Fear of Raw Food
Victoria: Ever since I can remember myself, I always loved to eat. I had a good appetite and mealtimes were always pleasant for me. Both my parents and my nanny cheerfully complemented me if I finished everything on my plate, so I decided that eating was a great merit and this was my first dietary lesson: the more one eats, the better.
When I was about five years old and my parents took me to a day care, I remember how shocked I was to meet some children that didn’t like to eat, who were sitting and sobbing for a long time at the table, refusing to finish their plates. As a punishment, teachers didn’t let those children play and insisted that they stayed at the table until their plates were empty. I felt so much sympathy for my friend Nina who couldn’t finish her plate of porridge that I often I would trade her full plate with my empty one when the teachers were not watching. I gladly ate her porridge as well as my own.
One day, when I missed the ball in a game and had to step out, I made a curious observation: the children who didn’t like to eat had a light body constitution, and the ones who ate well, were a lot heavier. I realized that there was a conflict between the events in reality and the preachings of my parents and teachers. As I watched the children on the playground I saw that it was noticeably more challenging for the heavier children to run around than it was for the ones who were lighter. At the time, grown-ups represented an impeccable authority to me, so I decided they could not be mistaken and continued to eat as they instructed me to. Adults told me that if I wanted to grow, I had to eat “well” and I didn’t question them in this matter.
As a result of the dietary habits I acquired as a child, I went through a lot of pain and despair in my life. It took me almost 50 years to discover a healthy way of eating. Even though I now feel vibrantly healthy, I still realize that too much of my life force has been wasted on fighting un-necessary illnesses caused by wrong eating habits set up in my childhood. I often wonder how I would look and feel if I had led the lifestyle I lead today from the beginning of my childhood.
Valya: I realize how fortunate I have been to be introduced to a healthy lifestyle at an early age. I often wonder where I would be today if I hadn’t changed my way of living. I was born with asthma. Almost every other night I was unable to sleep due to an inability to breathe. I was told that I would have asthma for the rest of my life and I watched with dread as it continued to steadily worsen every year. Besides my complicated breathing condition, all of my early days I constantly suffered with multiple allergies, colds and earaches.
When I was eight, my family and I began eating 100% raw food. Since the day I changed my diet, I have never experienced another asthmatic attack again. I am so happy to no longer be hindered by my former illnesses. Every day I enjoy brilliant health! I’m deeply grateful to my parents for helping me change my eating habits and encouraging me to understand the value of being healthy. Great health is truly the greatest gift a parent can give to a child.
Victoria: I remember how I cried all through the night in my kitchen when the doctor pronounced that my son had juvenile diabetes. I cried loudly and hopelessly, not willing to accept my son’s sad destiny to live with this sickness. My grandmother had had this same illness and she passed away unexpectedly from an overdose of insulin. It seemed like a miracle had blessed my family when my husband and I found a lifestyle that helped our son reverse his symptoms. Now that he is a healthy and quite happy 20 years old, it is now safe for me to share one other side of our family’s life that we have never spoken about before. At certain times on our journey, neighbors, co-workers, other children’s parents and some friends, have frowned upon us for our radical change of lifestyle. Both Igor and I spent countless sleepless nights in doubts, carefully rethinking whether we were doing the right thing feeding our children this “cookless” diet. There were so many things that we didn’t know at that time and there was nobody in all the world to ask for advice. Often we had to learn by trial and error. We were continuing mainly because we had great results. Three months after becoming all raw, my family ran a 10K race Bolder Boulder, that was an unbelievable achievement for every one of us and served as a confirmation that we were on the right track. Today I appreciate that, in spite of all resistance towards our lifestyle, my family has continued staying on a raw food diet. Together with Valya we are working on a new book called “Inspiring Children to Eat Healthy” where we are sharing many tips that my family has collected over time. We believe that all people should have the opportunity to heal themselves and live free of disease.
Valya: There have been several occasions when our neighbors have called social services on my parents, claiming that they were not feeding or clothing my brother and me. On one such occasion, my brother and I were home alone when a stern looking lady with a clipboard stopped by our house. When she knocked, we answered the door together. She introduced herself and asked us how old we were. We told her that Sergei was eleven, and I was ten. She could tell for herself that we were well clothed and were definitely not starving to death. “What did you have for lunch dear?” she asked my brother. Sergei sensed that this was an odd question for such a lady to ask, because she did not seem like the type to be at all interested in health food. So instead of explaining that we had been eating only fresh, organic live foods for two years and that each of us had gotten rid of our awful illnesses and that we were working on perfecting a raw lasagna recipe, he decided to tell her this: “We just came back from McDonalds where we each had a Big Mack with Fries.” This answer seemed to satisfy the lady, because she said, “Oh, okay then honey. You two have an nice evening now.” And then she left, never to be heard from again.
I did not think much of this incident until my parents came home that evening. When we told them about the strange questions we were asked they looked at each other and I could tell they were scared. They were relieved that my brother had said what he did. They warned us to do the same thing in other similar situations so that we would not be taken from them for any ridiculous reasons.
Victoria: When I heard about the story of the Andressohn family, who had their four children taken away from them for feeding them live foods, I felt obligated to give them as much support as possible. I donated a box of my books to the auction on their behalf, and Sergei and Valya have written letters to the judge. If you haven’t heard about this case, go to the following website for the most accurate information: http://www.rawfriends..com/andressohns.html I encourage everyone to support them in any way.
Valya: Now that I am 19 years old, I am wondering about my future children: will I have to feed them at McDonalds to make sure they stay with me? Will I have to hide my children in order to keep them as healthy as I am? Even official resources criticize the standard American diet for causing obesity and sickness.
Victoria: When I hear that feeding a child good, healthy organic food is called abuse, I realize that the organizations that protect children’s rights urgently need nutritional education. Yet, I wouldn’t justify separating a child from his or her parents, even if they fed this child nothing but TV dinners and candy, which have been scientifically proven to be the main cause of most degenerative disease. Being a mother myself I know that nobody in the world cares for children more than their own mother and father. That is why I believe that if parents would clearly see that feeding their children processed food results in poor health, many of parents would encourage their children to eat better. I am glad to see a lot of scientific research done recently in the world. Even our new food pyramid has been changed towards eating more fruits and vegetables. The raw food diet is becoming very popular in every state and country. I would like to inspire my readers to support the Andressohn family so that they win their case. This case is being widely covered by the media and will definitely shift the mainstream attitude towards alternative eating. It is an opportunity to help all children become healthier without fear.
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