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Raw Food Teacher Shares Tips on the Road to Better Health

Aug 23, 2008
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Angela Stokes shares on finding or building a support group and steps you can take today to start down the road to better health.

Renegade Water Secrets with Angela Stokes, raw foodist, teacher and expert on raw food weight loss.

Kevin: You mentioned that finding a support group was important. Your family, you say, was filled with obesity and not a healthy group of people that you could probably find support from. Where did you go to find the support?

Angela: In the very beginning the main thing that kept me going was going to potlucks. There was potlucks about once a month and that really made all the difference to me. Because, as I said, I was out in the countryside in Iceland and I really felt isolated and just kind of crazy at times and I then would go to these potlucks and there would be all these people there and all this amazing, vibrant food. I would see people's different creations and just that sense of community and it's not just me. That really nice feeling of there's other people who are on this path. And then of course everything's just been growing on the Internet so much in the last years with raw food. So I started to get more and more into that and these days we have such wonderful communities online like giveittomeraw.com eat.rawfood.com and so that's what I really encourage people to get into. If you can, meeting people face to face in your communities or if there aren't any potlucks in your area create one. Just put some little signs up around your area saying, "Is anyone interested in eating more healthily" or you could even say "in eating raw food" or "eating vegan" or whatever it is. Or start a reading group around health books and develop it from there. You don't have to feel isolated or alone. This message really is spreading. That's what excites me, is to think about how it's just going to keep on expanding. At the moment the infrastructure isn't there so much in society for it to feel particularly easy to be a raw foodist a lot of the time. But it's coming. It's going to be so exciting in the coming years, I think, to see what unfolds.

Kevin: Let's get into a question that I like from one of our listeners who's on the line now, she basically asks what's the best way to get started into raw foods without shocking the system?

Angela: Yeah, I recommend for people to start out eating at least 50 percent raw and preferably at least 50 percent of that to be fresh, raw stuff. So not all dehydrated and packaged raw foods but a lot of fresh stuff. And just take it from there and start building up the percentage of raw that you can handle. And maybe at some point you become 100 percent raw and maybe you don't. Like this person says in the question, it's really important to not shock the system. From what I've seen over and over again with people, so many people find out about raw food and they want to go 100 percent and they jump in the deep end and then they go into this huge detox and you never see them again. They jump completely off the wagon and that's it. And I feel really sad when I see that kind of thing. I would much rather see people just slowly, slowly build new habits into their lives. This to me is a lifestyle. It's not about going on some diet you're going to go off again at some point. That's not the mentality around it from my perspective.

So yeah, slowly build in, working with the foods that you already know you like. Everybody has some kind of raw foods they already know they like. Maybe it's plums or maybe it's celery, whatever. And this is actually one of the steps that I guide people to do in "RAW EMOTIONS" is to make a list of the foods that you already know that you like and have that visible in your house. Have it up, like on your fridge so when you go shopping or when you're ordering online or whatever it is, you have this thing and you can keep adding to it as you try new things, as your taste buds adjust. And keep trying new things. Every week maybe try one or two new foods. And just slowly, slowly keep incorporating new things so that you don't get this sense of restriction and deprivation. Which that's so common that you'll hear people when they go raw saying, "Oh, I can't eat bread anymore." Or, "I'm not allowed to eat this." To me that's just not really coming from a space of empowerment or a space where you're really enjoying what you're doing. It just seems to come from a weakened perspective. And so slowly build it up and make sure that you're doing what you can to help the body as it detoxes. Because that's really what this is all about. It's really about coming into alignment with nature.

It's like pressing the reset button in your body. It's like pressing the release button. "Okay, I packed in heaven knows how many pounds and pounds of toxic stuff for years and now we're going to let go of it." And your body's just going to go for it. Like I said earlier, the body just rushes towards optimal health and it will just be dumping stuff out of your cells like crazy. So do what you can to help with that process. Do colon cleansing, do skin brushing, keep your lymphs moving, do exercise, anything. Tongue scraping, netipot, whatever you can to help keep the detox process going. And be kind to yourself. Be gentle to yourself. It doesn't have to be all or nothing in the beginning. Take it slowly.

Kevin: Some people might not know what skin brushing is. Can you just explain what that is?

Angela: Sure. You take a dry bristle brush, a special one that you can buy in health food shops and stuff, they're really inexpensive, maybe ten dollars, and you go over your entire body with this dry brush, like before bathing or before you step in the shower or whatever. And that sounds kind of crazy when you're not used to it but once you start doing it you might find that you just fall in love with dry skin brushing. It's a wonderful way of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. You know, the skin is our biggest organ and there's such an opportunity for detoxing through our skin. But a lot of people just don't really seize the opportunity. People where clothes all the time, tight clothes and they put deodorant on and body lotions and they really don't give the body and the skin that much space to breathe. So when you do the dry skin brushing it's like you're removing all these dead layers of skin, you're giving the muscles a nice workout, you're moving the lymph as well and it's just all around a very beneficial habit to do daily with your body. And it's so cheap. Ten dollars investment in a brush and you've got it for like twenty years or something. So I highly recommend dry skin brushing.

Kevin: So what would you suggest for someone right now, listening to this call, enjoyed everything that you have said, what would you suggest is their first step to just either getting the weight loss or getting the raw food results that they're really looking for?

Angela: I would definitely say if you still have processed or cooked food items in your house that you don't feel great about, and it's within your boundaries to get them out of your house, then go for it. Just get those things out of your personal space and start to get that list together of the things that you really enjoy. Start connecting to other people, build your momentum around this lifestyle so that it just becomes more embedded in your day to day things that you do. So that it just becomes habitual.

We've had so many years of living and eating this other way, and we've got all those patterns behind us to move out of now, just try and do what you can to every day just check in with what's happening with you with raw foods in some way, whether it's that you open a raw food book or go onto a raw food website for inspiration. Reach out to others, you're not alone.

And I always say, I really feel like if I can do this than anyone can. Six years ago I was 300 pounds and had no interest in health whatsoever. And I'm still here. I wouldn't be here still, six years later, if there wasn't a good reason for it. So my health, my happiness, everything in my life was completely transformed from doing this. And there's no reason why other people can't experience that same kind of shifts if they just choose to do so and stay on that track.

Kevin: That's great advice.
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access The Renegade Roundtable 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. For more information visit raw food diets and holistic nutrition.
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