20th in a series of interviews with fruitarians around the globe..
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions!
Could you please start off by introducing yourself, telling us a little about who you are, your age, gender, whether or where you work, or not, where you are living/grew up? etc..etc.. anything you consider relevant for us to get more of an insight into who you are..
I was born a poor black boy, no wait, that was Steve Martin, I sometimes confuse myself with him (that happens more often than you'd think!) What I meant to say was I was born in West Bristol, PA not too far from Philly. We moved around a lot when I was a kid (not sure why) but when I was 15 we moved to Maryland, where I lived until my second husband and I moved to SC in 2001. We now live in GA, but are planning to move back to the Eastern Shore of Maryland soon, as our families are there. I have two grown children, men in their own right. The oldest has started a family of his own with a young son (I'm a Grand Ma!), my younger son is in the Marines. I also have a step-daughter who is going to college in Chicago. She is currently working on a degree in Law. I will be 47 on December 17th, 2008. I work at a durable medical equipment company, shuffling papers. (It's not as bad as it sounds) I am a lover of nature, books, music, movies, hiking/walking. I am currently learning how to Buckdance; it's a form of clogging. I use be a singer in a band (and got paid for it!), but have not done that since I moved away from Maryland. I miss it.
Do you have a blog or web page we can read more about you?
Yes, you can find me on the web at Nature's Fast Food.
So.. Could you tell us what kind of diet did you grow up with? Maybe give us a rough idea of what you used to eat on an average day?
When growing up, our house was not full of 'junk'-- we didn't have chips and cookies or candies laying about. We had what our parents thought was a healthy diet. Though it was definitely a meat centered diet. Eggs and bacon for breakfast; dinners were more often than not, meat and potatoes. Though we did consume our share of pinto beans and cornbread!
And fast forward to today, what does a typical days food intake look like for you now?
Ahh....the question that has made me procrastinate in finishing this interview and sending to you! I am a struggling fruitarian. For the past 4 years I have studied fruitarianism, of which, the last year and a half I have been working toward being a fruigivore -- what I believe is our natural diet. Overcoming the emotional attachments (comfort in food) and addictions to cooked food has proven hard. Though I have made progress recently by making the commitment to stop eating meat! This is a large step for me and one that I know I won't regret (my body is thanking me already, and so are all the critters that I no longer consume!). I have taken a few other small steps that will move me forward to my goal of being a fruitarian. And maybe that is just the way I will have to do this life change. I have been trying to do it all at once (several times) and I don't seem to be able to go more than two weeks before I fall back to old habits.
So, to make a long answer longer.... Today, my typical day of eating is fruit in the morning, vegetarian in the afternoons, and I have just started implementing green smoothies for evening meals.
What sparked those changes?
Well, you actually! About 4 years ago, I was searching the web, and I'm not sure how I ended up looking into fruitarianism, but I came across your fruit-nut site and the seed was sown!
Has anyone else in your family made such changes?
Yes, March 9th, 2007 my husband, who was a dyed in the wool eat whatever you want sort of guy, made the plunge to 100% raw food over night! He decided to go raw after reading Live Food Factor by Susan E. Schenck and Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. The funny thing is, I was the one who asked him to check out the books, as I had already read them. I started a thirty day 100% raw experiment with him and faltered after the first week. He continues on, Yeah!! and he is always an inspiration and support to me.
Although you are sometimes having difficulties sticking to just fruit, is it truthful to say that you have complete faith in the 100% fruit diet?
Yes, I absolutely believe we are designed to eat fruit as our main diet. When I think of what appeals to me (without the cooked food addictions), I see how perfect fruit is, how it fits in our hand, how we are designed to see all the beautiful colors of fruit, how we have a sense of smell that knows when the fruit is fully ripe, how we have a natural sweet tooth. It all fits just right. I look at all animals in the wild and see that they eat what they are designed to eat, it's just so beautiful and natural. That is what I aspire to.
Can you tell us a little about your health before and after the changes you've made? (would be great to include some photos!!) What about your weight, any major changes?
Though I haven't made THE change, the times that I have eaten totally raw, or had fruit only, were wonderful times physically. I had so much more energy, my skin was clear, soft and smooth, I felt stronger. I could walk farther and my muscles actually felt like they worked 'cleaner' more powerfully. I would also lose some weight.
So I gather sometimes you feel cravings for certain foods that you may not consider ideal, could you tell us a little about those times?
Usually, after being raw for a few days, the detox sets in and I get stressed out. When I am stressed, I eat. What has been a habit for me was to 'self medicate' away the stress, or negative feelings, with my 'drug' of choice: Fattening, Junk Food. SAD isn't it? Seriously, it comes down to emotional eating, and I am slowly learning how to deal with my emotions without resorting to food. It's a slow process, but I am making progress.
What kind of foods are you finding most difficult to leave behind?
Fast Food, Sweets, Pastry and Chocolate. Though, along with meat, I have also made the choice to not eat chocolate either.
Do you feel any needs to supplement your diet at all?
No, I don't like them and I don't feel anything 'extra' in my diet other than fresh fruits are necessary. I don't think there are 'super foods', just plain organic raw fruits are best. There is too much consumerism going on without people wanting to take my hard earned money for the so-called “Super” Stuff.
Are you happy with the choice and quality of fruit you are getting?
Most of the time I have no problems getting good quality fruit. We have a nice produce market that is open in the summer, which has a nice selection.
Do you normally tell people how you eat? If so, what do you think is the most common question people ask you about your diet?
If I tell people (though I don't really feel it is a necessity), the question “But, where do you get your protein?” always comes up. I think people have been 'brainwashed' by the meat and dairy industry that they need high levels of protein in their daily intake.
How do you answer their questions?
I tell them that fruit and greens have loads of protein and that they really don't need that much to thrive.
By eating raw foods, I believe your body is better able to assimilate the nutrients. People don't realize that fruit actually has protein in it. I didn't know either until I started doing the research. I'd like to say also that neither the cow, horse, wolf, cougar nor any other wild animal worries about what they are getting in their food. They eat what they were designed to eat and that's it. It's just fuel. (If only I could take my own advise here and stop eating for comfort!)
Do you have a favorite fruit?
Yes, Cantaloupe! I can't wait each year for them to come into season. When they are perfectly ripe, sweet and juicy- there's just nothing finer! I especially love them for lunch, or after I've walked on a hot summer day. Totally refreshing!
Do you get those easily enough where you are?
Yes, the local grocery stores, have them as well as the local produce markets.
Can you recall the first time you tried one?
No, but I do remember once playfully fighting my father-in-law for who was going to get to eat the last of them!
Where and how do you see yourself living and eating in 10 years from now?
That is a long time away. I can't really say.
- Living: My husband and I are planning on building a conservative boat to live aboard. We are making it as green as possible. We are working toward a simplistic lifestyle--less and less consumer driven.
- Eating: My plan is to eat more and more raw, until I am eating fruit only. I want to maintain all fruit for at least one year, and then I can decide in a more personally informed way where to go from there.
Do you think you could improve on your diet at all??
Well, right now, Hell Yes! (can I say that on your blog??) I am working on it daily. Trying to be gentle with myself and loving, and realizing that I didn't get addicted to cooked foods overnight and, for me at least, this raw path, is a journey to explore, rejoice in and have fun with. (as with all paths in life) Sometimes I just get too darn serious with myself! :0)
How do you feel if people tell you that you must be crazy, and that you can't possibly survive eating the way you desire to??
I just smile. I don't like to get into confrontations with people, especially if I don't know them. We all have our lives to live, and to each their own.
Finally, is there anything you'd like to add as words of encouragement to those that are aspiring toward fruitarianism?
Small steps will yield substantial strides if we just keep going. Don't quit, even if you falter, believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish and make it happen! And join me and others on our blogs and websites and forums. We can support each other on our personal journeys through our life on this beautiful place we find ourselves. It is difficult, I'm realizing that myself... It is harder than I thought. But I know the rewards of eating a fruitarian diet will be many-fold.
Thanks, Mango, for including me in your interviews. Maybe some day down the line you would like to do a follow up interview with me when I've been raw/fruitarian more consistently, and I will provide before and afters..
Yes, I'd like to do that Ka, maybe I'll contact you in a year or so from now, or maybe you can let me know when the cravings have died down and you are feeling more confident on fruit.. Meanwhile, do you have any photos I could include now?
At the moment, I only have this one photo.
I hope that I can be of help to others who are struggling, or just starting on this path.
My Spirit honors Your Spirit.
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