Cooked food is a very severe addiction. Can you go to Russia and get all the alcoholics in Red Square to drink carrot juice? You can tell them that it's cheaper than vodka and it has beta-carotene and it's good for you, but less than 2% will switch. For six years I had been wasting my time because people cannot go on raw food without some form of therapy.
100% Success with the 12 Step Program to Raw Foods
In 2001 I created a therapy that is described in my book, 12 Steps to Raw Food and began another class. There were 45 people in my first class. When it was over, I waited 30 days, then I called everyone. I was praying that 30% were still on raw food. What do you think? 100% were still on raw food! Since then, for the past three years, I've been teaching 12 Steps to Raw Food very successfully.
The Four Levels of Addiction to Cooked Food
I have found that cooked food is addictive on four levels:
All carbohydrates become sucrose when heated. Sucrose or white sugar is one of the most addictive substances in the world. Its molecular structure is very similar to cocaine. When people stop eating cooked carbohydrates, their personalities change a lot. They become calmer and happier and they even go through the same twitches that people go through when they quit taking cocaine. That is why cooked carbohydrates are the basis of all international cuisine. Mexicans eat tortillas, Italians eat pasta, Americans eat potatoes, Russians eat bread, Armenians eat lavash. What about white sugar? Have you ever had just one little candy and thought it was enough? You always want another. Other addictive substances in cooked food are caffeine, chocolate, MSG, aspartame, all of the excitotoxins, preservatives, colorings and flavor enhancers, almost 2,000 different things that are addictive. That's the chemical level.
When we are born, we are programmed to be raw fooders. We never request our mothers to steam their breast milk. We like it raw. However, when we're six months old, doctors tell mothers to introduce cooked foods to the baby. The instincts in our body are telling us to beware, SOS! Mother says "Mmmm", and the baby's body says "No". Baby spits it out, screws up his face. Pooh. They try it again and again. Then the next thing that happens, is a fast and smelly diarrhea. The body says, hey, ouch, quick, out of the body. But because this substance is addictive, it takes three times and the baby gets accustomed to it and begins to like it. We are now programmed to be cooked food eaters.
According to the book, Sacred Wisdom of the Human Body, when the body is programmed to cooked foods, two gallons of digestive juices per day are pumped into the system. When the body is programmed to be a raw food eater, it is only one cup per day. That means if you eat three cooked meals a day, your body produces 700 mg. of saliva, 750 mg. of pancreatic juice, 3 liters of stomach juice and 3.5 liters of intestinal juice. Altogether, two gallons per day. If you put your ear to your belly, what do you hear? Growling. That's those juices pumping. All those juices give you an uncomfortable feeling. You feel tension, light-headedness, weakness, irritability, even depression, hunger pains, headaches and withdrawal symptoms. The only thing that will give you relief is cooked food. You feel hungry, you feel starved. That never happens to people who eat only raw food. They could easily move the time of lunch for two or three hours, even miss it completely, and they don't feel any discomfort.
When we put a good cake or pasta in our mouth, we say, oh, it's so good, it's to die for. My book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods, has been translated into twelve languages including Chinese. In all languages there was no problem finding the equivalent of "to die for". We sarcastically call it by its true name and it does kill people because statistically, people who eat only raw food, never die from cancer or heart attacks, the two main causes of death today. If people who have cancer or heart problems simply go on 100% raw foods, statistics tell us their symptoms will go away. So, that is our biological level of addiction to cooked food.
The next level of addiction to cooked food is the emotional level. Whenever we experience stress, we like to eat something because eating cooked food makes us sleepy and foggy. Eating cucumbers doesn't help. We need to eat something comforting. It's not that we are popcorn deficient. We don't call popcorn or corn chips nutritious. We call them comforting. When someone is feeling sad, you take them out for some ice cream or give them some chocolate. We don't know how to cope with our emotions, and if we are left alone with our emotions and we don't have anything to eat, it will be very uncomfortable. It could actually lead us to some spiritual discoveries, but we don't do that, we eat instead. So that's the emotional level, but the hardest level of all is the spiritual level of addiction.
We are all spiritual beings, and as spiritual beings we are all special. Maybe some of you have been brainwashed to believe that you are not really important, but deep inside you feel special because you know you have a special spiritual mission in your life. And when you don't follow the spiritual mission, you have problems. What would you like to have inscribed on your gravestone when you die? "She had a good credit history"? It looks like that's what we really care about, but if we don't follow our spiritual mission, we begin to develop spiritual pain and we experience this spiritual pain more and more as we get older. That's why the 12 Step Programs are spiritual programs. That's why the last four steps of the 12 Steps Raw to Foods are spiritual steps.
Help for the Addiction
We help you to reprogram your behavior. First, we help people to get out of denial. Food is the hardest case of denial. We don't give six month-old babies alcohol or cocaine, but every single person in the world has been given cooked food at an early age, and because almost everyone eats cooked food, it's hard for us to acknowledge that it's an addiction. Do you ever overeat? Do you feel good when you overeat? You don't want to overeat, but you know that it will happen because it's beyond your control. Your body just takes over and rationalizes, "I will only eat it this time, but never again."
If I can't handle it by myself, I need help. So the second step is to get a sponsor. We divide into sponsor pairs. Then you write down the three main reasons you want to eat your food raw on a business card. Some people say they have fibromyalgia, some are overweight, some want more energy. On the other side you write the cell phone of your sponsor and you carry it in your purse at all times. Whenever you have a wish to eat some cooked food, you have to call your sponsor and you tell them how delicious that food smells, and so you think you're going to eat some. Your sponsor tells you to take out your card and read it out loud. You read, "I weigh 280 pounds, I don't want to be dependent on my children". She says, is this still important to you? You say, oh yes. And then she says, what can you do instead? And you say, well maybe I'll go for a walk or buy myself a flower or a smoothie at the juice bar. Then you say, thank you, and she calls you when she needs help.
Article from Victoria, founder of www.rawfamily.com, author of books Raw Family, 12 Steps to Raw Foods and Eating without Heating.