Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 10 - 171

After a second trip to the ER last night Cam and I gave in and rewarded ourselves with some pizza. It was so damn good! Wow, talk about really appreciating food. So I found myself today wondering what the heck that meant for my raw food experiment. It goes on, but has a new shape. I get a strong sense that it's insane to go 100% raw without a ton of preparation.

New plan, which really isn't a plan but more of an idea. It's really important to me to eat something raw at every meal. As for my meals at work - I need to be 100% raw there or else I'm going to be eating chocolate and Cheetos several times a week. It has felt easy at work anyway.

The challenge is preparing healthy food for Adi to eat (she's not too fond of the raw recipes we've tried so far - she's only 2 so I expected that) and then having time to make something for myself before she goes on a tirade because I'm not paying enough attention to her. Poor kid, I am at work all day while she stays home with Daddy. When I'm here she needs Mama time. I'm being pulled in two directions - my baby wins!

Cam and I feel like the 1 week 100% raw was good. It's really hard to go beyond that for us. We're setting a goal to do 1 week raw food fasts each month. And in the mean time we will try new recipes until we find the ones that work for us. So many have been a disappointment. I'll continue to chronicle the goings on with our diet lifestyle, our successes, our failures, and our struggles. We're still learning!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day 9 - 170

Day 8 was 173. I completely forgot to post yesterday - Adi was sick so we ended up taking her to the ER (she wouldn't eat or drink and we were worried about dehydration). Turned out to be tonsillitis. Poor baby, she was so miserable. But at least we didn't have to do antibiotics! I hate that crap!

So... yesterday was rough! It felt so stressful to care for our little peanut, she just wined and cried and wouldn't eat or drink and we just wanted some friggin pizza! I was within a hair of picking up the phone and ordering. We opted for a nice bottle of organic red wine. It was a well deserved raw treat. No regrets!

There seems to be a sense of comfort that comes from nice hot food that I'm not getting from the raw foods I've been eating. I like the fresh flavors and appreciate cool foods on the hot days. But on cool days all I want is a hot bowl of soup. I kind of realized last night that we weren't going to make it on a 100% raw diet and that's OK. We have a church retreat coming up this weekend which might very well be the end of the 100% raw experiment. It doesn't really have to be, maybe just and intermission.

Other than weight loss I don't seem to be feeling so much like all the cost and effort is really worth it! I think our family is going to be more like a 75 or 80% raw family, which is still better than 10% or whatever it was before. Maybe living in Iowa has something to do with success or failure on a raw food diet. It's not quite the same as Cali by any measure. Or maybe it's just me. At any rate, I'm so glad I didn't spend a butt load of money on a vitamix and an excalibur. I'm beginning to feel that if something needs to be dehydrated to be edible you may as well just cook it! And our handy little magic bullet is a wonderful tool - we use it every day and love it.

I'm sorry to say that I feel disappointed. I don't know what exactly it is that I expected but I don't think this was it. But I'm not really done yet. I'll just consider the retreat to be an intermission and I'll have to reevaluate the actual percentage beyond that.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 7 - 174

Rock 'n roll! One week down, 3 to go. Cam tempted me with pizza today (the cooked kind) and I was strong and said, "no way mister!" I was actually kind of appalled that he even suggested it. I know this is hard but we're both doing so well - it would suck to give up so soon.

We're still in the learning phase. We found an old dehydrator that my parents gave us a few years ago. I think we used it once to dry bell peppers that I ended up throwing away. I don't know what temperature it used to dry food (the booklet only said "warm air") but I think we'll give it a whirl and see what we've been missing. Crackers and pizza bases are calling our names!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day 6 - 174

It's day 6 and for the past couple of days I've been stuck at 174. I'm not really sure why but I suspect it might have something to do with too much fruit and too much oil. I don't tend to use much oil but some of the recipes Cam has used call for copious amounts of oil (leaving me feeling queasy) and I've been enjoying late snacks of fruit for the last few days. Ultimately this experiment wasn't about losing weight completely but that's definitely a nice bonus. It feels frustrating that I'm at a stand still already!

The dinner with friends went really well. I can't believe how little temptation I felt. It didn't hurt that we took a dinamite cole slaw and had a couple of collard wraps to eat. I felt satisfied and didn't even really have that hard of a time saying no to the rice crispie treats (one of my favorite sweets).

So it was a good day but frustrating at the same time. I think ultimately I need to work a scheduled exercise routine into the mix and the weight loss will go much more smoothly.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Day 5 - 174

Today wasn't a particularly significant day. I went to work, filled the car up with gas, went to Nana & Papa's with Adi. They had home made pizza and I had a large salad, collard green wrap, and some fruit salad. I have to admit that the smell of freshly baking pizza was hard to resist but I did OK and came out of the experience raw.

I don't know if I'm not getting enough sleep or what but I'm feeling really tired lately. I'm waiting for the high energy feeling to kick in but it just doesn't seem to be happening. Patience.

Jesus, grant me the patience to see this experiment through to the full 30 days Cam and I have committed to. I pray for imagination and creativity to prepare meals that satisfy whatever cravings may creep their way into my daily journey. I'm so blessed to have the means to choose such a journey, Lord, please bless those who are hungry in the world today. And thank you for humility - please help me to be humble. Amen.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day 4 - 175

Things just feel normal today. It feels like I've made the transition from junk food addict to raw food living in only a few days. I know it's not really this easy. I haven't had any real challenges yet - aside from my cheerios temptation when barfing was my only other option. Today I can say that I like eating this way.

It helps that the farmers market is up and going and we got our first share of organic produce from our CSA last night. It was a lot of fun dividing the food up together and having community time with the neighbors. Our share this week included: spinach, joi choi, two types of lettuce, broccoli rabe, spring onions, green garlic, and rhubarb. I need to figure out how to eat raw rhubarb. Cam says it's good in smoothies but I'm not much of a smoothie person. I like to chew my food.

Last night I made blackberry & young coconut Popsicles. Really, I just made a smoothie and poured it into Popsicle molds I got from K-Mart. I haven't had one yet but I'm looking forward to enjoying a healthy raw frozen treat today. Here's the recipe:

Water from 1 young coconut
Meat from 1 young coconut
10 oz bag frozen organic blackberries
1/4 cup raw organic agave nectar
2 Tbsp raw organic hemp oil

Blend using a blender 1-2 minutes and pour into Popsicle molds. You can get the molds on I suggest the ones with reusable sticks (they even have drip guards) for less waste and less additional future cost for wooden sticks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day 3 - 176

I'm quite grumpy today. Little things are really irritating. For instance - I have no work to do, yet I still have to be here and that's all fine. However, the last 90 minutes of my day are going to involve learning how to write my own scripts for paint shop pro. I should welcome the learning experience but in this moment I don't give a crap and don't want to engage in the training. I hope I'm just experiencing PMS but it's hard to tell.

Yesterday was a much better day even though I felt like I was starving most of the time. I tried a fun substitute for pasta using zuccini cut on a mandolin and a sauce made from tomatoes and avocado. It was surprisingly creamy, tasty and filling.

I'm proud to say that this morning I had no desire to make any Teeccino. I felt fine without it. My experience today has been very different than days one and two so far. Other than being a sour puss and having many wandering thoughts including "what's the big deal with raw anyway?" one good thing that I can record is the simple fact that today I am not so hungry. I actually had to convince myself to eat lunch (and I'm glad I did - it was a surprisingly enjoyable collard green wrap with a cashew & spinach filling :)

I'm realizing that eating raw doesn't really take any more time than eating a healthy cooked diet. Most of the time requirement is prep time, but the cooking time gets cut out so if you aren't relying on dehydrates the time factor isn't really so much of a factor. I don't know if I can live like this forever but if I have to be on a diet for 30 days I'm glad it's this one.

Oh yay! Farmer's market is today. I'm picking up our first share from the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) we joined with 3 other families tonight. It's still early in the season so we'll most likely have only spinach and lettuce but I can think of a hundred ways to enjoy fresh locally grown spinach and lettuce so I won't complain. I guess I should post a link to the farm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Day 2 - ?

I didn't get a chance to weigh myself last night because I was too busy puking guts out. What a waste of rawesome nori rolls. If I've EVER spoke too soon, it was yesterday. Shortly after my post I started getting a headache which slowly escalated to some weakness and nausea in the early evening. I felt a little better after dinner, but I stupidly went on a walk with Ma and Adi. It was mostly OK but a little bit miserable as my condition worsened in the heat of the day. When we got home I felt weak, sweaty and overall pretty crappy.

Adi's bath time was a challenge, I didn't want to hurl in the toilet right next to her but I didn't know how long I was going to keep it down. By the grace of God I safely got Adi out of the tub and in her room. We had to skip story time and I put her in her crib with her milk while I gave into my overwhelming need to yack. I managed to get back to Adi's room to rock her and sing a song before putting her down for the night. She went to sleep without any trouble.

I felt so terrible and realized that I was most definitely experiencing a hard core detox. I almost gave in and ate some of Adi's cheerios but just as I grabbed the box and was telling myself "nothing is worth feeling like this" all of a sudden I had a new thought that was something like, "you are worth it and I'm here with you" so I had to put the cheerios down. If God was in this with me then I could do it. I just grabbed 2 strawberries and laid down in bed with them cool and moist in my hand but unable to eat them.

I prayed, Jesus, this strawberry is you, and I'm taking you unto me, please heal this detox I'm going through. I can't do it without you, Lord. I need you now. A little cheesy - I know but it worked. I was finally able to take a nibble of the juicy sweet fruit and though it was hard to chew and hard to swallow I finally did it but only because I was bringing Jesus into the experience with me. I sensed His presence as I ate the second strawberry, thanked God and passed out.

So my day 1 experience wasn't exactly what I expected it to be but I suppose after all of the coffee and junk food I've been consuming lately it really should be no surprise! I know now that it would have been wise to ease my way into eating raw but I guess that's not how I do things.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Day 1 - 178

Day 1 seems to be going well so far. I was fearful that my coffee addiction was going to be a huge challenge to conquer, with withdrawal symptoms and the sheer psychological dependency. However, I prayed for support this morning and have so far managed to function normally without withdrawal symptoms!

I also had help this a.m. from a product called Teeccino (not 100% raw - the darn carob is roasted) which I steeped in warm - not hot - water (as if that mattered since it's not raw anyway). It's nice to replace the coffee with a caffeine free herbal substitute. There's just something wonderful about having a warm tummy in the morning. I'm hoping that after this first week I won't even need to supplement my morning regimen with the Teeccino and I can move on to my nettle leaf tea instead. Now that I think about it I'm not even really sure how I feel about having that cup this morning. It sure hit the spot but...

Whatever. I have been invited to my first challenge - a dinner with other couples from church with little chillins. Concept: let the kids play while the parents try to engage in some sort of conversation. I'm excited to get to know some of the people better but I'm a little concerned about the temptation factor. Luckily we have the benefit of summer coming full speed ahead and with any luck someone will bring fruit salad or something. Everyone we talk to about the raw food lifestyle seems so interested and they all have a million questions. It's kind of fun to be the guinea pig for all of our friends.

Friday, May 18, 2007

In preparation

My husband Cam and I have been intrigued for at least a couple of years now by the concept of a raw food lifestyle. I even ventured to try eating raw for a full week after I weaned Adi when she was 15 months old. In one weeks time I think I lost almost 10 pounds and felt completely energized. My skin cleared up, which is huge for me - I've had adult acne ever since I've been an adult! I have to also comment that in that short amount of time I started to feel frisky again.

So why did I quit? It was hard to do! I wasn't equipped with many recipes and the ones I did have required so much time and effort to prepare. I didn't have the time or organization to soak the nuts and seeds I would need for the recipes and a lot of the recipes required dehydrating something. Though I do own a dehydrator I don't know if it gets too hot to consider the food still raw or what.

The benefits of eating raw are very clear to me. I've experienced myself being called back to it again and again. But what makes this time different? Cam is on board. He chose to spend some of his birthday money on books about raw and living foods and the inspiration he's drawing from what he's reading is contagious!

Now, after going through some rough times with 2 miscarriages in the last 6 months we are ready to embark on a journey seeking health and healing. We invite Jesus on this journey with us, to bless our desire to return to the healthy forms that God created us to be in and to enjoy more of the food we eat in the perfect package that God created it to be in.

Jesus, we want to embrace our bodies as temples, not dumping grounds. We want to transform physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We can not do this without the grace of God and we submit our stubborn arrogance to you and ask for your guidance to lead us down a path of true life, living in faith and loving God's creation! In your name, Jesus, we pray.

So onward we go. Hopefully these books will help us with fast and simple recipes to keep our palettes happy and give us motivation to persist. I know it won't be easy but that won't stop us from trying.