Today marks 10 days of this new way of eating. I have a lot on my mind, mostly stuff I want to document for myself.
DETOX: So I've had a little bit of detoxing but nothing too excruciating. All of the things that have cropped up have been things I have dealt with before, I just got them all at once. I got an awful headache the first few days that nothing would touch. My skin has broken out in both acne and eczema, which I haven't had in a long time. I have not been wearing makeup through this challenge to let my skin detox more fully, so I have gone to work in all my blotchy-faced glory. Don't you wish you were me? Here's the special part for the people I work with: all of the sudden I had really stinky b.o. I don't use antiperspirant, only a natural deodorant, and believe me, this was way too strong for it. I dealt with it by extra showers, plus just using soap, water, and paper towels to scrubb my pits out every time I went to the bathroom, and it worked pretty well. I am uber happy that particualar symptom went away. The only other thing is that my bowels have been putting in some overtime, but I expected that, and I'm just glad to be getting rid of all that, well crap that has built up in my system. Heh. Enough with the TMI alreay. I do expect to have issues with detox as I go along from time to time, for several reasons: I am going for as much raw as I can manage, figuring with my compulsive personality there may be some slip ups. It happens. I am not going to beat myself up about it. Also, toxins are stored in fat, and from what I understand, I may continue to have symptoms as long as I am releasing extra weight, which for me will be a year or more. Again, that's ok with me. I see it as the price I am paying to make a long-term investment in my health for the rest of my life. Finally, there are toxins that I can't/won't give up just yet: blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, ibuprofen, coffee/tea. I need to go slowly and be gentle to myself. I have already cut down by a lot the amount of ibuprofen I was taking, because without the inflamation-causing foods, I feel somewhat better. But being almost 400 lbs is a very physically (as well as emotionally) painful condition, with back, knees and feet constantly groaning and complaining about carrying all of this around. I am not willing to bear my life in constant pain. I think as the weight goes, the ibuprofen will just be naturally phased out along with it, along with the need for the other medications. As for the coffee and tea...oh look! over there! something shiney! Heh.
RECIPES: I have made a simple sunflower seed cheese, flax crackers, and lots and lots of guacamole. I have two good books, Rawsome, by Brigitte Mars, and Raw Food Made Easy for One or Two People, by Jennifer Cornbleet. Plus I have been going on Gone Raw a lot and getting recipes, as well as lots of other sites like Vegan Menu and vegweb where I've always gone for recipes. I've got tons of resources, I am just bad about using them. Here's my little secret: I really don't love cooking. At all. I mean uncooking, but you get it. I would rather just make some guacamole and dip raw veggies in it: broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, cucumber slices, celery etc. Ditto with seed and nut cheeses and stuff. I love that I can do that, or have a big salad from my salad bar at work (I work at a medical facility and they use primarily locally grown organics on their salad bar. AWESOME.) What I am missing is sprouted grains and sprouted beans. I am eating way too many nuts. Part of my dislike of food prep is that I have so little time. I really do. I work way too many hours and then I volunteer with my kids' activities and take care of my aging parents. Housework takes a hit; I do it all on Saturday morning pretty much, when I can't stand it anymore. I get a lot of joy out of all these things. I love my job (most days) and the patients always, I have fun with my mom and my kids, and volunteering on costumes lets me have a creative outlet and lots of contact with other women. I do need to broaden my rep though, so I am going to take Chasmyn's suggestion and try one new recipe a week. Today I am trying "On The Road Bars" from Rawsome because I love the idea of having easy take along food. Do y'all know about Lara bars? They're raw, y'all! And delish beyond measure. I have ordered a case from Amazon as that is a cheap way to get them.
EQUIPMENT: I have a dehydrator, an American Harvest round one that I got at a thrift store (I try not to buy anything new that I can get second-hand to support recycling and to save moola.) I REALLY want an Excalibur. I think the AH gets way too hot. I think, if I am saving huge amounts of money from not eating fast food, (and I am) and taking the bus (which I have no choice about) I am entitled to my Excalibur, don't you think? Me too. BUT, I am saving for a car and for Christmas. And I do have the AH and don't really NEED the Excalibur. I will have to really chew on that one. I have one machine that is a blender which also has a food processor and you can switch them out. I love it and I am using it tons. It is an Oster, which I like because you can get repair parts easily for it, and I don't believe in throwing stuff out for environmental reasons. I believe it is called a Duo. Anyway, that seems to be working fine and I have no plans to drop a bunch of moola on a Vitamix. I used to have one but it died, tragically, in one of the many moves we made when we were homeless. I would love to have a juicer and an icecream maker so I haunt the small appliance section of thrift stores keeping my eyes open.
RAW ON THE CHEAP: Raw can be a really expensive way to eat. I am always looking for ideas about making it cheaper. Here are some ideas: Grow a big organic garden. I have no yard or I would do this. I do have tomatoes on my porch, which will soon become salad greens on my porch. I will probably rent a plot at a neighborhood community garden next year. Another idea is to go to some of the nut orchards around here and do you-pick since nuts are the most expensive thing. I better get to like Filberts (hazelnuts) as we have them in abundance in Oregon. But we have walnuts and other stuff too. I am really not sure what all, so I am excited to investigate. The you-picks will probably be my haunts for veggies and fruit too. Organic is the new black around here so it is easy to find good produce. I am shopping the bulk section, obviously. I find that the natural foods section of my regular grocery store, Fred Meyer, is oodles cheaper than my favorite natural foods store, which is People's Co-op. Guess I will stick with Freddies for most things. Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds and flax seeds are all really cheap. Raw almonds appear to be the cheapest nuts. I know that variety is important for nutrition, so I will get the other kinds as they go on sale.
ONE LAST THING: I was getting bummed about the little plastic bags that you get in the bulk section, so I used fabric scraps and made myself some simple cloth bags, that close with leftover yarn that I braided into a drawstring. (I wrote the plu's on a scrap paper, but you could also just continue to use the twist tie things at the store.) They are really colorful and fun since it was just leftover fabric, one is a silly cat print from some pajamas I made, another is made of calico quilt scraps. You could also recycle stained/worn out/out grown clothes and use them to make bags. I am thinking of using them for veggies too, instead of plastic. I get some funny looks at Freddies, but everyone who has asked me about them has said what a great idea. Maybe I'll start a trend!