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Raw Food Enthusiast

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How I discovered the power of living foods.

Amanda MercerAmanda Mercer (Summer 2005)

I discovered the healing power of fresh unprocessed fruit and vegetables while on a quest for a cure myself of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Back in 2001 I was pregnant with my son Joe. During the pregnancy I had a lot of gas and bloating, and eating dairy products would have me running to the toilet - so no more pizza or yogurt for me! We (my husband and I) used to get a local organic veggie box every week, so I was eating lots of healthy veggies. However I was also eating way too much sugar. I've always had a sweet tooth, and being of a slender disposition enjoyed a few too many cakes, biscuits, and sweets.

Healing with Juice Fasting

In a search for a cure for my embarrassing and sometimes painful problem I googled Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I discovered that I had the classic symptoms (oh those nasty symptoms) of a Candida overgrowth, and read up on different diets to treat Candida. Being pregnant at the time I didn't want to restrict my diet too much, but I cut out refined sugars and dairy products which definitely helped. I became fascinated with the concept of food as medicine and did a lots of research into healthy eating. I discovered a wealth of information about raw food, and specifically about the healing powers of juice fasting.

In the summer of 2003 I did a 10 day long juice fast, with bentonite clay (a little goes a long way) and physillium shakes, which successfully cleared out the Candida overgrowth, but left my body ravenously hungry. I ate a lot of full fat organic yogurt after the fast. I was so hungry I craved lots of full fat yogurt for pudding each day for a week or so. These days I rarely eat dairy products, preferring creamy nut milks and smoothies.

My First Attempt to Eat More Raw

After the juice fast, spurred on by the health benefits of raw food, I decided to eat most of my food raw. I ate whole fruit, raw vegetable salads, lots of sprouts, raw pies, and banana ice-cream. All good healthy food, but for me there was a problem. I had a mouth full of mercury amalgam fillings - 14 in total. A legacy from my bad eating habits. As I happily chomped on my raw carrots the mercury became unstable and I got horrible yellow saliva and painful mouth ulcers.

So next stop was the dentist. I found someone on the approved list of practitioners, and booked myself in for a course of treatment to remove all the mercury amalgam fillings from my mouth. This took a few weeks, and rather a lot of money, but I felt that it had to be done. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances on the planet, and mercury fillings have been totally banned in Norway. I took some supplements afterwards to hopefully remove the mercury from my body, and learned about the benefits of wheat grass juice, and green smoothies.

The Raw Food Adventure Continues...

Since then I have been happily experimenting with raw foods. I enjoy fresh juices, whole fruit, smoothies, and salads. I like to eat about 70% raw and also enjoy cooked whole grains, lightly cooked stir-frys and vegetable curries and I'm rather patial to a bit of chocolate. I've discovered the more fresh juice I drink the less likely I am to make poor food choices.

I love to grow my own food, and go foraging for wild edible plants. You can learn more about how to grow vegetables here. I've learned how to grow wheat grass and sunflower sprouts. The sunflower sprouts are delicious, and we often eat them straight from the windowsill. The wheat grass is definitely more of an acquired taste - but just think how much good it's doing.  My son sometimes chews on the grass like chewing gum!

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