don't because at times almost all new mothers will have some if not all of the symptoms.
As far as I am aware I didn't and don't have post natal depression but I have certainly had times when I was boarder-line and could have easily got a little bit worse. I thank yoga for helping to recover to well. Teaching forced me to get out of the house and keep myself together. My yoga helped me get fit and strong again physically, mentally and emotionally. It took me 12 months to loose my baby weight, it didn't fall off, and I worked at it.
I struggled every day just like other new Mums, I can still feel overwhelmed 15 months on, although it is getting easier.
After two days of labour I went into hospital. I went armed with health bars, rescue remedy, lavender oil and arnica. I still tell my pre-natal students that natural remedies are useful, which they are. However sometimes they simply aren't enough.
I don't know how effective the rescue remedy was; I had too many drugs to tell. My yoga definitely helped my breathing, I am sure it enabled me to keep in touch with my body through the birth. Yoga helped with to give birth naturally after a long labour and not to scream or swear (my mother was in the room, which is another story). Yoga did not take the pain away, I did not have a water birth and I had every drug I could get my hands on.
Of course I was going to breastfeed. I didn't expect to give to a baby that didn't know how to suck, didn't latch or look remotely like me. She turned blue when she was born and was whisked off for some air whilst I was sorted out (which was more like a few hours than a few minutes). When she came back I wasn't sure she was mine. I loved her instantly but I was in shock and drugged. I felt like I'd been reborn, I felt like I'd survived a massive trauma, it wasn't anything like I'd expected. At a time when I needed to feel strong and energetic I felt weak and ill. Next time I'll let try to let go more.
I soon realised the more I surrendered the easier the parenting was going to be. I stopped reading books and websites and I tried to distance myself from the endless amounts of information I was being given. Becoming a parent was the hardest thing I have ever done. It opened my heart so far that I felt like it was leaking. I couldn't read a newspaper or watch the news. I felt like I wasn't going to be able to function in normal society again. For any first time parent the changes are so profound that nothing could prepare you. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer bliss combined with the fear of the unknown. The weight of the responsibility, the change in the relationships with the people around you and the pure intense love.
I don't want to be negative about pregnancy, birth or after, but it is an intense journey, a difficult and precious one. Although the hardest, it is the best thing I have done. The good far out ways the bad and I can't remember what life was was like without her.
My daughter completes me; I used to live for me, now I live for her.
Well I realised today that this was something I started as a small child when I went off meat. Aged five I was dragged to the Doctors and my mother was told I would grow out of it. I never did well not completely. That isn't to say I haven't eaten meat or fish but on off for as long as I can remember I drifted in and out of a similar way of eating.
I just want to go back to five years ago. I think I've always had a tendency to eat healthy food; although I am easily influenced and was lacking in consciousness. With out realising when I went travelling my skinny boyfriend I started to eat more rubbish, pizzas, crisps, beer. Umm you may say, I am not suggesting that things can't be nice once in a while, but when you start to feel bloated, become sluggish and return two stone heavier it's not good.
From time to time I would cut out milk, wheat, fish and meat and slowly I would drift back. I started to become more conscious of my lifestyle. I realised that at times in my past the reason Id been so skinny was because I didn't eat enough, drank and smoked too much.
I went on a diet with the help of a well known group which was useful. I learnt to cook well do basic food combining, but again I felt like I really shouldn't be there. I didn't like the focus on so called low fat foods, artificial sweeteners and the lack of portion control. I kept it a secret as I felt embarrassed to tell my friends and my students. I knew I'd looked at my teachers expecting them to be perfect so I was sure my students would do the same! Regardless I got myself slim and fit again.
I cut back alcohol, stopped smoking and shortly after I feel pregnant and subsequently put on two and a half stone.
There was no intention of putting so much weight. I was active eating healthy fresh cooked food yet I craved cheese and I am ashamed to say McDonalds. The strange thing is I wouldn't even normally think about eating McDonalds it doesn't enter my head. I was teaching three classes but had to stop due to complications with my pregnancy. After months of threatening miscarriage I stopped all exercising other than gentle walks and aqua natal. I'd gone from being an active person to feeling like a slug. If only I'd known that feeling like a slug was preferable to feeling like beached whale.
I huffed and puffed in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, the pain pushing done on my pelvic bone. I'd park in the parent and child space so that I could walk to the supermarket without feeling like I might loose total control of my bladder. I nearly cried when shouted at by an old man because I'd parked in the parent and child space. I rolled out of the car and showed him by huge belly. He looked at me and said, "It doesn't count that one is inside."
Full of hormones, I felt different, thought different and smelt different. My husband told me that although I normally smelt delicious, I smelt strange. I couldn't move, I couldn't stretch, I got to big to have sex. I wasn't having the pregnancy I dreamed of. I dreamt of glowing, thick strong hair, clear skin, walking barefoot along the beach, feeling in love with my husband and baby and of course I wanted a natural water birth. I'd heard people say not to plan the birth, so I didn't do a birth plan. I pretended that I was going with the flow but deep down I scared to death.
I slept propped up on five pillows, my indigestion too painful to lie down. I hated strangers looking at my tummy, touching me and commenting on my bump. I didn't carry well, unlike some tall graceful ladies you see. At five foot odd, there was no where to hide my bump. People told me I was massive and that I was going to have a huge baby. Everyone had an opinion about what sex the baby was going to be. Strangers stopped me in the street to tell me their birth stories, gave me advice on what to pack and what drugs to take.
At a time when I just wanted to hide in the corner and be left alone the general public lost all sense of personal space or boundaries.
I feel like my yoga has been quite still recently since my day to day life (marriage, family, work and babies) has taken over. I felt myself loosing the sparkle when I teach. I wanted to teach, I did my teacher training and yet now I felt like I was starting to tread water.
If I am honest I've struggled with my own practise and to settle with a teacher myself the last few years. Even if you teach you have to keep learning. I've looked at my teachers and felt that I had to move on to more, but not known what. I've looked to them for answers that they are unable to give.
I know now that they couldn't possibly have given me the answers I wanted.
Welcome to Prana Yoga's raw blog. This is a blog documenting my transition into raw food. It not just a story about food it's my yoga journey as a student and as a teacher. I decided to write this blog this morning the 6th day into my raw food detox.
I felt an overwhelming desire to share my journey warts and all. It's a journey from being a smoking, wine guzzling party girl to raw food yoga teacher. The reason I want to share this is so that you know that your yoga teacher is human.
Yoga teachers still get sick, make mistakes and get ill. I didn't intend to turn into a cliché it just happened; I didn't have a choice. I felt an over whelming desire over a long period of time to become more healthy. It wasn't an instant thing, it didn't happen over night and it certainly isn't straight forward.
I hope you enjoy it, I hope it makes you think, laugh and feel normal.