I’ve just spent the last 10 days devouring food; and not just any food, the very best Raw Food in Ubud, Bali. I’ve loved every single mouthful, felt full of energy and vitality and have no intention of returning to anything else. This stay has also been more of a journey of self-discovery, and the final piece of a very long ‘food story’.
Let me tell you how I got here…
My Journey Back To Eating Raw Food In Ubud Bali:
For over half my life I have considered myself as ‘having a weight problem’. I know this is all very subjective and some might say I’m being foolish, but that’s just how it is for me. It’s my Food Story.
I’ve felt large, I’ve felt unattractive and I’ve struggled digesting certain foods all my life. And for many years I held the belief that this would make finding the perfect soul mate a challenge. Like so many I have done a lot of the ‘diets’, losing weight and of course re-gaining it once I’ve stopped. I’ve eliminated food groups, and seen endless health practitioners along the way, as well as having some personal development coaching to unravel the mind stuff.
A few years ago I was introduced to my very first ‘green smoothie’ (full of dark green Spirulina) and to say it didn’t sit well was an understatement. I re-appeared. Initially it put me off, but I was intrigued and wanted to find out more.
This lead to a Retreat in Spain where I did a raw juice cleanse and ate raw vegan food afterwards. I couldn’t believe the flavours and came back all inspired to eat vegan and to keep up regular exercise.
Over the weeks that followed I found it difficult to cook separate meals at home, fit in with friends eating habits and so I allowed myself to change away from my own beliefs and fitting into ‘the norm’ that I was surrounded with. I also wanted to keep others around me happy and not be a ‘nuisance eater’.
Slowly the weight came back on and I felt very despondent.
Then in September 2014 I was gifted a ticket to Tony Robbins UPW (I mentioned this in my previous blog: 10 Top Tips To Eating Clean As A Digital Nomad.). At this event I learnt about the science behind not just eating Raw and Vegan, but the importance of maintaining an optimal Acid-Alkaline balance. I was introduced to food-types I’d never explored and the idea of ‘Living Foods’. Suddenly I was surrounded by people who simply lived this way and wouldn’t change that for anybody.
I flew back to Cairns, Queensland where I was based at that time and resolved to be ‘all in’. I emptied out my previous foods and went raw shopping. Every day I rose at 5.30am and power walked for 5-8K, then started with water, green juice and raw vegetables…
As previously mentioned I not only lost the weight, got a body shape I was beginning to be happy with, but had more energy than I had had for years. I leapt out of bed and bounced through every day.
I understood this was a Lifestyle Choice and one I was happy I’d made.
Back at home in the UK I inspired a close friend and was allowed to cook for her and help change her over to more raw living which felt an incredible honor.
In Thailand it was pretty easy to keep this up and I met and joined with other raw vegans and felt really good.
Roll forward to December 2015 and my first real test. I was going back to Australia after not seeing my younger daughter for over a year, and meeting with my eldest, where we were all having Christmas together. They made jokes about how long I could manage with out a drink, especially over Christmas. How me eating ‘that way’ would be difficult to fit in with all the social outings, restaurants and so forth.
I should mention that both my daughters are currently in ‘hospitality’ and therefore surrounded by high quality traditional foods and alcohol. A world I’d once enjoyed sampling…except that my body just didn’t seem to be in alignment…. I wonder why.
I stayed firm until one day when I weakened, under the probable mis-conception that I was making my daughters happy, and had some bread, then cheese and then the red wine. I guess it was downhill all the way after that. I tried to stay in the mind-set of not giving myself a hard time, but to enjoy and be grateful for all the foods (and drinks) I was having.
After breaking all my former beliefs with some meat I felt so ill it was the first wake-up call. My weight had gone back up to the place where I just wasn’t happy. Second wake-up call.
It had been 6 months of pleasing others rather then holding firm to my own beliefs and sticking to my core health values. Something I have managed in other areas of my life, but somehow eluded in this.
Things had to change and I was the only one that could do it. I started by adding back more raw salads, juicing and eliminating meat and gluten. I started to feel a tiny bit better. I explained to those around me that I was now really motivated to get my health back. But I knew the perfect opportunity to fully address this was coming up…onwards with my Digital Nomad lifestyle on the road.
Having travelled to Ubud the home of wellness and alternative lifestyle I was ready to examine exactly what was going on for me. Interestingly on the first two days I got sick, and I guess that was more of a mental state than a physical situation. I knew in that moment what I had to do.
My very simple decision is this: I am now committed to building a consistent stable raw vegan lifestyle not just for my health and wellness but also because how we live on the planet today is impacting the very future of our planet.
I realise in wanting to ‘fit in’ and ‘please others’ I have let go of one of my core principles and allowed myself to become a bit lost. It’s also OK to stand out, it’s OK to look after yourself and your health, and it’s OK if other people have a different way of living.
I’m back following my rules (see previous blog) 100% and very excited to be learning to cook all the aspects of Raw Vegan food. Raw food in Ubud is so delicious and inspiring one day I hope I can do a cooking course and become more of an expert.
What will I do if invited out now? Check the restaurant or menu first, eat ahead of time or simply decline and pick a different way to be social with friends and family who don’t live this way.
In next week’s blog I will be reviewing raw food in Ubud, with a bit about my favourite 5 cafes here. I will also include some basic recipes of things I love making myself.
I’m back on track now, and I hope if you’ve ever felt a little off the rails this will inspire you too.
Here’s to living our optimal life in all areas.
Right now I’m incredibly lucky and grateful to be travelling, working creatively, seeing my beautiful daughters, being in love with a wonderful man, and having fabulous supportive friends.
I’m a Raw Vegan end of story!