Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where Do You Get Your Protein?

Our favorite question, right? The next time someone asks you, besides your usual answer of nuts, seeds, legumes and greens (did you know greens are 20% protein?!) you can tell them two new ones: chia seeds and spirulina.

One tablespoon of chia seeds is 2.7 grams of protein. I add two of them to my smoothies (they taste like nothing) and get more than 5 grams of protein right there. Then I add a tablespoon of spirulina, which has 5 grams all on it's own. That's more than 10 grams of protein in that one drink, before I add any fruits or greens! That rivals any commercial protein shakes that rely on casein (which The China Study links to cancer.)

Plus chia seeds reduce your cholesterol, provide wonderful Omega-3s and make you feel full. And spirulina is a great source of beta carotene and chlorophyll as well as lots of trace minerals and other vitamins. There are tons of other benefits that you can read about in the pantry.

I just got excited about this and wanted to share!

Building Up The Temple

So, um, Hi! I've been kinda quiet lately, 'cuz I didn't feel like I had anything good to say and I only want to put positive stuff out there. What you focus on expands; what you resist, persists; feed the positive dog, etc. I had been "stuck" at 125 lbs off (which is great place to be stuck, don't get me wrong!) since the International Day of Juice Feasting, and I was getting rather disgusted with the scale. I decided to go back to basics, because it works.

I think we get rather myopic as raw foodies sometimes look only our nutrition. I believe that nutrition is the utmost important foundation of our health (without it, you will undermine anything else you try to do) but that house also has to have other pillars or it will still come crashing down. Penni is always reminding us of this: "Stay hydrated! Keep cleansing that colon! Move your buns! It's not just about the cake hole!"

So I did a shocking thing, for stubborn moi: I listened to good advice. (I know, right?!) In recovery circles, they say, "Look for someone who has what you want and ask them how they got there." With the awesome "Raw Mom, Cooked Dad" this week, I had the amazing opportunity to hear from SO MANY wise people how they do health and it was cool to hear such a diversity of opinions, even if it did make me question some things. (It never hurts to have your mind expanded and examine your truths and question the answers.)

So I want to share my "Back To Basics" and see how it compares to yours.

My body temple is built like this: Nutrition is the foundation, and the pillars are Loving Movement (exercise), Restoration (sleep), Hydration, Nurturing (self-care), Service (caring for others), Spirit, Cleansing (internal and environmental), and Relationships.

Nutrition: My diet is pretty simple: I have green juice first thing in the morning, then a green smoothie mid-morning, a big ol' salad for lunch with an avocado and a sprinkle of a handfull of nuts, and a blended green soup for dinner. In the smoothie I add chia seeds and goji berries and a superfood powder called "super reds" that has everything from goji berries, acai, beet powder, blue berries and probiotics. In the blended soup it is half greens (and I am rotating my greens better!) and the other half tomato, carrot, celery, onion, lots of garlic, more chia, and VitaMineral Green. (The garlic and chia are for my cholesterol reduction program.)

Once a week, I have gourmet raw at Sunday Supper. Otherwise, I am keeping it basic and green.

Loving Movement: I am back to my mantra, "Exercise is not optional!" Every week day, I am at the gym by 5:30 a.m. on the treadmill or the eliptical. I love the eliptical but I couldn't do it before, because I didn't go fast enough to keep going. Now I am going quicker and my knees love the eliptical very much! I also lift weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I'm now doing Zumba at night on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday before church.

I know that exercise is doing awesome things for me: I've been told I "look smaller" than what I weigh. (Yay!) I have a LOT of weight to release, and exercise keeps that skin toned and tight because I don't want to look like a melted snowman naked. It keeps my lymph a-movin' and the colon moving too. It helps me deal with stress. It's good for my heart and lungs and coordination. And oh yeah: IT'S FUN. (That one still shocks me.)

Restoration: If you don't get enough sleep, you'll make too much cortisol and that means one thing: belly fat. That's right, I said it. The Buddah belly is not a good look for me! And it's deadly to have it around your heart. They've also proven that you'll release more weight if you get a good night's sleep. 7 hrs seems to be the magic number from the research I've done. I've made it a priority. I have to say, this is the easiest one. I do love a good snooze.

Hydration: In addition to my green juice, green smoothies, and green blended soups, I am also drinking plenty of spring water (we get it delivered at work and I fill 'er up.) I am wearing out a path to the loo but my skin looks and feels awesome and I feel great. Now that it is getting cold up here in the Pacific NW, I am drinking lots of Good Earth tea, which I love, and has such good ingredients: Red Rooibos (antioxidants!) Dandelion, Ginger, Ginseng, Rose Hips (vitamin C!) and the cinnamon in it makes it taste super sweet and no sugar at all. I do love a nice hot cup of tea on a cold day!

Self-Nurture: This is always a toughie for me. Time is my scarcest comody, and money is a close second. But again--not optional! I have made time for myself in the following ways: I make myself great meals, I make my bathroom a "spa" and do facials and skin brushing and hot/cold showers, I am reading a book I love, I dry my sheets with a sachet of organic lavendar, I sprung for pretty underthings, and I even popped for a 15 min chair massage yesterday--heaven!

Service: This has been fun. I've been volunteering with my son's musical theatre making costumes and hats. The show is coming together and looking awesome, and I love getting to be so creative and also having the chance to just sit around with other moms and gab and work communally.

I also consider shopping for and making nutritious meals for my kids as loving service. I try to look at house work as loving service as well, rather than drudgery. I once heard that being a good parent is as close as you can get to being like Jesus, and I love that. It is the spirit with which I serve that gives my life meaning, no matter how small that service.

Spirit: This is another of those things that is easy to take for granted or neglect. I have to make an appointment with myself and prioritize the time to just be with God, in prayer, in praise, and in the Word. Whatever your spiritual path, I think it is vital to health to make time for contemplation (what is the meaning of my life?) meditation (be still and go within) and fearless search for truth and meaning.

Cleansing: I am not going to talk about my colon cleansing. You're welcome. But I will say that I do it, and yes, I hate it, thanks for asking. lol But I love the results. I can't deny that I feel clearer and just BETTER. If I have a headache, it does the trick, just like that. Better than Advil and quicker too. (I got that from Charlotte Gerson, and it is totally true. Weird but true. If you have migraines, you owe it to yourself to try it.) I also use lots of chia seeds and flax seeds and I take a mineral supplement that has magnesium. Let's just say that the train leaves the station ON TIME, every time.

I also have cleaned up my house, literally: less clutter means less dust, better feng shui (I'm starting to believe in it), and I only use non-toxic stuff. I also use only coconut oil on my skin, my only beauty routine is some eyeliner and a smile, and I use organic hair stuff.

It's also important to air your house out daily, especially in fall and winter when it's counter-intuitive. Indoor air quality can be 5 times more polluted than outdoor, surprisingly. In addition to toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds) houses are full of furniture and plastics that off-gas nasty formaldahyde and worse, and even naturally occuring radon and carbon monoxide from heating sources. I open the doors for at least 15 minutes at least once a day. There have been studies that suggest this actually cuts down on cold and flu virus transmissions too.

It's also helpful to have air-cleaning house plants. I have spider plants and pathos which are super easy to grow and among the most effective at cleaning indoor air. Also grow sprouts and micro greens and eat them: clean the air and nourish your temple!

Relationships: Whoever you are, you need a support system. Relationships are vital to your health. You need to lovingly weed those negative people out of your garden. Negativity is toxic. If you are eating raw organic vegan and jogging ten miles, and then going home and being verbally abused, your health is still going to suffer. Everyone has a responsibility to take care of her own garden. Bless those negative people and love yourself enough to extract yourself from that situation. If you need help, get it.

Family and friends: my home team. I make sure that I make time for my kids. No matter what, I drop everything and snuggle up with Nora on the couch and reconnect every night. She's going off to college next year, and I cherish this last little time I get with her. I have a harder time finding time with Joe because he's a 15 yr old boy who loves the computer and movies, neither of which lend themselves to quality interaction. But I am making the most of our long car rides out to Oregon City for rehearsal, and we have good talks. And I make a point to tuck him in at night--even big old teens still like this.

I take my mom out and I call her and my sister lots. I do little stuff around the house for my parents. I bring treats for my dad. (Shh! Don't tell him they're raw! If he knew they were good for him he wouldn't touch them.lol)

I believe in saying I love you. I believe in long hugs and telling people what they mean to you, from the heart. I believe in making time for my friends, even when I don't feel like I have it to give. Tomorrow is promised to no one. You never know when this "I love you" or that hug is going to be the last one. Carpe diem, and Carpe amor, as well.


So after really getting my house in order these last few weeks, I am seeing progress all over my life. And the scale? She finally cooperated and moved another 10 lbs. (Good thing. I was SO breaking up with her if she didn't shape up!)

Your life is a canvas before you. What are you creating? Don't settle for a Elvis picture on black velvet, or a paint-by-numbers print of those cats with the big sad eyes! What are you willing to do to make it a masterpiece?

Addiction Medicine for Food Addicts Too

So you've discovered raw and living foods and you're doing great--you've got your food prep books and your youtube videos, you're cranking out kale chips and flax crackers like a champ and sporting your green smoothie mustache proudly. You feel great, you've never looked better, and you would secretly (or not so secretly) love to put everyone you know on raw and living food!

And then...some time goes by. And temptation starts to rear it's ugly head. Co-workers bring treats to the break room at work. Well-meaning family members make a special (non-raw) treat "just for you" or any other of a million scenarios, wherein, it happens, you slip up. There is no shortage of temptations for the person who chooses healthy options in a sick food world. Victoria Boutenko, in her book 12 Steps to Raw Food, demonstrates a lot of research that shows that there are many addictive compounds formed when cooking food. This would explain why so many of us have had issues with compulsive eating and being addicted to some foods, especially white flour, sugar, dairy products, especially cheese, and meats.

I'm of the belief that all addiction, be it alcoholism, drug dependency, sex addiction, shopping addiction, or food addiction, are all manifestations of the same condition. And yet, while there are inpatient treatment programs for alcohol and drug dependency, the person who is slowly eating herself to death gets told she just needs to eat less and exercise more. That is a lot like telling an alcoholic, "All you have to do is quit buying alcohol. There, problem solved!" We all know WHAT to do, don't we? And we raw foodies know better than anyone what a healthy diet looks like. It's the HOW to get ourselves to do it that's the problem, just like it is when dealing with any addictive substance.

With that in mind, I have borrowed techniques used in Addiction Medicine by the medical field, to treat alcohol and drug dependency, to cope with my own disordered eating. And now that God has relieved me from my compulsion, in and through His grace and power, it is my job to be vigilant and guard against going back to my old ways, and slipping back to that place where He was perfectly willing to help me, but I was not willing to take the help. Staying "sober" from problem foods, for me, requires rigorous honesty and willingness to remember that I am responsible for keeping myself on track, and being on the lookout for signs that my feet are falling off the path. Life is a series of course corrections. Before you can correct your direction, you need to realize you are veering off the path in the first place.

Here is a worksheet, that I've adapted from the Addiction Medicine Drug and Alcohol Dependency program, that addresses relapse. Relapse is more than the act of finding yourself at the drive through of Fatty Burger getting handed a greasy bag through a window. Relapse actually starts a lot earlier, in your head and in your behaviors, and has warning signs and symptoms. If we heed these signs, we have an early warning system that it's time to kick in our emergency plan and make sure that we are extra rigorous in following our loving limits and getting the support we need to keep from slipping. My hope and my prayer for you is that you will find this valuable for your journey, as I have.


1. Denial
2. Compulsive Behavior
3. Fear
4. Isolation
5. Depression
6. Daydreaming
7. Feeling hopeless
8. Confusion
9. Irritation/Anger
10. Irregular eating habits
11. Sleep problems
12. Listlessness
13. Loss of daily structure
14. Self-pity
15. Lying
16. Thoughts of eating trigger foods
17. Rejection of help
19. Dissatisfaction with life
20. "I don't care" attitude
21. Loss of constructive planning
22. Boredom
23. Stop checking in with support community/people
24. Controlled trigger food eating
25. Loss of control
26. HALTSS: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Sad, or Stressed

Which are your most likely symptoms?________________________________________________________

Cognitive Warning Signs: What thoughts do you have that are signs of imminent relapse? (What does the BRAT say to you to convince you that it's ok?________________________________________________________________________________________

Emotional Warning Signs: What feelings do you have that are warnings of possible relapse?_______________

Behavioral Warning Signs: What behaviors are you engaging in that make relapse more probable?___________

What can you say back to to those compulsive thoughts? Why is it important to you to avoid relapse?______

How can you constructively deal with your feelings without using your trigger foods or overeating?___________

What behaviors or situations do you need to avoid or change to put you back in a "safe zone"?_____________

What support people or structures (such as church, websites) can you reach out to?______________________

What specific trigger foods (or groups of foods)
have I identified that I must avoid?______________________________________________________________

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Amazing Update! Dave the Raw Food Trucker

We check in with Dave the Raw Food Trucker--how is he doing 6 weeks after his heart attack and stroke?! Just for perspective, at one point, half of Dave's body was paralyzed, he couldn't speak, and was hospitalized for 10 days. Through it all though, he STAYED raw, and has always seen himself whole and completely healed. People around the world (and especially at Raw Food Rehab) have sent him prayers and healing energy. See how that love is manifesting in Dave's miraculous healing!

We celebrated World Raw Food Day with 50 rawsome friends and Dave gave an inspiring talk. Have you checked out his website? http://www.therawfoodtrucker.com. You can always find me on Rawfoodrehab.ning.com, the best raw food website community. :)

No Matter What!

Of all the tools in your toolbox, what is the most powerful? What helps you stay raw more than anything else?

It's not your Vitamix, Blendtec, dehydrator, or food processor...
It's not your favorite uncook book or Youtube video...
It's not even your favorite website or your best raw food friends...

All of these are tremendously helpful. But nothing is more important to your raw food journey than something that can only come from you: YOUR MADE UP MIND.

You have to decide that you are doing this. You have to make peace with what you are deciding to leave behind for your highest good. You have to decide that you are are dedicated: No Matter What!

Until you really commit to those three beautiful words no matter what, you have a chink in your armor where excuses can seep in and eat away at your resolve.

I will love myself, no matter what.
I will nourish myself, no matter what.
I will believe in me, no matter what.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Finding Your North Star

Back in the days, before GPS and maps and routes, sailors had to navigate by the North Star--one true point in the sky that showed them where they were, where they were headed, and how to get there.

We need that with a raw and living foods diet. Have you defined what your North Star is for you? If you are vague, and say, "I want to eat more raw. I want to exercise more." you'll get VAGUE results. When you are confronted by a food, how will you know if it is on your plan, if you don't HAVE a plan? We need to have a crystal clear vision of where we are, where we want to go, and what we WILL and WILL NOT do to get there. Make sense?

So what is your North Star? This can be a defining statement. When I was on a juice feast, this was easy: "I drink fresh veggie juice. I don't have anything that is NOT fresh veggie juice." When I got off the juice feast, I wanted to stay 100% raw vegan. This was also easy. "I am a raw vegan. If it ain't raw, and it ain't vegan, it ain't going anywhere near my mouth!"

Now, I am going back to high raw, and, I have resolved to keep my diet very simple and basic (no gourmet for me on this Initiative. I find it messes me up during this weight-release portion of my life. I think it's awesome for people who can handle it.) So my North Star is more complicated, but I MUST define it. That definition is what makes raw EASY--the decision making is easy because the criteria has been set. Foods are either an easy "Yes, please!" or "No way." There is no fooling oneself with a "just this once..." or "I'll have a little bit..." Just-this-once and I'll-have-a-little-bit are not my friends! They mess me up, big time.

So here's what MY North Star looks like (because this is a very individual thing!):

My Personal Statement of Commitment: I am a HIGH RAW simple vegan. That means that my diet is all vegan, that it is 90% fruits and vegetables, with no more than a handful of nuts or seeds a day, and no more than 1 avocado daily. My focus will be simple raw fruits, raw veggies in simple salads or with all raw dips, green smoothies, green blended soups, and green juices. I will eat cooked beans and legumes (my personal decision) but no more than 1/2 c. per day.

My WON'T EAT List:
(for this iVault4 experience):
1. Sugars (except fruit)
2. Bread, pasta, or wheat of any kind
3. Meat
4. Dairy Products
5. Eggs
6. Dehydrated things (just for this initiative, going light and simple this time)
7. Gourmet raw (only exceptions: Sunday Supper because I feel it is "safe": I only get one serving and it is not in my house where it can get me in trouble. Plus the fellowship with other raw food Christians is very valuable to me. Other exception: Thanksgiving day, I will make myself a "fancy" meal to celebrate. It will be ONE SERVING of each item, and a ONE MEAL experience. No leftovers!)
8. Any COOKED food, except: 1/2 c./day beans/legumes

My Loving Limits:
(rules I make for myself that assist me in overcoming compulsive eating impulses)
1. No skipping meals.
2. "One and you're done" (have one plate of normal sized servings of food, and no more. No "seconds")
3. If it's not on my plan, it's not in my house. My home is a SAFE ZONE.
4. The kitchen is CLOSED after 7pm--don't go in there!
5. After a meal, wait at least 3 hrs before eating again. (Prevents "grazing" and overeating)
6. Exercise is not optional! (5 out of 7 days, minimum)
7. No parties that are just "eating orgies", buffets or all-you-can-eat ANYTHING. If you don't want to slip, stay off the ice! Don't put yourself in a situation that you KNOW will be too tempting for you!
8. Remember the acronym HALTS to halt compulsive behavior. Your resolve will be weaker when you are too: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Sad, (or Stressed.) Be on guard at these times and work out your emotions without turning to compulsive behavior.

Other Stars to Guide Me:
1. I will PLAN MEALS. I will make sure I have everything I need for the next day.
2. I will PLUG INTO SUPPORT. I will check into the 'Hab every day! I will support others!
3. I will JOURNAL daily. (So important for me.)
4. I will BE PREPARED and make sure the kitchen is "ready to rawk" daily: unload the dishwasher every morning, and make sure the kitchen is cleaned well every night.
5. I will take extra good LOVING CARE of my body: daily supplements, hot/cold/hot/cold showers, dry skin brushing, brushing/flossing daily (I've been bad at remembering to floss!) etc.
6. I will refresh my SPIRIT daily: I will pray morning and evening, read the Word before bed, and have my "walking devotion/praise music" time at lunch.
7. I will TAKE TIME just for me, doing things that make me HAPPY: Funny movies, good books, crafts, and hanging out with friends...

OK, it is YOUR TURN! (You knew that was coming, right?!) DO YOU have a North Star: a clear vision of where you are, where you want to go, and a crystal clear road map of exactly what you WILL DO and WON'T DO to get there? If you don't have a map, it is going to be so much harder to get there, if you make it at all.

Are you serious about your life, your health and your dreams? Or do you just talk a good game?

TAKE ACTION. DO IT NOW. (I just did. :) I double dog dare you!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back To Basics

So, um, I went on this juice feast. I kinda wrote about it a lot. Then 40 days went by, and I finished it strong, and I broke the feast, slowly and carefully, like you are supposed to. And all was well in HeatherLand. And then.

I had this GREAT plan: I was going to eat really simply during the day, and make fabulous, gourmet dinners for me and the teens. I had my menu all planned out and I got all excited about it. In fact, I got TOO excited about it.

You see, the meals came out awesome. Too awesome! For my newly juicy, nicely cleansed palate, the food was an overload of flavor and deliciousness. It was also heavy on the nuts and seeds and salty stuff like nama shoyu.

Raw gourmet can be one of the tastiest, most exciting cuisines imaginable. Last Sunday, I went to Sunday Supper. I had a wonderful raw dinner catered by an amazing chef. It was wonderful. TOO wonderful. I wanted to eat and eat.

Monday, I made delicous raw tacos: I dehydrated some tortillas, and made "refried beans" from soaked and seasoned sunflower seeds, and I had lots of avocado, and I made sure to include lots of veggies by making my own wonderful salsa (tomatoes, sweet onions, a milder red jalapeno, the juice of one tangerine, cilantro and some mango.) The good news? They turned out great! The bad news: they turned out great! I couldn't stop eating them!

Tuesday, I made zucchini noodles with a simple marinara that was just freshtomatoes, sun-dried (non-oil packed) tomatoes, a little sweet onion, garlic, a date or two for sweetness, some Italian herb seasoning and a lot of fresh basil. I served it with a big green salad. And? No problem. It was all light, all veggie, and it didn't make me want to overeat.

Wednesday, I ate leftovers and my MIL brought over some SAD vegetarian food for the kids. I found myself hugely tempted (but not so much I gave in. Thank you God! But I'm no angel or superwoman. I get VERY tempted. I am just sayin'.)

Thursday, I made an attempt at super-fancy raw Asian cuisine. I made cilantro-lime pate (sunflower seeds, cilantro, lime, celtic salt, flax seed oil). I made Asian dressing (tahini, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, nama shoyu, sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar.) I took some kale, grated carrots, and sea vegetables and marinated them in the Asian dressing. Then I took a raw nori sheet and put some of the pate, and some of the marinated veggies and a cut up avocado into it and made sushi. Then I made kelp noodles. I made a broth for them out of almond butter (I made my own in my awesome juicer!) and miso, and it was really bland so I added a lot of the Asian ginger dressing and lo, it was awesome. All this took me, oh, forever. It was past 8pm and we were all starving. I plated it all up fancy-like, snapped a picture or two for my facebook (lol), and we fell on it and snorked it down like wolverines. And again, it was yummy. Too yummy! And it felt heavy and salty. Again, I had a hard time knowing when to stop feeding my face.

By Friday, I realized that my plan of all-raw but gourmet dinners wasn't really working for me. But I had dehydrated these wonderful corn chips and some amazing onion bread. I hogged out on chips and salsa and the raw pizza I made with the onion bread. Saturday, I drank smoothies all day, then hogged out on the raw pizza again.

Now it is Sunday, and I am saying, ENOUGH. I have no desire to keep over-eating, raw or not! Some people can handle all these delicious raw gourmet meals and fancy desserts. I wish I was one of them, but I am not. By the grace of God, I have been relieved of my compulsions. But I also know that for my highest good, there are places that I should not let me go. Do you know what I'm sayin'? Can I get an Amen, my brothers and sisters? 'Cuz Mama always said, "If you don't want to slip, stay off the ice."

Last week was way too slick for me. All that heavy food was reawakening cravings in me for the SAD, and for the least healthy of the raw as well. I have been 400 lbs, and I have a healthy fear of it. I ain't a-going back there!

So new plan, which is really my old plan, the one that I used to release 125 lbs in the first place: green smoothies, blended green soups, salads and fresh fruits. Lots of fruits and veggies, just a wee bit of nuts and seeds, and no more than one avocado a day makes a Happy Healthy Heather.

The moral of the story for me? Keep it simple. Now I am singing the Shaker song in my head:

"'Tis a gift to be simple,
'Tis a gift to be free,
'Tis a gift to come down to (come up to!)
Where we ought to be.
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of hope and delight!"

This Sunday, I am thanking God for good friends, good simple food, and so many blessings my heart can almost not contain them all. Have a beautiful and blessed week everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Juicy Life--Breaking the Fast, The Final Chapter

Today is the last day I will be blogging about my Juicy Life. I consider my juice feast completed to success.

I have a lot to say today but I woke up late, and skipping the gym is not an option! I hope you'll come back tonight when I'm sure I'll have FASCINATING things to say! (Note to self: think of something fascinating!) Ciao for now!

Ok, I'm back! Did you miss me? I feel like I should say something profound about this whole experience, but I also feel like I already said what I had to say on Day 40 and with my video. I guess all that's left to do is to think about what I will take away from this experience.

I feel really proud that I was able to make it for the whole 40 days. I feel good about what I was able to do for my body. I detoxified at a deep, cellular level, and I released 35 lbs over the 40 days. I exhibited a lot of self-control and deepened my relationship with God as He got me through it. I was able to work on limiting beliefs, get rid of clutter, and bring up areas in my life where I was still holding on to pain or unforgiveness, and send healing love to those places. I made a great friend, and almost lost him right away. I learned to never take the people in your life for granted. They are a gift from God and should be regarded as such.

Most of all, when I look back, I will cherish this time for the friendships I've made and the special people who I am extremely privileged to have in my life. Penni, (Shelton, of rawfoodrehab.com)you are an extraordinary woman. You have been so good to me, so nurturing and encouraging, generous, loving, a wise mentor and a gorgeous red-headed cheerleader all rolled into one. I asked you once where you hide your wings. You said you're no angel but you can't fool me...I'm still looking for them...

Susan (Penni's right-hand woman at RFR), I can always count on you for encouragement and to always hold the high ground of positivity. You are such a shining light in this place, and in this world. The mansion would not be half the place it is without you. I feel so lucky to have you as my mansion "Resident Assistant"!

Rather than an ending, I feel a new beginning coming on. I want to spend some more time with my new "in real life" friends, Annette and Mauri and Thubten, and my new Seattle friends. My new friends in the computer, no less dear, I will have more time to read all your blogs and write back and forth to you and join with all of you as we all get radiantly, ridiculously healthy and gorgeous and deliriously ecstatic. And then we go out and heal the world with our love and we all live happily ever after. Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Juicy Life--Breaking the Fast, Day 6


Well, you can say my feast is well and truly broken, now. :) Every week, in Milwaukie, Oregon, (a suburb of Portland) we have an organic raw vegan meetup called "Sunday Supper." We are completely spoiled! Three weeks in the month, this is a dinner with a theme catered by various local raw food chefs. The supper is hosted by Gabrielle Chavez, who wrote The Raw Food Gourmet: Going Raw For Total Well-Being. Once a month, in lieu of a catered dinner, we have a potluck, and that has been fun, too.

This week, Gabrielle prepared the dinner, and we had not one, but three chefs there! Andy, whose last name I don't remember, but he is a well-known raw chef in the Portland area, was there, even though he has been on a juice feast for (get ready for it: 172 days! He is going to do 200!!! Needless to say, no one was impressed with my 40 days at all, lol) Julia, another un-cookbook author, catered the dessert with one of her amazing pies from her book "Sweet and Raw Pie Mandalas." Nearly everything we ate (besides the avocados!) was grown on Gabrielle and Thomas Chavez's organic farm in Oregon City.

Here's the Menu:

Pizzamoles Topped with Minh's Marinated Tomato Madness

Fruit 'n Nut Crunchy Salad

Savory Greens of Summer Soup

Julia (Divinia Alchemy)'s Prize "Sweet Mandala" Pies

So what is a "pizzamole" you might ask ('cuz I did.) Ok, a pizzamole is a 3 by 6inch piece of raw onion bread (uber yum, recipe in the kitchen) spread with a recipe Gabrielle got from Mihn (of Ronnie and Mihn). It is simply mashed up avocado that you add a little bit of lemon juice and about a teaspoon of unreconstituted miso paste to. It was sooooo delicious! On top of the avocado were cherry tomatoes that had been marinaded in an Italian-type raw vinaigrette overnight and then dehydrated just a little bit to concentrate the flavors.

The pie had a goji-berry and almond crust (really interesting flavor) and was an apple-creem pie with a goji-chia seed jam on top. It was amazing, and the tiny sliver I had, I enjoyed immensely. Everything else was good, too, but the pizzamoles and the pie really stood out.

So it was probably not the best idea to indulge in dense, dehydrated raw gourmet 6 days after ending my juice feast. I have no regrets, however. All day long, I stuck with veggie juice and green smoothies and greens based blended soups, and that's what I'll be having today, as well. This was my pre-planned celebration meal, and I enjoyed and appreciated every scrumptious bite, in the company of lovely friends. Isn't that the way that we are meant to experience food?

Doing this juice feast has renewed my taste buds and refreshed my palate to enjoy the delicious, simple flavors of raw and living foods. I never even add salt to any of my blended soups, because I add celery and greens and I can "taste" the salt in them.

After Sunday Supper, we gather for a spiritual fellowship time (the meal is held at a church) and almost everybody stays for it. We read a passage of the Bible and share what it meant to us, what questions we have about it, and then we pass around a soft, squishy globe of the world and everyone picks a place on it to pray for and send loving blessings toward. Then we pray together for anything or anyone else we may want to, and have communion (with raw bread and raw fresh-pressed grapejuice!) What I love about this service is that probably half or greater of the people may not even identify themselves as Christians...and yet we can all gather together in peace and love and harmony and discuss scripture and send love to the world and pray and break bread together as sisters and brothers.

I feel so blessed to have connected to my raw community. If you haven't done that, you are cheating yourself. If you don't have one by you, start one. It can even be profitable--at this one, everyone gives a love offering of $10-20 for the meal (totally worth it for a raw, vegan, organic, gourmet 4 course dinner) and whoever volunteers to be chef (with lots of help from the rest of the group) gets to keep whatever $ is leftover after buying ingredients. I have heard some of our chefs say they made $300 in one night. (It is very well-attended, and most of us have great organic gardens. :)

Raw foodie cannot live on raw bread alone! Friendships are a gift and connection is vital to make this not just a lifestyle, but a life. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Juicy Life--Breaking the Fast, Day 5

Oh my goldfish--I was almost done writing this post and my browser crashed and I lost it all! I am starting to sense a little of what poor Penni has gone through with her computer crashing multiple times. Ack! *shakes fist at computers in general, then takes it back because really, she loves them*

Ok, my other post, was SO MUCH BETTER, (trust me! lol) but here's the gist. I stayed on green smoothies just fine yesterday. All the cravings were gone. I am SO happy that I didn't give in to temptation or I would most likely still be feeling the after effects right now.

It was so much easier to be sipping my smoothie all day while working in the Sweat Shop (costume department of my son's musical theatre.) I was busy doing patterning from the designer's sketches (harder than it sounds.) And then I got to work on what I really love: hat making. That is my specialty in the company. So yesterday, I got to get started on 12 cute red fez hats with tassels for 12 even cuter little girls (of course I will post pictures when they're done) and one tiny little red fez for a stuffed monkey. The monkey is Mr. George, my son's chimpanzee puppet (Joe is a talented puppeteer) and he just felt that Mr. George really ought to have a fez. Naturally. So I was happy to oblige. :)

When I get the fezes done, I get to make spoon-bill bird hats. I love making the "critter" hats--I do it muppet-style, with big halved ping-pong balls for the eyes, and huge fake eyelashes to really make the characters come alive. This is my favorite kind of hat making--last year I was fighting with buckram to make forms for what became glamorous pill box and bowler hats, and it was frustrating because every little mistake shows on that kind of hat. Plus, the directors I work with have a very clear idea of what they want, but they aren't always great at communicating it TO ME. It's more like they'll know it when they see it, lol. Finally, it is a fine line between Glamorville and TackyTown when you are doing fancy hats. The character hats are much more my style!

It is so much easier to stick with my green smoothies when I am busy in creative activity. I barely even noticed all the ladies horking down the baked goods people invariably bring to the Sweat Shop until some of them asked me how I can resist. (Every other year, I was right in there, horking away with them. It was my favorite part of the Sweat Shop!) They say, "Idle hands are the devil's playthings," and while I don't know about that, lol, I do know I find it so much easier to resist temptation when I focused on something I enjoy.

So I decided I am going to stick to the following, until I get sick of it: green juice every morning, then a green smoothie with fruit later, a savory "soup" green smoothie for mid-afternoon, and a fancier, raw dinner for me and the kids. Why? It's all about the greens, baby! The green juice doesn't take so long, now that I only have to make 1 quart instead of 4, and the green smoothies take maybe two minutes to make. So it is quick, convenient, full of fiber, alkalizing, healthy and yummy. Plus, I can "drink my lunch" while I'm at my desk, and still have my whole lunch hour for walking/prayer/meditation time.

If I get bored with this, I can switch it up. I don't think I will because I am going to making exciting dinners. During my juice feast, I got clarity about the fact that what I was doing was not working for me. I used to take some time and make a yummy, cooked dinner for the kids. Then I would grab an avocado and some pre-made salsa and call it dinner for me. I saw that I need to put just as much effort into making a nice dinner for myself as I do for my children. Plus, it was really tempting, having to cook those foods, wanting to taste while cooking to check the flavor, and having the left-overs in the house to tempt me. And my kids are perfectly game to eat raw, as long as it TASTES GREAT.

With that in mind, I think I have a winning line-up of dinners this week. (By the way, I always do the same cuisines on certain nights of the week. That is my tip for you because it makes meal planning a snap. You'll see what I mean:)

Sunday--Sunday Supper--This is an awesome weekly raw vegan meet-up I go to every week (when I am not juice feasting!) I am so lucky to have this weekly gathering! It is catered by local, raw professional chefs and talented amateurs from the group.

Monday--Mexican--Raw Tacos (walnut taco "meat" in romaine taco-shells) with guacamole and fresh salsa and raw corn chips

Tuesday--Tuscan--(or any Italian!) Zucchini spaghetti marinara, big green salad and flax "garlic bread"

Wednesday--What's Left Wednesday: a time to eat up any left-overs! (if none, it's every diner for himself!)

Thursday--Thai One On--(Actually any asian food, but Thai One On works so well!) Kelp noodle Pad Thai, and nori-rolls with cilantro-lime pate, and Asian Persuasion Coleslaw

Friday--Pizza Night! Raw flax cracker pizza with raw pizza sauce, rawmigan and toppings and a big green salad

Saturday--SS&S--Soup, Sandwich, and Salad Bar Make dehydrator "bread" and tortillas, and provide all manner of yummy pate, nut cheeze, and fresh veggies to make-your-own sandwich and salad how you like. Serve with gazpacho or other raw soup.

Now do you think I'll get bored with a menu like that? I don't! It's all about the planning, my Raw Scouts! All about the planning!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Juicy Life--Breaking the Fast, Day 4

So, yesterday was second verse, same as the first. I skipped breakfast (I never do that but I needed to get a fasting blood test) then came home and started with 1quart green juice. Then I made myself a green smoothie (just 50%greens and 50%strawberries + lemon juice) and another blended soup (50% greens + carrot, celery, lemon juice, red bell pepper, heirloom tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, 1/4 of an ancho chili, seeds and veins removed.) And then it happened. My appetite came back, with a vengeance. I didn't even want my smoothies. They didn't appeal to me. I felt like I would rather have nothing than have those smoothies. It was so weird. It is not like me at all.

My kids made homemade pineapple pizza for dinner. (Whole wheat crust, low-fat cheese, homemade organic sauce, but I still think it's a train wreck...) And I wanted it! I really wanted it, especially the cheese. I felt myself going there. I was reaching to nibble, just a little bit of the melted cheese...its not really cheating...just this one little bite...

And BAM! I put that Brat right into TIME OUT! Oh yes, she was piping up, big time. The same Brat that talked me into so many binges, once upon a time. But that day, is not TO-DAY. I took my life back, and I'm not giving it back.

I quickly pulled out the organic prunes I bought to help break the feast. I counted out 6 of them, and gobbled them down. (I was supposed to soak them, but I didn't trust myself to do that with the smell of pizza in my nose.) Then I immediately went and got in the shower. It is very difficult to eat pizza in the shower! So I felt safe there. And I prayed for strength to face the temptation and waited until it passed.

I could be telling you such a different story this morning, about how I blew it, but I forgive myself, etc.
But I'm not. I share this story because I think it's important to know that:

1. Just because you have a craving, you don't have to act on it! Sometimes they are STRONG but you are stronger.
2. I should never have skipped breakfast and not had even juice till noon. I never should have let that pizza be in my house. My house is a safe-zone! Mama always said, "If you don't want to slip, stay off the ice!"
3. When you hear the voice of your Brat (or your Beast, or whatever you call your addictive voice) that should be the equivalent of lights and sirens and a funky old robot waving it's arms and hollering "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!" Enact your emergency plan immediately!
4. HAVE an emergency plan! Cravings will come. They just will. There will be times when the temptation is great.

My emergency plan looks like this:
1. Recognize the signals. (The Brat trying to talk me into it.) SOUND ALARM!
2. Talk back to the Brat! Tell her NO! I decide what goes in my face, not her.
3. Remind self: I am a RAW VEGAN. If it ain't raw, and it ain't vegan, ITS NOT FOR ME!
4. Eat something healthy that IS raw and vegan, immediately!
5. Get far away from the temptation!
6. Do an incompatible activity. An incompatible activity is one you can't do while eating. So far I have take a shower, go swimming, knit, and um, couples have another option, if you get my drift. AND I THINK YOU DO. (Alas, I am gloriously single, sooo...)
7. Pray for help. (and to stop thinking about #6, lol)

This is what works for me. If you are not a person of faith, instead of the #7, you could get on-line and get support here. I do that in addition to the others, so that would be my:
8. Check into the 'Hab and get some support.

Bottom line: You NEED A PLAN. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! You can have excuses, or you can have success, but you can't have BOTH! (that was for Susan because I know she will love it. :) Because it's true.)

So, I decided it is time for some solid food. I am still starting with green juice and I will have one of my smoothies I already made but I am going to eat some melons a few hours after that. (Melons: eat them alone, or leave them alone! They digest really quickly.) And then I am going to whip up some raw food entrees to get me through the week, and even get the dehydrator going. Even if I don't eat the heavier food (and I am going to try not to for at least until day 7 post feast) I want to feed it to the teens so I won't have to deal with cooked temptation any more. At least if it's raw temptation, the consequences are much smaller if I "sample" some. Nora loves her some raw nori rolls filled with Cilantro-Lime pate. Joe is a sucker for raw ice creem. (Who isn't?) We all like raw crackers and kale chips. And the crackers I love take forever to dehydrate and are mostly veggies anyway (Abeba The Krazy Kracker Lady's Bar-b-q chips which are really a version of flax cracker.)

Oh, about that blood test? My cholesterol is back up to 206! (It was down to 140 before, but that was on medication + vegan diet.) Ok, color me bummed. Because I just got off a 40 day juice feast, and if that isn't healthy and low-fat then nothing is. And I haven't had any animal products in so, so long. There is no dietary cholesterol coming in, AT ALL. None. Zilch. Nada.

Which can only mean that I am still making too much, myself. I do have a gene that causes "Familial Hyper Lipidemia." My daughter has it too, but my son dodged the bullet. (My mom has it also. Her cholesterol was so high the first time they tested, they did it twice to see if the test malfunctioned. She is SOOOO not vegan...) This gene causes your own liver to make too much cholesterol, and unfortunately, it's the "bad" kind, the LDL. (It also makes it much more likely that you will be overweight, but I refuse to use that as an excuse!)

Alright, this means war. Me against the gene. My doctor wants me to go back on the statin drug, of course. She would, wouldn't she?! lol I am going to try dietary approaches: I am eating 1-2 cloves of garlic a day, plus chia seeds in my smoothies AND pysillium. I am going to research more dietary cures, but those I know about off the top of my head. (Anyone want to suggest others?)

Ok, your mission, if you choose to accept it: Design an emergency plan (if you don't already have one) and tell me about it in the comments.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Juicy Life--Breaking the Fast, Day 3

Day 2 was pretty much identical to Day1, because I had leftover green smoothie and blended soup so I had 1 quart green juice in the a.m, 1 quart green smoothie at lunch, and 1 quart green soup for dinner. Again, I was very full and satisfied each meal and didn't really want to eat anything else.

The lovely Star asked me:

I do have two questions for you which I'd love to hear your answers to:
1) How do you feel different physically?
2)How do you feel different emotionally?

I want to focus on just the juice feast stuff, first. For physically, I would have to say my appetite has gone down markedly. I don't know if this is a temporary effect, or if it lasts only until I stretch my stomach back out, or what. I just know that I think it is a really good thing. :) Other changes have also all been positive: I hate to keep going on about my skin, but dang! It is so soft and I barely wear a speck of make-up--maybe some eye-liner and some hemp lip gloss. The tone is really even now and any noticeable blemishes have gone away. I would have to say that is all from the juice. My stomach is flatter. I no longer feel like I look pregnant, which is a plus. I see other signs that the systemic candida infection that I had is seriously under control.

Other good stuff physically is probably from having released 125 lbs. If you will indulge me, I do want to catalog them, to be reminded of how this is all worth it, and to give hope to other people who are seriously obese. I'm not even close to my goal weight (I am exactly at the half-way mark) but already I have had the following good effects (in the order they showed up):

* I sleep peacefully through the night (I used to have nightly anxiety attacks and insomnia)
* My life-long battle with acne is over. I WON.
* No more eczema, flaky, red, ugly patches on my eyebrow, cheek and chin. No more, "What's that on your face?" questions either
* Plantar facaiitis (severe heel pain) in both feet has gone away
* Increased energy. No longer fall asleep in front of tv at 7pm every night. Only need 7 hrs of sleep instead of 10+
* Able to exercise much longer--more stamina and able to walk much farther and faster
* No more skin and other kinds of yeast infections. 'Nuff said about that!
* Back and knee pain gone. When I do strain my back, I'm better in a day, not a month
* No more scary heart palpitations
* Got off all my prescription medications (with my doctor's full knowledge and consent! VERY IMPORTANT!)
* No more heart burn and gross acid in my throat.
* No more embarrassing gas, or the tummy cramps that came with it
* Normal elimination--no diarrhea or constipation (a little diarrhea on the juice feast but not normally)
* Only 2 chins :) Face looks so much thinner
* Much flatter belly--no longer look 9 months pregnant
* Much more flexible--able to reach all my body parts :)
* My seat belt fits! (I went years without wearing one and scared myself a lot.)
* I can fly on a plane and don't need to ask for the seat belt extender. (So embarrassing!)
* I can fit in movie theatre and auditorium seats. I no longer "spill over" into other people's seats!
* It sounds braggy, but people say my skin glows. ALL the time. Even strangers.
* My eyes are brighter and clearer.
* I have released 125 lbs, more than 105 of it in 9 months. I've gone from a 5X in clothes to a 2X and still shrinking.

As far as emotionally:

* I am ridiculously cheerful 99% of the time. I just feel so happy and blessed! I used to hear Shazzie talk about "ecstatic living" and I thought she was over-the-top. I get it, now.
* I have a much more even-keeled mood. I feel in control of my emotions.
* No more crying at work (thank goodness! so unprofessional...)
* My relationship with my kids is better than ever
* No more anxiety attacks (I listed this as physical and emotional, because it is!)
* I have forgiven people for the unforgivable. :) I have sent love and healing to my past, and released myself and everyone else from the pain of my childhood. I am free to love.
* I have super-strong self-control muscles. I have been relieved, by the grace of God, of my compulsions to overeat. (This blows my mind! I had NO self-control. Zero. Zip. Amazing!)
* When my Brat pipes up in my head, I know just what to say to shut her up. :)
* I am no longer depressed. I have hope for the future and I am focused on making it amazing
* I have much more empathy for other people. Relieved of my own pain, I have energy to help others

I could probably go on and on, but if that is not a testimony to the live food diet, I don't know what is. Again, I give all the glory to God, and I always will. I am a walking, talking mass of pure gratitude!

I want to say that when you see a person who is severely overweight, you are most likely seeing someone who is enormous physical pain, all the time. They may be responsible for getting themselves there, but it is not like they want to be where they got! They may have built the prison, but it's not like they know where the door is. They haven't figured out yet how to get themselves to do what they desperately want to do. People often add to the pain by being cruel. People recognize alcoholism and drug addiction as serious conditions, and know that people must get help to get better. But obese people are told "just eat less and exercise more." Wow! Thanks, Doc! Why didn't I think of that?! Why not tell the crack addict, "Just stop buying any more crack! Problem solved!" And think of this: what if that crack addict was trying really hard to be sober, but on literally on every corner, there was a crack vendor? I mean every gas station, store, even crack vending machines, and commercials on late night tv enticing him, "You want crack, right now!" That is what it is like for a food addict. Now imagine that the crack addict could not completely abstain, but had to have a little crack to survive--but too much would kill them. Again, that is the lot of the food addict.

My plea is for compassion. Love your neighbor, no matter the size. There are people with eating disorders who get told how they look thin and beautiful, like they have it all together, and inside they are suffering enormous pain. Don't judge a person by her size. Don't judge a person. :) Easier said than done. But pain is pain. We all need each other to get by in this world. Heal the world with your love and compassion.

I have been so blessed to feel SO MUCH love and amazing compassion and empathy. Raw people are the nicest people. Period. :) That healing love has helped me in immeasurable ways.

As for today's plan, I am doing green juice again this morning, followed by more smoothies. My body is telling me it is the right thing to do. :) Maybe I will have solid food tomorrow? For now I am so enjoying fiber and the loveliness of fruit and feeling full and nourished.

The Juicy Life is becoming the Smoothie Life. All I can say is, "Yum!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Juicy Life--Breaking the Fast, Day 2

Yesterday went really well! I woke up and had my green juice--it was so much quicker and easier to make 1 quart than 4! That was really yummy. I have decided I love tomato as the base for my green juice and I am not so crazy about cucumber. And not just because I always cut my fingers when I am trying to cut cucumbers! I think I just o.d.ed on them. Yesterday's juice was a lovely tomato, celery, romaine, and sweet red bell pepper. I plan to continue drinking at least a quart of low-glycemic veggie juice every morning. My juice feast showed me what the juice can do for your skin and for your workout regime. I wish you could see Mauri's skin up close--she is stunning. Juicy girls have the glow! Just look at Penni!

I find it a little hilarious that I ended up with good skin, too. I had TERRIBLE skin all my life. I had lots of acne, until I was 38. (I am convinced that dairy causes acne for lots of people. When I "forced" my kids to go vegan for a while, their teenage skin cleared up beautifully. Once they started drinking milk again, it was back to Zitville.) On top of that, my face was always bright red, which I found out was from using conditioner that I was allergic to. I just thought it was my normal, so I went around looking sunburned for years. In case that wasn't enough, I had scaley, red patches of what I thought were eczema but what I believe now were candida yeast on my face. Sexy! I'm sharing this to give you hope if you have skin problems. Raw vegan food and especially a juice program and you will get the glow fo' sho'.

The rest of the day, I broke the fast with green smoothies. I went to Limbo and got a HUGE package of mixed organic greens for a dollar. (Oh how I adore thee, Limbo!) People, this bag o'greens is the size of a pillow case. So I filled my Vitamix half way with packed greens (gotta use them up!) and the rest of the way with fresh organic strawberries (lower glycemic than other fruit), fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a couple of nectarines that were nice and ripe and needed to be eaten and made a DELICIOUS smoothie! It was so good, and so filling with all that fiber. I kind of felt a little stuffed after being on juice and basically being hungry for 40 days. I wasn't hungry again for about 4 hrs!

Then I made a blended soup, just to have another taste. Again, I filled the Vitamix half-way with packed greens, and added 4 heirloom organic tomatoes, the juice of one lemon, 1 red bell pepper, 4 stalks of celery for salt, 2 carrots for sweetness, half a small red onion, 1/4 of an ancho chili (seeds and veins removed) and 1 clove of garlic. I processed it in the Vitamix and made a soup that was absolutely delicious to my cleansed, juicy palate.

I had a quart of each kind of smoothie and that's all the food I wanted yesterday. My stomach has definitely shrunk on the juice and I am happy with less food. I felt so good and so satisfied and FULL. I think this is the perfect way to break the fast--easy on the belly, and full of lots of greens. I'm hooked on the GREEN. (Not quite as hooked as Dave, though! Did you see him drinking all that wheatgrass juice in the video?! No wonder he looks so great less than 2 wks after a heart attack and stroke! The man is a green juice drinking MACHINE.) My next project will be to grow some wheat grass trays and start juicing it. I was very inspired by the fine Dr. Brian J. Wright. :)

Yesterday, after taking care of the wound care for Mom's foot, I decided on a whim to go to a store near her house that I know has lacy underthings for really cheap. It used to be that I was a bigger size than what they carried, and my "lingerie" consisted of granny panties and industrial-strength, extra-ugly bras that required more engineering than the Brooklyn bridge, and showed it! I am very embarrassed to confess that I have still been wearing my 400 lbs underwear. It was so comfy! And I'm on a tight budget...and no one really ever sees it, and there just didn't seem like a good reason to replace it...except. They started FALLING off me. Like, literally. And since I prefer dresses and skirts most of the time...yeah, so not good, that. So! I was lured by the siren's call to figure out what Victoria's secret really is. Then I decided, Victoria can just KEEP her secret, because this place has CUTE stuff for so, so CHEAP. Cheap is my favorite, people! I got two bras--really cute, sexy bras! No matter that I'm the only one who'll ever see them. :) And some other unmentionables except I am totally mentioning them, aren't I? Because it's just underwear. We all wear it, hopefully. But these actually stay on and you probably wouldn't run screaming if you saw them, and they are pretty and actually you know, FIT.

I think it was a good reward for 40 days of juicy discipline. And Mama always said, "Cover your buns!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Juicy Life--Breaking the Fast, Day 1

Every body sing along, "Looks like we made it!" I did it. I got through 40 days of nothing but low-glycemic veggie juice. (Oh, and an unfortunate onion/cantaloupe incident. We shan't speak of it!)

So I know, inquiring minds want to know, how much weight did you release on this juice fast Mallory/Heather/Bob? Well, I'm glad you asked. When I started, I had taken off 90 lbs overall, and was "stuck" at a plateau. Yesterday, I weighed in at 277 lbs, which means I have released 125 lbs overall, and that would mean I have taken off 35 lbs during the 40 days of my juice feast! Not bad! I am almost more excited to see my measurements, because I feel like I had a lot of candida die-off, and my stomach doesn't stick out as far. I had someone tell me that when she saw me in the Little Black Dress at the juice feast, I didn't look like I weighed as much as I do. And then my face almost cracked in half because I smiled so hard! I believe that is just the magical powers of the Little Black Dress (she is very powerful, lol) but I also think that it might just have something to do with the fact that I exercise a lot more than your average 277 lb woman? Also, I had systemic candida and I am thinking that the low-sugar diet starved the little yeastie beasties out and made my tummy flatter. (Did you know that in the Bible, yeast is always symbolic of sin? If you've ever had a yeast infection, you'd believe it!)

Today I am going to get right up and start breaking my fast with...a quart of low glycemic veggie juice! Ha! I got you. Yep, I am still going to stick to juice before noon because of what I've read about optimally breaking the fast and the advice of my natropath, whom I happen to call Dad. lol It's because some people think you should not have fiber before noon, since that is when your body is in an elimination phase. If you make it switch from elimination to digestion, that's mean, or something. Actually, I think it just can't do as good of a job of eliminating. It's like when you're trying to get something done and your kids keep bugging you. lol

Plus, it isn't like I'm going to chuck the juice just because the juice feast is over. I still believe that low glycemic veggie juice is one of the most loving, beneficial things you can give your body. It is an easy way to get those greens, baby. It is alkalizing, hydrating, and nourishing at a cellular level. Plus it makes your skin so soft and look incredible! I think it is an amazing beauty secret!

Later on today, I am SO going to dive into a green smoothie, and then into a blended soup (which is really another kind of green smoothie.) For now, I am supposed to avoid bananas, avocados, nuts and seeds, and anything dehydrated. I have never made a green smoothie without bananas! (I like bananas!) I guess I will go for strawberries and nectarines which is making me drool a little here on the keyboard thinking about it.

So, yesterday, I made that video, and I can't believe the wonderful response I got. I was seriously floored, people. I was a mess because I was constantly checking the comments every time my iphone would ding that I had a new one, and then I would cry a little since the comment was SO NICE. I went through the whole day with shining, teary eyes and a big smile on my face. I think the people at work thought that someone had died, but that I was really happy about it for some reason!

People told me I was beautiful. Me. Beautiful. Now, after a lifetime of being morbidly obese, strangers say awful things all the time; you get a tough skin when people say mean things to you. Mean things I can handle, but BEAUTIFUL? I cried like a baby. Reading the comments, I just felt wave after wave of love washing over me. I could just feel all that love, sinking in, feeding me at a cellular level, healing me at my soul.

Thank you doesn't seem like enough. It isn't enough, and yet, I lack the words to adequately express how much it has meant to me to have those comments, and this website, and all of you for friends. Because even though we've never "met" in real life, I feel like you all are some of my closest friends. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I love you all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 40 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

I made it to day 40! Can I get a woo-hoo?! Starting tomorrow, I will be breaking the fast with green smoothies. I am totally looking forward to that. I am going to keep journaling for the next week until the fast is completely broken.

I have some fear around putting on weight just because I am coming off the juice. A little bump is ok with me, but a big one will most likely freak me out. I am going to weigh in today, a few days early, just to document how much I released while on the juice feast, officially. One thing is that the number may be skewed by hormonal stuff right now, if you know what I mean. *wink, wink!*

I am going to continue to start the day with one quart of green juice. And later in the day, I will have at least one quart of green smoothies. One thing I've learned, loud and clear, is get those greens in, any way you can.

Today, I did a video for the main page of Raw Food Rehab.com! And guess what, I suck at it! lol I kept looking down to see my notes and that was not good--it looks like I am narcoleptic and falling asleep. Also the light was awkward and my face looks weird. Also, I say "huge" A LOT. lol Penni makes it look so easy! Oh well, the words were from the heart.

I had a weird thing happen yesterday. A friend that I used to work with said, "Come on now, just admit it. It is pretty obvious you've had a gastric bypass." lol The hilarious part is that Hecks NO, I did not. But I had to have an emergency abdominal surgery in February (to repair a huge hernia from where an old C-section scar opened up) and then I took off all this weight, so I can see why she went there. The fact is, I had already removed 60 lbs when I had that surgery, and I told her that. She said, well doctors make you take off a lot of weight on your own before you have the operation. I almost said, "Here's my health record number. Look it up!" (We work for a health care organization.) But I did not, and I'm glad. Look, I am not anti people who choose to have that operation. I definitely considered having it myself when I weighed 400 lbs. I am just a big chicken when it comes to pain and surgery, and I had doubts that it would work for me because my problem was compulsive eating. I know people who had the operation, took off the weight, and put it right back on again a few years later because they never learned to relate to food properly. I think people who choose that route deserve all our love and support. I just didn't choose that route--instead, I believe God performed a miracle in me and relieved my compulsions, and led me to a live food raw diet. I don't want to deny what He did for me, and I don't want to cheat someone else from learning how to help themselves with raw. And frankly, people can believe whatever they want to believe. The only One whose opinion matters already knows because He did it! lol

Thank you all for being by my side for these 40 days. Every comment has meant the world to me! I love you, Man!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 39 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

Yesterday I had an amazing experience. It started at 8 a.m. when I got to meet a certain beautiful Guinea Piglet:

That's the lovely Mauri, tricking out our groovy ride. She is an incredible lady--warm, caring, classy, and so dang nice! Mauri is on day 38 of a juice feast that is going on much longer than mine, and she is being coached by the incomparable David Rainosheck himself, so it was so much fun to compare juicing notes. She was drinking a tea that he gave her the recipe for, that I am definitely going to try. If I have to be in a car with anyone for 6 hours, I would pick her!

(Has anyone else noticed that raw people are so much nicer than regular people? Why is that? Because seriously, I have had the honor of meeting THE most amazing people this year...)

The other person on our road trip was Thubten (Tube-ten) who is one very interesting cat!

He went on an extended juice feast last year. He's also released more than 100 pounds and is still faithfully working on it. He has had a lot of "lives" already in this one, including being a social media consultant, a wedding planner and officiator, working with AOL when it WAS the internet, and took vows in India where he lived as a Tibetan monk. He is just fascinating, and every time you meet him, you just want to hear more! Oh, and he's really nice, too!

So with my wonderful co-travelers, we zip up the I-5 to the International Day of Juice Feasting! (With a couple of potty breaks each way, God bless Mauri! These things are very important to a juice feaster!)

The conference itself was just incredible. Dave and Teresa lined up wonderful speakers, including a Pharmocognocist, Brian J. Wright, who told us exactly what is in all that lovely juice which makes it so powerful. And he's not too hard on the eyes, either, ladies:

(Oh come on! A brilliant, non-drinking, raw vegan single doctor who happens to look like a flippin' movie star and I'm not supposed to notice that he's hot? I'm only human!)

We heard from Elaina Love, who made me cry when she talked about helping Dave, and about losing her precious son to Leukemia last year. She is a beautiful spirit, inside and out. All the raw food leaders crack me up with how excited they get about their detox symptoms: "I had to wake up in the middle of the night to cough out phlegm balls! Isn't that great!" Well, better out than in, as they say, but I haven't enjoyed my boils and pus pockets near as much as Dave liked his! Maybe I'm doing it wrong?!

Matt Monarch warned us about the fact that eating clean and especially juice feasting will make your cells clean and tight and that going back to a SAD diet after that can be really harmful for you. I decided I don't mind being at the point of no-return. It arms me with all the more reason to resist temptation. I also appreciated knowing that I am going to have to watch the calories a bit more now. If the trade-off is being around for my kids and maybe meeting my grandchildren, I would say it is all more than worth it! Oh, and he talked about cleaning out the poop-chute a lot. You know, because he's Matt!

Angela Stokes Monarch talked about compulsive eating, which y'all know, is a topic that is very close to me. She also talked a lot of potty talk. These raw food leaders are all potty-mouths, in the best way. I kept wanting to break out in Penni's song: "Does it float, does it float like a boat? If it sinks, and it stinks, then you're sicker than you think!" Wouldn't that have been awesome, to lead the whole group in that rousing sing along?!

Instead my dear friend:

spoke eloquently and from the heart, and made me cry several times, which was no good for my mascara situation, at all. But I forgive him because he is wonderful. Then he led us all in a toast to the entire staff at The Tree of Life and to Piter Crazier, the Wild Grass Messiah. And what did we drink to toast them? Wild-grass juice, of course!

Ok, I may have been a little nervous about trying it. But I'm telling you, it was not bad! Certainly no worse than the onion/cantaloupe juice I made that one time! It did taste a little like what I imagine going out and grazing on the lawn for a while might be like. But it is such a nutritional powerhouse, I might just get out there and chomp on my front yard right now! Wild grass is definitely going to be a part of my juicy life in the future.

And then, oh yeah, this happened:

I didn't know I was going to be a speaker before the lovely Tresa announced it to the crowd! So I panicked but Mauri calmed me down and told me I would not spontaneously combust or anything. Also, I guess the "real name" cat is out of the pajamas. That wasn't planned either, obviously, but honestly, it isn't a big deal. I feel a little silly that I used a screen name to begin with. But I reveal a lot of intimate stuff about my kids, and details about my early family life, and I felt like using a screen name would protect them a little. There are a lot of different people on the internet, if you catch my drift...but most people are good and nice and wonderful, I am finding. It's just the ones that are a few blades short of a wheat-grass juice that I worry about...but not anyone here in the Mansion! I feel so blessed to have found you all. So, um, hi, my name is Heather. You can still call me Mallory if that is what you're used to. Or Bob. I've always liked the name Bob. lol Call me what you like, just don't call me late to dinner! (thank you! thank you very much! I'll be here all week! Remember to tip your servers...)

So I spoke, and I managed to get in a shout out for my favorite virtual mansion and all my Ridiculously Radiant Rehabbers, and afterward I hugged about a thousand people who told me that my shaky-kneed stammering presentation managed to speak to them and inspire them after all. I can do ALL things, through the One who sent me...

Afterward, I got to meet so many awesome Rehabbers:

And we hugged and smiled and blissed out on juicy togetherness. And Priss even played the ukelele. :)

And I headed home with the two nicest most interesting peeps a juicy girl could ever be lucky enough to road trip with. (We would have made room in the car for you, Penni!)

And the gorgeous (seriously, the girl is gorgeous!) Mauri surprised the heck out of me and gave me a present!

As if the incredible gift of her friendship was not amazing enough! But it turned out to be an awesome book with hundreds of juice recipes and luscious pictures that made me drool all the way back to Portland. But wait, what page is the cantaloupe/onion juice on? Because I know it must be in there but I can't seem to find it...maybe I should write to the author! (I think my scary juice combos scared Mauri and she felt she had to intervene for the good of mankind! She may be right!)

Thank you, so, so much Mauri! I love it SO MUCH and I'm going to use it this morning and make something that you know, tastes good! I believe it can be done, now!

All in all, a juicy day indeed!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 38 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

Today is day 38 which means I am 95% of the way through my 40 day juice feast. More importantly, today is the International Day of Juice Feasting in Shoreline, near Seattle! In just a few hours, Mauri will be here to take Thubten and myself on a Rawkin' Roadtrip! (I am super duper looking forward to that part too!) We brought our Flips so I promise to give you a full report from Mallory, the Roving Reporter tomorrow!

You may even see me (and the Little Black Dress) on the Ustream today if you are tuned in. Just remember, I've heard the camera adds 10 80 lbs. ;) Oh, and it makes you look tired, too!

Don't miss out on the fun! The big event is from noon to 4 Pacific (west coast) time, or 2 to 6 central time, or if you're on the East coast, it's from 3 to 7pm. Can't get to Seattle? No problem! Stream it on U-stream and join in the chat room right here on RFR!

See ya later! Get your juice ready! Things are going to get JUICY around here!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 37 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

I sliced the tip of my left index finger (*shaking my fist at that cucumber!*) so it is interesting trying to type today. I never have knife accidents, and yet, on this juice feast it has happened TWICE in the last 37 days--and both times, it was a stinking cucumber I was slicing. Clearly proof that they are evil. Or that I am clumsy. Nah!

I am up early, even though I don't have to be, because I am nervous for Nora who is taking her ACT today. If you feel like it, could you say a little prayer for her to do well? She is really worked up about it. Nora is a smarty who is basically taking her first year of college during this, her senior year. She has really hard classes like Calculus and French 7-8. She works really hard and gets straight A's. She'd love to get into a great college, like NYU, and if my mail box crowded with college catalogs is any indication, lots of great schools would love to have her too. But money is an issue and scholarships are key and the way she performs on entrance exams has a huge impact on both admissions and financial aid.

I really ought to be sleeping because this weekend is going to be busy, in an awesome way. Today is my first day back to the Sweat Shop (you might know it as the Costume Department) of the local children's musical theatre company that my son has been in the cast of since he was 8. Last night, we had our "welcome back" meeting, and I saw all these people that I haven't seen since last November. It seemed as if each and every one of them had to stop me and ask how much weight I've lost! lol I've decided that I am just saying, "A lot." and smiling from now on. :) Today the kids have their "read through" of the script, and us mamas and grandmas get to corral and measure 60 kids from head to toe, literally, and figure out what we are doing for each one for costumes. Most kids have 5-6 costume changes each. (Joe got one of the leads, so he has even more!) Now consider that we put this entire show together on the weekends in Sept and October and run the show the first 3 weekends in November. It is incredible what we can accomplish, all working together.

Tomorrow, of course, is THE main event, The International Day of Juice Feasting! The rawsome Mauri is being nice enough to pick up Thubten and myself and we are carpooling the three hour drive to Seattle from Portland together. I can't wait! It will be so nice to lay my eyes on Dave, for one thing, and just assure myself completely that my amazing friend is really, truly, going to be just fine. I am really looking forward to the road trip, too! Mauri and I have been meaning to get together forever, and she is a busy mama and I am a busy mama so it has been hard to make it happen. Thubten is a hoot and I always enjoy his company.

The event itself is going to be incredible: Dave is going to speak, if he's up to it. But the other speakers will be incredible, too: Matt Monarch, Angela Stokes-Monarch, Elaina Love, and Piter U. Caizer, who is better known as the "Wild Grass Juice Messiah." I am going to try wild-grass juice for the first time! Think I will like it? I've never even had a shot of wheatgrass juice! (Hmmm, I really ought to try that sometime, too!) Don't worry--I will get my reaction on video! We will all have our Flips with us. :)

Yes, I am wearing the Little Black Dress for sure. It fits a little nicer with 31 more pounds off since I bought it. :)

I wish I knew the venue better, so I could say, "Everyone from RFR, meet by the 'XX'! " Has anyone been to the Laughing Ladies Cafe who can suggest a good meeting spot? I am figuring most of y'all will know me on sight by now because of putting my mug out there in pictures and on videos. I'll be the one who is slowly turning pale green from drinking all this juice! And the one who is all geeked up beyond reason and acting like a dork, probably.

I can't believe it is day 37. I never thought I would say that. I am 92.5% of the way through my juice feast! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe the glass at the bottom of the Ball jar is more accurate! Thanks for sticking with me through all the "stuff" I've been working through. Tomorrow, we party and celebrate the juiciness of life, love, and friendship. Rawsome!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 36 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

What Day I'm On: 36 out of 40, 90% of the way done

How's It Going?
Finishing strong. I want to be "walking away a winner" from this juice feast.

I weighed in, to be ready to post my numbers in the Vault, and I took off another 4 lbs this week. I hit the next goal, which was to have 120 lbs off. I distinctly remember that I was stuck at 90 lbs off when I met Dave, so that means I have released an additional 31 lbs on this juice feast, and it isn't over yet. Surprisingly, not everyone takes off weight on a juice feast. I have a friend who was doing it faithfully and took off so little that she got discouraged and decided it wasn't worth it. I completely understand that. I become a huge baby when I am doing all the right things and the scale won't move. My reasons for this juice feast weren't related to weight release, (for me it was about toxin removal and also a spiritual test to see if I was strong enough to do it) but it sure doesn't hurt my feelings!

Now I am having some trepidation about ending my feast. HOW exactly do I end it? I read the section on breaking the fast at juicefeasting.com, but I am still confused. Do I only have the green smoothies for 6 more days? I rilly rilly rilly want some solid food! I am seriously considering adding in the soaked prunes, just because I want to chew some food. All I know for sure is that it is supposed to take 6 days, minimum, and breaking the fast is the most critical part of the whole deal. I know I am supposed to avoid nuts, seeds, avocados, and dense dehydrated food during the fast-breaking. Guess what I am craving? lol

I am also worried about the weight coming back when I am back to solid food. Experienced juice feasters, did this happen to you, the week following ending the feast?

What I Am Excited About: Too many things! Let's do some bullets, shall we?

* So happy to hear from Penni's video that Dave and Tresa are back in Seattle and gearing up for the International Day of Juice Feasting this Sunday. I talked with Dave briefly yesterday, (I've been trying to give him a little rest) and he is doing great, as Penni said. He has his sense of humor back for sure!
* I'm really excited about the event, about my road trip with Mauri, and meeting all the RFR peeps.
* Tonight is the beginning of the Fall show for my son's musical theatre company. We weren't sure, this time last year, if he'd be able to handle it at all this year, so it is such a huge blessing that he is BACK, and raring to go! He won't be dancing this year, due to the back surgery, which is sad, (your young man's a great dancer, having been taking lessons and doing shows since he was 6. He does jazz, hip hop (his favorite), and tap (close second.) But he's funny as heck as a comedic actor, so it's odd to say, but I look forward to laughing at my son! I am also looking forward to firing up my sewing machine and serger and getting my creative juices flowing. The Sweat Shop (Costume Department) Motto: "Without us, it's just a bunch of talented kids in their underwear!"

* I have decided, as an experiment, that I am making raw food for the kids for dinner when I am back to eating food. I think this will do two things: keep me from being tempted into eating their cooked (vegan) food, and allow me more time to make a "fancy" raw food recipe for myself (and them) each evening. The kids are on board, as long as it's delicious, they said. I reminded them that they are both in high school, and if Mr. and Ms. don't like what I serve, they are cordially invited to make themselves something else! I realize that I have used the excuse of "needing to cook for the kids" as a reason to keep eating some cooked. I have been 100% raw for over a month now, and I don't want to blow it. (Don't even get me started on how I used to buy crap food "for the children" and then get into it myself. No more. They don't need it, and I SURE don't want it here to tempt me. My home is a SAFE ZONE, baby!)

Have a great Friday! Don't forget to tune in and turn on Sunday, get juicy with us by Ustream if you can't get to God's Country. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 35 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

When my ex-husband Pete was 12, he lived on a compound in Saudi Arabia. His dad was a research librarian working on a project for the U.S. government there. And being a Muslim country, their "weekend" days were Friday and Saturday, instead of Saturday and Sunday. The phrase "TGIF" (Thank God It's Friday) was really popular then, but of course it didn't apply, since the day to get excited about was Thursday instead. So Pete (who was quite the ornery scamp, like any typical 12-yr old boy) came up with the following: Sure Happy It's Thursday! And he would say that acronym around his school and the worst part--it caught on with all his classmates, who were also all ex-pats from from different countries, but hardly any of them had English as a first language. Naughty, hilarious Pete! With everything that has transpired in my marriage and the many years since then of still trying to get along, I love this story, because I try to focus on what I DO like about him, focus on the positive and try to keep my attitude right.

So today I'm Sure Happy It's Thursday! Because this is the last Thursday of my juice feast! Then I will have a last Friday, a last Saturday, etc. Next Tuesday is my "last Tuesday!" Anyway, I have always liked Thursdays because of their close proximity to the weekend. I prefer to think of them as "Friday Eve."

What Day I'm On: 35 out of 40, 87.5% of the way

How's It Going: Now that I am almost done, I feel like I have finally gotten it down. I know what I like in my juice, and what I don't (cantaloupe and onion, any one?) I know that if I leave out the celery, I feel weird, and if I add too much it's a struggle to choke the juice down. I don't feel too great (at all) if I drink straight fruit juice. My body definitely craves the green stuff. I have found that making the juice the night before works best for me, even if it is not optimal. (what is less optimal is having no juice to drink because you ran out of time in the morning to make it!) I have figured out that this store has the best price on organic cucumbers, but that one beats them on kale and romaine. I finally am consistently having those energy surges that people talk about, where you feel like you could exercise forever. I am going faster and farther on the treadmill and every time feels like I am "in the zone" and is just an incredible experience. I am so proud of myself! At 400+ pounds when I started, my speed on the treadmill was 1.8 mph. My back hurt so much that I would fight to do 12 minutes, and then I would have to sit down for several minutes and rest my back, and then I could go back and do more. Now, I do 40 minutes, no problem, and I go 3 mph, which is still not great, but it feels like I am booking compared to where I've been. I am going to continue upping the speed slowly (it has taken me more than a year to get this far!) but I know one day, I'll be clipping right along!

Detox: I have a boil, again, and it is being stubborn and not wanting to go away. This tells me I may need to do more colon cleansing. I haven't done too much of that, because there has not been a need. I think I'll try it and see if it helps.

Every morning, I wake up and my nose runs for a while and I have a sneezing fit and then I feel better, and no other problems the rest of the day.

I have muscle aches really bad at night, but I think that is because I am just so much more active and I've not taken any pain killers for more than 35 days. I am learning that pain means "stop what you are doing" not "take a pill and keep doing it!"

Hope you are having a wonderful day. I love you all and I thank you for all of your support on my journey. Your comments mean the world to me!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 34 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

Yesterday was a zoo, Chez Mal. It was all due to lack of preparation. I always make the kids a special breakfast on the first day of school, but yesterday, I looked in the fridge and the pantry and I had bupkis--nada--Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards were better than mine. So I was all, "Hey kids! Surprise! Special first day of school breakfast out!" and we went to a restaurant. They made not so great choices for breakfast, and I didn't feel like being Commandant Vitamin and dictating the choices, so we'll just chalk it up experience. It was a Mommy-Fail moment. I was determined to do better.

The worst part was I had no time to make my juice! I had about two quarts left from the night before, so I got by on those, till I got home from work. Then I got shopping in, which made me grumpy because 5:30pm is about the worst time to shop of all. The stores were all crowded, and people cross and impatient, elbowing me out of the arugula. Hey lady, arugula tastes gross in juice (ask me how I know this!) so you can HAVE the arugula, a'ight? Of course we got our first good dousing rainstorm, and of course my cute new raincoat was HOME doing me no good.

So wet dog Mal came home, made dinner for the kids, made juice for me, heard about their first day at school while I cleaned the kitchen and did my laundry and didn't sit down till 9:45pm when I finally got to snuggle up and watch a movie with Nora for 15 minutes till we had to go to bed.

My point is that this whole day could have gone so much better if only I had been prepared! A quick trip to the store could have saved me so much irritation and a sore bust from that lady's knobby elbows! I am throwing my raincoat in the car (always a good idea in Portland Wetland), and planning out the rest of the week's routine.

Let me be your cautionary tale! Are you prepared? :) I got that way, and today's going to be a better day because of it!

What Day I'm On: 34 out of 40, 85% of the way, 6 days to go!

How's It Going? Getting very excited about going to Seattle this weekend! Getting even more excited because it looks like I might not have to drive by myself after all! I think I am going with Mauri (hi Mauri!) from RFR who is on a 50+ day juice feast. Can I just say, right now, how I admire people who go on these LOOOOONNNGGGG juice feasts? 40 days is almost here and I. am. SO. READY. Penni went on 92 days! Philip McClusky did 100, and Dave did so many he stopped keeping track, but it was way over 100! My hat is off to all of you!

Are you going to the International Day of Juice Feasting Sunday? If you are not in God's Country (as Dave calls the Pacific NW) are you going to join in by U-stream or right here on RFR?

I Pink Puffy Heart Raw Food Rehab: Penni raised so much moola with Real Juice Daily, and all of you made that happen by buying her wonderful book! I promise it is going to be a great resource for you, and such a page-turner. I finished mine the day I got it and it is a very substantial read. I have gone back to it over and over on this feast. I am just wowed by Lisa Viger's watercolor of Dave (have you seen that incredible video?) and by her generosity giving 50% of her ebook "Raw On $10 A Day" I have loved that book for a long time now, because it has great recipes and tells you all the secrets of doing healthy on the cheap. I loves me both cheap and healthy! If your budget won't budge, you NEED to invest in that one. Also Debra Gardner is donating 50% of the proceeds from her book and dvd combo so I am going to figure out how to get some money for that, because I rilly rilly rilly wanted to win that when it was a prize, and a good cause is all the excuse I need, honey!

What about you? Is there something you could do to raise money for Dave? (I am doing something Sooper Secrit right now. It is going great and I wish I could tell ya about it. Soon! Stay tuned!) If you are like me, and have more creativity than cash, could you use your talents to produce something for sale? Could you have an un-bake sale at your next meetup? Could you pass the hat at a meetup? Sell your old-life cooking stuff on Craigslist? If you water fast from time to time, could you take the money you would have spent on food for those days and donate it? It is so fun when you let the wheels spin when what you are scheming about is how to help someone out! You feel so great. I believe every single time you bless someone else, you get blessed even more.

The love, she is flowing in the 'Hab. Have a great day! (That's right, I'm talking to YOU!) Love ya!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Juicy Life--Day 33 of My 40 Day Juice Feast

Today is the first day of school for my kids. My amazing Nora is going to be a senior (how did that happen?!) and Joe is going to be a sophomore (seriously, how did that happen?! She is six! Or seven maybe. And he cannot possibly be in his second year of high school. Sigh. I blinked, they grew.)

A few weeks ago I was really worried about how Joe would do with all the sitting, carrying his books, and other normal challenges of high school because of his back surgery. It was really tough immediately following the surgery and he was in SO.MUCH.PAIN. It just didn't seem possible that he would be recovered enough to be able to handle school. But, I'm tell you, the kid is amazing, and he is doing great. He hardly ever has anything but the smallest twinges of pain. He can sit for long periods of time, walk and hike, and only has a few restrictions from the doctor: no lifting over 25 lbs, no running, twisting, or bending at the waist.

So yesterday, we decided to have a little mini-trip to celebrate the last breath of summer. First, we hit a thrift store that was having a half-off sale (early in the morning and it was still a zoo it was so crowded!) and I made out like a bandit! I got a new (to me) fancy raincoat, size 18 and it fit! (To contrast, I once wore a size 32.) I think the raincoat was an exception because what I fit into pretty consistently are 2x's, which are usually size 22-24. Still, I am thrilled, and I made myself a promise, "one in, one out." That is, for every new garment you get, you have to get rid of one that doesn't fit well, or makes you look frumpy, or that you would be embarrassed if a hunky guy saw you wearing it at the store.

After we brought home the booty, we packed up some healthy snacks (for the kids; I had my juice) and headed up the scenic Columbia River gorge to go hike the waterfalls. Now, 117 lbs ago, the only hiking I did was from the couch to the fridge. The effort of daily living was taxing enough; I was exhausted all the time. If you asked me then, would you like to go hike some waterfalls? It would have come out, would you like to walk on nails through heavy wet sand while breathing through a coffee stirrer? because it was so painful for my feet to just walk around and I was sucking wind just from one flight of stairs or any physical activity.

So we just didn't go many places, and when we did, I would just watch while everyone did fun stuff. (And get a snack from the food cart while no one could see me!) If I hadn't given myself the gift of discipline in my eating, I would have missed this:

or this:

or the proud-of-mom looks on my kids faces when I made it to the top of not one but two half-mile, steep up-hill hikes:

It was a very good day. My thighs felt like lime jello by the time I got down from Waheena Falls and the more famous Multnomah Falls, but it was the best kind of exhaustion. I felt like a contestant on "The Biggest Loser" who just finished one of those awful challenges. I felt like I was getting out and living my life, not sitting on a sofa watching other people have a life on tv.

The best part was that Dave called me, right as I was about to summit the first waterfall. I got to say, "Guess where I am?!" and he was so excited for me and said he wishes he could be joining me. He's doing great and we are both getting excited for the International Day of Juice Feasting which is next Sunday, so put it on your calendars! He said he saw my video, and I was right, he was tickled that the candle I found was a Jewish candle. Dave believes that whatever your religious tradition, if it boils down to honoring God, or the Living Life Force, it's all good. He loved so much, our candlelight vigil, and all the videos that people have made for him. Tresa pulls them up for him on her computer so he can experience the overwhelming tide of love and support that is rolling his way. (She is the best.friend.ever! to him, I swear. She is taking care of him, his business details, the International Day of Juice Feasting, everything. Beauty, Elegance, and Grace, indeed. Wrapped in a very caring soul.)

What Day I'm On: 33 out of 40, one week to go!

How's it going? I finally stopped playing Beat the Clock to get to the bathroom, which is great because hiking in the Columbia Gorge Scenic Wildlife Area would not have been fun while trying to simultaneously "clench and pray." lol

My juice was WONDERFUL yesterday. I added more fruit knowing that we would be hiking and my blood sugar would be fine with the exercise. So I had some lovely fresh squeezed o.j. and my green juice had apples and pears as well as chard and celery. So yummy! It felt like such a treat after hating my juice earlier in the weekend.

I have just one week left till I start the process of breaking the fast. It is good timing, because my life gets REALLY busy when school starts. Joe's doing community theatre, which means I'll be a slave to the sweat shop making costumes (which I love. We moms really do lovingly call the Costume Department the Sweat Shop. Hey, I go in there in the morning, measure 12 boys, and cut and sew twelve sparkly vests before I go home that day, that's a Sweat Shop!) Nora's captain of the dance team, and does volunteer work at the hospital, and has a job, and really challenging classes because she is an uber-smarty. What she doesn't have is a license, so I still drive both of them everywhere.

I still have my J-O-B, and I need to get in my 1hr of exercise/day, take care of mom's foot and we all have to clean just enough that we don't live like wolverines and the kids demand that they have groceries occasionally, which is just so unreasonable, but what's a mother to do? So my eating plan goes back to VERY simple: green smoothies, fruit, blended soups and salads and avocados and more elaborate recipes when I have time. Load up the dehydrator whenever I can. (All this after the fast is completely broken, which takes an extra week past the 40 days.)

It's a busy life, but it's my busy life and I love it. I only have my kids for a few more years (Nora only one! Ack!) and who knows how long I'll have my parents? So I cherish these days, and remember to breathe and squeeze out some time to put myself and my needs on the list, which I am DETERMINED to do, otherwise I can't do the rest of it without going psycho.

Now I'm going to make my juice and dream of waterfalls and lush green forests...