Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 22, Weights and Measures, third week.

Weight and measurements compared to the last weeks:

March 8th              March 15          March 22         March 30

Weight 183 lbs       179 lbs              175 lbs            173 lbs

Bust 39.5"             38.25"               38"                   38.5" (?? I must have been holding my breath)

Waist 35.75"          34.75"               33.75"             33.75" 

Hips 43"                42.25"               42"                   41.75"

Thigh 26.5"           26.25"               26"                    26"

So, according to the tables in The Zone by Barry Sears (The Zone: A Dietary Road Map to Lose Weight Permanently : Reset Your Genetic Code : Prevent Disease : Achieve Maximum Physical Performance since last week I have lost...

0.64 lbs of fat and 1.36 lb of lean body mass (body fat holding at 31.75)


OK, ok, sorry I digress, I am still losing weight, I still feel great, I still need less hours of sleep, I am still off my reflux and allergy medication, I still have lots of energy, aaaaaand (checking back over the numbers I have written all over the margins of my copy of The Zone I discovered that) my lean body mass has fluctuated between 111 and 120 since I have been keeping track. So, things are still good, although I would like to discover how to lose only fat from now on.

On that note, I am off to EXERCISE :) so I will tell you today's menu and be off:
Smoothie with one scoop of protein drink
Water... remembered I had a small (100 calorie) bad of raw trail mix from Trader Joe's in the glove compartment of the car!
Raw trail mix baggie
Handful of raisins L1 gave me
About 1/3 cup of Savory Brazil Nuts
Big serving of Asian Slaw
Small servings of Pico de Gallo and Guacamole
and an orange juice with white wine.

Have a great night and happy eating!

PS. For those of you following L2's health, she went to school today, no fever but had a stomach ache in the afternoon.
Seems like every restaurant in downtown Louisville today smells like grilled meat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 21, ENERGY :)

Despite getting maybe, maaaybe 4 hours of sleep last night (again) I had great energy today --without caffeine. The secret?


I hear you saying "duh" and I don't appreciate it!!
(even though you are completely right)

I had a glass of orange juice first thing in the morning (to help my brain turn on with the sugar) then my smoothie for breakfast (late in the morning, I added a bit of protein powder).

Asian Slaw (find in Recipes Page)
For lunch Loren made me cod sashimi (it was better than it sounds actually!), the wasabi was awesome in my sinuses :)  and no, a raw purist would not approve of the soy sauce (they would have Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu Unpasteurized Soy Sauce - 10oz) but I made an exception. I also had more Asian Slaw, it's always better the second day and I did not make the mistake of adding Ramen noodles, so no bloating today :)

I drank a lot more water today than probably in the whole last week and the result was sustained energy and a great attitude.

For dinner I had more two fat pineapple slices, dark purple grapes, and for dessert, some slivered almonds. I know, it's not a lot of food, but I don't need more!

Today I literally felt like I had replaced 50-70% of the food I normally eat with water, and replaced the remaining 30-50% with healthy raw stuff and voilá, instant improvement :)

Before I go I want to make a comment about the dream I told you about yesterday. My friend Amanda found some cool notes about dream analysis that really got me thinking. I might address more of it later on but my main thought tonight is this (Amanda's comments are in quotation marks):

"The Devil may also indicate you are dealing with temptations."
Ya think?!

"The Devil is also the personification of ego - it may be time to soften your ego a bit."
Totally agree, but there lies the problem, I'm beating my ego into submission with the diet, but then it has a field day with the blog!!

I'm still pondering that one and wondering if the calling I felt to write this blog was more from my desperate (and very clever) ego than from God.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 20, I didn't inhale (not even when the devil was rising)

Ok, ok, I had coffee today, but I didn't inhale! By that I mean I got a small cup of plain ol' store coffee (not yummy home made Costa Rican) with some fake creamer. I didn't enjoy it I swear! But I had it because I was really yawny and I couldn't go work in a court room like that.

Loren is right, our lifestyle really requires caffeine because we hardly ever get enough sleep. While I will try to stay off caffeine after Easter I will also try to be more of a grown up about going to bed at a decent hour.

Alright, on to today's menu, I had my smoothie in the morning. My smoothie is like my rock. The rest of the day could go to h*#$ in a hand basket but my smoothie gets me started on the right foot and I know I can count on it to get me through at least 1PM.

For a late lunch I had two, count them!, TWO side salads from Wendy's (I was in between appointments and had forgotten to pack a lunch, but they are nice!, no meat, fresh ingredients, with Marzetti dressing and croutons, which I gave to L1), and I was good about reminding myself to drink water (I don't get thirsty during the day anymore, but then I get really thirsty at night). For late afternoon snack I had a few pieces of dried apples. For dinner I had a generous serving of my Asian Slaw and a glass of orange juice with cranberry juice (about a 7/1 ratio). For dessert I had a few pieces of dried apricots. I must confess that I added a bit of raw Ramen noodles to my slaw, because the original recipe calls for it. I knew it wasn't good but I tried to fool myself with "well, it's raw!". BIG mistake! I had less than 1/4 of the package and I am pretty bloated, ugh. As we used to say in Montana "that oughtta learn me!".

And did I mention I EXERCISED today!!!? I did a short walking DVD (30 minutes) but it uses weights so I get a decent little work out and it helps my back and arms a lot when I do it regularly.

It's been a good day. L2 did not have a fever when she woke up today :) and it has only gone up about a degree. She's had weird stomach pains on and off, so we won't send her to school yet, and we are going to do a few more blood tests, but things seem to be looking up.

Well, this is turning out to be quite the mundane and boring post isn't it?

I've been saving a story just for this occasion! I had a very trippy dream the other morning (right before the start of Day 16, which was crazy enough in itself).

I had been up several times to check on L2 and sit with her to guide her through breathing slowly and deeply, which helped her with the pain and allowed her to sleep for a bit. At one point she fell asleep so I returned to my bed only to wake HER up with my trippy-dream-induced groaning.

First I have to explain that when I have nightmares I try to end them by invoking the name of Jesus (Pilippians 2:10) but if I am not sleeping very soundly then my body tries to actually speak the words and, for some frustrating reason, I can't just say it in my dream. But I am not really a sleep talker, in fact, my mouth refuses to move past falling slightly open, and I end up moaning like a depressed, drunk Wookiee.

Needless to say, L2 was very scared but had the guts to come into my room and say "Mom are you OK?" which, thankfully, woke me up. My husband, in the mean time, instead of waking me up as he's been instructed, would shush me in his sleep with a rapid succession of short and really loud "sh's" (he was still doing it when I woke up).

So here is the dream that prompted all that, if you have ANY CLUE whatsoever as to what it means, please tell me!!:

We were looking at a condo with a female Realtor, she always walked ahead of us. The condo looked like an old house, nothing but fancy dark wood trim everywhere; it was small and the hallways were narrow. As we progressed the place got darker and darker, the Realtor and Loren didn't seem to even notice. I kept thinking, "this is a house, why do they call this a condo? I should look at the outside to see if it IS a condo, because this looks like a house". We went down a hallway and took a sharp turn to the right into a stairwell, on the landing were three tall rectangular windows that made the wall round, and Loren and I said "oh, well, there you go, that's why it is a condo!" (right, see why I need help analyzing this?)

As we started climbing the stairs, first the Realtor, then Loren, then me, it was so dark we couldn't see, so I reached back to the end of the banister to feel around for the light switch. I felt a weird switch and moved it, immediately, at the top of the stairs a fire was lit in what I knew was a large but shallow rectangular "pool" in the middle of the round room. The switch started the fire like you start a fire in an electric fireplace, I knew it was contained and was not worried about it burning anything else. What worried me about it is that the devil (yes, THE devil) was rising up out of the fire, I could see his huge hand with long nails, his skin was periwinkle (I know!!).

I quickly turned the switch again to turn it off, but, for some reason I don't remember (maybe because Loren and the Realtor had continued up the stairs in the dark?) I turned it back on and again the devil started rising. By now I knew there was a satanic ritual going on in the top floor and I was probably already starting my drugged-out Wookiee impersonation. Without climbing the steps I found myself in the room; Loren and the Realtor were looking around at the architecture, as if they couldn't see the devil rising from the fiery pool and the couples that were lying down around him having a Martha Graham-esque orgy while wearing white and yellow unitards (one person in each couple would be wearing white, the other yellow, I knew it was supposed to be an orgy because one woman had an arm and a boob out of hers). They were writhing on each other in very lascivious ways and --right when L2 woke me up-- I was trying to say:

"This looks like a bad 70's movie!"

So there's my dream! I tried to make sense of it but couldn't. I even tried to look at it with the idea that you are everyone your dreams; I just got more confused. Some of the things make a little bit of sense (we are talking about buying a condo instead of renting, I like wood, I like Martha Graham, I don't like the devil or those fake electric fireplaces) and I had just had a Tarot reading the night before from my friend the Undercover Goddess in which she told me to start paying more attention to my dreams, but wow, I am still laughing and wondering.

So, analyze away! and stay away from processed food!
"I want to punch Sick in the face!"-- L2

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 19, Forced Presence, continued (with yummy photos!)

When I got home today I lied down for a few minutes (don't tell the kids I was crying).

Loren was as sweet as ever, he put the covers over me and gave me a clean handkerchief, then went into the kitchen and made me these:
Lettuce wrap with Guacamole, Savory Brazil Nuts
(and Pepitas) and Pico de Gallo
Chef: Loren Powell, Photographer: Me

Which include these:
Savory Brazil Nuts (and Pepitas)

All the recipes are in my recipes page!!

For snack I had dried apple rings with raw almond butter and white wine mixed with orange juice (that's why you buy the cheap wine).

On a somewhat unrelated note... there are A LOT of sites on the internet that offer recipes for raw food. I am very appreciative of the fact that people have taken the time to create things like the raw substitute for mashed potatoes and gravy, but, to be perfectly honest, those recipes just don't work for me.

I don't cook.
(Thank you for feigning shock)

In fact, I have been known to say I cook one meal a year (Costa Rican Christmas Eve dinner, featuring my dad's leg of pork, rice with heart of palm, cabbage and cilantro salad, mashed black beans, tortillas, chips with salsa and/or anchovy dip, and a couple of not so Costa Rican favorites: prunes wrapped in bacon, and maple syrup and balsamic vinegar Brussels sprouts), the rest of the year (and ONLY because Loren has been working nights for a few years so he is not here to cook) I make: chili, spaghetti, pasta primavera, eggs and Gallo Pinto (also Costa Rican, basically spiced rice and beans --out of a can), Picadillo (details in this post, I'm not adding it to the recipes page because it has meat and, well, it is cooked) and -my favorite- frozen Taquitos with mashed black beans out of a can, cheese and salad (no bad ingredients, I read all the labels!!), and, of course, you will always find an "emergency Pizza" in our freezer.

So, for a person that doesn't cook these recipes seem a little over the top. I do not want to spend hours in the kitchen, slaving over a lukewarm dish that wants to be something else. I would rather stay away from things that are going to remind me of stuff I can't have and just enjoy fresh, yummy things that take very little preparation and are not going to make me wish I were eating something cooked!

So, if you're like me, I hope to be of assistance. You CAN eat healthy without cooking, and by that I mean even if you are eating cooked food, you can find the healthy alternatives at the grocery store so you don't have to frustrate yourself in the kitchen.

And, most importantly, I *support* you in your inability or unwillingness to cook.
Non-Cooks of the World UNITE! and be ashamed no longer!

PS. Loren also made himself a very interesting and tasty wrap with raw Tahini, olives, tomato and alfalfa sprouts, awesome combination of flavors!

Day 19, Forced Presence

I found a name for it today. The best gift this diet has given me is Forced Presence.

Today I took L1 to church while Loren stayed with L2. The first thing she asked for this morning was to have her temperature checked, hoping that she can go back to school tomorrow. Her fever was up to 102.5 F and she was immediately disappointed. She cried and refused to take some medicine. I felt helpless. What could I say to her?

Normally I would have scolded her for her attitude (yes, even with a fever; in our house we use our manners -including using a napkin and holding the silverware the right way even when you are eating in bed-, we say please and thank you to the nurses at the ER, we keep a good attitude and keep in mind that no one has to have a bad time just because you're sick, we count our blessings constantly, and when we say grace and thank God for our food we mean it by golly!, we don't say "thank you Lord for the healthy food you put on our plate" and then complain that it has big pieces of bell pepper in it), but not today because I felt exactly like she did.

I finally convinced her to drink some OJ with cranberry juice and to take two ibuprofen pills. I went on to church with the teenager.

(I had my smoothie for breakfast with a scoop of Trader Joe's Super Green Drink Powder added)

The sermon was about "Narcissism" (blogging), and, other than being reminded of the dangers of self-importance and making getting 1000 views your number one goal, I didn't get much out of it. When it came time to ask for prayers I raised my hand, yet again, and asked for the prayers for L2 to continue (did not go into detail) and asked for prayers for Loren's first interview for a job "with benefits", which he has tomorrow. It took every ounce of my acting ability and experience to not cry.

I stopped by the store to get Loren some salt pockets for his neti pot (if you have allergies or sinus problems I HIGHLY recommend it: Himalayan Institute Original Neti Pot Complete Sinus Cleansing System Starter Kit) and while I was walking around the store I had an epiphany (in Walmart, yeah, I know):

I realized that this diet (and others like it I've tried in the past) force me to be PRESENT, CONSCIOUS, AWARE, call it what you like, but I cannot live on auto pilot, I cannot hide from what hurts, I cannot -literally- swallow my fears, I cannot numb my feelings with food.

(I know what you're thinking "you can numb them with wine" but I would argue that wine does not numb them, it actually brings them to the surface! so touché (as we say in Costa Rica, "toma para ahogar sus penas... pero las penas FLOTAN!"))

On one of the first days of Lent I walked into the apartment where L1 had a bowl of trail mix on the counter, I walked by it and picked up a handful (with dirty hands, yuck!) and stuck it in my mouth. It was not until the seasoning touched my tongue that I woke up and realized what I was doing. I rushed to the trash can and spit it up, and then asked L2 not to leave food unattended any more.

This diet does not let me walk around on auto pilot! 

Now, I don't know about you, but for me that is HUGE! and when I am emotional, like today, and the stupidest Facebook status update makes me cry, and all I want to do is bury my emotions below a thick layer of coffee cake and hazelnut lattes, but I CAN'T because I promised God....

I experience Forced Presence. I have to be awake, I have to be conscious, I HAVE to make decisions about how to react to things and words and people






and that is the greatest blessing I have ever received.

Day 18, One month blogging anniversary! (How to deal with temptation and an improved sense of smell)

It's hard to believe it has already been a month since I published my first post.
I really thought it was going to be different. I thought I would make videos for most of the posts because I didn't think I would want to write them (since I tend to want to go back and revise my writing, which hasn't happened). I also thought that most of the posts would be about how hard it was to resist temptation and why am I doing this anyway and look at Loren flaunting how easy it is for him and I am learning how to make all these amazing elaborate raw versions of real life stuff and crap! all this suffering for naught because I am not really losing weight!

Obviously things have not been like that at all.

I also didn't expect to be dealing with L2's health troubles or how much this diet would actually HELP ME in dealing with them!

I have been surprised by how much I enjoy my blogging time every day and, most of all, I have been blown away by the response I've received. Several friends are seriously thinking about trying this diet, many have said they find the posts funny, and quite a few have said I inspire them *sigh*!

I feel so blessed in so many ways!

Now to share more specific things, today was full of temptations, everything around me smelled and looked amazing (at home, thankfully not at the grocery store), cooking for the girls tonight was particularly painful and I have to confess after serving L2 the last bite of her shrimp in garlic sauce I licked the spoon!!

I didn't eat very much today, after doing the juice fast yesterday it was like it took me a while to really understand that I could, indeed, EAT today, and I just didn't feel like eating what I COULD eat, so I just didn't eat much at all.

Everyone has their way of dealing with temptation, for me moderation just doesn't work. I am more the alcoholic anonymous type, it's better for me not to even be near that first drink. When I feel tempted (or just plain ol' sick of raw food) I say a prayer in my head --sometimes asking for strength or guidance, but mostly saying thank you for all the food I have available, for all my blessings, or for something very specific and very NOT food (if I need to get something out of my head, like those pesky loud tortilla chips)-- and then I walk away and distract myself with some other activity. If I am actually HUNGRY (which, surprisingly still does not happen very often!) then I drink a glass of juice or water with a scoop of protein drink mix (I know, I know) and move on to the next activity.

Something else that has helped me a lot with this (and in every area of my life) is meditating on a regular basis, I will probably do a separate post on this, but I just want to say that I recommend it more than any other discipline, especially if it is combined with or used as a kind of prayer (I call it "preditating").

One last note, Loren told me yesterday that he has discovered a wonderful side effect of this diet, his sense of smell has improved exponentially! He says he can smell things from farther away, stronger, and with more detail. I think it means that the diet has balanced his hormones and the hormones are improving his sense of smell. I say that because when I was pregnant  my whole body seemed to work better and my sense of smell was worthy of a super hero. I could smell a loaf of rye bread inside a sealed plastic bag inside the kitchen cabinet from OUTSIDE of the apartment, I am not exaggerating.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Updated weights and measurements

Ok, I never posted the numbers for Tuesday's weigh in, and, honestly, I feel too lazy to take them again today, so I am going to post them now:

Weight and measurements compared to a week ago:

March 8th              March 15          March 22
Weight 183 lbs       179 lbs              175 lbs
Bust 39.5"             38.25"               38"
Waist 35.75"          34.75"               33.75"
Hips 43"                42.25"               42"
Thigh 26.5"           26.25"               26"

So, according to the tables in The Zone by Barry Sears (The Zone: A Dietary Road Map to Lose Weight Permanently : Reset Your Genetic Code : Prevent Disease : Achieve Maximum Physical Performance since last week I have lost...
(oh, I should mention I revised my body fat % numbers from last week because I rounded down a number instead of up):

3.17 lbs of fat and 0.83 lb of lean body mass :(   I know, I know! but it's a total weight loss of 4 lbs.
I went from having 34.57% body fat to 32.81% to 31.75% yay!!

I am also happy to share that I have not needed my reflux medication at all, my skin looks clearer and brighter (Loren says "radiant"), and my nails seem to be growing faster and stronger (although I wonder you can see a change in nails this fast).

I hope by Easter I will be looking like this (minus the cheeky baby fat):
Ana Antunes (of the Home Styling blog
I recommend) and me at senior night
1989. That was the first time
I had this haircut.

Day 17, Fast within a fast

I had a dorm room neighbor in college who had a thick Texan accent, sweet girl, can't remember her name, but she forever re-named matryoshka dolls in our house.
When she saw I had one on my desk she said "Oh, you have one of them doll inside a doll inside a doll dolls!", well today I'm on a fast inside a fast inside a fast fast.

I got an email from the Sojourners asking me to join them for a "month-long campaign of prayer, fasting, and action" because of the many budget cuts being discussed in congress that would hurt the poor in our country and abroad.  I am not explaining it very well, here is a quote:

In addition to cuts to many critical programs that directly impact the lives, and even survival, of the poorest people -- in the U.S. and around the world -- there are now plans to single out the programs that help low-income people and cut them the most.

The campaign asks supporters to contact their congressmen, donate money, pray and fast every Monday in April. So I decided to join them, starting today, by only drinking juice all day and focusing on the needs of others rather than ours (which, with all the family drama, car wrecks and illnesses lately, have been a constant topic of my prayers).
If you would like to join me in this campaign follow this link, I also recommend checking out their site and signing up for the daily Verse and Voice email.

So, today I have only been drinking orange juice with cranberry juice (Pure Cranberry Juice - Knudsen Brand -100% -Unsweetened -From concentrate (1L) Brand: Knudsen) and focusing on taking care of my little girl. She is doing great today, in good spirits, no stomach ache (for the first time in over a week!) and enjoying creative activities. I have been washing her sheets, airing out her comforter (my moon calendar app told me today was a good day to do that, I'm totally serious!) and spraying Lysol on pillows and door knobs.

It's been difficult, I won't deny it. Loren went out to get some things and while he was making the list I asked him to bring orange juice concentrate and a "bag of Easter" so I can finally have some chips. I felt a lot of admiration for Loren yesterday, he was having a really hard time with it all, was extremely sleep deprived, hungry and scared. Every time the doctors would ask for a new test he would have visions of an old time gas pump rolling up the numbers, and all he wanted was comfort food, but he didn't cave. On the way home he got himself a salad and didn't even eat the croutons, I was so proud of him.

It was easier for me; I realize that this raw food diet IS what has been keeping me sane through these experiences. I am so thankful that I don't have to add feeling fat, disliking myself, feeling uncomfortable in my clothes, overeating, bloating, reflux, etc to the challenges that life has thrown our way. 

So I today am trying to stay strong and keep things in perspective. What's an uncomfortable day for me when my little girl has been sick on and off for months? What's a bit of a hunger pang now and then when there are kids right here in KY and all over the world who routinely go to bed hungry (and now the GOP wants to make sure there are more of them)?

Thank you for visiting, I wish you peace, laughter and good food.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 16, From Lukewarm Pepsi to Emergency Room

Last night L2's fever got up to 104.1, thankfully ibuprofen got it down and she was able to sleep a bit. Unfortunately her stomach ache continued and she woke up a lot during the night. Needless to say, when 6AM rolled around I was in no condition to dress myself, let alone drive.

Since I did not think God would want me to put L1's and my life in danger I decided to have some caffeine. However, I knew a cup of coffee would be much too enjoyable, so I looked for other sources of caffeine that would still be considered a sacrifice. Luckily I found a room temperature bottle of Pepsi in the cupboard (the reason we had it is that someone had left it, I personally prefer the taste of Coke, but we don't usually buy sodas, except for the occasional Sprite or Sierra mist just in case one of the kids has a fever with a tummy ache, which reminds me, we are out of decaffeinated bubbly drinks and I should get some for L2 on the way home), so I drank the soda solely as a means to the end of being a responsible driver and parent, and I most certainly did NOT enjoy it.

Reggie and me at the State Drama Competition in
Missoula, MT, January 1989
At a certain point in the drive I realized the caffeine had hit when I started dancing like a Muppet. I belted out Fiona Apple's Criminal along with L1, and scanned the radio and looked around excitedly for anything that could be used as a reason to laugh out maniacally. I kept changing topics in rapid succession and singing in different styles, I felt like I was channeling Reggie Watts minus the beat boxing.

After having my smoothie and doing my make-up I got to work EARLY, I was *greeeeting* everybody, *smiiiiling*, even telling people "Did I mention I had CAFFEINE today?" It was a GREAT morning.

I told Loren I would call L2's doctor to get her an appointment and I would let him know (so he could get a little more sleep). The receptionist would not give me an appointment to see the doctor (even though I tried, in my best caffeine induced cheery manner, to convince her that the doctor was quite invested in her case and that she would WANT to see her) so I made the appointment for her to see the nurse practitioner, but asked that they please tell the doctor that she would be coming in.

I got a call back from a different receptionist 3 minutes later. Lo and behold! Dr. G does have an opening at 9:45am, can you bring her then? It was 9:07. So I called Loren and woke him up, he and L2 got dressed, skipped breakfast (I know) and went on to the doctor. In the mean time, her doctor has been back and forth on the phone with the infectious diseases specialist, who is in Texas so he can't see her but is asking the general practitioner to do certain tests and look for certain things. Test #1 is strep throat.

The Beauty of Strep Throat: 

If the test for strep comes back positive L2 will get a round of kick ass antibiotics, lots of ibuprofen, a sticker, two small suckers in the flavors of her choice, and a note for school.
We get another bill from the doctor, a pat in the back for taking her in, a couple of movie rentals to entertain us all until the antibiotics do their job, and the satisfaction of knowing Western Medicine has saved the day once again.

You can see where this is going. Loren called at 10:30 to tell me the strep test was negative and he was now taking her, according to the specialist's orders, to the emergency room to do blood tests and a CT scan to, hopefully, rule out Leukemia and Lymphoma ***insert sound of record player needle scratching a record as it is abruptly stopped***




The Beauty of Leukemia and Lymphoma:

There is none.

After I was done with my work appointments (I had a salad in between two of them) I picked up L2, got some snacks and a salad that Loren could eat (he's eating raw too, for those of you that might not know it. They gave L2 a sandwich at the ER but Loren had not eaten anything all day until I got there at 3:20) and joined them.

The Kosair Children's Medical Center
L2 loved the fancy TV with cable,
movies and internet in her room.
To make a long story short, we left the ER past 9pm after they had given her numerous blood tests, a CT scan, a urine test, a chest x-ray, and lots of palpation. Since the blood tests were either negative or didn't show anything too elevated or low (nothing that could point the drs in a particular direction), and since the CT scan of her abdominal area was "clean" we ruled out a lot of ugly stuff. Thank God. However, the doctors continue to say that Lymphoma continues to be a possibility, although "at the bottom of the list". The ER doctor suggested going to a hematologist oncologist to take a biopsy, probably involving cutting her open to do so.

Yeeeeeeah, we're NOT doing that.

I am still convinced that this is a recurrence of the EBV that we know she has had. The doctors continue to say that, although it is "in the literature", it would be rare for a child with a healthy immune system to be getting it again. I feel like we did the right thing getting these tests done, and we feel more peaceful now knowing what we know... despite what we don't know or have no confirmation for.
All is well with the world, God is good.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 15, Bacon

I am working at district court this morning. I was doing fine (I added protein powder to my smoothie) until the smell of bacon permeated the room.

I tried to confirm that it was not a figment of my imagination by asking an attorney, his answer was "I don't breathe through my nose in the courtroom, I learned that lesson a long time ago".

Now all I can think of is...

A couple of buttered sourdough slices toasted to perfection, fresh tomato and lettuce from the garden, crunchy and cold, and ... Can you smell it?... 3 slices of crispy, salty, sizzling bacon.


Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone, powered by CREDO Mobile.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 14, Asking for prayers

Diet wise today has been a good day, thank God. I was not as sleepy in the afternoon, only a little bit around 4PM, really not bad. I had my smoothie for breakfast and around 11:30 I had a protein supplement that you mix with water, I had lots of extra water in case the sleepiness has been due to dehydration.
At 1pm I ate a small salad (mostly lettuce) and when I got home around 5PM I just had more water until dinner. I made a simpler version of the Asian Slaw that we love, and had a lettuce wrap with... you guessed it... broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, Savory Brazil Nuts and Guacamole. After dinner I drank a small glass of Orange Juice.

I also weighed and measured myself, I lost another 4 lbs and the inches got smaller too. I will post more about it tomorrow. I was very excited about it this morning but now it seems horribly trite.

L2 has had a fever off and on since Sunday morning. I thought after making her lie down all day on Sunday and Monday that she would be ready to go to school today. But her temperature tonight was 101.4 and her "tummy" continues to hurt in weird ways.

My sisters have suggested recurrent appendicitis, my nephew had a really weird case of it that had the doctors baffled until they operated on him and realized that his appendix was "backwards" (that's why it would not show up in the ultrasounds). We'll be making a lot of calls tomorrow and probably seeing a doctor soon. But I keep asking for, and expecting, guidance. I don't feel right leaving it all up to the doctors, and I know that we could be led clearly to the answer/solution if we can just be quiet long enough to catch it.

I would really appreciate your prayers.

Throughout all this I am grateful that God has helped me to remain very peaceful. It reminds me of a sermon by my college priest, Father Mark, he was talking about Lent and about how Jesus was able to get through his 40 days in the dessert. He said he triumphed because He was Focused on the Father, Firmly rooted in the Word, and Filled with the Spirit, and that that's how we have approach our Lenten journeys.

I don't know that I can claim to be any of those things, but I do know that if I were eating and drinking sweet coffees (and sometimes sweet cocktails) the way I was before Lent I, would NOT be dealing with anything well, let alone this.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 13, I am really scared right now (probably not what you think)

OK, ok, I am freaked out and having a simultaneous attack of the willies because I looked at a picture of a whale. Since childhood I've had an irrational fear of big fish and dark water (yes, yes, I know whales are mammals, apparently my fear does not), which, thankfully, does not usually interfere with my life. Still, I have tried to overcome it and have gotten much better, now I can go sailing with my husband and not completely loose it, although the idea of having to jump in to the river to rescue somebody makes me hyperventilate.

So, today while checking out Facebook I saw a photo of a Pilot whale posted by the Isla del Coco people. They were advertising this really neat video (although it took all I had to watch it, and I had to look away a couple of times), but below the video is the scariest photo of a whale I have ever seen. There is something about the eye. I am going to have trouble sleeping even though this afternoon I was very sleepy, again!

Because of not planning ahead very well I had a glass of soy milk before leaving for my first appointment, and later got a berry smoothie from McD's (this time I asked for the paper with the nutritional info on it, not as bad as you might think actually). Later I had an EmergenC and another glass of soy milk with protein powder added (thinking it would help me feel less sleepy), and later still a great lettuce wrap with broccoli, red pepper, cauliflower, carrot, Guacamole and Savory Brazil Nuts (see recipes page for those two), then some dried peaches for dessert.

Now, I'm sitting here wishing I had not looked at that photo (it was like a train wreck, I couldn't help it) and feeling like I need to pray.

My apologies for the weird blog post, from now on I will try to avoid looking at freaky photos before I write.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 12, Are we there yet?

Right off the bat I will confess today I'm feeling a little sorry for myself and I am having trouble keeping a good attitude about this sacrifice. In a way today has been the first day that it has really felt like a sacrifice.

Also, I got really sleepy this afternoon, as well as yesterday, which makes no sense at all, since I actually got a decent amount of sleep both nights. I am not sure that this is related to the food; it could just be the fact that from Monday through Wednesday I got 4 hours of sleep each night and maybe I just needed to recover. But usually the full moon makes it hard for me to sleep, so this is unusual.

The day started pretty well (eating-wise), I had my smoothie while getting ready for church. L2 had a bad attitude when she woke up and was playing the victim claiming she got very little sleep. We told her if she acted like she was sick she would not get to go to school tomorrow (the worst punishment for her), so she got ready and ate breakfast. By the time the sermon started her stomach hurt and she was shivering. I felt her forehead and she was burning up. Yes, this is the same child that was sick when I started this blog. I know.

So my husband took her home and came back to pick us up (we couldn't all just leave because people had ordered pork and I had to stay to hand it out). We stopped by the store on the way home to get her some real cranberry juice (Pure Cranberry Juice - Knudsen Brand -100% -Unsweetened -From concentrate (1L) Brand: Knudsen) because it is supposed to help flush out your lymphatic system (it is INCREDIBLY tart so we dilute it 1oz of juice to 7oz of water and add honey for sweetness). Already at the store I started feeling hungry and "chineada", as we would say in Costa Rica, like I just want somebody to spoil me today. I had some LowFat Plain Kefir 32fl.oz. because I started to feel like my sugar was dropping and I wanted something to hold me over, but mostly I would have loved to grab some chips or something warm and soft with melted cheese on it.

At home I played "Guess Who" with L2 and later cooked her some "Picadillo"(in Costa Rica a picadillo is a side dish made of chopped vegetables with spices, sometimes with meat). I made it with our home raised pork sausage (hot) cooked as if it were ground beef, green beans, broccoli, garlic powder and salt. This just helped to make me feel more sorry for myself. I just want my girl to feel better and eating to be easy and for my husband to make me yummy food! (he usually does, I am not talented OR lovely in the kitchen).

He fixed himself a Greek salad and he had better things to do than make me Pico de Gallo
This thermometer is a life saver!
I put the probe in the food and the thermometer
stays outside, then it BEEPS when the food
reaches the programed temperature!!
so I made it myself and it did not turn out very good (if you follow the link and see the recipe, you'll see that it would be really hard to screw up Pico de Gallo! but that's just a talent I have). I also wanted something warm so I sliced a portabello mushroom in half (fat way) and put it in the toaster oven to warm up, but you see, warming up something to exactly 115 degrees is NOT easy, and is a lot more time consuming than any non-cook has patience for. But I stuck with it, I put the probe of my cooking thermometer (Taylor TruTemp Digital Cooking Thermometer) in it and waited. Then I realize it was going to take forever (you cannot set the temperature of the oven too high because it will go over very quickly) so I put it on broil and watched it, then I put it back on bake, then back on broil, you get the idea. The other thing you have to know is that the thermometer saves batteries by turning itself off after a few minutes of "inactivity" so you have to be checking on it A LOT.
I still love my thermometer though, the beeping helps a lot, especially since I am the type of cook that will put something on the stove, get distracted by something shiny and walk away indefinitely.

During this so called "process" (I would call it BS), I had a lettuce wrap that actually was very decent. We had some wanna-be Guacamole from yesterday (no red pepper nor cilantro in it because we were out) and Loren made me some Savory Brazil Nuts. So I put some of Guacamole, nuts and my Pico de Gallo on a leaf of red lettuce and it was quite nice! if you closed one eye and tilted your head just so it let your brain believe that maybe it was actually eating some spicy meat.

ANYWAY, finally the internal temperature of the much awaited portobello mushroom "burgers" came to 115 and I put them on my plate, then I added a little butter (yes BUTTER! I don't wanna hear it! I'm already having pasteurized milk in my yogurt, I TOLD you on like day 9 that I was allowing myself some things, OK? get off my back!

**breathes deeply and reaches for cranberry juice tainted white wine**
... I'm sorry, that was uncalled for, I don't know what came over me, you did NOT deserve that, it won't happen again), garlic powder and salt. I bit into the first bite with much anticipation and fantasies of grilled portobellos with strawberries from Asiatique, only to taste a barely lukewarm raw mushroom with a bit of a garlic butter on top.

**sighs and feels sorry for herself one last time**

So after that I chopped up some pecans and added some maple syrup (I know I KNOW it is boiled, so is the honey! did you miss my tantrum a mere paragraph ago?) and had that for dessert. I also just finished a cup of white wine with a bit of cranberry juice (the term "weird Lenten alcoholic" could just be prophetic, let's hope not!).

Thanks for putting up with my bad attitude today. I am done and I promise to be good from now on. I know there is a lesson to be learned in L2's illness. I chose this path, apparently so did she. From now on, we will be feeding her A LOT  more raw, fresh, good food (not that she eats crap now, but apparently she needs it more), and I am cutting refined sugar, which we KNOW depresses the immune system, and I will limit her gluten intake too, just in case. She will also be getting LOTS of sleep and energy work from her momma.

As for myself I will continue to do this and will actually try to do it better, I wonder if my sleepiness the last two days has to do with the things I have been allowing myself (yogurt, honey, etc) and I will try to cut them off. Also, this past week I was cramping so I did not feel like exercising, but I will do some this week. And, finally, I will make myself go to bed before midnight!!

Now I'm off to have a rare Sunday night at home with the family, we are going to watch movies and hopefully laugh a lot.

My love to all of you, really, all of you, especially those of you I have not met but have been reading from Brazil, Singapore, Denmark and Iran! Bless you all and have a great week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Days 10 & 11, pairs of pants gained: 3!!

 I have been able to wear 3 pairs of pants that I could wear this past summer but quickly outgrew during the fall.

They are still tight (today I asked Loren if there would be children pointing and chanting "big butt, big butt") but I CAN wear them without much physical discomfort (and ZERO actual physical pain!!!).
Here is a photo!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 9, Going Raw In SIMPLE Terms (an easy intro for beginners)

My friend Marie-Francoise posted the following comment: 

hi llse! i've been reading your blog - very cool! i've been wanting to go raw - not 100% - but at least eat raw more often than not. the only trouble is that i can't find a simple, easy way to start. all the websites I've looked at are too complicated. i need one written for someone in kindergarten. yes, something even a 5 year old could understand. like a short list of some kind - the raw websites are waaayy too intimidating. any suggestions?

So, here are my two cents (however, I am NOT a physician and this is not meant as medical advice, always consult a doctor and don't sue me):

1. Eating all or most of your food raw greatly increases your energy and health, will give your mind more clarity and will eliminate most hormonal imbalances that cause mood swings. Your body absorbs the nutrients in the food much better so you eat less and have no cravings (you may have to do a colon cleanse to get the full advantage of it, depending on how contaminated the lining of your colon has become over the years).

2. You are on a textbook raw diet if you eat only raw foods and you do not heat anything above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C). Also you should not eat anything that has been previously heated while being processed (sugar being a big one, soy sauce, honey (which needs to be cooked to make it runny), beer, spirits, etc). A lot of raw foodies are also vegetarians or vegans.

3. A lot of people eat a partial raw diet, many consider themselves "Raw Foodies" even though they eat 75% raw. Increasing your intake of raw food even a little bit will help your body, but if you are having energy/weight/health issues going completely raw will start making a BIG difference withing a couple of days. Some people go raw to detox. If that is your goal then juicing your food is an even better option. 

4. Going raw is easy, there is no prep needed, you might have trouble giving up other stuff cold turkey, that's another story, but you don't need to do anything to prepare your body to receive lots of raw food.

5. You may need/want to take some supplements when going raw, depending on how diligent you are about making sure your food is varied enough to supply all your nutritional needs (protein, calcium, vitamins, iron and other minerals, etc.).

6. Raw foods have so much water you will find yourself getting thirsty less often, but if you are "thirsty" for a drink you can have wine (wine is fermented, not distilled like liquors, so it IS allowed!)

7. When eating raw you can still eat some grains that are beneficial by soaking them ("sprouting" them) so that they become soft enough to chew and digest. You can eat raw nuts and it is recommended that you soak them so that they can be digested more easily.

8. You can create your own variation on the strict raw diet, I, for example, allow myself some dairy products in moderation (yogurt and some cheeses), my husband allows himself green tea, and we both eat raw fish.

9. What are the advantages of eating raw? For this I am going to quote Esme Stevens from the site "The Best of Raw Food" because she does such a great job explaining what happens when you cook food:

        Why eat raw food?

         "Why is the benefit of eating food raw?" is another question I'm asked a lot (sic).The most
         important reasons are to me that heating your food above 115 degrees F (45 Celsius):
  • Kills enzymes. Enzymes help you digest your food. Your body can create enzymes but that process takes a lot of energy. This process makes you feel tired and heavy after a cooked food meal. Further, the enzymes your body makes are not as efficient and effective as the ones that were destroyed in your food.
    Consequently, your food is not be broken down as well and thus harder to digest. This also results in food starts rotting in your intestines, that parasites have more chance to survive
    It is further believed that your body has a limited amount of enzymes that it can produce. If the supply is finished, body organs will function less and less. It will accelerate aging.
  • Changes the pH of the food and makes food acidic. We like to eat alkaline foods. Eating acidifying food makes your body a welcome feeding ground for disease.
  • Converts easy to absorb minerals into inorganic - hard to absorb - minerals. INorganic minerals such as calcium are hard to absorb and might cause calcium stones, whereas organic ones are easier to digest, make you alkaline, help you get rid of too many acids
  • Destroys most vitamins
  • Destroys the life force. Eating cooked food is eating dead food. This will make you feel heavy and tired. Live food has live energy. It will give you energy. Simply put. A raw seed will grow, a cooked seed won't. When you pick (raw) unripe fruit it continues to ripen for weeks. Cooked fruit starts to decay within days.
        These reasons are enough to explain why most people on a raw food diet feel more energetic and
        have a stronger immune system.

 See what I mean?
And, finally, if you are still wondering "so, what? I eat celery all day?), here is a...

10. Sample One Day Menu

Breakfast: Morning Smoothie (strawberry/banana flavor, my recipe includes yogurt, you can substitute with orange juice) and/or
Buckwheat GRAWnola with almond milk,
and/or Simple Fruit Salad (you can omit the yogurt).

Lunch: Salad with greens, tomato, carrot, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts and your choice of raw nuts, sprinkle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Avocado slices with lime juice and chili powder or cayenne pepper, or Loren's Guacamole.

Snack: Vegetable/tomato juice and raw Brazil nuts sprinkled with lime juice and salt, or
Fruit juice and raw nuts, or
Dried or fresh fruit, or
Flax crackers (recipe coming soon) with almond cheese

Dinner: Ceviche with flax crackers, Raw Garbanzo Hummus (recipe coming soon), and a salad of your choice.

Dessert (if you have a sweet tooth, but I guarantee after 2-4 days of being off processed sugars you will not have one any more):
Dried blueberries in yogurt or
Chopped walnuts with raw honey or agave nectar.

I hope this helps to get you started, you will feel great!


Ok, so today rereading my entry for yesterday I realize that I *was* a bit tipsier than I thought...

I DID eat yesterday!!
I wrote that I had had three glasses of wine and that I had not eaten at all. NOT TRUE (if it were I would admit it). I did not eat a lot, that's true, but I ate well (smoothie for breakfast, small fruit salad for lunch, the rest of the raw bar for snack, some dried fruit and a salad for dinner).

So, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I just decided to throw all health considerations out the window and become a weird Lenten alcoholic!

In my next post (later tonight) I will answer my friend Marie-Francoise's question:

hi llse! i've been reading your blog - very cool! i've been wanting to go raw - not 100% - but at least eat raw more often than not. the only trouble is that i can't find a simple, easy way to start. all the websites i've looked at are too complicated. i need one written for someone in kindergarten. yes, something even a 5 year old could understand. like a short list of some kind - the raw websites are waaayy too intimidating. any suggestions?

So, that's coming soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 8, I can't have French Onion Soup, but I can have white wine!

Today was a good day. God is very good to me.

I am trying to decide what is the best story to share because, well, I served myself from the box o' wine in the fridge three times (small, cheap IKEA wine glasses, not filled all the way of course, not really enough to get me Drunk drunk but...) and I haven't eaten at all today, so I am having trouble typing properly (and I don't completely trust the spell chek).

I'll start with the random visit from The Angel. I was working at district court today, traffic court (does not get any less sexy than this) and the guy I was interpreting for DID NOT GET IT. The prosecutors were bending over backwards to give him a GREAT deal but the guy did not want to take any responsibility for his actions (THIRD DUI!!!) and just didn't get it. I found myself being greatly amused by my ego's catty remarks after every line I interpreted.

Attorney: This is the Guilty Plea Form you have to sign, let's go over the questions: Do yo know you have the right to remain silent?

Me: Este es el formularion que usted tiene que firmar en su declaración de culpabilidad. ¿Sabe que tiene el derecho de quedarse callado?

Guy: Si, si, yo admito que yo estaba manejando borracho, no lo niego, ¿para qué le miento? Es la verdad, y no tenía licencia, no la puedo sacar porque estoy aquí sin papeles, pero todo el mundo igual maneja así, yo por lo menos tengo aseguransa...
(Yes, yes, I admit I was driving drunk, I won't deny it, why would I lie to you? It's the truth; and I didn't have a license, I can't get one because I am here illegally, but everybody drives like that, I at least have insurance...)

My Ego: You are such a moron!

Etc (this went on for every one of the 20 something questions on that "routine" form)

Finally the attorney went to check on something and asked me to wait (we are out in the hallway in front of the court room), the Moron tries to make conversation, I pretend to be getting a text message on my phone (not only do I not want to make conversation, we, Certified Interpreters,  are not supposed to), then I feel "someone" pull on the back of my suit jacket, right smack in the center of the back edge, on my back, nothing there to pull on it, no one standing behind me. I quickly turned and saw that indeed there was no one, and immediately got it. I was not creeped out, just slightly remorseful. I said a prayer in my head, basically "sorry God for being such an impatient know it all, I should not be making these comments, even if they are just in my head, thanks for the gentle reminder, I'm sorry". Then I went home and told the kids about it.

Now I'm going to tell you sort of a story. I wish I could re-create the dinner I had with the girls today. By the time I got home and faced the never ending "list of things to do and projects yet unfinished" I started feeling a bit, oh, what's the word? Oh yeah, Bitchy.
By 6 I realized I was well on my way to ruining their evening and had already "ruined" mine, so I went to my room to pray and try to get out of my funk. I ended up tapping a few rounds (I know it sounds dirty, but it's EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, which looks goofy but TOTALLY WORKS (as in, if you were my favorite brother and had just come back from Afghanistan with PTSD, this is the first thing I would recommend) I could not be more serious about this!!). I immediately felt better and went out to get dinner on the table.

Turns out EFT and white wine (did I mention it s RAW, sweet Lord, thank you!) are a great combination. I was much more calm and in particularly rare form with my motherly comedy. We ate salads in between lots of goofy jokes and big belly laughs. This turned out to be an awesome night...

But wait, there's one more story, it's the best one yet...

Earlier in the evening I was already feeling a little crabby and I was pretty annoyed over something or other (I'm sure it was extremely important), I was in the bedroom folding laundry, L2 was reading in the kitchen, and L1 (age 14) was in her room, next door to mine. I heard her suddenly drop what she was doing and purposefully walk into my bedroom, while saying "Oh!" (as in, I just remembered). She came up to me and gave me a big, lingering hug.

She has always been a great hugger, both my kids are, thank God, old ladies at church are always asking for "their" hugs before they leave. She is my height now but about half my girth, so she feels so little, and she has this thick head of healthy, gorgeous hair that usually gets in my face when we hug (now I get what my mom always said about my curls in her face). She smells clean and is warm. Her energy calms me.

Then she lets go and very matter of factly walks back into her room. Halfway there she turns very casually and says "that hug was from Jesus by the way".




Then I went to her room and smacked her on the arm for making me cry.

Update: Please, please go here to read a correction to this post, I really DID eat, what I said up there was a big typo.

IMPORTANT Lunar PMS information!

I should really be going to sleep, but I thought of something CRUCIAL that I forgot to share, and while the words to talk about it are still somewhere in my head I am going to do my duty and share it (and I might regret publishing, yet again, a post written after midnight, but that's the risk I gotta take).

***If you are a post pubertal or pre menopausal woman you need to read this!, if you are a man who lives or works with a woman in that age group you need to read this!, however, if you (men) find it useful and would like to recommend it to said woman PROCEED WITH EXTREME CAUTION, I repeat, EXERCISE EXTREME TACT when recommending this post***

Here it is:

I am PMS-ing, or rather... SHOULD BE!

And, in fact, the convergence of the Days Before My Period (capitalized because you have to show them respect or they will totally pwn you (how hip am I that I can correctly use the term "PWNED" and its variations?)) and the Days Before The Full Moon (see "respect" above) would normally bring about a cataclysm of hormonal, chemical, energetic, psychic and psychological imbalances capable of bringing about the end of a perfectly good 17 year old marriage, or, at least, the end of all chocolate ice cream and tortilla chips in the house.

AND, and, aaaand, considering that the full moon we are about to have on the 19th has been labeled a "super moon", one would expect the needle of the psycho-meter to be shaking in the red zone right about now. And yet, here I am, happy, peaceful, patient, and ever so humorous (at least way funnier than my husband, but we'll get into that one some other day).

Hmmmmmm, you say, "so what's has made the difference, oh soon-to-be-enlightened-and-skinny one?"

Why, my Raw Food Lenten Fast of course!!!

Seriously, the only other times in my life when I (WE really because, unfortunately for them, my family can't tie me up in the barn during those 1-3 days) have not had to suffer/muscle/pray/medicate myself through PMS (especially when coinciding with the moon) have been those when I was:

a. Following a ridiculously healthy and simple diet and

b. Singing in an opera (during which time I become this uber human version of myself, who exercises and meditates daily, and eats moderate-sized servings of very healthy foods -except for the fast food burger and fries dinner I treat myself to before the show, but this works for me, I promise, otherwise my sugar will drop halfway through the performance and I end up having to use the baritone as a crutch to get me through my blocking)

So you see Lunatic PMS Sufferers of the world, there IS a cure and it is so so simple! I hope you try it next month, happy menstruating!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 7, Drum Roll Please! Weight and inch loss after the first week!

Good day!

Before I get into my measurement numbers, I keep meaning to mention a couple of things. When you do a diet like this, where you are eating very healthy things, mostly in their natural state, you realize (or are reminded of) the following things:

1. We need VERY LITTLE FOOD to have a healthy mind and body. My mind is at least 25% clearer than it was a week ago, and a good 50% clearer than two weeks ago. I am eating portions at least 50% smaller, but don't get hungry nearly as often. My energy level stays constant even with little sleep (4 hours last night), and, remember, no coffee (I was having a big mug with milk and sugar in the morning, and very often another one in the afternoon bought at a fast food place, and containing about the same amount of calories I'm consuming in a whole day now!). So...

1.5 We SPEND MORE but EAT LESS, and when you consider that you do not create as many health problems in your body, you also save on doctor and pharmacy bills, so in the long run YOU SAVE MONEY.

2. We need VERY LITTLE PROTEIN to stay healthy. As a child you probably were taught, as was I, that you had to eat meat every day, and in the USA a "portion" of meat is usually 2-3 times larger than what is healthy. We also eat meat with potatoes, rice or bread, when we should only eat them with raw vegetables (so they will clean out our colon from any meat residues that will just sit there and rot).

3. When your colon is clean enough to ABSORB ALL THE NUTRIENTS in the healthy food you are giving it, then you don't have cravings and you feel less hungry. And...

4. The TEXTURE OF OUR FOOD IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to our enjoyment of it. I cannot come up with or find an explanation of why our body would find salty, crunchy things SO irresistible, other than plain ol' garden variety conditioning. But, whatever the reason, our bodies love certain textures and, at least in my case, the foods displaying that texture start speaking to you and jumping out at you at the grocery store (today L1 and I had to go get a few things, including carbs for the ravenous teenager and ALL the chip bags where talking to me, the Pringles practically threw themselves at me, the croutons were screaming from across the isle, the Flavor Blasted Goldfish cheered for me as if in a rock concert as I carefully wheeled the cart past them, and the family size box of Triscuits we got sounded like George Clooney. Strangely, although not crunchy and not yet salted, tonight a cold baked potato started talking using Lou Rawls' voice. Loren ground up the last of the ceviche and the potato was saying "C'mon babeh, you KNOW I'm the perfect vehicle for that ceviche, hhmmmmmmmmmmmm", after I warmed it up for L2 it started singing You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, I still have it stuck in my head!). So, thank God for Flackers!!

OK, now, for real

DRUM ROLL, the results are in:

Weight and measurements compared to a week ago:

March 8th                          March 15
Weight 183 lbs                   179 lbs (might have been 178, but I am being conservative)
Bust 39.5"                          38.25"
Waist 35.75"                      34.75"
Hips 43"                             42.25"
Thigh 26.5"                         26.25"

So, according to the tables in my copy of The Zone by Barry Sears (The Zone: A Dietary Road Map to Lose Weight Permanently : Reset Your Genetic Code : Prevent Disease : Achieve Maximum Physical Performance --I find this diet hard to follow but when I tried it in graduate school it helped me a lot, not just physically but also mentally) ...

I have lost:  5.16 lbs of FAT and gained 1.16 lbs of muscle!!!!
(Think of what I could do if I just exercised instead of just talking about it!!) I went from having 34.57% body fat to 32.46%, and we have to remember that I am comparing measurements from a week ago, but I have been eating raw for 6 days.

YAY, Ok, as a congratulatory gift to myself, I am not going to list what I ate today, because, really, it's just tedious and boring, and you are probably also getting really tired of it.

Good night!

Day 6, Monday Monday, sha LA, la, la la laaaaaaaaa

So, the question in my mind today is...

Did God realize that if He made me write this blog I would have to contend with my tendency to WANT to be really anal retentive (and document everything I eat and drink, including the nutritional value totals for the day) VERSUS my lack of, more like lack of interest in wanting to really listen to my anal retentive side, OR did He just want me to share my experience because he knows of some other slightly overweight 40 year old woman out there (with a brain that gets just a little too chatty because of all the caffeine she has to have to get through her busy day) who could benefit from reading about my raw food experiment?

Hmmm, I know what you are thinking...


You are so clever, and so is He, really, never ceases to amaze me.

OK, so do you want to hear about what I ate and drank today? Because I really don't feel like telling you, at least not typing it, but I look way to disheveled right now to make a video (I am NOT going there, I already gave you my REAL weight and measurements, for Pete's sake! let me keep -or at least think that I am keeping- a shred of dignity!!)...

Alright, let's do this, I'm learning that this is one of the biggest challenges of this experiment, being disciplined about keeping track of it all so I can document it all (See "clever" above).

Made my smoothie for breakfast, but one of the frozen strawberries must have been rotten because it tasted like dirt. Tried to drink it, got about 1/4 of it down and had to give the rest to the pigs, they can handle it (did I tell you we raise free-range, natural pork in our little farm? we have these happy, healthy pigs that get treated pretty much like pets, fed healthy food with no antibiotics, steroids, hormones or animal protein, we don't give them shots -unless they get sick, but then we don't sell them as ASH free- and we let them roam around and eat their natural diet as much as they want    :-)           OK, ant then we kill them and eat them, which some people find shocking, and I respect that, but the way we see it, IF we are going to eat meat, we want it to come from animals that were treated with respect (read: "loved") and that are totally healthy to eat, so we raise our own, and we had so many friends ask us to buy some meat that we started doing it commercially -albeit at a very small scale- check out if you want to learn more and see photos, oh, and, by the way, we only take them to a great processing place where they treat the hogs KINDLY, and kill them in a way that is painless and instant).

So I went off to work with very little in my belly, boo hoo. After the appointment I was starting to feel my sugar drop so I stopped by a fast food establishment that now sells fruit smoothies (OK fine, it was McDonald's, but I SWEAR I didn't have a single fry) and had a berry one (Lord only knows what the caloric content is!!). Then Loren and I took L2 to the doctor who gave her a clean bill of health, yay! and then made a stop at Rainbow Blossom in St. Matthew's to get some buckwheat to make raw granola and a healthy lunch for the girlie. Loren and I both had a raw, but warm, "tonic" which is a yummy and super charged drink that was also very filling.

On the way home I had a couple of bites of a raw bar I bought to try there, I won't post the brand because I was not crazy about it, maybe it's an acquired taste.

At home I had a small piece of a garlic flax cracker (the home made ones, yum!), and half a glass of a Super Green Juice I made (my first!) with:

3 granny smith apples
2 cups of green, seedless grapes
most of 1 large bag of spinach
and a bit of lime juice

Then I had a salad for dinner with a few raw pepitas and slivered almonds in it.

Ok, I know this is a pretty long winded post (when are they not?) but I should mention two things:
1. Adding to Loren's comment about the BM, I have actually NOT been going to the bathroom as much as I thought I would!! I am actually purposely adding dry fruit and salads to my day in order to help with that. I found that VERY surprising. And

2. A dear friend, whom I hope to visit in June, asked me to add some adsense to my blog so I can save some money for the trip to see her (did I mention she lives in Portugal? she is a TV producer and designer in a show like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and has her own design business, check out her blog at As she put it "every cent counts" so I added it, a bit reluctantly... get it? get it?
Anyway, I WAS reluctant but then right off the bat noticed there were adds for both Groupon and Living Social, both of which I use and LOVE, so I decided it was OK.

But please! if you find the ads annoying or distracting, let me know!

Have a wonderful day tomorrow! I will update my weight and measurements tomorrow night (it will be a week already! wow), please help me by crossing your fingers/praying/visualizing or hoping for some smaller numbers all around!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Addition to day 5

OK, Chutes and Ladders was epic!

First of all, I should report that I discovered why the honey mysteriously became liquid again, after being crystallized for weeks... Loren put it in the microwave. Sorry, I too was hoping for a much cooler explanation.

I feel like, for the sake of consistency, I should list what I ate yesterday and today, but yesterday was such a weird day that I am having trouble remembering exactly what I ate!!

I had to take L2 to a cheerleading clinic (I am NOT trying to encourage my 9 year old to become a cheerleader, but she has wanted to do something like it for years and she's already shown that she will grow up to do something amazing like discover the cure for cancer, so, really, how much damage can 2 hours do?), and I had not had breakfast when I realized I had to leave immediately. So I quickly drank a small glass of soy milk (without thinking about the fact that the soy beans were probably cooked, argh!) and took a small glass of OJ with me.

During the clinic I was a bit bored, which normally might have led to some recreational snacking from the concessions, thankfully I just waited it out. Then we went home for a couple of hours to do laundry and house cleaning, and we were drying the home made "Flackers" (Loren said, "so if Ilse makes these, are they Mother Flackers?"). So, I know I had some of those, some ceviche, and Lord only knows what else, because I only stopped to drink a little gazpacho, and the rest of the eating was done as I walked by the kitchen on the way back and forth to chores... I know, I know, not the healthiest way to eat, and definitely not a good way to figure out if you've had enough of the right things!

Then L1 and I had to help set up for a fund raising lunch with the Youth Group at church. So I got to handle food while smelling gooey brownies baking for two hours, THAT was a challenge. Plus, I was silly enough not to bring anything with me (REMEMBER TO A L W A Y S CARRY FOOD WITH YOU), so I had to drink two small glasses of Sprite when my sugar started to drop.

Back at home for the evening I did better with not snacking just for the heck of it, and had a decent size salad for dinner.

Today I had my smoothie for breakfast (thank God for my smoothie, what a great day to start the day off on the right foot!), then had to work the Youth luncheon. I had a small salad and brought home a big tub of lentil soup that I will freeze until Easter (I know! but you should have smelled that soup!). Then at home I had a long string of little things, because I didn't feel hungry enough for a meal, but was wanting "something" and just couldn't figure out what (this is when I should have taken 10 minutes to pray and meditate, but, alas, I just now thought of that). I had some flax crackers, some dried peaches, some dried blueberries in plain yogurt (yummy!), a couple of bites of raw Ramen noodles that L2 was eating (we hardly ever allow our kids to eat that crap -I only bought it to make Asian slaw- so, of course, they beg for it as a treat), and the MSG in the powder made me have even more confused cravings. I drank some water helping it would go away, but no, it is still sort of there in the background.

My goal for the next few days is to be very diligent about giving my body a variety of nutrients from different sources, in case the weird cravings are coming from a lack of something vital.

OK, I'm done for today, but here is the recipe for the ceviche, as I promised. EASY as pie and delicious!

Costa Rican Style Ceviche

Fish (I bought Alaskan Cod, which my Environmental Defense "Pocket Seafood Selector" has on the list of "Best Choices") cut into small bite sized pieces
Chopped onion (how much depends on how much you like it, FYI I cannot eat raw onion because it makes my reflux go crazy, but "cooking" it in the lime takes care of that)
Chopped red pepper (I like lots!)
Cilantro chopped very small
Lime juice enough to cover the other ingredients

Put it in the fridge until the juice makes the fish change color and texture (it will be in fact "cooked" by the acid).
Voila!  Eat on flax crackers or saltines (just not in front of me right now because I love saltines, thanks)

Days 4 & 5, Note to Self: Stop promising to post photos the next day

Allright! So far so good, although the last two days have had their challenges.
First of all, I must apologize to whomever might be reading because I promised to post photos on Saturday and I didn't even turn on the computer.

Since I promised photos, here are a couple of our newest creation. The photos are bad because I took them with my built in camera (I didn't want to complicate things using the real camera, which usually entails 1. finding batteries for the camera, 2. taking the photos and feeling frustrated over my lack of talent and imagination for taking any sort of photo, 3. finding the cord, 4. plugging the camera to the computer and waiting for about 600 photos to upload because even though I thought I downloaded the photos from the latest trip or event, I didn't really, 5. deciding which photos to post, and 6. adding them to the blog)

So I bought some Flackers the other day... no, that's not a dirty joke, that's the brand name of these flax seed crackers for raw foodies ($6+ for a 6oz box, ouch!), and we had already found some recipes for them on the internet, so we decided to try them. Loren made a batch with mustard, then I tried a batch with just garlic and salt. We are still experimenting so I won't post a recipe just yet, but here are some photos:

Mustard kind

Garlic and salt kind (yes I'm wearing a scarf, no, it's not that cold in our house, I'm just cold and my body temp is slightly elevated, who knows why)

My husband would like to share a bit of his experience with this fast:

Hi, This is Loren. I just had a huge BM. The color is odd and it looks like it may be from a baby's diaper - if the baby ate alot of sunflower seeds. Feeling good though. Don't miss coffee anymore and the headaches subsided after only a few days. The addition of yummy crunchy things like the flax seed crackers have made life easier.

I'm back... I have a pressing game of Chutes and Ladders to play right now, but will be back soon!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Days 2 and 3, feeling good!

It's been a BUSY two days, thus the absence of a post yesterday. First of all, I want to acknowledge the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan today, I have been praying for the country and all the people affected, whether on site or far away. I have also been so grateful for our safety and lack of concerns!

Now on to the fast, I have been very relieved to find that my body apparently remembered the extremely rigid, 3 month detox diet of 6 years ago, and fell right into step with this diet. The last few days have been... easy!!! yes, there have been a few moments (cooking green beans for the girls, smelling McDonald's fries, looking at the unopened bag of tortilla chips just sitting there as if saying "I miss you, I'm nothing without you, you are my purpose, my whole reason for being! C'mon! OPEN ME! Stop scooping up the hummus with peas!! Don't slop the guacamole on your salad! That's what I'M for!!), but for the most part it has not been a HUGE challenge.

Of course we are only on day 3...

But the first days of a drastic change like this tend to be the hardest (and they have been for Loren, poor thing, this was his idea and he really thought it would be easy!!), so it must get better from here.

I do know already, however, that I am going to have to start trying some new recipes soon. Hummus and guacamole will only be fun for so long, plus this blog will not be very helpful unless I start adding recipes PRONTO! I am also realizing this page is suffering from a pathetic lack of photos --will add some tomorrow! Loren washed and chopped tons of beautiful bright veggies that deserve a photo!

I also have to figure out how to put the recipes on a separate page, so they can be easily seen all together.

OK, yesterday's menu was very similar to day 1, smoothie (with plain yogurt now), gazpacho, hummus with peas, fresh blueberries (yum! I don't think I have ever had them fresh), ruby red grapefruit, then a nice salad with romaine, carrots, broccoli, and Loren's amazing guacamole (recipe coming soon!). I had dinner because it seemed like the civilized thing to do, but I was not particularly hungry. This morning I again, did NOT wake up hungry, although I did feel like I could have used some caffeine (didn't get enough sleep). I just had some orange juice and the sugar in it seemed to help me wake up enough to get the day started.

A bit later I had my smoothie, some dried apples, again hummus with peas for lunch (very small servings at a time, it is very filling!), with some spicy vegetable/tomato juice and a few dried cherries. For snack I tried 3 crackers made with flax seeds (we are now soaking flax seeds to try to make our own batch with our jerky dehydrator -with the help of a fancy thermometer, so we don't go above the right temperature). For dinner I had a small serving of ceviche (Loren was trying out some locally caught fish we had in the freezer so he only made a small batch, the big batch will be for lunch tomorrow!), guacamole, and a salad with red lettuce, peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and alfalfa sprouts. I served myself what I thought was a small serving, but was not able to finish it. Oh! and I had a cup of white wine with orange juice, then for dessert I had a teaspoon of honey :)

Spiritually I have been peaceful, for the most part, and I have been focusing on gratitude and contentment.  Eckhard Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)
) continues to teach me in the car and it has been helping ENORMOUSLY to hear about the ego's crafty tricks to get its way. It's been instrumental in helping me recognize some "cravings" as the ego's attempt at getting attention, because I really have not felt that my Body has asked for anything in particular.

I am going to sleep now and I am promising myself that I will post more photos and recipes tomorrow. I hope your evening and coming day are blessed with peace, gratitude, feelings of prosperity, and wonderful, healthy food!