About Me

joshhead
I never thought I’d be a vegan.

As a kid and through my teens I cared more about corn dogs, candy and pizza than eating healthy or exercising.

But here I am. I think there’s an innate human drive to live to our body’s potential, whether we ever realize that potential or not. After years of a raw food lifestyle, I’m regularly re-inspired by the results I see in my own life, and the lives of my friends, fans, and clients. Simple changes to our diet, hydration, sleep and exercise habits can and do result in really awesome improvements to our physical and emotional health.

 

I grew up eating the way most kids eat. My parents tried to help me eat healthy, but none of us really had the right information about what ‘eating healthy’ actually meant. I loved candy (what kid doesn’t like sweet things?), fast food, pizza, ice cream, and some fruits and vegetables.

joshfat1

joshpimples

I was pretty chubby as a result. Not obese, but chubby. I struggled in sports. I developed really gross acne on my face, chest and back as a teenager. I fought with overeating, emotional eating, and food cravings (oh, all those hours spent staring inside the refrigerator, looking for happiness behind the ketchup bottle).

Most of all, I just didn’t like the way I looked and felt. I often looked at myself in the mirror and tried to find ways to hide my gut with clothing or posture. I wished I was lean and muscular like the more athletic, popular boys in my class. I developed really negative self-image and had no confidence talking to cute girls.

So, chubby, pimply, shy, self-loathing, addicted to unhealthy food. Not good.

By either luck or divine providence, something changed in 2006 when I started riding my bike to college. The 14-mile round trip, 4 days a week made my body a little leaner and more muscular. I still didn’t know anything about healthy eating, but I figured it was worth a try. What a rabbit hole that turned out to be!

Before I got into being vegan I tried: The ABS DIET (thank you Men’s Health magazine, lol!), an organic standard American diet, macrobiotics, something similar to the Paleo diet (before those books were out, basically whole-food vegan with lean meat and no dairy), vegetarian, mostly vegan. I also tried restricting calories at various times, not eating within 3 hours of bedtime, the Master Cleanse, a psyllium-bentonite cleanse, alkalizing with lemon water and dark leafy greens, eliminating soy, white flour and sugar, taking tons of supplements, and God knows what else.

Out of all the crazy stuff I tried, eating vegan was what stuck. It took about a year of eating mostly vegan before I really felt like “a vegan.” I read part of the book Animal Liberation by Peter Singer as part of a critical thinking class, which helped me understand and integrate the ethical side of being a vegan.

In the time I transitioned to being a vegan, my acne improved dramatically, I lost more fat, continued to improve my fitness with cycling, yoga, and pilates, and I was finally starting to enjoy the look and feel of my body. Girls were less terrifying. Looking in the mirror didn’t suck as much.

So by early 2008, I’d been vegan or mostly so for over a year. Most of the symptoms of poor health I’d grown up with had diminished, but I still felt a lot of room for improvement. I didn’t know much about eating low-fat, so I was eating too many nuts, and using a lot of coconut and olive oil in my cooking.

I got interested in raw food as a way to alkalize my system, completely clear my acne, and lose the last few pounds of fat on my midsection. I struggled to find good resources on raw food, as there’s a lot of misinformation out there. I started out trying to eat “gourmet raw,” which is a blanket term for raw food diets higher in fat and built around nuts, seeds, avocados, and oil as calorie staples, with a lot of vegetables and varying amounts of fruit.

Eating gourmet raw was SO HARD. I fought my way through complex recipes and hunger pangs, only to fall back on cooked vegan food. I thought I was emotionally eating or not trying hard enough (turns out, I just needed to carb the *$&% up!). I was hungry all day trying to fill up on vegetable-based dishes (which I didn’t realize were really low in calories) and then “binged” on date+nut raw pies in the evening (desperately seeking calories). I couldn’t make it more than a week without going back to cooked food.

I found the fruit-based raw food diet through DURIANRIDER videos on Youtube. Finally, someone talking some sense! I got excited about fruit immediately and first tried eating 80-10-10 (Doug Graham’s term for the fruit-based raw food diet) in December of 2008.

I wasn’t very good at it. It’s hard to eat enough fruit when you’re first starting out! I made plenty of newbie mistakes and it took about a year of going on and off all-raw for me to finally feel comfortable.

Since going raw, I’ve experienced these benefits:

  • I’m at my perfect weight
  • My skin is clear, smooth, and hydrated
  • My eyes look more vibrant and alive
  • I tan easily and don’t burn
  • I feel energetic even after large meals
  • I’ve completely eliminated food cravings (awesome!)
  • I save time by not needing to prepare food
  • I know how to take care of myself better when traveling
  • My diet does as little harm to animals and the planet as possible
  • By eating food grown in trees, I encourage the reforestation of the planet
  • My breath always smells good, even right when I wake up
  • My sinuses are always clear
  • I don’t get sick
  • I don’t get tummy aches or heartburn
  • No more constipation!
  • I don’t need shampoo, conditioner, or moisturizer
  • I don’t spend money on expensive kitchen items like vinegar, oil, spices, superfoods, or supplements
  • It feels good just to be in this body!

Going raw and getting healthy wasn’t easy, but it was worth every success and failure I had to go through to get here. I feel so much more free to pursue my dreams (one of which is helping you pursue yours!) and live my life without having to worry about my diet.

I hope that anyone reading this who wants MORE – whether it’s weight loss, healing from sickness, or just more fully realizing your potential – will see what can happen on a raw food diet and lifestyle. Get the support and knowledge you need, and just do it!

I used to be the chubby kid. Now I’m a happy, confident adult in a healthy body. I did it, therefore you can do it.