Blog / weight watchers

a time line on what led me to the raw food world... (my raw food transformation thus far - plus a bit of Matt's)

Since having that cute little video out that Mister Monarch did, it's obvious that there's very little one can say in a 5 minutes clip about our raw food transformations. So I wanted to do a little time line. Well, it's a big time line really and I'm sure I'll elaborate on things with other postings, but for now, wanted to get a start here... I will begin by saying as a kid I was tall, overweight and wore glasses forever. In the 4th or 5th grade we read AS A CLASS the book "Blubber" - I was mortified as the fat chick's name in the book was Linda. UGH! We read it in CLASS! What a nightmare - thanks evil 4th/5th grade teacher - wonderful sensitivity you had there! hahaha So anyway, the timeline begins with me being OVERWEIGHT since about 1st or 2nd grade. :-)
1970s-85 Overweight with many many allergies. Allergies so bad at some points that my parents would think I'd have to go to the doctors for tubes in my ears or whatever but then I'd get better (I think I was most allergic to doctors!) :-) Moms put me on various diets throughout my childhood but nothing really helped me lose weight. I was definitely an emotional eater from the word go. Had various illnesses as a kid that weren't much fun either: the usual things like colds/flus and tonsilitis but other things, too like mono and rocky mountain spotted fever. I used to go to the doctor for strep throat and other throat infections quite regularly in my early teens. Me and antibiotics were pretty good friends and I became a connoisseur of the ones I preferred. Same for codeine/tylenol for the throat stuff. That stuff was trippy!
1985 Lost (or should I say "shed") 55 lbs in the summer between freshman/sophomore year. Sat in my seat in homeroom and someone told me "you can't sit there, that's Linda's seat." I happily replied, "I AM Linda!" Great to not be recognized in that way! (p.s. the way I lost weight this first time was just reducing portion sizes, swimming in the pool and doing a lot of visualizations.) People definitely treated me differently when I was thinner. Very amazing to see how vain a lot of folks were. And I became quite vain myself. Suddenly pretty for the first time ever, it was cool to have attention. So lots of ups and downs for that first weight loss program that I did totally on my own. Health-wise, still with allergies and throat problems. Still taking antibiotics whenever doctor treated me. Indigestion was always a problem for me. But I was thin for the first time in my life!
1989 Kept weight off in HS, went to college and ballooned up very nicely, thank you. The freshman 15 was more like freshman 40 for me! Then just for good measure I gained another 20 pounds while I was partying my ass off and eating huge, whole calzones all by myself... Still had allergies although not as severe as they were when I was a young kid. Failed out of college the first time 'round - totally too interested in the parties vs. the studies. :-) Still had problems with indigestion/heart burn. Began the rolaids regime in my later teen years.
1990 Decided it was time to get the weight off again. I wanted to get a jump start so I went on a medically-supervised fast for 40 days. I lost about 30 lbs or maybe 40lbs with that fast. I was TOTALLY missing the texture of food by the end so I broke the fast by eating macaroni and beef. I remember thinking how glorious it was to CHEW! I lost the rest of the weight at first by using Nutrisystem and then just doing smaller portions on my own. Overall, I considered my health to be good however I was still quite the partier (not during the fast though!) :-) Still had indigestion, allergies, colds/flus, throat infections, etc.
1991 Stopped drinking when I turned 21 - the thrill of getting into the bars underage was over so what was the point in going? :-) I considered my health to be good although had random allergies and seasonal colds/flus and always was a bit of a binge eater - definitely ate to feel better emotionally. Never got into binging/purging, thankfully, but I used to be consumed with guilt after binge eating. This is really throughout my life, not just at this time. I became a vegetarian here but was definitely an ovo-pesca-lacto-vegetarian, meaning I ate eggs, fish and dairy. Meat never seemed to digest well and I hated all red meats except for the occasional burger.
1994 Moms got diagnosed with non-small cancer of the lung (she wasn't a factory worker and not a smoker, nor in a house with 2nd hand smoke for long periods ever and at the time, she was an anomoly. Unfortunately this isn't the case so much anymore - more people are statistically getting lung cancer who don't smoke or work in factories, etc.) and neighbor's health took a turn for the worse after years of being Type 1 diabetic. I watched him going out in parts as various organs began to fail him, circulation started to fail for his limbs, eyesight began to fail, kidneys began to fail, etc. and so forth. One week he'd be in the hospital and then the next, my moms would be. At the time my oldest/dearest friend and I wondered why this was all happening - we didn't know anyone else who was in their early 20s with such sick parents. We ended up being hella grateful to have each other for support ever since and even during. It became understood right away that our families had a lot of compassion and empathy for what the other was experiencing. One of my brothers and I started researching alternative stuff individually. My brother bought a little juicer and started juicing fruits and veggies for my mom (although knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have had her drink sweet fruit/veggie juices for cancer patients.) I heard a show on Pacifica Radio talking about lung cancer having a possible link with prolonged vitamin deficiency and this somehow clicked with me for my mom - years and years of allergies meant years and years of compromised immune system. If her immune system was compromised, what did that mean for all the allergies I had as a kid up until that point? I started reading all kinds of books on healing foods. My mom was not too interested in alternative or homeopathic routes. She believed, as many people did/do, that her doctor had the best method of treatment for her so she obliged us a bit with our juices and supplements but not so much. (She actually choked on a vitamin we gave her but swallowed the chemotherapy pills with no difficulties.) She suffered greatly but with amazing grace. I watched my mother's health severely deteriorate as she went through chemotherapy, radiation and then did what was then an experimental drug in a 10 month time frame. She said that she felt like a sewer when she took all the chemotherapy pills. Her lung collapsed, she had swelling in her arm that made it so she couldn't write. She had a tumor in her eye that made it so she couldn't read, she had a tumor in her head, her lymph nodes, her bones. After a while we asked her to stop checking with various doctors to check for cancer. She took prednisone, she was on blood thinners, she lost her breath quite frequently, she became frail and weak. Her quality of life in the 10 months from diagnosis to death was terrible and that's just what I saw - I can't imagine what she herself felt/experienced inside her own body. Needless-to-say, I gained about 20 lbs from emotional eating. And I got a full education on the effects of chemotherapy, radiation and experimental drugs in that 10 months. (And hospital visits and hospice, etc. I actually began working for the VNA of Central Jersey working in their mental health, continence, hospice, and assisted living departments a year or so after she died. Also volunteered for a non-medical hospice place when we were in the DC area...)
1995 Moms died and our neighbor died. I made a promise that whatever I could do to help myself naturally, I would try first before anything else medically. I had a deep sense of thinking that my allergies that were always brushed aside as "normal" were something to look into more deeply. Strengthening my immune system was a mission.
1998 Skip ahead a few years (and several tried/failed diets: the Zone, South Beach, you name it, I've pretty much tried it.) Pregnant, living in CA and gained 65 lbs with first pregnancy. Still had that 20 lbs on me from when my moms was so sick. (I took "eating for two" a little too literally!) I also began eating meat again for the first time in 7 years with that pregnancy. I was literally sniffing out barbeques and so I thought that this meant I needed the meat or iron or something. Matt also gained probably about 40 or so lbs. We were so round, how gross, but the pregnancy was healthy. The doctor kept warning me that my weight gain of 4-5 lbs per month vs. the 3 or so lbs that they call normal was dangerous. I asked "Where is this information coming from?" They said it's gathered from avg sizes over the country or maybe even from a broader world average. "Do I look like I'm an average sized woman?" (I'm 6 feet tall.) I told them if I'm not worried about it, don't worry me about it. Still they warned me about toxemia and gestational diabetes, etc. I loved being pregnant - what a great feeling it was. Thankfully I remained very healthy although in this pregnancy, I experienced yeast infections each month and got sick with colds quite a lot. It was after this pregnancy that I began noticing problems with the foods I was eating, showing a lot more allergies again and sensitivities to foods. I had wicked acid reflux with this pregnancy and it subsided only a little bit after the baby was born. (Son was 9 1/2 lbs at birth - was hoping he'd be more like 30 so I wouldn't have to work so hard getting this weight off!) :-)
1999 At some point in this year, Matt and I looked at ourselves with disgust and thought it was time to lose the baby weight. We borrowed my neighbor's weight watchers books and Matt & I lost about 45 or 50 lbs using their point system. This was a very difficult transition for us because we had done a super great job of becoming virtual gluttons. We were living in CA at the time within walking distance to many a burrito place. There was one place we went to almost daily and ate these unbelievably HUGE burritos (ONE BURRITO PER PERSON! And here we were living in the poverty level not even sharing this monstrosity of a meal!) that were bursting with sour cream, guacomole and cheese. One of my brothers came to visit us and we took him to eat there. I don't think he could believe the size of the things we were eating for lunch. (Dinner, we probably took him to get chinese or something when he wasn't even hungry. ee-gads!) No WONDER I was eating rolaids so much!
2000-2001 We moved to MD and found out I was pregnant again! (While in the hospital that we stayed in for 40 days as we were looking for a house to buy, mind you!) :-) This time around I craved tofu and vegetables and my weight gain was about 30-35 lbs. This was a blissful pregnancy and the birth was blissful too. My daughter was over 10 lbs at birth and she was a fierce nurser. I lost that 30-35 lbs within a couple weeks of her birth but remember I was still a good 35 lbs still over weight. I'm tall and I've always been told I carry my weight well but I definitely know the weight I like to be at and that wasn't it. (My 20 lbs is like everyone else's 10 lbs) :-) I also had some kind of injury to my hip joint with the pregnancy or birth. Not sure which. I had x-rays done but refused the MRI because I just didn't want to do it. I went to several chiropractors and physical therapists - all but one (mentioned WAY down below there in 2008) said that I would be in pain for the rest of my life. One doctor wanted to give me shots to help with pain because everything was painful (I never took any shots or medications for my hip.) I had sciatic pain down both my legs and an arthritic or some other "itis" pain in my hip. Basically, I couldn't sit, stand, walk, lay down or anything else without great pain. The sciatic pain would come and go but the pain in my hip was super bad. I couldn't exercise and I lost all flexibility in my hip (I was once so flexible and did yoga quite a lot. My dancer friend used to remark that I was more flexible than she! I see flexibility in my body again, don't you worry!) My daughter continued to be a fierce nurser and only wanted to nurse for the first 17-18 months of her life despite me trying to give her food at about a year old. She was a huge baby and the doctor said that "typically we'd like to see a baby eat solid foods by now but we can't say that she isn't thriving." (SHE WAS HUGE AND TALL AND SUPER STRONG AND HEALTHY) It was at this point that my health became something that I needed to pay attention to more. My food allergies and sensitivities got to the point where I was having hypoglycemic tendencies, yeast infections, candida, acid reflux. I basically would eat lunch and then would be sunk for a few hours afterwards. I could barely pick my head up off the table or couch and taking care of a toddler, an infant and doing my freelance work was totally unbearably difficult. I was visiting my homeopathic doctor quite regularly who put me on an allergy-elimination diet and then a candida diet. The problem was that these are heavy meat-based diets. I told you before, I never really tolerated meat well. The acid reflux I had was terrible and I was literally taking shots of baking soda and water while being treated with the candida diet. I was on a yahoo group for unconventional mothering. I was (am) totally into wearing my babies, extended breast feeding, aware parenting and democratic discipline, non-violent communication, eating locally and seasonally, community supported agriculture, using homeopathy, making our own baby foods, cloth diapers, cloth menstrual pads (my friend Linda's products are the shit!), etc. This group was great because I didn't feel like a freak (particularly because people were doing things WAY more "out there" than me!) :-) I complained about my total lack of energy, the supreme tiredness, the yeast problems, indigestion problems on this group and the moderator turned out to be a raw food dude! I never heard of this at all and asked her what eating a raw food diet meant? She explained briefly and took an interest in what I was eating. She pointed out all the refined sugars and flours I was eating and asked if I'd like to be her guinea pig as she was hoping to start doing some raw food consulting for people. I was desperate and said "Sure, I'll try anything." Sara was her name and I'm eternally grateful to her. She gave me recipes and told me what to read. At that time, there wasn't a lot of books on the subject of raw foods. I started doing searches for raw foods and found only a few sites. I read everything. I followed her diet and things started changing SO rapidly for me that I actually started eating cooked foods because I couldn't deal with the detoxing and transformation! I was detoxing heavily and was doing enemas to help with the detoxing. That helped quite a lot. I noticed the acid reflux was the first thing to go. I started having energy and was able to make it through the day without loads of naps. Yeast issues totally cleared up. But MAN! I had so much fear around this way of eating. I made a promise to myself that I would go slowly and gradually. I gave myself 10 years to get 100% raw. I didn't want to experiment with my kids on this diet although as I started to feel better, I wanted to give them these delicious foods that I was eating. I noticed that my moods were greatly improved with the more raw foods I ate. It became like a game, I saw quite easily how I felt an hour after eating raw food vs. an hour after eating cooked foods.
2002 I took an online raw food course to learn a lot and have the opportunity to as questions with Jinjee and Storm out of CA. I figured as a mother of 2 young babes, I wasn't going to be able to take off for a week or two for training anytime soon. Plus I didn't want to shell out a couple grand to do that sort of thing. I was still experimenting with food. I easily released weight initially when eating more raw foods. I was noticing a LOT of addictions I was having to foods and the emotional pull they had on me. I would eat really well and then binge on various things particularly around my monthly cycle. I was addicted HEAVILY to dairy and starches. This was the beginning of me learning how to be gentle with me.
2003-2004 I fell into a nice groove with what I considered to be a transitional raw diet. I was getting some prepared things made for me which helped me curb my food cravings/addictions and help me feel like I didn't have to do it all myself. I didn't enjoy making food for myself which was different than what I was making the rest of the family so I found that dinners were the hardest for me to eat raw. I took a weekend class close to home with my raw food Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter. This class was incredible and I learned a LOT of stuff that seemed daunting at that point. Dehydrating and gourmet recipes were like a nightmare to me. As soon as I came home, I began making all kinds of glorious things! We moved to VT in 2004 and I was feeling pretty good on my transitional diet and I was about 20 lbs thinner. I have to say that while I saw great improvement in many ways adopting a raw food lifestyle, I kept really putting it on the back burner. I was afraid to highly specialize my diet. I saw my moms cut out a lot of foods from her diet and I felt that restricting wasn't the way to go. However, she was cutting out a lot of plant-based foods because she said she couldn't eat them. When I was younger, I got tested for allergies and had the same as she did. She had the foresight to tell me to keep eating them but she chose to avoid them. For a while since finding out about raw foods, I said, "This would be the perfect diet if ever I was very sick. I'd do this diet in a heartbeat." But it wasn't until about a year later that I asked myself "Why would I wait until I was really really sick before I tried to do something to make myself healthier?" (keep on reading.) :-)
2004-2005 in the first year of living in VT, we were seduced by all of the VT foods - breads, cheeses, creemies, meats, etc. I moved there being about 65-70% raw and very quickly went to being about 80% cooked with dairy and breads as my staple. It was very easy to go back to eating these things and eventually I stopped eating fruits/vegetables/nuts/seeds/sprouted grains/seaweeds for several weeks. Remember, these foods are my strongest addictions! By the time 2005 rolled around, I was about 20-30 lbs heavier just by eating this LOCAL food, the acid reflux came back, my happiness and overall well-being was beginning to sink, I started to feel crappy again but THIS time I began having peri-menopausal symptoms! Hot flashes and weird weird periods and insomnia, panic attacks, heart palpitations and other crazy things. I went to the doctor (who initially said "Wow! a 35 year old who isn't on any medication!") and she then preceded to try to put me on anti-depressants to help with the panic attacks, sleeping pills for the insomnia and birth control pills to regulate my hormones and periods. I said "No Thanks" to the meds except I did take a couple sleeping pills because I was pretty darn sleepy. (They freaked me out though. Couldn't take them.) I actually went on Jenny Craig at this time, too. I was totally in a state of desperation. I really can't fully describe what this all felt like and I look back now and wonder what the hell I was doing. I had a dream that told me to go back to raw foods and this time 100%. Wild, right? Well, I listened and again the acid reflux was the first to go. I lost about 20 lbs very easily, the hormones/hot flashes and panic attacks and insomnia went away within 2-3 weeks. My periods became regular and PMS stuff went away. I still had major pain in my hips but this was totally CLEAR SIGNS that this was the right things for me to be doing. I took a five day class with Alissa Cohen, not really knowing why - I had no interest in teaching and I felt I learned a lot already just by reading, experimenting and taking the classes I already took. It was the first time I was away from the kids ever since they were born. It turned out to be great medicine for me in many, many ways. I met wonderful people there (several of which healed things like cancer with their raw food diets), learned great recipes from everyone and affirmed in myself that this was the right thing for me to do. I was bitten by the raw food bug BIG TIME! For me, it was clear that this was a great way for me to release guilt and shame from my life and my food. This, I felt, was the real shift in the journey for me.
2005-2006 Began teaching classes, challenges, making food for people, and doing workshops primarily so that more people could do this with me and I wouldn't feel so alone up here in VT! hahaha In 2006, I had a thought about making an internet cafe in Worcester and incorporating some raw foods. We found a house and bought it for that purpose. We started Vermont Fiddle Heads in 2006. Physically, I was feeling abundantly good and healthy although still finding it hard to release weight and still not being able to exercise because of my hip pain. I was going to a massage therapist now who was helping me deal with the emotional stuff that I had until then saved for food. :-) She tried to massage my hip, to release lactic acid or whatever was built up but she couldn't touch it or I'd cry out in pain. Still, I was having fun making so much raw food and was playing around with nuts and cacao and everything that was beginning to come out on the market. I started gaining weight on raw food! Don't anyone tell me that you will starve away to nothing on raw food - I found out a way to gain weight on it! hahaha I finally got clever and decided to a 30-day raw food challenge with Matt. For years, I'd make various raw food meals and put it in front of him. He'd love what he ate and then I'd ask him if he would like to eat this way forever. He said, "Um, no - not really." And the cycle continued like this. After I got back from Alissa's class, I went to Matt during the summer and said, "How would you like to do a 30-day 100% raw food challenge with me?" He surprised me and said "OK." We did green smoothies from our garden and made a slew of meals to eat each and every day. Matt still had his coffee though - he could only do this challenge if he had his coffee. After the 30 days was up, I made him a cooked dinner and he said, "What are you giving this to me for? I'm not interested in this." YIPPEE FOR ME! YIPPEE FOR MATT!
2007 Still the same - great energy but still not at my ideal weight and still not able to exercise although I wasn't in as much pain as I used to be. It was still regular enough that it kept me from even walking. I used to try and walk and by the 1/4 mile mark, I needed Matt to pick me up in the car because I was literally crying from pain. I began making raw food for sale in stores and this was such a fun story, I'll save it for another time. Went to a David Wolfe weekend and that dude is hella fun. I was totally glad to hear what he said. I read his book Nature's First Law years ago and absolutely hated it and wanted nothing to do with him because of that book. I told him that, too along with saying how glad I was that he was saying something VERY different than repeating/reiterating "cooked food is poison" with each and every chapter. He was totally agreeable on that one. :-) Matt was beginning to notice differences while he was experimenting with his own eating... cooked vs. raw, etc. The kids too became more aware of what they ate and how it made them feel. YAY! (Although my kids rebel in such cute ways with me on raw food.) They are such cuties and they eat really really well when at home!
2008 Started going to a chiropractor who actually helped me with my hip. She was the ONLY one who told me I wouldn't be in pain the rest of my life. I also went to see a craniosacral therapist who was SOOOOO wonderful and helpful. I can't even begin to tell you how great she was for me. I was doing physical exercises that was helping me to be flexible again. I did some hip opening exercises that made me release into tears for no reason. It wasn't pain or sadness, it was just release. I started taking small walks every now and then. Still wasn't getting past that certain weight that I seemed to be stuck at but I really felt like exercise was going to be the key. Imagine having so much energy but not being able to burn it off! This was me! By now, I was selling stuff in stores and via the website. I was doing regular workshops and occasional classes when I wanted to or had time. I have been routinely showing health and raw food related DVDs and saw Healing Cancer from the Inside Out and then read The China Study. Well, this really brought a lot of clarity to me on so many levels. It definitely resonated with what I experienced with my mom and my neighbor and it made me know that a whole-foods, plant-based diet is the way to go (majority raw, that is!) I don't care if people choose a little (TINY EENSY-WEENSY) bit of animal products in their diet (ONLY IF THEY HAD TO FOR SOME WEIRD REASON) :-) and I quite frankly don't care too much what anyone wants to do so long as they are harming no one. I'm not here to yuck anyone's yum! I'm just writing about me and my family peeps here. The other movie that is a life-changer for so many is Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days with Gabriel Cousens, MD. We were still working to get the internet cafe up and still just having fun with daily life. I should say that it's very rare to have the things like colds and what is the flu or allergies. :-) These things that were a part of my normal routine of life became so clearly not familiar anymore, thankfully! I was also totally feeding my kids about 60-70% raw by now because there was just no other way about it. I prefer them to be vegan but they eat meat when visiting family or friends, much to my pleas and requests to NOT feed them the stuff. :-) The kids have been dairy free since my daughter was in kindergarten and her wheezing greatly improved by that and my son's eczema went away just by doing that small thing. I did learn other things: I had a good 3 month binge with raw cacao that was hella fun and probably my most productive 3 months ever. But health-wise, I started feeling a little bit off to what I now experienced as my normal health, energy & vitality. I learned that for me, there's still a lot to this emotional detoxing thing! (more in future posts, I'm sure.) :-) I was also experimenting with various ways to eat raw foods and see if I could implement it like a "diet" - I used a variety of methods to do this...
2009 This has been a big year for me so far. My friend back in NJ told me about Joel Fuhrman because she loved his books so much and he was her family doctor which I thought was pretty darn cool. He was mentioned in one of the DVDs listed above so I had heard of him. She gave me her favorite book to read, as she bought several just to give them away to people (another cool thing!) I read the book and for me it was super great to have guidelines. I totally took this book and made my own program for raw food that sooooooo did the trick for me. SUDDENLY no more hip pain and I began walking 4-7 miles each day. Like really - within a month of switching things up a bit. Then I started doing the exercise bike again with no pain. Very quickly and easily I started releasing weight - it's been about 40 pounds and counting. My friend Natasha wrote and published an excellent book on detoxing which reinforces what I've been doing myself and she paid us a visit up in Burlington. Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes paid us a visit in Montpelier and totally reinforced soooo many things that I'm doing and thinking and feeling and being. Our internet cafe passed state inspections and now we're working to get the physical store open. We're still doing quite a lot to add more products that we already have onto the website. Matt also realized this year that he hasn't used his inhaler for quite a while and his exercising and weight loss has been great as well! How awesome after nearly 30 years of asthma, he's breathing full and fine now! He attributes it to how he is eating for sure! YAY! Good for you, Matt! In May we took a trip to NJ and he was using it as a test to see how his lungs would be with the pollen and he was totally fine! Same for June when we stayed at my relative's house with their cat! BRAVO!
- And that gets us (somewhat) up to date! :-)-
me at 39
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stream of consciousness before bed - on listening to our inner wisdom...

There's so many conflicting things out there in both the cooked and the raw world. One place says "Don't eat cacao. It's poison" Another place says "OMG! Eat Cacao! It's a superfood!" One place says their cacao is better than the other dude's cacao. Same for the nuts. "Our nuts are of the highest quality - really raw. Don't get those schwag nuts from that dude." Same for the seeds. "Don't eat the white seeds - only the black ones. But make sure they don't come from China..." No green powders unless you check out this other site that says "Yes" to green powders. One place says "No" to greens like kale and chard and "Yes only to greens like micro greens and sprouts." No to oils - we're only supposed to eat as if we were foraging in nature... No to fats. Unless they are good fats like avocados. Other places say "Yes" to a high fruit diet and then you go to another site where you'll read "absolutely DO NOT EAT a high fruit diet." One place says eat whatever you want whenever you want so long as it is raw and other places will say "NO NO NO! Are you crazy? You'll get fat & sick!" It's rather maddening if you are really trying to look for something to help guide you. Some consistency would be nice, right? A few years back I just got rather tired of all the conflicting things I was reading. I used to get quite stressed over it all. And honestly, this isn't just happening in the raw food world, like I wrote above. In the cooked food world it might be even worse. Don't eat meat. OK, eat some of the leaner meats. Eat a high meat diet - well, unless you have high blood pressure or heart problems... Oh but then again if you are a certain blood type, then you want organ meats and the lean meats are not good for you. And then another book or site would go "No, no - vegan is the only way to go. It will safe your life and your earth." How about a lacto-ovo vegetarian? Or a flexitarian? "I'm a vegan that sometimes eats meat and cheese." :-D Coffee is not good for you. Well, actually, coffee can have many good medicinal properties... If you have asthma, coffee can help... If you are producing too much acid in your stomach, then maybe coffee won't be so good. Better try the low acid variety. Or just take this pill... High carbs used to be good - remember the Pritikan diet? High carb, low fat, low salt and very little taste. :-) OK, whatever - it doesn't matter now because high carb is sooo passe. Low carb is the way to go. Or no carb. And make sure you take your vitamins - just not this guys, his are no good. Oh and make sure to put sunscreen on. Oh but now we're finding that we're all vitamin D deficient. Hmm... well maybe we can be outside in the sun for 15-20 minutes without any sunscreen. But no more than that!! Yea, that should be fine... Nuts are good for you. Oh, except if you are pregnant - then your kid might have a problem with allergies or asthma... so forget I said anything about nuts. And tuna is GREAT for you. Whoopsie - wait a minute - there's all that mercury in there. Better not to have that if you are pregnant or young... OR too old... Hmm... well, dairy is good for you. Oh but wait, now we see a possible link with dairy and things like autism and diabetes and eczema, to name a few. High fat diets are fine - remember Atkins? Oh hold on - didn't he die of all these horrible things associated with a high fat, high protein diet? Oh and isn't there new research out showing a link to diabetes and high fat? Hmm... so we're back to low fat being the way to go. But I still want to eat ring-dings and muffins and crap like that. What's that? You've substituted fat with chemical fat replacers? Great! And what about sugar replacers? Got any of those? Artificial sweeteners? OK cool. Now I don't have to worry about eating a high fat and high sugar diet... Oh now wait a minute. What's all this I'm hearing about eating highly processed foods? So what if I can't pronounce the ingredients - there's no TRANS fat in this cookie! OY! What the hell do you want from me?! (Psst: you see why I used to stress over this stuff? I really used to take all this VERY seriously.) I just got to this point when I said, "Forget what 'they' say. I'm going to do it my way." And it's a big experiment. And I'm open to it. That's what life is, right? A big experiment full of choices. "Tell us Johnie, what is behind door number 3?" Now mind you, I still listen - I still read - I still watch what is going on. I'm just not as attached to "the latest research" as I used to be. I read my "Nutrition Action" newsletters that come each month. I read the latest from all the books & newsletters I get from the raw food world. I honestly just feel that it's always going to be confusing if/when we put all our faith in an another person when it comes to what is going on in our own bodies and our own minds. For me, it's important to remember that I've got this wisdom going on inside me that tells me clearly when it likes something, when it needs something and when something is appealing to my emotions more than my state of health. I do keep reading to make sure I'm up on things but I'm so happy that I'm not in that place anymore of needing to know what he/she thinks because knowing that will change *everything* in my diet. Read these raw food forums out there and you'll see what I'm talking about. There are so many postings that people write going "what does such and such have to say about this?" or "thanks for posting this. I definitely won't do that now since you wrote that." or "thanks for posting this. I definitely WILL do that now because you gave it such a good recommendation." It's fine and I'm not knocking it - I'm just saying that when I read these postings or comments, I hear a sense of urgency in a lot of them. And maybe it's because I used to write so many things like this and I used to feel like I couldn't really make a move unless others in the raw food world were doing it first and they said it was OK. You know what I'm saying? I definitely love trying new things and I definitely love offering a wide variety of my favorite stuff but I *SO want people to make up their own minds and eat what they feel works best for them. Otherwise, it starts feeling rather freaky, ya know? Anyway, new subject sort of. If you see me, you'll see that I'm not stick thin. I'm 38, and I was going to write that I'm full-figured although that connotes having a big chest, no? Well, I don't. :-) Since having kids, I weigh more than I would like but I also feel quite good. For me having kids has rocked me off center in more ways than one. I love love love being a mom and it has changed everything in my life. For better or for worse. But really there is "no worse" so it's all for the better. Anyway, I do find that I have gotten into some habits where I have packed on a few extra pounds and I think a part of that is to keep me feeling weighted and firmly planted on this earth. That may sound weird but if you saw me, I'm 6 feet tall. I am much lighter from the hip bones up than I am from the hip bones down. I have a flat stomach but have a big ass, curvy hips and big legs. I've seen some beautiful African art that I look at and go "Damn, I'd be a goddess in Africa! YAY FOR ME!" hahaha Anyway, this is what I mean when I say that my weight is distributed so that I am more attached to the earth than to the sky! :-) For a number of years, I was very upset and worried about how I looked particularly because I believed a lot of what I was reading in these raw food books. I thought I could eat whatever I wanted with raw food because this wasn't food anyway - rabbit food is not food! I thought most of my weight was coming on because of all the pasta and cheese I had been eating in the cooked food world. Right? There's no calories in raw food! It's fruit and vegetables! Well, yes and no. Some fruits are higher in calories than others and I was macking down the mangos and avocados baby! And yes, vegetables are not high in calories but what about all the nut creme dishes that I was making to go WITH the vegetables! Recently I made a raw lasagna with my sister-in-love and we were all eating it. It was delicious and I heard her say that this was "free food" - she was used to doing weight watchers and in weight watchers most vegetables are considered free foods meaning you can have as much of it as you want so long as you aren't heaping tons of dressing on top or whatever. But it's OK to munch on an apple because that's only like a point or have a lot of greens on your plate because that is free. She called the lasagna "free." Well no, it's not free at all. I'll put the recipe on the blog. It's really a great tasting recipe. But you really only need a SMALL SMALL piece of it and have it with a large salad. THIS will fill you up. It's very rich - this SMALL, SMALL PIECE. It's not free food. It's fattening food. And it is food! Rabbit food IS food! But I write this because I totally understand where she's coming from. Most everything has a lot of veggies in it. The marinara sauce, the pesto, the cheezes and the pasta is made from zucchini for god's sake! It's all delicious and it's so much healthier than pulling something out of a freezer and heating it up in a microwave. Or even if you made it "from scratch" (honestly, unless you are making the cheese yourself with the enzymes and the rennet and making homemade noodles from the ground flour that YOU ground yourself along with the eggs and whatever, you are not eating from scratch these days) there's still so much processed stuff in the recipe. So many refined ingredients. So I understand that this raw lasagna dish "FEELS" as is it's free food. "Eat as much of it as you want." I felt this way for a long time on raw foods. I felt like this wasn't really food so I had sort of double up on things in order to feel satiated. Well, it really does take a while to change a habit. Not just 21 days. Not when it's a lifetime of eating. Granted some folks can make a change and never look back but I think a good majority of us eat emotionally in the US and I am certainly one of them. :-) I was JUST reading in this nutrition action letter that said that psychologically, we don't feel like we are eating anything when we get our calories from liquids and so we tend to find ourselves eating something solid after having something like a late or soda or a juice. The letter did say that soup was the anomoly - that we have different associations with soup so we don't necessarily feel the need to eat something solid after having soup. And I agree and disagree with what they said. I agree that for the majority of people eating a primarily cooked food diet, drinking a meal will make you hungrier and probably more likely to eat more or snack more. But after transitioning to more living food, I think a shift happens. It's taken me a while but I really DO feel quite satisfied from a smoothie as a meal. Most of my smoothies keep me filled up quite nicely for the majority of the day. And same for juices PROVIDING they have greens in them. If they have greens in them, then I do feel quite satisfied with a juice for a meal. And even salads. I'm really getting closer and closer to being able to have only a salad for dinner and feeling quite satisfied. I read on one site that there are 3 stages for a live fooder. The first is the gourmet/transitional/dehydrated foods. The second is salads and the third is whole foods. I'm kind of confused by this. Mostly when I meet long time raw fooders, they typically do a lot of liquid meals and sprouts. Are liquid meals considered eating whole foods? I'm also unclear as to how a salad isn't considered a whole food. Because I chop it up before I eat it? But hey, maybe I don't understand because that's the phase I'm in! hahaha Anyway, I really digressed. I started to say that I used to feel quite badly about my appearance. I thought that once I went on raw foods, I'd be just like so many others that would lose weight so quickly that I'd be too thin and worrying about putting on weight. I did lose weight at first. I lost something like 25 lbs or so. And then I plateaued. And then I started to gain some weight back! How horrifying! Right now I am back down pretty much to that initial 25 lbs of weight loss. And yet I still would like to release a few more pounds. 20 would be awesome. That would be a great start. And then a few more. And for those of you who are reading this with gaping mouths as you read these numbers, try living in a six foot frame as a woman. :-) I really do carry weight well. For most people they lose 5 lbs and people notice something. 10 lbs gone and people go "Wow! You've lost some weight!" We're not even in the ball park for me with those numbers. 5 lbs is like having a big pee. NOBODY notices a thing when I lose 5 lbs. My 10 lbs is the average size woman's 5 lbs. My 20 lbs is her 10 lbs. You get where I'm coming from? I know you're reading this going "Wow! You've lost 25 lbs and you want to lose 20 more at LEAST? You must be obese!" - No, I'm not. I am over my ideal weight though. I am tall and I had this tested once: I have somewhere around 145 lbs of bones/muscle. When I was in high school, I weighed on average 145-150 lbs. At one point I weighed 135 and I was very thin looking - my brother said I had a dog's back - all boney but always had the legs and curves so I didn't freak people out. But I'm telling you, the minute I said I weighed 150 lbs, people would go "OMG! I'd never imagine you weighed that much!" or "Wow! You don't look that heavy!" So I stopped telling people my weight. If 150 freaked them out, then anything more would make them faint! :-) Anyway, I'm caring less and less about the number on the scale. It's all how I feel and how I want to feel. In my skin, in my clothes - this is what is important to me. I am taking more walks now. I am moving my body more than I have in years (I had an injury with the last pregnancy that left me rather immoble for *OH* about 6 1/2 years.) :-) I am overcoming many obstacles in my mind, in my environment, in my body. It's very cool. We'll see where this goes. So this is another long post but it feels good to just write. The moral of the story is START listening to that voice inside, that wisdom inside that knows how it wants to be fed - how it wants to be treated - how it wants to feel. And go with it. Shut out the noise that we willingly (or not so willingly) take in and just listen to your silence. There is wisdom in there - wisdom that will tell you what YOU need to hear so that you can make some choices in your life. Whether it be the choice to eat cacao or not to eat cacao - take a vitamin or not take a vitamin - have a piece of meat or not have a piece of meat - how & when to move your body - what weight you want to weigh - how you want to feel and look and be. Really - this really is about being gentle and quiet with yourself so that that inner you can really shine outward for all of us to see. I'm so looking forward to seeing it. Aren't you just so curious?! I'm off to bed. Bless you for reading my ramblings. :-) love and light, Linda P.S. For more info on raw food haps, please have a good read here.
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