So, why am I such a RAW food fanatic? Where did this passion come from? How did RAW food change my life?
Wow, where do I begin!?
I’m 28 years old and I’ve been addicted to sugar my entire life.
I’m not just talking about eating too many fruit snacks or sneaking an extra spoonful of ice cream from the freezer now and then. I can vividly remember being a 6-year-old sugar sleuth, waking up in the middle of the night, tip-toeing through the kitchen, peeling open the edge of the fridge with the tips of my fingers, snatching cans of grape soda and racing back to my room to chug my prize!
Halloween candy? Oh, my God! Hallelujah! Favourite day of the year! It was a marathon to trick-or-treat the entire town twice over and collect the biggest mountain of candy imaginable, which I then proceeded to eat in a week, or less… I’m pretty sure I managed to eat it all in a weekend a few years in a row.
I trick-or-treated until I was in grade 12. No joke.
It was shameful, embarrassing, gross and I didn’t care.
Candy was life! Debilitating acne? That’s what prescriptions are for! I’ve been off and on antibiotics since I was 13… and every single time I go off, BAM! The acne returns full force!
The worst part is that doctors won’t even consider the fact that it’s the sugar that’s destroying my skin. I know it’s the sugar! Doctors continually say it’s hormones… which, if you wanna break it down, what sugar actually does, is spike our insulin. A spike in insulin causes inflammation and swelling in the body, and, for those unlucky bastards like myself who are prone to skin issues, acne will mess you up real good!
I’ve tried over and over and over again to give up sugar, but I ALWAYS FAIL.
I have a terrible, disgusting, self-destructive, abusive, co-dependent relationship with sugar. It’s a hellova drug.
It’s sweet and tasty and everyone loves it and commercial holidays are driven on giving sugary gifts!
Plus every Hallmark holiday is centred around sugar and eating lots and lots of it. You’re a freak if you don’t participate!
I’ve been clean of sugar for 30+ days and then crashed and burned so hard at the next family gathering because every auntie is shoving their homemade white chocolate almond bark, peanut-butter and oreo truffle soufflé, and their triple-chocolate chunk cookies with 15 kinds of nuts and rainbow sprinkles on top, all up in my face with big, hurt, doe eyes because I won’t partake.
So then I do.
Just ONE bite, I think to myself.
I can handle it.
I can handle just one bite and not a second sniff.
Nope. Game over!
One teeny, tiny taste of that delicious sugary goodness and I am at the mercy of the sugar fit that takes over me!
I lose complete ability to control my addiction.
I will shove man, woman and child out of my way to eat every last freaking crumb of that peanut butter and oreo truffle soufflé, trip grandma on the way to the white chocolate almond bark, and then hole myself up in the washroom with the full tupperware container of triple-chocolate chunk cookies with 15 kinds of nut and rainbow sprinkles on top!
And then, and only then, when every single morsel has been shovelled down my fat face, then I will realize what I’ve done.
And as I sit and contemplate crying, abandoning the family gathering and going straight to the gym, or seeking out more sugar before I go lie down in traffic, then I start to feel the repercussions of my sugar conniption. My face physically begins to vibrate! I kid you not! I can almost instantly feel the evil sugar at work as my insulin levels spike and the high begins to fade, and the inflammation process begins to wreak havoc on my poor, poor skin.
And as I begin to hope and pray that it’s not going to be that bad, that really, I’m just imagining this feeling, and that it’s all in my head, the promises start.
I promise myself this will never, ever happen again. I will never, ever, ever, EVER pick up another cookie, piece of cake, pie, cake-pop, brownie, tub of Ben and Jerry’s or any other sweet, sweet, delicious, sugary treat ever again! Nope! Never! I PROMISE!
This time, it’s for real. This time I mean it and nothing will come between me and my dream of clear skin. This time, I’m going to show myself that I can do it. This time, I’m going to flex that willpower muscle and it’s going to be so strong that no cheesecake, no ice-cream sundae, and no crappy, waxy chocolate bar will make me fold ever again!
And then tomorrow comes.
And then the negotiations begin.
Yep, that’s how I’ve started referring to the internal dialogue that is my sugar addiction and my common sense.
Usually, it begins on the drive to work. I can make it that far with still a little bit of willpower… from my apartment, to the parking lot, to my car, I’m still strong. There’s still hope. Once I’m within a few blocks of home, game over.
I see signs! I see ads! I see sugar everywhere!
Well, one little latte won’t hurt right? Like just one, just this early in the morning, and then nothing for the rest of the day? That’ll be fine, I’m sure?
Ok, no! You can do this! You’re not going to cave! You don’t need a latte! You know exactly what’ll happen. One sip and you’ll be stocking up on cookies at Starbucks and throwing yourself a pity-party by 10AM. No! Water only! Nothing…. You’ll be fine!
Then I make it to work and some coworker has decided to be the office hero (aka my worst nightmare) and has brought their wife’s homemade chocolate banana bread with dark chocolate icing as a nice little surprise for everyone.
And I resist! I say, ‘No, Dana. That’s not for you. You don’t need it. Ignore it.’
But then everyone begins PRAISING the banana bread and COMPLIMENTING the banana bread and LOVING the banana bread and OOHING AND AHHING and WORSHIPPING the banana bread!
And I crack.
I crack and I dive face first into the banana bread and make sweet, gum-smacking love to it!
And then I excuse myself from the room and grab my wallet and hit up the canteen and order 4 pecan-caramel-chocolate chip cookies and a brownie or two, then bring my treasures back to my desk and shamelessly pile more sugary sweets in my mouth without even coming up for air.
And you know what happens next, right? Yep. The guilt! The pity-party! The facial vibrations! The self-loathing!
… and then the promises!
And, like I mentioned before, I’ve been off-and-on antibiotics all my life. But doctors will only prescribe antibiotics for acne for so long. Once your face is clear, they take’eth away!
And because of this continual cycle of being off-and-on meds, having a face full of acne and then clear skin, then more acne, then clear skin again, then eating whatever I want, then no more meds, then dealing with the repercussions, I have little marks everywhere to tell my story without even needing to open my mouth.
It sucks. Sucks real hard! I was stuck with a sugar addiction, bad skin, and no way out of this terrible cycle.
But not only bad skin, I could feel myself becoming sicker and sicker. I had terrible insomnia that would keep me up for days on end, constant headaches, weak muscles, zero energy, and no motivation to do anything physical or push myself to work towards my goals. I was completely and totally stuck, unhappy, and on a dangerous path with my health.
So, what’s a girl to do when her doctor will no longer prescribe her pills that basically act as an external band-aid to cover up all the shit she’s putting her body through?
I’ll tell you…
She decides to finally grow up and take control of her actions, and make a REAL CHANGE.
What finally cured me of my sugar addiction, gave me the energy and positive outlook I’ve always wanted, gave me long lean muscles and a healthy glow while eating as much food as I like, and allowed me to rediscover the divine deliciousness and natural sweetness of fruit (without the terrible breakouts that come with processed sugar) was going RAW.
Going RAW changed my life.
It CURED me of my sugar addiction!!!
Now instead of processed sugar, I eat as many mangoes, berries, pineapple, papaya and delicious fruit as I want! I reap all the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and antioxidants in these amazing natural desserts and still have clear GLOWING skin!
It CURED me of years of terrible insomnia, which I now realize was 100% caused by my sugar addiction.
It CURED me of my mental fog and lethargy, which was a constant roller-coaster from sugar highs and lows.
I now sail through my day with oodles of energy and a positive outlook. I look forward to setting new goals for myself and have all the energy and more to conquer these challenges! I have more ambition, passion, and enthusiasm to take on the world now than I’ve ever had before!
I am now happier, healthier, lighter and brighter, with a newfound lust for life, solely because of RAW food. I workout 7 days a week, and have completely fallen in love with running and yoga, as well as barre, spin and bootcamp classes. I love hiking, biking, camping, and just enjoying every moment I can in nature. Oh, and best part of all? I have clear GLOWING skin that I’m proud to show off!
But even more importantly, I no longer obsess over sugar or feel any desire to eat it at all! It actually repulses me now and I feel so strong and vibrant eating RAW that I know that I’ll never look back!
And because RAW food changed my life so dramatically, I knew I had to make it my mission to help others discover this lifestyle and experience the amazing life-changing benefits of RAW food firsthand. After finishing production for my first documentary I lIke it RAW- RAW Veganism in Beef Country (you can watch the documentary above) I became certified as a RAW food nutritionist, and began work on the I Like It RAW Program.
The I Like It RAW Program has been tweaked, tinkered with, and perfected to help you lose weight, have clearer skin, more energy and rediscover a lust for life, just like it did for me!
Heck, if going RAW can cure a type-A neurotic insomniac and sugar-addict of her issues, imagine what the I Like It RAW Program can do for you!