Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I have been getting involved in Raw Network of Washington. It seems that I have become the board co-president.

This was something I had considered before, but it didn't feel quite right for me to sign on at that time. After some conflict and some consideration, I decided that it would be a disservice if I DIDN'T serve on the board and that was an interesting thing to pay attention to.

I enjoy group facilitation and community building and this is a good chance to experiment and experience that. I feel pretty passionately about it, actually. I am happy to be learning about leadership. How long did it take me to want to step into this space?

At Findhorn there were chances to step into the same (similar) leadership role and I outright refused. I needed a bit of regressive therapy regarding 'taking care.' But now I am putting my desire to lead and encourage others into practice. It's a hard job, nothing to scoff at, but I really believe in the mission.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Have Stuff On Hand

Oh, 'tis the season, eh?

My housemate is making 500 (or so) cookies for her clients in the next two weeks and although it makes the house warmer and more X-mas-y, it's hard to resist the I made some raw ones yesterday (tried very hard not to eat them all last night) so that if I ever craved one of hers, I could eat one of mine.

I had all the things I needed on hand, so it was easy to have them available. One thing that several folks are stressing this holiday season (or any, for that matter) is to have raw alternatives or raw ingredients in your house. Keep your shelves and cupboards stocked of your fav. sweetener, cacao, coconut oil, nut butters, nuts, fruit, smoothie ingredients, and greens in case you get a craving.

Often my (lame) excuse for not eating raw is that it takes too long to make something just as satisfying. But those cookies took about 10 minutes and a few hours in the dehydrator and voila! SO GOOD.

I'm going to try these cookies tonight because I also have these ingredients on hand.

There are SO many raw blogs out there...I don't always feel supported by folks in my life, but getting to read about all the raw experiences of other people makes me really happy. I am inspired and excited when I see AMAZING raw recipes. I'm excited to conceive our baby while on the raw food program, and I can't wait to have a raw baby!

From this month on, it's about a year until we plan to start trying (I'm a virgo, we like to plan). Since there is a lot of transition right now, knowing that a year from now we can let loose and focus on growing our family gives us a whole cycle to really ground into our lives. Buying a house, growing a small production garden, starting a business, transitioning away from office life, and simply getting into a groove will help with the major life change.

Being raw is REALLY important to me in that regard. I see Jinjee Talifero (go here for her info-packed site) and I feel good about being pregnant and raw. There is so much to deal with when pregnant, that I don't want to have to deal with excess weight or other things that I have control over. I'll just let my body do what it needs to do without the extra struggles of digesting cooked food. Fine by me. So lots of people say that the year prior to conception can affect the baby and this is why I started raw foods a year ago. I knew that I didn't want to be overweight and additionally (after I went raw), I don't want to have to deal with my crazy digestion, so it just made sense to start off as raw as possible.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I Gotta Have Faith

One thing that I struggle with off and on is having enough faith in the Universe. Raw food can't solve everything, unfortunately, so this is all about me and my emotions/thought patterns. Eating raw helps, but I still need to explore the lack of faith moments.

I'm interested in leaving my current job, but I am really attached to the security of it. Unfortunately, that is a bit of an illusion because "security" is completely relative.

Security of what?

-Insurance -->which I rarely use because it ends up costing me almost the same amount had I paid for it out of pocket. Insurance is good for catastrophes but the best insurance I have outside of that is taking care of myself. I don't pay for my insurance through work, luckily, but I have only used it three times in one year and frankly, I was doing okay without it.

-Regular income -->this is a conundrum. My regular income is not that high. But with this job, staying in the status quo, I cannot make MORE than that. Granted, I am trying, with blogs, Reiki, etc. but the time it takes me to travel to and be at my job is roughly 8 hours. I get paid for about 5 of those hours.

Okay, I'm stumped now. Those are the two things. Insurance and regularity. Hmm.

Everything else about the job is not really that beneficial. I DO get to be online as much as I want, in between tasks, but I could cut out the tasks and then get OFF the computer if I were at home.

The flip side (if I said goodbye to this job):

-Accountability --> I would have to take myself more seriously and pursue the things that I WANT in my life. Namely, doing work that heals the planet and getting paid for it.

-More time --> I would have more time to seek out ways to live my passions. At this point I think I am stuck at the tough parts (marketing myself, talking to people, being patient)

-Creativity -->Quitting this job would force me to be more creative. If I don't have Reiki clients, or writing gigs, then how will I make money? I might have to sew something, bake something, offer something, seek guidance from guides, ask for help, live in the moment, trust or simply be patient.

-More money --> Opening up to more jobs, different jobs, varied work, higher pay, less commuting, etc.

-Less Stress --> Working on doing Divine Work can keep me from stressing out about what I "should" do and help me focus on what I am guided to do in the present moment. I rarely live like that.

It goes on and on. More sleep, more time at home, more time to see friends, more time to read/learn, less desire to eat poorly (this is actually a big deal!), more intention about how I want to be/do in the world, etc.

I've decided to do a trial period of not working at the office. I will take the first week of February and work toward that time by scheduling Reiki clients, writing, do raw food presentations, making stuff for the farmer's market, computer tutoring, sewing, etc. I can work with a plan. I can sew one thing a million times. I can make one type of raw food. I can work on setting 3 Reiki appts. a week. I can also see what the Universe has in mind/heart...

Yes, the Universe. A far more adept entity that can help me increase my abundance. I am limited in my scope, but the Universe sees all...and has a better idea of the big picture...

So trust...Faith and trust go hand in hand. Trust is more active, maybe. Until next time...this is a juicy conversation...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Woman, alive!
This year's Thanksgiving was awesome. We had 20 people over to our house and it was a fabulous potluck. Usually I get a bit sad about holiday food and the fact that I won't be able to join in, but this year I planned ahead (and learned a great way to organize soaking, sprouting, making things ahead of time, etc.) and made myself a wonderful raw meal. I made the amounts the recipes called for (4-6 people) even though I mostly ate it by myself. But there was enough for leftovers luckily, and that's nice for me when it comes to raw food. Most raw food won't hold too long, so I've been eating leftovers at every meal. It's easy to be raw when the food is already prepared.

I made egg-less deviled "eggs" and they were not only delicious, but looked (well, not like eggs, but like yokes) and tasted like deviled eggs...even to my non-raw family! I'm excited to make that again.

What was really great was not feeling like I couldn't participate and also, not feeling like I had defend or explain my raw choices. I didn't tell anyone I was eating raw food (which is a bit sad for me, since I like to share the "likeness" of raw food to cooked food), nor did I make any point of telling people not to eat too much or to have some salad. I simply ate my food and felt good afterward!

Hosting the meal ourselves was also nice since I got a lot of time prior to the event to prepare all the dishes I wanted to eat. Eating out usually means I have to have salad (and I can only take so much sometimes) or going to others' houses means I have to pack a lot of to-go dishes and basically make my plate up before I offer any leftovers to other guests. Not impossible, but not often comfortable.

I'm still working on desserts and things to make so that I don't get into the cravings of "real" pumpkin pie or chocolate.

I went to Powell's bookstore this past weekend and picked up a few books on Reiki and have decided that it would be a good idea to combine starting a 100% raw program with a Reiki intensive. I haven't practiced Reiki in a traditional way and the combination of intense Reiki practice with 100% raw food would be a really great way to detox both emotionally AND physically.

I am looking for folks to trade with so that I am not only doing self-healings. Raw food and Reiki can really help each other on all levels. I'm eager to start clearing myself more intently and then start attuning other people so that they can have healing at the end of their fingertips.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eat Nothing Day

I just wanted to put a note here for myself mostly, that another part of raw food that I tend to ignore is that I don't have to eat the same amount as other people who are eating cooked food. I tend to snack more than eat huge plates of food and I need to listen to my body when I am full and then feel free to eat more often because I'm not eating so much at once.

I don't like that it's culturally okay to overeat on Thanksgiving. I hope to pay more attention to eating only when I am hungry.

There's a movement of people who celebrate "Buy Nothing Day" but for raw foodists, who enjoy the occasional fast, maybe we should have an "Eat Nothing Day" the day after Thanksgiving. We can drink tons of juice, enjoy our families, take brisk walks outside, and really give thanks for the amazing things our bodies do for us. Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I've been gathering up items for my Raw Thanksgiving and I feel really solid about making food for myself. I like the preparation of food. If I remember to do it, then all the better. Soaking things ahead of time is always something I forget to do. This time, I'm on top of it. Heidi and Justin's Raw Thanksgiving e-book was a treat because they tell you when to shop, soak, and prepare the food. I gotta get in the habit of doing that (planning, etc).

I won't be making enough food for other people because I am tired of the fear of rejection. I'm making enough for myself, and if there's some left over, then by all means, I'll share. I usually feel bad for "pigging out" on my own raw food, but since everyone else will have dishes and dishes of yummies, I figured it was okay to have my own yummies.

I'm still emotionally detoxing, but it's tapering off. Well, it's lessening, anyway. I am feeling that there are many deep layers to sift through but I am trying really hard NOT to force myself to "deal" with it. It's like taking echinacea AFTER you're already sick. Sure, it can help build your immune system back up, but for the most part, it's okay to just be sick for a bit.

I'm always looking for a quick fix or a band-aid, but I need to see that going raw and being raw is not a linear journey and there is no "quick fix". It's a matter of listening to my body again and really paying attention to how I am feeling and what I am doing in the world.

I had a manual therapy appointment with Dr. Felice and it was great to listen to my body in that way too. I heard a podcast with Cynthia Waring, author of Bodies Unbound, and she talked about how we store emotions in our muscles. I should read her book, but that was enough for me to start thinking. What is stored in my body?

I've had some unfortunate experiences in my life and they are all in my body somehow and eating raw food helps me heal all the stuff that hasn't been able to heal prior to this point in my life.

Raw Summit 2, btw, is AWESOME. I'm happy to be able to hear all these great leaders speak! Check it out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Cycle

Well, I'm still feeling stuck in the mud and my eating has totally sucked (well, sucked for me, anyway) and I know it's a vicious cycle. Bad feelings bring on bad eating, which of course continues to bring on bad feelings. Ugh. I am drinking a lot of Kombucha because it's the only raw beverage I can find in a store when I am away from home. It's good stuff. I'm going to get the hubby to start making our own. Oooh, now that would be nice.

It's probably important to talk about the stuck in the mud stuff, because with all the rah rah rah (or raw raw raw) talk about eating raw and living foods, when the deeper, harder stuff happens, maybe people feel like they're doing it "wrong".

I won't go into tons of details, but I've been facing some old patterns and stuff that reminds me of my childhood; the not good parts. I hypothesize that since my body is cleaning out old physical toxins, that of course my heart wants to clean out old emotional toxins. They are inextricably linked. I am surprised, actually, that most of what I am experiencing is emotional. My body's physical detox was minimal compared to what I've read many other people have experienced, but I feel that the emotional stuff is piling out day after day. I stuffed a lot of my emotions down (and food helped keep it down) and now that I don't eat a lot of food that suppresses me, things are starting to come up.

Just like a physical detox though, no matter how fast I want to get through it and be "better", there is a process. It doesn't just go away. It comes up and needs to be released, like any toxins. It helps me to know this so that when I am sad, and craving a pastry, I can say things like "If you eat this, you'll just have to do more work in therapy later." It also helps me feel better when I am aware of WHY I am eating poorly.

I want to emphasize that although it's hard work, and sometimes I feel incredibly sad, angry, and stuck, I am WAY happier to deal with/heal this stuff than I am to keep it underground. When I am able to have healthy relationships that used to be really bad, it makes life so much easier. I can manifest better, see my own worth, and simply get things done. So don't run away from yourself when the shit hits the fan. Take a big whiff of it cause it'll be gone soon! :)

Second, and less of a downer, I just wanted to say that it's really great to get comments and to also read others' blogs. I find that even if I am not eating a ton of good raw food, or enough raw food in general, reading about other people and their journeys makes me feel connected.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Feeling Crappy

I'm not sure if it's BECAUSE I'm eating more cooked food, or I'm eating more cooked food BECAUSE I feel crappy...I'm sure it doesn't even matter...I'm just feeling bad and eating cooked food, to boot.


Even Raw Model or Raw Reform don't seem to help.I'm having a rough go of lots of things at once, and my food is usually the first to go downhill. Sugar, chocolate, wheat, dairy, cooked, you name it. Of course it's not TOO bad, but it doesn't mean it's good for me to eat poorly. I see several raw peeps eating yummy things and I don't know why I can't do it too!

Last year was when I started to eat more than I had in many moons. Being at work, surrounded by everyone's baked things made me weak. So weak that I had to attend some OA meetings to give me some help. I'm still eating a lot, but I'm not eating as badly...which is a point for me. :)

So now that the holidays are rolling around I need to get better about staying raw. I don't limit my food, but even then I need to know that I can prepare raw snacks and meals that are satisfying so that I'm not looking longingly at my housemate's wheat-free, sugar-free cookies (I try to eat the kind of cooked food that won't make me feel too much worse). Dinner time is getting tough because it's cold and I need to get into my dehydrator more. Literally. Nah, I should just make heavier food, is all.

My emotions have been through the ringer this week. I have felt more depressed than I have in months. I want to eat sugar and wheat when I am depressed. I don't even make time for raw treats. How can I plan for depression?

In any case, it's really awful when stores don't carry raw food, I've decided. I hate going to our co-op because nothing in the deli is even raw! What's up with that? So I don't go out too much these days and I am searching for good, warming and fattening food. Even three layers of cold isn't enough for me.

Any suggestions???

Friday, November 2, 2007

Using Your Energy

When I started eating more and more raw food I found that I had a lot more energy. It seems that's the case with a lot of people. But what do we do with it?

Last blog I wrote about how sometimes the proselytizing doesn't work. But there are many other ways to share the raw food energy.

I know that once I had this huge amount, I felt COMPELLED to exercise. I enjoy getting on the rebounder for 20-25 mins a day. Even if I intend to only jump for 15 mins., I end up doing 25 mins. because it feels so good. And now that exercising has become a normal part of my day, and I still have MORE energy, I am designing a workshop for those who are just beginning on the raw path.

I'm finding that I LOVE to create desserts so I make those when I have some free time. I read books and listen to raw podcasts so that I can keep up to date. Once our bodies know that we have created a place to put this new energy, it will probably want to continue making more.

If you ever watch Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, then you know that some dogs with STRONG instincts to herd, retrieve, run, guard, etc., need to be mentally exercised so that they don't go crazy with all the pent up energy they have. I think it's the same for people who are eating raw and creating more energy within. I believe that's why lots of change happens at once when beginning the raw diet.

On the SAD (Standard American Diet) we have learned to compensate for energy loss and excess...but once we start assimilating properly, we don't have to work so hard to keep balanced and in fact, we need to find more to do! (maybe I should go back to cleaning houses!)

This inspired me to really focus on what and how I want to share about being raw. While I admire those on the 100% track, I'm not on that track currently. I am working hard to get there, but I am taking my time and appreciating my process. It doesn't mean though that I can't share my achievements with others through classes, workshops, and raw treats. In fact, it seems that there is a lot of room for the transitional enterprises because lots of people won't make the switch from 0 to 100% overnight. A very dedicated, motivated few might, but raw is for everyone, no matter how much you want to incorporate into your diet.

So I am taking my energy and putting it into writing this blog (I'm LOVING all the comments I get!), reading other blogs, and designing curricula and recipes. I'm thinking about making/selling raw boxed lunches, small dinner parties, weight loss guidance via raw, etc.

What are you doing with YOUR extra raw energy?


I forgot to blog about this. I think I wanted to erase it from my memory.
I got an email from a "friend" (must keep anonymity) saying that he didn't want me to talk to him about his eating habits anymore. He felt judged by me and asked that his food/diet/sugar habit be "off limits."

I felt really hurt by the email, truth be told. I do not spend my days thinking of ways to judge or harass people. What I do is listen to their endless complaints about their body for years at a time and one day, perhaps uncontrollably, tell them that if they try Reiki, raw food, therapy, etc., they might make some headway in their health. These are people whose lives are altered by their physical, mental, emotional discomfort. I feel like a secret doctor who shrugs her shoulders when a patient with an open, bleeding wound is crying in agony. They aren't asking for help, they are simply crying in agony. And it's MY arrogance that pipes up and tells them that putting pressure on the wound will stop the blood, as well as ceasing to jab themselves repeatedly with a sharp object. But my 'advice' and of course 'judgment' is unsolicited.

This is something I have always struggled with. When something has worked for someone else, and I have a similar problem, I'm all over their advice and suggestions. I'll try anything. I know my limitations so I welcome anyone else's experience, even if it's ONLY to clarify what I feel is right. So the fact that my concern is seen as judgment is really disappointing.

I eventually wrote back and apologized that my friend saw my concern as judgment and pointed out that my intention was more powered by caring than by wanting to make him feel bad. Sadly, I probably won't be sharing raw food with him intentionally (unless of course he asks) and don't really look forward to eating with him. I know I'm just cranky about it at this point and it will probably be nothing in a few weeks. Too bad not everyone can get on the train at the same time.

Stay tuned for better ideas for what to do with my energy...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Why I'm Raw

When I am faced with a wheat-y, sugary cooked food (my weakness) I wish I could quickly list off all the reasons why I don't REALLY want to eat it, so I'm making a list to post in my office and carry in my wallet (two convenient sizes!)

Why I'm Raw:
a good night's sleep
wearing cute clothes that fit my new, lean body
more energy
clear skin
not getting sick (even when it's 'going around')
healthy pregnancy (eventually)
spiritual connection to God
spiritual connection to everything else
no gas
no excessive time in the toilet
quick healing
better Reiki sessions
cheaper food budget
no yeast infections
no cysts
more enthusiasm for life
more creativity
feel lighter
more environmentally responsible
less packaging
food tastes better
desire to eat foods I didn't like before
my whole life changes
feel more compassionate
manifest better
so many delicious foods!
awesome community, in Seattle AND worldwide!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Nope, not a recipe. I made the tiramisu from Cafe Gratitude and served it family style to my family for a pre-wedding meal. RAVE REVIEWS! Also, many family members haven't seen me since I've become raw and I got lots of compliments on that. It felt good to be seen for how I feel.
EVERYONE loved the tiramisu (even though I need to work out some kinks) and I felt SO good. I am still in the approval seeking stage regarding my food. I made Pasta Buddha-nesca (a la Jenna Norwood) but the garlic (raw garlic is tough!) was too spicy so lots of food went untouched. I think I will try to dehydrate it a little beforehand so that the sweetness can be preserved. Raw is just too much. I'll be stinky today for sure.

It was great to host a party at our house and made raw food (we did not tell people it was raw unless they asked). I had a great time making the tiramisu (a two day process) and not too many plates came back full. :)

I look forward to learning more about hosting bigger events because raw food can be "reheated" so there's a delicate holding time. I enjoyed people enjoying raw food for sure.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Wait, did I already title a blog with that? Doesn't matter, I still have to confess. Again.

I ate some cooked, sugary, cranberry bread just now. I had the conversation in my head about not needing it, wanting it, using it, etc. and still I cut myself a piece and just shoved it into my face. Ack.

I'm raw for a lot of reasons: health, spirituality, delicious food, sleep, acne, weight, mental clarity, etc. But when it comes to eating cooked food here's what happens:

I see something (usually it's in my house or at work). I have a conversation like this: RawBecca "You don't want that. It's full of life-depleting sugar"
CookedBecca "I know, you're right. Gross." *salivating begins*
"Hmm. It looks so tasty. So moist. No one will see me eat a tiny piece."
RB "I see you. And no one else cares. Or lives with your colon, etc. Don't do it."
CB "A tiny piece can't hurt. I've had (or am having) a bad day. I'm in transition."
RB "Seriously, make your cup of tea with honey and leave the breakroom."
CB "No. I'm eating that cake and you can't stop me."
*Cake eaten, and might I add, a piece twice the size of 'tiny'*

So there you have it. A short, but willful conversation with myself about cooked food. I need raw snacks. I'm an overeater, for sure. I feel like I am constantly going hungry (do not confuse this with the kind of hungry people actually are suffering in countries far away from me). I feel like I am deprived and starving. My mouth salivating is never a justified motive in real life, and yet, there I am, trying to satisfy something that happens via thought suggestion.

When I see people eating food that looks good I feel SHITTY. When I am sitting in Cafe Gratitude, one fork slicing into the best cinnamon roll in the world, I feel normal. Chaco Canyon cannot "cut it" for my sweet tooth. I eat masses of nuts (unsoaked because I am impatient) and could easily polish off all the raw desserts I make (when I have time to make them).

When I am stressed and depressed (and don't forget angry!) I will eat whatever I want. I will probably induce most of these emotions myself, justifying my poor eating. Then I feel shitty, can't get out of bed in the a.m., and drudge through my day. How can I possibly help people transition into the raw world (albeit, slowly) if I myself cannot stay raw. Put in perspective, one piece of cake is not like a week of binging. I know better than to eat cooked food for more than 3 days straight. My body goes on strike and it feels awful. But the one piece of it taunts me!

Here's another interesting thing: I work at a job that I only sort of like (well, I like the people, but not the job). This makes me sad and I go home each night and eat crap. The crap food in my body then wreaks holy havoc, I feel worse (physically AND mentally), and can't get out of bed in the morning. When this happens, the day starts out poorly (again) and the cycle repeats. Add in the fact that none of my creative juices are being utilized (which is possibly solely my responsibility) and there you have a sad, miserable existence, continuing ad infinitum.

I am afraid of venturing out into the world I really want to be in. Confession #2. I can come up with all the pretty excuses and therapeutic obstacles I want to, but it comes down to fear. Fear of not being raw enough, of not being informed enough (although I read voraciously, this is a HUGE fear of mine...and probably the reason I read voraciously), of not being energetic enough, enthusiastic, etc. While some of these fears are completely irrational, I hold onto them like a security blanket.

I think what happens when I eat cooked food is that I let these fears take over more than usual. Raw food makes me feel strong, confident, and fearless. Eating cooked food perpetuates the fear cycle.

So I'm blogging to point out the fear a bit more. It's totally counterproductive NOT to start doing/being what I want. It starts today. I just posted a class for Burien folks about beginning Raw 101. It's in December. It gives me a tangible deadline, far enough away that I can do the necessary preparation for it. Whew. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On Again Off Again

I've become accustomed to saying I am "mostly raw" which means that I do not hold myself to a perfectionistic view of eating raw food (I do eat commercial 'raw' almond butter, drink pasteurized beverages on occasion, and I've stopped asking if everything is organic). When I feel pulled to eat outside my raw guidelines, I don't beat myself up. Do I feel better after eating cooked food? Certainly not. Do I feel worse when I spend time berating myself for not being 100%. Absolutely. So my solution, as well as that of many raw folks out there, is to go slowly and intentionally. I am conscious of the cooked food I eat. Most times it's usually a friend's homemade treats or something that I can't be absolutely sure is 100% raw. This has allowed me to stop confining myself and to let my journey be just that, a journey.

Sometimes I don't want to blog if I've been eating too much cooked food because I feel that I will be misleading readers and disappointing them. Yikes. If that is what I allow to happen, then I keep people from getting to know me, Becca, as a dynamic, 3-D person, not just a blogger "somewhere out there."

On a positive front, I am developing/exploring ways to incorporate my desire to be raw and my enthusiasm to share the raw life with others. Since I am an energy worker, eating raw foods goes right along with my energy work. On top of that, I enjoy the emotional work as well and want to provide folks an all-encompassing Whole Systems approach to life. If they come in for Reiki, that's great, but I am dying to share raw food with them. If they come to a raw food workshop, I want to offer Reiki treatments to ease transition. If I do a feng shui consultation, then I of course want to help folks not only clear energy within their house, but also within their body (as they are in close relation). I am seeking ways to market this approach so that when people come to me for one thing, I can guide them to other things that are available to them.

My current job, although nice for various reasons, is slowly running out with regards to my energy. I am putting out to the Universe that I am looking to step up my energy as well as my abundance by doing the things that not only I am good at, but also love. A friend is going to help me focus on marketing, which will be a step in the right direction.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Clear Energy

One thing that I am really enjoying about being mostly raw is that, as a Reiki practitioner, my energy is a LOT clearer. I can hear my intuition a lot better, my chakras seems to be stronger and better functioning, I feel more confident about working on people, etc.
When I receive Reiki it's a lot better too. The healing I had recently was just faster or easier or more profound. It's hard to put it into words, but there were less blocks, in any case.
In my dealings with old friend, challenging family members, etc., I just don't feel the same sludge that I did when I was fully cooked. I can function more efficiently in all my affairs. It doesn't take long for me to implement change, either. I wanted to earn more money to pay off our debt, and my boss offered me more work.
Because of my increased spiritual access and awareness, I feel way less hopeless and lonely. The winter is setting in in Seattle and although I'm not a huge fan of the gray, I do not feel the doom I used to feel. I feel connected to my spiritual guides on a regular basis and I have a lot more faith.

I made a butternut squash pie (instead of pumpkin) and although it didn't agree with me, my inlaws seemed to love it. I'm going to work on the recipes a bit (maybe with some help from Heidi and Justin) but they were really jazzed. And my mom in law really wants me to have a workshop on raw foods. That made me really happy to hear.

So I'm picking a date in the coming months and I'm inviting a small group to just come and learn about the benefits of raw food and how to make some basic things. Yay!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Raw Feast

For my brother's birthday I made (with help from my sous chef, Josh) a wonderful raw feast, Italian style (my brother's request). We had zucchini pesto, zucchini ratatouille, spinach caesar salad, black pepper cashew cheese, olive tapinade, no-wheat thin crackers, and for dessert, delicious brazil nut coconut chocolate things.

What I LOVED was that I created a meal for all non-raw folks that not only filled them up, but they actually LOVED it. There were seconds had and fingers licked and I even had some leftovers (I always worry that non-raw folks won't feel filled up enough). I am enjoying the raw journey more and more.

Josh and I are seriously investigating catering in our near future. I am perfecting and trying out several recipes from all the cookbooks and online recipe sites (my new favorite is Gone Raw!)I'm making the leap to a Champion Juicer and Excalibur Dehydrator, and maybe even a nut milk bag!

I feel good about how I am transitioning. I feel really empowered by the food I am preparing and the alternatives to cooked food that are easily available. Sure, I'll probably eventually go back to simple eating, but raw doughnuts, cinnamon buns, burgers, etc. are nice foods while I make the full switch.

Josh and I went down to San Fran last weekend and I was obsessed with going to Cafe Gratitude since I haven't been there since I've been raw. Man, it's AMAZING. The food is so delicious and made with so much love that I couldn't get enough. I bought the prepbook because I simply didn't have a big enough stomach to hold all the things I wanted to order. Their smoothies are out of this world. We have a very simple raw life at this point, and it keeps us sane, but I do enjoy some crackers and desserts every once in a while so it's nice to have the book to give us ideas.

I also just felt AWESOME being there. Seeing raw food be treated as "normal" made my blood pressure lower. I felt like just myself, not "Becca, the raw foodist". I loved that. In Seattle a few more restaurants are opening up and I hope to offer some catering and delivery food options myself. The community seems bigger and more energetic so I'm eager to see where we can take it.

I'm also in process of applying to be on the Raw Washington Board. This is a big step. I really enjoy raw food and think everyone should at least have a chance to learn about the benefits of raw food and this is a good way to keep me engaged in that process. Plus, it keeps me connected to people who share similar eating habits and I can feel more relaxed about my food, focusing more on the issues at hand.

I had a GREAT Reiki session yesterday and it has been a while since I last had one and this time it felt so much different. I have to attribute that to the fact that I feel way clearer in my body (due to raw food) and so I believe energy moves through me much easier. Lots of things are on the horizon for me and my community and I really look forward to the unfolding ahead of us. Raw food rocks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Month is TOO Long!

It's been a month since I have posted and in that time enough has transpired that I need to write about it!

I just got back from Italy and Switzerland. I had an amazing time. In preparation for the possibility that I wouldn't be raw, I went raw 100% ahead of time to clean stuff out and get into the zone so that when I got back, I could go right back to eating raw.

I did this without sadness, as I had eaten more non-raw than I needed in Italy. I am very clear that eating raw while traveling is not hard if you have access to local produce, a few knives, and a kitchen. But the kitchen is just to keep the debris off the bedspread. Coming back to my own kitchen with various blending, chopping, straining, and drying machines was dreamy. I also thought of things to travel with next time (small containers for oil, dressing, etc).

Most raw folks I talked to recommended fasting for the plane trip. It was easy when I was raw going to Europe, and much harder as I was tapering off my non-raw food program. Good to know.

Traveling poses the most challenge when there are no raw options available when you go out to eat. Dressing is usually the unregulated factor and if you're early in your raw life, it's a tough thing to come up against. If you're used to saying "no dressing" or you're a whiz with olive oil and balsamic (and don't mind the monotony), then you're set. But I was not such a whiz and sometimes didn't opt for the simple mixture. Also, since I had never been to Italy and tasted the regional cuisines, I was intrigued enough to try. Will I ever learn that pasta is pasta around the world? Who knows. I'm not beating myself up AT ALL, since I had such an enjoyable time, but I also know that when I go back, I don't need to "try" the gelato. I've had it. It's good. Case closed.

Here's what a blogger said about eating food in other places that could easily apply to raw food:

"But this is why local food is so grounding — literally — like a lightening rod captures the electricity and brings it to the earth, eating the food of a place literally connects our living energy with the physical world around us. Eating the food of a place connects us to that place by actually bringing it inside of us — and instead of distancing our relationship to creation (as do the Burger Kings and frozen dinners in fluorescent-lit cases), they bring us closer to the awesomeness of the world, and the awesomeness of being alive."
-From The Jew and The Carrot (author Anna Stevenson)

I agree. The more veteran raw foodists will not have an issue with worldwide travel. Food is food. Have a lemon in Italy if you're craving local food. And right they are. But also, I felt okay about my choices at the time. Hindsight doesn't need to always make me feel bad about myself.

For the record, I'm back to 90-100% raw (don't always know when I eat out at restaurants) and loving it. I feel great (as opposed to okay) again and even though I still like the smell of cooked food, I don't usually crave it. I'm not over my love of salads (I hear at some point that I'll get tired of greens, but with all the various dressings, I'm still excited).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Get Up, Stand Up!

I used to live in a beautiful apartment building in Ballard. With Josh moving in and the need for a bit more space (A 570 sq. ft. apt was too small for BOTH of us!), it was easy to vacate when they raised the rent. My lease had been up for several years already so we just had to find a new place and move. I had a feeling that some bad stuff was going down because people were getting evicted left and right. It was a good time to go. Luckily, we were able to.

I went to a meeting a couple nights ago for the current tenants of Lock Vista (my old. apt. bldg) to discuss the impending condo-conversion. Apparently, 900 condo conversions have happened in the last six months in Seattle. This is BAD news for folks who cannot afford a $250K studio (540 sq. ft!). This forces more people to seek affordable housing (both subsidized by the city and not) elsewhere. But with all the condo-conversions, where will they go? Aha! They will go far away from the "nice" neighborhood and settle in the suburbs or exurbs and continue to be neglected there. Housing costs will rise and then of course only the really rich people will be able to live in the "nice" neighborhood. That always works out well.

This completely angered me. I was a renter for a long time. I was an upstanding citizen (as a renter) who smiled at people and helped make our neighborhood a neighborhood. Varying incomes in a geographic location keeps this neighborhood mentality in tact. People with families can afford to live in nice neighborhoods when rent isn't too high or condos aren't too expensive. Just because you take away their housing, poor people don't evaporate. Their services are in cities, and less so in suburbs. While no one wants urine filled buses or unruly intoxicated people hanging around, taking away affordable housing DOES NOT HELP THAT.

So I went to the meeting to provide support and offer suggestions of getting folks in Ballard to be aware of the changing landscape. What makes Ballard interesting is the diversity. Artists can afford to live there, families can afford to live there, professionals can afford to live there, etc. It felt good to take a stand and offer support.

When I feel complacent and inactive (as I did on the SAD), I do not *feel* moved to act. I hope someone else has more energy to help. I usually feel hopeless and unhelpful and then apathetic. But apathy is a thing of the past. I feel strongly about things now. I don't feel defeated at all. In fact, I feel more connected to God and then more connected to this oneness that exists around me (with or without my acknowledgement, thankfully). Byron Katie frames it in a good way and I'll paraphrase here. If I see a discarded can in the desert, then it's not enough to be angry that someone left a can there. The discarded garbage gives me a chance to pick it up, to be of service. So thank goodness for the can.

Here's a blog and several comments about this Ballard condo-conversion:
I'm all for DENSITY, but that includes diversity of income so EVERYONE can live in a great neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sense of Calm

After a very successful support meeting yesterday, I feel enthusiastic about helping folks get support for the raw lifestyle.

I'm currently in weekly therapy and I started going not because I have tons of issues, but because my food choices were changing my life. At first, because I was eating a lot of sugar, the changes were not so good: weight gain, sugar addiction, poor nutrition, obsession, etc. After going raw, I started to regulate my eating better, felt much lighter, got much lighter, started noticing more peaceful feelings inside, and overall didn't need to dramatize my life as much. That's enough incentive to eat raw right there.

Today in my session I was talking about how I don't need to spend so much time in other people's business. All the energy I expend to be right, judge, criticize, and more means that much LESS for me and my own furthering of my life.
When I spend time focused on expanding my business, then I don't have time/energy to bully other people (which I did a lot, unfortunately).

Eating raw food has streamlined my body enough so that I am not eating over my emotions. I'm not using processed food to distract me from my purpose. I'm not entertaining myself with food in the same way (now I try to use simple ingredients to make tastier food!). When I am tired, instead of eating food for energy, I get the rest that my body wants. When I am sad, I cry instead of eat. When I am angry I do not rail against people, now I just rail for a mere moment against circumstances, and then I look to use the experience to help me grow.

I'm turning 30 soon (in less than a month!) and although I thought this birthday would be about a huge party and whooping it up about tons of '30 year old' seems that I'm hearing the wise-woman voice louder and that's enough to celebrate for me. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Get Together

I saw a Rawcumentary (Supercharge Me: 30 Days Raw) on Saturday. It was great to go to the movie and be with people who are either raw or raw-curious. The movie itself was great. An easy to identify with format made it interesting and entertaining. I already decided to go raw before the movie, but it affirmed the concept that raw food is so good for me. Plus, I really do like seeing other raw supporters in the same room. I felt completely normal, which is nice.

Afterward there was a fundraiser for Raw Washington at Chaco Canyon and the food was delicious! Loved it! Raw pizza, coconut balls, pates, cheese (yum!), sushi. I sometimes forget that raw food can also be really gourmet. SO GOOD.

Raw Network of Washington also sponsored a Raw for 30 Days Challenge and had people sign up to host a support group for four weeks for those who would like to get more resources, meet more people, and connect with the raw community. I volunteered to host and tonight was our first get together. Jenna Norwood, Mary and Monika all came and we talked about ways to offer and receive support, as well as ways to support the raw community as a whole. We talked about the fact that food wasn't always what we wanted to talk about and an idea was born to start raw salons, created solely for conversation and not FAQs for those who want to talk about more. I'm a big fan of a raw women's group, too. A place where we can talk about the bodily changes that we are experiencing; including menses, menopause, pregnancy, depression, exercise, and weight loss.

I had a great time discussing all the possibilities ahead of us. I may even join the board!

What I am enjoying lately is what is happening with my life's purpose. I am slowly feel dissatisfied with my work and putting a lot more energy into manifesting sustainable work from home. I have a few possible Reiki clients and I'm eager to make cards and start promoting myself. To me, Reiki and raw go hand in hand. It's a good community to work with, mission-wise.

I have some upcoming travel in Switzerland and Italy and I'm very excited, although I am curious about how it will be when I'm raw. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Manifesting My Life

I joined an online manifesting/Law of Attraction group started by Jinjee Talifero and it's really great. Although it's not face to face, I am finding that I have less time to meet face to face and this way I can meet folks online!

Go here to join!

I've been 100% raw for several days now. Well, I've eaten some roasted nuts (a handful) and a few slices of sprouted grain bread. But other than that, I've been 100%. The bread is already in the house and I have a hard time letting food go to waste. :(

I feel really good these days. I'm working on manifesting a new way to make a living. I'm not as excited about commuting anymore because I want time to work on the house, practice Reiki, and write. I have been going to bed later, which may come from having more energy. But getting up is still a bit harder. I don't have any major detoxing symptoms. There is some mucous, but elimination seems okay.

I'm loving the act of making desserts right now. They have all come out really nice. I'm feeling more confident about tweaking recipes (since there is no heat reaction to be concerned with). I'm debating whether to get a biz license for the raw food education right now. I think I will wait until we return from Italy. I'm a bit busy these days. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I haven't been officially 100% raw. I have tried and on some days I succeed, but for the most part, I had/have not set an intention to eat 100% raw. The move and the weeks following have been really hard for me. I am struggling to create space in this new big house, with three other people, and food and health have fallen by the wayside. Of course, as it's want to happen, my body is not happy and shows its disapproval by giving me back my headaches, my acne, my cravings, and any other thing it feels will help get me back on track.

Going raw for me is mostly difficult because of the social implications. Everything from weight loss to mood change to looking different and feeling different to entertaining myself with food and so on, is up for scrutiny, or so people think.

I just moved into a house where 3/4 of the people cook and so it's going to be extra important and challenging to stay raw.

There's a 5 day raw Challenge that I think would be worth trying:

  • For 5 days, avoid all fats–eating nothing but fresh fruits and vegetables. "No fat" means not eating avocados, nuts, seeds, or oils.
  • Do not use any condiments–just raw fruits and vegetables, eaten straight or blended in smoothies, soups, etc.
  • For 5 days, I will not eat any dried fruits or dates.
The last one is tough but five days isn't too bad.

This blog is too slow. More later.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Food and Low Self-Esteem

Relapse. Hadn't done it until we began the moving process. Didn't eat sugar, or gorged on wheat or dairy or cooked things. But lost control and had pizza, fries, chocolate, pastries, etc. Yikes.

Our food is locked in boxes and the fridge is too full to get anything out. WOW. I am unmotivated to eat at home. I buy all my stuff at the store now.

I'm dreaming of the time when our kitchen is set up, when we don't have too much food jammed in a small fridge, and I can bring my lunch. :)

I noticed too that when my eating choices aren't good, my self-esteem plummets. It was weird to connect those two. Stress made me eat bad, eating bad made me feel bad, feeling bad made me eat bad and feel bad some more, which stressed me out and again it goes. The summer is the best time to be raw in Seattle because we have good produce from the eastern side of the state and I am wasting my eating on cooked food. Yikes.

Soon I will go back to mostly raw. This Saturday we'll unpack the kitchen.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Raw on the Road

I went camping last weekend. It was great, except for the part that when I am worried about food and eating non-raw stuff, it's a little annoying. No fridge is an interesting thing to contend with. I've decided though that there are a few things that can be brought camping or on a road trip, especially if you have a cooler.

Dehydrated crackers
Homemade cLara Bars
Lettuce (mixed greens are easiest to deal with since you don't have to tear lettuce and any size helping is available)
Homemade dressing
Homemade pesto (this holds well in heat)
Rawtella (good for when people are eating sweet things, smores, other junk food)
Dried fruit (holds well outside of a cooler)
Trail Mix
Muesli (travels really well and you can make large quantities)

The only thing is that nothing can be blended (I am considering a hand-cranked blender, though) and refrigeration is not the easiest thing to do or maintain. I ended up eating non-raw food a few times. It happens to me most when there are a lot of people and I am feeling overwhelmed. I like to make a lot of raw food, but with groups of folks who are especially interested in seeing how I stay well-fed, I have to consider the sharing aspect, which means making a lot more food. The raw rule is if it's a good (read: tasty enough for non-raw fooders) meal/dish, make a lot, if it's something that people need to "adjust" to, make enough for yourself and maybe a bit extra.

Overall, it was a good experience to see about what to do better next time. Trail mix is probably the best bet, but then I'd have to make sure I had enough fruit and greens to balance out the heavier foods. We'll see how it goes next time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

"You're So Skinny!"

Most of my adult life (all of it?) I've wanted to lose weight but was never motivated enough to change my eating habits. I didn't feel like sacrificing my food intake just to wear a different size clothing. Plus, I knew women who were obsessed with dieting and it didn't feel right. I wasn't in danger, most of my clothes still fit, and overall I felt pretty good most of the time.

Now, I've lost 30 lbs, I'm down to 130, I feel great, I look healthy and my clothes don't fit anymore. At all. In fact, the clothes I got at the clothing swap (mostly size 8) are feeling a bit big now. I wear a belt everyday, and even some shirts have to be put away. Now people tell me how skinny I am, which I know could either be a compliment or a disguised concern. I feel fine, I eat as much as I want, and frankly, I feel good. The weight came off pretty easily (aside from the adjustment to eating mostly raw foods, of course) and it was fast. I exercise happily everyday anywhere from 20-45 (I jump and walk). I don't do anything too strenuous, but it feels good to move everyday and I willingly exercise because it's fun, not so I can lose more weight.

I find that now I am defending my weight loss and want to hide a bit (under baggier clothes, etc) because I don't want people to think I am anorexic. I try to explain to them that my body is shedding bad cells so that it can build up with stronger, better cells, but I don't think they get it. I know I shouldn't care so much, but alas, it's hard.

I feel great and proud. I've lost weight, I have a lot more energy, I enjoy exercising, I eat WAY better than I ever have, I enjoy more foods, I feel more creative, I have a stronger relationship to the Highest Spirit, I feel more confident and my life is simplifying. Raw food is the best thing that has happened to me since meeting Josh and living at Findhorn. I believe that God is guiding me and that I will not get too skinny or unhealthy. It may look bad since I haven't been this thin since high school (and I don't believe I looked this thin...) but overall, I think it's awesome. It's hard to tell people that I'm okay. I also said that at any time if people think I'm looking listless or emaciated, that they can feel free to talk to me about it and I will happily explain/prove that what I am doing is fine. I shouldn't have to, but I will so that they don't commit me. When a culture is comfortable with obesity, the flip side can create some alarm bells. Everyone at work is happily comfortable with their weight and men are accepted thin. Women are supposed to be thin AND voluptuous and healthy and skinny seems like a scary place for folks. I'm happy with my weight. I had a dream a long time ago that my ideal weight was 129 and here I am, at 130-ish, feeling fine. I made it. I know there's a chance that I could taper off or lose a bit more, but I'm fine, either way. I do eat tons of fat still. In fact, I wonder what it would be like on the 80/10/10. I'll try that later in my raw career.

On a more positive note, my sister asked me specifically to walk her through my raw life, explaining about recipes and lifestyle and I felt really proud of myself. She is really interested in my changes and I am really interested in sharing them, so that felt really good. I'm eager to start holding classes and workshops regarding all the things I want to share. I feel more confident about being able to do this and it feels like a good way to supplement my income.

Being raw has definitely changed my life. I feel so much clearer and more grounded and it's a great feeling.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Charlie Trotter's Raw Recipes

Bleeding Heart Radish Ravioli With Yellow Tomato Sauce

This dish, which can be an appetizer or a main dish, is actually quite simple to make. Diced yellow tomatoes, marinated in olive oil, act as the sauce and provide a complementary acidic note to the herbed cheese filling and crunchy radish. For a different textural effect, process the tomato sauce in a high-speed blender.


40 very thin slices peeled bleeding heart radish, each at least 1 1/2 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Celtic sea salt

1 1/4 cups Herb Cheese (see below)

2 large very ripe yellow tomatoes, seeded and cut into medium dice
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons fresh opal bail flowers or micro leaves

To Make the Herb Cheese:
Yield 1 1/4 cups

1 cup Cashew Cheese (see recipe below)
4 teaspoons filtered water
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon large flake nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Combine the Cashew Cheese, water, shallot, lemon juice, yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the basil and thyme until evenly distributed. Taste and adjust with additional salt, if needed. Use immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To make the ravioli: Use a 2-inch ring mold to cut each radish slice into a perfect round. Rub the radish slices with the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese in the center of half of the radish slice. Carefully place a second radish slice on top of the spoonful of cheese and gently press the outer edges together to create a seal. Repeat to make 20 ravioli in all.

Combine the tomatoes, chives, olive oil, and vinegar in a bowl and mix gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

ASSEMBLY - Using a slotted spoon, spoon one-fourth of the tomato mixture into the center of each plate. Arrange 5 ravioli over the tomatoes, overlapping them slightly. Spoon some of the juices from the tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with the basil flowers.

WINE NOTES: There are a number of good possibilities here. Sanigovese springs to mind because it is one of the few red wines that is not flabby when paired with tomatoes. Isole e Olena Chianti is light-bodied, fruity red. During peak season, when tomatoes are at their sweetest and ripest, a Barbera from Vietti or Dolcetto d'Alba from Pio Cesare would be a good choice.

Portabello Mushroom Pave' With White Asparagus Vinaigrette
Serves 4

The meatiness of the marinated portabellos is enormously satisfying, but the aromatic flavor of jalapeno, garlic, ginger, cilantro and soy are what pushes this creation over the top. The creamy white asparagus contributes richness and acts as the perfect cohesive element. Button or cremini mushrooms are suitable substitutes for the portabellos.

6 large portabello mushrooms
2 1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 cup nama shoyu
1/4 cup minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

White Asparagus Vinaigrette
2 stalks pencil-thin white asparagus, trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons grape-seed oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons filtered water
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Freshly ground pepper

To make the pave': Remove the stems and gills from the mushrooms. Discard the stems and place the gills in a bowl. Add the water and let stand while you slice the mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms on the extreme diagonal into paper-thin slices.

Combine the shoyu, ginger, garlic, chile, cilantro, shallot, and lemon juice in a bowl. Strain the liquid from the mushroom trimmings, discarding the solids, and add the liquid to the shoyu mixture. Carefully dip each mushroom slice into the shoyu mixture and lay the slices in the bottom of a shallow container. Pour the remaining shoyu mixture over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Line a 4-by 2-inch pan with plastic wrap, allowing an overhang on 2 opposite sides. Remove the mushroom slices from the liquid and layer them in the prepared pan, overlapping the slices and continuing until you have used all the slices. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and press down gently with your hand. Top with another pan that fits into the rim, then place a 2-pound weight on the second pan. Refrigerate the pave' for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, remove the weight and the second pan, then invert the pave' onto a cutting board and peel away the plastic wrap. Cut into 4 equal pieces, reserving any juices that drip from the pave'.

To Make the White Asparagus Vinaigrette:

Slice the white asparagus into 1/4-inch pieces. Combine the asparagus pieces and mint in a bowl and toss to mix. In a high-speed blender, combine the grapeseed oil, vinegar, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, shallot, garlic, coriander, and water and process until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Fold in the asparagus mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Measure out 8 tablespoons; reserve the remainder for another use.

ASSEMBLY: Place a piece of the pave' in the center of each plate. Spoon the reserved juices from the pave' around the plate. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the asparagus vinaigrette around the plate and top with pepper.

WINE NOTES: Pisoni Estate Pinot Noil offers an exciting contrast to the earthy flavor of the portabellos. Located in the Santa Lucia Highlands of California's Monterey County, Pisoni's estate vineyard is planted with ungrafted Pinot Noir vines that produce wines of incredible intensity and richness. These deftly balanced wines will also elevate the soy and sesame flavors of the dish.

Three Peppercorn-Crusted Cashew Cheese With Honeycomb And Balsamic Vinegar
Serves 4

This is a stunning combination of textures and flavors. First, there are the juxtapositions of the crunchy peppercorn pieces and the creamy cheese, the crispy Smoked Almonds and the chewy dried apricots, the erotic gooeyness of the honeycomb mounds and the elegant crispiness of the thyme sprouts. Then we have heat, sweetness, pepperiness, sourness, and acidity all rolled into one. The result is a complex, yet harmonious, enticement.

Smoked Almonds
1 cup raw almonds, soaked for 8 to 10 hours in filtered water
1/4 teaspoon smoked salt, crushed

1 cup Cashew Cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons green peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon pink peppercorn shells, crushed
1/4 pound honeycomb, broken into small pieces just before using
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
4 teaspoons 12-year-old Villa Manodori balsamic vinegar
8 teaspoons micro thyme sprouts
Celtic sea salt

To Make the Cashew Cheese:
Yields 3 cups

3 cups raw cashews, soaked for 10 to 12 hours in filtered water and drained
1/4 cup Rejuvelac (see below)
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

In a high-speed blender or a Champion juicer with the blank plate in place, process the cashews until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Rejuvelac and salt, mixing well. Line a sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Transfer the mixture to the sieve, drape the cheesecloth over the top, and leave in a warm place to ripen for 12 hours.

Remove the cheese from the cloth-lined sieve. Shape the mixture into a round, place in a covered container, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or until it firms up. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The cheese can be purchased directly from Roxanne's restaurant; call 415-924-5004 or visit

To make the Rejuvelac:
Yield 4 cups

1/2 cup wheat or rye berries
filtered water as needed

In the evening, place the wheat or rye berries in a sprouting jar, and fill the jar with water. Let stand overnight. The next morning, drain the berries and spread them on a sprouting rack (a plastic or glass rectangular container lined with wet paper towels can be substituted). Leave them to sprout for 1 to 2 days, rinsing them 3 times a day. They are ready when 1/4-inch tails have emerged.

Place the sprouts in a wide container with at least 3-inch-high sides and add 4 cups filtered water. Let stand in a warm spot for 12 to 14 hours, or until liquid smells lightly fermented.

Strain off the liquid (this is the Rejuvelac) into a clean jar. Use immediately, or cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The same sprouts may be used 3 more times to make additional Rejuvelac.

To Make the Smoked Almonds: Drain the almonds, place in a bowl, and toss with the smoked salt. Spread the almonds on a nonstick drying sheeting on a dehydrator shelf and dehydrate at 105-degrees for 24 hours, or until crisp. Remove the almonds from the dehydrator, quarter 4 almonds lengthwise, and coarsely chop 8 almonds. Reserve the remaining almonds for another use.

To Prepare the Cheese:
Press the Cashew Cheese into a ring mold 5 inches in diameter and 1-inch deep. Combine all the peppercorns in a bowl, stir well, and then sprinkle the peppercorn mix onto the top of the cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Carefully remove the cheese from the mold and cut into 4 wedges.

ASSEMBLY: Please a wedge of the peppercorn-crusted cheese on each plate. Arrange one-fourth of the honeycomb pieces, dried apriocots, and Smoked Almonds in a line down the plate. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the vinegar around the honeycomb pieces, apricots, and almonds. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the thyme sprouts and salt to taste.

WINE NOTES: Abundantly scented Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley reflects the honey, apricots, and smoked almond flavors of the dish. The Cashew Cheese is generously crusted with peppercorns, which adds up to some spicy heat. Savennieres made by Nicolas Joly is a unique and complex wine that becomes more focused when it is paired with this course. Joly is also one of the most outspoken champions of biodynamic farming.

Wakame Sushi Rolls
Serves 4

This preparation is simultaneously earthy and refined. The flavors of the morels and the fennel work together harmoniously, and both are successfully offset by the accompanying vinaigrettes. The opal basil in one provides a clean, peppery, floral flavor, while the mustard seeds and the chile vinegar in the other add a refreshing and decisive bite that nicely harnesses all the flavors on the plate.

Fennel Puree
1 cup chopped fennel
1 to 2 tablespoons filtered water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper

12 large dried morel mushrooms
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sliced Fennel
1/3 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Opal Basil Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh opal basil
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chile vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard seeds, soaked for 10 to 12 hours in filtered water and drained
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper

16 fennel fronds, each 1 inch long
freshly ground pepper

To Make the Fennel Puree: In a high-speed blender, combine the chopped fennel, 1 tablespoon water, and the olive oil and process until smooth and thick, adding more water if needed to create a thick, but not stiff, consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside about 3/4 cup to use for the layering of the morel slices. Reserve the remainder for another use.

To prepare the morels: Combine the morels, water, and olive oil in a bowl and let soak for 1 hour to rehydrate. Remove the morels from the liquid and slice each mushroom into 1/2-inch-thick rings. (Save the trimmings for another use.)

To prepare the sliced fennel: Combine the sliced fennel, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl and toss to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the Opal Basil Vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and basil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the Mustard Vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard seeds in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

ASSEMBLY - To layer the morel slices: Place a morel mushroom ring on a work surface and place a few marinated fennel slices on the ring. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the Fennel Puree over the slices and top with fennel frond. Top with a second mushroom ring, followed by a few marinated fennel slices, and 2 more teaspoons Fennel Puree. Top with a final mushroom ring and then a fennel frond. Repeat until you have 8 mushrooms stacks in all.

Place 2 mushroom stacks in the center of each plate. Spoon the Opal Basil Vinaigrette and Mustard Vinaigrette around the mushroom stacks. Top with pepper.

WINE NOTES - Morel mushrooms are a luxury food item, so why not pair them with a truly special bottle of wine? The feminine grace of Comte de Vogue's Musigny Vieilles Vignes makes it the quintessential Burgundy. The earthy, mushroomy, and anisey flavors of the dish call for a wine that has a bottle age to soften its hard edges. Lighter-bodied Pinot Noir from the village of Chambolle-Musigny, where the grand cru Musigny Vineyard is found, not only tastes like the soil in which it was grown, but also has the elegance and finesse to allow all of the flavors in the dish to be appreciated.

Mango, Coconut And Curry
Serves 2

1/4 cup chopped young Thai coconut meat
1/2 cup coconut water
1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 8 hours in filtered water and drained
1/4 cup cashew milk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Key lime juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
1 teaspoon Indian Spice Mix or sweet curry powder, plush extra for garnish

Combine the coconut meat and coconut water in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Remove half of the puree from the blender and reserve. Add the remaining ingredients to the coconut puree in the blender and process until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and spoon an equal amount of the reserved coconut mixture on top of each glass. Sprinkle each serving with a pinch of spice mix.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Raw Food Catering

I've recently contacted a woman who is starting a raw food catering business and I told her that I could work PT on weekends. I figured it would be nice to learn more about the catering business and raw food cooking through someone else's trial and error.
Oddly enough, the idea kept my mind busy on the prospect of my own catering business. I am really enjoying the raw food prep and get excited when I watch videos of people preparing dishes. Plus raw food has basic ingredients so it's easy to have them in the house all the time. I don't usually have to go out and get too much. When I remember to stock my kitchen, we always have everything: nuts, parsley, oil, lemon juice, etc. Good stuff. It's so much nicer to prepare food without having to substitute.

Today I thought about the fact that if I just did desserts, then the raw food catering could start small. I really like the desserts and while they are usually pretty rich and not well combined, for some folks it'd be okay. So that's been nice because I really want to do stuff slowly and not get too overwhelmed, too fast.

Raw food catering is a big ordeal and I'd need time and help and it's best to simply start small. Get a biz license and then write off the dehydrator purchase. :)

I'm excited about the future...raw food is where it's at for me right now and it'd be cool to simply ride that train.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fasting, where it's at!

I ate dinner last night after 2+ days of fasting. Yum! Fasting while sick or detoxing is really good for me. It was really easy to do since I am eating less these days anyway. And getting off of it wasn't hard either. I think I had a bit more to eat than maybe I needed to, but I did not overeat, which is good. Eating until 80% full is something each body needs to discover on its own, even at different times, because it changes so much.
I am happy to not be needing solid food upon waking. That is a HUGE change for me. Physically, it lets my body ask for food when it's hungry and spiritually, it lets me take the morning in before I shove food down my throat. Food has often been a pacifier for me and it slows me down. Sometimes I want that slower speed, but then I run the risk of immobility if I do not really listen to what my body wants. Sometimes water or a few deep breaths is all I need to slow down. I've been drinking water water with lemon every morning (even with my mucus problems) and it's been perfect.
I signed up for a writing workshop yesterday. I normally wouldn't do something so rash, but it spoke to me and I am learning that there is a subtle world which I can be a part of at any time and I just have to choose to. It's weird to think/know that what I see isn't all the world. It's in Port Townsend, which will be nice in June, and I really look forward to growing in my writing more. Josh might come up for a couple of nights too, so that will be nice. It was $475 and normally I wouldn't so easily give up money energy to do something, but that's precisely why I did it. I've been wanting to do more workshops and this called to me. I spend money doing other less inspiring things, so it's nice to cater to my priorities.
Plus, I am making more money these days and I want to continue the flow in.
The abundance feelings are definitely increasing. I feel more apt to donate, buy priority things, really think about the money I make and the money I spend as a reflection of myself. We're eating well (abundant groceries) and we're feeling good.
Meditation each morning is really nice. I don't really sit with a goal in mind anymore, I just check-in with The Source, see if anything comes up, and then relish in the silence. It feels really good.
I'm also getting into a routine. I write in the morning and then I exercise. Then I carry on with my day. I am so happy to have my mornings back. It's great to get up, be with Josh, and then still feel like I have ample amounts of time to do stuff.
Anyway, life is going well and the sun is out, yay!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fasting While Sick

So I've been fasting for the most part the last three days. I haven't really felt hungry and for the most part, I've been reading that the stomach aches and "pangs" that we feel are NOT true hunger. When I overeat the night before, I wake up and feel hungry but really, my stomach is simply grumpy from having all this stuff put in there that it didn't finish eliminating. I tend to wait now until 9am or 10am to even think about food and even then, it's probably a smoothie or fresh juice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Listening to my Body

It's one thing for my body to communicate, it's another thing for me to listen.
I have been fasting for 36 hours (a couple juices have kept me going) so that I don't overload my body with more food information. I want to eat, and I'll bring food to eat, but I spose I'm not that hungry, in all honesty. I just miss eating.

I am curious about what my body is telling me. I know that I have too much mucus in me. I know that I don't listen when I feel full. I know that being sick makes me insane. I know that food is still a problem, even if I have stopped eating sugar. I know dairy is not only not good for me, but it actually compromises my health, just like sugar. This is my dairy hangover...

I feel pretty crappy physically, and also, disconnected. Again, eating with others is hard and I don't give myself any raw options, so of course I don't take care of my body in that way. Plus, I still overeat. I overeat with raw food too. I know when I am full, and yet I continue to eat. Ugh. I don't need to, but I still think things like "This is the last time..." and then eat as much as I can pack in. It's silly, really.

Anyway, I hope to do a little uncovering today around my body and why I treat it this way.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Body Communicates

Well, I mentioned to a few folks that when my body helps my brain remember that I can't really eat specific foods, that's when I will get it through my head.
Today should be that day!
I am FULL of mucus and while sometimes it a sign that I am detoxing, I also believe that it's a sign that I should not eat dairy. I have eliminated most dairy from my diet already, but cheese was still hanging on and this weekend, after some delicious dairy dishes, my body said WHOA. I'm sad about it, for sure. Sugar and refined chocolate were hard to give up, but I felt okay with their substitutes. Cheese on the other hand does not have a very good substitute. Brie, bleu, sharp cheddar, etc. are so good that a substitute simply won't cut it.
But I know that the alternative is feeling shitty for a few days and that isn't that helpful either. My head feels heavy and full of crap and I can't go five minutes without sneezing, blowing my nose, or hacking up stuff. Ugh. Even the netti pot isn't that successful. I simply have a lot of mucus in my body and it isn't out yet. I think the mucus overload coincides with the candida and I need to seriously avoid those foods.
I've been fasting most of today to give my body a break from the food assault of the past week, but I need to keep that up so that I can seriously clean house a bit. We made excellent raw-ish chili last night and I really want to eat it again, but I think I will let my body decide when it's time to eat. I haven't really been that hungry today so I'm not sure I'll eat the chili tonight. It was a cinch to make too! I also made Date Nut Torte, which is rich and sweet and delicious, but again, a bit mucus-producing.

Oh mucus, why have you forsaken me!?

I did have carrot, radish, celery juice today for lunch and it was quite tasty!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Balancing Body and Brain

It's only been since Feb 2007 that I have been on the raw-rior's path. That's only 3 months. I have been reading what feels like years worth of information on being raw and I think I'm getting ahead of myself. I stopped eating refined sugar (this includes honey and maple syrup too, though) Jan 2007. So upon looking at the short amount of time I have been transitioning, I am going to cut myself a bit more slack. I haven't even been 100% raw the whole time. At first, I was raw until dinner. That was a good way for me to go. It was easy to do (even at Disneyworld) and I lost a considerable amount of wait right off the bat.
Recently, as I've increased my blog reading, my book reading, and my preparing repertoire, I have been creeping towards more and more raw food. Yipee! The reason for this has been that I experience TONS of painful gas and long bouts on the toilet after eating cooked food. Even though there is a 24 hour delay from food in to food out, I know that it simply feels bad.
As I increase the amount of raw food, I am getting more and more strict. So I play around with mono-meals and no oil & fats, and generally set myself up to fail, or at least feel deprived while eating raw.
results in eating cooked food, eating lots of dates (easy to snack on!), and generally not really keeping up a good caloric intake. Boo to that.
My mind knows, from assimilating all the info I've been reading, that x, y, or z are better for me, and so I aim to eat like that. But it's not sustainable. And that's a HUGE part of staying raw: Getting comfortable with raw food, then progressing into the finer points as my body craves. I've already done my first round of colonics and of course I wanted to stay 100% raw after that, but I need to be more gentle with myself.
We don't have a dehydrator (not an Excalibur, I mean) or a masticating juicer or a full size food processor so sometimes our abilities are limited. We have done okay so far, with the thrown together 'quick' fixes, and I realize that we need a few tools upgraded so that we can enjoy more foods and easier prep.
Josh is only two months behind me in transition and already we are differing in our raw approach. I tend to eat a LOT of salad (twice a day at least) and I've slowed my intake of nuts, oils, and other fats. I also crave more fats and should pay attention to that because it might be more about caloric intake. I am tending toward less food that I have EVER eaten and it's important to not be blinded by the amazing weight loss. I want to increase my stamina and energy as well.

Last night, even though I brought my own salad with delicious dressing, I also ate a bunch of cooked food. I have a weakness for cheese (in more ways than one) and I ate feta, tiny breads, crackers, pickles, cooked asparagus, and dates. I overate on top of that, as well as poorly combined my food (obviously). Yikes. When I got home, I felt awful and stuffed, then my body proceeded to rid itself of the night before's poor eating (a bite of tofu chocolate pie).

What happened? Why can't I walk the talk?

Well, here's the weird thing. Sometimes I eat cooked foods because I don't want people to think I live a 'deprived' life. I don't want to seem so together in my food choices that people can't relate to me. I think that's mostly because I want to teach/guide people toward better food choices and if they see me suffering (which I tend to do if I see chocolate, sugar, yummy fats, etc), then they won't be attracted to me. I also don't like to see food being eaten and opt out when I am someone's house. It's hard for me to say no, and that's my own fault, but it doesn't make it any easier. I have said no to sugar, alcohol, drugs, etc. but I need to continue my efforts and stay strong.
Also, I need to eat more food.
If my caloric intake is NOT supporting my activity (I exercise everyday for at least 15-25 mins), then I need to look at that.

Just like I did raw until dinner, now I think I will do simple raw until dinner, and then I will have my fattier, richer, more complex meals as a last meal. I think a routine is also a good idea, as I am much better when I know what's ahead, what I need to make, what I have to work with, etc.

Also, when I eat minimal calories and have minimal amounts of food, I tend to crave that which I do not have and therefore, it can be a slippery slope. So we adjusted our food budget so that it was more abundant with regard to eating the foods that we wanted. I'd rather spend more money on food than anything else anyway, so it's in line with our priorities.

Feeling abundantly nourished also helps me feel abundant in other areas of my life.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just to See

Part of my transition has involved listening to myself and my body moment to moment. If I want nuts (even if I've been instructed to stay away from them), I eat them. If I want cooked food, I eat it. Sometimes my cravings are strange and usually involve my thinking, rather than my body saying "We'd really like to be clogged up a bit, how about some pasta?"

I had Phad Thai last night. It was just a handful or so, but I told myself "You can eat whatever, just to see." Letting myself make empowered decisions, rather than berating myself for "cheating" or creating so many restrictions that eating becomes an emotional black hole, often guides me.

The food did NOT sit well, of course and I'm sure one day very soon, my body will have such a violent reaction to eating it that it won't be worth the "Just to see" moment. At this point, it's not actually worth it, but my body needs to connect with my brain a bit better to get the message successfully across.

I'm happy that I know the difference between feeling good and feeling bad. I spend WAY less time in the bathroom than I used to and it's great.

The key to eating raw for me, at this stage, is to prepare foods that will satisfy me. I am missing the cracker-type carbs so maybe a few dehydrated crackers would be good for me. When I feel lacking in my food choices, that's usually when I rebel. :) This is such an amazing journey.

Cleaning Up Around the House

As my body gets more and more used to eating pure, raw, organic foods, I'm increasingly more aware of the crap that's just sitting around my house. I no longer enjoy a dirty/messy desk (I never "enjoyed" it, but I tolerated it!), I like to have a clean basement, clean compost container on the sink, clean junk drawer, clean closet, etc. I have been a packrat for a long time and usually I just go over the stuff I have, decide I still want it for posterity, and put it back into my disorganization matrix. I've moved from house to house with stuff I won't even look at because I figure I'll never get rid of it.
Now, when I go through boxes, I no longer think "I'll use it someday" or "I could sell this on ebay" or "My kids will want to look at that." It's been an interesting and surprisingly change. Just this weekend I cleaned out all this stuff for my friend's fundraising garage sale. It felt good to support her AND ditch some items that I simply wasn't dealing with fast enough.

Cleaning is far more enjoyable now that we don't have a lot of crap lying around. And I'm labeling boxes, so things are simply easier to find and put away. Amazing!

The desire to STAY clean comes with being raw, in my opinion. If I am trying to get clean inside, then it only makes sense to get clean outside. For others, it may work the other way around: cleaning their house may help them clean up their bodies...doesn't matter to me how it happens, but it just feels good to be cleaner and clearer.


There are many camps of thought that claim cooked food is addictive. It's hard for me to understand addiction at times. Last night, however, I noticed the moment when I told myself that eating cooked food (no matter how much) was not a good idea. I did it anyway. And I had done it the day before as well. Not because I felt "addicted" but because I felt it may not wreak the havoc that it had previously. THIS is what addictive behavior is for me: the fact that I believed my rational thoughts would be able to make the food less harmful. It definitely was NOT a good idea to eat the cooked food.
There are times when I see people enjoying a meal and I want to enjoy myself too, so I think that eating the food will bring me into their world. It never does. It never did, for that matter. Sure, it tastes good for about 3 minutes, and then it feels like a huge dead weight in my belly. Then later, when I am done pretending that I can digest it, it feels awful coming out again. I don't even remember the 3 minutes of supposed enjoyment. Did my friends love me more? Did I hear the voice of God? Was my palate that pleased with the tastes? No, no and no.

The practical part to take into consideration is that I have been feeling deprived, and when I feel that way, I will eat whatever I want. I have been staving off candida by just eating fruit, (no oils, fats, nuts, seeds, etc) and it is not enjoyable. I want to eat a bit more fats. I don't need as much as Josh needs (he's a fast oxidizer and I'm a slow oxidizer so we need diff. fat ratios, according to Gabriel Cousens in his book Conscious Eating) but I do need some.

Dr. Doug Graham has his 80/10/10 theory but I have been missing the 10 part because of the candida business. Drat. I believe the candida is gone or sufficiently staved, but it doesn't mean I'm not concerned anymore. I forget that my intution is clearer than my rational mind about my body and its goings on. I also think that eating more fats and oils is better than simply eating cooked food and therefore, I lean towards the fats to satisfy that part of me that cannot feel satisfied with a bunch of fruit.

I got a raw DVD from the library: Raw: The Living Food Diet. I'd just like to see some food prep demos and get back to my love of preparing raw food.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Urge to Lead

As I was getting ready for work, sun already shining bright, I had an idea about getting together people I knew who were interested in leadership. Whether that was within their community or a larger community didn't matter. I simply wanted to start hanging out with inspiring people who are making a difference in the world.

Wha-what??! Who is this person? I don't know if it's the clarity or the sunshine or what, but I haven't felt this motivated in a long time. I really enjoy community efforts and get-togethers and collaboration and maybe that's just what I'm supposed to move toward.

I enjoy leading. I have always had a bit of hesitancy because being a leader means that people look to you and I don't like being wrong, so I don't want to lead people astray. But I also know that I have a lot of passion and good energy and when I don't lead, I feel some disappointment. I know that if I could do anything without fear of failure, leading others would be top of the list. Not because I am egotistical, but because I don't like to wait to implement a good idea. I go to community events and promote good causes and feel passionately about a lot of things but when it comes time to lead, I fade into the background and hope no one asks me to volunteer. It's a shame and I really ought to ignore my fear of failure and move into any leadership role I can.

My creativity has also been flowing very easily and it's great to feel that again. When was the last school? Yikes.

A few times that I have wanted to lead or at least motivate, I have felt self-conscious and a few misguided comments made me back away from it. How can I lead without making it into the Becca Show? I believe that God has given me leadership qualities, but they feel a bit rough around the edges. I suppose they won't get refined stuck in a drawer somewhere. How can I learn what to change if I can't see it outside my own mind? Good point. I believe that I'll be guided to the best path.

I heard on a podcast that you are who you spend your time with. Look at the closest five people to you and you can see yourself. I like that. Just like eating raw food makes me crave more raw food, hanging out with inspiring people makes me crave more inspiring people. It's a good cycle.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


All this talk about abundance has got me feeling full! So full that I notice I feel really appreciative lately. More than usual.

I am SO appreciative of the people and experiences in my life that I could spend all day talking about it. But instead, here's an exercise:

Think about something that you're struggling with right now: debt, parents, kids, co-worker, war, etc. Hold that person, thing, or experience in your mind. See it as having its own energy. Notice all aspects. If it's a person, write a letter to that person listing all the things you do appreciate. If you're having trouble, you might try "I appreciate gaining the awareness about what I can and cannot tolerate in my life" or "I appreciate the way you help me learn about myself." You can send it or not, but at least you know what you appreciate and can start to hold some positive energy about the person.

For example, debt. I see it as this monthly reminder, a path to freedom, a burden, etc.

If I listen to what debt has to tell me, it says "I'm not all bad. I allowed you to have an experience you couldn't otherwise afford and now you say it was the best experience of your life. I am temporary and you can pay me off as fast and as soon as you want. Sometimes I think you like having me because you feel you can relate to other people better. You have an excuse to not pursue your dreams. You can keep your energy low and not feel obligated to serve others."

Touche. Very good points. I have gotten comfortable associating with debt in a negative light, when it's true that I only incurred the debt to enjoy my Findhorn experience to its fullest. Our wedding was amazing and now we're still paying it off, but it was a phenomenal experience. Being able to pay it off in smaller increments has served us. Now we want that money and energy for something else, so we're going to pay it all off and pursue our dreams.

So in line with this new appreciation of debt, in addition to paying my bills, I am going to write each credit card company a nice letter (maybe I'll even decorate it!), appreciating the chance to have these amazing experiences and turning the energy into positive energy, instead of negative. The closer we get to paying it off, the better we will feel and each month we have a chance to appreciate it more.

I often think that when I share some mishap or negative feeling that I am "being honest." I dramatize an event to show how wrong it was and spend hours and hours justifying my nasty attitude (my friends can vouch for this). It's okay to have feelings, but when those feelings start to take over, I rarely feel better after getting them off my chest. My friendship doesn't heal, the situation doesn't improve, and I don't feel any better. Maybe more justified, but I can't confuse that with better.

Time to bring in Appreciation! Even appreciating a small thing, is a good place to start. "I appreciate my anger for showing me that I am passionate."

The more I appreciate, the better I feel. It's good for me to pull back from things and people and really appreciate their presence in my life. Sometimes, it's hard to feel, but when I do, it changes my whole perspective.

I love my body!

I love my body now, though over the course of my lifetime, I haven't always loved it. As a kid, it seemed to fail me more ways than I care to recall. I think I just accepted that bodies are weak in general, and my genetics dictate my health so there's nothing I can do about it.

I was sexually abused as a kid but I did not know there was a correlation between the abuse and how my body reacted. I had constipation that hospitalized me. I didn't even know it was constipation, I just knew that when the stomachaches came, it was the equivalent of a migraine. I couldn't do anything and it would plague me at the most random times. I needed my stomach rubbed pretty hard to relieve the agony that I experienced. Castor oil, Metamucil, and tons of carrots did not help. Even bran cereal didn't help enough.

As I got older, the stomachaches went away, and I never thought about it. When my mom told me that my cousin suffered similar constipation that was from sexual abuse, I put two and two together. Wow. So that's why I was constipated. Whatever protection I created for myself ended up being physical as well. I was so protected that nothing could get out, either.

I also wet the bed for a while as a kid. Again, I never thought to relate it to the fact that I didn't cry very much (I wanted to be strong!) but I read in a self-help book that kids who don't cry have a good chance of being bed-wetters. Who knew? I guess it has to get out somehow.

I have always felt that my body had a lot of resilency and I did not feel limited in any way. I played soccer for 10 years, lugged furniture all over the house (I like to move furniture around), biked, and was generally athletic and healthy. I rarely got sick, I only broke my nose in a car accident and my finger in a car door (darn cars...), and felt pretty good.

When I was 21 and working full time in AmeriCorps (mostly a desk job), I began to feel twinges in my back. I knew I had bad posture, but had NO idea what the twinges were (spasms) and I figured I just needed to be in better shape. I went to my naturopath at the time and he said I needed orthotics because my back was weak. $175 later, I felt no relief.
One day, while in a yoga class, I had overextended my back muscles and my back went into complete spasm, with no release. I couldn't move my legs or even sit down. It was the scariest thing to not have control over my legs.

Long story a bit shorter, I had to be picked up in an ambulance and later found out I had herniated my L4 L5 disk. Yikes.

I began to look more closely at the way my body was communicating with me and I began to see health a lot more holistically.

Fast foward eight years, I feel stronger and healthier than I have in my whole life, I have completed a Danskin triathalon, a 200 mile bike ride from Seattle to Portland, and my back no longer bothers me.

I did realize, along the way, that I needed to pay MUCH closer attention to what my body was telling me and not wait until a neurosurgeon has to tell me I won't be able to run or carry a backpack again (thankfully, this was not actually true). I am so grateful that my health has become a top priority in my life and it has paid off.

Being raw has been another component of refining the way I listen to my body and it feels good to simply sense something or feel clear about my decisions in taking care of myself. While I still seek support sometimes, I am realizing more and more that I just need to listen better. My body is quite capable of healing itself and I just need to get out of its way. I love my body so much! I feel more confident, creative, adventurous, and strong.

Subtle Emotions

I've been mostly raw for about 3 months. This doesn't seem like a long time, but so much has been happening physically, mentally and emotionally, that it feels like several lifetimes.

My issues come up in cycles. When X triggers Y, I react by Z. For as long as I can remember, this is the way it has been. I have changed, of course, but rare is the moment that I look to my diet as the cause. Sure, I knew that eating badly made me feel badly, but since I was so focused on the negative aspect, I forgot to look at the opposite effect: eating well makes me feel well.

Added energy, enjoyment of my body, and weight loss are all important aspects of my raw life but it didn't stop there.

Things have been coming up recently that are a bit random. Interactions with friends, family, in my office, etc., are challenging me to reexamine my patterns with a different perspective so that I may be able to change it this time.

My dad passed away when I was six and while I've mourned his death and done a lot of personal work around it, when it came up recently, I felt different.
I was crying about missing him, but the tears were not from this dreaded, dark, hopeless place. They were simply tears of sadness. I just missed my dad. It felt lighter in my body, like it wasn't as heavy and it didn't come from the depths of me (I have a history of suppressing and repressing energy). It was an acknowledgement that someone I loved was gone, and I missed them. As I was crying, I noticed this difference and it felt weird to stop crying before I sobbed my eyes out (my usual method). I heave and breathe shallowly and feel alone in it. But this time, I just shed a few tears and then moved through the emotion.

I shared this with my therapist and as I talked about the sensations, it dawned on me that eating raw food would of course bring things up like this. My deep-seated pattern was to hold it all in, let it fester, and then explode in gut-wrenching emotion (tears, anger, etc). And now I could feel the tears, observe them, love them, and watch them go away. It's not like I felt less sad, either. It's just that I am expressing sadness differently.

Not having sugar in my life to suppress my emotions means they can come more freely and with less intensity.

I also find myself crying very easily at little things that happen in my daily life. They are tears of joy and connection. I read something yesterday about a woman who thought she was destined for divorce and when she did some personal work, her relationship changed and all was good, no divorce. I had to shed a few tears. Redemption is so sweet. I don't care if people see me, either. I stopped caring a while ago. I'm not afraid of crying and I don't feel uncomfortable. I can cry and still live my life.

Anyway, so this subtle change in emotions and the expression of emotions is really interesting. I feel softer and also stronger. It's exactly the way I imagined I could feel eventually.