But she steadily started gaining weight as a teenager because of an under-active thyroid gland. By the time she graduated from college her weight had ballooned and she wore a U.K. dress size 26-28.
"I was 300 pounds, very unwell, very miserable," recalls Stokes. "I ate junk food all the time. I was very closed down emotionally. I had no interest in dieting; I just wanted to eat all the time ... that was like my comfort in life."
At the time, she says she was so "emotionally shut down" she refused to talk to anyone about what was happening. The weight was also taking a physical toll on her health and she frequently battled infections and illness.
Stokes says living her everyday life became a challenge.
"My mobility was quite restricted ... I was unwilling to participate in things from cutting my toenails to going on a walk with my friends," remembered Stokes. "I tried to give this impression that I felt fine about everything, but inside I was in a lot of pain a lot of the time."
Two summers after she reached her heaviest weight, Stokes was working at a greenhouse in Iceland, when a friend lent her a copy of a book about the health benefits of eating raw foods. Stokes, who had never been interested in diets, says she was completely "absorbed" by the approach.
The rest of the article is here... http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/diet....ef=mpstoryview . I found this interesting. I can't for the life of me give up chicken, fish or turkey so this diet will not work for me, but I see how it can help one lose weight at a rapid pace.
(I'm not a 30 something but I'm commenting anyway)
That is quite an interesting approach, although I can't see it realistic for many... Personally, I struggle to get enough protein WITH meats and such in my diet. If I don't get enough protein, I feel extremely weak and shaky, regardless of how many calories I've taken in.. I could imagine I'd be a muscle-lacking trembling wreck on a plan like that.
ETA: Good for that woman, any anyone else who may work with a plan like that, though. Whatever works for the individual.
Cooking can destroy some enzymes. There's an enzyme in pineapple and kiwi that will prevent jello from setting. If you cook the pineapple (or I assume kiwi, but I think kiwi would fall appart if you cook it) before you add it to the gelatin, it will set.
Raw diets are associated with severe vitamin deficiencies though, especially in children. There've been a few child abuse cases in which the parents put their children on raw food diets, and the children got sick. One of the highest profile cases was a young couple who put their newborn on a raw diet, because they were on a raw diet, and they really believed that milk would poison the baby. The baby died, and both parents were charged and convicted in the baby's death (I don't remember the exact charge).
They covered the case on one of those "true crime" shows, I don't remember which show, but it was the first I'd ever heard of the raw food issue. From what I understand, a healthy balanced diet is possible, but very difficult with the raw food diet, if you don't know what you're doing. And there are some self-proclaimed raw food "experts," that pass along incorrect and even dangerous information. The example of the young couple was heartbreaking, because they were so obviously taking advice from people who obviously didn't know what they were talking about.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
In the case of the woman in the story, I imagine going raw was much healthier then her previous diet. It is possible to get enough protein from plant sources, raw or not, if you eat enough. The vitamin deficiencies could be taken care of by a vitamin, but I don't know the raw stance on that. Are there raw supplements?
That said, I don't think a raw diet is healthy for children, maybe if you supplement and were under the supervision of a doctor... I certainly wouldn't do it.
IMO, the best diet is to eat a variety of raw and cooked foods that are as close to unprocessed as you can (aside from the processing you do in your kitchen.) I mean, look at spinach, as an example. It's a great source of vitamin K when raw, because cooking destroys the vitamin K, but it's only a good source of iron if it's cooked, since the iron is not available to our bodies in the raw state. So I eat veggies cooked and raw.
On top of that, I take a mulit-vitamin because our soil is so depleted that certain vitamins are hard to get enough of to begin with.
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