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Raw Chef Panel Q3: Emotional Eating

Q. Do you emotionally eat? If so, what do you eat? How do you overcome emotional eating?

A. I have been an emotional eater my entire life. This is partly the cause for my swinging introduction into the raw food diet. Like I mentioned before, I am an all-or-nothing girl. This is a mental state; I am aware of this. Few eat out of sheer hunger. Most eat for social or emotional reasons. I am no different. I have found, though, that the more I am able to quiet my mind, the more stable my diet becomes.

Over the years, I have self-medicated and soothed myself with foods. It is what I turn to when feeling stressed, sad, overwhelmed or fearful. Heavy foods, particularly, dampen my anxieties by forcing me to feel the physical discomfort of a full belly rather than my mental or spiritual upheaval. As a raw foodie, I tend to go for the heavy nut or seed laden foods when feeling negative emotions. I rarely dehydrate foods at home, for I prefer to eat juicy, high vibrancy foods. So, when I am having a challenging day, I will seek out a store-bought raw granola. My favorite is Hemp & Greens by Living Intentions. This gives me exactly what I am looking for- a sweet treat, that heavy feeling I crave and a quick fix. If I need to eat emotionally, I am certainly not in the mood to create something in my kitchen. This is why the premade raw granolas are so perfect. Because it is raw, I can eat this without any guilt, which is also a huge bonus. Though, powering through an entire bag of granola is not the best thing for my body, it certainly is not the worst either. When I do this, my body usually balances itself the next day by craving more water dense fruits and vegetables. I find, in this way, I can manage my weight by staying raw if going through tough challenges. I would also like to add that the more raw foods I eat the less negativity I feel in general. I have far fewer emotionally turbulent days as a raw foodie.

In addition to my raw food diet, a daily meditation practice is one of the best ways for me to maintain an emotional equilibrium. My ever expanding spirituality keeps me in a state of gratitude and abundance. The more I honestly love myself and recognize myself as source energy, the more grounded I feel, the more joy I have and the lighter life appears. Because of this, I rarely feel so emotionally charged that I need to grab that bag of granola. Often one can find me nibbling on Hemp & Greens granola not because I need it, but because I simply like it. There is a difference here between the two mind-sets.

For me, meditation is a necessity. It is something I need to do every day like an exercise routine. It aligns me and centers me. As I mentioned above, emotional distress is a mental state. It is self-created. By meditating, I am able to train my mind. I can quiet it when needed. I can look at it and see that it is little more than a part of my ego. It is separate from what I truly am on a soul level. Realizing this through my spiritual practice keeps the strife of daily life in perspective. There is so much more going on than my insignificant earthly, society based stressors. I am so much more than I have been raised to believe. When I meditate, I know this, for I can feel what I truly am. I see that I am light; I am divinely perfect. This soothes me on a level that dissipates any angst I may have with my physical life.

I remain balanced and manage emotional eating by synergizing my clean diet with meditation. Doing this, I feel liberated, inspired, empowered, lighthearted and grounded.

What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live at Café Gratitude in Healdsburg, California is a fun and informative forum for like-minded, health-conscious people to gather, dine and learn. One can enjoy a cooked or raw vegan meal while listening to the speaker of the night. Industry leaders like raw chefs, athletes, doctors, energy workers and motivational speakers have been enlisted to lecture. There is no cost; simply order a delicious, healthy meal, sit back, relax and allow the theme of the night to capture your attention and inspire your actions.

There is a new lecture series offered at Café Gratitude. Shea Lynn Baird, the brilliant mind behind Monday Night Live, has organized a series of panel discussions. Shea invited me to be a part of the first panel discussion, a raw chef panel, launching her series into high gear. The topic was ‘What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat.’ I was on a panel with Cherie Soria, Gabrielle Brick, Kathryn Ackland, Cecilia Benjumea-Kinzie and Andrea Primm, what a powerhouse of speakers, all beautiful and influential leaders making big splashes in the raw food industry.

As raw chefs, we often create cuisine that caters to the mainstream market. The foods can be dense and highly seasoned. Pick up a raw cookbook, and one will find a variety of recipes to entice any palate. These recipes serve their purpose. They are perfect for transitional foods, offering meals to ease one away from cooked foods and into a raw diet; they are great fun for entertaining, because they showcase beautiful dishes layered in flavor, color and texture, and they are delicious tempters used to lure a cooked foodie into the utopia of a raw lifestyle. What they are not is a way of eating on a regular basis. Most long term raw foodies eat very simply. The recipes created by raw gourmet chefs should be used occasionally, not daily. Many people, first discovering raw food, buy raw cookbooks, hoping to dive right into the cuisine and experience all the benefits this revolutionary diet has to offer. The recipes in these cookbooks create a challenge for many, because eating heavy, complex raw foods will cause imbalance in the body, rendering a raw lifestyle physically unsustainable. So the question begs to be answered, what do the top raw chefs really eat? How should a raw foodie eat to support vibrant health, mental clarity, top performance and emotional/spiritual/physical equilibrium?

I will take the questions posed during this Monday Night Live panel discussion, and over the next few days, I will elaborate on my own answers. (To watch this discussion in its entirety, sign up for Shea Lynn Baird’s Monday Night Live newsletter, and gain access to the video.) Since there were five chefs on this panel, we each only had 2-5 minutes to answer each question, limiting the amount of information we could provide. Watch the video to get a broad view of how different raw foodies eat. But, allow me to share here, in more detail, my own diet and my personal journey with raw foods as I expand on each of the presented questions. Stay tuned as I post the Q&A from the panel discussion over the days to come…

Blessings in vibrant health!

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