Today begins a new series of posts on The Copycat Cook about raw food and healing. For the next month, I’ll be exploring raw food recipes and sharing them with you. Why raw? Why now? Read on to find out!
How I got here
More than 12 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and, being 18, wasn’t particularly troubled with the whole affair. I popped a few pills each day and bounced back quickly. Dietary changes were never suggested as a treatment plan – it was drugs all the way.
I didn’t know there was another choice.
Over the years, I’ve been on a few different medications, like 5-ASAs and steroids (including prednisone). My current medication, the immunosuppressant azathioprine, is a known human carcinogen. Though the risk of developing lymphoma is low (about 2%), I’m concerned about the possible effects of taking this drug for the rest of my life.
I want to make a different choice.
Problem is, the medical system has conditioned me to believe if I’m not on meds, I’ll get sick. And the alternative health care world has shown me if I stay on meds, I may also get sick.
Diets, diets everywhere
In the last 12 years, I’ve tried many nutritional routes to heal my Crohn’s disease. I’ve done the liquid diet, the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet, the gluten-free, yeast-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, alcohol-free diet.
Certainly, nutrition has an enormous impact on the way I feel, especially since I eliminated gluten and dairy. But I believe if I go off my meds tomorrow, I won’t be successful.
My diet is fairly clean, but it’s far from perfect. I eat too many baked goods and natural sugars. And there’s a lot of good foods out there that I’m not eating, simply because I’ve never heard of them, are intimidated by them or don’t know how to use them.
I really need to step up my game.
So. What do I do?
Holistic nutritionist to the rescue
Jen believes that a raw food healing cleanse might work for me, along with adding a wide array of nutritionally dense superfoods and immune boosters I’ve never heard of before.
As I’ve mentioned previously, raw food is my final frontier. I’ve never tried it to heal my Crohn’s – partially because Crohn’s patients are advised to avoid raw food, but mostly because raw food intimidates me. It’s like a foreign language.
Raw food is scary, like the boogeyman
When I think of raw food, my mind leaps to lettuce leaves with oil and vinegar dressing. I’m a foodie, and this blog is about food experiments that taste good. So if I’m going to go raw, the food has to taste lip-smacking delicious, in such an exciting way that I have to share it with you.
That’s where Jen comes in. In addition to being awesome, she’s a certified raw food chef. She’ll be putting together a meal plan and recipes for me, along with providing information about why the foods she’s choosing can heal me.
The 28-Day Raw Food Healing Challenge
Over the next 28 days, I’ll be challenging myself to eat at least 80-85% raw. As I explore new recipes, I’ll share them with you, along with weekly check-ins about how I’m feeling.
I’ll also be investigating larger issues that accompany going raw, such as how to have a social life, how to avoid going broke, what tools you need to eat raw and how to manage your time so you’re not spending all day in the kitchen.
Of course, I’m entering this challenge with my eyes wide open. Raw food doesn’t heal every Crohn’s patient, and it may not work for me. Or, it may not work after only four weeks. But I’m going to give it my all and at the end of the challenge, assess how I feel and whether I feel strong enough to start eliminating medication.
I get by with a little help from my friends
Along the way, I’d appreciate your help. Do you have a delicious raw food recipe? Read a wonderful live food blog? Know someone who healed their IBD eating raw? Want me to address a specific aspect of raw food? Please share your stories and suggestions in the comments as I embark along this journey.
The question is, can this devout baker forsake her beloved oven for a month to heal her tummy woes?
Stay tuned to find out.
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