Thursday, July 31, 2008

july 31/august 1: raw fu hits 1001!!!

that's just incredible. one little bunny made a video, and 1001 people watched it and were inspired and decided to do as she did. if that doesn't say something about the power of ONE PERSON to change the world, then nothing will. and when these 1001 people accomplish 100 days of raw food, even if they only moderately increase their consumption - things are going to change. you can't change 1001 people's consciousness that radically without it starting to shift. each in their own community, these 1001 people are going to go out in the world, spend their consumer currency on fresh produce and not junk, not garbage, and we are going to inspire our neighbors to do the same. something beyond big is going to happen as a result of this challenge, and i'm so glad and proud to say that i'm in the first group. i felt such a strong, powerful "must-do" urge the day before i found bunny's rawfu video, and now i know why. it was to be in this community and participating in this consciousness raising. and to not back down and to be a strong member of this community. to use my knowledge and my voice and to support the 35+ people who have chosen to "friend" me. and most importantly, to support myself and to do this for myself, the person i abandon and neglect the most. i feel so strong and clear and happy and joyous to be a part of raw fu. without even officially starting, i already know that this is one of the best decisions i've ever made.

thank you bunny beth berry. i owe you a debt of service - i'm going 100% raw for YOU.

july 31: challenge starts tomorrow!!

Raw Fu is buzzing! there's so much going on over there, people getting all excited and planning their adventure and getting their kitchens ready and going shopping and a few having last hurrahs and saying good-bye to old food loves - it's like we're heading off to college or something. it's really, incredibly, sweet and cute and charming and exciting and fun fun fun.

and me - tomorrow is just another day on the 811 wagon. i love it so much, and i've been on it now for a full week, 8 days actually, and i haven't fallen off yet. i'm very proud of that. tonight my gorgeous friend Ruth is coming over and we're having a proper 811 meal of watermelon followed by a beautiful salad. i made an amazing dressing - 1 heirloom tomato and 4 fresh leaves of basil, blended - and since i'll have company, and since it's the night before the challenge, i'm celebrating a little by sharing an avocado with her and a sprinkling of hemp seeds on the salad! a little overt fat, not much at all. i don't feel the "need" for it, it just sounds like a nice opportunity. i don't get many chances to share an avocado, and i can't eat them leftover. open and eat, that's all. i think i might make "fries" by rolling the avo slices in the hemp seeds! yummy. haven't had that in awhile.

july 31: woo-hoo!

i'm just so excited. first of all, it's been 19 days that i've been 100% RAW. of those 19, 7 of them have officially been 811. i've lost 6 pounds (remember me boo-hooing a few days ago? ha!), and i feel like i've already been transformed from the wanna-be "girl-i-always-wanted-to-be" into actually being the Girl I Always Wanted To Be. (lol, i just wrote "bed!") i feel fantastic. yesterday i had several people notice my weight loss, we always love that, and one of them wants to fix me up with her husband's brother!! i'm totally down with that as both her husband and his brother are rather famous and do things that are really impressive - turns out the brother is also a raw foodist! among other things.

and last night, i got to dance with my sun chips craving again! we danced, i almost gave in, but then i just thought, "why? what would be sodding point?" i made it safely home, ate my tomato and was totally happy.

and now i'm off to work! love my life!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

july 30: 2 more days until...

until the challenge starts and my life will look exactly the same as it does now! ha-ha!! i really love that. for me, the challenge is mostly to keep me in line and on track when i feel a pull to step off. can't imagine it right now, and i don't want to. this is too awesome just on its own.

the one thing - there's SO MUCH on the internet. so much. a very cool girl named Autumn has been commenting here (hi autumn! thanks!!), and i finally got around to checking out her blog, which has links to other blogs, which have links to other blogs, and so on and so on, down the deep dark rabbit hole to awesome raw community and never ever getting out into the sunshine and having my own life to write about! there are worse problems to have! so if you're reading this, please leave me a comment with a link to your blog and i'll check you out and say heyyy-yyy. and i'm new to the blogosphere, so any tips on subscribing or how do i know when you've updated and how can i follow you, etc, totally appreciated!

my peaches are now totally ripe and have about a minute left before they self-destruct, so i made a big awesome peach-celery-1nana smoothie this morning. the peaches had been leaving me feeling a bit like i had rubbed peach fuzz all over my lips, a little itchy, but these super-ripe peaches are not giving me that reaction at all. so there you go. fruit needs to be ripe, really ripe.

yesterday i ate mucho cherries. i love cherries, and i hogpig out on them in the summer. summer is expensive eating time for me, because i nosh out on cherries and heirloom tomatoes and melons and all kinds of stuff that i don't eat the rest of the year. but man! my body is not sure what to do with all this fruit! it's sitting back, rubbing it's chin, saying, "hmmmm. i know we have the equipment to handle this, but it's a bit rusty. well, we'll do what we can!" i feel AMAZING, but i also feel quite gurgly and more than a little gassy. i think this is going to take a while to sort itself out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

july 29: i LOVE RAW FU

just gonna put that out there. it's so awesome. that bunny berry is so funny and full of sparkle and life. she has created something so amazing by the sheer pull of her own radiant energy and there are like 1000 people signing up!!! we're over 800 and there are 2 more days to sign up? incredible. just incredible. and we're gonna have t-shirts and bumper stickers and there's a real sense of being a part of something. more than i've felt in a long time. so much of my raw food experience has been solitary, and now i have these friends. we don't know each other well yet, but we're getting started.

it's so amazing.

i love it.

i'm so glad i joined.

if you're reading this and you haven't joined raw fu and you think you want to eat more raw, join the challenge before august 1.

i've never laughed so much while eating a bowl of tomatoes.

july 29: what's the 811 hon?

you know, i think if mary j blige knew what 811 could do for her, she wouldn't mind that little paraphrase. she's a smart one.

i was thinking on my walk this morning - 100 days is nothing. 100 days is nothing more than the beginning of establishing a habit. 100 days to get that habit, another 100 days to completely eliminate the old habits, another 100 days to actually make the switch, you know? 100 days are just the beginning. i can't wait for 7 years from now. takes the body 7 years to completely recycle every cell, including brain and nerve cells. in that time, if you're consistent, you can really reeducate your body and give it something powerfully different. is it possible for me to stay 100% 811 for 7 years? i don't see why not. i don't see any reason, whatsoever, to do anything differently. and i don't feel any conflict. this protocol feels totally liberating.

and that's not to say i haven't seen profound changes already! i have, and it's amazing! and such tiny things, too. this morning, i was enjoying the skin on the back of my arms. i've had those rough bumps on the back of my arms for 15-20 years, i don't remember when they showed up. and today, totally smooth. yesterday, i got random compliments on my complexion, which i hadn't noticed looking any different. my teeth feel clean, and i'm looking forward to noticing what happens to them over the next few months. it seems like it would be too soon for this, but my nails seem better. my nails feel firmer and stronger and cleaner. everything feels cleaner.

i finally remembered to do my dry skin brushing this morning too!

this will be something like the 5th day without my tea. no tea, no agave, no lemonade. i'm just drinking plain water. this is so hugely radical. before, i was lugging around a full gallon's worth of liquids for the day. now, i just pack up a bunch of fruit. it's really cut back on the number of dishes i use, too! but i've never gone without SOMETHING to drink. coffee, or tea, or lemonade, something tasty, something sweetened. eating all this sweet fruit, i don't want the externally sweetened. it's very interesting.

Monday, July 28, 2008

july 28: part trois

my eyes are killing me. between my contacts which are too old and i need a new prescription, and yoga which gets sweat in my eyes, when i practice, my eyes just ooze and ooze and ooze and detox for hours. it's so annoying. and pretty.

so last night, big tooth pain, lots of bleeding gums? this morning, nothing. NADA. like it had never happened. a little sensitivity, but nothing major. i was even able to eat cherries on that side without even blinking, which i haven't been able to do for awhile.

power of 811?

today was the first time i've practiced since the 811 switch, and i'm pleased to report that it felt great. i felt strong and flexible, although my legs were tight from running. that will change. so today was totally active - i ran about 2 miles, i did my 90 minutes yoga practice, then i walked for about 45 minutes, taught 2 yoga classes! pretty good! i ate a lot too! i calculated my calories, and i estimated that they came in around 1957!! that seems crazy high, like it's gotta be too much, but i feel good, i don't feel like i've eaten too much. and it might actually be lower than that, because i might not finish this smoothie which went into the calculation. it might be more like 1600.

so i'm just more pleased with this than words can express. i feel so good and it's so easy. aside from a ravenous appetite for cherries (that's an expensive habit!), this is just no big deal. it's a no brainer. and i lost 3 pounds and my teeth don't hurt.

so here's what i ate today:

5-nana smoothie with 3 celery stalks
about 15 small (thumb-sized) figs
over a pound of cherries
smoothie with 6 small peaches, 2 nanas, and half a bunch of kale

yummy, easy, good

july 28: part deux

just got to work, ok, wait.

my mini-goal on my home page at raw fu is to be able to wear these really cute plaid shorts i bought last spring that have always been too tight - even at the store. so this morning, even though i knew they wouldn't fit, one pair would go really cute with the top i wanted to wear, so i figured i'd give it a try.

i'm wearing them!! woo-hoo!! big stuff.

so i just got to work, figured i'd get on the scale, because there's just no way these shorts fit at 120 pounds.

117!!! that's right, that's right, 3 pounds down, maybe i had some water to lose after all, that's right!!!

i'm major psyched. that's 5 pounds total, in 16 days.

july 28: feeling better

i woke up feeling good today! i actually slept for 9 hours, so that was really wonderful, and when i woke up, i bounced out of bed! and then i bounced into my running shoes and hit the street. didn't go very far or very fast - my right knee has some detox to do and my left calf muscle is pretty tight, but i wanted to move them and see if that helped, and it did! and it felt good to get up and run! right now, i want to run every other day and take long walks on the days between.

and since i earned my breakfast, i'm having a yummy nana-celery smoothie! this is major delish. highly highly recommend it.

i'm very tempted to do some mono-fruit-fasting. i'm tempted AND the array and supply and variety of fresh fruit right now just makes the idea of not eating these nummies just too sad! i think i'll have to wait on that until the weather turns colder. maybe october 14. that sounds good. october 14 i'll switch and do a 3-7-10 day banana cleanse.

(my birthday is jan 14, so it's very easy for me to set the year up in quarters. on july 14, i switched to 100% raw. on october 14, i'll do a banana cleanse. on jan 14, i'll turn 39 and on april 14, i'll pay my taxes! you know...)

and the other thing i'm going to do as part of my August 1 RawFu KickOff Celebration is buy a new pair of running shoes! i think that would be very appropriate.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

july 27: so here’s what’s up with my body now.

aren’t you glad you asked? yeah...

so here’s the deal. if i’m (finally!) understanding this correctly, the initial big weight loss that some people get some of the time is water weight. correct? so! if that big water weight loss doesn’t occur, then that means that either 1) i’m so dehydrated that my body won’t lose the water, not likely, OR 2) i have no water weight to lose!!!

i’m going with door #2, chuck. which means, if i have no water weight to lose, then that means that ALL of the excess weight that i have on my frame right now. IS. FAT. plain and simple. this is not a fun revelation. it makes me want to dive nose first into a bag of garden salsa sun chips. (why? why?) it means that my body composition as a result of my yo-yoing from raw to junk to raw to junk has caused my 38-year-old body to store these transitions as FAT.

and speaking of, that’s exactly what i’m eating right now. a big, fat tablespoon of tahini. my first overt fat in 4 days. i’m hoping that will help with the chip craving. maybe the body craves chips because it wants some fat. it didn’t taste as good as before. good. because i don’t want it. i really want to skip the overt fats.

but back to the whole body-composition thing. i’m going to get pinched on the 31st, so i can start the challenge knowing where i am. but it means that my BMI has changed and slid UP the scale, not down. i want my BMI to wind up around 13 after a year of this 811 jazz. right now, at this moment, a year suddenly seems so daunting. i’ll let you know on thursday what the sad truth is. please, don’t hold your breath in the anticipation.

in the meantime, on to talk about poop. had very little. things have started to move around a bit more, with a little bit more substance and a little bit less effort, but this morning i felt the awfulness of gas tension that i get in my thighs. yes. my left thigh gets gas pains. it’s horrible, actually. i’m feeling gassy and tight and uncomfortable and i really want a good, substantial and house-cleaning poo. that would be awesome and very satisfying.

the only thing keeping me from those chips: sarah’s goingbananas blog. #1, she didn’t fall off the wagon! #2, she got sick from sundried tomatoes, y’know? thank you sarah. if you could do it, i can do it!

so i ate that tahini, and now i’m blowing my nose. good evidence.

a couple more things. i haven’t felt like running – my energy has been really down and i haven’t felt like doing my yoga either, same thing. so i’ve been going on a lot of walks. i did 45 minutes this morning before breakfast, and 45 minutes just now, exactly 12 hours later. i’m really tired and i can feel my body doing “something” and wanting not exactly to lay low, but to take it just a little easy.

so on my walk i was thinking about what i was writing about earlier in the blog about reward and punishment, and this was reminding me about something i was journaling about, back in the day when i used to actually write with a pen and paper! and that thought then was about how we use food to celebrate, and how we use food when things are gloomy – often the same food, right? – and how that’s kind of this way of saying that “this day is better than other days,” or “this moment is worse than other moments.” using food in this way pulls us out of the present moment, which is the only moment we have, of course, by comparing this moment with that one. “in this moment, i feel unhappy, so that makes this moment worse than that one.” and when you do that, reparative action is required! and then we get celebration and compensation and doing all of these crazy things with food that make no sense and don’t make us happier.

so i was thinking, as an 811RV – what’s a celebration? a different kind of sweet fruit! that’s about it! i mean – wow. let’s celebrate with something that’s actually very very good for me. and what’s a pick-me-up – wow! some sweet fruit! that’s what i actually need to feel better!

i hope i don’t seem like i’m oversimplifying things, and i’m sure that “real life” will be more complicated than this, but this does seem so clear and simple. it makes me very happy. for the first time in a long time, i feel hope.

one very quick little post-script. my teeth have been sensitive - well, for years - and i have lousy gums. that's sexy. so tonight, i had a super-sensitive spot on one tooth, and then a lot of blood! big surprise, because my teeth have actually been feeling better today. but i didn't have as many greens! hmmmmmmm. i'd love dental feedback!

july 27: a craving hits

this hasn't really happened before, but right now i really want chips. not just any old chips. i want sun chips garden salsa chips. like, i really want them.

but i don't. not really. of course not. they would be so salty, and just pure addictive crack-junk. they were my last, newest discovery right before i climbed up on the raw fu wagon, something i didn't even know about before the end of june. and i haven't had them in over 2 weeks, obviously. none of my other addictions are speaking to me right now. just that one.

i'm eating barhi dates in an effort to squash this stupidity. barhi dates are just too good to be beleived. just about my fave date variety. they are sooooooooooooo sweet!

i don't think i had enough calories for "lunch." i had about a dozen figs for snack before i went to teach my noon class, and then 2 1/2 peaches and a huge cucumber after the noon class. and then the craving hit. luckily i packed some dates for emergencies like these. i think dates are a handy, high-calorie, easily transportable option, even if they aren't totally the freshest things ever. i want to order some so i can have lots on hand.

this friday, august 1, starts the challenge! the official start! i've been thinking about this. i've had lots of "last hurrahs" before starting a diet or a raw-switch, but i've never really planned a REALLY AWESOME first day. a friend of mine gave me a gift certificate to a really posh spa out in the hill country, and i think i will use it for a half-day spa retreat, massage and hot tub and who knows what else, and then i'm going to go to the asian market and get a durian and cross my fingers that they have jackfruit too! the durian won't be ready right away, but still, just to have it will be a treat. and maybe, just maybe, i'll go to the mall. just for fun.

july 27: an observation

i'm still feeling kinda yucky. i'm actually rather emotionally down and sad and tired and short tempered. and i think i know why. i'm not that far off from my prior, 100% raw plan, which was miles from my junk-vegan plan, but what i didn't do yesterday (aside from not having done any yoga for several days now - going to work on my days off turns them rapidly into a day-on which frustrates me), is i did not have my tea yesterday. and not having my tea yesterday means i didn't have either my yerba mate or my agave nectar. i haven't gone without either of those 2 things in over 3 months, probably more like 8 or 9 months. so interesting. i didn't actually intend not to have them, but i didn't, which meant that i didn't want to have them again today. i don't feel quite headachy, but almost. i feel hot and tired and frustrated.

very interesting.

and i'm also kinda frustrated, because i haven't lost any weight since that initial 2lb loss in the first week. i know i know, weight loss happens on its own schedule, but you know... a pound or 2 to say "yippee 811!!!" would be pretty awesome and refreshing. i know it will come. it's only my 4th day, i'm barely at baby steps.

one thing i'm noticing on the raw fu discussion posts is this total clarity about 811, and a real reluctance to answer those posts with 811 answers. i'm too new at it, and a week or 2 ago i would have been answering with "eat nuts! eat avocados!" and now i'm like "eat bananas!" i've been accused (by my brother) as being a self-proslytizer (sp?) and so i'm now really careful not to tell anybody anything they aren't ready to hear. i'm sure i go too far every once in awhile, but i'm very sensitive to it and mortified whenever it happens. it's like that nice nice guy mistaking my enthusiasm and flirtatiousness as "aggressiveness." leaves me mortified and feeling totally stuck.

so i'm trying to be quiet and nice and good. at least for now. at least until i've got 40 days under my belt, maybe a pound or 2 lost by then.

july 26: 3rd day and it felt like it!

what gives? it’s only my 3rd day 811, not like it’s my 3rd day Raw (that was 9 days ago!), and i’ve been pretty low-fat up to this 811 point anyway, but today FEELS like a 3rd day. that infamous 3rd day where your bloodstream finally gets thick and mucky with toxins before it dilutes and passes out of your system. that’s what today feels like.

i’m tired. i’m really tired. of course, i did get some potentially bad news that i don’t want to give any energy to, and that really took the wind out of my sails. put me on a really low ebb.

and i’m tired of not having a social life, and i’m really tired of not wanting one.


so the question du jour: is it possible to eat too much fruit? i’ve eaten so much today, and i’m still eating! am i eating emotionally (who, me??)?? here’s what i’ve had today:

5 nana smoothie w/kale
10-ish fresh figs
4 fresh peaches
a big bite of very bitter lettuce
3 peach & 2 celery smoothie
another 6 figs
a big handful of cherries

take that, food pyramid guidelines for 5 servings of fruit and veg a day! ha! that’s like 35 servings! i’ve eaten a week’s worth of fruit, according to the USDA, in one saturday. it’s 8:00, i should probably not have some tomatoes, right?

and sarah is SO RIGHT about bananas! they are my staple food, like bread or starch or other silly things that humans decided could replace bananas. i bought 2 bunches at whole foods this afternoon. i’ve never bought 2 bunches of nanas at the same time.

it’s such an interesting experience. i AM hungry. and so i eat more fruit. i don’t feel deprived. but i do get to feel hungry, and then i get to feel full. i was talking with a friend this afternoon about the agony we go through with SAD food choices, because on the one hand you want everything beautiful and virtuous and to look and feel good, and you know that the SAD food isn’t going to give it to you, but you eat it anyway because it tastes good and it’s available and it’s relatively cheap. every bite is a battle. been there, done that, wrote the blog. hated it. but there’s no battleground here around food anymore, and that is very INTERESTING to get used to.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

july 26: OMG!!!

so i just went to the farmer’s market. woo-hoo! after getting over my initial bummedness that all the watermelons were sold (gotta get up pretty early to get watermelons in this town...), i found FIGS!!!! OMG OMG OMG. figs figs divine sexy figs! i ate i don’t know how many – i had to control myself at the little tasting plate. “strawberry figs!” little brown turkey figs! big fat purple figs! FIG HEAVEN! alas, i had just spent my wad on PEACHES! OMG PEACHES!!! but next week – it’s fig time, baby! i’m gonna eat figs until my whole body tingles.

so right now i’m eating a DIVINE summer lunch of 4 peaches. it’s so just heaven. i had to share.

july 16: today i earned my breakfast!

and what a great and glorious breakfast it is! i had lots of green smoothie left over from last night, so i added 3 more nanas to it, making it a 5-nana concoction, which is now the lovely green of split pea soup, only brighter and fresher! it's deeeeeee-lish!

and here's what i did to earn it! i went for a morning run down to the lake - i ran all the way there to my turnaround point, and then walked back up. this is almost twice as much as i did the other day! so tomorrow, the challenge is to run THROUGH the turnaround point and all the way back up to the drain bridge. i don't know how far these distances are, or how long it's taking me. i'm just kind of going by how i feel. this morning it felt great to go to the turnaround, and i didn't want to do more. what i am going to do is push myself to go a little harder, a little further, a little faster, each day.

last night, in addition to everything else i'm working on, i made my commitment to myself to run my marathon. i've decided to sign up for San Diego again. i ran SD in 2001. i was 31 years old, heavier than i am now (my race weight then was my OMG i'm fat weight that got me kick-started on this challenge!), eating an omni-high protein diet, and drinking like a freakin' fish. i had a bad flu at the beginning of my training season, only trained for about 3 months, and developed runner's knees and patella tendonitis in my right knee. on race day, i had flown all the way across the country by myself, got myself to the race by myself, ran by myself. at mile 13, my period started! i couldn't beleive it! in those days, i was (obviously) having very heavy and uncomfortable cycles, with a lot of IBD on day 1. so i was in and out of the port-o-johns for the next 13 miles with diarrhea and changing out toilet paper pads. to make matters even worse, the sun came out around mile 7 - the SD marathon is supposed to be under cloudy cool skies, but the sun came out and it was a perfect SoCal day, blue skies, 80 degrees, not a cloud to be found. ack! but i finished, damn it. i finished that marathon with every scrap of will that i had, in 5:27:29. and i was proud of myself.

i haven't run much since then. i discovered yoga and running seemed unnecessary, although i've tried to get back into it. but with 811, and living in AUSTIN, perfect running town, and challenging myself on so many levels, this seems like the perfect thing to do. so i'm signing up for SD for next summer. that gives me 11 months to train, 11 months 811. i'm excited to see what's going to happen. my goal is to finish right around the 4 hr mark.

i know i can do it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

july 25: it just gets better!

i'm so inspired by sarah's goingbananas blog. it's just exactly what i need. sigh. thank you sarah!

so tomorrow, my goal is to get up early and go for a run and do my exercise in order to "earn" my nana smoothie, and then i'm going with wayne to the farmer's market! in a word - WATERMELON!

here's what i ate today:
3-nana smoothie
(my tea with agave)
a smaller nana smoothie, prob only one nana
a large green salad with sprouts, carrots, cukes, tomatoes and a squeeze of lime juice
2 handfuls of cherries
10 oz green smoothie

and i went for a long walk, but not a fast one!

tomorrow it's pedal to the metal! i love eating this way. take that, nay-sayers! (not that i've met any yet!)

july 25: the times they are a changin'

i had lunch today with my awesome friend elizabeth at mother's, my favorite restaurant in austin. sigh. i've already extolled the deliciousness of their cashew tamari dressing, so i won't go into that now. what i will say!

i had a banana smoothie!!! yessirreebob! i ordered a banana smoothie, which was already on the menu! i ordered it with water, instead of the pasteurized apple juice they make it with, and the waitress looked at me like i had sprouted 10 extra heads at that moment. but i had, and enjoyed, my lovely little banana smoothie while my friend had her salad, and then i had a big ol' huge ol' garden patch salad with a lovely little squirt of lime. it was delicious, actually.

elizabeth is a semi-low-carb omnivore, and she did caution me against going so low on protein and fat, saying, "protein and fat are the 2 most important macro-nutrients." i disagree completely, of course. i know where she's coming from - carbohydrate can be made out of protein and fat, but not vice versa, so in a way it makes sense. but to me, that's like... you need bricks to build houses, so it's more important to have other houses to tear apart to get bricks from than it is to have plenty of bricks ready and waiting for you.

or something. how i love a good mixed-up metaphor!

but i am still ravenous today. i just made a green smoothie, bringing my nana total for the day up to like 8. crazy. i feel like the narrator character in "hotel new hampshire," when the grandpa is training him to be a wrestler and making him eat bananas all the time, promising that if he eats enough and trains hard enough, all that baby fat will drop off and he'll be "hard all over!" my brain. i can't keep up. so i'm eating bananas and loving them, and maybe my non-baby fat will fall off and i'll be sorta-firm all over.

so here's another big thing that has happened, and i can thank the raw fu community and the support i've gotten there, as well as doing this blog and challenge - i've decided to get back into nutritional coaching. i've already got 2, maybe 3 clients, and we want to make it part of our business expansion, so i'm going to do it. elizabeth told me that in texas, anybody can call themselves a "nutritionist," but i feel that would be dishonest, so i'm going to call myself a "nutritional coach." i'm excited. i've done this before, but i think i've got better credentials and a better perspective now. i've got a LOT of work to do!!!

july 24: 80/10/10 KICKS ASS!

ravenous. but in a totally good way! not ravenous in that “i’d eat a house right now!” kind of panicked feeling. more like ravenous in that “wow –those tomatoes were AWESOME. wish i had more. ooh! wow! cherries!! rock on! oooh – bananas again! yippee!”

it’s the cleanest, clearest, wildest feeling of hunger and satisfaction i can ever remember having. here’s what i ate today:

3-nana smoothie
1 pint green smoothie (peach, kale, nana, cilantro)
bunch o’ cherries (2 handfuls?)
4 celery stalks
2 peaches
10-ish barhi dates
2 heirloom tomatoes
and i’m now noshing on what looks like 3 handfuls of cherries

i did also have my yerba mate with agave, and some limonada, but not that much! i didn’t feel thirsty all day, either. interesting.

like, this is so much fun, right here and now on this first day of getting to eat as much fruit as i want, that i’m literally high. not sugar high, i feel very stable. i just feel totally happy, like as if in this particular chemistry, i could never ever be unhappy again.

i checked out this awesome blog called goingbananas – i’ll get the link when i’m back online. this gorgeous girl from malaysia, writing about durian. (the only things i miss about singapore: durian, jackfruit (i love jackfruit!), and fresh sugar cane juice with lemon.) and her before and after pix were pure inspiration. she was puffy and pale and looked uncomfortable and not confident before, and her after pictures are just sexy and glowing and buff and remarkable. i hope and pray that my own pictures will inspire me and others to find this path. i’m only on the first day, first step, and i KNOW. this is it!!! no question.

i don’t have that feeling of “can i do this? will it be hard?” i feel like it’s DONE. it’s in the bag. i’m an 811 girl now. and it feels easier! it feels socially easier to explain, because now i don’t need fancy recipes to fill me up, and i don’t need to go to a certain kind of restaurant or have a certain kind of food at that restaurant and make everyone nervous and wondering what to prepare for me. gourmet raw always felt complicated. needing nuts and fats to make the meal, what kind of dressing on the salad, blah blah blah. this just feels like, “may i have a fruit salad please?” going to smoothie bars, even stupid ones – super easy! “may i have a banana smoothie please? no, no yogurt or almond butter or orange juice, just bananas and water. thank you!” how hard is that? even at the airport you can find fresh fruit! maybe not the greatest, but there it is, not having to carry food or plan things out. we’re far, far removed from a healthy culture, but at least we still know that fruit is good. this feels light years beyond my other raw experience. it feels like this is actually going to take me all the way.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

july 24: 80/10/10 begins

this morning i did something i have never done in my life, much less in my life as a raw foodist. i put 3 bananas in the vitamix with some water. made plain banana milk. it’s delicious.

i’ve never liked bananas. i really don’t like bananas in any sort of fruit smoothie, because all i can ever taste is the banana. i only like bananas in my green smoothies. but i love this plain banana froth! why is that? maybe because all this time, my body was trying to tell me to skip the other stuff and just have the bananas?

i’ve pretty much always had bananas with nuts. so just sitting here and drinking 3 bananas is like – whoa! it’s kinda cool. and it never ever occurred to me!

we raw foodies like to mix things up. making a single ingredient smoothie is wacky too!

this is such a new step for me. i didn’t think it would feel this significant.

july 23: i am detoxing.

or something. my digestion is backed. way. up. how can i be constipated on all this? but i am! plus super-gassy. i was just on the pot for dunno how long, and just blowing my nose and blowing my nose a million times with all the mucus flowing. feel like crap. literally.

but i got the 80/10/10 book tonight and i’m so excited! i had to read all the testimonials first, and now i’m starting on the book itself to see how to do this. i’m ready for it. i feel that ZING of truth.

i have, however, been letting myself salt-binge, and i think that’s actually the primary digestive villain. i found this gorgeous black salt at whole foods, from the nile, and it looks like little pyramids. it’s gorgeous. and tasty. but i think it’s backing me up.

and i wiped out while reading. i had been eating some cherries, and reading, and just passed out flat like i used to do when reading with a beer! out. then woke up and went to the toilet.

so tonight, not so much. we’ll see how tomorrow goes.

july 24: i was toxing!

damn it was the salt. i threw it away. no more of that. my eyes are puffy, my belly is puffy. no more. salt doesn't work for me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

july 22: false body ruminations

been thinking about this a lot today. chatting with sarabethxvx (found out that "xvx" is "straight edge vegan." at least, it is in portland. she joked about changing it to "xrvx" for the raw of us, and i like bexxrvx - i think that looks kinda sexy!)

anyway - false body. a huge amount of my blog time is going to go to this, over the weeks. here's the theory:

consuming cooked, dead, denatured, artificial foods creates a cooked, dead, denatured, artificial body. the more artificial our foods, the more artificial our bodies. to the point where IT DOESN'T MATTER what these bodies look like. they can look "perfect" to whatever cultural standard we want a body to look like. they can look supermodel/movie star perfect, a body that could earn millions of dollars just to have its picture taken. but if that body was created by artificial, cooked, dead means, by pharmeceuticals and steroids, by starvation, by binge-purge methods, by fake chemical concoctions, whatever - the person living in that perfect body has a false body to deal with. the perfect body can be as absolutely FALSE and fake and hideous as can an obese and diseased body.

size doesn't matter when you're dealing with the false body. i can be my size or smaller, and if i'm not living in my authentic body, i'm going to HATE the one i've got. PERIOD. full stop.

so please don't think, "oh, if only i looked like you!" or "hell, if i had your body, i'd take it out on the town!" my small false body is as suffocating as someone else's large one, with only the exception that it is more socially acceptable.

and here's a catch. small chicks are supposed to hate their bodies. we're not supposed to love our shape. we're supposed to be in constant fine-tuning mode, usually by artificial means. this is a false body game. the false body is impossible to love.

so what i'm doing with raw food - i'm destroying my false body. and the false ego that's attached to it. i'm deflating it, getting rid of it, passing it along. i have no idea what my authentic, true, alive body looks like! i want to find out.

in the meantime, i'm looking at this false body, this artificial vehicle. i'm looking at it and examining it and i'm not hiding from it. and i'm letting you and everyone else see it. because the emporer has no clothes - we're all totally naked to each other. i can see your false body, and i can see you who dwell in it. you're gorgeous, even if your false body isn't.

july 22: could this be detox?

Odd-servations. This morning I made like the WORST smoothie ever. Or at least, yet. It was kinda gnarly. I was going for a savory angle, I had tomatoes and cilantro and wanted it to be like a v-8, but I didn’t have any cayenne or any anything, so it just turned out kinda... uninteresting and hard to swallow. i perservered. i had most of it. but it was not my favorite.

so this evening, i was in my yoga practice, and in my first breathing, dropping my head back, i felt this ENORMOUS tension across my neck and shoulders, total trapezius seizure. and my back hurt and i was tense and sore and tired and i had a lousy class. i could barely move my head!

so, the back of the neck is a storage area for mercury toxicity. cilantro is one of the most potent mercury chelators known to science. did me taking cilantro in my smoothie cause a mercury detox? that would be both totally bizarre and very very cool.

i tend to trust my gut. if i get a hunch that something is something, i tend to agree with it and not overthink it too much.

july 22: finding stasis

i'm finding a lot of comfort and stability within myself with this whole decision to stay in the "not looking" zone while i embark on my 100 day raw food challenge. i feel like that gives me the freedom to just be myself. if my lifestyle makes me less attractive to the mainstream, then is that my loss? i don't think so. doesn't mean i don't want to be seen for who i am! but i really want to get this burden (of looking) off my plate.

my biggest struggle is the false beleif that i have that being single makes me "less than" people who have someone, that it makes me less attractive and somehow less human, less a part of the human family.

going raw strips you down. it takes away most of your hiding places. right now, the only place i have to hide is in the truth. hiding in plain sight. a fellow rawfu'er, sarabethxvx, applauded my "courage" to post my before pictures. i replied back that it doesn't feel like courage. this whole journey - the community, the blog, the pictures, the daily food choices, my yoga practice, the whole bit, feel like one thing and one thing only: CHOICELESSNESS.

there is absolutely no CHOICE in it anymore. yes, i mean, i could choose to run and hide, i could choose to do otherwise, but that would be self-destruction. it would be battling myself. and it would create a false and horrible life. so, here i am, world! bare and Raw and open. use me as you will. use me as you need to. that's why i'm here.

and this total exposure feels stable.

Monday, July 21, 2008

july 21: thanks everybody

The response to my cry for help was really really wonderful. Thank you so much. This is the hardest part. It’s not hard to eat raw. That’s easy. It feels good. What’s hard is that most men don’t get it, and that it takes me out of the social scene. My girlfriends get who I am in a heartbeat, but men just don’t. I don’t know why. I can’t figure it out. my friend the GR8 Wendini said this evening, “the only thing wrong with you is that you think there’s something wrong with you.”

So I’ve added another challenge to my 100 Days Raw. I’m extending my “not looking” phase. I’m going to go another 100 days NOT LOOKING. If I’m serious that eating raw food is more important to me than finding my life partner, then, well, I’ve got to walk my talk. Eating raw food is not more important than HAVING my life partner, but it is more important than LOOKING for him. Does that make sense? Since I don’t have him, then I am my own life partner, and wanting something I don’t have is just a recipe for suffering. I only know of 3 things in this world that can truly alleviate my suffering, things that I can do on my own that don’t “require” others, and those are:

Loving What Is (aka doing The Work of Byron Katie)
Doing Yoga
Eating Raw Food

Doing The Work keeps my thinking healthy. Doing yoga keeps my body fit. Eating Raw Food takes care of everything else. Maybe if I can apply myself to those 3 pursuits, then I won’t need to look. Maybe I’ll become a radiant attractor, and the love will come to me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

july 21: date-ability

over the past 5 1/2 years of experimenting with raw foods, i would guess that 90% of my slips have been prompted by my aching desire to be in a relationship, and so and therefore, to be "date-able." the bloody irony. the only way i feel hot and sexy and beautiful and comfortable and happy in my body is to adopt a lifestyle that ?alienates? me from the entire male population of the united states, statistically speaking. so my dear friend wayne - don't even think of it, wayne's my bro - encouraged me to join in on a free dating site. i was in a good mood, so i figured i'd try it. and it was kinda fun, until i ran across the last guy i went on 3 dates with, someone i REALLY liked and thought had serious potential with, the ONLY guy i've met in 5 1/2 years who wasn't already raw himself who saw my lifestyle as "bad-ass" and interesting, and didn't seem to think that it meant he had to do anything i was doing. and there he is, digging for dates just like me, because... i don't know why, exactly. he never said, just said he was too busy. but i'm thinking it's this huge lifestyle stone around my neck.

i feel so damned if i do, so damned if i don't. i've met raw guys - they tended to either be "raw-er than thou" or "it's all good, it's all love, don't be heavy baby..." or "wow, you're so great, let me tell you about the woman i'm in love with..." or just, well, crazy. and non-raw guys just roll their eyes, pretty much. i can't date my yoga students. and i can't be non-raw, because i'm doing this for myself. i've been single a LONG time. i'm tired of it.

i don't know what to do. i don't know why i haven't met the right guy. i'm tired of trying to figure it out, and i'm tired of being rejected.

i LOVE my raw lifestyle. nothing makes me feel better. i'm just so starved for love and affection - online community is great, but it can't kiss you goodnight or hold your hand.

i'm not going to fall of the wagon this time. i'm holding on.

july 20: a consistent pattern

i've been doing a lot more blog snooping and getting to know a bit more about my fellow Raw Fu'er's, and here's what i'm seeing that i've seen in myself SO MANY TIMES!!! ugh! it's incredible how often this comes up, but now its so glorious to be able to see the pattern and know that it's not just me!!!

here's the pattern: Raw Food Works! it kicks butt, actually, makes you feel like a million bucks, makes you look like the most gorgeous creature on the planet, just glowing and radiant and otherworldly. i've seen all these amazing photographs of weight loss and toning up and glowing and looking incredible.

and then... one bite. ONE BITE!!! and never, ever because someone feels like they "need" it. never from hunger or not feeling great, but from a different place - complacency, temptation, self-sabotage, whatever. ONE BITE. one bite of cooked food, maybe for a special occasion or maybe for convenience, and then:

BOOM! WHOOSH!! POOF!!! a binge is born! and the binge continues, and the pounds and the guilt and the self-flagellation build up. how many times have i seen "lean healthy and glowing" followed by "2 months and 20 pounds later..." in pictures? it's astonishing.

the problem in that rapid weight gain is not the fault of the raw food. the metabolism hasn't slowed down, the body has just gotten to a point where it no longer has tolerance for the crap you're putting in it. if you clean your house until it sparkles and shines, and then neglect it for 2 months, is the dust the fault of the cleaning products? were they not strong enough? of course not.

for me, reading these has been a joyous revelation. its not just me!!! we all go through the same agony, because COOKED FOOD IS POISON. flat out. i may have mocked david wolfe for being so hard core, but i'm seeing it. it's so clear to me. cooked food is poison, and to eat it is to poison yourself, on purpose. i can see now that eating cooked food is as much a deathwish as is smoking or drinking. it will kill you, perhaps just as quickly, maybe even faster, and it is a hard and painful way to go. that could never have been the Creator's intention.

july 20: 3am

i stayed up till 3am last night! wacky! and now its sunday morning, and i'm struggling to get going. i'm not tired, i bounced out of bed at 8.15, i'm just sucked in to the computer.

so i'm going to make this brief, because a long and productive day waits ahead of me!

i'm really really intrigued by the whole 80/10/10 concept. i'm just going to finish up these avocados... seriously! i paid for 'em, i'm a gonna eat 'em. and i ordered Dr. Doug Graham's book. and i will be reporting back on that.

in the meantime - my furniture is done, and a super-duper mess awaits! gotta get cracking.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

july 19: ups and downs

so i won't lie to you, i'm tired. today was a draining, exhausting day. finally made my trip to IKEA, got home, realized the boxes were broken, had to turn around and go all the way back. i was supposed to go out last night, i was supposed to go out tonight, and now i just feel like this boring, old lame-ass loser with no life staying at home on a saturday night again. and it sucks.

and it almost drove me to eat. after writing about the cashew tamari dressing, we actually went to mothers and i got not to eat it! yippee! i had a guacamole salad instead. and then came home and had another avocado with 2 luscious heirloom tomatoes chopped up. and then read about this 80/10/10 concept, which is really super-low-fat. i'm intrigued. i ordered the book.

but hey, i lost 2 pounds! yippee for me!

i'm really tired and have furniture to build. hope you're all having a rockin' saturday night.

July 19: awesome smoothie goodness!

This morning’s smoothie:
1 banana
½ clamshell fresh, organic raspberries
about 10 fresh, organic strawberries
1 plump kiwi
3 huge leaves of rainbow chard
2” piece of aloe
just enough water

it’s my first CHARD smoothie. I’ve been a hard-core, I LOVE KALE kinda girl all along. And I do, I love love love kale, especially dinosaur kale. But hmmmmm…yummmmm! Chard is especially mild and smooth! It’s soft in flavor and texture, meaning it has disappeared utterly into my smoothie and just left me with banana-berry-kiwi flavorificness.

And kiwi loves berries. If you’re making a berry smoothie, especially rasp-or-straw, putting a kiwi in just kind of pumps up the flavor and sends it into that realm of “wow! Great berries!” and you don’t really notice the kiwi itself. And it’s got all that vitamin C and all those tiny little seeds. Kiwi rocks and you don’t have to peel it! It’s like a peach, only browner and burlier. More down-under, all tough guy on the outside.

july 19: 100% is THE MAGIC!

Watching the blogs and websites yesterday and all the pictures that people had posted, what became totally obvious to me is that the magic, The Magic, happens at 100%. Not 95% or 80% - nothing wrong with being “high raw” it’s an excellent start and a vast improvement over being “low raw.” But the MAGIC happens at 100%. At 100%, people get lean and sparkly. Not necessarily too thin, just lean. They drop the poisonous pounds.

From February 29 through April 29 of this year, I was 100% High Raw. I was 100% raw with the exception of some salad dressings, specifically the Cashew Tamari dressing at Mother’s cafĂ©. And I ate a lot of that dressing! I lost some weight, but it was slow, slow going. I wondered at the time if it was the dressing that was getting in my way, but I kept on eating it.

So this time, wow, for the past week (one week down, 51 to go)! I have been eating 100% 100% RAW. Nothing cooked, nothing processed, no exceptions. I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror, and my “food baby” belly was looking a little smaller! That was a first! So I grabbed my trusty tape measure and went to work, and here’s what I got:

July 14 july 19
Waist: 28” 26”
Abdomen: 33” 31”
Thigh: 22” 21 ¾”

This is HUGE! Like, OMG! This did not happen at 95%, or at whatever percentage 100% minus (4oz of very rich and cooked cashew-canola oil-tamari-sugar dressing each day) would equal. Nothing happened. I complained to my coworkers about being raw and not losing an ounce. It took a good 3 weeks, I think, to drop down a pound or 2 and stay down. It was very frustrating. I felt great, but it was slow.

The other difference between now and then: then I was doing a lot of nut milks and cacao and maca and other superfood powders. I was getting a rich and creamy delicious Raw Chocolate Milk from the Daily Juice EVERY DAY! It was all-raw, but it wasn’t all-fresh.

I honestly believe that its true, on the raw food diet, calories don’t matter. Especially when people are starting out – the switch to raw and high-raw is all that matters. What’s happened to me, over time, is that 1) I’ve been such a yo yo, going on and off, that I have messed with my system. I won’t say my metabolism, because if that had ground down to a halt, I’d be a lot heavier than I am. I will say that my body has become very efficient and doesn’t need a whole lot, but it’s also quite confused – it knows how to handle the good stuff, and the bad stuff it just shoves in a corner. The outer corners of my lower back. 2) I don’t need nuts anymore! When I first went raw, I ate so many nuts, it was remarkable. And nut milks and nut butters and just all-nuts, all the time. I couldn’t imagine a meal without nuts or seeds or oils of some sort, because how can you get through the day without those calories? But now, I just don’t need them or want them, and when I have them, in excess, on a daily basis, it slows everything down. And not just weight loss.

So yippee skippee! One week and my belly has deflated by 2”! I’m convinced. 100% is the magic.

Seeing this helps me dare to put up some “goals.” Because of the slow process last time, I had started to believe that raw foods weren’t “working” for me anymore, that they would make me feel good, but not necessarily look good, that looking good was beyond my realm of possibility, that I had messed it all up. It’s such a relief to feel this incredible forgiveness from my body! I mean, I was sooooo frustrated! I felt like all I did was exercise and eat very well, and that I ended up looking like I really needed to exercise and eat better. Its 100% raw, folks. If you don’t have that athlete’s build, or weren’t an athlete as a kid, if you don’t have that lean muscle composition already, the only way to get close is to go 100%.

Ahhh. So my goals:
Weight: 105
Waist: 24
Abdomen: 28
Hip: 35”
Thigh: 19 ¾”
7 minute mile
25 boy push ups
4 hour marathon
top 3 texas women Bishnu Charan Ghosh Yoga Competition 2009 (2008 I just want to participate)

Friday, July 18, 2008

july 18: what a day, what a day

not at all what i expected it to be. today was supposed to be very physically productive, a quick trip to ikea, put together my shelving, and then unpack my stuff and set up my closet. NOPE. didn't happen. and i am not a happy girl about it, neither. not at all. i've been planning this day for weeks. but wayne's truck never made it out of the shop, so i have literally spent the whole day in front of my computer. which has been great, in its own unusual way. but far, far from ideal.

a couple of things, though, that i'm very proud about for this day. i stayed 100% raw. that was easy. even with being upset, i didn't eat emotionally. AND, i actually went for a RUN!! not much of one, but it was the first one "on record," and so there's a little happy dance. ~~)(//\<<~~

i was sooooo inspired by "nycgrrl's" photos on RawFu. only 4 months of 100% and running a little, and she went from fit to BUFF. i'm so inspired by her. that's what i want for myself. i know i can do it. i won't look like her, i'll look like me, but i'm so inspired.

when i was finishing up my run, i was thinking about body image issues, how we all seem to have them, and how deeply, devastatingly cruel they are. i watched a really interesting vlog about that today, and the woman was saying that it's coming from the culture, and i don't doubt that. but i think i disagree with the part of the culture she thinks its coming from. here's what i think:

our negative body images are CORRECT. otherwise, how could ALL of us have them? from the thinnest to the most obese, we have negative body images. why? because our bodies are unhealthy. because our bodies are composed of horrible, deadly chemicals. our bodies are walking shit-stacks. i can't look at a shit-stack and say, "I love this! it's beautiful!" no, it's a shit-stack. i could be thin and lean and look great, but if i got that way through chemicals and artificial means and cruelty to animals, that's what i would see when i look at my body. when i look at my body now, when i look at it with distaste, it's not ugly to me because it's pear-shaped. it's ugly to me because i can see the junk food that lives in the fat under my skin. i can see the distortion that results from a distorted diet and a distorted lifestyle. if, as a result of this 100% raw lifestyle, i drop all the way down to 85 pounds to rid myself of all the toxins, and then while still eating RAW get healthy all the way back up to 122 and the same measurements i have now, then my body will be beautiful to me, because it will be clean and healthy and just getting to its natural state. i can see the toxins. and so can YOU! in my body and in your body. but when everyone is sick, everyone looks normal by comparison. i don't want to look sick.

so we'll just keep watching as the toxins melt away.

View my page on Raw Fu

july 18: get my butt off this chair!

so after the Great Wheatgrass & Bloody Mary Debacle of July 18, i have been arse in chair all day. i can't seem to walk away from the computer, because WHAT IF someone replies to my discussion!? besides, i feel like crap-a-doodle-do - well, not really, just have that runaway drano effect going on.

so i've been yammering on all day, talking through my fingers. i love to write, and suddenly, feeling like i have an audience! this is very addictive.

but i did want to point out that after my horrific morning (just thinking about it gives me chills), the cherries did help quite a bit, but it wasn't until 2:30 this afternoon that i even got around to making my smoothie! usually, i'm almost done with it by that point. and at first, it was not very appealling. gotta say. hard to drink while the horror within still churning. but i'm getting it down.

love having a day off, kinda miss having my routine. and my plans for the day sent haywire by wayne's truck being in the shop. yaris not too good at hauling furniture from idea. so, thus, brain drain. aka blog.

July 18: I am feeling awwwww-full!

My body is just not digesting. That much I know. And I think that’s why I’m “so fat.” The past 5 years of yo-yo eating – on raw foods, on junk foods, on raw foods, on junk foods – over and over again, has really taxed my system and made it very sensitive and irritable. Easily irritated. And holding on to what it’s got. My whole system feels like it’s been under poor management and doesn’t know what to do. It doesn’t trust me, and why should it? I treat it great, I treat it like garbage, I treat it great, I treat it like garbage. Would you trust me? I wouldn’t. I haven’t been able to trust myself. I still don’t, which is why I’m blogging and in an online support group! I know EVERYTHING about raw food, because I’m an obnoxious know-it-all (just call me Hermione!). everything except how to keep myself on it.

So that’s the goal. Just to keep myself on it. And hopefully, keeping myself on it will allow my body to start to trust me and to start to do its work more efficiently. Right now, I’m not just burping garlic (oh, no more, please no more!), I’m just always gassy in general. I know instinctively that is because I have low HCL (hydrochloric acid) levels in my stomach. That is why I can’t tolerate the wheatgrass juice. Taking the green smoothies should help with that. But right now, what comes out the bottom looks an awful lot like what goes in the top – green smoothie in, green smoothie out! LOL! It’s going to take a lot of patience to sit with this and allow it to fix itself.

My transit times seem to be either too fast or too slow. That wheatgrass juice has spent very little time inside. just typing the word makes me want to barf, but I’m so not a puker. I feel like my yo-yo cycles have actually been a form of bulimia, going from binges to cleanses and back again, and like a bulimic, I don’t appear particularly thin or disordered. That’s another reason why it’s really important to me to just stick with a nice, moderate, fresh, 100% raw program for this 100 day challenge and beyond. There’s the addiction to the junk food, and there’s the addiction to the eating disorder.

Ok – so when I say “moderate,” you say “WHAT?” how can any raw food program be moderate??? All depends on your perspective. To me, 100% raw is the baseline, honestly. Anything below that is in the sub levels and not acceptable. But 100% raw could include raw dairy, it could include raw animal flesh, it could be a strong nut-and-seed plan, it could have a lot of dehydrated foods. That’s one point on the raw food triangle to me. At the other extreme are the people who only eat seasonal, local, what they grow themselves, wild food, gathered food, no preparation. A 3rd extreme is the superfood route, in which very little fresh local food is eaten, but lots and lots of exotic and highly potent superfoods, like maca and cacao and spirulina and goji berries and many, many more, so it’s almost like a diet composed exclusively of supplements. My center point, my moderate point, is what I’m doing – 99% fresh produce, as much organic and local as possible, and as seasonal as possible (easy to do in july! Today I felt like tomatoes at whole foods, last time was all stone fruit, the time before that was watermelon. Love summer food). The only prepared, “superfoods” I’m doing are my yerba mate, my raw agave, and the MSM and crystal salt I put in my water. I love cacao and maca and all those yummy powdered foods, and I do well on them, but I want to stay fresh. I think that’s more important. I’ll have cacao again when it’s cold or as a tasty treat to celebrate minor victories in my challenge. And I’ve talked a lot already about my nut and seed plan. So you see, in relation to the other extremes of raw food, my plan really is moderate. I think it takes the best of each – for me. (there are so many other “extreme” interpretations, someone could even interpret my plan as extreme, given my low nuts and seeds – there’s a low-glycemic extreme, there’s the fruitarian extreme, there’s the grassarian extreme, the breatharians, the d.u.m. extreme – that’s dead.uncooked.meat – all kinds of variations. I’ve got mine. Find your own.)

A problem that I’ve found (going back to the boy issue) is that when I’ve met raw food men, they tend to be at one of the extreme points on the triangle, and either through their insecurities, or mine, or the volatile combination of both, I’ve felt like they needed to exert control over my moderate perspective. I’ve loved playing the hard-core game, but you know – to each their own. And just because someone else is RAW doesn’t mean they’re compatible.

July 18: detox-o-rama!

I had a wheatgrass shot. The last time I had one, I had to take the morning off, so I decided to have one this morning, since it was already my day off. Oof. I can’t really think about it right now.

My nose is running, my belly is churning. I still can’t handle it. This upsets me.

Of course, I also made the mistake of “chasing” my wheatgrass juice with a “bloody mary” from the juice bar at whole foods. Deeee-licious! AND! Jalepenos, garlic? On a stomach that is empty save 2 oz of wheatgrass? I was only able to drink about 2 oz of the bloody mary, which was a bummer, because I think it’s what I need to get me over my vegan breakfast taco – tomatoes, celery, jalepeno, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, spinach and kale. Strong stuff, very tasty, but not highly recommended as a chaser. I’m burping garlic an hour later.

I don’t really do raw garlic. I know it has a lot of merit, but when I was at the Tree, we didn’t use it (for spiritual purposes), and as a bikram yoga teacher, raw garlic pouring out through my sweat is not exactly professional or appropriate. I’m stinky enough as it is. And I’m off spicy foods in general, so that jalepeno is kicking around with the garlic and having a party. Wish I was invited.

I’ve sent some cherries down there to calm things down. We’ll see if that works or makes things worse.

Quickly re-read in Green for Life, it took Victoria Boutenko a YEAR on green smoothies before she could handle wheatgrass juice, and that was after being 100% raw for like 10 years. Good. I’m going to give myself a break and not try it again at least until after the 100 day challenge is through!!

july 18: a whole new challenge

i'm having my first food temptation.

due to the persnickety wifi at home, i've come to Whole Foods - i need to do my shopping anyway, and they have free wifi. breakfast tacos and coffee are calling my name! i always think i love the vegan breakfast tacos, with vegan chorizo and tofu scramble and black beans and potatoes and pico de gallo. and everytime i have one, i regret it more than just a little afterwards. it never tastes as good as i want it to, and it always leaves me a little gassy. so why do i want one? to see if i was right the last time? maybe this time it will be as yummy and satisfying as it is in my head? breakfast tacos are a big deal in austin, and i've only found vegan ones at whole foods, so maybe that's it. this is the special place where i can pretend to be normal.

i just don't much like normal.

today is my day off! i'm going to ikea t,o buy some storage furniture for my wee casita, and then going to a play tonight. my first day of socializing. tomorrow night i'm going to a gallery opening and being introduced to a boy. i've only met one boy who found my lifestyle to be "bad-ass" and not in the least intimidating, but he wasn't interested in me "that way." so meeting boys is always a bit of a challenge, too. on RawFu, which is mostly women, they talk about the difficulty of dealing with their husbands and boyfriends, and i can totally honor that - being single does indeed give me the freedom to do exactly as i please without having to take someone else's life into consideration. but it's hard enough meeting someone you like without throwing this monkey wrench into the mix. this is the main reason why i've struggled being 100% raw over the years. the social aspect. i'm already a bit more hermit-like than i like, being new in town and a little poor and a non-smoking, non-drinking type person. most of my friends i think forget that i actually like to go out and enjoy company, because where can you take me? and i of course forget that i have friends that i'd like to go out with. but i would really like to meet a man who thinks i'm plenty hot and tasty just exactly as i am, cellulite and all, and who thinks that my lifestyle is interesting and inspiring without me requiring him to do any of it, unless that becomes his path.

those are today's challenges. yippee!!

July 17 pm – heartbroken!!

Heartbroken! It appears that my wifi is now shutting down at 9pm? Or something? This has never happened before in the 16 months I’ve lived here, it’s the same network connection, and I live in a wifi friendly town. What’s happened? Why doesn’t the wifi universe want me to blog and commune with abandon till the wee hours? It was up! And now its down. And I’m heartbroken.

So this is a pseudo-blog. I’m writing in word, and will paste-and-post whenever the wifi gods see fit. Don’t they know how important email and internet are? Is mercury gone retrograde? I cannot live like this. It’s just not right.

Big sigh. I’ll get over it.

So today was interesting. Lots of support coming from good places, and lots of body image conversations going on. I look at my pictures and I’m just appalled, but that’s the me that other people see every day. Are they just appalled too, or is that just who I am to them? Am I as unattractive to other people as I clearly am to myself? Is this why I can’t seem to find a boyfriend? Or is it because I’m this unattractive PLUS this hard-core raw food hot yoga weirdo person? Or is that just my opinion? It’s all a crazy mystery.

All I know is that I want to be thin thin thin and beautiful. I want to look totally hot. I want to fall in love with myself when I look in the mirror (and I work in front of a mirror – that hasn’t been enough incentive yet!). I’m so shallow, and yet I really want this. But what I really want is to be able to see it when it happens. I’ve never been in love with my reflection – when I get to the point where my body is as I want it to be, I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to look back and say, “wow, I was perfect. I was bloody perfect, and I thought I was fat. I thought I was ugly. I was perfect.” I don’t want that to happen.

I honestly believe that I won’t truly be BEAUTIFUL until I’m old – at least 75. I’ve got a client, Ellen, who is in her 70’s, I don’t know for sure, and she’s just the most gorgeous creature. She is radiant and glowing and still doing yoga and trim and fit and vibrant. She inspires me to no end. I don’t think I’ll be actually beautiful until I’m at the place where she is – I think once we get beyond needing to be “pretty,” then Spirit starts to shine through and we become beautiful. But damn I want to be buff and lean and hot on the way there!!!

I’m putting all my trust and faith into Raw Food right now. Today I did my yoga, and I actually went for a nice, long, hot walk. I’m learning to love Austin in july. It’s so sizzley.

And as a side note – I don’t know if it was me writing and thinking about wanting to be thin and stressing myself out that I’m not, or if it was an actual hunger, but I just went to the kitchen and got myself a very tiny taste of a little Artisana Coconut Butter (not just the fat, but coconut butter like peanut butter, all ground up coconut nut), but what I really wanted was a very tiny taste of Artisana Tahini. Yum oh yum, how I love tahini. I love sesame mylk. I love tahini dressing. I love hummus!!! Me and sesame, we got a thing going on… my program as I’ve designed it is basically a minimal nuts and seed plan, trying to keep my seed consumption down to the seeds that are in the fruit. But I’m finding that so far, at the end of the day, I want some fat. I’ve had an avocado each night for the past 3, and was feeling all proud and nervous that I wasn’t going to have any fat this evening, but here I am enjoying my teaspoon of tahini. When tahini tastes sweet to me, plain, that’s when I know I need it. And this is sweet like honey. When I don’t need it, it’s bitter and needs flavoring. I really want to be flexible and open to all possibilities and amend my plan and program as my body requires it, but I also don’t want to fall into my nut-and-seed trap, because they are mildly acidifying and slow down detox, interfere with elimination, and it’s just easy to go nuts with nuts. But if I feel like I need a specific seed or nut, then I will let myself have a little.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

the pictures are UP!

oof. that's super-duper hard to look at. my friend wayne says i look cute, but lordy.

but here i am in all my glory, in my little pink yoga outfit. yes, i actually wear this outfit to do my yoga practice. i don't wear it to work in, but i'm at my job and around my clients in this garb. jeepers.

but it's where i am, it's where i've started from. and we'll see what happens as time progresses. for now, all i can see is the cellulite. i see these striations on my belly that were never there before, and to me, these make me look very old.


but it's right there, right in the truth! woo-hoo!

july 17: we are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by

argh! i get all caught up in blogging and online community, and what happens? my wifi stops working. i don't know why. but it meant that i couldn't work from home last night, not even to check my email, which meant that i had to come in to work early today, and isn't that what everyone wants to do? it's much harder to think and write and do this from work. i've got the next 3 days off as well, so i REALLY hope that it gets itself back up and running or else i shall go mad. just for fun.

so it's Day Five. here's what i'm noticing: my eyes look much clearer and sparklier. my skin has dramatically improved - i was getting lots of little individual pimples and roughness, thanks to all the chips and fried crap i was eating, and now all of that is, basically, peeling off. i don't look or feel like i've lost an ounce, but i'm not checking until monday - weekly weigh-ins. my eyes, in the process of getting clearer and brighter, have been really gunky and oozy - pretty, right? - so i haven't been able to wear a scrap of makeup for days. i'm still a sleeping machine - last night, my body was sooooooo tired, i couldn't sleep. couldn't move, couldn't sleep. i could feel every muscle, and it felt so good just to lie there in the bed. i hope that the body tiredness goes away soon so i'll start to feel like exercising more.

yesterday i ate all of my food, every scrap that i had prepared, and even drank more than my whole gallon of required beverages! i had an extra quart of tea! i thought that was awesome. drinking plain water spiked with MSM and himalayan crystal salt while i teach is going to make a big difference. i can feel that. i hadn't been drinking plain water for a long time, just lemonade and tea. my tea is unsmoked yerba mate, which has a compound in it called "mateine," not caffeine. it's one of the highest levels of antioxidants in a tea, much higher than green tea, and mateine, while somewhat stimulating, doesn't have the dehydrating and depleting effects of caffeine. yerba mate is one of those foods that i just tried once and knew it was my food. i cold-brew it in my quart jar with room temp water and agave nectar. in the winter, i like it warm and blended with hempseeds and agave so it's a mate-latte. it makes me happy.

i still haven't been able to post my pictures (could be the universe protecting everyone), but we're working on getting them to me in a format i can actually use.

the other big accomplishment for the week thus far is that i have somehow refrained from spending any more money. i went to Whole Foods on sunday, before i realized that i had overdrawn my bank account, and bought enough food to last me through the week. but when has that ever stopped me from buying more? after the realization of the overdraft, i have been disciplining myself to eat only what i have, and it's working really well. i'll finish up all of my food tonight, and my paycheck hits my account tonight. that's just right. on the rawfu chat, there is a discussion thread about eating Raw on a budget, and starting tomorrow, when i go shopping again, i'm going to make that a big focus of my own efforts. eating Raw is one of those things that can be as gourmet and expensive as you want it to be, or it can actually be way, way cheaper than cooked food. cheap cooked food has basically no nutrient value, whereas cheap raw food is loaded. i mean, what's cheaper than a cabbage? and more full of nutrients? people have been thriving on cabbage for centuries. i wish i knew how to make kimchee - i've tried and failed spectacularly! but i'm willing to try again, because i think that salted cabbage is one of the most important human foods. my mom eats more cabbage than anyone else i've ever known. if you visit my parents, you'll have some sort of slaw at least 3 times in a week for dinner, plus the leftovers for lunch. i need to pick up on that habit again, once i'm back to eating salads this fall. the problem with cabbage in smoothies and juices is that the high sulphur content causes it to RRRRREEEEEEEK! in no time. of course, the high sulphur content is one of the things that makes it so valuable. sulphur's really good for your skin, and i gotta say that my mom has got the best skin of a 65+ omnivore i've seen. so eat your cabbage!

oh yeah, so no salads till fall. i'm blending my greens exclusively until my digestion has gotten stronger and my HCL levels have gone up. read Green for Life.

boldly going on to Day Five! woo-hoo!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

july 16, 2008: whew! i must be tired!

thank god today is my late day for work, because i slept in until 8:45!!! crazy. so this means that my body is healing and requiring rest. when i have these big sleepin' days, i always try to just go with it and not fight it. i want to be one of those 4 hour people, but my body is in charge. when it needs to sleep and do its work without my intervention, i let it! it seems to know when i need to get up.

so today is Day 4, and i am feeling pretty good. which is good, since i slept for about 10 hours. i'm totally thrown off my schedule now, running about 3 1/2 hours behind - so what gives? luckily, smoothies take about 3 minutes to prepare and my fruit is already ready to eat (thank you mother nature!), so i don't have to compromise my food. this is a good thing. i haven't started my "supplemental" exercise yet, just doing my yoga practice. but today is laundry day, and in the world of a bikram yogini, laundry day is not something to disregard or take lightly. gotta get the stink out.

so that means that maybe today i will spend less time on the computer. i'm loving having this blog and loving the Raw Fu community, not loving that i'm suddenly kind of obsessed with checking out the discussions ALL THE TIME. i'm going to have to watch that, limit myself to a certain amount of time per day so i can continue with the rest of my life.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

july 15 endcap

i used to have nightcaps, now i have endcaps. you know, you grow.

so you might think that eating a diet of nothing but fresh fruit and veg would leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied and, i dunno, sumthin. wanting something. but it's not doing that. not yet, at least. i feel wonderful. it's been 3 full days since i quit junk and got back on the wagon, and today i couldn't even finish all my goodies! here's what i ate today:

awesome smoothie - kale, banana, celery, aloe vera. totally digging the aloe right now. a big 2" slimy chunk of it, cut from the leaf. yum! so good for your skin and hair and eyes and digestion and metabolism and blood sugar. great source of MSM, anti-inflammatory, just good stuff. makes me happy.

one of those funky flat peaches. never had one before. being from north carolina, i am a peach SNOB and won't really eat those nasty things from georgia or california - peaches should be warm from the farmer's market and you should have to battle the bees and wasps out of the way and drape a towel over your arm because it's going to explode with warm peach juice the minute you touch your lips to its fuzzy fur. real peaches are sexy. grocery store peaches are like cheap porn, even the ones from whole foods. NC peaches are so fragile they can't be shipped, so only the locals know about them. my only regret about not living there anymore. sigh. but i digress.

the funky flat peach wasn't bad! it wasn't orgasmic or embarrassing, as a real peach should be, but it was kind of fun.

a few grapes.

a cucumber.

a lot of water with a pinch of himalayan crystal salt. i've been avoiding salt for awhile and last night stumbled on a David Wolfe video where he's talking about salt. and he's so damn charismatic and sexy-man, i'll still do just about anything he suggests, so i put salt in my water. and wouldn't ya know. made a difference. made my water more drinkable. made me drink more of it. i sweat A LOT during the course of a normal day, and that little pinch really helped.

so much so that i barely touched my limonada! i'm stunned. i've still got most of a jar of it left. who knew?

and then i had an avocado when i got home.

and that's it! that's all i ate today. not hungry. not tired. not grouchy (aside from the things that grouched me off, but that's irrelevant). quelle miracle! we'll see how tomorrow goes!

oh yeah - my yoga today felt awesome. it hasn't felt good in a long time - i've felt really stuck. but today felt warm and stretchy and hurt so good. it was awesome.

the slippery nature of addiction

this is what i was actually thinking about when i got off on the tangent of deserving. 1) that addiction is inherently paradoxical and diametrically opposed to reality; and 2) that i must treat this challenge more as rehab and addiction therapy than as a "diet" or weight loss or anything physical.

addiction is a paradox. it takes one action and replaces it with something else. to the addict, it makes sense, sort of. to the addict, to me as the addict, "my bank account is overdrawn" = "eat a chocolate muffin." to the non-addict, "my bank account is overdrawn" would probably equal something more along the lines of "put some money in the bank," or "get on a budget!" chocolate muffins have nothing to do with reality in this situation, and are nothing more than a displacement activity.

it doesn't really matter that my addiction might seem to the World as a minor, laughable addiction. i've used that line for a long time to justify holding on to it. being addicted to junk food is nothing to our culture - the whole culture is addicted. and in denial about their addiction. i've already kicked 3 hard addictions: tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. those are, in decreasing order, socially "accepted" addictions. tobacco is now vilified, but alcohol is still considered "fun" by my peer group, and caffeine is only disparaged by the few who can recognize its effects. so i've justified my cooked food addiction (and btw, when i say "junk food," i mean "cooked food." cooked food is junk. just like heroin.) by saying, "well, at least i'm not still drinking," or "at least i'm not hooked on pharma," or "my worst days are better than most people's best days!" and not one bit of that matters.

what does matter is that my worst days make me wonder why i'm on the planet. my worst days make me wonder why i don't just give it all up and go back to drinking and smoking because my life doesn't matter, because i don't matter. my worst days are as deep and as depressed now as they were before i was a vegan yoga teacher. in some ways, they are worse, because i don't have as many alleyways in which to hide from myself. and what really matters is that my worst days are far, far worse than my best days.

the difference between eating Raw and eating junk is more than the difference between day and night. it's more than the difference between being awake and asleep. any junkie can tell you about the waking nightmare of addiction, of needing a fix, and the mental state that accompanies it. the difference between eating Raw and eating junk is greater than the difference between being sober and being sauced. when i eat junk, i will live, but i will wonder why. when i eat Raw, i thrive, and i don't care why, because the "why" simply dissolves in the joy of being.

only something as dangerous and slippery and paradoxical as addiction could pull someone out of the joy of being and into the despair of "why me?"

and to anyone doubting the addictive nature of cooked food, who might be reading this and thinking i'm just nuts and a fool and an extremist, i invite you to try it. just try it. go raw for a day, for a week, for a month. join the 100-day challenge at then maybe you'll understand where i'm coming from.

july 15, 2008: do i deserve this?

so it's terrifically exciting, isn't it? 2nd day to be posting. i'm intending these posts to be something like morning pages, where i can just share my immediate experience with what i'm going through and how it relates to my raw food conversion.

so this morning i overslept, remembered i had to pay my taxes, and then checked my bank account to discover that i'm overdrawn. that'll take all the light and inspiration right outta your morning! and in the past, put me into an "aw fuck it" mood, in which i would go straight for whatever cooked food i could get my hands on - always vegan, of course, and always with the justification that my worst days are better than most people's best days, as if that has any bearing on anything, and always with the comforting thought that "i deserve it."

and isn't that interesting? to comfort myself with the thought that i "deserve" something that i don't want, that i "deserve" something that IS NOT good for me, that i "deserve" something i'm really going to regret. in other words, i DESERVE to suffer, i DESERVE to be punished, and i DESERVE to be pulled out of integrity. how is that comfort? sounds more like torture.

i want, somehow, to rid myself of the concept of DESERVING. to take it down to the root of the word: SERVICE. the ORIGIN: "TO DEVOTE ONESELF TO THE SERVICE OF!!!" hmmmm. that's a damn sight more interesting a concept that "i deserve this vegan, gluten-free, dark chocolate muffin." how about instead, "i devote myself to the service of mySelf, in other words, to the service of the Divine." i don't think a chocolate muffin can do that for me!

so how about this instead? when i begin to think that i am "deserving" of anything - punishment or reward - look instead to "how will that _______ SERVE me? how will it serve my Self?" and then make the decision from there.

so - do i deserve to be punished for being overdrawn on my bank account? well, the bankers will see to it that i am, in the form of fees. trusty little bankers, you can always count on them for that! and isn't that up to them? if i want to avoid their fees, i need to pay more attention to my money and not buy fabulous pillows. eating junk (and spending money to do it!) isn't going to do anything positive to improve my financial situation or fiscal responsibility. it's such a total non-sequitor! the only thing that eating junk would do for me right now would be to make me feel bad about 2 big things in my life, not just 1.

so i'm having my tea and fruit and making my green smoothie and getting ready for my day instead! i've already made arrangements to pay my taxes via another source, because there is ALWAYS enough money - Source takes care of that.

it's going to be a good day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

welcome to my first posting!

today is monday, july 14, 2008. today is the "first" day of my 100 day raw food challenge, although i have officially been challenged by raw food since march 12, 2003! after many attempts and many failures to break my addiction to cooked food, and specifically my addiction to cooked JUNK food, i made a commitment to myself 2 days ago to absolutely QUIT. to quit all cooked food, all junk food, and to establish myself as a 100% raw food vegan. i have been struggling with and against this for 5 1/2 years. when i eat raw food, i feel wonderful. when i eat cooked food, i feel terrible. simple enough, if life were a math equation. but it is not.

so 2 days ago i made this commitment, and yesterday i found Bunny Berry and Raw Fu, and her wonderful 100 day raw food challenge. so i joined up. now i have a community of fellow strugglers! and i made another commitment to myself, today, to document my challenge - to boldly jump into the 21st century! - and to create a blog for my journey.

so today, july 14, 2008. i am exactly 38 1/2 years old. i weigh exactly 122 pounds and i am 5'4" tall. my waist is 28", my abdomen is 33", my hips are 37 1/2" and my thighs are 22". and i can't beleive i'm going to publish this online. i must be crazy!

i am undertaking this challenge to improve the health and condition of my body. i'm in good shape and i'm healthy by any standards, but that's not enough for me anymore. i want to be in incredible shape and be amazingly healthy. i don't want to just look good, i want to look as good as i feel, and i want to feel better every day than i have ever felt before in my whole entire life! i am ready to set and achieve performance goals that i KNOW are possible with a 100% raw food diet.

i'm NOT ready to put those on this blog, yet, though! i have to take some time to think them through. i will say that for sure, some weight loss, more muscle, look better, all the vanity issues. more than that - i want to compete in the Bikram yoga competition. will i be ready by october? can these hips do hanumanasana? or full camel? can i run another marathon? what is possible? i want to find out!

here is my diet, since right now, it's kind of all about the food: green smoothies, approx. 40 oz a day. green smoothies are dark leafy greens (i love kale) blended with fresh fruit and water. also, eating fresh fruit, preferably with seeds, and eating the seeds of that fruit (as in watermelon). to drink, 32+ oz of lemon/limeade made with raw agave nectar, 32+ oz of yerba mate (unsmoked) with raw agave nectar, 40+ oz fresh water. that's it for now. getting my fats from seeds in the fruit and from avocados (which are fruit) and i'm going to get a durian this weekend. come fall, i'll add in coconut and flaxseed. for now, no superfoods, no supplements, nothing powdered or dried - just fresh fresh fresh fruits and veg.

and here's the exercise: daily Bikram yoga practice. daily walks. daily mini-exercise breaks with a dvd. and we'll see how things go over the next few weeks!

i have pictures to post of my gorgeous bod - not so much "before and after" as "now" and "later." my email server is down, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. the official Raw Fu challenge starts August 1, if anyone wants to join ( and share the love with me! it's gonna be awesome. or, as we corny raw foodies like to say, RAWESOME! but my challenge has begun. i'm off to a good start!