Recently I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Bella Mahaya Carter’s memoir. Its publication date is set in May, so I was in no hurry to read this. But a couple of days ago I picked it to read a few pages before bed, and was so intrigued by it! Bella’s writing is personal and immensely readable, so I stayed up that night until I was done reading most of the book.

Bella had suffered from chronic stomach problems for several years, and instead of following her doctors’ orders and doing the procedures she was ordered to do, she made the bald decision to take matters into her hand and will her self into healing. After extensively researching benefits of eating raw, she adopted a 100% raw diet which improved most of her symptoms. However, she later realized relying solely on her diet was not going to completely heal her. So she embarked on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening which not only cured her but also enriched her life.

To me, Bella’s memoir is akin to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Just like Eat, Pray, Love, Raw is broken into three sections; Body, Mind, and Spirit. The last two sections are about Bella coming to terms with her self-worth and facing her anxiety. As much as I appreciated what she had gone through, out of the three sections I was most interested in Body. I was intrigued by the raw food diet concept and thought it means a lifetime of eating carrots and celery sticks, which is a misconception Bella too had held before starting her diet. But it is not so, and apparently, you can make anything from raw pizza to chocolate with the right ingredients and equipment. 😀 However, being on a 100% raw food diet has its own drawbacks (mostly socially), and Bella is very candid about the issues she faced. So as she figured out in the end balance is key.

It wasn’t only what you ate that mattered, but where you ate, how you ate, and with whom.

Raw is a memorable memoir. I don’t think if I were in Bella’s shoes I’d have had guts to do what she did – I’d have done everything the doctors asked me to do to the dot! But her story sheds light on how connected physical and mental health is, so that’s impressive. 🙂