Climbing Back On the Wagon


Were you aware that the old adage “falling off the wagon” was a reference to a water wagon? The original version of this expression, ‘on the water wagon’ or ‘water cart,’ which isn’t heard anymore, best explains the phrase. During the late 19th century, water carts drawn by horses wet down dusty roads in the summer. At the height of the Prohibition crusade in the 1890s men who vowed to stop drinking would say that they were thirsty indeed but would rather climb aboard the water cart to get a drink than break their pledges. From this sentiment came the expression ‘I’m on the water cart,’ I’m trying to stop drinking, which is first recorded in, of all places, Alice Caldwell Rice’s Mrs. Wiggs of the Caggage Patch [1901], where the consumptive Mr. Dick says it to old Mrs. Wiggs. The more alliterative ‘wagon’ soon replaced cart in the expression and it was eventually shortened to ‘on the wagon.’ ‘Fall off the (water) wagon’ made its entry into the language almost immediately after its abstinent sister.

Ha, learn something new everyday. 

Those of my friends that have known me for any length of time know that I have been intrigued by the RAW food lifestyle for some time… actually some years. I laugh a little when I think of how long, and my mind quickly runs to that scene in Drew Barrymore’s film “ever after” when Prince Henry stops his own efforts to run away to help Leonardo rescue his painting from the gypsies. When the painting is safe and Henry quips that his plans to run away were abandoned, when Leonardo asks Henry why he stopped, why he didn’t keep running, Henry replies, I guess I lack conviction.

While I don’t think that lack of conviction has been 100% my issue with not embracing the RAW world, I suspected there is a lack of discipline as well, I can totally relate to Henry’s plight.

I can also relate to the more common meaning of falling off the wagon. Today’s use is more that when one falls back into addiction – it is known as “falling off the wagon” and lets face it… todays diet is addition ridden.

The one thing… and I do mean the one thing that keeps me from running back to my diet coke, is the horror I went through getting off that stuff, and white sugar and white flour products too.

There is nothing that serves me better, as a wake up call, then being sick. Sure, you would think that the weight would be enough for some, but for me, it truly was the last several months as I recovered from my thyroid surgery. And now that I am feeling better, I don’t want to be “down” with anything else, if I can help it.

I know that there are no guarantees in life, and even living the cleanest possible lifestyle doesn’t in and of itself guarantee you freedom from disease. Yet, there is a certain degree of satisfaction for me, knowing that I am doing all that I know to do to be well.

There are a TON of different lifestyle choices, and I think just the pure volume of the choices have kept me………muddled down. Not really having to choose one… I have certainly been a seeker of knowledge and not wise in this particular facet of my life… there is very little I do not know when it comes to diet/lifestyles, I have spent a small fortune seeking the perfect plan…. Which, by the way, if you are reading this and you “get” that…. listen to me.. stop buying diet books, donate that money to your local food bank or community garden -just pick a plan and run with it.. they will all work, if they are worked I am convinced.

I finally landed on RAW for this reason…. It made sense to me. I believe that we are all uniquely created, and perhaps what I need to do and what you feel led to do are worlds apart, and thats okay. I am not saying that I will never eat a grass-fed steak again… I will, and I certainly can’t see life without cheese cake…. And, I know me. If I were to try and life a life where there were things I “couldn’t” do, I would last a second…. at best.

My biggest challenge is that I have to be able to KNOW where I am going…. any time I am in unfamiliar territory – outside of literal road trips – and I have to spend to much time thinking – I can easily get sidetracked, so I am trying to plan ahead.

So here I go again, slinging my leg up over the railing and climbing back on the old wagon…. seems there is plenty of room up here if anyone cares to join me.

Some of my favorite RAW experts are:

Jordan Rubin

Paul Nison

Hallelujah Acres

Carol Alt

Natalie Rose

Sarma Melngailis

Joe Cross

To name a few!!!!

I am also so grateful to find Paul Nison’s website. Paul walks your through the Torah and Levitical Law. As a christian Paul doesn’t teach that we are under the law, but rather there are benefits to the law, and that discussion will keep my brain engaged… which is key.

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