Listen Up! (To Yourself)

by dellspause / Oct 22, 2009 / 0 comments

My friend Anne and I talk food.  Of course we do. We both love food. We might not remember what day of the week it is today, but we can pinpoint exactly what we ate for lunch last Tuesday.

Last week, Anne was frustrated with the stomach problems that were bugging her, so she decided to try an elimination diet to find the culprit.  A one-time vegetarian, she decided to make meat elimination round one.  Saturday was her first day.  Monday morning she was waiting for me in the parking lot at work.  Halfway through her McDonald's sausage and egg muffin, she realized something.  She wasn't supposed to be eating the thing she was chewing.  Diet over.

I laughed when she told me, but her story brought up a larger point, that of elimination diets.  I could get on some sort of microphone and preach about the benefits I've personally found by sticking to a raw vegan diet.  But I won't.  Because I don't believe in pushing my choices on other people.  Not only because of the basic ethics of it, but most importantly because what works for me may not work for you.  That's why, when people's eyes get big when I tell them I've lost forty pounds in six months or that my skin is more radiant then ever before or that my hair has gotten thicker and shinier, and they beg me to tell them about eating raw, I always preface it with, "Well, this may work for me, but..."

The crazy thing that I cannot stress enough to people, the crazy thing about the whole raw diet, is that I never realized how sick I really was when I was eating the standard sad American diet.  I never knew how good I was supposed to feel.  Until I started eating only raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Now I can't stop believing the difference diet makes in my life.  There are, however, I am sure of it, people with bodies that work just fine with poultry or grains or fish.  I, unfortunately because I like the taste of so many of these things, am not one of those people.  But you very well may be.  

Lately I can tell my digestion is a little off, too.  I feel sluggish after meals and I have this sneaking suspicion that my love for cashews might be dragging me down.  So, like Anne, (though hopefully I'll last a little longer!) I'm going to try eliminating nuts from my diet for two weeks.  And I'll see how my body feels.  It's a task that I wish everyone would try.  Doing things like this forces you to really listen.  Listen to yourself.  Connect with some piece of your subconscious body that you never knew existed.  It's a one of a kind experience.  So, if you wanted any homework or personal assignment for the month, here it is: if you have a sneaking suspicion that something in your diet is affecting you, slowing you down or just generally not making you energetic, try cutting it out of your life for one week.  You can do it for seven days, right?  And really, truly take that time to listen.  Get quiet. Bust out that yoga mat you got at that garage sale two years ago and use it.  Sit down.  Meditate for five minutes.  And listen to your body.

Here's my recipe for the month, because these raw sunburgers are my new obsession.  Lately I've been doubling the recipe and eating them throughout the week.  If you don't have a dehydrator, just turn the oven below 120-degree or the lowest temperature you can and leave the door open.

Sunshine Burgers

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 6-8 hours

1 cup almonds, soaked 12-48 hours

8 stalks celery, chopped finely

1/2 cup onion, chopped finely

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped cilantro 

3-4 tablespoons of sesame tahini

Process everything in a food processor or blender.  Form into patties and dehydrate at 115-degree for 10-12 hours. Serve on a bed of green leaf lettuce. Top with raw ketchup (see below) and fresh tomato slices.


1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/8 cup agave

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 basil leaves

4 dates

pinch of sea salt