Craig Woolward

Last Updated: 01 Sep 97
Created on Tue, 19 Aug 1997

Dear Raw-Foodists and all those who are trying!

Since I subscribed to this list on 13 April 1997, and have been lurking since then, I suppose this would be the appropriate time to introduce myself and tell my story!!

I am 33yrs old, live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and got very interested in correct eating at the end of October 1996, when I suffered terrible lower backache. This I thought to be a kidney problem, as I had suffered from glomerulonephritis as a child. Anyhow it turned out to be a muscular complaint, and by this time I was well on my way and there was no stopping me.

I started first to combine properly, cut out all sugars (after drinking up to nine cokes a day), refined starches, and was enjoying fruit for breakfast, and salads with every meal. My energy levels increased rapidly and my weight was dropping at a rate of 1,5 kg's a week. ( I was 91,5 kg's at the start of my dietary evolution).

The book that first got me going was Leslie Kenton's Biogenic Diet. In January 1997 I cut out red meat completely but still ate healthy white meat. As time progressed I ate more and more fruit and vegetables (some veggies steamed) and by May I had cut out all meat completely. So at this stage I was only fruit & veggies and steamed veggies and wholewheat breads. Then I decided this was it. All raw is the truth (which it is!), and I decided to go completely raw, which to me wasn't a bad idea as I had transitioned for about 6 months.

So I went totally raw with fruit only!! Big mistake!! I ate fruit alone for 35 days. By this time (7 months)I had lost 30 kg's (I now weighed 61,5 kg's). I ended up detoxing too quickly and which resulted in me having lovely oozing sores all over my face. Of course as soon as this frightening thing happened, my first reaction was to get back onto cooked as soon as possible, which I did with ease.

Everything I had learned over the past 7 months about every truth of nutrition I threw out the window, without batting an eyelid, and went mad. I ate 3 hot dogs at a time, indulged myself on a loaf of white refined bread everynight (this bread stint was only for about a week thankfully!) I ate hamburgers, Kentucky, MacDonald's and there was the odd occasion that on my way home I would stop at Kentucky eat what I felt like, and then promptly move onto MacDonalds and oder a Big Mac and Fries and baked apple pie (this is a sin) and eat this, and then still go home and eat a loaf of white bread! I did however manage to eat fruit every morning during my madness except for four mornings where I went for the traditional English Breakfast which always proved to be a real killer! Unbelievable hey!!

This savage rebellion lasted about 8 weeks, and I was tapering off my bread at the end of the eight weeks and I had it down to about 6 slices a night. All during this time however I was watching very carefully how eating the different foods and combinations affected me and my energy levels. I was also exercising from Nov 96 up to present day, six times a week aerobically on a rebounder (in the mornings) for 30 minutes. This thankfully I never stoped doing. By this time of course I realised that raw food is really the answer and I needed to get back into raw, (with changes of course - not all fruit).

During my retox I had only gained 8 kg's (got back to 70 kg's)in eight weeks. I had, naturally retoxified myself quite badly, and the sores on my face first disappeared with my return to cooked food, but then boomeranged with a vengeance, worse than ever before. Wonderful!! What do I do now?? I didn't know where I was? Was I detoxifying or was I retoxifying? At this stage I received the NFL book which I had ordered by mail, and I got reading again. Yep, this book is the truth, so lets get back into raw.

So I just decided to start from scratch again. First cut out all sugars and refined food, combine properly, fruit in the mornings, salads with every meal etc etc and I am now about 85% raw (the rest steamed veggies, with the occassional whole wheat bread thrown in).I now weigh 66 kg's so I am throwing off all the rubbish again.

The bottom line is I want to eat 100% raw and I know I am going to do it. I just need to give myself time and go easy with myself. I am stil detoxing and the sores on my face have decreased, but do increase when I have too much fruit! NFL replied to an e-mail I sent them, and David has advised me to eat more nuts and fruits low in sugar (avo's, zuchinni, peppers etc etc) to slow down my detox, to enable me to get rid off all my sores.

Overall this was a very frighteneing AND interesting experience if that is possible. One thing I have learnt - Raw IS the answer. I am going to get there. It may take some time, and I still have a lot to learn, but this doesn't bother me at all now.

Tonite (19/8/97) was again one of my interesting rebelious nights, and this one took the form of dairy products (which I usually never eat). I managed to squeeze in cottage cheese with lettuce, fresh unpasturized cream with honey and crumpets and three scrambled eggs and toast into one sitting. I have managed to get straight back onto raw again, as three hours later I was dying (no pun intended) for a carrot juice with celery, spinach, parsely and lettuce, which I had- it was brilliant.

Lets see what tomorrow brings?

With regards to advice...

You don't need to go and do what I did to myself, unless you feel the need to. Let me tell you Raw is where its at. Don't despair - keep going. Don't give up and most of all go very easy on yourself. Guilt simply keeps you eating the things you don't want to eat and creates a viscious circle and eating disorders. You actually have to take it all very light heartedly and you have to be able to laugh at yourself and love yourself for what you are, otherwise you will never get there.

Whether you get there tommorrow or in ten years time, does not matter. Just know you are going to do it. We all want to get there today, and we think it is easy, but we always manage to surprise ourselves along the line. Once the awareness has been created it is game over for cooked food. It may take some time, but the end is inevitable.

Just keep going. I certainly am, regardless of what I cook up next.



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