Your Raw Foods Journey and Your Loved Ones

March 9th, 2011

Recently I received a touching email from a woman--call her Karen--whose husband spends long periods abroad. In addition to coping with his absence, she is also struggling valiantly toward a sound raw food lifestyle. Karen's doing great, she reports, when her husband is away--nothing worse than occasional slips. But ...

When Rick comes home, he wants to take me out for dinner, wants to cook at home for me. He means well, and does it out of love, but totally derails me. I'll be successfully raw for months without him. Then he gets off a plane and before you know it, I am eating cooked restaurant food. Then Rick goes again, and I'm left climbing back on the wagon. Tonya, how can I break the cycle?

Many of you know that I too didn't have my loved ones on board when I started my raw foods journey. That's an experience common to most raw foodists, most vegans and vegetarians, and indeed even to most weight-loss dieters. A family is comprised of individuals, people with their own ideas and with their own free will. What are the chances that a whole family--even both members of a couple--will all come to the same conclusion at the same moment? If you can't get everyone in sync to clean the garage on a particular Saturday, they're also not going to coincide on a major lifestyle change--that's for sure.

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So the question becomes ... Who wins? Karen?--or Rick? You?--or your kids? And the battle begins. 

But wait! Who says it has to be a battle? You might set it up that way in your household. And I'll confess: I did in mine, to some considerable extent. My family would likely tell you that I started my first lecture tour well before I left the house.

Am I saying Karen should give in? Should endure downing twelve-ounce T-bone steaks and baked potatoes because that makes Rick feel comfortable? No--that's not a good idea either.

So what's my easy-breezy solution then? Haven't got one. Getting through the door might be hard. But I do have some keys ...

Let's start with love. That's a good place to start for a lot of purposes. Karen ... you have a husband whom you love, and who loves you. Now, there's a fact worth a bucket of gratitude.

Second, in response to Rick's desire to cook, suspend your desire to correct or teach. Thank you, dear. You are so kind and loving. Period. Then say: May I make a suggestion? Wait. Listen. You'll get a yes, of some sort. Then make your suggestion, putting it as a question. Your question might be ...

  • Could I show you a neat raw recipe for that?
  • How would you feel about using raw honey in place of sugar?
  • Would you be game to try substituting coconut milk instead? 

Questions--invitations, really--do more to persuade than insistence ever did.

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Back to Karen's plea ... we're talking love, here. A relationship—not rules. Your ultimate aim is: Get Rick to move toward your lifestyle, at least to the extent of his understanding and accepting your choice. A simple thought: If you won't compromise, why would you expect Rick (or your girlfriend, or your kids or your brother-in-law) to compromise? At the same time, if you don't show some firmness, why should the Ricks and kids and other loved ones believe in what you're doing? 

Karen's specific situation may be a bit peculiar. But it's not wholly different from what the rest of us face. I hope you find some value here.

One final reminder to those already arrived at the raw food lifestyle and those actively seeking it: In the eyes of the mainstream, it's not other people who are odd, unusual, "not normal"-- we are. We left Averageville some time back. Nothing's wrong with your husband Rick, Karen. Don't threaten or reject his love by fighting over food. We are born to love, I submit--not to battle, contest, impose our good intentions on others, nor even to eat particular food. 

Begin with love. That's where the bridge begins. 

Anti-Aging Success of Two Women: Get Inspired!

Admit it--you love happy endings, don't you? I do. Happy new beginnings, even more so. I thrill at every success story I hear, whether it's a successful raw food weight-loss story or a triumph over a health challenge. 

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So it's a happy day for me whenever I get an e-mail success story about someone's wonderful experience seeing the youthening in his/her mirror when he/she adopts the beauty and anti-aging practices I write about and recommend. Women and men worldwide are defying aging every day. The real news: It doesn't take costly supplements or surgical procedures. Just three simple foundations are all you need to get on your way: a raw food diet...skin care...and body and facial exercises.

The first time I heard from Sylvie was in 2009 when she was reading my books with an English-French dictionary. You may remember my July 2010 newsletter article When It Isn't Happening Fast Enough. We followed Sylvie's journey--a journey sometimes jubilant, sometimes frustrated. I shed some light on a few of her questions and disappointments, undoubtedly similar to those of many women. Sylvie, at age 45, determined she would see her most youthful, radiant self revealed and nothing would stop her. Now, at 46, she has succeeded, as you can see in her lovely wedding photo below. I am grateful to Sylvie for sharing this latest episode in her anti-aging journey. Every man or woman can achieve results like these--if you're willing to do what it takes.

Sylvie married her Prince Charming on his thirtieth birthday. She wrote to me:

I want to thank you so deeply, Tonya. If it weren't for your results, I don't know if I would have dared to marry him. I'm 46 years old! I didn't want to look like his aunt or his mother one day. As you can see, it is not the case... And because of you (and my efforts, of course), I am convinced that it will continue like this. We are very happy together and we love each other so much ... Many miracles are happening in our lives. So it's with great pleasure that I'm sending you a few pictures. You have a part in our happiness!

Congratulations, Sylvie! I applaud everyone who faithfully persists in spite of obstacles or discouragement to get the results they're after. You take things one step at a time, adding this, eliminating that, and before you know it, daunting tasks become ingrained habits. 

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Results start to show, nearly imperceptibly at first, then more pronounced as you up the ante and start enjoying the age-defying benefits of your daily effort. And don't forget: Your results are cumulative. Today's juicing and skin brushing are tomorrow's glowing skin. This month's facial exercises are next month's firm, toned facial features and glowing skin.

Here's another email that delighted me ... C.K. writes:

Tonya...It's taken me many months to begin using the dry facial brush and the masque removing brush as part of my daily routine. I'm not especially looking for "beauty'," but rather for healthy-looking skin. Since December 2010, when I finally began to routinely use facial brushing, I have definitely observed an improvement in the tone and appearance of my face and neck.  The blackheads I've endured for 66 years are not as large anymore. I don't know whether this is directly related to my use of the facial brushing or if my skin is changing due to my age; however, I do know that I will continue to use the facial brushes for the remainder of my life.

The message is... It is never too late to start turning things around! As Sylvie and C.K. teach us, it's only partly about looks. Perhaps more importantly, for both women--and maybe for the rest of us--it's equally about the feeling of getting better, looking better, and the bright optimism those feelings bring. Onward! 

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