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For many years I was the “vegan, do yoga, walk and smoke guy”.

But, it wasn’t really enough. I wasn’t healthy, I was just pseudo-healthy by others standards. The vegan lifestyle as I was doing it did not work for me.

That’s where my good friend Woody comes in. Woody Harrelson, yes the one you are thinking of, introduced me to raw foods in 1998 in San Francisco. He was eating raw and so were many of his fiends and co-workers. They took me to Juliano’s, the first really successful raw food restaurant in San Francisco.

Did I go raw then? Nope, it seemed like too much effort. Even though I was already vegan, I thought the raw people were hard core and way too crazy for me. But, each time I saw Woody over the next several years, we always ate raw food together and I loved it!

Then life threw me a big curveball as it often does to many of us. In 1999, I was in 2 car accidents which permanently caused injury to my neck. I was in rough shape. I couldn’t even open doors for myself or carry my own groceries and was very weak and frail.

Enter a big coincidence. Shortly after that time a raw food restaurant opened in my home town of Winnipeg, Canada. The food was amazing but it took too long and was too expensive. Despite these shortcomings, I went every day for lunch and did takeout for dinner. Coupled with smoothies in the am I was about 90% raw that year and was feeling great. But, again, when it wasn’t convenient to go raw I abandoned it. After less than a year, it closed and I went back to being an unhealthy vegan.

I vascillated between veggy and vegan for a while, depending on who I was dating at the time. I allowed myself to be influenced by those around me to my own health’s detriment.

Case in point. In September of 2004, my ex-wife and I went to Toronto and spent a weekend with Woody eating raw foods. We both got totally buzzed from the food and felt great.

That was it for me. The watershed moment so to speak. Buoyed by her interest in it as well as my own I became a raw vegan. While my marriage didn’t last, this time being a raw vegan stuck. It continues to stick almost 6.5 years later. Adding to the new healthy lifestyle, I gave up pot too and have not smoked in years. Now I was just the yoga, raw vegan guy who looked great, for a while. Another life lesson, my raw diet was too much fat and high glycemic and I got Candida again and a stressed liver. I was not in balance.

At Woody’s suggestion, enter Dr. Gabrielle Cousens. I did his phase 1 cleanse for 6 months and my energy and vitality flew through the roof. I started running, biking, and doing weights, in addition to my daily yoga.

Fast forward to today. I am healthy, balanced, and way happier. I even look younger. My skin, eyes, hair and nails are flourishing. I am eating more simply, lower in fat and little high sugar fruits coupled with more greens. All my medical numbers are perfect and in range. In short my health is rocking.

That’s the short version of the story so far. The journey continues…

Also see: Part 1, Part 2

Dear Reader: Tell me what is your single biggest obstacle or frustration with living a vegetarian, vegan or raw lifestyle ?

Jeff GolfmanJeff Golfman

On Right- Me in 1990 at 175 Pounds as a SAD Meat Eater ( Don’t laugh too hard )

On Left - Me in 2011 at 141 pounds as a low fat Raw Vegan

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