Over the past couple years, it seems as if I have been on a journey backwards; to the most basic and fundamental characteristics of being human. It started in 2009, when I finally decided that I was tired of being unhappy, unhealthy, and unmotivated. It’s like one day, I just snapped out of it! I can literally mark the exact moment when I decided that change was in order, so I had to cut the drama out of my life. And that’s just what I did!
I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the shears, and proceeded to chop away 23 years of confusion, superficiality, and matter than had previously defined my identity. My hair. Now you may be thinking, “Wow! Is this person serious?” But oh yes! I am ever so serious. For too many women (and men) of color, specifically black/African/American women and men, hair is what sets us apart, and often times, groups us together. With that said, anyone can be a prisoner of their hair. I, however, was tired, tired of being concerned with how others would view me if I had a bad hair day, had too much new growth (a.k.a needed a relaxer), or switched up my style unexpectedly. I was irritated with “rocking the wrap”, and my hair not growing past its predictable length. I was annoyed with “running from the rain”, and “avoiding the sweat” because water, moisture, or humidity was not my hair’s best friend. And boy was I fed up with spending all I had (time and money) on hair products or salon visits that did more damage to my hair, or keep me dependent than actually helping me. I was a captive of the strands on top of my head, and furthermore my confidence in myself was based on filamentous biomaterial and others’ perception of beauty. Now that’s ridiculous!
Cutting my hair was my way of ridding myself from two decades of social pressure and diminishing self-esteem. It wasn’t a way to prove myself to anyone other than myself. It was something I had to do to promote self-love. And it worked! Cutting the chemicals out of my hair opened the doors to something new, a new level of consciousness and respect for my whole body, and I have been moving in a seemingly retrogressive direction ever since. Or have I?
As the year(s) advanced, so did my understanding of the need to take care of my body, the environment, and the world around me. I soon became an avid label-reader, realizing that I can’t trust everything that’s put on the shelves for our consumption. Words like paraben, organic, bio-degradable, and speciesism entered my vocabulary. Soon my approach to life became holistic, and although I am not at a place where I feel like I’ve reached the apex of my consciousness, I do feel like I’ve grown so much and there is no turning back.
My latest revelation has to do with the raw food movement. I recently stumbled upon a website one day as I was researching an actor by the name of Marcus Patrick. I had been talking about him with someone I thought resembled him physically, and googled him to get a closer look. One of the first results to pop up in the search was a website called Raw Edge Radio, which had a feature podcast of the actor and his raw food diet. The feature discussed the myths associated with those who eat a vegan or raw diet. Now, I want to share with you that I am not vegetarian, vegan, or raw, but have chosen to abstain from beef and pork, and I try to eat healthy and balanced and exercise regularly. But what this website revealed to me is that I have even more research to do about the effects of what we put into our bodies.
I’m still not completely clear on what it means to be raw, but what I do know is that eating raw vegetables is most certainly a benefit. But I think most of us know this, and still don’t quite know how to incorporate raw veggies (fruit is probably easier) into our diets, and may even be intimidated by the prospect. There are numerous books and studies on the raw food diet, and I would definitely encourage everyone to, at the very least, become aware of the various lifestyle choices and choose a way of living that makes the most sense to the individual. By so doing, your physical, emotional, and spiritual health will begin to improve, and apparently the results will add on some years to your life! The following is an excerpt from Rawvolution.com, a raw food delivery service that sells prepared raw foods, so you don’t have to! The facts are simple, but give you an understanding of why raw foods are important:
The top 3 things that are sapping your energy & compromising your health.
Your body is over seventy percent water, shouldn’t your food choices mirror this? A great way to get a head start on becoming hydrated is to consume food that has not had the natural water removed from it through cooking. Cooked food does nothing to provide your body with much-needed water and dehydrates you further in your bodies attempt to digest it. Everything you put in your stomach needs to be turned into liquid to be digested. How easily is your current diet liquefied?
Recent data shows that nutritional deficiencies are most often caused by what we eat rather than by what we do not eat. Your current diet may be robbing you of precious vitamins and minerals. A well balanced diet of consciously prepared raw plant foods contains the full compliment of essential vitamins and minerals, while food prepared using conventional methods destroys over 80% of that foods nutrition. Can you afford 80% less nutrition than is naturally found in your food?
Lack Of Enzymes
Enzymes are responsible for every metabolic process that takes place in your body from digestion to healing. Most prepared food is served with up to 100% of the natural enzymes destroyed. One hundred percent! When the lipase and amylase enzymes are destroyed, the body cannot digest fats or carbohydrates and they are stored in the body, causing you to gain weight. When you consume living, enzyme rich food, it practically digests itself. This leaves you with a surplus of energy to play harder, work more efficiently and do more of what you love!
In a world where lifestyle trends wax and wane out of control, it’s extremely crucial for us to be aware of ourselves, if nothing more. Your body and your spirit knows itself, even if YOU don’t. Listen to them. If you are not feeling your optimal best, do something to change it. Pay attention to the signs: sickness, disease, constant unhappiness- all of which are alarms your body and your spirit emit to let you know attention and care is needed. This entry only touches the most basic level of awareness. There is a whole world out there many of us are blind to. Natural or holistic health is important, especially now since these are times of great uncertainty, your humanistic instincts, your most natural/basic understanding of the world around you may be your only hope for survival…
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