Some of my family members have been in AA for years. This New Years day I found myself at an Alanon meeting followed by an AA meeting with them. I always find meetings to be interesting, insightful and I come away feeling very grateful for my life.
Although, I used many substances growing up, I was lucky enough to eventually replace the destructive habits with healthy ones on my own.
In the meeting today, I found myself thinking that while I don’t have any problems with drugs or alcohol anymore, cooked food triggers similar responses in me.
I know it might sound ridiculous comparing drugs and alcohol addiction to cooked food addiction but life is all about perspective. While a drug user battles their mental, physical and emotional addictions to certain substances, a Raw Vegan (in the beginning) does the same with cooked foods. The addictive patterns are similar. Both parties go through denial, feeling out of control, guilt, shame, destructive patterns and negative consequences for themselves and for others around them, although to varying degrees.
Let me break it down like this. When addicts know they want their lives to be a certain way but despite their best intentions keep using substances that are not in alignment with those desires, their lives have become unmanageable.
The same thing happens to Raw Foodist’s who keeping going back and forth from cooked to raw when their desires are to be raw. They feel great eating raw foods but for various reasons, that feel like are out of their control, they can’t stick with it.
How cooked foods can be mentally, emotionally and physically addicting:
*Allowing one cooked food meal on a raw diet, often leads to the rationalization of other cooked food meals. Soon enough, despite different intentions, cooked foods have crept back into your life as a major part of your diet.
*Opiates and other chemicals are released from certain cooked foods which are highly addictive
*Feeling numbed out (overly full and tired) from eating cooked food is addictive
*The comforting feeling of certain cooked foods are mentally and emotionally addictive
*The memory associated with certain cooked foods is mentally and emotionally addictive
*The connection we feel with others when we eat the same foods as them creates mental and emotional addictions
How cooked food addictions are similar to other addictions:
Addictions control us despite our best intentions.
As raw foodist’s we intend to eat raw, however, cravings take over sometimes and we give in. There is often guilt and a feeling of failure associated with this because it’s not in alignment with what we want in our lives. As they say in AA, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results.
Addictions have negative consequences on our health.
The consequences of eating cooked foods often produces negative results for people who have been going back and forth from cooked to raw. They might experience negative physical, mental and emotional states particularly if eating cooked oils, salts and any processed ingredients or chemicals.
Addictions leave you binging and purging
In the beginning of eating raw, its very easy to under eat despite ones best intentions. Because of this many people find themselves binging on cooked foods after a period of eating raw. This causes damage to our bodies and emotional states.
Addictions numb feelings and emotions
Anyone who has eaten raw for a period of time knows how sensitive you become to your feelings and emotions. Sometimes this is overwhelming in the beginning. Cooked food numbs feelings and emotions quite effectively.
If there were room for a 12 step program in a Raw Vegans life it might look like this (humor me):
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over cooked food. Our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe a greater power within ourselves could restore us to sanity
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the power of Raw Foods as we understood them.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless mental, spiritual and physical health inventory of ourselves
Step 5: Admitted to our higher power, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our intentions to heal and be the healthiest version of ourselves
Step 6: Were entirely ready to look within ourselves to heal our addictions and spiritual, mental and emotional wounds that kept us held back from who we wanted to become
Step 7: Humbly accepted the greater power within ourselves and asked for the willingness and strength to heal deeply on all levels.
Step 8: Made a list of all ways that eating a diet of predominately cooked foods have harmed us and became willing to heal them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends with the ways in which we’ve hurt ourselves in the past, except when doing so would injure ourselves or others.
Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 11. Sought, through any medium that felt healthy and comfortable, to connect with our higher power and find gratitude for all that we have each day.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening, as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to all those who are seeking the same results as us and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.
Is all cooked food bad?
Absolutely not, in my opinion. I’m not sure anyone can say lightly steamed brocoli or a potato is “bad” for you. However, with equal assurance I can say that if you’re trying to find optimal health on a raw food diet, cooked food can derail you from your plans and have negative consequences. Personally, I find that the more cooked food I eat, the more cooked food I want.
With that I’ll close this CFA (Cooked Food Addicts) meeting 🙂
Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Keep coming back to eating raw vegan, it works if you work it and your worth it!
See you at the next meeting!