Do you know what?
I love dates. I love the taste of them. I love the sweetness they provide me when I’m going raw, because if you were/are a big consumer of sugary products (and most of us were as kids, and perhaps as adults… candies, most morning cereals, specialty drinks from starbucks, “fruit” juices, breads, milk… well, pretty much everything has sugar in it… I could go on for a while), you’ll find yourself craving something sweet every once and a while. And dates, much like apples, pears, watermelon, bananas or any other sweet fruit (even carrots sometimes taste sweet after you’ve gone raw for a good amount of time) can fulfill your desire for something sweet.
Now, here’s the kicker.
I’m allergic to dates… and all other dried fruits…
Well, I WAS, until I went raw for the first time.
Now, I’m not asking you to try this… nor am I promoting this in any way, but I got over my food allergy to dried fruit by going raw the first time around, and now, I can eat dried fruit without a problem. In the past, my allergic reaction to dried fruit was really bad… potentially fatal. My throat would close up, my chest would get tight, I would get nauseous and pretty much just throw up anything in my stomach. When I did a raw food fast the first time around, I wanted to move beyond simply snacking on raw foods and eating salads. I wanted to prepare foods and make meals like raw burgers and breads, breakfast bars, pretty much raw versions of anything I made with cooked recipes. But, I found a lot of the recipes I researched used dates or other dried fruit. The first recipe I tried with dates was a raw ketchup recipe (it was a decent recipe, but I didn’t really care… I really missed processed ketchup… notice I didn’t say REAL ketchup… you know, the red stuff made with sugar, salt and high fructose corn syrup). I was about 2 weeks into my raw food diet when I really felt the need to try some different recipes. I blended up the other ingredients and added the dates, just like the recipe suggested, gave it a taste and waited for my allergic reaction to kick in.
Nothing. Not a sniffle. Not a twitch. Not a dry heave. Nothing. And it didn’t taste that bad either.
So, I picked up a date and gave it a sniff. My allergies in the past were sensitive enough to be triggered even by the smell of dried fruit. No reaction at all. I decided to really tempt fate and nibble off a bit of a date. And to my surprise, I tasted the sweetness of a date for the first time in my life without having an adverse reaction. After finishing off the date, I tried my luck at eating a raisin and later a dried cranberry. I didn’t like the taste of either of them but I didn’t throw up or have any difficulty breathing. I had to ask myself, “what happened? How is it possible that I was suddenly no longer allergic to dried fruit?” That’s when I realize what eating a raw food diet was doing for me. I think my body was no longer busy fighting the chemicals from processed and cooked foods I was putting in my body and it was able to focus on other things like fighting food allergies. Like I said, I’m not telling you to try this, but I’m just letting you know this actually happened to me.
Some raw food enthusiast believe when you’re eating cooked and processed food, it isn’t really food in the truest sense of the word because it’s devoid of nutrients that your body needs, and you are, in a sense, poisoning your body. The human body really only has the capacity to break down actual food, and everything else is simple waste that either gets deposited by your body or retained by your body in the form of fats and other items which are bad for internal and intestinal health… and since you’re potentially poisoning yourself, your body isn’t receiving enough raw nutrients to be able to fight off basic things like allergies or basic sickness (since I was eating fairly healthy before I went raw, I never related my dietary habits to my resistance to disease, but I hadn’t been sick for close to 3 years… I went through flu season last year without a sniffle at all or any medication) And, from what some raw food nutritionists believe, if you eat poorly long enough, your body will stop managing your sugar levels effectively and potentially leave you more susceptible to other diseases like diabetes and cancer (some have reported a raw food diet even helps with autism). This is actually the basis for chronic illness treatment at places like the Gerson Institute.
So, what am I saying? Personally, I do not know if a raw food diet can cure cancer or any other chronic disease. Diabetes, sure, a raw food diet can definitely help, or if you have any other intestinal health issues, consuming food with a high nutritional value can really help. All I know is what was working for me. And that I’m no longer allergic to foods that used to affect me. And my body can endure some pretty highly contagious environments (kids both had strep throat last year during my raw food diet and I didn’t get sick at all…). But, if you’re feeling tired all the time or you’re feeling generally unhealthy or stressed, think about what you’re putting into your body and ask yourself if it really is good for you. And if you know it isn’t, you should figure out a way to stop eating it, because there are most likely long term effects on your body you may have never even considered.
By the way, did I mention I love dates?
P.S. Still raw. Down another 1/2 pound. 160 down to 158 so far.