Thursday, December 30, 2010

Score at the Store #2


Today I decided to go to a local Asian market.  Did I ever score!  WooHoo!  I found fresh/frozen seaweed, sea weed jelly, almost one pound Shiitake mushrooms for under $3, one pound Oyster mushroom for $3, 1 pkg Crab mushroom, 1 pkg White Beech mushroom, two pounds baby bok choy, one pound Persian cucumbers, two pounds Small Gai Choy, Chinese eggplant, and one purple-flesh sweet potatoe.

I don't believe the sea weed jelly is the same as Kelp noodles, but we had a language barrier that made it difficult to describe what I was needing.  The sea weed jelly is made from sea weed extract, Aloe Vera Gel powder, water, sodium alginate, salt.  It looks like kelp noodles but it isn't.  

I can't wait to use the mushroom in some delicious recipe!  I couldn't believe the price!  I know the bok choy won't be good in a green smoothie, but maybe in a raw stir fry or raw soup with a Miso base.  THEN!  As if this bounty wasn't fantastic enough, I bought a case of nine young coconuts for $14!!!!  Yahoo!  I'm going to crack one open this afternoon during my cleaning break.  Happy dance!

                                                                                                                                                                   

I want to thinly slice, season and dehydrate the eggplant for delicious crackers.  I will be sure to take pictures of that treat!  The Bok Choy will go into spring rolls or raw Miso soup.  The mushrooms I may just eat as is, but spring rolls or chopped into a kale salad would be so good!

The coconuts are good as they are, but I will have to look up some pudding or smoothie drinks using young coconut meat.

It is so hard to shop at the Asian market without spending too much. I could easily blow my budget!  Pictures of the delicious meals made from today's Score at the Store coming soon!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Procrastination=Stress & Frustration (PSF)

Ugh!  I hate it when I wait until the last minute to do something.  Unfortunately, some of my best work comes from waiting, but along with it comes the stress and frustration.  Those three things combined are a dangerous affliction known as PSF.  It often leads me to eat uncontrollably and generally it isn't going to be anything healthy!

After two years of green smoothie-ing and eating high raw, why do I still reach for comfort foods?  It is getting easier to choose not to eat anything at all but there are those days when nothing but junk will do it.  I know it's all in my mind, but come on!  How is it all so wired in my head that I need a Snickerdoodle to push the stress down?  It really all was taught to me by my momma.  If I had a bad day at school (I often did) she medicated with food.  She taught me to eat when stressed.  I won't go into the kinds of food she fixed me with so suffice it to say it wasn't good.

So when I procrastinate I pretty much set myself up to subconsciously eat.  And that is usually what happens.  My brain puts my body into auto-pilot mode and I have eaten half a bag of chips before I realize I don't even like BBQ chips!

I'm going to work on changing that.  The next initiative in the "Hab" is called Resolve to Evolve.  That is what I plan on doing.  Working on getting more exercise into my day and removing the auto-pilot from my way of thinking.  Procrastination is something that will be ongoing simply because I am a great procrastinator!  So, for those of us suffering from PSF, let's work on removing the "P" because that will get rid of the S&F!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brussels Sprouts Don't Have To Be Gross!

Tonight I felt like eating some of the delicious Brussels Sprouts I bought over the weekend.  There are several recipes online for Brussels and some kind of fruit.  My favorite combination is Brussels with pears. It's a great combination of crunch and sweet.  Tonight I wanted to add something extra.

I chopped enough raw Brussels Sprouts to fill my bowl, then diced a half a pear and added it to the bowl.  There were some sliced almonds that sounded nice so a small handful was thrown in.  For the dressing I added Coconut Aminos, about 3 Tablespoons, 3 Tablespoons or so of Raw Agave, a glub of Udo's Oil. Mix it all into the chopped Brussels and pear.  For a topping I added Rice Seasoning which is a mixture of sesame seed, salt, sugar, and seaweed.



Obviously, the Rice Seasoning isn't raw and it contains sugar.  But the amount I added was nominal, about 1 - 2 teaspoons.  It adds a nice Oriental/sushi flavor.  I found this seasoning at the local Oriental market.  There were several to choose from and the price was right.

I gotta say, it was a totally satisfying dinner.  I hope I can remember the recipe!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Raw Food Gifts

This year, along with a lot of people, our family is tight on the budget and Christmas will not be made of many store-bought items.  Our kids will get one item they really wanted and then I am sewing and painting.  For family, my brother and his family and for my dad I plan on creating raw food treats.  If I write this down I will be more likely to accomplish what Is on the list.  I will add pictures as I make these treats.

Spicy Cheez Kale Chips

Cauliflower caramel popkorn

raw caramel turtles

raw nut/seed energy squares (some will be dipped in raw chocolate)

onion flax crackers

I may add more goodies, depending on how much time I have next week.  My main problem is going to be not eating this yummy food straight out of the dehydrator!  These are gifts!  These are gifts!  Not for me!  :o(

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Couple Days Off

Sunday was a binge day.  An unfortunate binge day that spilled into Monday.  It wasn't good raw foods I binged, either.  Cupcakes from our surprise 25th Anniversary party, Cheeto Balls, no water or green smoothies,  no herb teas, just sugar and junk.  I'm tired today.  And as I write my little blog post today I am sipping a green smoothie, heavy on the greens.


I guess I "needed" a binge without guilt.  But I am a bit bummed with myself because I really wanted to rawk out the last week of the Falling Into Raw Initiative in Raw Food Rehab.  I still have four days to rawk it and that is exactly what I'm going to do!



RAWK IT!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Score at the Store!

It was already a long morning shopping for groceries.  We're expecting yucky weather and my husband didn't want us to be short on supplies.  So there I am in the crowded grocery stores (yes plural; habit learned from my mom) wandering around without a list.  It is so very dangerous to go without a list!  I'm navigating the aisles at Sam's Club when I round the corner and see... 2 pounds of Medjool Dates on sale for $4.50 each!  Holy sweet tooth, Batman!  I grabbed three and wished I could get more.  Joy and rapture!  Medjools!!

And as if that wasn't a surprise, Aldi had Sunflower Seed Bread and Whole Rye Bread for .89!  No wheat!  Talk about blessed!  If this bread tastes good I'll have to head back and grab some more.

Now I need to think of things to do with the dates.  They are too delish to just throw in my smoothies.  Today for my shopping excursion and I took the pits out and replaced them with Brazil Nuts.  That way I'm not hungry and therefore too weak to resist any sample temptations out there.  I have my green smoothie made with collards, bananas, and frozen peaches and Medjool treats to keep me going.  Maybe I'll get lucky and find more raw deliciousness in the stores!  I really enjoy scoring big at the store!  It's like winning the lottery!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sugar and Headaches



Lately I have become more aware of how certain cooked foods make my body feel.  It is usually within an hour of eating something that all of a sudden I am acutely aware of not feeling quite right, sometimes almost sick.  It has been a two-year journey to get to this place of food/physical well-being awareness, of putting a food with how I feel later.  Raw Food Rehab has taught me a lot in this past year alone and I am so grateful to have found this site.

What I have discovered is how I feel after eating wheat and sugar.  I end up with the mother of all headaches that lasts up to two days.  Nothing helps it go away except my body's process of eliminating the offending food.  This article was very interesting Sugar's Effect on Your Health.  I was surprised all the different health issues sugar causes the body.  This includes corn syrup.

The other day I bought myself a treat, soft peppermint sticks.  I promptly ate three.  Yes, all in a row.  Within an hour my head was pounding and even my green smoothie couldn't take the edge off my discomfort.  Ugh!  I still, two days later have that headache!  (I ate another peppermint stick yesterday.  Just call me a glutton for punishment!)

Wheat affects my body as well.  I do not have Celiac's Disease but I do have wheat allergies.  This is going to sound weird (could I have any other kind of allergy but weird?), but wheat makes my left ear itch.  Not just a slight itch but a deep down-wake me in the middle of the night-itch.  It is miserable!  It isn't the worst allergy in the world but it is awful for me.  And it finally occurred to me last night that carbs break down in the body and become sugars!  OMGsh!  But sugar hasn't affected me this way before, why now?  I have been 95% raw vegan for nearly 11 weeks and putting those types of ingredients in me is having profound affects.  I can't explain how it feels to actually come to this kind of realization.  It's a big deal for me.

So, add to my list of Foods that Make Me Sick, sugar and wheat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stronger

Today I am stronger than yesterday.  We had a party with the Special Needs SS class today.  Oh what fun we had!  I was strong and resisted homemade cookies.  Then we went to the pizza shop and I was strong and drank my green smoothie instead of eating the yummy-smelling pizza.


When I got home at 6pm I was SO HUNGRY!  We had a vegetarian soup last night for supper and there was still some leftover.  It sure filled the void!  I feel warm and full.


I FEEL STRONGER!  Today was easier than yesterday.  Tomorrow I will be stronger than today.  My strength comes from The Lord.  In Him I rest.

Strong

Sometimes I feel stronger in my food choices when I am around my friends than when with my family.  Maybe it's because my family sees the real me and know I have weaknesses but my friends only know about the weaknesses I tell them about.  They don't really get to see them for themselves.  I don't know.

Anyway, yesterday (Saturday) I was able to go to our ladies brunch at church.  It's always so much fun.  The tables are decorated by a hostess, using their own china, or paperware, decorations and candles.  Each table is an individual work of art!  I knew before going there would be food I just didn't want to eat so I packed a container of fruit salad and a 32oz bottle of green smoothie.

As brunch was served I felt my mouth water at the sight of the cinnamon coffee cake and mound of potatoe casserole.  I just stared at it, thinking, "Just one taste."  But I know me.  "Just one taste" would set of an entire day of eating foods that would not make me feel good later.  My friend next to me looked at me looking at my plate and she said, "You can't eat that, can you?"  "No, I can't."

To tell the truth, I could have eaten every crumb on that plate and been happy!  But the fact she knew I was eating to live gave me the strength to pull out my container, take my plate to a private corner and pour that beautiful fruit salad out.  When I came back to the table everyone was very interested in what was in that salad.  Here's was I threw together:  leftover raw cranberry relish, one Clementine and one kiwi.  It was beautiful and it tasted SO delicious.  I didn't miss eating that cake and casserole.  (I did take it home for my son to enjoy for lunch.)

My choice to eat my fruit salad gave me the strength to stay strong throughout (most) of the day.  I was able to talk to a woman at the table who was diagnosed with ARD (acid reflux disease) about drinking green smoothies.  Maybe she will try them, maybe she won't.  I did let her try my green smoothie, though I don't think she liked it much since they aren't as sweet as they were when I first began drinking them.

I did admit to my friend that this whole way of eating has been a two-year process.  I didn't just go cold turkey eating raw vegan.  I'm stronger today than I was four months ago.  It's easier today to choose a smoothie over chicken (most of the time).  It's easier to simply taste a piece of cake instead of shoveling a large piece in my face.

Every day I become stronger in my food choices.  Stronger in voicing my thoughts on eating raw vegan. I am stronger for me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Conscious Choice

The past couple of days have been one conscious choice after another.  I'm cooking dinner for the family, will I choose to eat what I am cooking even though I am not hungry?  When I did finally feel hunger I had the choice of heating what I fixed for the family or eating a raw salad.  I chose the salad (raw cranberry relish).  

Today I realized my day has been a series of conscious choices of what to put in my mouth.  Chips?  No.  I don't like how I bloat from all the salt.  Bread?  No.  I don't like how it causes my allergies to flair up.  Leftover turkey (yes, we still have some turkey)?  No.  It upsets my digestive system.

So what did I choose?  I chose to make a pumpkin spice latte.  It has been warm and filling and delicious.  But I consciously chose to stay 100% raw today.  And that's the thing.  It has to be conscious.  If I mindlessly wander my kitchen cabinets and fridge I will unconsciously put food in my mouth that I don't really want or need.  I have to make a well thought out decision to stay raw.  No more floating through my food choices, not thinking about what I am doing.  

My new plan is to try to be very aware of what is in my hand heading in the direction of my mouth.  To think about what I'm doing and what I am eating.  How am I going to feel after eating ___?  Is it worth it?  Do I want to put my body through the uncomfortable physical issues?  Do I really want to play "catchup" with my health every time I choose to eat something processed or cooked or whatever it is, then go raw until I "feel good" again.

Here is a <blurry> photo of that delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte I chose to drink all day.  Very soothing and filling on a chilly December day.


Here is the recipe in case you want to try it.  The base of the recipe is from Penni Shelton of rawfoodrehab.ning.com .

Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 1/2 cups Sunny Mylk (1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds blended in
     1 1/2 cups water)
1 cup Rooibos tea (I use Red Chai Masala Tulsi Tea)
Juice of 1 Pie Pumpkin
2 TBLS raw honey or sweetener of choice
1/4 to 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

Brew the tea and set aside.  Juice the Pie Pumpkin.  Blend the Sunny Mylk.  Add the honey, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and pumpkin juice into the Sunny Mylk.  Blend.  Add the tea and blend again.  If you have a high-speed blender, blend until it is warm.

Note:  The pumpkin will separate from everything if left to set.  Just a quick shake or stir mixes it all back together.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Over-Processed

Here is the trailer for a video coming out soon.  I would really like to watch this with my family who is fighting me tooth and nail in the food area.  After all, I have been the catalyst in their addiction to processed foods.  I ate processed foods growing up.  At what point will we wake up and realize the bits of food in the brightly colored boxes aren't real food?  Here is the trailer:

<object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/G96Sztb8Ctk&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/G96Sztb8Ctk&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object>

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Commitment

So far on my commitment to stay high raw (one whole day) I haven't felt too many pullings to SAD.  Normally, the thought of no cooked, fried snack foods has me licking the paint off the walls with cravings. Today hasn't been bad.  Granted, it's only one day, but I feel good that I have made it this far.

Today when I came home from work I was hungry.  True tummy-growling hunger.  My breakfast was a deliciously sweet Ruby Red grapefruit.  Instead of coming home and eating crackers or chips or whatever I could scrounge in the cupboard I made a salad.  A delicious broccoli salad with purple onion, raw cashews, and sweet golden raisins.  The dressing was made with Vegenaise, lemon juice, and raw Agave.  It was so filling and YUM!

My juicer is back home so tonight will carrot juice and maybe more broccoli salad.  I want to make tomorrow, the day before Thanksgiving, another juicy raw day.  I CAN DO IT!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Off again on again...

I have never really given any thought to eating SAD then trying to correct my poor eating choices by green smoothie-ing and eating fruits and veg.  I found out from a friend on RFR (Raw Food Rehab) who had been on Matt Monarch's page that yo-yo ing back and forth between raw and SAD was actually damaging my cells.  Stretching them on SAD because I'm bloated with gases then shrinking back when I decide I want to be high raw.

Well, I think I'm done with that.  I have had a lot of comments on how young I look or how hot I look since I began losing weight by being high raw.  As much as I enjoy the comments I want to be healthy on a cellular level.

So, my hot sexy self is done with SAD.  I am making a commitment to myself and to my family to be healthy so they don't have to take care of me in my old age.  I am committing to eating in a way that will keep me happy and feeling good.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Raw on Thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving dinner.  A time of traditions, family and friends, football and food.  Have you ever thought about our major holidays always being centered around food?  And usually we eat the same food.

This year I wondered about eating raw and having Thanksgiving dinner.  How am I going to handle this?  What will go on my plate and in my mouth?  I figure if I have some kind of game-plan going into the day I will be less likely to fill up taste-testing and more likely to put healthy raw/vegan foods on my plate.  I do plan on having a small slice of turkey, some stuffing (bread = my weakness) with gravy and pumpkin pie.  So what will be raw for me?

cranberry relish (Martha's recipe)             
pumpkin/persimmon flan   
broccoli salad                                           
brussels sprouts and Asian pear salad

The raw menue has changed.  I am still serving Martha's cranberry relish, Brussels sprout & Asian pear salad; wild rice stuffing; okra salad; Ruby Red Grapefruit & avocado salad.

It isn't much but it's a start.  Throughout the day I want to be filling up on green smoothies, which will keep the taste-testing at bay.  That is the game plan.  Do you have a game plan?  Would you be willing to share it?  

UPDATE:  Okay, my plan pretty much went out the window.  BUT I didn't do much "taste-testing" as I usually do on Thanksgiving Day.  When dinner came I was hungry AND I did not eat until I felt sick.  Another first for my Thanksgiving Day.  All in all, I'm happy with the day.

The wild rice stuffing didn't happen.  I literally ran out of time.  The okra salad, which I was SO looking forward to, didn't happen because I could not find fresh okra.  Out of season.  The Ruby Red Grapefruit & avocado salad was eaten right up; gone.  I got a small taste of it and this is a deliciously refreshing salad.  

I hope you all had a good day focusing of family and friends (we had 16 in our house!).  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Squashed!

God has truly blessed our family this week.  I have been unusually stressed about jobs and finances, like most others around me.  Just when I thought I would lose heart in our situation, God came through.  I'm not sure why I am surprised when He blesses our family.  This week was awesome!

Here's a bit of background on what's what.  At a busy intersection near our house, an enterprising group put up a pumpkin patch/petting zoo/straw bale maze/haunted house.  The mountain of pumpkins was a sight to behold!  Some of the biggest and roundest orange globes all in one place.

After Halloween I noticed there were several boxes, large 4'x4'x4' boxes, filled with pumpkins.  I decided I was going to stop one day and ask about them.  Wednesday I was driving down the road and noticed someone doing some cleanup.  I whipped the car into the drive, got out and walked toward him.  "I was wondering if you were still selling your pumpkins?"  "No, but you can take some.  Do you want the large or pie pumpkins?"  "I'm hoping to buy pie."  "Well, the pies are over there, take as many as you want."  "What can I pay you for them?"  "Nothing.  They're just going to waste and I've been giving them to anyone.  So there's no point in charging you for them.  Take as many as you want."

Now, just for the record, this is more than I can handle so I will be putting the word out to my friends who may want fresh pumpkin pie.

These are going to become puree, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, and anything else I think need pumpkin.





As if that wasn't a hugely generous gift, God blessed again this week.  My daughter's boyfriend called last night.  He had a strange question for me.  It seems someone had donated some large squashes to the church's food pantry.  Most pantries can't keep fresh produce so the church was giving them to anyone who would take them.  He told me they were huge squash, about 40 lbs.  Well, my brain cannot picture what a 40 lb squash looks like so I told him, "Sure!  I'd love a couple."  When he got to our house he popped his trunk and hauled out (and I mean hauled out) this beautifully red-orange, bumpy monster of a squash!  Wow!  It is gorgeous!  The second is a beautiful white, flat squash.  I may get a couple more if they have them.  Here is what he brought over:

Are these not just the most beautiful examples of an autumn harvest you have ever seen?!  I may keep some seeds from the white squash for planting this spring.

The pretty white cat is Strat.  He is my daughter's large 16 lb cat.


Another shot of the 40 lb squashes.  I can't wait to cut into these for some soup!

There's a blob in my kitchen!

And the blob isn't from the sink of unwashed dishes, either!  No, I have two jars of Kombucha brewing and the scobies are forming nicely.  It's strange, though.  One scoby is thicker and better formed than the other.  They both sit next to each other in the darker corner of the counter.  One is next to the (uninsulated) outer wall so I am wondering if that has anything to do with the stunted formation.  When the scobies are thicker I plan on starting a new batch and making black cherry Kombucha.  These current jars are pretty tart so I want to use them as the starter for a new, drinkable batch.                                              

Here are my jars of Kombucha.  The are covered with a paper towel and rubber bands to keep out the inevitable gnats that appear during Autumn fruit season.  It smells good but is a bit too tart for my taste.

Here is one of the scobies.  She is about 1/4-inch thick, maybe a bit more.  I had to do a double take on this one.  The momma sank beneath the surface and now has a baby scoby forming above her.  BONUS!  The other jar has a malformed scoby and isn't thickening quite as fast.  I think this is the one setting next to the wall, so she doesn't get a much warmth to form correctly.  I may move both of these over on the counter closer to the oven for a bit of radiant heat.



This is the baby scoby forming above its mother.  Doesn't she look so cute?



Future black cherry Kombucha using R.W. Knudsen's juice concentrate.  Hmmm... it looks like someone has been snitching from the bottle!  I can't wait to try Black Cherry Kombucha!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Merry Grasshopper

This week I have been short of greens.  Not only smoothie greens but spending greens.  It has really put dash on green smoothies and juices.  My body is really craving them, of course!   This morning I thought I would flip through Victoria Boutenko's revised Green for Life and found this great recipe, Merry Grasshopper.  I just happened to have the ingredients!  Woo hoo!  

Merry Grasshopper
1 cup wheat grass
2 bananas
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 inch ginger
2 cups water
Blend until smooth.
Yields 1 quart

I used half wheat grass, half flat leaf parsley and it tastes great!


When I drank that first sip (okay it was actually more a gulping action than sipping) it was like my body heaved such a satisfied sigh.  If you don't have Victoria's book I highly recommend Green for Life. It is packed with great information, facts, testimonials, and delicious recipes.

Stay Green!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Health Food Jackpot

                              


I totally hit the yum-yum jackpot today!  Our local recover store had boxes of 12 mini Larabars for $3!  At the health food store a box of mini Larabars costs about $12.  Talk about feeling like I won the lottery!  THEN they had Doctor Krackers for $1 a box.  At the health food store they cost $4.50.  I bought two boxes of each of the three flavors they had available.  I am really hoping these are still there on payday (one more week).  I am just giddy!
Well, I have done quite well this week, if I do say so myself.  Three pounds gone so far.  Weigh in starts today at RFR but I want to wait until Sunday morning to see if I can drop at least one more pound.  I am determined to lose the rest of my weight by the end of the year.  That is 20 pounds a month.  I think it's doable, but I really will need to stay focused.
I did get my grocery shopping done.  I have the week's menu and the rest of the family can eat meat and yummy vegan food.  There is a lot of soup on the menu.  I have the bread machine going so we have fresh bread for the sandwich eaters.  I know what is in the bread and what is not.  I like knowing what is not in the food I serve the family.
Well, I'm off the enjoy some of those krackers!  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Going Shopping

 

I am getting ready to do one of my least favorite chores:  grocery shopping.  I don't know why I dislike going to the market so much.  Maybe it's because I get frustrated with the traffic jam of carts in the aisles.  Or maybe because I spend more money to buy less and less.  Then again it could be the knowledge that this chore is never ending.  If I think about the reasons, ponder them deeply I would admit it's because of the crowds.  A store full of people all disliking the same chore doesn't always make for a pleasant experience.

I have my (long) list written out.  This one is filled with whole foods; raw foods.  Daikon Radish, curly Kale, Baby Bok Choy, fresh thyme.  The menus for this week have been chosen: Shaved Fennel Salad, Colorful Cabbage Slaw, Crispy Shallot Onion Rings, Weeknight Chili.

Oh!  Here is another reason grocery shopping may be such a pariah, buying for raw food eaters (just me) and cooked food eaters (everyone else in the house).  It's hard to balance that, at least for me.  I tend to forget to buy what my family wants to eat and sometimes end up with only healthy vegetables and fruits!  It's an honest mistake.  Really!

Anyway, staying raw lately has been very hard.  I don't know why.  Maybe the cooler weather is triggering my comfort food meter.  Fall and winter has always been "Soup Season" to me.  Soup with warm homemade bread cut thick with real butter.  Eating raw vegan during Soup Season is going to be a struggle.  

I mean, warming soups in the dehydrator is definitely doable.  It may be the only way I have warm soup.  The bread part will be impossible.  At least the thick-cut bread.  I don't think there is a thick fluffy raw bread recipe out there.  Plus it doesn't help I'm allergic to wheat.

I am determined to stay as close to 100% raw as possible.  It occurred to me today I only have 40 pounds left to lose.  So why is it so hard to eat in a way that makes me feel good, sleep well, look good, and lose weight?  No pills, no marathon exercising (though exercising will certainly speed up the weight loss).  Why can't my brain wrap itself around eating raw?

So, my list is made.  Tomorrow I'll head to the store and do my duty.  Maybe I'll treat myself to a new fruit or vegetable.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month




It's been nearly two years since my mom died from breast cancer.  I miss her.  Even though we didn't always get along she was my mom and I loved her.
The hardest part of the cancer was watching my mom's body deteriorate. The last year of her life her mind deteriorated.  That was just one ofe the hardest part.  My quick-witted mom became a six year old little girl.
This year my mom missed the high school graduations of two of her grand kids and the marriage of her oldest granddaughter.  When she first went to CTCA she told everyone there she had to beat the cancer because she had wedding bouquets to make for her four granddaughters.  It was sometimes difficult planning the wedding and knowing how much fun she would have had.


To my mom:  I miss you.  I love you.

Putting on the Pink




Last night our church put on a "Putting on the Pink" party for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October). It was a lot of fun. Lots of information, good speakers, yoga, massages, and a bone density test. I decided to do the bone density test (I didn't opt for the massage as I'm so knotted up there wasn't enough time to work half of them out). It's a neat machine that is 99% accurate.

It looks kind of like a foot massager. They ask your age first.  You place your foot in the machine and two balloons on either side of your heel inflate. Nothing uncomfortable like a BP cuff. It sits for about 30 seconds or so and deflates. They look at a colored graph on the screen and show you where your bone density is in relation to your age.

I am 46 (next Saturday). Here are the findings of my test:

* On the graph I am above average for my age.

* My T score is 0.0 {T score indicates whether you are above or below the bone density of a healthy 30 year-old, the age when bone density reaches its peak.}

* My Z score is 1.1 {Z score indicates whether you are above or below the bone density of other people your age, sex, and race.}

So, my T score of 0 indicates the average for the healthy, 30 year-old group and my Z score of 1.1 indicates I have higher bone density than my age group.

I have the bone density of a 30-something year old! Se said a good diet, exercise, and lots of greens contribute to higher bone density. I said I green smoothie every day and she just smiled and said green smoothies are great.

I think that is awesome considering my mom lost 8 inches of height at the end of her life and that is something I definitely want to avoid.

Monday, September 27, 2010

MIA

It has been a long month.  After my daughter's wedding I have struggled to stay even 50% raw.  There have been very little juicing and green smoothies the past few weeks.  And you know what?  I feel like blah!  I am really feeling the lack of raw foods, green smoothies, and liquids.  My body is tired, bloated, not sleeping well and I am back to square one in regards to craving sugar.






I really feel discouraged about starting at the dreaded square one, though I don't feel like the past several weeks have been a waste of time.  Do you remember playing Candy Land as a child and you had to go back?  Remember that feeling that you'll never catch back up to the others?  That's how I'm feeling right now on my raw journey.  


I get to join RFR's next 11 week initiative, iVault 4.  I'm really looking forward to all the love and support that is in that wonderful group.  My goal is to have lost the last of my weight, 40 pounds, by the end of the year.  I think I can do it!  I know I can.  I just have to put my big girl panties on and get busy!


I am dealing with some job stress, both mine and my husband's.  When I'm stressed I want to eat and not raw!  Chips and burgers, soda, fries, cookies... well, you get the point.  Really, I just need to give God my stress. He isn't going to let anything happen to us that He isn't in control of.  That is a scary statement, but I believe God wants good things for our family, not harmful things.  I truly believe that.


So, RFR, I am on board!  I WILL lose those last 40 pounds and I am going to be even more beautiful!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Comparisons


I have an awful habit of comparing myself to other women.  Like apples to oranges.  Why can't I be taller?  Why won't my hair do that?  She is so Godly and has her quiet time with God every single day, why won't I do that?  She has it all together and I can't find where I put it.  What is wrong with me?

All self destructive.  It doesn't build me up.  Talk like that doesn't help me feel good about myself or my choices.  It makes me feel like a loser, a failure.  But God doesn't make losers or failures.  Thank goodness!

It's the same with eating raw.  Why can't I motivate myself to do a 3-day juice feast, let alone a 40-day juice feast?  What is wrong with me?  She can do it, why can't I?  She creates delicious raw recipes and stays 100% raw 100% of the time.  She can do it, why can't I?

The thing is, nobody is perfectly perfect 100% of the time.  I just convince myself they are.  If I were to have the chance to talk with them I bet I would find they struggle with food on a daily basis just like me.  We all struggle with something when it comes to changing our eating style.

So what am I comparing myself to?  An image.  A figment of my own imagination.  I've set someone up on a pedestal (where they would probably rather not be) to be imitated.  I am trying to follow something that does not exist:  a perfect person.  Whether it is in the area of Godliness, home, work or eating.  God should be the only One I follow.  I should be comparing myself to Jesus.  I should be looking up to Jesus.  I need to be talking with Jesus about my concerns, doubts, worries, food, whatever because He actually cares about every little thing in my life.

God made me fun-sized (shorter).  So what?!  I'm a perfect fit with my husband.  My hair is thin and fine.  Who cares?  I found a great beautician who makes it look wonderful.  I choose not to have a quiet time with God.  Now that is something to care about.  He cares!  There is nothing wrong with me.  I cannot compare my life with anyone else's because their life is theirs and my life is mine.  My life will never be anyone else's.

And that's a good thing!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Autumn Weather




The weather is finally taking a turn for cooler temperatures.  The other day we had a nice strong breeze that cooled things down.  The only thing missing were the swirling leaves.  Oh I am so ready for cooler temperatures, beautiful bold Autumn colors, the scent of the crisp air, and soup.  Yes, soup.  I always call Autumn and winter "soup season".


Now that I am 95%+ raw vegan I am wondering how I will get through soup season without giant cauldrons of vegetable soup, potatoe soup, chili, chicken noodle and so many more that are accidental bowls of deliciousness.  I know there are several websites with raw soup recipes.  But I may also choose to make caulfrons of vegan soup and raw bread.


This will also be a great time to dehydrate crunchy snacks like kale chips, crackers, and chip chips.  I am gathering winter recipes that use seasonal produce, such as persimmons and pumpkin.


So here's to soup season!  Sweaters and swirling leaves and walks in the park!  Enjoy the season!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Does Fat Look Like?


It is hard to imagine the weight one loses because we really can't see the fat.  We just know our clothes fit better or we feel better or whatever.  Years ago, when I did W.W., our leader did a visual lesson.  She had her local butcher (meat counter guy) package up 5 lbs. and 10 lbs. of fat.  Talk about a great visual!  To actually see what 5 lbs of fat looked like was mind blowing.

I have lost only 6 pounds but I still remember what the 5 lb. package of fat looks like and I know it is a lot!  See if you butcher will package some out for you.  {Then give it to your friend who makes soap.  She can render it down.}

Below is a visual of what 5 lbs of fat and 5 lbs of muscle look like.  The next time you think, "I have only lost 5 pounds", go to you local market and ask the butcher to show you 5 lbs. of fat.  You'll never say that to yourself again!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's Been a Long Two Weeks

Well, the wedding is over.  It was absolutely beautiful!  The bride was beautiful, the groom very handsome, the weather was perfect.  So, is anyone wondering how I did on the raw food journey?

Let me tell you.  I didn't do bad but I didn't stay raw.  The week was so busy I forgot to make and drink smoothies, juices, or even water.  There was a bit of finger licking and some taste testing, but not as much as I would done 18 months ago.  That in itself is a positive thing!  Even after all of that I only gained 1 pound.  It could have been worse so I'm not upset with a 1 pound weight gain!

This week has been a little harder to get back on track.  But my weight is actually staying the same.  Having all the leftover wedding treats in the house hasn't helped because my main weakness is pastry.  Any kind of pastry, but especially made-from-scratch cake.

This morning I made 76 ounces of a delicious green smoothie.  So far I've managed to drink about 12 ounces.  :op.

OH!  Good news!  My husband is ready to change how he eats and I am SO very proud of him.  It is such a hard decision to change the way one eats.  Because food is used for more than simply nourishing our bodies.  We use it as an upper, as an antidepressant, to help us not feel lonely or angry or happy, sad and so many other reasons.  However my husband uses food he has decided it is time to change.  To be healthier and eat better.

I can hardly wait for the thinner, sexier (he's always been sexy to me!) hubby!  I am so giddy that he is finally ready to take his health seriously.  For his sake and for the sake of the kids and me.  Send up a prayer we both stay on this journey together!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not MIA

I promise to not lose myself!  We are in the last days of getting a wedding put together.  While I have so many thoughts about my raw life racing through my head, there simply isn't time to get them all journalized  here.  Sunday, when I am resting I may be able to get my thoughts together.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fortitude and Raw Food

Cultivate Bravery

Yesterday on Raw Food Rehab Penni spoke to us about FORTITUDE.  She defines fortitude as a "'mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously. Courage is another word that embodies fortitude... '".  Fortitude/courage can be broken down into four categories, the first one being BRAVERY.  These are the definitions of bravery given by Penni on RFR.  I could not have said it better than she.

Bravery is defined as “the ability to do what needs to be done despite fear”.


There are several forms of this bravery:


Physical Bravery involves acting in spite of possible harm to one’s body. 


Moral Bravery involves acting in a way that enhances what one believes to be good in spite of social disapproval and possible backlash. 


Psychological Bravery which involves things such as overcoming one’s own addicting habits, irrational anxieties, and harmful dependent relationships. Psychological bravery means acting against one’s own natural inclinations and facing fears which might not have any societal moral implications.


Bravery is a trait, just like creativity or sensitivity might be considered a trait; however, it is widely believed that bravery is a positive psychological trait that is found and can be cultivated in most individuals


The questions she asked us to consider can be a real door opener for the heart and mind of why I choose to eat the way I do.



How have you been courageous or brave so far on your journey with raw foods?
I don't know that I feel so brave or courageous in my journey with raw food.  Maybe facing the occasional ribbing from my family about what I eat/drink and still persevering is an act of courage.  Even the every day joking from co-workers about my "green slime" or "eating weeds" could be considered courage.  Personally, I don't care if they tease.  It's my life and I prefer to be healthy AND happy.  Imagine being able to do both at the same time!

Do you feel this is a character trait in which you are lacking?
I don't believe I lack courage.  Sometimes if something is unknown I don't do my usual dive in feet first without looking.  But instead I ease into it and gather information and find people who are already doing what I am interested in.  I don't mind waving my "freak flag" in the crowd!

Do you believe courageousness is something that you are willing to cultivate to help you reach your personal health & weight loss goals?
"Cultivate".  That could be an entire post all on it's own.  To cultivate something, anything, is to nurture it, care for it, give the "something" what it needs to thrive, surround it with good-for-it people, information, love, acceptance.  Surrounding myself with like-minded people is a courageous act all in it's own.  There is the chance of alienating the people you used to go to for support and help.

Courage comes from deep within.  It isn't some piece emotional jewelry we wear to accessorize our day. It comes from the gut and sometimes it wells up like a geyser.  I don't think courage is a trickle or leak.  It as an action that wells up in us.  It is too easy to live the kind of life everyone else thinks you should live.

To just go with the flow.  When we "go with the flow" all we are doing is drifting.  There really isn't any effort to floating along.  But when we decide to go against the current, go against what society believes, and swim in the opposite direction, that is courage.  It takes effort and work, perseverance,  FORTITUDE, COURAGE, BRAVERY.  It's all action baby!

I think the people I am mainly surrounded with right now accept that I choose to eat the way I do and are mildly curious.  Being on Raw Food Rehab and surrounding myself with people who are on the same journey is very helpful.  They cultivate in me hope, health, laughter, peace, acceptance, ideas, information, support, a shoulder to cry on, and courage to continue on the journey I undertook several weeks ago.

Do I feel courageous?  I do.  There is also the courage to share what I am learning with other people. THAT takes an enormous amount of courage because you take the chance of "in-your-face" ridicule; not something any of us particularly want.  But if something feels so right and healthy and happy why would I keep that to myself?  I want to encourage others to have the courage to live a life that will help them live better.

My challenge to myself and to anyone who reads this:  Let's do something courageous, something outside our waffle pocket, that we have never done before.

"'Wait for the Lord: Be strong and let your heart take courage: Yes, wait for the Lord.'"  Psalm 27:14


"'The only fundamental rule for me is to just be yourself.  Let your freak-flag fly, and if someone doesn't get you, move on.'"  Drew Barrymore

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Five Week Journey

We've all heard it said that if you do something, anything you want to make a habit, for two weeks it will become ingrained in you.  Well, it took longer than two weeks for me, more like five weeks.  Deciding to go 100% is the best decision for me.  Not only am I healthier but I believe I am leading my family by example and they are making small steps to making healthier choices.

This is the beginning of week six.  It is easier to drink juices and smoothies and eat the occasional food to fill in the empty spots.  It was a long road to get here.  I found it is impossible on my own strength.  A new friend on Raw Food Rehab reminded that I can do nothing apart from God.  And that would include eating better.  This past week it has really hit me that I need God to help me on the raw food journey as much as I need Him in every area of my life.

There are so many successes in such a short time.

1)  I have released six pounds (doesn't sound like much but that was all in one week)

2)  I have tons of energy

3)  food is no longer my emotional security blanket

4)  meat no long tastes good

5)  I actually crave greens, green juices, and smoothies

6)  my hair is very healthy

7)  my fingernails are getting harder and stronger

8)  my allergies are gone

9)  my IBS is GONE!

10)  I don't need deodorant like I used to

This is enough of a reason to continue on this journey.  I wish the rest of my family could feel as good as I do.  But I can only make decisions for myself.  What is keeping you from having great successes in your life?  Are you sure it isn't your food?
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