Cafe Gratitude Changed My Life
Isabelle is a regular customer. I first met her in Berkeley. She told me her story, and I asked if she'd be willing to write it up for us, with something like this in mind. I have been hoping for months that we'd get a page on our website for testimonies like this.
In June 2007 I stepped in Cafe Gratitude for dinner a bit reluctantly. I was going to a French concert with a friend of mine and she picked that restaurant. I was disappointed at not going to a French restaurant for some nice meat and sauce, plus the word "cafe" did not promise anything good to me.
With some guidance (because I was at a loss) I got a pizza. To my surprise it was good and refreshing. Then the dessert came and that was excellent, a lemon pie. Before I left I bought the book of recipes from the Cafe because I knew I was onto something hot with this type of food.
After that, I came back to it on several occasions, looking for that special taste, exploring many dishes and feeling happy everytime I stepped in that place because of the atmosphere. Then in December of the same year, I decided to eat completly raw for two weeks, which I thought was extreme -- a bit like walking on the moon. My intestinal transit started working like crazy. I did not know one could eliminate so much in one day. Things started changing rapidly: more energy, more clarity in my mind, more passion about life, and happiness every time I would eat at Cafe Gratitude, just beaming happiness.
I started to look at books and bought them one by one at the restaurant to get educated.
I integrated more and more raw food. I am now 100% raw and I am smiling at that time in December 2007 when I thought that diet was extreme. It feels home now, just the right home for me. I smiled also at that time where I took all my courage to try the wheat grass thinking it was going to taste awful. Now I make it often at home and love it. Of course, I did a lot of adjusting in that one year transition going back and forth between raw food and my usual food, especially when going to France with the cassoulet, the duck confit, the foie gras and the frog legs, that I needed to revisit in my palate. Let us not forget about the cheeses. What helped me finish my transition to a raw food diet was the education I got with the DVDs at Cafe Gratitude: Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen, The Future of Food, Earthlings and Eating. The last two ones had a major impact in my life, and in December 2008 I decided to never go back to animal flesh and that no animal should ever suffer on my account. This was such a big turn in my life that I had to go to church and pray for forgiveness for a life lived in ignorance imposing so much suffering to animals.
I am enjoying life to the fullest now. I use a lot of green smoothies and keep exploring receipes from different books. I have started a garden and I am working a lot at it preparing compost for a better soil. My son, 14, likes the raw food I prepare at home. I am genuinely excited about life now which is new to me because death was pretty much all I was wishing for a long time. My psychiatrist has seen a big change in me since I integrated raw food in my life and somehow I turned her on to it also.
So I really want to thank Cafe Gratitude from the bottom of my heart for opening my horizons on so many different levels, for taking me as I was with no agenda on me and helping me to grow one visit at a time at the restaurant. Matthew, Terces, if you ever read my testimony, I really want to say Thank you for that magical place you created that showed me a whole different world is possible. Bless you,