Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A DIFFERENT INTERVIEW WITH CHICORO
Most people in the natural hair scene are familiar with Chicoro. You know, Chicoro with the beautiful and healthy long hair. The one who authored the book “Grow It. How To Grow Afro-Textured Hair To Maximum Lengths In The Shortest Time”. Yes, the same Chicoro with the awesome and informative fotki.
Well, lo and behold, when I was pleasantly surprised to see in her fotki that she’s into raw foods. I thought, “Oh, my God! I’ve got talk to her about this.” Well, after I stopped dragging my feet I reached out to her to share with everyone her way of healthy eating and thoughts on it. I hope that this interview inspires, encourages and/or motivates you to feed your body better, if just a little bit, than you have before.
1) How did your interests in raw foods begin?
Before I begin, I wanted to tell you thank you for your time and for this
platform opportunity, your blog, to express my thoughts and feelings regarding
raw food and self care!
It happened over many years for me. It was not instantaneous. There were many aha moments for me. Here are a few that stick out for me right now. I have been dabbling in raw food since I was a little girl, before I was a teenager. The two turning points happened when I was an adult. I always had pimple marks and spots on my face so I sought out books to help me clear my skin. Food was always a key component. I began with juicing.
The second turning point was when I developed some health issues. I found books specifically for addressing my specific issues. In one book, in the food section of the book, it advocated the use of salads, green vegetables juices and fruit juices and herbs and water to cleanse and purify the body. The book did not refer to the food as "raw food" but called the food a part of the natural living lifestyle. Then, I found a book about raw food that had more variety. It made raw food do-able for me. I was so inspired that I took a raw food certification class with the author of the book.
2) We've all eaten "raw foods" at one time or another without giving it much thought. Like fruits, vegetable such as carrots, salads, etc. How long have you been consciously eating raw foods?
I first started eating raw foods conciously about five (5) years ago. I go in and out of raw. I have not been a raw foodist for five years!
3) What difference/improvements did you notice in your physical health after beginning to eat this way?
Let's start with the most fascinating thing first. When I am eating nothing but raw food, children respond to me the most. They turn to wave at me and speak to me. Whether they are in a grocery cart or their parents' arms, you should see how they twist around to wave or stare or say, "Hello!" My husband has witnessed this so many times. He always looks at me so strangely when this occurs. He can be standing right next to me and the children don't even acknowledge him.
When I first started eating only raw food, I felt that I was always walking around with my eyes bugged out and wide open. I even asked my mother and my teacher, "Do my eyes look like they are popped out? They sure feel like it." My raw food teacher told me that is the energy or buzz from all the live and raw food. It's like your eyes are opened, literally and figuratively.
In the morning when I am completely raw, I leap out of bed. I am up from anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30 am. This is not because I am UNABLE to sleep. This is because I don't need anymore sleep. I feel light and not groggy. But, I must say, when I first start back on raw food, I feel exhausted and tired for the first 3-5 days. The exhaustion is like when you just finished a project at work and you exhale and know that it is finally over and done. Then you can just collapse and relax. Or, when you get home from a business trip or get home from school. You are tired, but you are comfortable and can relax and exhale.
You glow! Physically, the texture of the skin on my face becomes creamier and smoother. My blemishes disappear and the yellow in my eye whites disappears. The skin on my body is smoother as well. There is less of a need for deodorant. Body odor, not that I smelled before, becomes even less apparent. It seems to just disappear. Cellulite also goes away, or decreases. If you have knots in your breasts, those tend to reduce in size as well- then knots, not your breasts! I could go on and on! Painful cycles become easier and less painful.
Emotionally, I am not moody or move quick to irritation like I am when I eat
processed sugary foods or meat laden meals and food.
Also, because the food is so clean, it burns through your body. You have to eat on a regular basis. Otherwise, you can become ravenously hungry. Because of this, I suggest that people try to eat 4-6 meals, including snacks,per day. You want to keep some structure in your life, even while eating raw food. I don't subscribe to the "eat all you want" because it is raw kind of thinking anymore.
4) The raw foods lifestyle is considered extreme, even foreign to most folks. Did you experience any opposition, negative comments and/or "side-eyes" to your decision to incorporate raw foods into your lifestyle?
When I first started, I was desperately trying to heal a condition I had.
I only had books as a reference so I literally experimented on myself. The first time around, I lost so much weight. I was emaciated, extremely skinny looking and
My mother was totally against my raw food lilfestyle and told me every time she saw me that I was too, too skinny. She is a nurse and she is indoctrinated in the medical industry way of thinking. She never encouraged me and did more discouraging than anything, at first. Then one day, on my 50th round of trying to get it right for me and my life, I went home. My mother lifted my chin, looked into my face and said, "You look good!" I was so happy that day. Two other relatives complimented me as well during that trip. That's when I knew that I had gotten it and that it was working for me!
Then, my mother met or crossed paths with a 45+ year old raw foodist and she said that he looked incredible. From that day on, she was more open to what I was trying to do. She recognized him [as a raw vegan] because all he had was vegetables and fruits and nuts in his cart. Also, of course because of how great he looked to her.
I have no idea who he was or how he looked, but to this day she seems to be in awe of that man. I wish I could have seen him. She has even shared raw meals with me and enjoyed many things I have prepared.
I am used to folks looking at me with side-eyes. They did it when I wanted to go work and live in Japan, when I said I wanted to grow my hair to my waist and when I decided to go raw. I was successful with all these endeavors. You just have to forget about what other people think and not look for approval.
5) What advice would you give to someone seeking to incorporate or transition into eating raw foods?
In the least, try to eat something raw everyday.
I would suggest that you eat something raw with EVERY single meal. Reduce the size of the portions of the cooked food and decrease the amount of meat, potatoes and rice you eat. Add a large pretty, salad to every meal. Leave the croutons and the bacon bits out. Use your favorite salad dressing for now, even if it is like a Ranch dressing. Just get used to having a large, raw vegetable or fruit laden salad with every meal. Eat all of it.
As with transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair, you have to transition your mind FIRST. Start thinking of that large salad as the center piece of your meal instead of building a meal around a piece of meat. Build your salad and think of the other non-raw things as complements to your main meal component, your salad.
**Due to the length of this post, I will continue it on tomorrow. Check out the completion of this interview right here. See ya, tomorrow!**
Peace and blessings,
Chicoro is the author of "Grow It: How To Grow Afro-Textured Hair To Maximum Lengths In the Shortest Time". You can find more information on it and her at her website Beautify Bit by Bit. She also has a wonderful and inspiring blog that you can see here. Subscribe to her on youtube here.