Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let That Be a Lesson To Us All! or “Don’t eat junk!"

Hey, we all succumb to the siren’s song of cake or pastries from time to time . . .and I hate to tell you this, but the better you eat, the less tolerance your body may have for the crapola foods.

I asked my boyfriend if I could reprint an email from him -- he sent this to me today. He’s been about 60% or so (I’d estimate) raw since last summer. He’s lost about 30 pounds and feels great most of the time.

Nah, I’m not in any way perfect with my diet, far from it, but I, too, feel not-so-good when I eat junk. What’s “junk?” I like Michael Pollan’s definition: If it doesn’t rot, it isn’t food (or something like that.) I figure if it will take weeks and weeks to rot, like that “celebration cake,” then it isn’t very good for me.

Let this email be a lesson to us all! :)

Here’s his email:

Ciao cara,

We just had a brief “celebration” at 12:30. (I had no idea what it was for or that it was happening until after our meeting at 11am) When I went down there it was the entire team … and more people that I didn’t know … to celebrate two people having babies.

ANYway… Someone said, “there’s no lard or anything bad in the cake. So it’s good for you!” Yeah right.

But I had some anyway.

Two things about that:

First, it was cake so it tasted like cake and sugar and all that “good” stuff. But I had a mango about 45 minutes earlier and it tasted so much better than the cake. The cake tasted so … you know… refined. I think our raw and/or natural desserts are way better.

Second, my body reacted almost right away and it’s not feeling too good. So far it hasn’t gotten bad but I think my body is at the point where if I feed it junk it immediately responds with its own version of “Something wicked this way comes”.

That is all.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Listen to Your Body!

So in my last post I was talking about the dark days of my raw food journey . . .

About 2-3 weeks into the high-raw way of eating, I started feeling nauseated at night. I’d feel fine by the next morning. I also started having intermittent upper right abdominal pains. And my skin started itching pretty badly. After a few more weeks of this, I had one day where it all exploded.

I was driving my boyfriend to the airport one morning, and drinking a green smoothie, my usual morning meal. I started feeling nauseated as we drove, then when I dropped him off I was really feeling badly. By the time I got home, a 25 minute drive, I was shaking and in pain. I barely made it in the house and into the bathroom before I got sick. Not fun.

It was so bad, with sweats, vomiting and pain, that I thought I was seriously ill. After a couple hours of that, it finally calmed down enough for me to drive myself to the walk-in clinic to be seen by a doctor. She listening to my symptoms and without really checking anything about my body or asking questions, said my gallbladder would have to come out. I said I didn’t think so, unless there was no way to heal it. She sent me for an ultrasound which she expected to show stones. There were none that were visible on the ultrasound.

Not only were there no stones, but when I did eat high fat meals, nothing happened. It was only greens that made me ill, not high-fat. To this day I’m not sure what happened but suspect a strong detox or a gallbladder function issue, made worse by a lot of raw veggies and greens. After all, I had simultaneously dropped a ton of fat and sugar out of my diet and added an almost 100% raw and healthy diet with lots and lots of cleansing greens and fruit. All that fiber alone could possibly have been too much on my system.

The moral of the story is to transition more slowly if you need to. Some people go 100% raw overnight and are fine. I wasn’t. I should have listened to my body and stopped the high-raw when I started getting ill. Maybe if I’d backed down to around 50% my body would have been able to keep up with the clean-out? I’ll never know!

Listen to your body!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Story of How I Stopped Eating A Pint of Haagan Daz A Day.

Or so.

Sometimes I’d go weeks without any. But most often, I’d eat a pint in one sitting about 3-5 nights a week. Sometimes every day. For over 20 years.

By the way, this wasn’t just any HD ice cream. No, no, no . . .I had a 20+ year addiction to Coffee Haagan Daz ice cream. If they were out of coffee, I wouldn’t get any at all. Or I’d drive to another store. But thankfully, nothing else would ever do. I don’t want to know what would have happened if some other brand or flavor would have sufficed.

A year and a half ago my friend Heather invited me to join a raw food and healthy eating web site called RawFu. (A fabulous site to which I still belong, founded by Beth aka Bunny Berry.) I started out there, poking around and learning about Green Smoothies and coconut oil and all things raw and tasty. I started drinking a green smoothie every single morning from about January to May. I didn’t lose weight then, but I noticed I had a lot more energy, better focus at work, and just felt better all over.

My weight had gotten to almost an all-time high, though, and I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t unhappy because of the number on the scale, but because I no longer felt at home in my body. I’d been fairly slim all my life, had gotten down to about 145-150 just 2 years prior after losing-then-gaining post-pregnancy and birth, and here I was again, back to 172-175. (I’m 1/4 inch under 5’9”) We all carry our weight differently. I carry mine on my tummy and my back. Oy vey, the back fat rolls!! bah. There were a good 4 on each side of my back, just mocking me in the Target dressing room back-view mirrors. And I looked about 6 months pregnant in the belly. Niiiiice.

Yoga was even getting more difficult because I was just so thick in the middle it was hard to twist and bend the way I could when I was around 150-155. My knees were starting to hurt. I carry my weight in places I can fairly well hide, and I know how to dress around it, so no one really saw all that weight. But I sure saw it when my clothes were off. And I felt it. My partner, bless him, never said one word as I put on almost 20 pounds from when we met. (When I showed him the before and after photos later, he nearly gasped and said quietly “I never noticed you looked like that” or some such. He’s a sweet, and smart, man. ;) Oh, he’d also been putting on weight. . .but more about him later.)

So about the time I got motivated to drop the weight and get healthier, there was a contributor to the Raw Fu site, Penni Shelton, who was going to be writing a book about raw food. She put out a call for volunteers for an 11 week initiative to dive into a raw foods diet. She created a smaller site which was closed to the public for we “guinea pigs.” The smaller site, and the fact that it was closed to all but those participating in the experiment, meant that a lot of great support and honest sharing could happen. And boy, did it.

We all took “before” photos of ourselves as a condition of joining up. No “before,” no joining! And we weighed in weekly. Too many missed weigh-ins and you were booted! This was serious (and fun) business.

Penni provided inspiring daily motivation through videos and discussion and everyone posted on the forums. I don’t think more than two days ever passed that I didn’t log in and post. It was a determined and encouraging group of people, dedicated to improving their health with living and raw foods.

My other motivators were:
1. My son. Photobucket
2. My health.
4. My partner. (Who generously offered me a reward if I lost 10 pounds and kept it off for two weeks: a Vitamix blender. I did it. I’ve used that Vitamix daily for a year now and can’t imagine not having it! If you’re hesitating to buy one, don’t. You will not regret it.)

I got underway with a 3 day cleanse of green drinks and smoothies. I lost several pounds that first week as my body slurped up the nutrients and I finally said “buh-bye” to my Haagen Dazs addiction. My raw food adventures were not without some dark days and difficult moments, however. No, this was not some Sunshine and All Rainbows All the Time Dealie here. I’ll post about the dark times in my next post, and about other parts of my journey. . .

love always wins,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Loving & Feeding Update!

Well, it’s been a while since I posted anything here. Believe me, it isn’t for lack of eating and loving. ;) Mostly, I’ve been focusing my energy on my business/work life. And my home -- as in, decluttering on a fairly massive scale.

It would be difficult to understate how important my physical space is to me. I feel down, sad and frazzled when it’s very messy or just has too many objects in it.

So several months ago, I started giving away a lot of things, then had a massive yard sale, which forced me to clear out more. And I’m still not near completed but it’s getting there. I can’t help feeling like until it’s all decluttered and streamlined to the maximum, I won’t make a lot of further progress in any other area of my life. Maybe that isn’t true, maybe it’s just an(other) excuse to live less large than I know I’m capable of in the present. It feels true, though. Doesn’t mean it is.

My eating has been up and down. When I look at it, it’s fairly radically up and down now that I think of it. Like yesterday, I had a large fruit and spinach smoothie for bfast which lasted me until after noon. Then I was out and about and ate . . .a tiny, tiny bag of Cheetos. Yes, I said Cheetos. Then for dinner I had a delicious mango/avocado/celery salad. Just those things and a little sea salt. deliciousness in a bowl. After dinner I had vanilla ice cream (hey, at least it was the gourmet kind without crap in it) with fresher-than-fresh strawberries from my neighbors patch, almonds and freshly concocted chocolate syrup made from agave and raw cacao.

All in all . . .nom nom nom!!

Bottom line though: It’s been almost exactly one year since I went high (for me) raw and lost 20 pounds. I’m within 3-4 pounds of the weight I was then and when things tip too far up, I know what to do and I do it. It usually involves giving up one very fattening thing for a while, not too hard. Smoothies and raw eating are permanent ways of loving myself though -- this I know. (She said, after pausing to slurp down some banana, spinach, strawberry, hemp seed smoothie.)

How are you loving yourself today?

p.s. The photo is Chocolate Avocado Pudding with the famous Neighbor Strawberries! nom!