Fat Kid Suit


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In Defense of Want…my quick “Christmas” post.

This time of year there is a lot of talk about how we should all be wanting less.

Especially in the “alternative” world of new-agers, where want may be the only really “bad” 4-letter word left since bush has once again become a reference to unshaven treasures.

We all see–and are paying for–the mindless consumption of crap.  And it does seem a true shame that so much is consumed with so little appreciation.

But…

I don’t think you can make want the villain.  Want is integral to who we are.  To want is what life is.

Coming out of my recent toxic slumber, where I didn’t want ANYTHING, I personally am thrilled to have an ever growing “I want” list!

On that list are lots of things:

A real camera (not a point & shoot), some cooked culinary wonders, some raw culinary wonders, many books, a Vita Mix, tickets to concerts/film festivals/and stand-up comedy shows, a camper van for road trips, ceramic cooking knives, drunken weekends with my brothers and friends in TJ or Vegas, more art & music in my life, a back issue of Vice magazine that has insightful collectible pics of my favorite porn star, and yeah–I WANT an i-phone!

Also on the list are places I want to experience, and stuff I want to try.  I want to keep changing and not live the same life every day.  I want to be proven wrong and shocked.  I want more education. I want the rug pulled out from under me sometimes.  I want to have friends that I disagree with but still find irresistible.  I want to like what I do for money. I want acknowledgment for what I contribute creatively.

In other words, I want.

And why are we so afraid of that?  Can you imagine a human society full of ascetics and “saints?”   I just can’t comprehend the popular image of heaven being a place where people are freed of want and just float around in an asexual mist minus all hungering.

We even live in a culture where we are taught to hide what we want from others like we are all playing poker instead of living.

Want is perceived as being indelicate.  Control your impulses, control your thoughts, control your self...

But is it want that is the issue, or is it being disconnected from any awareness of what we really want and  knowing how to feel good about it?  Are we punishing ourselves for past mistakes by denying ourselves the essence of life–desire?  Instead of always trying to figure out ways to have less, maybe we can direct our energies to making sure that everyone has more.  Of what they want…

What about the raw thing?

A lot of people have been asking me how my 2 month raw challenge ended.

I lost over 33 pounds, I feel and look A LOT better, and I am ready to tackle some other issues in my life.  I am a very analytical guy and tend to live in my head.  When I force myself to be more physical (daily intense exercise, more time outdoors, more attention to my body) I feel so alive!

Eating only raw foods has expedited that process and I’ve spent the last 3 days back in Bikram yoga classes.  So that’s going to be my main focus in 2010.  Using my body as much as my mind.

I was a little fearful that once I started eating any cooked food, or had one cocktail, it would open some kind of floodgate and I would start eating & drinking uncontrollably.  The opposite has been true.  One small cooked meal and all I could think about was getting fresh raw food in my body the next meal.

I spent all night out with friends last night, bar hopping.  I had two top shelf Makers Manhattans and that’s all I wanted.   This morning it was back to yoga and coconut water.

Since I am visiting friends for the holidays I’ve been having one healthy cooked vegetarian meal a day.  But if I weren’t in vacation mode, I don’t think I’d even be eating that much cooked food…

I am avoiding beer, fried foods, commercial dairy, gluten, and refined sugars.  And when I eat it takes very little before I’m stuffed.  A feeling I haven’t had for 2 months, and one which doesn’t feel as good as I remember…

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Santa’s either on raw foods or crack…

Sorry to break with tradition kids, but Santa comes earlier and earlier every year (that’s what happens when you get old), and I opened my presents already!

Here’s what she got me. Oh yeah, I forgot, Santa’s a she:

Black & Decker Power Pro Wide Mouth Food Processor

This thing is the bomb.

I did creamy pesto (combined my raw mayo which is cashews and olive oil and lemon and vinegar with loads of fresh basil, some rawmesan, and more oil) in it last night already.

You’ve probably heard me bitch about how hard raw food prep is with only a blender.  Blenders ARE NOT food processors.  The way all your stuff keeps getting stuck in the bottom…maddening.

This babies not only got a wide mouth–she’s also got a big ol bottom.  And it has other cool attachments like graters and flour mixers and all that.  Plus because it’s a Black & Decker I feel like a real man when I use it.

I AM STOKED!

Spatula Spoon Things

A 3 pack of really cool spatulas that are each shaped differently and that also act as squeegees for scraping all that good pesto outta the food processor.

These things are brilliant!

It feels super crummy to waste food stuck on the side of a blender…get these!

More Counter Space

We have no damn counter space!  I love to cook (or for the past few months “prep”) food and it is so frustrating to never have space to work.  So Santa, or Annie, let’s just call her Sannie; remembered the trick we did in our minuscule NYC apartments and got me a honking huge cutting board that fits perfectly over half the stove top.

Instant counter top extension.  Now I can stack supplies there and cut and prep next to it on one of my smaller cutting boards!

Shooting Ear Muffs

With a name like Putin, you wear them however you like. Hear he makes a mean smoothie too.

You don’t actually shoot ear muffs, you wear them.  And even though we don’t own a gun, we do look like FBI agents now whenever we blend.  The ones I got for Christmas are genuine “Winchester” ear muffs.

Don’t laugh.  Our blender is LOUD LOUD.  And it’s going all the time.

I get home from the bar and I’m making smoothies sometimes at 2AM.

Then when I’m trying to sleep at 6AM it sounds like SAW IV when Sannie’s in the kitchen making her huge green cacoa concoction before yoga. I finally get up around noon I’m back at the blender making my “I Am What I Am” drink.

So we now wear gun protection when we blend.  And my ears are thanking me already.  Plus it’s fun to put them on and talk.  You can’t really hear yourself.

Off to the SF Bay area soon for a chilly Christmas week.  Can’t wait to hit up Cafe Gratitude for some raw gourmet…

The Inside of the Berkeley Cafe Grat Location

And my eight weeks of being 100% raw will be over…so I’m also looking forward to eating at our favorite family owned Mexican restaurant in Concord–Las Montanas!

Bring on the beans n rice, handmade corn tortillas, grilled onions n peppers, and salsa roja!

What will I being eating after my 60 days raw challenge is over?

I have some cool ideas about that and will share them shortly!


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60 day raw food log: Day 45–Six weeks ago I was depressed and weighed 254 lbs. Today…

Today…the local newspaper is interviewing me about my raw foods “transformation!”

Read All About It! Crazy Guy Eats Only Raw Fruit & Veggies!!!

It may sound terribly cliche, but SO much has happened in just 1 1/2 months!  Enough apparently, to get the attention of others.

I lost 2 more pounds this past week eating only “raw foods.”  That means in only 6 weeks I’ve lost 26 lbs! But weight loss has really been the least significant change for me in all of this…

If you are new to my blog, go back to late October’s entries and you won’t have to read between the lines to find loads of anger and despair.  I was numbed out 90% of the time, and flat out angry the other 10% of the time.

Depression and Diet

Numbed out is just another way to say depressed.  How could I have NOT been considering what I was putting into my body?

I was:

  • Flooding my system with depressants (over 100 alcoholic beverages a week).
  • Trying to get back “up” with stimulants (coffee, sugar and other “white” foods) that spike you harder than a hot beach volleyball star.
  • Mucking up the works with bad fats made even worse by cooking with them.
  • Eating polluted grain-fed (and who knows what else) animal products filled with hormones, antibiotics and fear.
  • Rarely eating fruits or vegetables (like almost never), and when I did; eating nutritionally deficient, pesticide ridden, genetically modified produce.
  • Putting all of that “food” into a sedentary (nearly lifeless) body.

Looking back now, after such a rapid improvement in my sense of well-being, I have to ask myself, how much of that depression was completely physical and self-induced versus “emotional?”

Having grown up in a family comprised mostly of fat depressed souls, I also can’t help but truly wonder how many of their “emotional” problems would have been solved by just changing our families diet to a healthier one?

Would we have had a completely different childhood/home-life if we had just eaten different foods?

Comfort Foods and The Mirror

Of course the problem with a whole family, or even one person, making that kind of shift is this…when we’re depressed we want even more crap food to (here comes the irony) make ourselves feel “better.”  It’s called comfort food for Fuck’s sake!

I remember night after night of trying to comfort myself into a frickin coma with pepperoni pizzas and cartons of Ben & Jerry’s.  I also remember how uncomfortable I felt in my own body and how angry I’d feel looking at the “fat Elvis” version of myself in the mirror.

How ridiculous it really is to grow to nearly twice your size!  How out of control that feels!  How strange it is to be fat, even if it is quickly becoming the norm here in the U.S.

Just as bizzare and sad is getting to a place where its a burden just to be an active human being.  To see walking as a necessary evil that you engage in only when after circling the Walmart parking lot ten times you are forced to park more than 10 feet from your destination…

Real Food feels Real Good

So I don’t know where my life is going to go from here.  No one ever knows that.  I don’t know for sure if I will feel this elated two weeks from today.  I certainly don’t want to sound like I am preaching or proffering some kind of deluded salvation strategy (I don’t actually believe we need saving). But I do know that changing what and how I eat is changing me.

In very little time I look much younger, feel like early sexy Elvis more than pills washed down with liquor Elvis, and am no longer in self inflicted coma land…

Six weeks ago I could barely get out of bed to go to work at 5pm!  I was resigned to being broke and basically being unhappy with my life. Now I am having trouble sleeping because I have so much stuff that interests me hitting me all at once…

Yesterday I crashed a UC screenwriting lecture, and am beyond excited about getting back to work on some scripts I started before, as well as a new one I’m dying to outline and get started on.

I now spend a lot of time communicating with all kinds of people about food through Twitter and this blog.  I’d never blogged before, and had no idea how fun it can be or how much time it can take.

I have a growing reading list of both fiction and food-related stuff.  Business ideas that flashed across my previously drug addled brain are once again clamoring for my creative attention.

And, I have this interview with the paper I have to get to…


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60 day raw food log: Day 42 Can’t sleep again so here is a freak show photo blog to appease blog gods…and get you all off my back!

Getting to sleep is proving to be difficult lately.  I’m WIRED from raw fruit & technology.

Tonight I got hooked on being a DJ at Blip. You can check it out and listen to what I’m listening to blah blah blah.  Connectivity is becoming a bitch people.  I LOVE it & I hate it.  Feel me?

I was also watching these time-lapse You Tube vids of people who photograph themselves every day for several years and then stream the photos in rapid succession so you get to see a kaleidoscope of hairdos & pimples. Pretty cool. Here is my absolute favorite one because the guys hair looks alive from pic to pic–DO NOT WATCH THIS IF YOU ARE ON LSD RIGHT NOW!!!

These photo fast forwards got me thinking about how drastically our “look” changes over the years, and made me want to post some of my candid pics from the past four years (that’s about when I bought my first digital camera).  Enjoy a peek at how unstable I really am and a boisterous laugh at my expense…

NYC

Uh, that's what you do when you get a new camera, right?

fresh off boat. most people head straight for the whole where WTC used to be. I went looking for George & Elaine.

being a bike messenger is almost medieval hard--look at my helmet hair

i think this was halloween?

after about a year in NYC--that's a BKLYN industries track jacket

getting a lil hipsterish--thats what those big live-work lofts do to you

you also apparently start shooting in black & white...

how i liked to dress when i rode public transportation in NY

BACK TO CALI

didn't take long to go from hipster to hippy

I started channeling Jack Black

and doing a lot of disco drugs

and then apparently i was let out on parole?

but that didn't stop me from criminal trespassing

Is that JT? No..that's just me in Vegas

Eating at Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley the first time I tried raw living

started wearing all black and flipping off old ladies

Got a job on a cruise ship impersonating Bob's Big Boy

but the job had it's perks--these were french morrocan chefs on St. Thomas who fed our drunk asses yummy Thai food and shots of real fruit infused Patron...

it's xmas here, in HAWAII! but still have SF winter beard. and if you look close I was working on a rat-tail. my mom never let me have one.

Was hoping to be cast as "meathead" in All In The Family remake

here's where it starts to go bad...pretty sure there's a drink in my hand...

or a slice of pizza

apparently i never get off this couch, here's a year after the last photo, i'm 250 lbs or more and killing a case of beer every 24 hours...

which led me back to this raw food thing

and hopefully back on my way to healthy and too cool for school

So…

I will be taking 60 day pics in about a week and a half…hope you enjoyed this insomnia-maniacal abuse of social media and won’t report me.


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60 day raw food log: Day 40 Why live with doubts & dread?

Read the following little diddy and ask yourself if you think it’s true.  Even better, leave a comment and tell me what it made you feel…

Better to eat beer and franks

with cheer and thanks

than sprouts and bread

with doubts and dread.

It’s sometimes recited a little differently and is often credited to a “wise old man once said…”  But to me it’s simple and powerful.

Raw Food Diet

Eating only raw foods is something I think everybody should experience. Not eating animals or their “product” is another important thing for people to experience. Both open some kind of awareness portal that can have long-term affects on how you see the planet, it’s food, and yourself.

Perhaps it will cause a sudden flash and with moral certitude you will disavow flesh consumption until the day you yourself perish.  Or maybe your connectedness with flora and fauna will instead manifest itself in greater reverence for whatever passes your lips. Either way you are going to get closer to understanding what food really is, and how much of it you actually need.

Vegan-ism

If you are a vegan, and you’ve never spent a few weeks or months eating only raw vegan foods I would really encourage you to do so.

Years ago (many many) I read “Diet for a New America” and it influenced me enough as an 18 year old that I became “a” vegan.  For a little over one year the only qualifier I used when deciding what to eat was whether or not it contained anything from an animal.

It was one of the least healthy periods of my life.  I got fat.  I felt shitty.  I was eating  mass quantities of stuff that is downright bad for you; processed soy products, low quality wheat gluten, and other “proteins” whose SOLE “value” are derived from the fact that they aren’t from animals.  Sugar in all it’s many forms is also vegan…

Some vegans I have met eat very healthy, feel great, and wouldn’t feel right eating any other way.  They eat their greens and they do agave instead of table sugar and corn syrup.  They get protein from quinoa, spinach, and raw nuts.  They limit the amount of “vegetarian” fried foods they eat (like McDonald’s french fries).  And they are not stuffing themselves with soy protein isolates, seitan, and tofu.

But many others aren’t eating any more veggies than the meat & potatoes crowd, and from a health standpoint have just substituted one “bad” thing (industrial toxic meat & dairy) for another (industrial toxic soy & other bullshit–potentially carcinogenic fake foods).

If you’re a conscious healthy vegan eater, more power to you for making a decision that’s congruent with your point of view.  And congrats on choosing a lifestyle that causes less harm to sentient beings and obviously makes a substantial positive environmental impact as well.

But…if you’re the second type of vegan, please don’t try to take any credit for  lessening your negative impact on the planet.  Do some research into the environmental havoc of your industrial vegan food.  You may be very surprised.

Meat-less versus Less-meat

Once, while waiting tables in San Francisco, I encountered a man who knew exactly what he didn’t want to eat.  He was originally from India, and was ordering food for his large family. The soft spoken patriarch looked me in the eye and asked me to please listen closely.  He wanted to make sure I was paying attention and understood fully his one request.  I’ll never forget the way he put it…

“My family doesn’t eat anything with a family.”

Fair enough!  I thought it was a simple eloquent way to express it, and a nice take on life. So they eat cheese and eggs and butter and don’t mind if there is milk in the pizza dough. But under NO circumstances would they ever consider eating even a tiny bite of pepperoni…

Are Baby Animals Harmed Making SALT!?

Interestingly though, it doesn’t have anything to do with health.  It’s another ethics based dietary choice.  And while a nice sentiment, it also doesn’t necessarily ensure that animals haven’t been harmed in the process of preparing his families dinner.

The issue we all face with food is that there is so much “information” being thrown around (my blog included) that it’s become nearly impossible to compare mangoes to mangoes.  Think about it.  How could someone compare the ethical, environmental, and personal health impact of any two people?

Could you honestly argue that someone eating countless chemically processed, cleared rain forest grown, soy patties, whose ingredients have been shipped from the other side of the planet, is eating better than a family who  mindfully includes some hormone and antibiotic free, free range, organically fed meat from a local source they know and trust?

What I propose

What if the individual goal is simply more conscious eating and less judgment in general?

Me? I need nothing.

That question/statement brings us full-circle back to having periods in ones life where regardless of whether we are a Jain Monk or a Tyrannosaurus…we eat mostly raw, and mostly vegan.

Not necessarily as an end in itself, or permanently; but because it may be the easiest way to learn exactly what works for us, and how to be the healthiest, happiest,  ascetics  or flesh-eating dinosaurs that we can be.

———————————————

If you are curious…today I ate: a blueberry smoothie, a nectarine, some raw pistachios, and a weird green/cacao smoothie.

It’s 5 am and I never went to bed.  In a few minutes my girlfriend will wake up and go to yoga and in a couple hours I’ll be filling up reusable cloth hippy bags with loads of fresh organic produce from the Palm Springs Farmer’s Market!

Who's for dinner?


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60 day raw food log: Day 39 I’m all out of balance & can’t figure out how to get grounded eating raw!

I think someone put too much Yang in my smoothie.  Or maybe it’s Yin… I can never remember which is which.

Anyway I have way too much of the crazy untethered in the stratosphere floating through electric fields kind.  And while having a lot of energy is a nice change–I certainly don’t want to go back to that numbed world I was living in just 5 weeks ago–what I am experiencing is unnerving and does NOT feel balanced.

Every other day I don’t go to bed.  I almost never want to eat–I’m just not hungry.  When I do eat anything other than fresh succulent fruit; I regret it and wish I had fruit.  It’s like there is nothing in my stomach to “buffer” anything more substantial than fruit and it’s juiciness.

My nut consumption is going way down.  I don’t want salads or cabbage.  And when I do try to make a new gourmet raw food recipe I’m usually disappointed.  Why?  What happened to all the fun I was having in the kitchen?  I’ve always enjoyed traditional cooking, and was getting off on experimenting w/ raw menu items.

Let me be real about where I’m at after this past week experiencing truly manic levels of unfocused energy.  I can’t wait for this 60 days I committed to to be over!  I want lentils.  I want potatoes.  I want some grounding ,requires digestion, so you can rest medicine.

Maybe 100% raw is just TOO much?

TO be fair I want to quickly point out two semi-related issues that I know are contributing to the insomnia and my feeling off-kilter…

1.  I started blogging & tweeting at exactly the same time I started my 60 day raw “challenge.”  I thought it would be cool to share the experience with anyone interested.  I didn’t know I would be throwing myself into a new universe whose steep learning curve and addictive nature are it’s price of entry.  I also didn’t know that it would be a place with large stretches of haunting emptiness and occasional noxious gas clouds back lit by glaring red stars…

2.  I need a more intense physical outlet.  Now that I’m lighter and feel so much better I’m doing myself a huge disservice by not rigorously exercising every day.

Deepak Chopra (Who I don’t follow on Twitter because he tweets way too much) has this thing he talks about which has stuck with me for years…it goes something like this…

DYNAMIC ACTIVITY = DEEP REST

DEEP REST = DYNAMIC ACTIVITY

That’s something I am sorely missing.  So understand I’m not blaming this on raw foods, but for me right now it’s all related. I thought riding my bike more, taking a hike on the weekend, and occasionally dropping and doing some push-ups would cover it.  It’s not enough for my fruit filled dragster body.

So here’s my plan to try and be in possession of my sanity and other faculties at the end of the next 3 weeks:

1. More Greens & Water. You will read this in almost every raw food context you can find, and I think I can do better with both…

2. Set a cut off time for Twitter and Blogging. Like no Twitter or blogs after midnight.  I need to pop in a DVD and be entertained or read one of the countless books piled high in my “READ!” stack.

3. Breathe! Seriously how often do we forget to breathe?  I can get so hooked into cyberspace that I forget to drink water and I’ll sit there bouncing around in my chair because I need to piss so bad!  That’s also why I’m taking advantage of this gorgeous Palm Springs day and blogging outside by the pool…

4. Start back to Bikram Yoga. It’s been almost two years.  It’s time.  Not only is this the “dynamic activity” I’m missing in my life–it also will really help me with #3–BIG BREATHS!

Yup. That's a Jesus Pose...

That said, I’m still looking forward to reintegrating some healthy cooked foods (sorry hard-core raw foodists, I know you think “healthy cooked food” is an oxymoron) back into my life.

I’ve been promising a post about some ideas I have for the long-term.  That post will come soon, just let me get my finger out of the electric socket first!


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60 day raw food log: Day 37 Am I in California? Why Palm Springs might surprise you…

No matter what brand of politics float your boat, you’d probably agree that California is “progressive.”  This is where the hippies, potheads, vegans, homosexuals, Scientologists, surfers, health nuts, and out of work actors roost.  Californians can’t wait to plug their cars in, or even trade them in for bamboo beach cruisers that they valet at the Farmers Market. Right?

NOT in Palm Springs.

There are a lot of gay men here…but other than that I feel like I’m anywhere BUT California.

Smoking–Rat Pack style

One example is smoking.  California is famous for leading the country with it’s tough public & workplace smoking bans.

I grew up in San Luis Obispo–one of the very first places to go smoke-free.  I remember as a kid all the restaurant and bar owners bitching about it, and wondering just how the hell they were going to stay in business if people couldn’t smoke in their establishments.  Go to San Luis Obispo today and you will find one of the nation’s few thriving economies, a beautiful downtown packed with pubs and bars that Cal Poly students frequent, and lots of people eating out in some great locally owned restaurants.

San Luis Obispo’s ridiculously vibrant Thur night Farmer’s Market!

Because of the smoking legislation, California is a different place today.  Less people smoke, and people who do, smoke less. Except here in Palm Springs.

Go to the downtown PS Starbucks, grab a frappucino and find a seat outside on the patio. Now start coughing.  Spastic coughing fits perhaps.  I can’t tell you how long it had been since I’d seen an ASHTRAY on a patio table in California.  Cigarette butts overflowing from the trash can top onto the ground almost everywhere I go…

GROSS!

Palm Springs seems to be emulating Euro-style around the clock smoke-athons. Maybe that’s not shocking where you live, but for me it was like  finding out the place I just moved to doesn’t have running water.

When I go to a house party, or am getting smashed with friends in Vegas, I really don’t care that people around me are smoking.  It truly is their prerogative.  Get me drunk enough, I might even ask for a puff or two.

One of my favorite things about hanging out in Tijuana is this famous little cigar shop on the main drag.  My buddy and I always start our day there (usually around 2pm) with some fresh espresso and a cigar chosen by one of the pretty and friendly shop girls.  But when I’m at a frickin’ Starbucks in GD California? Doesn’t make any sense.

Palm Springs is REALLY hurting financially.  This is a seasonal place that makes oodles of moolah IF the rest of the country (and Canada) is raking it in.  Business owners here are lamenting the lackluster tourist turnout so far this year (Palm Springs “High-Season” is roughly Halloween through April).  And the visitors who are making the trip are spending very little.  Pure speculation here–and YES I know there are other factors–but I can’t help wonder how this place would be different if they started promoting Palm Springs (a place that used to be a SPA destination) as a healthy vacation Mecca…

Hate bikes and people who ride them?

Then move to Palm Springs!  I’m exaggerating a tad, but compared to the the rest of SoCal, the Central Coast, and practically ALL of NorCal; Palm Springs is ass backwards when it comes to bikes.

There is a “bike trail” here that is supposed to loop bikers around town.  It’s 100% RECREATIONAL and it’s mostly on sidewalks.  That’s not biking.  Trying to ride my bike to Farmers Market this morning was a logistical mess.  The official “bike routes” don’t lead to anywhere I’m trying to get to (Sad considering the Farmers Market is in the MALL’S parking lot).

Routing bikes onto sidewalk routes is dangerous. Sidewalks and bikes just don’t mix.  Not only is it unsafe and unnerving for other pedestrians, the cyclist is in danger every time the sidewalk intersects with driveways and the road.  Any concept that bikes have the right of way is lost and instead bikes on sidewalks reinforces the idea that bicycles are marginal and even maligned transportation.

I’ve been in Palm Springs for a little over three months now and I have only seen one die-hard bike commuter.  She rides a bright pink 10-speed all over the place and even does so during the SUMMER!  Good on you whoever you are.

The newer and very popular ACE hotel in Palm Springs is one of the first signs of possible renaissance here.  They turned the old Denny’s into a hip organic gourmet diner, Wealthy Orange County Dad’s bring their families to hang out for a weekend, and young L.A. hipsters wear skinny jeans even by the pool.

And ACE bless their hearts thought it would be cool to offer groovy beach cruisers for their guests to ride around Palm Springs on.  I’m literally embarrassed when I see these poor tourist trying to make their way from the hotel to the downtown area.  You can see the terror in their eyes as they are forced onto sidewalks, almost run over by weaving snowbirds, and buffaloed by impatient locals.  It could be such a neat addition to this beautiful place where you can ride around in shorts on Christmas day. But instead it’s a joke and definitely not cool.

Like inferior produce?

You’re a match for Palm Springs!

Until I found the Farmers Market I was literally aghast at how bad the produce is here.  This is CALIFORNIA dammit.  A place overflowing with great food.  Order a salad in most Palm Springs eateries and prepare yourself for lackluster greens, tossed with inferior oily dressings, and topped with nearly translucent cherry tomatoes.  A travesty.

Vintage Los Angeles Farmer's Market...Very Sexy!

Walk into the grocery stores and find not ripe for another month citrus, sad little (or non-existent) organic sections with even less ripe avocados and fruit [it’s like the store manager says “if we’re gonna order this here expensive organic shit we best get it green as hell so it lasts till we sells it].  There is no Whole Foods in the entire extended area. My local health food store carries almost no produce, and when they do it’s only for 1/2 the year!  Even though the store OPERATES a cafe & juice bar requiring fresh organic produce–INSANITY.

And the worst part?  So much healthy-beautiful-delicious produce is grown right here and in the surrounding communities!

What Palm Springs needs

I’ve thought about this almost every day since moving here.  Writing about the negatives of Palm Springs isn’t meant to detract from what makes this place so cool.  But, it’s light years behind the rest of California, and I think I know why…

Palm Springs needs more young people.

Sinatra's Palm Springs House Which You Can Rent! See The Piano Shaped Pool!

The old rat pack crowd living here is awesome.  I find them endlessly fascinating.

The gay men who have turned Palm Springs into their own Mecca have done a lot to bolster Palm Springs economy and make it a better place to live.  The working class who live here (that’s me) are the glue for the whole thing.  Almost everyone I’ve met here is friendly, personable, and fun.  They are also attracted to this PLACE and want to be here. But…

There are VERY FEW young people.  The average age here is forty four.

A lot goes into making a place that attracts young artists and thinker types (jobs/venues/etc.), I know that.  But simple things like getting this place healthier, more progressive, and accessible would go a long way.

The best case scenario I could see for Palm Springs would be adding a University (UCR has an extension campus in Palm Desert and there is a sad dilapidated but very popular community college there as well–but Palm Desert is another world away from Palm Springs even though they are so close) .  Even a small college would really balance out Palm Springs culture and business.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians own much of the Palm Springs area and operate profitable gaming establishments including a large casino smack in the middle of downtown.  It would be interesting to see them invest in the community (which they do in other ways) by investing in a totally new kind of University.  Think of the possibilities for tribal promotion, grants, scholarships, etc.

The Coachella Valley is loaded with the very rich.  It’s hard to convey how much wealth is hidden away in the canyons and country clubs here.  And a lot of those individuals would be eager to have some campus buildings named after them I’m sure.

Thanks for reading my unsubstantiated, pulled from my ass, and probably way too long rant about my new home town!  If you live in the Palm Springs area, or have visited, please share your take!

Tomorrow I’m going to share with you some new ideas I’m having about the best way for me to continue eating raw after I finish my 60 day 100% raw-food challenge.

I think it may be very helpful for a lot of other people too, who are trying to figure out a simple way to have more raw foods in their life, and maybe even eat mostly raw…