I went to Lesa’s Full Moon Ladies’ Night Out tonight. We all ended up chatting about the raw food meeting on Monday night, and then we wound up talking about rules and gurus who put out rules and then turn out to not be following them, themselves, i.e., gurus who are not 100% raw, and then gurus who say that their way is the only way.
Until this year, I had never associated in person with raw foodies, and my experienced in “organized” raw foodism has been unusual, to say the least. I have been lucky to meet some very nice people on the mailing list I have been involved in for the past two years, and one, Lesa, is right here in NYC, so now I have a raw food friend in-person. I’ve been happily trundling along, doing what seemed right (I think they now call that intuitive eating), and suddenly, I have encountered all sorts of ways that are the one and only right way to be raw. Some people say food should be eaten in its original state, not processed at all — ah, but that is an old one — when I was starting out, the only people who hewed to that one were men who, it seemed to me, were too lazy to fix their food. My first raw food information came from the Fathmans’ book — they were making up things as they went along — there had been no personable discussions of raw food published, and, to my knowledge, no recipe books. The Fathmans were inspired by Arnold Ehret’s teachings, and just took the information and ran with it. I resonated with what they had to say, and enjoyed some of their recipes (this was in the days before dehydrators, and, I think, in the first days of the Champion juicer). Soon after that, Ann Wigmore began publishing. I found her information and I found my niche. Wigmore had her own ideas, based on proper food combining, and then some. I did not need to explore further. I just kept on going. Now, I find that I am supposed to want to be 80/10/10, but, I’m sorry, folks, I already have a religion.
I like living in New York City. I do not want to move to a farm right now or even in the foreseeable future. (I have already been a hippie and done that route… the Birkenstocks, the flowy skirts, the long hair, the no make-up — been there, done that, a long time ago.) I live in a big city on a small income, so I cannot afford to fly off for two weeks to learn about the latest version of Ann Wigmore’s plan (although I was fortunate enough to be able to manage Lillian Butler’s very fairly priced, very accessible, very community-oriented, very Wigmore-based Raw Soul program – http://www.rawsoul.com ), which I highly recommend to anyone who can easily get to New York City one Monday evening a week for a month). Recently, I have been reading Brenda Cobb’s book, in which she details her conversion and understanding of Ann Wigmore’s program. I am loving this book. I immediately looked her up, but her program’s price is way far out of my league (unless I win the Lotto — only problem, I don’t play). I looked at the place she went to learn what she learned about the program: the Ann Wigmore Foundation — http://www.wigmore.org/ — and found their prices much more manageable (I will still have to work hard for two years to manage a trip there — there are other more immediate pressing matters I have to save up for first, before I can manage a vacation where I will learn what Lillian Butler has already taught me.) there are other offshoots of the original Ann Wigmore Institute, all with variations on the name. If one is inclined to study at a distance, there is the http://www.chidiet.com program, which faithfully follows Ann Wigmore’s ideas, and allows one to study at home,at highly reasonable prices (this is the program I want to do next.)
Meanwhile, I think it is worthwhile for anyone to go raw any way they can. Once you go raw, you will start to find ideas, and you will find ideas that work for you. If you are a person who wants to find a new religion, you will find someone preaching the one that works for you. If you are a person like me, you will find something that seems to make sense to you, and you will do that.
In the end, at our gathering, we decided to agree that
1- it is better to be raw.
2 – if you cannot be raw all the time, you should be raw as much of the time as you can.
3 – 75% raw is better than no percent raw.
4 – If you cannot find organic fruit and vegetables, you can still be raw.