Things I used to enjoy such as watching movies and going to rock shows rarely and, in some cases, never resonate with me anymore. What I really want is freedom, and now that I've discovered freedom from cigarettes, alcohol and cooked foods, I am pursuing a lifestyle in which I life off the grid as much as possible.
I can tell you I would still enjoy going to see Pearl Jam play, though. There is something magical about their energy, and I still crave this experience even after going to 21 shows.
As much as I play with the idea of completely "dropping out," I don't think I have this in me. I have too much to share, and my instincts tell me I have to help others find their way, just as I continue to find mine. I owe a lot to Arnold Kauffman for his guidance and influence. He is leading a life of purpose, mission and passion, and I respect this very much. I'm still learning how I can do the same and have the impact he's had.
Starting my website, Fruit-Powered.com, has been my way to serve, and I want to produce content for it for a very long time. I'm fortunate that this community shares their stories as well and am grateful to regular guest writers for their incredible contributions.
All this said, I know many who are enjoying life and great health eating vegan diets containing at least 80 percent raw foods in total calories. For some of these people, they might've experienced stress while being 100 percent raw, and so it's better for them to "relax the rules" and eat cooked vegan foods for dinner a few nights a week. Food is a huge component to health but not the only factor.
I'm so glad you've experienced these positive qualities of being raw! Having feelings of deprivation can take time to wash away, but I no longer see myself as deprived. Rather, I see myself as enjoying abundance. I don't pine for too many experiences I enjoyed in my pre-raw days.
Regarding your lack of energy, which is in contrast with your inability to relax (I experience this too, most times, because I want to do so much!), I would say it's possible you might need to eat more fruit, sleep more and/or read up on whether you might be deficient in something such as Vitamin D.
If you are leading a low-fat raw food diet to a "T" and not consuming animal, cooked or processed foods as well as irritants such as garlic, onion and seasonings, you should thrive after a period of time provided that all the other factors are accounted for. These include consuming enough fruit calories, greens, sleep, sunshine, supplementation, etc.
Arnold's Way is a special place owned by Arnold Kauffman, who is a larger-than-life character and must own the world record for hugs given. It's a raw vegan café that opened in 1992 as a vitamin shop in a Philadelphia neighborhood and shifted to serving the raw vegan community in the late 1990s. Since 2002, it's been located in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb.
Quite simply, Arnold's Way is the Raw Food Capital of the World. There likely are more raw food success stories out of the Arnold's Way community compared with any other place in the world. No other café offers the volume and depth of events, speaking engagements, classes and other activities. It's also home to the 30-Day Raw Challenge, which enables the community to go raw and learn about this lifestyle for a month for an affordable price.
Arnold's Way has become a post-Woodstock Fruit Festival hangout the past couple of years. It's welcomed folks from Poland, South Africa, Brazil and throughout the United States in recent years. If you're a raw fooder, your pilgrimage should be to Arnold's Way to spend a few days.
My Favourite Green Smoothie
Interview with Taz, raw foodist living on the mountains of Spain
See also: natural health remedy library entry for pain
Victoria Boutenko: Green for Life (about green smoothies)
Iranian raw vegan: Moein; an Interview
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.