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The Benefits and Challenges of a Raw Food Lifestyle

Aug 29, 2008
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Dhrumil Purohit shares on his journey to a raw food lifestyle, including the benefits and the challenges.

Renegade Water Secrets with Dhrumil Purohit, the lead contributory, visionary and creator of welikeitraw.com and giveittomeraw.com.

Kevin: Well, let's get right into it. For those people who have never heard of you, they soon will, and why don't you just tell us a little bit about how you started into
this and how you got to where you are now.

Dhru: Sure. First of all, again, thank you for having me here. And everybody who's listening in, it's an honor to be here. The thing that I enjoy the most is connecting with other individuals, and that drives everything that I do. So to connect and build communities, that's been such an important part of my journey and that's actually how I got started.

My dietary journey started where at a conference I heard Ingrid Newkirk. She's the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She was talking about milk, blah, blah, blah this, and dairy cows blah, blah, blah, that and at that time my level of consciousness wasn't hip to maybe the plight of certain animals. But she mentioned something that really hit me, she said, "Blah, blah, blah, if you get rid of milk then you might see your acne go away." I was in high school at the time, I'm trying to talk to girls, I'm trying to be a more social individual, but even though I had been raised vegetarian, coming from an Indian background, I always dealt with acne. So when she said that I said, "Ok, you know what, she say's that in about a month's time you can start to see a major difference, so let me get rid of the dairy in my diet." So when I got rid of the diary in my diet, naturally people ask you, "What the heck are you doing?" So you have to read up on it and you have to get educated a little bit and that's when I finally started to understand and make the connection, that even though I was brought up vegetarian I had never really understood fully the connection between food and health.

Then once that started, for a year and a half, as many people there have kind of gotten their start, I was a processed vegan. I was eating soy burgers and tofutti and carbitarian totally all the way. The finally one day at a health food store, in the aisle, I'm shopping for my produce and I see this guy who I've seen like a hundred times before shopping at the same organic co-op. And I always noticed that the whites of his eyes are really white, he was a very fit gentleman, he looked fairly young as well.

So I went up to him and I finally said, "Hey bro, what is it that you actually do? What is it that you eat?" And he was like, "Oh, man I'm into raw food." And I was like, "Raw food, what is that?" And over the next 40 minutes, this gentleman, who's name is actually Nature Love, kind of over the next 45 minutes gave me a full breakdown of the relationship between food and why raw food matters and how it can improve the health. And from that day, which was the year 2001, that's when my journey really began. It was on that day.

Kevin: Wow, that's pretty nice. Let's just get right into it here. What are some of the biggest challenges that you encountered from that day till now that really stand out in you head, that say, "This is what happened, here's how I dealt with it and here's how I'm better because of it?"

Dhru: Sure, absolutely. Well one of the things that I talk about a lot is the physiological challenges and I noticed that... I'll give you a specific example, when I first started my journey after meeting Nature, the next day Nature, after I met up with him in the aisle, he came over to my place to show me and my roommate a little bit about raw foods. And when Nature told me that he was 40, and this guy literally, like... there's photos of him on our website, welikeitraw.com, you can see how fit he is, how young he looks. When he told me he was 40-years-old I totally flipped. I was like, "OK, I'm doing this today."

So that was the first biggest challenge that I faced, I went 100 percent overnight embarking on raw foods. And what kept me going solid 100 percent for the first 8 months was discipline and excitement. Sheer excitement because I was looking forward to the future. I kept on thinking that in the future this will all be worth it and I'll be at some place where my health and everything else will click and it won't be as tough as it is now. And then discipline, which is simply one desire that's trumping another desire. I had this desire to look fit, to be energetic, to be healthy, and then I also had this desire to eat a donut or eat this, or eat that.

But my desire for being fit and healthy was strongest. But the challenge with discipline is, after a certain time, because discipline comes from a place of desire, discipline will always fail you. At some point in time discipline will always fail you because resisting your desires is... well it's resisting your desires. It's still a desire that's inside of you. So for eight months solid I was going through the physiological challenges of wanting to stick to this thing, I felt good, but I had all these desires inside to try different foods, to eat different things.

And it was right around that point, that after I, at the time I considered it "'failing." I failed on my raw food diet by yo-yoing back and forth; I realized that there was a better way, a smarter way, a more intelligent way to approach diet. And, yes there were some very practical things that I did to improve my relationship with food. Having more green smoothies, having some transitional foods, things like that.

But overall I saw that the biggest shift, the thing that benefited me the most, and now I'm seeing that it's benefiting so many other people as well too, is that to actually ask yourself, "Why am I doing this in the first place? Am I waiting for the future to be better than the present moment? Am I doing this because someday I think things will be better?" It's all right to have goals, it's all right to have health goals, it's all right to build a foundation, but the biggest challenge that I see is that a lot of people have, regardless of whatever dietary regimen they're trying to follow, if they're trying to just eat healthier, or exercise more, they are their biggest enemy because of these physiological battles they play with themselves back and forth.

It's easy to open up a book and know what to do. There are so many nutrition books and websites that are out there that give you great information now, especially with things like Goggle. And you can see what you can do.

The same thing goes with exercise. But when you look at it, it's not that people have a problem with information they have this physiological battle with identifying themselves with certain goals and living in the future instead of bringing their attention back into the present moment.

Kevin: So you said in that first eight months you were living in the future, correct?

Dhru: Yeah, I was living in the future. I was just constantly thinking that things will be better, it'll be easier. I'm eating towards some future goal; I'm eating towards some future goal of being fit in my ideal version of what I had as fitness in my head. And then also along with that I was identifying with something, my ego was identifying with the concept of being 100 percent raw.

Which, I'm sure Kevin, you've seen with the excellent work that you do, a lot of people probably write in to you that say they need to be 100 percent raw but they can't. And that's just some arbitrary goal. That doesn't mean that I was actually any healthier, I was just fixated on this concept of being 100 percent raw.

So instead of being 100 percent healthy and just enjoying and having a beautiful relationship with food, I was focused on this arbitrary idea of being 100 percent raw because I thought that it would bring me something that wasn't something that I had with me right then and there at that moment. I was looking to diet as a way to fulfill me, which is an exact example of people that have really bad challenges with food. They're looking to food for fulfillment. People that go through, I don't want to speak personally, because I haven't gone through this, but from what I've read, individuals that suffer through bulimia and other eating disorders, often what they're looking for in certain ways is that they treat food as a vehicle to fulfillment, to fulfill them even if they don't want to eat it. They're rejecting food as a way to fulfillment with something to fulfill themselves with something that isn't with them right then and there.

I know it starts to become really abstract, but the easiest way to say it is that just take a look at anything that you're doing in your life right now. And if you're running off of shear discipline, if you're running off the hope that someday in the future that you'll make it, the chances are that you're going to face so many more struggles along your journey.

As opposed to the flip side is, everybody wants a challenge, everybody is down for a good challenge and the difference between a challenge and a struggle is the added dimension of resistance. When you go through a struggle, when you're yo-yoing in your diet, when you can't stick to your exercise plan, when you're having a hard time doing something that you want to do, that's a struggle.

And what accompanies a struggle is resistance. You're resisting something; you're resisting something that you're not ready to be at a level that you want to be at. Maybe you need to go slower. Whatever it is that you're resisting, because you're resisting it you're using discipline as a way to kind of mask that, to kind of keep your eyes not focused on the total picture. And then you end up sending yourself back further because you haven't actually taken baby steps to build a proper foundation in whatever journey you're trying to make progress in.
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access The Renegade Roundtable experts just like Dhrumil Purohit 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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