Celise Craig, a Providence raw vegan, dishes with Examiner about her journey into the lifestyle. With many people looking for the latest diets and trends to follow, Celise makes it clear that for her, this is a lifestyle choice and not a diet or passing fad. Further, she views it as a rebirth or renewal of what has always been in place for many years.
When did you start embracing a raw vegan lifestyle?
I became interested in health at the age of 16, turning then to vegetarianism. After watching the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2 1/2 years ago, I began my journey into veganism and subsequently raw veganism. Understanding the power food has in our lives, I decided that this particular change in lifestyle could take me to the level of vitality I had been looking 20 years ago.
Have you lost weight with the lifestyle change?
Yes. My highest weight between my teenage and adult years was 200 pounds. I gradually whittled my weight down over the years to the 124 pounds that I weigh today. Thirty-six of those pounds were lost since embracing the raw vegan lifestyle.
Do you experience highs and lows/ups and downs with the lifestyle?
Absolutely. Those periods are necessary for growth; they’re a normal part of the journey. I used to look at them as a negative part of the process, but they are actually positive. Instead of bringing yourself down, look at them as if you are perfecting your system, working out the glitches, refining the lifestyle choice you made. After all, the body does this all the time. The days when we don’t feel well are the times the body is working out its glitches.
Is there a recommended amount of daily exercise a raw vegan should be doing?
Medical doctors give recommended exercise regimens to people who are not readily active; to particular types of people who eat foods that bog their bodies down. Those types of people are usually less motivated to exercise regularly.
Enzymes in food are more bioavailable when someone consumes a raw, living diet. Raw foods provide the body with more energy which leads to better motivation and a greater desire to be active. My next challenge was learning balance.
You heard it here first. Stay tuned for part 2 of Celise’s journey where she discusses herbs, supplementing and maintenance tips.