I generally feel like I have to justify my interest in healthy eating, and try not to be the ‘difficult one’ socially, but truth is I feel so great eating wholefoods and being active, I literally feel euphoric when I go for a softsand run or a yoga session, and trust me even a year ago I would have said exercising was a burden not a form of enjoyment/entertainment. Everything a year ago was so different, I thought people eating raw or juice fasting were suckers of weight-loss marketing, what I didn’t realise was that these people were actually unlocking knowledge of vitality, energy and ultimate human health.
I have been a vegetarian since I can remember, once I understood that the meat on my plate was a living animal I had no interest in eating it, it was not initially animal rights or health concerns that inclined me to a plant-based diet, it was just the disinterest in eating animals. This choice didn’t come easily, I faced a big struggle convincing my parents that I seriously did not like or want meat – there were quite a few long nights sitting at the dinner table on my own with my unfinished dinner plate, a couple I escaped early by hiding meat under bits of furniture, and one lucky getaway from my grandmother who chased me through a village town square in Greece with a meatball on the end of a fork. I never thought it was unnatural to eat meat, I just had no interest in it.
On my grandparents farm in Greece we used to milk our pet goat and that milk would end up pretty much straight on our breakfast table, we would get cheese from our neighbour and collect eggs from our chickens, all of these animal products appeared natural and non-harmful to the animals – It wasn’t until my early twenties when I discovered that not all cheese was vegetarian and that conventional milk had legal levels of blood and puss that were allowed per litre, that I started to question what I used to assume was natural.
My research into modern day food and health was absolutely shocking, there was so much hidden information relating to dairy, soy, fluoride and artificial sweeteners that I was completely gobsmacked! I felt like I was living in a corrupt world and got so caught up in the fact that so many conventional products were harmful rather than natural, I swiftly turned organic and vegan but then noticed that I was also becoming antisocial as none of my friends or even family were into organic yet, and being vegan rather than just vegetarian seemed like such a burden to everyone else.
I reached the point where I thought there was nothing more I could do and that I should stop being so concerned about health if it was burdening everyone around me. At pretty much the same time that I started to take a step back from healthy living, my brother got hit with a big health scare, he had a period of intense heart palpitations and anxiety. I talked to him about small facts I had learnt with food but a lot of the information I shared seemed to go in one ear and out the other, we lived in different worlds, I was an organic vegan and he was a man concerned with bulking up at the gym, we couldn’t have been more opposite. Then one day I don’t know what clicked but he called me to ask if I knew how bad canned tomatoes were for us... and that’s my first memory of when our worlds aligned and our journey of vitality began.
In our modern context, common knowledge has been shifted by the billion dollar pharmaceutical and fastfood industries, so research into what we think is common sense or common knowledge for health is vital, my biggest motivation is passing on what I learn so that our future and especially our children’s futures will become one of truth, vitality and therefore happiness ruled by nature and health, not ruled by disease and pharmaceuticals.
It is important to keep in mind though, that if you get so caught up in striving for ultimate health, as I did at one point, and you become either antisocial or stressed about being healthy, it is just as toxic as eating and living bad, so don’t go cold turkey keep in mind what makes you happy and choose that, strive for vitality but keep your happy balance, if that’s your cup of coffee or croissant a day then so be it (the more you rule these things out of your life, you will find you don’t crave them anyway). This is a huge aspect of our philosophy to 51raw, maintaing your happy balance in life.
– Sarah 51raw