It's been one month since I attended the amazing Raw Food Institute's Immersion Program with my mom and two of my daughters in Simsbury, Connecticut. The experience exceeded my expectations! My head is still spinning with so much amazing information that it has been difficult to sit down and choose what to say about the experience. I want to make sure I do it justice! But I reminded myself tonight that I preach to myself daily, "progress not perfection" and just get something down! This may be my rough draft and if you revisit this entry there might be some changes but I did want to get something on "paper" now about the experience.
So you may wonder why a girl from Austin, Texas went all the way to Connecticut to attend a Raw Food Program when there are plenty of programs closer. Two words...Lisa Wilson. Lisa is the founder of The Raw Food Institute and from the moment I met her I knew she was special. She did not disappoint!
I had a "chance" meeting with Lisa two years previously when I was at another wellness conference with my mom. In 2014, it was my mom's 75th Birthday so as a present to her we attended the Longevity Now Conference in California. There were a couple thousand people at that event which is hosted by David Wolfe. During lunch breaks, as often happens at big conferences, the restaurant ran out of seating. Lisa was there with her adorable daughter, Harper and they asked if they could join my mom and me at our table. Thank God we were eating salads and not hamburgers when this amazing Raw Foodie sat down next to me! LOL! In hindsight, maybe she asked to sit with us because we had salads! Either way, I'm glad they sat down. We had a lovely conversation and I wrote down her website.
When I got home I checked it out and immersed myself with her content and gems. I "stalked" her Facebook and started interacting with her and after awhile I knew I wanted to visit her raw food program some day. My oldest daughter also started following Lisa's blog and videos. We put it on our bucket list.
Then on a whim during the Christmas Holidays I decided that I wanted to give myself and my mom another Christmas and January birthday gift "experience" vs. things. Since my oldest daughter also has a January birthday I decided we should include her too. Then we added my youngest daughter as well because why not have 4 people in a hotel room and save some money on the program. I also thought it would be good to have them along to help learn how to "not cook" our meals! They both love "cooking" and luckily for me they have a passion to learn everything they can about wellness and how we can continually improve our health.
The 7 days went by in a flash! The first few days of a cleanse are always "painful" but getting to the other side is amazing. I've done plenty of cleanses before but never something this extensive. Thank goodness we have been on a healthy living journey for a few years now or the discomfort would have been even greater. It's always worth it but sharing a hotel room with 4 people during a cleanse can be even more challenging. Did I mention there were enemas? Yep, we didn't know that part either. We laughed a lot and got over it. Like the cleanse, all the information Lisa gave us was not brand new to us but this was also a whole new level! She brings in amazing speakers and holistic healers who provided some treatments we were familiar with but some we were not. And of course the food!!!! Yes we ate raw food for 7 days and it was amazing! No I will not be going 100% raw yet. I do believe it is the healthiest way to eat (especially if you are in a healing crisis) but it is not sustainable for my family and me at this point in our journey. However, we will be cooking our foods at a much lower temperature and including more raw and less cooked. That is totally doable for us!
In addition to the awesome treatments that were available to us and the yummy, nutritious foods we also got to meet some amazing people that I'm happy to now call friends. From the other attendees to the volunteers who come back to help serve. The program is intimate in nature so by the end of the week we felt like we had known these people for months. I can't wait to go back and volunteer and have the rest of my family go through RFI! What an amazing community Lisa Wilson has created!