Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Proof Is In the Healing: My Lab Results!

I just got my annual labs done. I have had dangerously high cholesterol, as you can see, since at least 2006, when my total cholesterol was 253. (For reference, it is supposed to be under 180.) Even more alarming, my triglycerides were 396! They were more than double what is considered the maximum safe level of 150 mg/dl. Triglycerides measure the fats in the blood. My blood was so fatty it was thick and hard to pump through my body. My poor heart had to work over-over-over time just to get blood to all my organs. No wonder I had sky-high blood pressure, too. (Don't worry-the doctor was happy to give me a drug for that, too!)

The next few years, I was on a cholesterol-lowering statin, drugs like Lipitor and Crestor. You can see my cholesterol went down, but not enough. The bad thing is, statins lower your cholesterol, but they damage your liver! I was lowering my cholesterol, but I was doing toxic things to my liver! This was double bad, because I already had a "fatty liver" from being obese. My liver was so clogged with fat, it wasn't able to do it's job properly. Then I added toxics to it. Not very nice of me!

You can see where I made an honest effort to get healthy in 2007. I didn't know about raw foods, but I went vegetarian (not vegan) and I started exercising. That, combined with the drugs, got my cholesterol down to 163, and cut my triglycerides in half, yay me! But sadly, I had not dealt with my compulsive eating issues, and I was "white knuckling it." I fell off the wagon, hard, in 2008, and went back to fast food, sugar, meat, cheese, quit exercising--and my cholesterol went up just a little (due to the drugs) but my triglycerides doubled again!

In Sept, 2008, fresh off the bad news from my doctor's office, my friend Chasmyn told me about raw food. I was intrigued but it sounded hideously healthy. I knew I could never live on fruit and salad and wheatgrass juice! lol But she did a wonderful thing for me: she took me to a live food restaurant here in Portland, called The Blossoming Lotus. And the food was AMAZING. Beyond delicious! It made me think, "hmmm, maybe I could do this! ....Nah!" But I decided to try anyway. I did a 100-day RawFu challenge, but quit after 30 days because of the compulsive issues I had not dealt with. Still the seed was planted. I knew how great I felt on raw food. It just felt right! I love animals, I care about the environment, I wanted really badly to do the right thing and be vegan. I wanted so so much to be able to control my crazy binging, to release the weight that held me down (I weighed 402 lbs!) I wanted so badly for me to be healthy!

I took time out to deal with my compulsive eating. I did it following a Christian path, through an organization called Celebrate Recovery at my church. That worked for me where nothing else had. (Remember: 402 lbs! Lifetime obesity! Child abuse survivor! I had issues, people!)

Once I experienced the miracle of being relieved of my compulsions, wonderful things started to happen! I gave up all artificial sweeteners. (I found out they were basically poison. That was pretty easy to give up.) Bouyed by my success, I tried giving up other things, like caffeine. I loved iced tea like crazy. I drank it all year long! I loved fancy coffee drinks. I live in the Pacific NW, the birthplace of Starbucks! But I was able to let the caffeine go.

Fast forward to January this year: my miracle of relief from compulsion happened and I gave up: sugar, white flour, and meat! Then I went all sane, and went vegan! Then, I went even saner and went back to raw! The results: 4 and a half months later, my cholesterol is 140! My triglycerides are 136! I have released 80 lbs (60 of it since January on raw!) I exercise at least 5 times a week (walking and coming thisclose to dancing, bopping out to my tunes on the track or the treadmill! lol) I love to move my body to the music, big as I am. My body finally got off the couch, and it is ready to boogie!

I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for my daily miracle of abstinence, to my body for healing itself, and to you my friends for supporting me! And last night, for the first time, I DID NOT take my cholesterol-lowering drug before I went to bed! It served it's purpose when I was battering my body with SAD cooked animal fats daily, but I won't let it hurt my liver anymore. With my doctor's complete blessing, I am throwing it away!

(EDITED TO ADD: I can't get the stupid chart to publish successfully in blogger. If you want to see it, go to my journal on RawFu, I posted it there.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flirting with 811 LFRV

The second week of the Initiative at Raw Food Rehab is almost over and I am feeling great! (If you haven't checked out the 'hab, run by Penni Shelton, you really owe it to yourself. It is awesome, very supportive, just like my beloved GeekedFu.) I expect to see nice things from the scale tomorrow. I worked out a lot this week--pretty much every day except Sunday. Yay me. My awesome 17 yr old daughter supports me by getting up with me at 5 o'dark o'clock and hitting the gym with me before I go to work and she goes to school. I have also ramped up my raw intake which I think was responsible for my epic weight release last week.

Now that the weather is nice, I am really enjoying walking around the park that is across the street from my work at lunch. I don't try to "feel the burn," it is just a meditative, joyful time for me to celebrate being outdoors, the beauty of Spring, the fresh air and whatever sunshine we get in April in Oregon. Sometimes I listen to praise music on my iphone, sometimes I don't and just think and talk to God. It really makes the second half of the work day go well, with less stress.

I have been flirting with 811 "low fat raw vegan." It's called 811 or 80-10-10 because you eat 80% of your calories from carbs, 10% protein, and 10% fat. I've trolled around Dr. Doug Graham's website and gone on message boads like this one. It's interesting. I'm skeptical but intrigued. What appeals: everyone looks super healthy, seems very happy and active. Like, uber active, doing marathons and triathalons and whatnot. Obviously they feel good and have lots of energy. I also like the laziness of the diet: Eat fruit! All day long! Eat a salad for dinner. The end. So little food prep! So easy! Even I can manage to make a kick-butt salad once a day. What doesn't appeal: Eat fruit. Only fruit. All day long. And for a big fun suprise, eat a salad! Woo! Seems a wee bit monotonous and I don't know that I could stick with it. There is no onion, garlic, spice, or even salt on this diet. No honey or other natural sweeteners. Also: the people on these forums are true believers. Like, scarily so. 811 is their Rawligion. They won't even let you post a picture of a food that is not a fruit or a salad, seriously. They won't let anyone who does not agree 100% with them even post on their forums, and treat Dr. Graham like a messiah. Now, I'm sure Dr. Graham is a heckuva guy, but I don't need a savior. I've got one, thanks! And yes, I worry about nutritional deficiencies over time. I think legumes, nuts, avocados are nutrient dense and besides, I wouldn't want to live my life without them. (I do think that some gourmet raw fooders get carried away with the nuts though--I believe we ought to eat mostly fruits and veggies with just a few overt fats like nuts and avos.)

So for now, I'm not an 811 girl. I may be a flirt, but I'm not ready for a commitment. I will eat fruit all day if that's all I want and need an easy day. I love fruit! I love salad! I may even eat like that most of the time. But I won't climb into someone's box. I'm going to eat what I feel like my body and my heart is telling me to eat.

It does make me feel better, on my uber busy days or days when I can't be bothered to do anything else, that somebody thinks I should be eating like that anyway, hee. <3 Mal

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Released 80 lbs! Woo-hoo!

Hi Everyone! Last week was hard because I caught a cold, but good because it only lasted 3-4 days. I am sure I bounced back quickly because of my healthy diet. YAY! When I was SAD colds would always last a minimum 12-14 days or longer and usually turn into bronchitis and kick up my asthma and make me absolutely miserable. So I am even more sure that this is the right path for me!

Easter was hard (the bunny got me and I gave in to cooked food like Mom's potato salad and even robbed an Easter basket for some chocolate, which was super sad because I had been sugar abstinant since Jan. 1 and blew it. :( ) So I was very happy to have the inintiative start right after that so I could make an official fresh start.

My appetite was down from the cold so I was able to eat nearly all-raw all week, and released an astonishing 9+ lbs. I am now down 80 lbs on raw overall. Woo-hoo! Very thrilled with the results.

I have been flirting with low-fat raw vegan, ala 811, but the last few days I have gotten sooo hungry, I've actually given in and eaten some cooked food at night (and some of it had dairy, huge NO for me.) I'm going back to what works for me, which is: if it is raw and sugar-free, eat it and smile. I'm glad to get back to exercising this week. I missed it when I was sick. Raw love to all of y'all and have a great week!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

15 Reasons To Eat Raw

by Rachel Luther

1. Imagine jumping out of bed in the morning feeling totally awake with less
sleep, healthy, vibrant and ready to tackle anything your day has to offer with
pure positivity.

2. Many people feel relief from ailments, illness and disease due to an increase
in nutrients and an elimination of toxins. Try starting off by replacing
processed foods with more raw options. Instead of a processed granola bar,
try some almonds and dried fruit.

3. Imagine excess weight melting off effortlessly without counting calories, fat
grams or carbohydrates … and that’s just a side effect!

4. Enzymes, enzymes, enzymes! We are helping our body tremendously by
consuming foods jam packed with these miracle workers! They are the
catalysts for every process in our body, without them we could not function.
We are born with a limited supply so the more we bring into our body
without drawing upon its own reserves, the better. Enzymes are sensitive and
are destroyed with heat/cooking over 118 degrees F.

5. Depleted enzymes, lack of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants contribute to
aging and decreased immunity. Eating raw slows down the aging process
significantly; giving your skin a glorious glow like no other skin cream or
elixir could ever hope to achieve. They say a raw foodie is easy to spot!

6. Most of the water content in food is lost through cooking. Fruit and vegetables
are filled with the most purified water you can ever consume; manufactured
and filtered by none other than the earth! Struggling to consume 8 glasses
per day? Fruit and vegetables count!

7. Cooking destroys 50% of the protein in our food. Raw vegetables, seeds, nuts
and sprouts are rich in protein, which are 100% bioavailable to us, meaning
they are very easily absorbed.

8. Heated fats are linked to most major diseases, including heart disease and
cancer. Raw fats from avocados, nuts, seeds, olives and coconut are
extremely healthy for us. They protect our brain, our organs and lubricate
our joints, nerves and bones. These tasty fats contain the enzyme lipase which
actually burns excess body fat!

9. By eating a plant-based, vegan diet you will not only be supporting friendly
farmers but you will be an active environmentalist by reducing your
ecological footprint. Animals raised for our consumption take up a significant,
ever-expanding portion of our land, contributing to deforestation (less
vegetation = less oxygen) and animal waste running into and polluting our

10. Elevated moods, focus, clarity, gratitude and a true appreciation for life are
commonly felt by raw foodists.

11. Even with weight loss, the face remains full and youthful, never gaunt. The
body repairs itself, depositing curves in all the right places as a beautiful,
new body emerges.

12. Results can be seen and felt within days as your body thanks you and works
like crazy to become healthy once again.

13. A raw food diet will ensure that your body will maintain the proper pH
balance and will never became too acidic (an acidic body is where disease
and illness happily flourish). Raw foods are alkalinizing.

14. “Living foods create living bodies, dead foods create dead bodies.” (Dr. Ann
Wigmore) Need I say more!

15. Taking care and loving yourself is the most important thing you will ever do.
It will produce a domino effect and can become contagious! So spread the love!