Originally published August 18 2009
Karen Knowler Part II: Journaling, Coaching and Learning to Love Raw Food
by Kevin Gianni
(NaturalNews) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Rawkathon, which can be found at http://www.Rawkathon.com. In this excerpt, Karen Knowler shares on journaling, coaching and learning to love raw food.
Rawkathon with Karen Knowler. Karen Knowler has been on a raw food journey for 15 years. She's a raw food coach and the co-author of Feel Good Food.
Kevin: How scared were you when you were pouring your heart out into your journal and going on this life changing journey? [laughter]
Karen: Yeah. Well, on a superficial level, I was quite scared. On a profound level, I was not because I was fortunate enough, from a very young age, to feel quite connected to what we might call God or Spirit. I use the word God. It just resonates better with me. But, from a very young age, I've felt a connection, and I wasn't brought up in a religious or a spiritual family. So, it was very much inside me. And actually, when I was eight years old, I did... this is... I haven't told many people this, but I did actually pray and say to God, "I give my life back to you, do with me what you will." And, that was at eight years old. And, I look back and think, "Wow!" So at that age I somehow knew that for me to live my purpose, I had to surrender to something bigger than me, and actually say, "Use me." And, that's what I did, and I never knew what that was going to be about. And indeed, it took, 15 more years for that to show up. But on some level I knew that I was here to do something.
And who knew it would be raw food, because I grew up in a butcher shop. My mother remarried a butcher. So from the age of 12 to 15 that's where I spent my before-school, after-school and weekend time. Not proud, but it was part of my journey and that was the catalyst that pushed me into vegetarianism and vegetarianism was the catalyst that pushed me into raw food so it had to happen. I think it was part of my waking up journey and there's a belief that you choose everything and it kind of wakes you up and you get what you need at the time and everything. But that is...yeah. Wow.
Kevin: You brought up an interesting point. Someone's who finding themselves so far from...they're here and then they're so far from where they want to be. Sometimes that can just be so dizzying. How can someone go from point A to point B like that?
Karen: Well, first of all with any kind of coaching process it's be where you are. Fully own where you're starting from. And sometimes it pays to look at choices that you made in the past to see how you came to that place so you know not to repeat certain things again.
Kevin: Is there a process to kind of figure out what those things are?
Karen: Well, again journaling for me was the thing. It was like, "What's bothering me?" I would just be as black and white as that. I would just start very, very basic. What's bothering me? And I'd write it out. Why has it happened? Blah, blah blah. Just common sense questions. And then I'd just kind of go, "Oh yeah. I feel like this because I've been doing this and I know it's not good for me so..." The great thing about raw food, on a very essential level, it helps unify mind, body, spirit and emotion. It brings them all to the same page and most of us start off with our mind, our body, our spirit, and emotions all doing different things in different places, almost thinking different things. Some people have a lot of heart pain so the heart may be even quite switched off and operate very much from the head and not their heart. So there's a challenge often for people to unify just heart and head. But the body becomes so much more powerful on raw and living foods specifically that it kind of charges up. And when the body charges up, it really calls the others to charge up also. It calls the soul in and it calls the heart to open and it calls the mind to think differently and to balance left and right hemispheres. So for that reason people can feel a lot more courageous to pursue their dreams. So that works really, really well.
Kevin: You've done a lot of coaching of people. And you've done coaching for raw food and I imagine that your coaching of raw food kind of turns into this. So what's most important?
Karen: It's a bit chicken and egg. It's a bit chicken and egg. And it was like this for me. It wasn't till I ate the food that the journey began. Some people come to raw food and they're already on a journey and the raw food just kind of speeds it up or purifies it or whatever. People come from different places. But there comes a point where people cannot go any further with raw food until they've done the work on the other levels.
So the analogy I like to use is a bar chart. Most people know what a bar chart looks like, with different levels. So I will say to people on a scale, "OK, on a scale from 1 to 100 how do you feel on each of these four levels: mind, body, spirit, emotion? Starting with the body on a level of 1 to 100, how healthy, energetic, vibrant, alive do you feel? Just the first number that comes to your head." So they'll give me a score. Then I'll say, "Mind? How sharp, clear, focused, alert do you feel on a scale from 1 to 100? Give me a figure. Emotionally? How deep, connected, open, expansive do you feel on a heart level? Same thing. One to 100. And then spiritually. How connected do you feel to your higher self, to your soul, to things bigger than you? Same thing." And then usually what happens is you'll find that someone has a low score in one particular area and often with raw food, they may find that they're feeling really, really good. Like up here. Maybe 60, 70, 80, 90 or more with the raw food, the energy's really up, but they'll find that emotionally they're feeling really down. And I'll say, "OK. Well we can't even look at the food now because you need to get this up because we need to be like this."
That shocks people sometimes because they think, "I want to be told what to eat." But food is not the issue for you. You're doing really well. You need to heal this stuff and bring yourself up because no matter what I may say or talk to you about with food you're not going to make progress until you deal with this. Because number one on my seven steps to going and staying raw is to understand that going raw is a whole person journey and people really need to understand that. Because if they don't they can get very up here with raw food and get obsessed about it and get really wrapped up with what they're eating while the rest of their life is falling apart. So people have to be on the same page to go through and live this journey full out.
Kevin: And it sounds like you probably had experience with "obsessed with the food"?
Karen: Well not me personally so much. Mine was fascination and it ended there...well it hasn't ended but it never went to obsession. But there's a fine line and sometimes people trip over into obsession where their whole life centers around their plate. It's like the plate is the portal. It's not the end. It's just what leads you through.
Kevin: You mentioned seven steps. What's another important one?
Karen: Falling in love with the food. You have to love the food and the food has to feel and taste better than any food you've ever had before. OK? There's another model that I have but the three things that need to be in place for people to go on and stay on raw is delicious food, ongoing support and inspiring vision. And without those three things in place people fall off. And maybe we'll get to those. But on a food front, people have to love what they're eating. Not just like it. Not just think, "Oh well. It's healthy, it's good for me." They have to really love it. And it has to tick the five boxes: it has to taste fantastic, it has to make sense intellectually, people have to think, "Yeah. This is really good for me." In their heart it has to feel really good to them. Spiritually it has to make them feel more connected and more whole. In their physical body they need to feel good while they're eating it and good after it. So no kind of weird, wired out feelings, that kind of thing. To me that's what needs to occur for people to find the way of eating that is perfect for them.
Kevin: How can you learn to love lettuce?
Karen: Well, the green stuff....the green stuff's so interesting because really what we're aiming for is to have green be the center of our diet. Now when I started, even when I went vegetarian, everyone laughed at me because I didn't even like vegetables, right. So they're like, "What are you going to eat?" But taste buds change and with raw food, you know, you'll find green things that you like even if it is just iceberg to start with, which has hardly any green. It's practically white. But you'll find that your body as it starts to clean out it will crave the stuff and it will actually taste sweet. So that can happen. Everything can happen. I used to hate nuts. I'd always say the only nut I like is doughnuts. And that was true! I didn't like any nuts. I didn't like any vegetables apart from potatoes and mushrooms. So I was the least likely candidate for raw food. I'm sure my school friends see me now on Facebook or something and say, "That's not the same Karen Knowler because the Karen Knowler at school ate fries twice a day."
For more from this excerpt of the Rawkathon, plus 14 other amazing raw food interviews, please visit http://www.Rawkathon.com.
About the authorKevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.
His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit www.LiveAwesome.com.
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