Featured Health & Wellness

No More CRAP – The Raw Food Difference (for me)

Discovering the raw food difference. I have battled tummy troubles my entire life. Seriously, as a baby, my pediatrician diagnosed me with Chronic Reoccurring Abdominal Pain (CRAP – haha). For years, I felt like I had the stomach flu nearly every day leading doctors to test me for Leukemia. All of my tummy issues were directly connected to food but I was never able to pinpoint the issues because I had no food allergies & prescriptions made me even more sick.

I always had a hard time leaning out or losing weight after puberty. I would work out for hours on top of hours of dance practice; I tried supplements, laxatives and other unhealthy weight loss tactics. Nothing worked. Every time I ate, I felt 10lbs heavier and, at times, it would take nearly a week for my body to digest meals – talk about food baby! Even today, I often feel bloated, uncomfortable and battle acid reflux or indigestion. While I haven’t tried vegetarianism or veganism, I discovered a difference in two separate experiences with one major thing in common…(First) In my early 20s, while training with my dance team, our nutritionist put us on a nearly 100% raw food diet. I also cut pork, beef and white or artificial sugars from my diet. (Second) While on vacation in Costa Rica last year, there were no fast food or restaurant chains in sight. All meals were made from raw foods – handmade from farm, tree or sea to table. The only meat I ate was fresh fish.

Like an awakening, I realized – my insides just have a low tolerance for crap. If it makes me feel icky after eating it, I try to cut it out 100%. Mostly gluten, dairy and processed foods. As I had mentioned earlier, blood tests confirmed I have no food allergies – more like food sensitivities. I can still enjoy small amounts of dairy or gluten with less discomfort. Still, I prefer raw substitutes with zero discomfort.

The hardest part is truly convenience & peer pressure. Eating groceries before they go bad & going to dinner or special occasions where there’s nothing that fits my diet. Those who don’t struggle with it never tire of giving me a hard time, “Stop talking about it.” “Thats nonsense. Just eat it.” “Your food probably sucks!” I don’t want to say “I can’t help it” because I’m trying to help it. It’s just unpredictable, especially if I don’t know how the food I’m eating was made.

Most Americans have gotten used to the way their body feels, thinking it’s “normal”. They don’t know how much better their body could feel. For anyone who has done much international travel, you can attest that Americans truly have the worst eating habits and the least raw food options. The American lifestyle has become lazy as time-saving conveniences continue to develop. Between Europe and Central America, I noticed 3 major differences that seem to dramatically impact their lifestyle:

  1. Increased raw food presence. Food is made fresh & few processed foods are convenient.
  2. They walk or bike everywhere.
  3. They take their time – meal time is a chance to relax and enjoy conversation.

ResourcesCowspiracyGrain BrainThe Best Speech EverGood Calories Bad Calories.

Raw Diet - real natural food


I want to hear what works for you – what diet changes have impacted the way your body works and feels? Please also share any helpful and informative resources you’ve found.

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Tahnee
    April 28, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Love this post! I have always followed the feingold diet for our family. It cuts out a lot of the crap for specific needs and diets. When we switched over to healthy food it was a huge difference in how we felt!

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      April 28, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      That’s awesome! It’s tough – even my husband doesn’t see the point in changing anything if he “feels and looks fine”. Seriously, just because you’re not overweight doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Im not a total drill sergeant about it…we still go out to eat and there are some items I like (like JIF peanut butter – all natural/organic is better) even though they’re not the healthiest version.

  • Reply
    Shann Eva
    April 28, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve been trying to eat more raw foods and cut out all the artificial stuff. Sugar is a hard thing for me, but I know I need to get rid of it. Thank you for listing what you eat/substitute. It’s really helpful.

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      April 28, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      I feel ya! Im more of a sweets gal too – I just find ways to make sweet treats with things like pure honey, stevia, peanut butter or smoothies. It’s like a desert but doesn’t pack all the crap.

  • Reply
    Dia All The Things I Do
    April 28, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I am working so hard to be smarter about my choices and for me it really is about convenience that makes me fall short. It’s so much easier to go pick up food then make raw. It’s so much quicker to make noodles instead of peeling zoodles…etc. I too have stomach issues and need to lock it down. Thanks for the open look and encouragement.

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      April 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      The easiest thing for me has been grocery shopping for things that are easy to grab and go: hummus & veggies, apple & peanut butter, fruit, protein bars etc.

  • Reply
    Jenn
    April 28, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is my daughter. She doesn’t have a weight problem but she always has a tummy ache and does not digest food. We’ve narrowed it down to dairy and she does so well when she doesn’t eat it. We are a mostly raw family. We do eat a small amount of turkey and chicken to add extra fat and protein since we are so active. I will keep an eye on this and possibly switch to a completely raw diet if she has tummy problems again.

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      April 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      My mom always felt so terrible when she couldn’t figure out how to help. I couldn’t breast feed as a baby & couldn’t digest formula – I had to be put on a special formula. I remember feeling like I had the stomach flu almost every day at school & my mom just thought I didn’t want to be at school. I had gotten used to feeling crappy when I ate and didn’t think much of it until I was older. No food allergies or thyroid issues – it turns out my body just doesn’t digest junk well.

  • Reply
    Kari
    April 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I do so well eating mostly raw food & grilled fish during the week but on the weekend it all goes out the window!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  • Reply
    Carly @ FitLiving Eats
    May 2, 2016 at 12:44 am

    This is so interesting! I am currently playing around with different foods/diets as part of my Integrative Nutrition program and am learning what it means to listen to my body, which I think is key for good health!

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      May 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Definitely! I am not sure how a raw or plant-based diet would effect everyone, but I can’t imagine that eating natural foods would have a negative affect on anyone. Our bodies have become addicted to junk disguised as every day foods & not all “organic” or “natural” are always good. We have to read the ingredients. I suppose it has to be important too – many won’t make the change until they’re trying to fix something that could have been prevented.

  • Reply
    Marette @ Floradise
    May 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    In the last month I have cut back on processed foods. I didn’t cut them out completely, but even with just minimizing them I finally saw a difference in how I felt and how I look. I had been disappointed that I was working out constantly and not seeing much of a difference. It’s an awesome realization to see how food is the key!

    http://www.maretteflora.com/

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      May 10, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      That’s great! If you don’t take probiotics or B complex vitamin I would definitely suggest it. I also did a 7 day total body cleans when I decided to make the switch in my diet. I set water goals for myself too; either 3 large bottles or 1 gallon.

  • Reply
    Liz
    May 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    You summed up how my body feels after eating out. I just feel sluggish, bloated and usually end up with a stomachache. Do you find that pre-planning your meals makes living a raw lifestyle easier to manage daily?

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      May 10, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      I do. I feel for you and it stinks to think there’s no way around it. But there is! (or at least there was for me) It’s not 100% but definitely close. Plus the more you eliminate processed foods (including red meat and dairy) the less you crave them. I switched to almond milk and quit eating beef and pork entirely. I actually have been attempting a mostly plant-based diet this week and I feel great. Examples: oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts, veggie burgers, salad with avocado, granola bars, fruit with peanut butter, veggies with hummus, dried fruit, nuts etc.

  • Reply
    Candy
    May 5, 2016 at 11:44 am

    We grow our own wheat, fruit, vegetables, chickens, eggs, hunt or raise and process our own meat. We drink raw cows milk. I make butter, cream, buttermilk all our cheeses. All of our healthy problems have disappeared.

    • Reply
      FreelyMi
      May 10, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      That is seriously amazing! I really believe the American ailments have so much to do with preservatives and additives.

  • Reply
    Emily
    May 5, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    I am so glad you were able to find some comfort from your symptoms! I started eating more whole foods last month and I also have been feeling better!

  • Reply
    Plant Based Diet Grocery List -
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