I’ve had a lot of people say to me that, “Eating raw is easy for you.  You’re different from me.  I’m just not that disciplined.  I could never do that.”

Let’s get real for a minute.

I smoked cigarettes from the time I was 16 till I was 24.  Smoking was the first thing I did every morning and the last thing I did every evening for 8 years.  Craig had to wrestle the cigarette out of my hand at our wedding.  I even had to quit for basic training in the Air Force for 6 weeks, but did I take advantage of that opportunity?

Hell no.  The first day I was out I defiantly bought myself a pack of Marlboro Reds in a box and proceeded to be sick for three days reacquainting my body with the toxins of cigarettes.  I’d be damned if anybody was going to tell me I couldn’t smoke.

I spent the next 4 years on the flightline at Langley Air Force Base smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, and eating Rally Burgers (remember those).  Oh man, those were good and I loved them.

Actually my diet was so bad, and I drank so much Crown Royal and Michelob that I was Hypoglycemic.  I made a great victim too with my hypoglycemia.  Not to say that I didn’t feel faint, and weak, and unable to focus or keep from shaking.  But nobody told me (or if they did I was to ornery to listen) that all I had to do was eat better and stop boozing so much and I wouldn’t be hypoglycemic.  In my mind I had a condition and it just couldn’t be helped.  Something was wrong with me.

I didn’t quit smoking till I was pregnant with my first son and my midwife, Kate Conway, told me she wouldn’t deliver my baby if I didn’t quit.  Even then I had to get the help of a hypnotist to quit.  I couldn’t do it on my own.

Every day before my hypnosis session I would be out in the parking lot with my “last cigarette.”  I can still vividly see myself in my red Ford F-150, sucking that cigarette as if my life depended on it.  Every night I would listen to my hypnosis tape as I went to bed.  My hypnotist guaranteed I would quit in 3 sessions.  It took 5.  That was over 20 years ago.  And I still breathe really deep whenever I think about cigarettes.  That was the replacement behavior that she programmed me with.

Even after I quit smoking and drinking and had my first child, I still had beliefs that were keeping me from eating healthy.  I believed that because my mom cooked things from our farm, and that she believed her cooking was healthy, that it was healthy for me.

That’s a big one.

We grow up with great trust in our parents and our food traditions and we can’t possibly fathom that there is a distinct possibility that we are not eating as well as we think we are.

We did eat good, farm raised, local foods.  But come to find out, I had severe wheat and peanut allergies, and you just can’t know those things until you pare back your food and figure out what is causing problems.

Just because it’s farm food, doesn’t make it the right chemistry for your body.  Especially when we’re talking about bacon (yeah, I said it), butter (oh, now you’re hating me), and lard (I know.  Sacrilegious).

I watched my dear friend Martha go through her full pregnancy with her twins, Leif and Roald, on Raw Food and asked her all of the same questions that people ask me now.  Do you get enough protein?  How do you do that?  I could never do that.  Don’t you think your kids should eat SOME of the ‘normal’ food so that their bodies don’t completely reject it when they go to a birthday party where they are serving cake and hot dogs?

I was honored to assist her for the home birth of those beautiful boys.  They thrive on a raw food diet.

I didn’t believe it until I ended up in a doctor’s office, depressed, crying all the time, no energy, didn’t care if my kids hurt each other–or not that I didn’t care, I was aware that it was a possibility and I was not motivated to act on it, and 25 pounds overweight.

The doctors said I was stressed and I needed to rest.  One doctor treated me as if I was hysterical and actually rolled her eyes at me.  I was convinced something was wrong.  I knew it probably had to do with my food.  I suspected it was food allergies and knew some of the ones I was allergic to, went to the Allergy doctor to get tested, thinking he would give me a comprehensive list of what I was allergic to, and found out that I had a ton of severe food allergies.

I started out thinking about eliminating what I couldn’t have.

I don’t recommend that approach to anybody.  I spent all my time in the store looking at ingredients and getting more depressed because when you look at it that way it seems as if you can’t eat anything and that is simply not true.

When I discovered Raw Food it was a huge relief, because instead of thinking about what I couldn’t have I could focus on everything I could have.  When everything you buy comes out of the produce section or the bulk section there are no limitations and you can eat as much as you want to without worry.

The cleaner my body got, the more I valued feeling great.  It was no longer worth it to ‘indulge’ in crappy food.  I wasn’t depressed and crying anymore, I wanted to be involved with everything, and I could be the parent I wanted to be.

It changed my life.  I cringe to think what might have become of me and my family if I had continued drinking Dr. Peppers every day, eating bread at every meal, and eating processed meats and other food like substances.

My life is amazing because of clean burning food.  But don’t think that I just walked into healthy eating as if it were a walk in the park.  I’ve been in the trenches with my food trip and I don’t envy anybody going through that right now.  Change is hard.  But if I can do it, so can you.  Don’t give up.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422