Monday, April 25, 2011

Unexpected News

For the first time in years today we were all up together in the morning as we got ready for school and jobs. Loren started his 5 weeks of training for his new job and we were so excited about having our first Monday night dinner together as a family.

By 9:30AM everything had changed with the news of Loren's father's passing.

He was 83 and had been suffering from multiple health problems, which quickly intensified after a fall right before Thanksgiving. From what we were told, he had been spending his days sleeping and today "he just quit breathing". We had all been praying that he could be at peace with God and with his circumstances, and it sounds like this morning he truly found that peace.

May angels lead you into Paradise,
may the holy martyrs bless your arrival,
and Lazarus, who was poor,
bless your repose in holy, holy Jerusalem,
where the choirs sing the ending of sorrow...*

Rest in peace Papaw.

*(In paradisum deducant te angeli, anonymous Latin hymn, trans. Paul Ramsey)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Not So Happy Easter Meals and New Measurements

So in case you didn't read this, last night, shortly after midnight I had a rosemary pita bread with chicken salad (no, of course I didn't make it, I had brought it from a brunch at church) and it went pretty well. I had to burp a few times and I felt a little acid reflux but nothing major.

I was up late getting Easter stuff ready and I also had some pop corn L1 had made (she spices it up wonderfully). I had more than I should have because, at that point, I my judgment was impaired by my staying up so late and my new found freedom. I did stop before I had lost all dignity and I gave some serious thought to the idea of doing a late night fast (promising God that I will go to bed before 11pm for 40 days?).

I thought a lot about a Renegade Saints song, "Deep End" (from the Fear of the Sky CD, seriously one of my favorite CD's of all time).
Here's some band doing a cover of it, the original is much better but I couldn't find it --the link on the CD name will take you to it)

The part I thought about is:
"Never did I commit a sin that I did not love to commit,
always had my reasons for doing it (yes I did),
sometimes out of love, sometimes in hate,
never cuz I just got bored or stayed up too late"

I've always said that I wish this song were true for me, instead most of the sins I've committed in my life (most of them self-destructive to some degree) have been a direct result of simply staying up too late. So, you can bet on the fact that you'll be reading more about this in the days to come (if you're willing to keep reading now that Lent is over, I certainly am willing -and eager- to keep writing!).

But back to food. I went to bed late but feeling well, despite my fears of indigestion and nightmares. In the morning we had espresso with foam and everything! we added a little Frangelico and I even put chocolate shavings on my foam! I had some of the biscotti bites I ordered from Little Lyla's Bakery (delicious!) and even tried the wasabi peas that the Easter Bunny left in some of the eggs (hidden inside the house because of the rain).

No problem, so far so good! yay, took my measurements (I'll get to them in a minute! let me finish!) and went to church feeling great. After the service we went to brunch at a restaurant in the Highlands, I don't want to say the name because I don't want them associated with my bad experience. On the way there we had a conversation that made me upset, but by the time we got a table and I made my way to the omelet bar I thought I was calm enough to eat.

So, I don't know if it was being upset, or the cooked food, or the decaf with cream, but I (or should I blame my liver again?) proceeded to get totally sick very quickly. It reminded me of getting drunk in college, when you're sitting with your friends having fun and not really monitoring how many times you've refilled your beer mug and then getting up to go to the bathroom and your inner dialogue would go something like this:

"OH MY GOD! I am so drunk! Oh Lord, I didn't think I drank that much! I am so dizzy! Am I walking in a straight line? Walk in a straight line... shit! did I just stumble? I hope the bathroom is free, I think I am going to vomit, Oh God please don't let me vomit! not in front of all these cute guys, oh my Lord, I am SO SORRY, I will keep track of how much I drink next time, I promise, I am so sorry, and I feel SO sick, oh God help me, my head feels all buzzy, everything is SO LOUD, am I moving at a normal speed? I am having trouble breathing, why am I having trouble breathing? am I having a drunk heart attack? I can't wait much longer for this chick to get out, HURRY UP, I am going to either pass out or vomit right here, Oh God Help Me PLEEEEASE!"

I am NOT EXAGGERATING, the omelet I have fantasized about for days made me instantly sick. I went outside to get some fresh air (the restaurant was VERY stuffy), but I was afraid of passing out and hitting my head on the sidewalk so I went back in. I went to the bathroom and took off my Spanx, but that didn't help much. I drank cold water and wished I had not finished the omelet (it wasn't that good anyway, I just didn't want to waste food), I laid my head on the table, I breathed in slowly and heavily, and finally decided to go wait in the car. Walking seemed to help a bit and it made me burp a lot, I just felt like crying and my throat hurt (not as in a cold but as in tightness, L2 and I both feel the same thing before and during crying; sometimes it gets so tight it feels like we're choking). In the car I reclined and tried to rest.

Nutella  (Ferrero Nutella - 26.5 Ounces) the Easter Bunny left in my basket (by now you know I had a thing for hazelnuts, did I tell you how AWESOME they are raw?), and now I feel... well, not great.

I feel OK, but I feel bloated, not very clear headed and I have a tight spot in my solar plexus that just won't go away. 47 days ago I would have called this "normal" but now I know better. Tomorrow I am back to raw food, I will consider adding something cooked with dinner (hard boiled eggs? got plenty of those!) but I will proceed with caution.

Alright, now for the measurements from this morning!! (compared to the first set taken and last week's)

March 8th              April 16th      April 24th

Weight    183 lbs    169 lbs          168 lbs (Friday it was 167 :(  what happened?!!)

Bust        39.5"       38.25"          38.5" (probably holding in more breath)

Waist      35.75"     33.25"           32"!!!! (OK, I was really sucking it in, but I always suck it in, so there had to be quite a difference. Right now, that I'm feeling bloated, I get 32.5")

Hips        43"          41.5"            41.5"

Thigh      26.5"       25.25"          25"

So, since I first measured myself on Mardi Gras I have lost 15 lbs., 3.75" from my waist (or 3.25"), 1.5" from my hips, and 1.5" from my thighs. And, 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) in the last 46 days I have lost...

14.09 lbs of fat!! (13.79 if we use tonight's measurement) so my lean body mass is 118.83 lbs. My body fat percentage went from 34.57 to 29.27! Praise the Lord! and I am back to wearing LOTS of my old pants (not quite all of them yet, but I am on my way!).

Alright, it is 11:15 PM, I wake up at 6AM and this mild digestive discomfort is going to make sleep a bit of a challenge, so I will go to bed now and say a little prayer for you.
Thank you for stopping by (click on an ad please!) and have a wonderful night/day wherever you are.

PS. I am already looking forward to my smoothie in the morning, Alleluia!

Happy Easter (it's 12:14AM)

It's not that I stayed up to eat. I was up doing Easter stuff and noticed that midnight was approaching, and kept looking at the clock thinking about it. I thought I would open the box of biscotti I ordered, but I just didn't feel like eating something sweet at the moment.

But then I found, quite by chance, a rosemary pita bread filled with chicken salad (the kind with big grape chunks in it!) that I brought home from the post-Easter-egg-hunt-brunch at church this morning, and that did it!

It was awesome. I stood in front of my the altar I inherited from my grandmother, where I display the painting of the Divine Mercy given to me by my mother, and just sighed a huge thank you to God for the food I was eating and for the growth of the last 46 days.

It was delicious, but now I am a bit scared of how my body will react. I am already burpy and reflux is sure to follow, and, well, it is never I good idea to eat shortly before going to bed.

It's so silly, I knew better! But that's alright, it's been a long 46 days and I can allow myself a minor lapse of impulsiveness now. I will report tomorrow on the effects, and I will update my weight and measurements.  Good night and Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 45, (Only ONE More Day!) Good Friday Musings

Today has been a glorious day of spring rains, routine errands and family time. Today has not been what I would normally label a successful, productive, or particularly meaningful day, but today this feels perfect.

My mind works in very random, jumpy ways and I have spent most of my life denouncing it as defective. Because of this I have always craved routine, order and discipline, while, at the same time, avoiding, fearing and finding them unattainable. So, normally I would look for validation for my day by naming the things checked off my "to do" list, or by showing a gorgeous family picture and saying "LOOK, I have successfully spent quality time with my nearly-perfect children and husband" or by having a more-spiritual-than-thou day and embracing the chore-boycotting rain with a long meditation and a prayer of gratitude for the water cycle.

But today has been a mix of a little productivity, a little leisure time, a lot of family time, a little watching it rain, some quiet prayer time, and now some blogging time...

and I am so happy! There is no temptation to condemn the "wasting" of time, or to over-analyze the quiet time, or over-glorify the family time. There is just acceptance and joy (**gasps and holds hand over mouth** could this mean I am finally an Adult?).

Today I sat and prayed for an hour (at church we signed up to keep a prayer vigil for 24 hours) and during that time I was able to reflect on the experiences and growth the last 45 days have brought me. I spent time reflecting on why Jesus matters, and how I can relate this fast and what I've learned during these days to living a life that is more Christ-like every day. Well, I must correct myself... "why Jesus matters" is too big a topic for me to tackle in one blog post, but I can at least explain why He matters to me.

I think of Jesus as the greatest metaphysical teacher and spiritual leader of all time, and his teachings are the most practical tools for living a life that is respectful, loving, happy, fulfilled, and meaningful. Jesus teaches us how to free ourselves from our fears and our vices, He models a life of acceptance and meaning, and challenges us to be more, to do more, to matter more.

I used to think that when you gave up something for Lent, or you had to suffer through some unavoidable problem in your life, you would do it and "offer it to God" (as my mother used to say) so that someone somewhere would get some benefit from your suffering. To this day I am not sure that that is what my mother meant, but that's how I always interpreted it:

--My body would willingly hurt somebody for a tortilla chip right now.
--I don't eat the tortilla chip, nor hurt anyone, and I say a prayer offering this bothersome/uncomfortable/painful/annoying/scary/horrible situation to God "for" the hungry kids in Africa/the tsunami victims in Japan/the people with tortilla chip allergies.
--I try to find consolation for my unfulfilled craving in the vague notion that someone somewhere is bothered/uncomfortable/pained/annoyed/scared/horrified less because I just took on some of their plight.

... OK.

Yeah, OK, I still see how that makes sense, and it really is beautifully poetic and generous.

BUT, as I've gotten older I've realized (this year more clearly than ever) that if that is all we get out of our sacrifice, we are almost wasting our time. There is so much more that we can learn from facing our difficulties (be them self imposed or not) if we tackle them with the intention of growing, learning, improving, becoming a better tool for God! (if you don't believe in God, fine, it doesn't matter, replace that with "becoming a better member of society").

The last 45 days have been transformational not because I have said a quiet prayer for people with addictions every time I craved a latte, but because I was freed from my own addictions; not because I thanked God for having food when I was hungry, but because I was shown that I have the strength to handle hunger; not because I have prayed for obese people every time I stepped on the scales and there was no significant change, but because I have realized that the extra weight was self-destructive and I --a child of God made in Her image-- deserve to treat myself better than that. The last 45 days have made me a much better version of myself, and THAT'S what God wants from sacrifice. The better we are the better equipped we are to serve our fellow man!

(Yes, I do realize many of you are probably saying "WOW. She's 40 years old and she only figured that out NOW?" but as much as I am tempted to turn this post into something more self-flattering, I won't. I have always been a late bloomer and I am finally OK with that.)

So now that I am a better version of myself, the question remains... what drastic challenge am I going to give myself next to continue growing towards transcending "myself" and becoming a better person -period?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Will this work?
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone, powered by CREDO Mobile.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 43, Joy Returns

This will have to be a quick post. I have been busy, efficient, focused, and, most importantly, joyful again.

I credit my acupressure appointment for helping me detox the energetic toxins along with the physical ones, that one hour session made such a difference!

Now I can be tired, or annoyed about something, or even stressed, but underneath it all I am still joyous, happy, and passionate. I had been afraid for a number of days that my new default mood was going to be a weird (and sometimes unpredictable) mix of numb and crabby, now I am breathing a huge sigh of relief because I feel like myself again!

Food wise my body has been begging --no, more like desperately yelling-- for eggs. Sauteed vegetables would be awfully nice too! (I found portobello mushrooms on sale and bought 3 big packs, I am going to "grill the crap out of them" after Easter), tortilla chips are no longer a temptation, but sweet coffees continue to be (although much milder).

I have not craved a piece of bread at all, nor have I felt the need to have rice, potatoes (aside from a french fry weak moment) or most starches. So I plan not to have these items in my menu, except for special occasions.

My weight seems to be holding steady, which is frustrating (I really don't eat big portions!) but I would rather think of it as my body getting used to a new "set point" rather than just plateauing on the weight loss.

As I said, short and sweet, have to get to bed to dream of omelets!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 40, FOOOOOORTY! (only 6 more days, and lots of talk about self care)

So, L2 is sitting here reminding me of movie theater fake cheese and tortilla chips.

Wow, now it is not the tortilla chips I am fantasizing about, it's the plastic cheese.

OK, so this is when I say "Thank you God for all the blessings you surround me with, including the challenges, for freeing me from my food addictions, for showing me a way to be closer to you, and for helping me be happier in my body".

Wow, it never ceases to amaze me how that always helps.

This morning I had a scoop of protein powder in water and a grapefruit (did you know grapefruit is supposed to dissolve fat cells, not just reduce them but DISSOLVE them??), then I ate a few veggies from the veggie tray at church, then a Baja salad from Wendy's (I know it's getting OLD, but we had a lot to do in a short time), and since I got home I have been in front of the computer "doing the taxes" and snacking on nuts and drinking white wine. (Hmm. Maybe THAT'S why I'm not getting the taxes done!).

I CAN NOT believe we've been on this journey already 40 days! We are both ready to "eat normal", Loren more so than I am. He wants to eat everything, I just want some eggs and sauteed veggies.

I have decided to give myself the day off on Easter and then I will continue the raw diet, adding only a little bit of cooked things each day, being especially weary of refined sugars and starches, and only drinking coffee on special occasions.

I have been feeling GREAT in the last few days --focused, energized, positive and happy, and so many of my old pants are either fitting or aaaaalmost fitting!! (lots are not uncomfortable anymore but still not presentable enough to wear in public). I feel ready to take on the world, and I just want to keep riding this wave! So the idea of filling my body (and mind) with starches and sugars and caffeine again just repulses me. So, while I will allow myself a few treats on Easter, I am eager to continue on this journey.

However, don't get me wrong! I was not a Crap Eater before Ash Wednesday!
We started our journey towards Health Through Food (that might be the title for the e-book I'm thinking of writing, see this post for more info) over a decade ago. We avoid partially hydrogenated oils (as well as fully hydrogenated oils, for that matter!), MSG, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, corn syrup, and anything that we don't recognize. AND! (most importantly), we raise our own eggs and meat! how many people can say that!! We are so blessed to have our own land where we can raise our own ASH (antibiotic, steroid, hormones) free animals so we know 95% of our animal products are healthy and come from animals that have been treated well. Sure, we are not Nazi's about it, the kids can have crap candy at Halloween, but we figure, if we are eating healthy most of the time it balances out very well.

I guess the point I am trying to make is this: There is always room for more self care.
And, I can say this comfortably now that I am 40, self care is the basis for all care.

If you are not taking care of your body, your mind, and especially, your spirituality (whichever form that takes) you will not be taking good care of others or of other areas in your life (career, goals, etc). In fact, I am now willing to argue that you could neglect your mind, but taking care of your body and your spirit (it is taken me this long to realize that they actually do go together) is essential for a fully present and responsible life.

And by "responsible life" I mean a life in which you accept responsibility for EVERYTHING that happens. I don't know about you, but I find a lot of comfort in a life that --while being very challenging-- does not allow for me to blame anyone or anything else for what is "wrong" in my life.

OK, now I just sound preachy, and that was never my intent. I just hope this helps!

Good night everyone! blessings to you tonight and always!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 39, New Measurements and, Apparently, I'm Over Chips

My apologies for having skipped so many days this week. It's tax season.

Last year I managed to get the tax return done before we took our trip to the Winter Olympics (we needed the tax return money!), but this year I was otherwise occupied with L2's health issues, this blog, and resisting the temptation to eat tortilla chips.

Well, it seems it only took 39 days, but I am finally over those temptresses!

Last night we took L2 out for a late second dinner and the first thing we found was Moe's Southwest Grill (kind'a like Q'Doba?). She got a burrito and the guy gave her some tortilla chips for free. I was feeling masochistic so I grabbed the bag and stuck my nose in it to at least enjoy a whiff of their enticing aroma...

and... nothing!

Today I have been home aaaallll day (mostly working on the taxes) and the bag of tortilla chips has been sitting open on the kitchen island, about 10 feet from where I am sitting, and... that's right! NOTHING

SO, I WIN, ha ha ha HA!

Ok, so now on to the new numbers.
Comparing all the weeks doesn't fit nicely in the space here, so I will just compare to the day before I started and to last week, to see all the weeks in between click here

March 8th              April 8th       April 16th

Weight    183 lbs    171 lbs        169 lbs

Bust        39.5"       38.5"           38.25"

Waist      35.75"     33.5"           33.25"

Hips        43"          41.63" (5/8)  41.5"

Thigh      26.5"       25.5"            25.25"

So, no big impressive changes, but steady progress :)

The last thing I want to share is that both yesterday evening and all of today I have felt more positive and able to focus than I have in weeks! Hurray for a detoxed liver!

PS. Please consider clicking on one of the ads, the L2's medical bills are starting to arrive and every penny helps!

Day 38, Forgive me Father, For I Have Sinned


I had my smoothie for breakfast and that helped a bit, and I kept chewing gum because I ready that can make you feel alert. But as the morning progressed, so did my sleepiness and my inability to concentrate (I think it still has to do with my liver treatment yesterday). I went out and got my new favorite Wendy's item (yes, the Baja salad sans chili rides again) and I was supposed to go right back to work for a couple of possible cases in district court, and I just couldn't be yawning and asking the judge and the prosecutor to repeat themselves, and hoping they didn't complain to my boss, and agh!

SO I DID IT, I DID IT!!!! I got a cup of coffee...

with cream...

and I drank about a third of it,

trying not to enjoy it, I swear!

And I really kind of didn't, no, honestly, really, it wasn't that good! I drank it as I walked and I wish I could have recorded the guilty chatter in my brain... "hmm, it's ok, not that good, yes it's nice to be drinking it, but it's no hazelnut latte, you know, I just need a little bit of caffeine, I will check this docket, will they need me here?, see? I just had a sip and swallowed before I could really taste it at all! I am not really enjoying it! it's no big deal, it is just like the lukewarm Pepsi, no big deal, see? another mindless sip, I don't really like this, it is just like medicine"

I only had a little bit, then I left it in the office and went to ask the prosecutors if the Spanish speakers had appeared.

After looking around, and asking, and asking some more I finally became convinced I would not be needed, but left the prosecutors with my number just in case. Then I headed back downstairs to wait for that possible call before going home for the day...

all the way down all I could think of was that cup of coffee, its exact location on the desk, the fact that it was probably still warm, would the office smell like it? My brain: "NO NO NO, I was not enjoying it that much, in fact, when I go back I probably won't even drink any more of it, why am I thinking about it like it was Holy Water? C'mon! I'm just going to throw it away, no, no, I don't need to do THAT, I wasn't even enjoying it!"

So I went back and sat on a chair near the desk, looked at the coffee for a while and finally took another drink, only to discover that, indeed, it wasn't that good, and that's when I threw it away.

PS. For dinner I had a spinach salad with broccoli, red pepper, pepitas, cucumber and hummus.

Friday, April 15, 2011

In the air today... Sauteed garlic and onions. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 37, Blame the Liver (and Lunar PMS update)

Wow, I've been sitting here (Here: in bed in my pajamas with my laptop on my lap. It's only 7:48 --and I've already been Here a while! I am enjoying a rare evening of self care, feels decadent!) trying to start this post. I have started and deleted several times and, well, really, it's not my fault. It's my liver.

[First of all, let's the get tedious listing of the menu out of the way, and the obligatory mention of the fact that I did not write a post yesterday because I was working on the taxes. Yesterday: Smoothie, home made trail mix for snack, McDonald's Berry smoothie for "lunch", dried apples for snack, Big Beautiful salad for dinner.
(I will add a photo tomorrow when my brain is working again). Today, out of bananas, no smoothie (I've tried to make them without a banana, the texture is all wrong), buckwheat with plain yogurt, the last of the dried blueberries :( and agave nectar for breakfast, another Big Beautiful salad for lunch, because yesterday's was so good, but I couldn't finish this one, and for dinner a grapefruit and lots of water with cranberry juice --you'll understand soon]

This afternoon I had a session with an acupressurist (her name is Kolene Woodrum, and she is wonderful, if she had a website I would link you). The first thing she does is have you tell her why you are there (usually a physical issue) and she will ask you questions to figure out what the underlying problem actually is, since physical problems are a manifestation of an unbalance at the energetic level. I told her about this diet, about my desire to lose more inches, about the changes in my mood and motivation lately, etc.  I also told her that I have been feeling like my heart chakra is closed (for lack of a better way to put it) because I have been feeling very detached and not very passionate (except when I get angry).

She explained (and here I must add the disclaimer that if I say something that makes no sense at all, it is probably due to the fact that I am paraphrasing what she said and, while it made sense and it resonated with me while she explained it, I am having trouble explaining it... again, probably my liver's fault) that weight gain tends to be the body's way of creating a shield to protect itself (from an emotional threat), she mentioned that throat issues usually have to do with problems with self expression. She also said that the liver is the organ that deals with anger, and she said it also rules the thyroid and your eyesight. She said the raw diet is the best thing I could be doing to cleanse the liver of toxins and that it makes sense that emotional issues are coming out because they are still "stored" somewhere in my liver and they too need to be flushed.

The treatment was very relaxing and gentle, it was very interesting to feel the changes in my body as she would move from one area to the other. It was also very neat that a couple of times I felt like I wanted her to treat a different area and she would go there almost immediately. She played a very relaxing CD that she gave to me at the end of the session :)

After wards she explained that as soon as she started working on me my liver started clamoring "Me me me!" so she focused on it the most (obviously this is very intuitive work). She warned that I might feel "yucky" in the stomach, that I might feel more angry as more of the emotional issues got flushed out, and that I should not try to do much in the way of productivity or concentration (she specifically said "don't get on the computer") because I would probably have a really hard time concentrating.

Boy was she right on (it's 8:24, it's taken me this long to try to make sense of these few paragraphs). I have spent a lot of time in the bathroom since I got home, I had to wrap myself in a blanket because I got a little bit cold and I have been craving water with cranberry juice. I have not felt angry, thank God, but I have also been trying to avoid situations that would give me the slightest excuse to blow up at somebody (thus being in bed so early. L2 brought the other laptop so I would help her research something online and I lost my patience with her very quickly, in my defense however, later Loren tried to help her and he lost his patience too, so maybe that one was more about her than about my liver). I was hungry but everything sounded too heavy until Loren suggested a grapefruit. That was just what I needed and now I feel totally satisfied.

I am really out of it! I tried to read over what I have written and lost my concentration so many times I finally gave up! But there is one last thing I really need to mention!!

I'm on my period again and this time it actually caught me by surprise because I didn't have PMS at all.
(If you have not read it, I really recommend checking out the Important Lunar PMS post)
I had been feeling Crabby, which, when compared to Content or Happy, is not ideal. But when you consider that normally I would have been closer to Criminally Insane, it turns into a change worthy of mention. In fact, I am not even sure that the crabbiness had anything to do with my period at all, which allows for the possibility that A Life Without Mercurial Hormonal Changes does exist, and not just as a fluke that one time during Lent, but consistently.

I could not be more serious about recommending this for people who have life altering PMS symptoms. Please try going raw (even if just 75% raw) for 6 weeks or so, just long enough to experience 2 periods on it, or even just one week before your regular PMS days. I can't imagine that you would not experience a positive change.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 35, Warm dishes and rebellion

It is 10:14.

I feel a bit guilty because I did not report on my menu yesterday, and I haven't done it today either.

I'm trying to decide if I feel badly enough to actually do it... wow what a boring post!

Today's menu was a mix of boring and convoluted (read: due to lack of planning due to a slight rebelliousness towards having to eat raw, you know, it makes perfect sense right? I wish I could just grab something ready made and pop it in my mouth (you pipe in "like an apple?" and I growl back "shut up!"), but since I can't have cereal or granola bars or tortilla chips *sigh*, I protest by just not eating at all, until I am really hungry so I reach for the dried fruit and/or nuts (you pipe in "you mean the stuff that is just as ready made and ready to be popped into your mouth as an apple?" I shout "I AM GOING TO POP *YOU* IN THE MOUTH!"), and then I realize that I have successfully skipped a meal.

So today I skipped breakfast, or rather, I had about four bites of Loren's sprouted buckwheat with yogurt, honey and blueberries, which he had mixed ahead of time, which made it a lot easier on the jaw, and WARMED UP, which made it comforting. Oh! this was hours after having had another small lukewarm Pepsi (see Day 16) so that I could drive without putting our lives in danger, I was super sleepy so the effects were not as dramatic as the first time.

--Before I forget, I should give you yesterday's menu: Smoothie, Wendy's Baja salad without chili or tortilla chips, with extra guacamole and pico de gallo, a few random nuts and dried fruits as I worked at the computer in the evening (not hungry enough to make it an actual dinner). Notable moment of the day: warm cocoa! Loren has been making a few warm dishes lately and it inspired me to try a warm drink. It was a very cool afternoon after a rainy morning, so I wanted the luxury of a warm drink. I added 2 teaspoons of pure baking cocoa (I am not completely sure but I think it is acceptable) to a mug of almond milk and warmed it up in the microwave oven, just enough to take the chill off. YUM! If you try it I would recommend making it half a mug at a time because it cools off very quickly, so I ended up drinking it faster that I normally would have.

Back to today:
Through the day I nibbled at some homemade trail mix (raw hazelnuts, walnuts and raisins), for lunch I had lettuce wraps with raw hummus, red pepper, cucumber AND guacamole (yum), and around 5pm had an OJ and a small side salad (worse iceberg lettuce EVER) at a local fast food place. After taking L2 to soccer practice (she's slowly getting in shape) I had some spinach leaves with raw hummus warmed in the micro just long enough (10 seconds for a small plate) to say I did and make it "special"...

Funny what deprivation will do to you, lukewarm hummus becomes special and a lukewarm drink is a luxury.

Thank you God for allowing us to create lack in our lives, so that we can learn to truly appreciate the blessings when we allow them back in!

With that I am going to bed, BEFORE ELEVEN, be impressed!

I wish you the best :)

Good Night.

PS. I will be sharing Loren's warm recipes soon, one is a raw curry (using yogurt, so not 100% vegan raw), and the other is a mix of chopped almonds, chili powder and chopped tomatoes, sounds weird but he said it was awesome (I have not tried it yet).

Day 35, Sharing a beautiful video

I came across this video today and wept from the beauty of its message.

For a woman that has never really encountered violence or abuse in her relationships and has never felt the need to hear this apology, I was still greatly moved by it. I suspect that for women who have experienced such treatment watching this could be cathartic at the very least.

This video also reminded me that I have to allow my feminine side to be more present in my every day life. I don't mean in the superficial ways, flirting, giggling and wearing more make-up, which is what I thought femininity was about when I was younger (and the reason why I found it to be a gargantuan waste of time). I mean in the nurturing, intuitive, gentle, and quietly powerful ways that define a real woman.

I need more yin for my yang.

Here is the video, enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I had time between appointments, so I sat at Wendy's & worked on the taxes (ate a fresh fruit cup & drank OJ). I'm a masochist, it smelled like grilled heaven!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 33 Sunday and Taxes

Yes, I know, taxes are due this Friday. I am more behind this year than ever, ugh.

I partly blame this diet, I have had no motivation even when my energy level feels fine, which is closely related to the crabbiness of the last week or so. BUT, I got some insight into this and I am very excited into what will be coming....

I had a classmate back in graduate school, a no nonsense, pragmatic, serious sort of mezzo-soprano, who greatly surprised us when she returned from summer vacation 30+ pounds lighter and talking about becoming a massage therapist. To make a long story short she is now an "Intuitive Consultant" and "Spiritual Teacher" and had a very interesting explanation for the crabbiness (FYI, the summer I mentioned she went to a meditation retreat where she was also introduced to raw foodism, thus the weight loss).

This is what she said: "the crabbiness is definitely the diet! :-) "

To which I responded: "THANK YOU for assuring me that the crabbiness is from the diet! I was beginning to think I had found my inner bitch!"

Here is the really interesting part:
"Nope, it's just that as you eat raw, your physical body's vibration shifts. And then anything at the emotional level that's misaligned to that "upgraded" vibration has the opportunity to show up (lucky you). It helps to take baths with a tablespoon of sea salt and a little lavender. Think of all this as emotional body clearing ... unfortunately, you have to feel it to clear it"

Food for thought to say the least.

So, first of all I took a bath. I did not have sea salt, but I had Epsom salt, which I know will at least help clear physical toxins. I had been having this hunch that I should take a bath to help detox but had not listened to it. This added reminder was all I needed.

I was pretty crabby when I took it though, so it was not life changing by any means, but I did feel better afterward (and the whole house smelled like lavender).

Next I asked her (Andrea Hess) if she would be willing to guest blog by answering some more questions about this, and she agreed!

I am very excited about this. I feel like I have been neglecting the spiritual side of this discipline and when I don't I usually neglect to mention it here! So this will be a nice way to inject some of the less tangible, but just as important aspects of this lifestyle.

OK, as far as what I ate today...
Smoothie for breakfast (basic recipe plus a scoop of protein powder)
Gorgeous wraps (courtesy of Loren) for lunch!
Red Romaine, Raw Hummus, cucumber and red pepper slices.
And for dinner, since I was just doing the taxes, I slowly ate my second wrap from lunch and nibbled on some almonds with Wasabi and soy sauce (see Wasabi Soy Walnuts  int the recipe page), dried apples and fresh grapes (not all together!!).
I also had a couple of glasses of white wine (it was the TAXES! c'mon!)

Have a great night and a wonderful week! and if you want to start learning about Andrea's work, here is a plug:

Learn how to use YOUR intuition to create financial abundance in this FREE Video Training with Andrea Hess

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 32, Two fun new recipes

Today has been a good day. I am finding ways to stay positive and I realized that I have been telling myself a story I don't like and need to change it now (you know, the one about not being organized).

I had my smoothie for breakfast and a very nice salad for lunch, it had chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, cucumber, and carrots on a bed of spinach. I added slivered almonds, pine nuts, and a little bit of Cougar Cheese (made by Washington State University students) and some Italian dressing.

For dinner I had an awesome salad that I made up! (this is a big deal for me, I don't cook remember?)
It was delicious and I am very proud of it, and, of course, it is VERY EASY.

Spinach Fruit Salad:
Bed of spinach
2 dried mango slices (Trader Joe's sells the best, sweet but tangy) that have soaked in a bit of water overnight
3 fresh strawberries (small)
Pine nuts
Feta cheese
Raspberry vinaigrette (I use Newman's Own LIGHT RASPBERRY VINAIGRETTE (10 - 1.5 oz Pouches) Dressing)

I also want to share some marinated mushrooms I made (as in made up the recipe, yay 2 in a week!) and devoured on Thursday.

Marinated Mushrooms:
Portobello mushrooms cut into 1/8's
Apple cider vinegar (just a sprinkle, a little goes a long way)
Lots of dehydrated onion flakes
A splash of soy sauce or Nama Shoyu
Dash of salt
Lime juice

You can find these recipes and more in my Recipes Page

Enjoy and have a great night!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Days 29 & 30 (and the start of 31) New measurements, and Why did I let myself get so far behind?

It is no coincidence that this is my third post in a row with a question for title.

I tend to question myself a lot, which is good, sure, don't want to live an unexamined life, but I tend to go a little overboard.

Maybe I could just let it be that the last couple of days have been busy (but they always are), and the kids are on spring break (though we've hardly done anything fun with them), and that some days I really don't feel inspired to write anything (but I hardly ever do, and I know the inspiration comes after I start typing)... See how my brain works?

Food wise the last couple of days have been a contrast of strong cravings and very satisfying salads. I have been saying for almost a week that I am sick of salads and need to make more hummus, or guacamole or something else interesting, and yet I have been eating two salads* a day (plus my smoothie in the AM) and feeling very satisfied (both physically and emotionally) by them. (Maybe this would be a good time to go back one post and see my "flaky" song video)

I feel like I have been eating bigger portions, and I have been trying to avoid getting way hungry before eating, and guess what? I weighed in at 171 this morning.

Go ahead and laugh, I did.

So I was temped to take my measurements and...

March 8th              March 15          March 22         March 30        April 8th (one month since first #'s)

Weight 183 lbs       179 lbs              175 lbs            173 lbs             171 lbs

Bust  39.5"             38.25"               38"                   38.5"                38.5"

Waist  35.75"         34.75"               33.75"             33.75"              33.5"

Hips 43"                42.25"               42"                   41.75"              41.63" (5/8) (it's almost silly to record that little difference, but I have to get my victories somewhere!)

Thigh 26.5"           26.25"               26"                    26"                   25.5"

So, since I first measured myself a month ago (on Mardi Gras) I have lost 12 lbs., 2.25" from my waist, 1.37" from my hips, and 1" from my thighs. And, 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 in the last month I have lost...

11.69 lbs of fat!! and only 0.31 lb of lean body mass. My body fat percentage went from 34.57 to 30.16% Yay!

Now I must be off. I am still working on what feels like a thousand projects at once, and I am not making much progress on them. It is hard not to get discouraged and just keep focusing on how wonderful it is going to be when the whole house is done (and re-done! my friend Ana -of the blog Home Styling is decorating my room, which we had never quite finished, she is also going to do L1's new room in the loft and turn the girls' room into L2's room (and guest room), which means we are already re-decorating the first room I ever finished!). The taxes are also calling me... ugh

OK, thanks for reading, I will try to post an update tonight with my menu for the day (I had buckwheat with dried blueberries and almond milk for breakfast). Oh and I will post a new recipe I made up for Marinated Mushrooms (very yummy!).

* Salads: I have discovered that Wendy's will make me one of their Baja salads without the chili, and most of the time they are willing to add extra guacamole and pico de gallo in exchange. They are very nice and very filling (they "whole" size)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Days 27 & 28, Why am I crabby all the time?

*deep breath followed by a long sigh*

**(OK Ilse, remember what you posted on Sunday, all that BS stuff about having to be HAPPY all the time... count your blessings dang it!)**

Good News:

1. L2 is still fever free! She went to her first ever soccer practice tonight. She is mouthy, she has an attitude, she demands attention constantly, I am having to yank her chain waaaay back... in other words, MY BABY'S BACK!
2. I have not gained weight (I have not lost any either, I weighed in at 173 again this morning) (I was already too crabby to measure myself too)
3. I got to go earn money at a job.
4. L2 got to have a lymphatic massage.
5. The house did not burn down while we were out.
6. The house did not burn down with us inside.
7. I got to spend a nice night with my girls (thanks to a bit of Silva meditation and a cup of white wine)
8. We finally named my tranny-sounding character (call me Yolanda!)
and, the best part of the day,
9. I got to teach L2 to blow gum bubbles!!

Wow, it really does work, I feel a little better.

OK, now on to the nitty gritty that I hate to get into...
I think this diet is making me crabby. I have been feeling either completely blah (Mendingación Imperial or Agüevación General, as my uncle used to say. Sorry, no good translation) or pretty bitchy most of the time.

I didn't want to blame the diet right away, but, the last few days I have started to contemplate the fact that, despite how much I have been recommending it, this diet might not be a good idea for me long-term.
I could change my mind in a couple of days... (OK this one is auditory, so I'll add my first video, this is my best imitation of those 1950's girl bands)

but right now I think this is not the life-long choice for me. 
I thought I could just be having a bad couple of days, but I consulted with the girls today and they agreed that I have become increasingly impatient and/or upset as Lent has progressed.

So, am I going to quit before Easter? ABSOLUTELY NOT (even though my body called me a few nasty names tonight for not giving it tortilla chips)

Am I going to eat A LOT more raw food after Easter? ABSOLUTELY YES

Do I think this diet has helped me overcome some of my food obsessions (addiction is such a strong word)? MOST DEFINITELY
Am I glad I am doing it? YESSSSSS!

Will I continue to recommend it as a way to detox and get your body more alkaline? MOST DEFINITELY

Will I be glad Easter morning when I can make myself an omelet with lots of grilled mushrooms, red peppers and some of our Sweet Sixteen natural, free-range pork sausage, followed by some of Little Lyla's Bakery's biscotti bites with a cup of Costa Rican coffee? OH HECK YEAH!!

So there you have it, as much as I hate to come across as flaky (despite my amazingly performed song above), I committed to being honest during this process (what's the point of doing the blog otherwise?).

I will hurry up and post this before I change my mind and delete the video. 


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 26, Why am I not ecstatic all the time?

Today was a pretty busy day, as Sundays are anymore, so I didn't get to post anything earlier.
I am also determined to get to sleep before 11:30pm (I was doing some research yesterday on the thyroid, because my weight loss seems to have plateaued and the first thing I read was "exercise and adequate sleep are essential for proper thyroid function", ugh! I turned off the the light at 11:15ish last night, and my goal is to do so before 11:30 for the rest of Lent (at least), unless I have a hot date with my husband of course!) so I have to make this quick.

Food wise today was a challenge, but I tried to keep a good attitude. Had my smoothie (thank God for my smoothie!) on the way to church, afterward we spent a while at Fellowship Hall visiting with people as they ate brownies with runny frosting (I meant that in the BEST possible way, these things looked incredible), tortilla chips with nacho cheese (!!!!!) and carrots/celery with ranch dressing. I had a few carrots with ranch.

Then we were invited to lunch at a friends house, we brought Asian Slaw (but I messed up and grabbed the curry instead of the ginger, so it was actually Sub-Continental Slaw*) and some Costa Rican style mashed black beans (so L2 could have some protein, she went vegetarian for Lent), she had prepared a great salad and an amazing smelling lasagna, oh, and chocolate cake. At one point our very gracious hostess brought out home-made garlic bread and put a slice on everyone's plate, including Loren's and mine. I immediately said, regretfully, "I can't eat it!" and she said "not even the bread?", her daughter said "it's cooked", and Loren said "BE NICE". So I spent the rest of the meal eating my salad with the piece of garlic bread (actual chunks of buttered, slivered garlic looking at me with bedroom eyes) sitting on my plate.

It was very nice to visit with friends.

Then we went to visit an elderly friend who has dementia and is in a nursing home. She was always a very busy woman who held important positions with lots of responsibilities, and she always worried about something. So now that she has no responsibilities and literally nothing to worry about, her brain seems to be stuck on her default setting, "Extreme Worry", and it creates elaborate and complicated scenarios, sometimes complete with menacing hallucinations, that range from worrisome to terrifying. She kept insisting on asking us for help with the (non-existing) situation that was worrying her, and no amount of reassurance would convince her that she was not going to have to drive to work alone in the dark. L1 and L2 were visibly uncomfortable and we were all at a loss as to what to do (L2 had the best idea and she drew her a Happy Easter card).

During this visit I had a life-altering epiphany (at least I intend to make it life-altering). I realized that I am no longer a worrier, thank God, but I am not yet an "enjoyer". This past week I have found myself cruising by on emotional neutral, not angry, frustrated or sad, but definitely not happy. And it HIT me....
Is my default setting apathetic??


In all seriousness, why am I not ecstatic all the time?

Now, I realize that it would be pretty unrealistic for me to expect that I can flip a switch and turn into a manic ball of appreciation 24-7, but I want my new default setting to be.... Happy and not just as in content happy, but as in bursting into spontaneous laughter happy. So if ever my brain were to deteriorate like hers has (cancel cancel!!) I will be a HAPPY old confused lady in a nursing home, or if I am in an accident that ends my life at a young age (CANCEL CANCEL), I will have enjoyed each day I had to the fullest (at least each day from today on!!).

Thank you for reading, I hope you will get something out of this too. Oh, and I ate more Sub-Continental Slaw* for dinner followed by dried apricots and apples.

*this was Loren's joke, he is upset I stole it.

PS. Tonight the moon is new, a perfect time to set intentions and get started on new projects and goals!!