I'll give a quick summary of my path to RVAF, then elaborate later. Grew up on SAD foods. Parents divorced, and I was left alone a lot so I would prepare most of my own foods, which entailed, typically, pulling it out of the freezer and putting it in the microwave, bam! comfort food for lonely, sad little boy. Also my dad's visitation worked out to be after school and before he went to work. So to get food in to us while we maximized our time together and kept on budget he'd usually take me to fast food, McD's, Taco Bell, Arby's, Subway, that's where I lived between 3-5 pm weekdays. At home, he at least cooked me wild game as we were avid hunters, everything from rabbit, to turkey, to deer, partridge, etc.
I've always been rail thin, and got sick fairly often, colds, flus mostly. As I got up towards high school the food really began to take it's toll. I'd get acne infections that would last for weeks and be very red and angry, which I now realize was because I lived on sugar and carbs, though I loved meat and other proteins as well. I suffered through it in highschool, though of course I was trying to treat it with every conventional treatment under the sun, cleansers, pore cleaners, antibiotics, etc, to no avail. I gave up and assumed it would go away in a couple years like I was told it would. Never happened. So at the age of 19ish, I really began to hunt for an answer because this was harming my social life, such were the size, intensity and duration of these facial infections (though they also rarely appeared elsewhere in predictable places, but almost always above the shoulders. They were embarassing, unsightly and painful. Of course I had other health issues for sure, I'd get sick fairly often, still flus and colds, but they'd put me out for a while as well. Also bad allergies. And chronic fatigue, depression, aggression, you know, all the stuff that goes with a high carb diet and an unhealthy lifestyle.
I should mention I experimented (usually solo) with a lot of obscure and less obscure entheogens and pharmaceuticals at the time, including but not limited to: hydrocodone, cannabis, benzodiazepenes, DXM, P. cyanescens, cubensis, opium (smoked straight from the pod), datura, nutmeg (large quantities, uber fucked me up, healthwise), salvia d. and probably more, all before the age of 18. It's my opinion that some of these drugs did serious damage to my heart and other parts of my body. I swear my heart almost stopped one night on a combo of the DXM and hydrocodone I think. I just remember my heart slowing down to hardly anything while I was robo-tripping and I felt horrible, but there was no-one I would tell, I'm fortunate or not to not be dead.
Anyway, in college I had the spare time (since I wasn't really attending to my college duties, never should have been there in the first place) to research alternatives, since the conventional route wasn't cutting it. First I tried more natural topical treatments like essential oils and lemon juice facials, usually they just burned the top layer of skin off, though my skin probably appreciated the little bit of direct nourishment from the lemon juice. Then I shifted to my diet. First tried to go for whole foods, but was still addicted to sugar, so it was mostly carbs/starches/sugar, and some of the food was still processed, like bread, juices, etc. But I kept studying and the more I learned the more keen I got about purifying my diet. Eventually at least one arrest later and having finally dropped out of college and entering the workforce I had even more time to research the web and find a solution, but now I had lots of money too, or more than I'd personally ever had in my life. So with my new budget and time, I eventually found organic, whole foods. Then Aajonus, then the WAPF foundation, and the rest is history. This changed my life, and with green juices and raw animal foods I kept healing, though not without setbacks and misconceptions, until I healed to the point that I don't get sick unless I'm exposed to too much/many of my personal poisons, like sugar, carbs, alcohol or other toxins like this recent aflatoxin episode. Obviously having to obtain clean foods, and the difficulty therein (at the time, they're much more available now) led me to sustainable farming, which I had a keen eye for, and so here I am, raising pastured animals, working a side job to keep it going and teaching and learning as much as I can about all this business. Didn't know another RVAF soul for at least the first 2 years, so had very little outside influences (as you can see in the detox report below!) on my experimentation. I kept learning, but I didn't have anyone actually communicating directly to me, trying to influence or critique the way I was going about it. I think I prefer it that way, even if it might have been a lot smoother to have a forum like this. I've always been kind of a loner, though social as well, and because of my parent's vicious fighting and divorce I never trusted anyone after they split, including and especially them. I knew they loved me, but they were both lying to me, and about eachother, but that's what happens when you have a couple naive, ignorant, narrow-minded Baptist fundie's marry eachother when they have severe emotional issues (though I'm not sure there are any religious fundies without severe emotional issues! Sadly) So, here I am, and I really am really, reeeaally grateful for this forum, because we are indeed social creatures and to not have anyone to relate to over such critical things like food and health is terribly isolating, especially when your diet is considered 'extreme' by the ignorant mainstream and everyone around you is telling you that you're going to be 'sorry' and get parasites and die. Well fuck that, how you like me now! Lol, jk, really I love you all, even though we butt heads sometime, you're kinda like my family, and If I ever get filthy rich like I plan to (a lot easier to battle the powers that be when you've got massive funds) I'm going to fly anyone and everyone who's interested to a gathering somewhere in the tropics and we can have a giant feast, and plan for the future! Cheers!
Since I just ran across some photos of my most obnoxious detox, back in early '08 I thought I'd post it, in case someone can benefit from it or if someone has had the same experience. It was traveling rash that lasted 1-2 weeks. You'll have to see the link for the rest, though maybe I can upload the photos, as soon as they're uploaded to my wordpress page. Each day the rash would change configuration and it was like it was 'traveling' around my body, so bizarre. The only thing I tried to relieve the symptoms was cannabis, worked only for 1-2 hours then the itching would return. I just put up with it, grin and bear!
Here's the link to my infant, slack-blog! http://rafandawareness.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/detox-09/