Lissa ~ Founder of Raw Food Romance

I have always loved raw food. I worked in the natural health industry since 2002 helping so many people reach health goals. I found the raw food lifestyle after reading a few books in the span of a month back in 2004 (Arnold Ehret's book The Mucusless Diet Healing System and David Wolfe's book The Sunfood Diet Success System) and decided that this was the most beautiful way of eating around so I went 100% raw vegan the next day and stayed on the diet doing smoothies, eating tons of fruit and veg for about 2-3 months at which point I decided to wean off the diet because I was going to Europe for about 7 weeks and didn't want to inconvenience anyone with my strict "crazy" diet. This had been the best 2-3 months of my life until present day. I had so much energy, so balanced, lost weight to my perfect weight and felt so incredible that I have no words to describe. So despite feeling stellar, I weaned off slowly by adding in cooked foods first once a day and then including dairy then meats slowly. It didn't feel right but I did it as I thought it was best for me at the time. I went to Europe and had an amazing time, however when I returned I was newly addicted to all those foods that we think we need to be healthy. I tried to get back to being a raw vegan but stress, excuses, holidays, birthdays, random events that I used to "justify" continuing to eat the way I was always seemed to get in the way. I gained weight. I ate what I thought was healthy -- I worked in the natural health industry. I ate organic, I bought "humane" animal products and tried to eat my veggies but I also ate junk too, justified by my "healthy" diet. I would always remember my days as a raw vegan for the next 10 years or so and try to get back to that euphoria I used to enjoy.

I would try for a week, sometimes 2-3 and then cheat a little, or forget I was doing it when I would go out and then suddenly I was back again to my typical diet. I would have friends tell me about awesome diets they would try or I would find some new diet working in the health store, so I of course tried them. I tried paleo style diets, all organic diets, grain free diets, sugar free diets and intense working out on a ketosis style diet (that one was tough because ketosis made my joints burn and I had no energy to workout). All the while thinking again, I should just be a raw vegan again. So clean, so simple. Finally, last year when I went on the low carb style of diet (one followed by many many fitness experts) and was working out like a mad woman, I did lose weight over a two month period. But I didn't like meat. I was getting bored having the same egg whites all the time, nothing interesting and my chicken was grilled and boring. I was getting constipated due to the minimal fibre that I was eating and my joints burned. After my weight loss challenge I lightened my dieting and the cravings for junk has been SO INTENSE (I propose this was due to my carbohydrate restrictions. I had just enough daily carbs "according to the experts" for the diet). The junk slowly crept in and over 6-8 months with stress, I gained back everything I had worked so hard for plus more. I was addicted to energy drinks, chips and chocolate. I would say "just today" every day. It became a comfort and a regular thing. I ended up at 185 lbs and said ENOUGH! I watched some healthy documentaries one day trying to convince myself to eat a big salad instead of my regular. Watch my video here about that and my cravings. I went full 100% raw vegan the very next day. I was inspired again. I feel that this time around I used youtube videos of my favourite raw food people and watching health documentaries daily to keep my mind focused on the why, was the reason I stuck to it. So long that after about 4-6 weeks it was habit. My cravings nearly disappeared and so did the weight. I am happy again. I remember what it was like and I want to share it with the world!