Eating for the whole
Like many on this path of health, I started looking in all the wrong places. It took me years to realise that while I thought I was looking for ways of making myself more healthy, it turned out I was looking for ways to make myself more ‘right’.
The food combining, veganism, and finally raw food, all made perfect intellectual sense, but I had stopped listening to the greatest teacher - my body - in order to understand it all from the mind.
The Wrongs of Being Right
It was many years later that I realized I had been culturing an identity; a means of arguing cleverly against the norms of our society, and I firmly believe that many new raw food aspirants share this trait. I don’t to make this ‘wrong’ in any way - our mind-driven culture insists on such. And indeed intellect, study and understanding have their part to play.
But since learning how to incorporate our tastes, interpret our urges, integrate our instincts, and celebrate our emotions, the whole subject has become a wholistic endeavor.
This, for me, is the wonder of the ‘hi-raw’ path, for it gently works to resolve insecurities by filling in the nutritional gaps and allowing a more solid neurological integrity, thus many deep insecurities are resolved from a biological perspective.
Therefore, my conviction towards raw foods has transcended philosophy and biology, and integrated the emotional, ecological and even spiritual realms (whatever that word means).
The Biology of Emotions
The first, the obvious effect of cooking foods is the loss of fibre – thus the use of grains to replace that which we would naturally be receiving from raw fruit and veg in our native diets. This has several effects on the bowel.
Our 28 foot, intensely complicated, divinely orchestrated intestine is essential a modified muscle. And like any muscle, if it is not used, it atrophies, so the body can make better use of those cellular resources elsewhere. And what keeps the intestinal muscles working ? – fibre !.
If your bowel is constantly dealing with the soft, pasty, fibreless materials that cooking creates, then the intestinal muscle tone drops, as it has little to ‘work’ against. This, in turn, allows the bowel wall to suffer the consequences of another fatal aspect of modern life – emotional stress.
All our muscles are subject to the physiological effects of emotional stresses. Naturally, animals deal with unsafe circumstance with a cascade of chemical events which are designed to trigger us into the ‘fight or flight’ – IE: we either get far away from the situation, or we deal with it – both use up the powerful chemistry associated with such life-saving actions.
Most modern stresses are intellectual, and unless you beat your boss to death with the office-chair in response to the stress you feel, you remain drenched in action-stimulating hormones, such as adrenalin, which create ambient tensions through the muscle structures. Thus exercise is often cited as a solution to this, in the way it burns off the associated chemistry – but often hours later. Relaxation techniques and massage are other suggested methods.
However, the bowel is particularly susceptible to these chemical pressures, as we have no conscious connection to the tensions there. This leads to all kinds mis-shaping and distending in the bowel structure.
Mapping Our Psyche in the Bowel
Each of these constrictions in the bowel will relate to pressures in life – current and ancient, and I see them as an ‘emotional profiling’. I don’t think there will ever be a map to read the personality from the bowel, or vice-versa, but there will be a connection, however complex.
Until you’ve seen it for yourself, it is just an unsavoury idea, but those of you that have done a colonic-fasting retreat with me, will have seen the reality of this in the results from taking psyllium husks and performing colonics - it is not the outdated idea of Mucoid Plaque – see my previous Mucoid Plaque articles.
These twisted, inconsistent, knarly shapes in the material that should ‘theoretically’ be smooth, equal and even, point to the emotional state of our bowel, and our whole being. This situation is so ubiquitous, that the biology textbook diagrams of bowels are almost never seen in adults these days. The distended, twisted, looping bowels of today may be normal, but they are far from natural.
The first step on this path of degeneration is fibre, and that lets stressful emotions take hold.
The Dark Path Back to the Light
Because the two are intimately involved, replacing fibre into the diet allows the musculature to regain its capacity for health. The intestinal ‘chewing’ that is required with fibrous foods brings back the muscle tone, and creates the possibility to throw off the emotional tensions that are disfiguring of the bowel, and build back the shape and function of the bowel wall – it is, after all, just muscle tissue.
I hear this biological situation express itself through the emotional growth of the brave souls I take through fasts, introduce to raw foods and coach through these challenging transitions. Times of seemingly unprovoked grief, sadness, anger, joy, hilarity and bliss.
For the stimulus for their feelings is not external. It is an unfolding. An unraveling. A catharsis of years of emotional suppression Self-silencing strategies held in muscular form.
Stiffling patterns learned to get love and acceptance from parents, peers and bosses. For this is what the world teaches us, and food concretes into place.
However, this awakening will only happen if the consciousness in control – you – has sufficient internal space, self-empathy and resolve to allow this difficult transition. For emotionality is not only something we tend to shy away from within ourselves, but it is also looked down upon by society in general.
There is a neurological counterpart to all this. A place where emotionality meets chemistry. A reflection of the ethereal in the material. Where fear, love and hope, meets blood, bone, and tissue.
For it is in the building and fuelling our brains that we find, and can solve, so many of the problems.
At the same time that raw foods provide the pure mechanical fibre to help the bowel through of its twists and tensions, those same foods happen to provide the macro nutrients to run the body and brain as it was designed, not to mention the micronutrients that fund and fuel its highest processes.
For we have in our heads the most complex, compact and sensitive cluster of organized atoms seen throughout the whole of evolution. And from that miraculous feat of biological orchestration comes a field of unknown resonance that we call consciousness.
With poetic justice, the most complex ecosystem ever seen – tropical forests birthed the most complex biological system, in all of us great apes. Built from the highest quality fats, powered by the cleanest burning fuel, and protected by the most antioxidant-rich sources in the world. Only one food has these qualities – fruit. And only one environment produces it year-round. Tropical Forests. A result of complexity upon complexity. Of miracle upon miracle. Of delicate structure upon delicate structure. Immersed in the virtually stressless environment of the canopy where very few predators reach, with no problems to solve and perfect food dripping from the trees all around - for 200,000,000 years at least… The Garden of Eden if ever there was one.
So, why do we wonder why it doesn’t work to build the most delicate and complex biological object ever conceived on land with cooked materials, heavy starches, refined sugars, corrupted fats, oxidized vitamins and denatured minerals ? How about because the very consciousness asking the question is a result of its own damage.
Then we subject it to stresses and pressures that twist its insecurities into power-grabbing ambitions, and turn its emotions inward, lest they be heard and judged by others as weakness in this competition for the top slots.
Dreams can Come True
Feeding ourselves the foods that feed the brain AND the gut – these are dreams come true.
Our taste buds tell us what we like – sugars, salts & fats – all necessary to fund and fuel the body. But if we eat them as white sugar, table salt, and lard, it just ain’t gonna work. (See.
We can follow our tastes if we understand the original call : Fruits (nature’s sugars), Leaves (nature’s mineral salts) and nuts (nature’s fats)…
Then fibre comes pouring in for the bowel, taste comes in for the palate, and nutrients for the body and brain.
I’ll let the rest of these esteemed authors fill you in on the details of recipes and balance… But from my simple, biological perspective, there just is no other answer.
200,000,000 years of evolutionary perspective speaks a lot louder than any seemingly ancient medical systems we have come up with to manage our problems in the last 10,000 years… They are useful, and informative, but unless they are aligned with a longer history, they can only be damage management, and will never point to a lasting solution.
For on the hi-raw path our deep emotion life is given expression. Our bowel releases years of held tension, and the brain starts to be built with the components it needs to once again produce an abundance of the highest, most delicate chemistry known – neurotransmitters.
In vegetable matter we find a multitude of mood-enhancing, depression-lifting, hormone-balancing phyto-chemicals, and the place we find the greatest amounts, in the their most easily digested forms – in fruit – no surprise there, as we are essentially apes…
Let it be known that the only two compounds allowed across the blood-brain barrier without hindrance are sugars and tryptamines – because it needs as many of them as it can get to keep you flying high, and where do you find them ? - most fruits are rich in exactly the right sugars to fuel cellular activity, and the most sugar-hungry object on the planet sits in your head, and generates your moods and thoughts…
Moreover, fruits are generally rich in Tryptophan, and its associates – the root amino acid used to make tryptamines – the highest of all neurotransmitters often associated with consciousness itself. (see Superfood Detox Article for more details) The rest are known to enhance Serotonin – tryptophan’s close relative, and from there brain can create any most essential chemistry in this meeting point of mood and material.
This object incredible in the heads of all mammals is made predominantly from EPA, a fatty acid derived SOLELY from Omega 3 oils. It cannot be built it without a dietary supply of these essential fats. All apes manage to build their tremendous cortex from vegetable matter. We find the highest natural sources of this rare oil in nuts and seeds, with wonderful additions from avocados, eggs, etc… And again, where do we find those foods – in the canopy, where we come from. That’s why no apes need to eat fish for its oils…
PS: There’s only about 7 fish left – leave them alone !.
See Detox Article on Oils for more details
From the victim of circumstance, to the author of your life
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel in diet. Evolution tells us what works for biological systems across the planet.
The fibrous nature of a diet rich in leaves will sweep out our twisted history from the emotional walls of the bowel, and rebuild the body with the very nutrients it has known over the whole of evolution.
The brain now rebuilding with the right fats, and fuelled with the simple sugars it loves can start to change the field of consciousness to how we wish it to be from the neurotransmitters found in fruits.
And so, what do you do with this new-found lightness in one’s attitudes…?
I would suggest we start to focus on the things that make us and others feel good. Start to breed warmth, foster love, enhance positive thoughts, encourage intimacy, promote positivity, and most of all come from a place of gratitude.
If you need an example of you can start small. Start with yourself.
You are one of the most empowered, fortunate, information-rich, educated, well-fed and safest humans ever to exist in the whole of history. Chances are, if you’re reading this, then you not suffering war, famine, disease, ignorance, political oppression, or abject poverty. That’s a pretty good start already.
But you also have clean, running water, endless choices in a market abundant with foods, you have electricity, transport, and the internet.
You are one of the most privileged 10% of the most privileged 10%..
How did you not spot this already. Why were your thoughts drawn towards the lack, the darkness, the pain, and the misfortune ? Because that is the nature of an underfunded brain, which can only house an neurotic mind. It is not your fault. But it is your choice…
This, I hope has helped. It is my way of giving back for all the wonderful information, balance and abundance that has befallen me.
Our privilege is not a question of ‘what did we do to deserve this’, but rather of ‘what can we do to deserve it’…