Introduction and why I'm RAW
My name is Rowan Carvalho. I was excited to hear about this group
from Mike and am looking forward to sharing information and recipes
People go raw for many reasons. My reason was for my health.
My whole life I've had unexplained headaches. My mother remembers me
asking for a shoulder massage when I was only 4 or 5 years old. One
of my criteria for a partner has always been, "Do they give a good
About 8 years ago, I began to wake up in the mornings with hands I
describe as "football hands." My hands felt as though someone had
pumped them up with a football pump. Though they didn't appear to be
swollen, it was impossible for me to make a fist and they felt as
though the skin would split if I tried. Over the course of months, I
began to have many other symptoms including migraine headaches,
excruciating joint pain that seemed to travel, heart pain and
palpitations, a "foggy" brain, and extreme sensitivity to light,
noise, and various scents. I worked for Providence Health Systems
and was diagnosed several times by different physicians with
different maladies, ranging from Rheumatoid Arthritis to
Fibromyalgia to Depression to Sarcoidosis. The bottom line was that
they had no idea what the heck was wrong with me. Conversations
witht the allopathic physicians went something like this:
MD: "Here is drug - it will make the pain go away."
ME: "Yes, but what is CAUSING the pain?"
MD: "Here is a drug for depression - take it."
ME: "Yes, but I'm depressed because I ACHE ALL OVER... what is
CAUSING the pain?"
MD: "We don't know what's causing your pain. Let's call it
fibromyalgia... rheumatoid arthritis... sarcoidosis."
ME: "Could you please send me to a specialist for those diseases?"
MD: "No.. just take this pill."
I worked as a CNA in oncology and it seemed that I felt worse on the
evenings I worked the floor. When it got to the point I just didn't
want to get out of bed, I decided to take my health care into my own
hands. The prescription drugs all took a swim in the toilet and I
got online to research my symptoms.
I had a hair analysis done. I had heavy metal toxicity.
I got the metal fillings out of my mouth. My brain fog got better.
I went to a naturopathic doctor to see about natural means of
chelation. He wanted to do CHEMICAL chelation. (no kidding!)
Me: "So let me get this straight.. I have toxic chemicals hiding in
my cells and organs and you want to use another toxic chemical in an
IV ....so the toxins all let go at once and hit my liver and kidneys
like an atom bomb....Nooooooo, I don't think so..."
I got back online. How to detox more naturally?
I discovered information on eating RAW foods.
After reading and reading, I finally decided to try to go raw and to
use herbs as my medicine. I knew a lot about herbs from my studies
with Joe, my partner. We often use herbs and do a lot of
wildcrafting. We have also taught classes in wildcrafting -
I felt better eating raw foods, but it was difficult to stay 100%
raw while living with a partner who ate SAD.
Over the years, I went from 100% to 50% raw like a roller coaster.
I'd notice that when I went back to SAD, I'd immediately gain weight
and my aches and pains would return. I continued my job at the
hospital but was working less and less, due to pain.
In October of last year, I woke up in the middle of the night with a
violent contraction of my left thumb. I could not straighten it. It
hurt terribly. I got online and found that I had "trigger thumb"
which is basically when the tendons become inflamed to the point
they won't travel through their sheath.
The allopath's solution was "We'll give you some cortisone, then if
it doesn't work, we'll do surgery."
I refused the cortison and thought, "Ok.. I give up. No more
Back onto 100% raw I went and within about 3 weeks I could move the
thumb again. However, I am still fighting a chronic tendonitis in
I think many of my problems go back to childhood. I was reared on a
farm. My mother and grandmother both worked out of the home and my
grandfather was a farmer. He ended up babysitting me. This meant I
spent many days riding beside him on the tractor. I can recall
coming into the house with only our eyes showing after dusting a
field with DDT or some other ugly chemical. In those days, we had no
clue how longlasting the damage from these chemicals could be. I'm
sure that I have pesticides and herbicides lodged deeply in my
cells. I believe that the RAW diet will eventually cleanse them all
out and give me back my health.
I've made some difficult decisions in the past few months. For one
thing, I know that right now I cannot go back to a regular 8-5 job.
I need to be able to control my environment and to be around people
of like mind.
My adventure in teaching workshops has begun as a result of both my
strong belief in the value of this way of eating, and the need to
make a living that will allow me to work without being exposed to
more harmful chemicals, such as the chemotherapy I was being exposed
to in the hospital. (I quit that job in November, by the way, and am
struggling now to make ends meet.) I teach Raw Food Preparation
classes privately in people's homes, and I also am doing a workshop
this month at People's in Raw Food Preparation.
People who don't understand Multiple Chemical Sensitivities don't
realize that one whiff or a 3 minute exposure to their favorite
perfume can put me into bed with flu-like symptoms for up to a
week! My body begins with an attack on the perfume molecule... then
continues in a vicious attack on itself. The cycle is difficult to
break, which is what is happening with my wrists right now.
I try to teach people, "if you can smell it, you are ingesting it!"
or "if you're putting it on your skin, you're ingesting it! If you
wouldn't EAT it, don't slather it on your skin!" Sometimes the
lightbulb goes on... sometimes they just don't get it.
Health is such a personal thing. What works for one person may not
work for another. That is why I believe we MUST take our health into
our own hands and take it BACK from the drug and insurance companies
that are trying to rule the universe. Closing our ears to the
propaganda of "food pyramids" and "3 meals a day" and "take this
little pill" is the first step to being in control of our own bodies
and minds. Using our brains to see the logic in a RAW diet - then
trying it for ourselves... is the second.
Well.. that's enough rambling about my ills. Bottom line is that I
believe eating RAW is the way back to health, and is a road I plan
on continuting to travel. I look forward to meeting you and learning
from you all. And I thank Mike for leading me to this group!