Monday, February 23, 2009

still vulnerable

intense emotion just is so hard to override on an 80-10-10 diet. you can't get away from it. and intense things are happening. not as intense, but still...

i just want to numb out a little. i want to be present a lot, but i want to numb out a little. that makes no sense. but it's true.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

wow! long time no see!

i couldn't beleive, as i logged in this morning, that i haven't been writing on here since DECEMBER 17!!! that's horrible. but it makes sense, as this is kind of the first morning i've had totally to myself since december 17. so much has been going on - the expansion is done, at last, and that was brutal, right up until the end. grand opening is done, and that was mega-brutal, right up until the end. i've had most of this past week off, and i've just been spending my time in recovery.

i've got a lot on my mind right now to write about, so i'm not going to spend too much time on where i've been lately; it's time to look forward. so here's what today is going to be about:

why i am no longer a "raw foodist."

ok, i've just spent 6 weeks on a mega-binge, after sliding down the slope towards the binge over the course of a few months prior to. and now i'm off the binge, and i'm back on eating my wonderful and amazing 80-10-10 diet, which i ADORE and which i will always adhere to as the perfect way of eating for me. i love eating fresh, ripe, raw, whole, organic fruits and vegetables, with a minimum of nuts and seeds. YAY!!! it's the best, it really is. and i know that i function best living this way 100% - 95% of the time. i need that very slight wiggle room which is really nothing more than the breathing space required for free choice. that is all.

but given the choice between "gourmet raw" or simple vegan cooked, i gotta tell ya - i'm more drawn to the simple cooked food. neither choice is optimal, obviously (or maybe not obviously, and that's where i'm headed next!), but for me, i have to keep it simple, which is why i love 80-10-10 so much. how much simpler could it be? eat fresh fruit. eat green leaves. yummy.

but the whole "raw foodist" thing - all this gourmet raw crap that is just ingredient piled upon ingredient, flavored with spices, dehydrated, loaded down with "raw plant fats," jazzed up with "superfoods" - give me a break, will ya? i mean! it's just awful. as more people have gotten into raw foods, there's this fervent desire to make raw foods appeal to people with SAD appetites, so horrible concoctions are put together and people say "but it's RAW! so it's got to be healthy!!!" complete and utter bullshit. replacing cooked junk food with raw junk food - the only part that has changed is whether or not it's cooked. it's still JUNK. so if being "a raw foodist" implies that i'm a person who wants high-fat, high-ingredient prepared raw foods, then i want out of the movement NOW.

what i want is to eat simple, clean, healthy food. between a plate of raw lasagna and lightly steamed vegetables with brown rice, i'm going for the veggies and rice. of course, i'd rather have a fresh salad than either, but sometimes it's not available. what is easy for me to lose sight of, when i start to slide from my best habits, is that not all raw food is healthy, and not all cooked food is junk. i think all cooked food is junk, so why not eat the junk i really enjoy? ha ha. i'm letting go of that. i'm redefining how i choose to feed myself, and the primary word in my definition is: SIMPLE.

another reason why i'm opting out of the movement... lately i've been stumbling across blog posts that reference the "optimum" raw food diet as being anything over 80% raw, and including the use of superfoods and supplements, and to back up this BS, they put at the bottom that this is what is recommended by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. i've seen these posts totally trash Dr. Doug Graham, saying that eating too much fruit is dangerous and harmful and will cause all sorts of evil to befall you (i exaggerate), but elevate cousens' position as the moderate and sensible way to go. and here's where i have to totally, 100%, respectfully DISAGREE. i worked at the Tree of Life, cousens' place in arizona. it's a beautiful place, lonely, wild, desolate. i loved it there. and we were making gourmet raw food in that kitchen, in the summer, in the dehydrator! 105 and dry outside, and we were actually DRYING fresh beautiful fruits and veg. insanity. we were loading every meal with salt and spices, and creating wacky combos of ingredients. every meal was loaded with fat. those of us who worked in the kitchen would sneak into the walk in refrigerators and gorge on the fresh fruit. when cousens' was off the property, we went down into town and brought back watermelons - totally unallowed on his "low glycemic" plan - and we INHALED them. everyone was craving fruit. fruit was almost totally unallowed. everything was low glycemic, and as a result, it was very high fat. you've got to get your calories from somewhere, right? we sweetened things with agave nectar. we couldn't have fresh natural fruit, but we could have processed agave nectar? because it was lg? really? insanity. one hot hot hot morning, i was supposed to be making a heavy nut porridge for breakfast, and i said NO WAY and made instead gallons of nut mylk, green juice, lemonade and cucumber-berry juice, and the people sucked it up. why were we feeding people heavy dried foods in the summer in the high desert in arizona? insanity.

but what really got to me about being at the Tree was the supplements. it tickled the back of my mind long after i left, because i didn't want to beleive that the emporer had no clothes, but now, being away long enough, i feel ok about it. EVERYONE who came to dr cousens at the Tree was given a list of supplements as long as my arm or longer. hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of supplements. usually prescribed to be taken over several times during the day, with a very restricted, low glycemic diet, for the course of at least 3 months. an office visit with him was outrageously expensive, and supplements were sold out of the back. everyone got them, and i never met anyone who actually ever completed their prescribed round of supplementation, nor did i ever meet anyone who actually felt markedly better on their supplements. insanity. thousands of dollars to not get better? people who had never eaten raw food would get better eating the raw food, but those of us who were already raw would get worse on the diet of gourmet atrocities we were making. all we wanted was simple food.

so i'm stunned at the logic. cousens is a doctor working directly from the western medical model. fix it from the outside. use supplements to make everything better. and don't eat the food we're designed for, because you can't handle it. take supplements and superfoods instead. whereas graham is a doctor working outside the western medical model. don't take supplements. the same thing that will make you well will keep you well. what is our natural diet? eat that, nothing else. so why is cousens, who is basically prescribing a diet composed of refined, isolated nutrients from a lab along with highly processed and tragically combined raw-ish food stuffs, considered the voice of logic and experience and the moderate middle path for the raw food movement, while graham is vilified as radical and dangerous? graham says eat raw fruits and veggies in proper combination with a maximum of 10% of calories from fat, which is right in line with most major global recommendations. a chimpanzee in the wild doesn't know if he's B-12 deficient, nor is he going to hold a certain kind of salt supplement on the crown of his head for 20 minutes a day, or worry about his sodium-potassium ratios or blood alkalinity. the chimpanzee is going to eat chimpanzee food, no matter what the "experts" think he should eat. i hope to someday be as smart as a chimp, and to adhere to the expertise of my own instinct.

in the meantime, no more "raw foodist" label for me. i eat primarily fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, with a minimum of nuts and seeds for fun, and occasionally i'll have some very simple cooked vegan food if that is what is available. i follow the 80-10-10 principles of dr. doug graham. and that's all, folks.