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.