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Author Angela Stokes, Raw Food Expert Discusses The Importance Of A Daily Food Plan

May 3, 2008
In this excerpt, Angela Stokes shares on addressing the emotional and physical changes of a raw food life style. She also weighs in on why so many people gain weight back and the importance of a daily food plan.

Raw Food Summit Excerpt with Angela Stokes, the author of several raw food lifestyle books, including How to Go Raw for Weight Loss.

Kevin: When you did your research, I'm sure that because you wrote a book, you know that between 90 and 98% of people gain the weight back. You just mentioned one of the reasons. What are some of the other reasons?

Angela:: Well, to me really everything comes down to the emotions in the end.

Kevin: Okay.

Angela:: That can be really tough for people to conceptualize of and except at all. It's all about the feelings. People think that it's just about the weight and it's just about the food because that's the message that almost invariably people are given by doctors and nutritionists and things like that and people around them. And in society there doesn't tend to be so much support for dealing with the emotional stuff. So I can remember being dragged, totally unwillingly to doctors and nutritionists and stuff as a teenager. And that was the feedback I always got. Just eat less and exercise more.

Kevin: Yeah.

Angela:: That's it, that's all it is. And there was no addressing of the emotional stuff whatsoever. And so what I see with people is that they think that it's just about the weight. And they will lose the weight and they are suddenly catapulted into a completely different world where they're not necessarily using food to medicate themselves anymore. So there's that element. So that's gone. And all of the stuff that they have been suppressing is then released from the cells. And so if they're not using coping mechanisms for actually looking at that stuff and dealing with it, it really becomes too much for people. And they just want to kind of run for cover.

When I look at it now, that's really what my obesity looked like to me. It was like a layer of protective fat. It was like my shield against the world. No one can come near me because I have this literally like a physical wall around me. It's like if you can't see past that, that's really what it seems to all be around are people being afraid to live in their true essences and to truly be joyful. There's so much joy that people tend to derive in our society from illness and from having conditions. There's kind of a lot of associations for people with the conditions that they have. And I get that all the time when I'm working with people. It's like well, I have this heart condition, so I'm on this medication. Or my blood pressure is this. This intense identification with the conditions that we have. And the thought of letting go of all of that is scary to people and shifting into real joy.

Kevin: Have you put any thought into why when you were young that you had to put up a barrier?

Angela:: Yeah. My weight loss initially began on the physical level with my thyroid. My thyroid went underactive when I was about 11 years old. And everything pretty much just spiraled out from there. Because then you know my metabolism slowed down and I started to just gain weight and gain weight. And I gained weight consistently for an entire decade from the age of 11 until 21. So on the physical level, that is what I manifested. On the other levels it felt to me like that was my form of protection.

There are many things I can look at now that it feels like weren't really nourished or encouraged when I was younger. And so it was my way of shutting down. You know it's like I'm not, I'm not feeling acceptance, I'm not feeling support, so I'm just going to surround myself with my protective barrier. And food is my friend.

Kevin: Yeah. What were some of the, what are some of the coping mechanisms that you teach and that have worked for you?

Angela:: The things that I tend to start people out with is with the physical. Because it feels like that's the first thing to get people away from the really toxic processed foods. So to get people to put those down, I have them have a look at their history, like what actually is their relationship with food? Because so many people just don't even ever look at that. It's so just kind of embedded in us, engrained in us that people just don't even think about it. So I get people to take a look through that and write it down as well, so you've got it there. I have people write out their trigger lists as well. What is it that once they start eating it they can't stop? You know so for most people, beets aren't a trigger food. [Laugh] People can eat like a beet and then they're done.

Kevin: Yeah. [Laugh] I'm good.

Angela:: Yeah. Whereas like Taco Bell or something... It's like you have one of them and you just kind of keep on going. So getting people to just really look at that stuff and see oh, those are the things that I need to put down, very clearly. And they'll see as well the patern in there. So all of these things have refined sugar in them. So I need to stop having refined sugar. So getting people to do that and then also moving on from there to begin making a daily food plan. That's something that I did and that's something that I do as well.

Kevin: Oh, okay, great.

Angela:: Yeah this really helps me as someone that comes from a background of food addiction to cope because my choices around food have not been sane in my life. If there's anywhere that I'm going make crazy choices, then it's around food. So everyday I encourage people to write out a plan of what they're going to have that day and I encourage them to do it in the morning, like after they wake. Because my feeling is that in the morning, it's kind of like we're very fresh to the world. And everything then has the opportunity to kind of come out much more simply.

Like if you write your food plan the night before things tend to kind of progress during the day to the point that for food addicts especially, nighttime tends to be a time of wanting like heavy things and they're kind of like darkness and secrecy somehow, like hiding in your room and, and eating a whole bucket of Haagen-Dazs or whatever. Whereas in the morning it's like you're fresh and it seems like you can just make more grounded choices. So that's what I encourage people to do, write out your food plan first thing in the morning. And then do that. Don't eat anymore than that and don't eat any less than that. And do that just one day at a time, just follow what it is that you said you were going to do.

And gradually your trust develops in yourself because when people are compulsively acting out around food like that, it's really, really difficult to trust the self about food. Because how many people all day are never going to say, "I'm never going to eat that thing again, that's it." Or "I'm just going to have one bite of this. And then the whole cake is gone. So making just a defined structure and staying with it builds that trust. It's wonderful to be able to do that for yourself.

Kevin: There are some people who can just say, "I'm going to have one bite." And then they have one bite and then they like, you said, they eat the whole cake. Can someone who takes one bite and then eats the whole cake, can they get to that other place where they can take a bite?

Angela:: Yes, for sure if they are making a food plan and keeping to it. And if they are avoiding all of those foods completely that trigger them. That is the key. It doesn't work to write out your trigger list and be like, oh yeah, those are the things I need to put down. And then eating them once every two weeks.

Kevin: Okay.

Angela:: That doesn't work. They've got to go completely, because those foods like the refined sugars and the processed starches, that's always the core of the addictive foods cycles because those are the things that are just so incredibly far removed from nature. Those are the things that you put them into the body and the body it's just like what am I supposed to do with that? There's just nothing in there. Here, give me something else. So then people get caught in that whole cycle of like trying to put more stuff in and, because they're malnourished. It's so ironic.

Kevin: Yeah.

Angela:: The majority of people are dealing with overweight or obesity now, in, in our society or in the US, in the UK, in Canada and everyone's malnourished.

Kevin: It's amazing isn't it?

Angela:: It's so ironic. And, and it's like people just don't get that and they just keep on eating these crazy, you know frankenfoods, totally removed from nature. So if you, keep them in just even a tiny bit, your body will stay addicted and that's it. That's the bottom line. It's like a cocaine addict saying, well you know I'm coming off the cocaine but I'm just going to have it once every two weeks. Well, no you're not. [Laugh] It doesn't work that way. And, and it's so tough for people to think about food in those terms because our relationship with food starts so early. Most kids are exposed to refined sugars and processed starches. This stuff began from beyond the womb. With the refined sugars and the processed starches it can be so tough for people to accept that those things really are toxic for them and to put them down completely, you know?

Kevin: And food is not taboo either. Cocaine is socially unacceptable.

Angela:: Right.

Kevin: Having a piece of cake.

Angela:: Everyone wants you to! [Laugh] That's what it feels like right? Yeah, it's like you're actually going against society to not eat that piece of cake.

Kevin: [Laugh] What did you do when you did have parties or when there were events that were centered around food? What was the best way that you found to deal with that?

Angela:: Yeah. My, my main coping strategy is to take something of my own.

Kevin: Okay.

Angela:: Like because then I know I'm good, I'm covered. So taking my own salad or if I know that there's going to be salad there, you know just being clear I'm going to have that, if we're talking about a mainstream event. So if it is a raw food event and I know that, for example, that there's going to be like a raw food buffet. That for me is like danger zone. That's like red light, sirens blaring. Buffet equals overeating.

Kevin: Even for, a raw food buffet.

Angela:: Yeah, so for me I need boundaries. That's what I need the structure for, that's what I need meal plan for. And so in that kind of context, what I know is that I am going to have a plate. That's the boundary I can set for myself.

Kevin: Yeah, I imagine that that's probably how you developed what you're doing now and helping people is through just teaching other people, people asking you through results. I mean, nothing speaks louder than success.
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access the Raw Food Summit experts just like Angela Stokes, please click here! Kevin Gianni is an internationally recognized health advocate, author & film consultant. He has helped thousands of people take control of their own health naturally through teleseminars and programs. For more information visit raw food diets and holistic nutrition
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