About Me

My photo
My life's purpose is best described by: Be the change you want to see in the world: Gandhi. Smiling is my "botox"-FORGET THE DRUGS AND SURGERY. I spice up my life, not my diet, which is SIMPLY DELICIOUS on its own. KISS: I Keep it simple sugars-from whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits (veggies,some nuts/seeds too). The 811rv motto is: simplicity at mealtime, variety throughout the year. My motto is: I live in my own little world, but it's ok they all know me there. At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.

3/30/2008

How I became an 811 raw vegan


How I became an 811 raw vegan…

Present stats (spring 2008): Past stats (spring 2006)

Age: 40 Age: 38

Sex: female Sex: female

Weight: 122 pounds// Weight: 165 pounds

Height: 5feet 7 inches// Height: 5 feet 7 inches

BF:18%// BF:28%

General health: Excellent. I have no more allergies,// I had many acute allergies: they lead me to the hospital in ambulance on many occasions because of my breathing problems.

I no longer have kidney stones// I had regular problems with kidney stones: They are much more painful than giving birth. Despite having them blasted out with ultrasound treatment, they returned on a regular basis.

I have much lower cholesterol levels// I had elevated cholesterol levels.


I have high energy levels. I am very happily active. // I had low energy levels. I had
to push myself to do any physical activity.


I have painless, regular bowel movements (2/3 per day)(Hooray!)//  I was severely constipated (to the point where my family teased me with a “She can’t poo” song when I was struggling in the washroom).
This was followed by bouts of extreme/explosive diarrhoea (I literally had to stop the car occasionally no matter where I was and hide behind something/anything to go).

I have not had even one cold in over a year and a half// I got regular colds and flus, at least 4 times a year.

I have mild, hardly noticeable menstrual periods// I had excruciating menstrual periods that would lay me out flat for a couple of days, even from work.

I no longer use or need shampoos, pastes or deodorants// I had bad breath and bad body odour-even shortly after brushing my teeth and bathing.

I am much more positive and content// I had bi-yearly bouts of depression, especially during the winter months.

Morally: I am no longer contributing to animal
or planetary suffering. I am actively volunteering for
causes I believe in. //I was concerned about animal rights and the state of the environment, but aside from the usual platitudes like recycling, spaying my dog and donating to charities I did not do much to help.

Two years ago, I never thought I would be travelling this road. I used to love eating meat, especially chicken and eggs. I would regularly eat very salty, spicy, sugary, fatty, and highly processed foods that usually had at least one animal product per meal-to make sure I was getting enough protein (LOL). I started everyday with some herbal tea, cereal with milk, or omelettes and some fruit. Lunch was some variant of soup or sandwich or occasionally a highly seasoned/dressed salad-I loved olive oil, vinegar and salt. Supper usually involved pastas and sauces, breads and spreads, starchy vegetables, meats etc. I used to love chocolate too! The only positive note was that I ate at least two or three fruit or vegetable servings (cooked or raw) per day for my vitamin C (LOL-I was probably on the verge of scurvy). At the time, I thought I was eating a “healthy”, “varied” diet because I always chose “lean” meats, “low fat” milks and cheeses, organic produce as much as possible and “whole grain” products-anything with a “healthy” label on it. I never drank alcohol, soft drinks or coffee. I drank lots of water-at least 8 glasses per day as well as “fortified” juices. Nor did I smoke. Nor did I take any medication except Tylenol for my periods. Most people would have agreed with me that I had a very “healthy” diet because these are the prevailing messages people receive from most sources, even today. I had gained a lot of weight from my pregnancy and tried many times to lose it without success. Nonetheless, I was not too concerned about my weight because compared to most women my age, I was just a little overweight and not technically obese, according to my doctor. Compared to major diseases like cancer, etc. my discomforts were relatively mild: I thought I was managing my health well (LOL).

So…what made me change in 2006?

Ironically, the last straw was the “avian flu” business. I live out in the country near poultry farmers. Nowadays, chickens are mandated to remain in enclosures (factory farms) lest they catch the avian flu from wild birds (yeah right). A neighbour was describing the horrible conditions in these farms. For example, when the chickens are sent to slaughter, the barn must be fumigated and the flies removed with tractors!!! As he was describing this to me, I thought to myself: “this is so sick-it can’t be healthy for people to eat that”. Thus began my journey.

I had toyed with the idea of becoming vegetarian in the past out of compassion for animals who I have always loved; but, I was convinced humans needed to eat meat. I was daunted with the lack of knowledge about how to go about it and still be healthy. I had a couple of vegetarian neighbours and they lent me “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins. This started the ball rolling for me. I started devouring books and internet sites on the subject.

My next major influence, two months later, was “The China Study” by Dr. Colin Campbell. This book blew me away and convinced me that a vegan diet was absolutely necessary for my health. However, my long cultivated cooked food bad habits prevented me from totally adopting the main message of this book: “Eat an unrefined whole-food, plant-based diet”. I have since read an interview with Dr. Campbell in “Living Nutrition” magazine where he clearly states that “organic and raw” is the ideal human diet.

Next, I joined internet fitness sites and started corresponding with other vegans on their forums. On this one site, a young fellow called Harley (ha) came on extolling the virtues of the raw vegan diet and his mentor Dr. Douglas Graham. Needless to say, Harley, as well as his mentor, were ridiculed and severely criticized-even accused of hurting the vegan cause. For me, what Harley said rang true so I looked up Dr. Graham and his 80/10/10 book. That was in the spring of 2007.

Since then I’ve begun implementing 811rv and the results are fantastic as you can see from my above stats. It has been actually very challenging and I must sadly admit that I have backslid into my old cooked food habits on many occasions. Undoing many years of conditioning, bad habits and the sometimes overt, sometimes subtle and sometimes even hostile influence of friends and family has been stronger than I at times. But my body and thoughts of the greater environmental and animal rights implications of my choices always bring me back to 811. I can truly feel the difference between healthy eating and lifestyle versus dietary and lifestyle abuse. I must listen to my body and continue 811.

My favourite poem has always been “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20


I will continue on the 811 road because it does make a difference.

28 comments:

Gaia said...

Dear, beautiful Via!

I'm so happy that you have decided to share your journey!
I look forward to reading your blog and learning from you!

xoxox

Via811 said...

You are such a sweetheart Gaïa! I'm so happy and not at all surprised that you're the first to comment on my new blog. Lots of love from your friend Via xoxo.

The Mayor said...

Beautiful!!
Keep up the good work!!

TanyaS. said...

Via, I love your blog already...Robert Frost has been my favorite poet since high school, and his poem "The Road Not Taken" sums up my whole approach to life.

You're right, the choices you are making do make a difference, especially to those of us who are just starting down this new path of more compassionate living.

Thank You for sharing!

Via811 said...

Thank you so much mayor and tanya. Mayor, I look forward to reading your blog too-I had a glance and it looked wonderful. Tanya it truly fills me with joy the thought that you are starting down a fantastic new path. More power to you!!! Ciao.

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing, the info about the avian flu stuff was extremely interesting and eye opening!

You look wonderful :)

Via811 said...

Ah Sarah! I've been reading your stuff for a while now-you're great! I've added you to my must read blog links. Thanks so much for writing. Ciao

Green said...

Congratulations! As a former resident of Quebec and a current 811rv person, I feel a great connection to your blog. You are a leader in the health field. I really enjoy reading the topics that you contribute to on Dr. D's forum. Keep it going.

See my NH blog:

http://hygienehealth.mydietblogger.com

Ian

Via811 said...

Hi Ian and thank you!

I would love to read your blog too, but I haven't been able to connect, anyway you can post a link? Ciao

Green said...

You just need to copy the link I left and paste it in your browser Address box to see my blog. I will attempt to make a link:

Click for My NH blog

Via811 said...

Ian, I finally connected to your blog. It looks fantastic. I can't wait to dig in. Thank you.

sara said...

I am not sure if you are a Canadian lady living in Italy, or an Italian lady living in Canada or somthing else, but I am so happy to read a new 811 diary and your before and after are truly impressive!!
Anyway, I would prefer you being whatever and living in Italy, as I am sick of being the only alien here!!
:-))
Sara (Missvanilla)

Via811 said...

Miss Vanilla! How wonderful to hear from you. I, sadly do not live in Italy anymore. My family left when I was a child. I love your site and your forum on Promiseland. I don't contribute much because, although I can speak, read and understand Italian very well-I don't have much practice writing it and it's time consuming for me to try to. You have my, across the ocean, support and admiration. You're just going to have to keep doing the wonderful job of recruiting more Italians to this way of living! Ciao

Greenmama said...

Hi Via,

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for the nice comment on my FAQ.

I think I have seen you 'round the net... Do you spend some time of the year in Costa Rica?

Marjorie

Via811 said...

Why yes Marjorie! Small net isn't it? I also wanted to tell you that you cracked me up with your story of how you "planned" your pregnancies. I'm still laughing. Ciao.

Margi said...

bonjour via! je parle un peu de Français parce-que je viens aussi du Canada! mais je ne parle pas Français beaucoup -- je suis désolé i je fais des erreurs.
ton photos sont magnifique!!! je suis heureux de vous rencontrer!
À bientôt!

Via811 said...

Margi, es-tu la même fille que "Raw Canadian girl"?, en tout cas je suis très contente de te recontrer. A+

Green said...

Wow, 811rv and trilingual! Can't beat that, n'est-ce-pas? My français is going fast since I moved from La Belle Province. Pero ahora puedo hablar en español un poquito.

Margi said...

Oui, via, je suis Raw Canadian Girl, et aussi Flora the Forager :)

I'll write in English now as I'm afraid to make mistakes in French.

You asked about my book -- it will be done sometime this summer and available on my website!

Via811 said...

Thank you Ian! But I will shamelessly flaunt the fact that I can speak 4 languages-espagnol tambien, for now. German will probably be my next language to learn.

davidlejeune said...

Salut Via Je m'appelle David Lejeune j'ai 24 ans je viens de la gaspesie. Comment vas-tu? La je reste à Québec. Où tu es on pourrait se rencontrer je mange cru depuis un bon bout de temps j'aimerais jasé .

Via811 said...

Salut David! J'adore la Gaspésie, c'est tellement beau. Je vis près de la Capitale Nationale. C'est le fun de connaître un autre Québecois cru.

Connais-tu le forum http://crudivorisme.niceboard.com ? Ciao

Sarah said...

I really enjoyed your journey into 811rv. It is very similar to my story. I love your blog :)

~Sarah

Via811 said...

Wow! I'm meeting so many great Sara(h)s. I love your fruity blog too Sarah. I notice also that you have a section for homeschooling, which I do too. Isn't it great?

Sarah said...

Homeschooling is great! It's one of the best decisions I could have ever made for our family. I love it!!!

~Sarah

fruchtloop said...

Via, Love your blog. You are very inspiring. Also, you are very lucky to have so much yummy fruit in the Winter. I live in Washington State and the winter feels so barren of fruit here! mmm. So, your whole family eats 811rv??? Felicitations, tu as de la chance!
Ma famille est completement carnivore. Elle croit que je suis absolument folle! Mais, depuis presque un an, son attitude ne me derange pas autant.
Hablo espanol tambien, porque soy Puerto Riquena, criada en Espana. Aprendi el frances en Madrid. Antes vivi en Sicilia, Italia por dos anos y medio.
Disculpa la falta de acentos!
Abrazos,
Fruitloop

Via811 said...

Hola Fruitloop! Hablo espanol tambien! Que placer de conocerte. Para encontrar todas esas frutas tuve que ir a todas las tiendas de la ciudad quasi lol!

Si mi familia trata de comer como yo, pero mi esposo tiene menos exito que yo. Pero cada dia es mejor. Muchos de mis amigos y familiares piensen que soy loca tambien pero no importa-mi quieren igualmente. Hasta muy pronto! Chau

rawwife said...

Hi Via! I wandered over from vegsource and really enjoyed reading your story. You're very inspiring! Keep up the great work!