The ‘Raw Diet’ sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

Proponents promise all SORTS of glowing results – youthful skin, younger organs, constant energy, dental regeneration, and a bullet-proof immune system.

They also promise WEIGHT LOSS, in large and nearly instant amounts.

I first encountered the ‘raw diet’ a couple years ago, when I was mired in globs of excess body fat and deep self-esteem problems. In my self-loathing misery, I happened to pick up a book called Skinny Bitch …

and was instantly blown away.

Of course, Skinny Bitch is more of a vegan manifesto than a raw-fooder’s bible. But in the final chapters, the authors give a glowing account of the ‘magic enzymes’ to be found in ‘raw foods’ and the wonders they can do for your skin, teeth, eyes, butt, thighs, and waistline.

‘Wow,’ thought gullible I, ‘this all sounds amazing!’

So I did some research, read a whole bunch more books on the subject, and decided to commit myself to the raw-food lifestyle for a couple weeks to see how it went.

I stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies, raw dried beans, and raw dried fruits, and bought a second-hand juicer on eBay.

And then I waited for the ‘magic’ to begin.

Here’s what actually happened …

On my very first morning, I discovered that a big glass of fresh juice – as delicious and healthy as it might sound, and as filling as the authors had promised it would be – was actually NOT really enough to tide me over til lunchtime.

I discovered that, in fact, I actually didn’t enjoy a diet of raw salad greens all that much after all.

I discovered that most of the ‘raw gourmet foods’ designed to mimic well-loved traditional cooked foods (pizza, bread, crackers, desserts, and so on) actually taste NOTHING AT ALL like the originals.

And I discovered something else, too …

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the human stomach isn’t really designed to consume huge amounts of raw plant cellulose. We just don’t have enough hydrochloric acid in our stomachs to break it all down.

(There’s a reason why deer and cows and other grass-eating ruminants have four or more stomachs, you know!)

So yeah … even though I might have FELT very virtuous after munching my way through bushels of raw greens and fruits, my stomach had more than a few, um, protests to make.

Not to be crass, but raw foods equals GAS.

In large and socially-unacceptable quantities.

(Incidentally, I’ve since discovered that this condition is EXTREMELY NORMAL with ‘raw-fooders’: they can clear a room in five seconds flat once they let one rip. And no, this isn’t something that you’ll find reference to in all those glowingly-enthusiastic raw-foods books!)

And what about the ‘magical enzymes’ and all the ‘magic’ they were supposed to instigate for my teeth, energy levels, skin, and so on?

Well, I didn’t notice anything getting WORSE in those areas.

Matter of fact, I might even have been able to notice some benefits there, I guess …

… if I hadn’t been so plagued with monstrous cravings for the foods I actually enjoyed and liked the entire time that I could barely concentrate on getting a day’s work done, let alone noticing ‘positive changes’ in my cellular makeup!

Let’s get this straight: I had gone into this experiment with my eyes wide OPEN. At least, I’d thought so. After all, many, many raw-fooders had promised in their books that their way of eating was one of the BEST ways to ‘cure’ food cravings and unhealthy behavior around food ever.

‘The best thing you can do is to just go cold-turkey one hundred percent,’ they all said. ‘If you leave the door open even ONE PERCENT to eat those foods you used to love so much, the cravings will never leave you behind and you’ll be stuck forever. You’ve got to break the cycle!’

But it didn’t work that way.

I have never been as obsessed with all the foods I couldn’t eat in my life as I was when trying to eat only raw foods.

Maybe none of these people had any experience with true eating disorders, I don’t know. But to me, the entire thing just seems set up to create misery and WORSE cravings for someone with compulsive-overeating tendencies.

After all, no one in the history of the world has ever, ever, ever gotten over their cravings permanently by AVOIDING those foods forever.

Sooner or later, they ALWAYS end up with their noses jammed deep into a bag of whatever they’ve been craving.

And in my experience, the longer you deny yourself that food, the WORSE the ‘explosion’ will be when the break finally happens!

So if the answer isn’t ‘complete denial of what you love and absolute adherence to a strict dietary regimen,’ what is the answer?

It always comes down to the same thing:

If you want to leave your cravings behind permanently and enjoy a truly peaceful, healthful, trust-based relationship with food and your body, you’ve got to start demonstrating TRUST in your own ability to care for yourself.

Not at some point in the future. Not when you’ve lost the weight or gotten over the eating disorder.

That puts the cart before the horse.

You’ve got to do it NOW, before it seems logical to do so, before it seems ‘rational’, before you feel like you’re really ready to do it even.

You’ve got to take the leap of faith first for the magic to happen.

And this magic has nothing to do with enzymes, chlorophyll, cellulose, or three-pound bags of baby spinach. It has EVERYTHING to do with your own innate trust in your body’s ability to take great care of you and really know what’s best to eat, at any given moment on any given day.

Plus, did I mention it’s also a lot more FUN to eat what feels right on an emotional and physical level, rather than rigidly sticking to some rational-but-soul-killing regimen of celery, carrots, and fart-inducing roughage?

I can hardly even begin to explain how freeing it is, how ENLIVENING it is, to realize that what’s ‘right’ for you really is what also feels GOOD.

Weight-loss doesn’t have to be hard.

Your body isn’t out to ‘get’ you.

And trusting yourself to equate ‘pleasure’ with ‘health’ can and does yield some incredible results!

I’m not being a Debbie Downer about natural whole foods or the healthful properties of spinach. (Matter of fact, since I started eating what I felt like purely because I felt like it instead of because I ‘should’ be eating it, spinach has become one of my favorite vegetables.)

We all know the health properties of these foods.

It’s just, there’s a lot MORE to food than ‘only’ eating what ‘sounds rational and healthy’.

I happen to think that fun and taste are important ingredients also. And if something ISN’T fun and DOESN’T taste good, I’d really rather not bother with it at all!

If you want to find out more about the most empowering way of living, eating, and losing weight that you’ll EVER come across, you should go read my book. Try it. You might be surprised at what’s possible.