Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Second Thyme Around

I made pasta with shrimp and fish last night. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad for a first try. I'd love to include a picture, but it really wasn't all that much to look at, besides which, we were so hungry, it didn't stick around long. So, anyway, I was thinking this morning about that pasta, and about how I used a jarred sauce and how it really could have benefited from the addition of a few more things - like maybe mushrooms, and onions, maybe a fresh herb or two ... Then I started thinking about those lovely little grape tomatoes I've been roasting lately and how those would be a nice addition. Then I thought, Wait a minute. Why do I need to add those to a jarred sauce? Why can't they be the sauce? Yeah, why not? 

Oven-Roasted Baby Tomatoes with Thyme - A Food Centric Life
So, here's what I'm thinking. Why not pile the grape tomatoes alongside a piece of halibut onto a rimmed baking sheet (I like to use parchment paper, too) with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh thyme and roast them together in the oven. (Okay, I guess the tomatoes would be roasting, but the fish would be baking, right?) Then, if I'm really feeling ambitious, while the fish and tomatoes are in the oven, I could prepare shrimp on the cooktop the way my mom does. She makes the absolute most delicious shrimp with olive oil, white wine, garlic and fresh parsley. I'm not kidding, her recipe is the best I've ever tasted. Once the shrimp and fish and tomatoes are done, I could just toss the mixture with fettuccine and how wonderful would that be? 

I might have to try this again and soon. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Carrots Gone Topless: Juicy Tidbits I Bet You Never Even Knew

Dear Diary,

I just realized I haven't written anything to you in months.  My, how rude I've been!  I am sorry to have neglected you.  You see, I've been so busy creating, planting - and now, harvesting - my first garden that I haven't had an extra minute to tell you about it.

Not to mention, I now have ALL FOUR kids at home.  No school for them means never a dull moment for me.  And I'll admit all the chaos around here has led to more slip-ups with healthy eating than we'd experienced during the more regimented school year, but it's nothing I'm too concerned about.  While we haven't been perfect with our healthy eating goals, we're still going strong.  I feel proud of the food I feed my kids most of the time - and of the fact that when they help themselves, that can sometimes mean yanking a carrot out of the garden, rinsing it in the hose, chomping it down...and back to playing.

As for me, I rarely miss a morning with my Green Lemonade.  I get up really early to run (and the baby is still waking up to nurse in the night) so it can be tough to resist the urge to put on a cup of coffee when I get back, but I feel so awful when I start my day that way, I almost always choose the juice.  So...first I make and guzzle down the green juice.  Then I make the coffee.  Come on, I never said I wanted to be perfect!

But enough of that little catch-up session, let's get right to what I was excited to share: carrots gone wild!  Carrots with their tops off, that's what I'm talking about.  So, I recently pulled up the last of my purple carrots in order to make more room for the tomato plants that are growing like mad.  And what I got was a nice little bowl full of lovely, multi-colored carrots...and a double sink full of carrot greens.  What was I to do with all those greens?

I hesitated to throw them away.  As you well know this pure, organic lifestyle isn't cheap.  Well worth it but expensive.  So one of the ways I've tried to mitigate the expense is to buy into a CSA (crop share) this summer.  Another is to plant as many of my own vegetables as possible in my urban backyard - and then to keep them alive.  I'm a notorious black thumb but maybe the daily green juice has helped grant me some favor with the Gardening Gods as I've had tremendous luck with my garden this year.  And I certainly don't want to repay this benevolence by filling my trash bin with loads of beautiful, chlorophyll-filled potential, but who's ever heard of eating the carrot tops?  Certainly not black-thumb me.  So, I did a little research and it turn out there's plenty of carrot-top potential.

The obvious is to juice them.  Rather than using carrots for the Tingly Juice (carrot-grapefruit-ginger), I used carrot tops (adding an orange, lemon and apple to up the sweet quotient) and it was delicious!  Then I juiced another big batch of green tops, added ginger, olive oil, lemon juice and honey and made a lovely salad dressing.

Some of the best ideas I found were on  Check it out!

That's it for now, but I promise I'll check in soon.

Happy juicing!


Friday, April 6, 2012

New Leaf

Dear Diary,
If you had asked me yesterday how I'm doing, the answer might not have been pleasant, but I slept for ten hours last night and I'm feeling much better. The amazing recuperative powers of sleep.

Beyond Brussels Sprouts: Eating The Leaves 
I'm in the home stretch of spring semester and I'm just trying to hold on. I'm fairly certain they're trying to do me in. From the very beginning, I've said my goal is simply to still be standing at the end of each semester. Funny, how it's almost come down to that. If I can just stay upright, I think I might be able to pull this off.

I'm convinced this new way of eating and of looking at food is the biggest factor in being able to make it through these courses. It doesn't matter how capable or determined we are, when our bodies are also trying to cope with consistently bad food choices, all of our energy reserves go into trying to digest food and there's precious little energy left for anything else. I've had my moments, transitioning from processed foodstuff to eating real food. It was really hard getting started, but the choices are easier now. Between juicing and eating whole foods, I'm feeling so good. I think I can actually make it.  

I'm not going to be writing any page-turners here in the next several weeks, I may not even keep up with my daily check-ins over at The Constant In-Between, but I'm still here, juicing away. I went to my garden this morning and picked kale and  giant Brussels sprout leaves to add to my juice. I planted these veggies late last fall. They made it through the winter nicely and I now have a garden filled with beautiful greens. I'm so psyched about harvesting things from my own garden to juice. I'll be planting more soon to keep this going.

Talk again soon.

Happy juicing,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keepin' It Real

Dear Diary,
It's me, Becky.  You remember me, right?  The weird one from Minnesota who writes the really long, rambling entries, wondering about the meaning of life and trying to find it in her food.  Yeah, me.  I'm back.  Sort of.

I have been back and forth with the raw thing, more back than forth recently.  But just the "raw" part.  I am still doing 80/20 with the whole, unprocessed, lots of veggies part of the deal.  That's easy peasy now. Raw is harder.

The thing with food is, it's not just food.  It's fuel.  It's nourishment.  And it's social (hello, barbecue season!), emotional (who hasn't cried into a tub of Ben & Jerry's?) and it's comforting (think of all those casseroles - ahem, hot dishes! - after a funeral).  It seems this food stuff should be pretty cut and dried.  Eat what's healthy.  Don't eat what's not.  End of story.  If only.

I would be lying if I didn't admit to having many days where I want to go back to my old "healthy" way of eating.  That good old Clif bar, apple and copious coffee way of eating.  It was so much easier back then:  think of food as fuel only.  Take the other stuff (enjoyment, pleasure, thinking, planning, preparing) out of the equation and, wow, problem solved.

Right.  If only it were that easy.  If only I truly believed that were healthy eating.  A healthy example for my daughters.  Tempting though it may be, I can't do that.  I know it's not the answer.  But I have to admit, I have started to get a little sick of all the hard work, the obsessing about food.  And I was really fed up with my stomach hurting all the time.  So I put away the books, listened to my gut (literally) and my common sense, and this is what's working for me now: more whole grains, greek yogurt at breakfast, lots of veggies but not entirely (or even mostly) raw.

I don't know if it's the yogurt.  The grains.  Probiotics.  Some sort of combining/miscombining.  Maybe it was too much too soon.  Or maybe my system just can't handle all that raw produce.  I don't know.  And, to tell you the truth, I just don't really care right now.  The weather seems to have officially turned to Spring. I'm running 20-plus miles a week.  I'm out and about and living in the world.  And it feels good.  I've learned so much about food (REAL food), that making good choices is second nature now.  And a day in which I make "bad" choices doesn't fill me with guilt and regret but just feels like, okay, that's enough, I don't like the way my body is functioning right now so I just don't want to do this again.  Even on vacation.  So that's a good sign.

I still struggle with the perfectionist in me.  The competitive drive in me that wants to do this RIGHT.  BEST.  The old all-or-nothing.  But I seem to be better and better at ignoring that voice in my head and listening to my gut.  At least when it comes to food.  And it feels good.

One of my nutrition inspirations here in St. Paul, someone who's read every book, who was a vegetarian back when I was living on bagels and Bud Light, posted on Facebook recently something that sounded vaguely like this: "The vegan pasta dish I made the family for dinner tonight was so awful we decided to dump it, and we all went to DQ for blizzards and hotdogs."  Talk about keeping it real - you've gotta love that!  Every time that obnoxious Perfectionist voice in me rears its ugly head, I think of that fabulous woman laughing her ass off at the failed dinner and then enjoying every last spoonful of that blizzard.  And that image makes me so happy.

So, in the vein of keeping it real, here's my all new BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS recipe (per your request).

In the food processor throw:

1 pear, chopped
1/4 c pecans
1/4 c prunes
1/4 c raw oat flakes (or oatmeal, as I usually call it, just not cooked)
dash (or two or three) of cinnamon

Hit CHOP button a few times until it's all mixed around and looks like raw granola.  Eat it with almond milk - or greek yogurt, as I do...and enjoy!  (BTW, feel free to do apple and raisins or any other combo here.  Eat what you like).

Nice chatting with you,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Way of The HAPPY Woman...

Dear Diary,

I'm BACK!!! I feel like I truly am on my way to being a happy woman. I LOVE teaching my Yoga and am on my Doula path... I finally feel calm and centered, as if THIS is what I was searching for all along. I also feel like I am back on track with my 'diet'; knowing how vital it is for ME to EAT the RIGHT food(s) to feel my BEST. I am juicing TONS and getting very creative with smoothie-blending. I have also just discovered Nutivia 'Coconut Mana' my new healthy 'treat'. When I am craving something sweet (and know I can't have chocolate) I slather this spread all over a slice of sprouted/toasted bread! YUM!!!

I am also just starting to read The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover... Hugely inspirational and highly recommended. Oh, and last night I watched Crazy Sexy Cancer by Kris Carr... Another must see (and READ if you haven't read her book(s) yet!!!

All in all, LIFE is GOOD!!!

Happily Yours,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog-Absent no more...

Dear Diary,

I'd like to blame my blog-absence on 'being too busy'... But honesty, that's simply not a good enough excuse. I think if I am really truly honest with 'you' as well as myself; I have been blog-absent because I haven't really had anything to blog about. Seriously. I haven't had anything to blog about because I slowly slipped back into my habitual eating habits. It always seems to come back to that 'all or nothing' factor for me. I allowed myself to slip here and slide there and just simply not care as much because of a busy-life and hectic-schedule. There's no excuse; just consequence.

I feel like CRAP!

I am not going to bore you all the reasons I feel this way, nor throw myself a pity party. I am simply going to CHANT my mantra EXTRA LOUD today...

"It’s never too late, it’s never too bad, you’re never too old, you're never too sick to start from scratch once again, to be born once again." Bishu Gosh

I have to get it out of my head that this is an 'experiment'... I know it started out as one, but I realized very early on that this was a LIFE TRANSFORMING CHANGE and not simply an experiment. I have to stop creating 'challenges' (such as cleanses, detoxes, & fasts) and simple accept that eating this way is MY way of life. NO EXCEPTIONS! Now wait! Don't get me wrong... I don't mean 'no exceptions' like I am NEVER going to eat 'flesh'/fish, enjoy a latte, or indulge in a delicious desert (non-chocalate of course!) ever again. But I mean that I don't need to 'test' myself all the time. I don't need to challenge myself all the time. I just need to accept this as my BLISS and BE HERE NOW!!!

I know how I CAN feel (bones to skin)... I know how I CAN look (inside & out)... I know how I can reach my greatest health, and I am back on track!!!

Presently Yours, 


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Managing The Big Rocks

Dear Diary,
Just thought I'd stop in and tell you about my lovely week. It was kind of hectic and, as usual, I was stressing about how in the world to schedule everything that needs to get finished before the end of the semester. There was so much going on in my head that I couldn't focus on anything. After class on Thursday, my friend and practice partner invited me to join her in the lab on Friday morning to practice and then to attend a movie presentation in the afternoon. Drive back up to campus on my day off? Oh, Emma, I can't. But I also knew how much I needed the practice - and so finally, at the end of the day, I agreed to meet her.

I had a great morning. We spent the whole morning signing and even got in a little interpreting practice. The most important thing that happened though, was that I got out of my head for a few hours. It's been a little crazy in there lately! Emma even helped me work out a schedule for getting everything done - and I'm so grateful to her for that. The trick? Focus on one thing at a time.

I guess that's the theme for my week. Remember how I said last week that I just wanted to focus on four things? On walking, not eating wheat, drinking enough water, and taking my vitamins? Well, it's working. Since making that decision, I've walked every day. Even the morning it rained, (Luckily, I didn't realize it was raining until I was already up and dressed and half-way out the door, but by then, I thought, I'm doing this!) I only missed taking vitamins once and drank at least 8 glasses of water every day.  And wait, that's not even the best part. Without even setting the goal, I ate an almost completely vegetarian diet this week. I juiced every morning, ate a raw lunch every day, and had steamed or roasted veggies for dinner every night. Well, except for last night. We went out for dinner and I had a little bit of chicken, which actually made me wish I'd ordered the falafel.

woolly thyme like tumbling water
So, here's what I'm thinking. Do you know the story about putting the big rocks in first? I've often heard it and sometimes even used it to illustrate how we need to schedule the biggest, most important things first and let the little things fill in around the bigger ones. I always tried to make sense of that. I mean, it seems like it should make sense, doesn't it? But something else makes even more sense to me now, and that is to focus on the simple things. Not the minutia that wants to clutter our lives and cloud our thinking, but the simple things that sustain us. Simple things like getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating food that sustains us, not clogs us up and weighs us down. Doesn't it make sense that in giving priority to the simple things, like beginning and ending each day with a few quiet moments for ourselves, like taking a walk or laughing with a friend, that we create room for the bigger things to fall into place? I don't know if I want to try and manage those big rocks, or if I prefer just to be the water that flows around them.

That's what happened in my world this week.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just not enough time...

Dear Diary... I miss you. Its been way too long. I promise I will be back (again) soon. Lots to chat about; I promise.

Too Busily Yours,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pardon Me, This Way is a Very Nice Way

Dear Diary,
Wow, this has been one long week. I've been on spring break, but it certainly hasn't been the sun-drenched, sand-filled break the brochures promise. No, this has been a week filled with reading textbooks and writing papers, and catching up long-overdue paperwork. I'm happy to report that I now feel like the end is in sight.

Just before lights out every night, I read a few more pages in my copy of Crazy Sexy Diet. I have to say, I'm developing a real love/hate relationship with this book. I love the author's voice, I love all the wonderful information she crams into each chapter. What I hate is that I can't ignore it. The things I'm learning are going to require some real changes and as hard as it's going to be to put into practice, I just can't ignore it.

Pardon me, this is a very nice way.  It's pleasant down that way, too. 
Of course, some people do go both ways.
So I've been thinking all week about all this new information, about miscombining and protein sources, about animal products and factory farming, about wheat and gluten, about eating raw, eating vegan/vegetarian and eating right for your blood type .... I told my husband last night, I feel like I'm lost in a dietary wasteland. Maybe not a wasteland, maybe a better analogy is the image of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, pointing first this way and then that. Yeah, it's more like that.

There's a lot of information out there and I'm just not sure I can get my thoughts around all of it. I've finally come to the conclusion that while there are plenty of things I'm still figuring out, there are also things I already know and can do - even if I'm still trying to figure out all the rest. Here are a few of the things I know:
Hydrate: I need to drink 8 glasses of water every day without fail. I know this because the first place it shows up when I don't, is my sleep. I can't sleep when I'm dehydrated. 
Wheat: Here's something I need to face. I'm one of those people who needs to avoid wheat. I don't like it, but it's true and I just need to accept that about myself. Period.
Vitamins: I may not be in this place forever, but for the time being, I need to take them. Every day. Without them I feel crappy, I don't sleep. I'm a mess. Seems like a no-brainer. 
Juice: Gratefully, this is a habit I still love. 
Walking: Last on my list, but this may be the most important one for keeping me sane and for fueling the desire to follow through on the other four. I can make time to walk every day. Once upon a time, I walked four miles every day, but Once upon a time doesn't count. I did it then and I can do it now. There's just not any good reason not to.   
So, there you have it. It's not the sum total of my thoughts from this week, but it's a start - and that's really what I need. In our first month of this adventure, juicing became a habit. It was one small thing we agreed to do, and despite all the other things I'm ... still striving to figure out, juicing remains a constant. I'm now planning a month of drinking water, taking vitamins, kicking the wheat out of my diet, continuing my love affair with juicing, and taking daily walks. I may only catch up with you here once a week, but for the next month, I'd like to try and post my daily progress on The Constant In-Between. It's sure to be a real snoozer and more about accountability, so please don't expect any real page-turner. I suspect I'll need some encouragement, so if you have a thought to check in and leave some for me in the comment box, I'd love that.

That's it for me for now. I've still got papers to write and water to drink and a Scarecrow's directions to follow.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's Up, Doc?

Dear Diary,

Hello, Stranger.  I know, it's been a while.  But I'm back.  We've been super sick around here.  One of the things you don't think about when starting a big family is (what I now call) the Domino Effect of Sickness.  We never all get sick at the same time; rather it's one goes down after the other after the other.  This lovely bout of influenza has been with us about two weeks now.  Yuck!

Also, we've been worried sick around here about one of our most beloved relatives who had a little "C-word" scare.  I'm happy to report that the biopsy results came back clear.  But it was pretty hairy around here until we heard the good word.

There's something about getting sick - and fearing getting Sick (ya know, "sick" with a capital "S") - that really gets a person thinking why?

When it's the kids getting sick, I tend to play this little game of How Did it Happen?  I start thinking: I knew I should have wiped that Target shopping cart or Every time I take the kids to the pediatrician for a well-child check up we end up...not well or I knew we shouldn't have had that play-date with little Joey, he's been coughing his head know, trying to find the culprit, trying to make sure it doesn't happen again.  Which, of course, it will.

And when you (or someone you love) gets Sick (or fears she is), that little mind game gets even worse.  In our situation, there was a lot of wondering why?  Not why me, just why?  Some of the top concerns were: Is it deodorant, is that the cause?  Or maybe standing too close to the microwave?  It's gotta be the cell phones;  all this technology is just not good for us.

And I get it, I played the same mind game when my mom got Sick.  And still do, in attempt to protect my children.  The problem is, there are a million things you can blame.  Is it the microwave, the deodorant, the cell phone?  No.  Yes.  Maybe.  Probably a little bit of each of those things and all the others we think of and those we don't think about.

I like to hope that the scientific advances and medical breakthroughs that have come with living in this Jetsons-like world of futuristic technology far outweigh the potential risks of having a cell phone or an iPad with us at all times.  But who knows?

What I do know is that no one is going to get Cancer from eating too much kale.  Or too many organic apples.  Scientists may determine deodorant is the Number One cancer causer in twenty years but I'm certain they won't say we should have laid off the veggies.

So, I'm going to avoid the stuff I already know is bad (from BPAs and pesticides to sticking a bobby pin in an electrical outlet) and I'm going to try not to worry about all the conspiracy theory stuff.  Instead, I'll just super load my body and my children's with as much of the good stuff as I can and hope, as I always do in my little optimistic mind, that the good guys always win.

On a happy note, I went to the eye doctor for the first time in five years last week, and guess what?!  It turns out I don't need glasses anymore (just when I had picked out the cutest replacement pair too!).  I've never heard of eyesight getting better with age (The twenty-something intern said at least three times, "This sometimes happens when you get older."  Ugh.).  Instead, I'm going to give all the credit to the carrots.  The abundance of carrots.  Hey, my Dad always said they were good for my eyes!

Talk soon,

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm CRAZY, and NOT so Sexy...

Dear Diary,

Okay, its technically day twelve of my twenty-one day Crazy Sexy Diet cleanse... And its been a BUST! I just haven't had the will-power that I 'normally' have when taking on the challenge of a detox/cleanse. I am trying not to be too hard of myself though, and just going with 'it'. I have not missed one day of Green Lemonade in months... I am actually in the habit of making a mason jar of it first thing in the am to last me through-out the morning (75% of the time til lunch). Lunch is still 100% RAW, on occasion I'll have a sprouted wrap/bread. Its just dinner that throws me for a loop; especially when I don't have the afternoon to prepare.

Not that there's any real good excuse, but LIFE has just been a little crazy these past few weeks. Probably due in part to my in-laws leaving town and getting back into a rhythm without help/support. I am NOW really realizing how time-consuming it is to eat RAW 80% of the time. For the past 2 months, my son was either with Oma & Opa or napping when I was slicing & soaking. I was able to use my time very wisely and plan/prepare our RAW meals. But now, without any help and my son napping while I am teaching; I get NO time to be that RAW chef that I truly want to be.

We are moving this week as well, which has only exaggerated the chaos and lack of order in my kitchen... Nonetheless, I am NOT giving up. I am just going to have to adjust. As with ANYTHING... You just need to make the time. I used to say all too often, "I don't have time to read [books]". Well, that's just a bunch a bollox (wow, I can't believe that's a real word, lol). You just have to MAKE the time, adjust you life a little, set your priorities, and WHAM there you are half-way through the Hunger Games. Okay, more like quarter-way through The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (welcome to my world!) But, you get my point; I think...

No EXCUSES!!! I just have to make a conscious choice to be better. For who, MYSELF! No, its not easy. Yes, it would be a lot easier to just give-up. But where's the FUN in that? Where's the challenge in giving up on myself? If I stop caring, no-one else will. On the bright side, I get to start from scratch once again TOMORROW!!!

P.S. I went for a RUN this afternoon... I haven't run in months (and that's being generous). I am sore already! Isn't that supposed to kick in 'the morning after'? Thanks Beck for the inspiration, I think? I am going to kick your ASS if I can't get out of bed tomorrow, LOL!!!

P.S.S. Dates are my new best friend since finding out I am 'allergic' to Cacao... They seriously have SAVED me in many moments of desperation!!!

Sorely Yours,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Grilled Deliciousness

Dear Diary,
What do you do on a Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock when dinner's still a few hours away and breakfast was entirely too long ago? Here's what you do: Scavenge the zucchini out of the crisper, find the goat cheese hanging out behind the kale and fire up the grill. 

Head on over to Naked Recipes (You know about Naked Recipes, right? The tab in the green band above? Right next to The Constant In-Between?) Click over to check out Dara Michalski's spin on one of my favorite summertime foods. I know it's not summer yet, but a girl can dream, can't she?

I'll give you a little hint ...

Click here for grilled deliciousness.

So, what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dear John ... I Mean, Stress

Good morning, Diary!
Wow, I missed you last week. The end of my week had me a little overloaded. Friday morning, I had an interpreting assignment; Friday afternoon, a teaching assignment; Friday night, a trivia night (in which we took first place!) and followed that up on Saturday morning with another interpreting assignment. Yikes. I would have done well to leave at least one of those things out as my work on Saturday morning was not my best. It's not a bad thing to be reminded that I must take care of myself  - which is sort of what this adventure is all about, right?

Speaking of adventures, I received my copy of Crazy Sexy Diet on Friday. (Thank you, Becky!)  HOLY COW! I just don't even know where to begin. Way back when Maggie first mentioned it, I was a little skeptical over the title. (Yeah, big surprise there, right?) I didn't think I wanted a diet book. But a crazy sexy diet? Well, that might be a book of a different cover. And it is! There's just something about Kris Carr and her honest, forthright way of writing. There's nothing stressful or overwhelming about the idea of eating healthy in the way that Kris lays it out. Love this book and I'll undoubtedly write more as I make my way through it.

Back to trivia night. What a blast and we rocked it! We all had such a great time and the food this year was better than ever. Every year, we each bring a dish or two and have a feast that begins before the questions and lasts until we just can't eat any more, but this year, we had some rocking food! Two of our teammates are vegetarians while two are observing Lent, so there were five of us who contributed food that was fair game. We had savory corn muffins with quinoa and goat cheese, two big trays of fresh vegetables, a bowl of Natalia's raw peanut sauce, and an absolutely divine savory cheesecake with pesto and red peppers. Top that off with almond tortilla chips and whole grain crackers and we had a feast. Yes, there was some miscombining, but I thoroughly enjoyed all the delicious contributions and came home without that junk-food-induced headache, which has historically been a part of trivia night.

I'm beginning to realize something and here's what I'm thinking. Wading in to this new way of eating seems to be working a little better for me than diving in head first did. I don't know the reason, maybe it's not important to know the reason, only to acknowledge the reality. I'm still juicing every single morning and it has become an easy part of my life. I can't even imagine going back to beginning my day without it. And the processed food? I don't even shop for it any more. Not having it in the kitchen is a big part of not eating it, but really, the more important part is that there are so many other delicious recipes to try that I don't even miss it. I'm eating more real food and I just don't crave the 'junk' anymore. 

Free Printables from Green Submarine
I had originally hoped that being 'on the juice' and eating raw would immediately allow me to eliminate the vitamins. Last year, I began taking Standard Process vitamins as a part of a three-month cleanse and have continued taking them ever since. They're bloody expensive and I loved the idea that I could lose the expense and still feel great without them. It turns out that even with the juicing and eating more and more raw fruits and veggies, I just feel like crap without the supplements - sooooo, I'm back on them and I'm feeling pretty good. Not trying too hard to understand it at this point, because for me, that's a little too much like deciding if it's good or bad. I'm just accepting the reality that, for whatever reason, my body still needs those extra essentials, so I'm just going with it. 

Despite my jam-packed life on Friday and Saturday, I really caught a break on Sunday. We had no assigned coursework last week - no additional reading to speak of, no papers to write, no written text to interpret - yesterday was just completely blissful. Mark and I went out for breakfast and talked about how long our respective to-do lists have gotten. In the ease of our conversation, we talked about how to get some of those items knocked off that list, then we came home and actually got a couple of things done! We also had time to just hang out together. We had a fabulous dinner, cleaned up the kitchen and had a great night's sleep. 

Amazing what the absence of stress can allow us to create in our lives.

Okay, that's all for me for now. Talk soon.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Super-Size It!

Dear Diary,

Rather than write what I planned to write today, I think I'd like to respond to what my little sister Maggie said yesterday.  In the last few days, I've had all these thoughts spinning around in my head with regard to our mom's illness.  About how I've vacillated for years between an extremely healthy diet and a laissez faire attitude as a result of my feelings towards the fact that she battled - and lost! - brain cancer.

I think about how I bought this Champion juicer right after Mom's diagnosis, a couple weeks after my own wedding, determined to change our diets, convinced we could save her life.  I think about how I tried so hard to get Mom to do a 14-Day juice fast/cleanse with me and how mad I was when she didn't.  (I understand now that she just couldn't.  It was too foreign.  She was too scared.  It was too much, too fast and she didn't have the time to PAUSE.  Read, think, explore, decide.  She just had to act.  Fast.  To try to save her life in the best way she knew how, by listening to the "experts" and not second-guessing.)

In the meantime, I went on my own 10-month-long vegan journey until...and this is the sort of horrifying part...I got pregnant.  HORMONES and severe nausea had me craving "comfort food" and my first foray back into meat and cheese was (and I'm not kidding...) McDonald's.  That #2 combo meal.  Oh, those little cheeseburgers from my youth were just what the doctor ordered.  I felt good.  For about 5 minutes.  Then I wanted to barf.  And cry.  But I kept going back for more.

And so began the tick-tock of the pendulum.  Uber-healthy nothin' but organic because I WILL NOT GET CANCER.  Then, I don't give a shit, this is ridiculous, bring on the hotdogs and Miller Lite.  I KNOW HOW UNFAIR LIFE IS: I'LL SACRIFICE, EAT NOTHING BUT PERFECT NOURISHING FOODS AND EXERCISE...THEN GET HIT BY A BUS.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.

So...what have I learned from this?  One, that what we eat really, truly does affect almost every part of our health.  From the goofy (eek, my orange skin from carrot overdose) to the eyebrow raising (that eczema that not doctor could cure is miraculously GONE) to the amazing (my freight train husband no longer needs "help" sleeping, sleeps snore-free all night long without waking), IT DOES MATTER.

What else have I learned?  I CANNOT go over the top.  I CANNOT insist on perfect.  I CANNOT hold myself to an unreachable standard (aka, diving into the "deep end of the Raw Pool," as Natalia Rose would say) because if I do, I'll fail.  And I might just console myself with an entire box of Thin Mints.  Or Oreos.  I'm working on GOOD ENOUGH over here (you have no idea how hard that is for me).  And right now, with the exception of a rare night out, we are 100% unprocessed, unrefined, whole vegetarians.  It's not raw.  I'm certainly not perfect.  (Some days (um, last Monday), I have a I Miss Baked Goods Crisis and consume more homemade wholegrain muffins than I care to admit.) But it's pretty darn good.  GOOD ENOUGH?

Darn it, now I can't stop thinking about Thin Mints...maybe I better make that healthy "Shamrock Shake" sooner rather than later to ward off the cravings so I don't find myself weeping in the drive-thru lane.  I'll try it (with mint leaves instead of extract).  And if my palms turn green, you'll know I drank two!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Wait?...

Dear Diary, 

When my Mom got "sick" I remember researching The Gerson Therapy. "The Gerson Therapy is a powerful, natural treatment that boosts your body's own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. One aspect of the Gerson Therapy that sets it apart from most other treatment methods is its all-encompassing nature. An abundance of nutrients from thirteen fresh, organic juices are consumed every day, providing your body with a superdose of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. These substances then break down diseased tissue in the body, while enemas aid in eliminating the lifelong buildup of toxins from the liver." 

My Mom was diagnosed with Brain Cancer and passed away after 2 heartbreaking years of battling the terrible disease. She really tried everything that she thought would help/cure her cancer; but was scared. The thought of 'wasting' precious time on 'natural treatment' wasn't an option at the time. "The Gerson Therapy seeks to regenerate the body to health, supporting each important metabolic requirement by flooding the body with nutrients from almost 20 pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables daily. Most is used to make fresh raw juice, one glass every hour, 13 times per day. Raw and cooked solid foods are generously consumed. Oxygenation is usually more than doubled, as oxygen deficiency in the blood contributes to many degenerative diseases. The metabolism is also stimulated through the addition of thyroid, potassium and other supplements, and by avoiding heavy animal fats, excess protein, sodium and other toxins."

But why? Why is it that we wait until we are "sick" to make a huge life-transforming change in our lives and diets? What are we so skeptical about? Why are we so fearful of nature's ability to heal us naturally? Well, here's more "proof" that more often than not, regenerating our bodies with all-encompasing nature, minerals, and nutrients is simply just what are bodies are needing... 


Men Beware (and be warned before reading on...) I have been contemplating writing this next bit, for weeks because it just seemed 'strange'. It just seemed like a coincidence. But as I have 'researched' and spoken to 'other' women; I know now that its a fact not fiction.... 


Ever since I was 12 years old I have battled with extremely heavy periods. I warned you! I will spare all those who are continuing to read on the scary gory details and simply say, my periods have always been "heavy". Not just "heavy" but combined with terrible cramps, bloating, and many tears. When I was 14 years old I was put on birth control pills to 'help' balance my hormones and calm my cycle. I was on birth control pills from the age of 14 years until I was 24 years old. OMG, right? That's what I thought. But every time I would go to the Doctor and ask questions about the negative effects of being on birth control so young and for so long; I'd always get the same responses... "There are no negative side effects of being on birth control pills for so many years", "No, it won't decrease your chances of getting pregnant", and my personal favorite... "Well, do you want to get pregnant right now?" At the age of 18 years old, do they think I'm crazy? 

Well, luckily enough when I did finally stand up for myself and my health, I had no problem getting pregnant a few years later. Nonetheless, since the age of 24 years old (I am now 31 years old) I have reverted back to having to deal with extremely heavy periods, horrible cramps, and hormone surges through the roof. Until... I embarked on this journey. 

I started eating really 'clean' and mostly raw about 3 months ago; and my last two periods have been almost un-noticable. Okay, that's an exaggeration... But seriously, nothing like before. And like I said, I am not the only one who's had similar experiences with female hormonal re-balancing. Its simply amazing to me, that after all those years of taking a little pill (made from who knows what) I could simple change my diet and get the same better results. So I have to ask again, why is it that we wait until we are "sick" to make a huge life-transforming change in our lives and diets? Why do we just sit back and listen to what our Doctors are telling us without giving nearly as much 'credit' to ourselves and to nature to do what it knows is best? 

Today was Day 1: I am embarking upon a 21 day cleanse... The 21 Day Cleanse from Kris Carr the author of Crazy Sexy Diet & Crazy Sexy Cancer, because I am NOT waiting to get "sick" to make a change!!!

CRAZILY yours, 


Today's Wednesday, Right?

Dear Diary,
Oh, today's my day I write you, isn't it? Well, I can't say that I haven't been thinking about this. I had to admit yesterday, though, that I've officially entered that phase of the semester during which I no longer know what day it is, (The next one is the phase in which I don't remember my name. Yeah, that one's coming.) but the sun is shining and the temperature is rising and I'm sitting here with the doors and windows wide open. My dog is at my feet, my cat is in my lap, and life is good.

I'm not eating as much raw food each day as I did when I arrived home from St. Paul. Don't let anyone tell you that this isn't hard. Hard like climbing a mountain? Hard like fighting an illness? No, absolutely not, but hard to ... It's just hard to do everyday, but it leaves me feeling so good that I want to keep doing it. I love the link Becky recently posted to Facebook. It's a link to blog post written by Rachel Brathen of Mind Body Green and it seems to summarize my experience beautifully.
"Raw food is great. I know it, you know it. But it can also suck. We all know that, too. No way of eating leaves me with as much radiant energy as eating raw food does. And no way of eating stresses me out more that eating raw food does!" 
Isn't that the truth? I guess I'm not the only one for whom this is true. Okay, so it's hard. Sometimes, it downright sucks, but I'm still at it. I'm still juicing every morning and I still strive to eat a yummy raw lunch every day. This is not exactly the practice I was striving for at this stage of the game, but hey - I'm still this much farther along than I was in January and that's what I'm focusing on. I even made raw beet burgers again this week and they were even better than the first time. (Don't think I didn't get a few quizzical looks during lunch at the student center on Tuesday.)

So, I've been considering something lately. I'm calling it my 'this or that' thinking and it goes something like this: 
If I eat a slice of roast beef, then I'm not a vegetarian. If I eat a meal of roasted chicken, steamed broccoli and a baked potato, then I'm not 'eating raw'. If I stop at the coffee shop on the way home and have a scone and a cup of coffee, then I'm just not doing anything right at all. 
It tracks right alongside my 'all or nothing' way of thinking. And, yes, I really did stop at the coffee shop yesterday afternoon. (Oh, how I hate to admit that!) 

I'm really striving to get over that hump and to accept that there are benefits to be had in every small improvement I make. And that big slip-ups don't undo every mile gained. Those slip-ups may simply serve as an attention-getter, a gentle awareness of something I can strive to do better. If my mistakes always take me off track, to a place of giving up, then how do I ever fix them? If I always put myself in a place of choosing between being perfect or not trying at all, then where's my growth? The hard part is being in that place of growth and change, and having those less than perfect parts of myself sticking out like a sore thumb. It's hard to face those things and to accept my tendency to fail. I think that's why it's easier to go to that place of not trying, to the 'all or nothing' place, or my 'this or that' way of thinking.

This seems like pretty deep thinking for food stuff and maybe the food stuff is just an opportunity to look at other areas of myself and parts of my life. Maybe this is a good opportunity for me to say I sometimes fail, sometimes with the small stuff and sometimes in really big ways. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to be more accepting of that in myself. Maybe what Maggie said is true, maybe it really doesn't matter how many times you leave. It only matters how many times you come back. Maybe for me, what matters is that I don't drive myself away and that I stop being afraid to fail, believing that if I can't do it perfectly, then maybe I can't do it at all. Maybe the important thing to believe is that I can do it and that I'll screw up royally sometimes, but that I can do it - even when I can't tell you what day it is.

That's all for now,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?

Dear Diary,

You've heard of turning Green With Envy, right?  But how about Orange with Carrots?  That's what's going on over here.  I joked a while back that I'm eating so many orange foods that my skin might begin to take on that Just-Back-from-the-Spray-Tanner-Booth glow pretty soon.  And the joke is on me.  This is a real thing.  It's not just what happens to your sweet baby when you feed her too many sweet potatoes and pureed carrots.

I was at book club last night and we were talking about some of our old skin grievances.  One horrid skin issue that's plagued me since having my first child seven years ago is a severe peeling of the skin on my hands (eczema?)  I've seen dermatologists and allergists alike and no one seems to have a clue.  So I try to moisturize and ignore it.  It ebbs and flows.  The good new is, I was bragging last night to a friend that since I've been eating all these whole foods and abundant veggies, my skin issues have vanished.  The bad news is...well, the same friend, while inspecting my peel-free skin, said, "Hmmm..that's weird, the palms of your hands look kind of orange in this light."

It wasn't the light.  They're orange.  I've been eating baby carrots like they're my own raw currency.  And yellow and orange peppers.  And sweet potatoes.  So many sweet potatoes.  Just last night I made (and devoured!) a yummy sweet potato, lentil and kale soup for dinner.

So, I'm orange.  It's better than turning green from kale or blue from countless blueberries, I guess, but maybe I should try to get out that old color wheel and start being a little more careful to vary the colors of the fruits and veggies I eat (and thereby the nutrients I'm getting).  In the meantime, you can count on me to be a very visible reminder that we truly ARE WHAT WE EAT!

Talk to you soon,
Your Little Orange Friend Rebecca

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Crazy Sexy 21 Day Cleanse...

Dear Diary,

I'm Back!
I've been MIA lately for a plethora of reasons... I apologize, first and foremost. But, as one of my favorite saying goes "It doesn't matter how many times you leave... What truly matters is how many times you come back." Now, this is in reference to your mind wandering off the mat while attempting to meditate or practice yoga; but I thought it seemed to fit perfectly to my current situation. I was here, then I left, and now I'm back!!!
I am back with a vengeance, feeling more determined than ever to make another life transforming transformation. I too am reading (and loving) Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I have decided that on Thursday March 1st I am going to do The 21 Day Cleanse. A Crazy Sexy Cleanse is my next great adventure? Hmmm... As Kris says in her book "Perfect is beige. Obsessing over every bite is completely contrary to to the purpose and spirit of my book. Your overall goal is to have a peaceful feeling in your heart and in your body. Its that simple. So don't be afraid, just get out there and and do your thing! If you bottom out or revolt over the course of the next 21 days, just giggle and recommit. Okay?"
So here I am, giggling over the past 10 days and how I've just simply gotten lazy. I am still juicing daily, as I can't live with out my Green Lemonade! But I've returned to old habits such as grabbing a Larabar instead of making a salad and/or juice, mis-combining foods, and eating about 80% cooked meals at dinner time. The result is feeling sluggish, slow, and sad. Its true I feel depressed when I eat the wrong foods for MY body. Not like I am beating myself up for making the wrong food choices, depressed; but simply just unhappy about how the wrong foods make me feel like *&#!
I have been feeling like *&#! for almost two weeks (on/off) and have had enough! I was doing so good and feeling so alive, what happened? Oh yes, LIFE happened. I got busy, life became stressful and a little overwhelming; and when I needed good health/nutrition the most, I bailed on my TRUE SELF!
Well, no more! I am getting right back on track with my CRAZY Sexy Cleanse. And honestly, the thing I am most looking forward to with this 'cleanse' has nothing to do with or without food. Its all the 'other' things that are brought to attention is this cleanse, such as Focus/Intention, Prayer, Affirmation, and my personal favorite God Pod Maintenance (aka self-care)! An exercise that Kris talks about in her book is picturing yourself (or finding a picture of yourself) when you were 5 years old. Ask yourself, as you 'look' at her, how would you have treated her, loved her, fed her, nurtured her if you were the Mother of the little you. I know that I would have done a lot more for little Maggie than I have done in the past 10 days much less 10 years of this life. A huge part of this cleanse is extending the same compassion to your adult self as you would to your 5 year old self. Taking naps, eating healthy food, exploring your imagination/creativity, and being adventurous. Doesn't sound so bad, huh? Well here I am, about to leap yet again into the unknown... On my way into another adventure! Anybody with me?!!!

Courageously Yours,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Beet Me To The Punch

Dear Diary,
Happy Saturday! Wow, this has been one crazy week. My mom's phrase for this kind of busy is to 'meet yourself coming and going', which I'm pretty sure I've actually done a couple of times. It hardly seems possible that the beet juice lemonade post was just one week ago. It feels like I'm a long time getting back to you on that. Do you want to hear what happened?

I absolutely will not be doing that again any time soon. I'm sure it was all kinds of healthy, but holy cow, it didn't look or taste anything like I expected! 

It looked like something more aptly named Red Velvet Lemonade than Green Lemonade. It was deep burgundy through and through - not a hint of green ANYWHERE. It didn't even TASTE like green lemonade. Even after I added another lemon (yes, a whole lemon) and another chunk of ginger. I'll spare you my description of what I thought it tasted like.

Maybe a giant whole beet was just too much. (Do ya' think?) I'm not sure, but what I do know is that after twenty ounces of Crimson Tide (which I was determined to finish) I plan to find another use for those beets in the frige. Just saying.

I'm back to drinking my tried-and-true green lemonade recipe. (That's the one that's hard to beat.) And I'm off to another workshop this morning, tall cup of carrot/grapefruit/ginger lemonade in hand to keep me focused through the morning. I sometimes think that trying to develop a new way of eating is just adding more pressure to my already stressful life, but I also believe that juicing is doing more to keep me going than any absence of stress over keeping old familiar habits.

Happy Weekend!
Let's talk next week ...


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tacos, Tequila and...a Juice Fast? Oh, My!

Dear Diary,

Listen to this:

Consistency is important but you don't have to be perfect.  Health is about keeping in an overall "right" direction.  Will you travel the same straight highway everyday for the rest of your life?  Snoozeville!  You'll take the scenic highways and even stop at Honky-Tonk bars.  You may have a beer and chips in the afternoon followed by a shot of tequila for dessert.  This is life - it's sweet, fun, unpredictable.  I am not perfect and I never will be.  Perfect is beige.  I am red hot!  So are you.  Red and Wild.  You don't politely sit at tables - you dance on them.  And after last call you get back out on the heath highway.

That's right from the book I'm currently reading, Crazy Sexy Diet (Kris Carr).  Nice timing for me, since I had my own little dose of tequila over the weekend.  I LOVE THIS BOOK.  Kris Carr doesn't give you permission get lazy or to give up.  She gives you enough information that choosing NOT to eat healthier after reading it would be harder than choosing to do so. (She outlines the dangers of eating the Standard American Diet, appropriately acronym-ed SAD, with such conviction that continuing to eat - and feed my children - in that way on a regular basis would be akin to choosing to take up cigarette smoking knowing what we now know about nicotine).

BUT...Kris is light-hearted and fun and funny and also reminds us that there's more to life than nutrition and if eating this way continues to stress you out, it may not be worth it.  SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING.  The goal is not perfection but balance.  As my friend Elizabeth so beautifully reminds me on a regular basis (one of the many reasons I adore her) is that we have to "be gentle with ourselves."  What a beautiful way to put it.

And I heard it again at the doctor's office yesterday while subjecting myself to a long overdue physical.  While describing my treadmill routine (sneaking it in between early morning feedings, earphones on, house alarm set, baby monitor facing me so I can see if it flashes red), she applauded my health-conscious efforts but reminded me that exercise is meant to reduce stress not increase it.  Eek!

In everything I do, I try to do it best.  Determine what I can reasonably accomplish and then push it a little further.  I mean, in order to get myself back into running, in the way that I was before I got pregnant, I decided to sign up for my first marathon in the fall.  Hmmm...I hope I did that for the right reasons.  Or that I end up with the right results (a bright pink check mark on my Bucket List and a rediscovered love for running) and not an injury.

That intensity's fine for a week.  Or even a month or two.  But forever?  It's pretty hard to maintain long-term.  So, I'm trying to remember that I want my New Normal in terms of nutrition to become just My Norm.  Our norm.  Nothing to stress about, nothing to worry over, just the way we roll over here in our little brick house.

But outside these doors, my kids can have birthday cake.  And hot lunch a couple times a week at school. I proved on Friday night, I can still have a margarita, WAY too many chips, about a pound of guacamole, fish tacos...and get right back on the Green Lemonade Saturday morning.  My Health Food Halo felt a little tarnished, even after a seven-mile run Saturday, so Sunday felt like a good day for a detoxifying juice fast.  Shawn and I did a one-day fast as outlined in Crazy Sexy Diet and felt REALLY REALLY excited about each and every green food we got to actually chew the next day.  Perspective.  Balance.  Maybe?

Still figuring it out,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sandwiched In Between

Dear Diary,
Day before yesterday, I wrote a happy, light-hearted little post to publish today. Does that sound like cheating? Writing my post ahead of time? I wrote it a day early so that I could publish it first thing this morning. The only problem is, that happy little post is just not exactly how I'm feeling this morning. So, now what? 

This 'eating raw' thing is hard sometimes. Sometimes I'm just tired, and I'm out of steam, and I don't know what to eat. (That sounds like such a ridiculous statement coming from a grown woman. For goodness sake, just go eat something and get over it.) Sometimes, I'm just so overwhelmed with the list of things to accomplish between now and semester's end, that I can't get my thoughts around it all and I just want to have a sandwich. Will someone just please make me a sandwich? Or juice me a carrot, or brew me a cup of tea?

I really want to be genuine here, and to write honestly about my experience. Today, that means admitting that I'm struggling. I believe I'll find my way through this part without giving up. I also believe I'll come out on the other side with a better understanding of what works for me - the things I aspire to do as my life becomes more manageable (and in an effort to make it so) and the things I can do right now. For today, however, I want to acknowledge for anyone else out there who's trying to improve their diet and their life, that there are weeks when it's just hard.

Thanks for listening,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Coconut CANDY!!!

Dear Diary, 

I am delayed in writing to you, for I was out in the jungle collecting coconuts! No, I swear its the truth. The Raw Coconut Cream Pie, made me do it! My family and I decided that ever since I tragically found out I was "allergic" to Cacao (aka CHOCOLATE) we were going to start making young coconuts a staple in our house. After I made this incredible Raw Coconut Cream Pie, I am very thankful for my 'monkey' of a husband and his incredibly brave climbing skills. Today we drove out towards Huelo, to a friends property, to tour their beautifully lush and tropically jungle land. As we hiked across rivers and through taro patches filled with water lilies, we snacked on fresh oranges, ripe bananas, and sour cherries. When we were finished exploring we started hacking and collected about 50 coconuts!!! We are getting pretty used to opening them and no  longer fear their 'hairy' layers. Its a treat well worth waiting for, especially for my son who devours the coconut water like his little life depends on it or like its candy! Tonight I'd like to make Raw Coconut Ice Cream, but now fear destroying my food processor. I am in desperate need of a Vita Mixer!!! Hmmm, off to 'shop' for my a Mandolin, a Vita Mixer, and maybe a new machete!

Sweetly Yours, Mag-Pie

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hard to Beet Green Lemonade

Dear Diary, Green Lemonade with a Twist
I'm up and out the door a little bit earlier than normal this morning. (I've got a big day ahead of me!) So, of course, I'm having my usual green lemonade first thing, and also making a large glass of Tingly Juice to go. This has me wondering ....

What goes in to your Green Lemonade? Any interesting variations or ingredients you can't live without?

Here's mine:
  • 2 - 3 Romaine leaves
  • 2 - 3 kale leaves
  • 2 - 3 celery stalks
  • 1 small Grannie Smith apple
  • 1 small red apple
  • 1" cube ginger
  • 1/2 large cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 lime

Here's what I've learned:
  • I love parsley in my green lemonade, but it just shoots right through my juicer without so much as a drop of juice. (sadness)
  • I bought chopped kale from Trader Joe's last week and it pretty much does the same. Back to whole leaf kale this week.
  • I can do without the lime, but green lemonade's just not the same without apples. Or ginger. Or lemon. 

I'm now kind of eager to try this variation. I may have just found a new use for those beets I picked up yesterday. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Until then, have a great weekend and I'll see you on Tuesday.

Happy Weekend!

(Click here for the follow up to this post.)

Friday, February 17, 2012


Dear Diary,

One thing I've discovered is that eating lots of fresh food makes me feel more energetic while dense food weighs me down.  In the same vein, last night I remembered just why they say "laughter is the best medicine."  Be it worrying, planning, "deep conversations," or just the weight of all that I have to do in a day, the load on my shoulders has been feeling a little heavy.  I've been feeling a little too heavy (emotionally) lately.

So, last night we did just what the doctor ordered: Shawn and I made big veggie salads, ordered pizza (whole-grain crust, vegan nut "cheese" from Pizza Luce), drank a couple glasses of wine and caught up on all our half-hour comedies in the DVR.  I laughed until I cried last night and today woke up feeling so good, inside and out.

In honor of feeling light-bodied and light-hearted, I thought I'd post this:

My Top Ten Ridiculous Raw-living Facts

10.  Rats.  Ok, not rats.  But squirrels.  And chipmunks.  Even in the winter, I can no longer get away with leaving that bag of trash by the back door until I get it out to the alley...turns out we are finally eating something the animals find palatable.  Hmmm...real food?

9. Not the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer.  I guess we can't wait for Uncle Pieter's biennial visit to get our knives sharpened.  With all this chop-chop-chopping, I need to sharpen my knives like twice a week.  Turns out, it's not that big a job and makes life WAY easier.  Huh.

8.  Well Rounded.  Speaking of knives, it seems that cutting round things isn't as scary as I thought.  I used to fear watermelons, pineapples and even the butternut squash.  But yesterday I broke open my first young coconut.  I guess I'm not as bad with a cleaver as I had feared (but stand back - far back - just in case).

7.  Thank goodness my favorite color is green.  Because it's more than the backsplash that's green in my kitchen now.  My white cabinet are constantly sporting green finger prints and green drip marks.

6.  It's not easy being green.  Not unless you have a money tree in the back yard.  I've spent up to $600 a week on groceries in attempt to eat organic, whole foods.  Reducing the "green" (as in money spent) is something I am really trying to work on.

5.  Hardens hands as you do dishes.  My hands are a mess!  I have green residue under my finger nails and my hands are so chapped from washing fruits and veggies and washing that juicer five times a day.

4.  Holy Buckets.  Funny how dehydrated I must have been before.  I am peeing constantly.  Healthy or not, it's very inconvenient having to make so many pit stops when I used to be able to go half the day without one.

3.  Equal and Opposite Reaction.  I've been amazed at peoples' reactions to my food choices: from those who've also changed their lives too, to those who shake their heads and roll their eyes and wait for me to "get back to normal," to those who, oddly enough, get up in arms about it, you never know with people.

2.  Naked Chef.  Who'd have thought that after all these years, years in which I've envied, idolized and feared those who know how to cook, really cook wonderful food for their friends and families, it would be the Raw food revolution that would teach me the most about cooking?

1.  I love veggies!  Who knew?  I was always good with fruit and ate a ton of it but I dreaded the veggie, scarfed down salads only to feel virtuous.  Funny now I can't stand the taste of processed food but can eat a raw parsnip for breakfast.

That's my Friday Food for Thought.  What have you learned????  I'd love to hear it.

Have a good weekend!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Goodbye my one true love...

Dear Diary, 

Just a random update... 

So, its worse than I thought... I am 'allergic' to cacao! Seriously?!!! This can not be possible... But, it is! It makes perfect sense too. I have been feeling like I am having an 'allergic' reaction (sinus headaches, congestion, watery eyes, low energy, etc) since starting this experiment on the Raw Detox Diet... Well, its because I am allergic to all the cacao I have been consuming in my many many raw deserts. Go figure! I am still going to cut way back on my coffee intake and limit (any whole cow's milk) but at least I feel like there's hope to my health. I'll keep you all (interested peeps) informed!!! 

Its been 5 days since I had cacao/chocolate and as hard as this is for me to admit... I FEEL GREAT! I even had a cappuccino this morning (to 'treat' myself) for my good behavior! I am feeling awesome, and just had to share!!! 

I am still eating about 60%-80% Raw, but adding sprouted 'bread' and avocado to my morning ritual... I think since I am teaching Yoga daily, I need some real food in the morning to get me going and keep my strength and energy HIGH!!! I am listening to by body, and THIS is what its begging for!!! 

Happily Yours,