I have big dreams. I believe that to make a positive change in this world, I need to be a leader. Self-growth is one of my favorite techniques to foster change. I know that if I can better my own health in every dimension, I can help others improve their health too.

For the past year I have been working on improving my nutrition, gaining more muscle and building strength, living a more minimalist and simple life, and practicing mindfulness as part of my every day routine. By striving to improve these parts of my life, I have in turn- established much more self-love for myself. In the past year I have recovered from an eating disorder, cut ties from unhealthy relationships, created my business Raw Alignment, and inspired hundreds of people to start making positive changes in their lives.

 
Alyse Brautigam
 

I attribute much of my self-growth to my dietary changes. Two years ago I had chronic stomach pains, depression, anxiety, persistent shin splints, and I even developed a bald spot in my hair due to lack of nutrients. I was not content with these problems so I decided to start making changes. I tried a few different diets and ways of eating such as The Paleo Diet and The 21 Day Sugar Detox, but unfortunately was not noticing any improvements in my health. After hitting “rock bottom” in March of 2014 I decided I was going to go vegan overnight. I did this primarily for health reasons, but since that initial diet change, I have learned more about the environmental and ethical benefits of abstaining from animals/animal products.

One month after eating vegan, I decided to go fully raw for enhanced benefits. My life began to change immediately. My sugar cravings went away, my brain fog dispersed, and I was able to think more clearly and rationalize, I began to reprioritize my entire life: by eliminating stress-inducing relationships, getting out of toxic environments, surrounding myself with individuals who are healthy, vibrant, and consistently moving forward. Deciding to eat a mostly raw vegan diet also helped significantly with my binge eating habit. Raw food allowed me to think more clearly and feel my emotions rather than suppress them with outrageous amounts of heavy-sitting food. Raw food has also led me to be more energetic and therefore more dedicated to fitness and spreading awareness of raw veganism to others.

I often get asked what I eat in an average day as a Raw Vegan… My breakfast is usually split up into two separate meals because I go to the gym for a vigorous weightlifting workout every morning. So I typically have a 16-32oz mason jar of watermelon juice as a pre-workout breakfast and a banana smoothie as a post-workout breakfast. This smoothie generally includes 4 frozen bananas, 1 scoop of Garden Of Life Raw Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder, 3 medjool dates, and some water. A few hours later I’ll snack on some fruit – I love filling a small papaya with some lime juice and fruits like kiwi, mango, or berries. My dinner always includes veggies! One of my favorite dishes for dinner is… 3-4 spiralized zucchini with a mango, avocado, lime juice, green onion sauce. Then I’ll mix in some mango chunks and pieces of broccoli. It is SO creamy and delicious! If I get hungry after dinner, I will usually just snack on some dates or small fruit like kiwis.

The biggest obstacle that I have experienced on a raw vegan diet is staying strong in my decision to eat raw when I am surrounded by people who are not very health-driven or supportive of my lifestyle. My best advice to someone dealing with this obstacle is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. If you can create a positive atmosphere, you will be more likely to experience rapid self-growth. Fill your life with compassionate, inspiring people and you will THRIVE!

I want to share with anyone who may be struggling with their health and happiness that there is a way out from their problems. Whether someone is having difficulty with food, body image, anxiety, depression, extreme stress, relationships, etc.… there is an answer. By practicing self-love, exercising daily, and feeding your body with the most pure, fresh fruits and vegetables, everyone can eliminate their personal issues. I want people to see that there is an answer and that they are entirely capable of recovering and living the life of their dreams – not by following the rules, but by following their hearts!

 
 

This article was submitted by Alyse Brautigam from Raw Alignment.

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