Tuesday, May 24, 2011


By Tonya Zavasta

The fact is, almost all of us, are addicted to something. If nothing else, most of us are addicted to cooked food. So pervasive is the pattern that few even think of this as an addiction at all.

Studies show that a child of alcoholic parents is four times more likely to become an alcoholic than is the child of non-alcoholic parents. So consider: What chance do we have to avoid the cooked food addiction, if cooking has been around for tens of thousands of years?

Is it really an addiction? Yes. The sure sign: When the supply of cooked food cut is off, we experience withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal may include dizziness, chills, food cravings, headache and poor concentration—even flu-like symptoms.

Whatever you feel, you feel it almost always because of chemicals released in your body. It is believed that the cause of cravings for food is the presence of a chemical (beta-endorphin) that stimulates the felt need for certain foods. Cooked foods, in particular, because no one craves carrots or celery. Eat sugar in high concentration over time, and your nerve cells will actually alter in a way similar to the alteration seen in cocaine addiction (though different nerves are involved). The craving for cooked food isn’t merely “psychological”—it’s a cellular hunger, a tissue hunger. It’s powerful because it is mostly a physical phenomenon.

If you can be 95, 98 or 99 percent raw, then good for you, it means you are not an addict. It never worked for me. It has been my experience that the best way to stop cravings is to cleanse your body completely and practice complete physical abstinence from your trigger—cooked foods. Abstinence is not a diet. To be abstinent is to avoid any substance that triggers your addiction. We do not “go on a raw food diet,” as if we were simply “cutting down for a while.” Rather, most of us must practice abstinence from cooked foods, foods that in the long run contribute to illnesses and aging.

To find our “cure” for cooked food addiction we must stay “sober,” that is stay 100 percent raw. Once we start eating trigger foods, we crave more. We, the cooked-food-addicted, just like those who are addicted to alcohol, can never safely consume our addictive substance at all. Our bodies will at once take note if we eat any amount of addictive substances, and we may very soon find ourselves falling off the wagon. The sure way for us to set up that craving again is to introduce even a very small amount of cooked food into the system.

If you find that your cook food craving is starting to get the best of you, try substituting something. Often going for intense exercise, such as hot yoga, will center you and clear your head from the food temptations. Or perhaps you still need to include more variety in your raw food diet. Go to a raw food restaurant if one is available, or try out a new recipe. Best wishes!

_ _ _ _

Hi Folks,

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Tanya.

I've not been blogging this past week. I fell off after 14 days raw.

The subsequent days have seen me slip into a terrible depression and predictable reactivation of the cooked food addiction. It was as easy as taking the first bite of cooked. From then on, I was "cooked."

As hard as i try, I cannot get my food under control. I try eating cooked in moderation. I try changing my attitude. Being happy. Accepting myself. Over and over and over again, I fail.

I take these words from Tanya Zavasta to heart.

Please write or leave comments. I feel very alone.

Gotta get back on track because nothing else works, and believe me, I've tried it all.

xoxo michelle joy


Anonymous said...

Hey Michelle,
Don't have any answers for ya, just wanted to let u know u are loved. That is all.


Pat said...

So sorry to hear you are having a hard time. You clearly try very hard and this is a tough addiction to break. We all have addictions but food is the worst because you can stop smoking and not die, but you can't stop eating and live. I recently reviewed the pleasure trap book and it showed how we are wired for pleasure and that feel good feeling.

I'm no expert so I can't offer you any advice, but I can tell you what you already know many people have beat this particular demon and you can too. 14 days is a long time to be completely raw for anybody especially someone with an addiction. So don't be to hard on yourself and get back on the raw wagon if that is your choice. What ever you do I'll praying and pulling for you.

With love