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60 day raw food log: day 28 If raw food is so great, why do I feel bad?

It’s Sunday in Palm Springs, 75 degrees out, beautiful mountain backdrop, happy friendly people and their pets are out enjoying the life…

And I feel like shit.

Why?

My first week eating only raw food was rough.  Imagine cutting yourself off cold-turkey from drinking over 100 adult beverages per week, abstaining from your morning cup of crack with the pretty mermaid on it, and suddenly refusing your body any access to pizzas and Mexican food…NOT a fun transition.

If you’ve seen New Moon, and watched Kristen Stewart’s “Bella” writhe and scream in her sleep over her lost Edward (who I still maintain looks an awful lot like Bert from Sesame Street), you have an inkling of what my first week raw felt like!

Weeks two and three were a different movie…I felt euphoric and “high” and ate up all the positive comments I was getting from friends and strangers.  EVERY SINGLE DAY I saw a thinner, sexier, happier, healthier, more in-tune version of me in the full-length mirror.

Having a cute young raw foods chef at a Santa Monica cafe ask me if I was “raw” the second I walked in the door surprised me.  When I answered yes, and she told me she “thought so, because my eyes were so clear and I really had a case of the glow” I was beyond flattered.

But here I am near the end of week four, a week of apathy and fatigue.  What’s up?  I feel like I’m doing this right…I’ve slowly been upping my intake of greens, I’m making sure I get natural fats like hemp oil, I’m still eating a lot of juicy organic fruits…

Also, I eat very little dehydrated raw foods (they make me feel as dry as they are) and most days just eat foods in their whole simple form without trying to “doll” them up.

I’m hoping that it’s just another cleansing level I’ve hit?  I would expect my recent toxic past to haunt me for awhile. Maybe it’s a little bit mental…one month is the longest I’ve ever gone before raw…? But Jesus do I hate the idea that some or all of the benefits of raw eating might just be in my head.

One interesting distinction I’d like to make: I’m not depressed.  I’ve spent much of my life in moderate to severely depressed states, this isn’t anything like that.  I’m clear about things–almost scary sober–but I don’t necessarily like how that feels…

Sometimes eating raw makes so much sense to me, and I see it as the answer to a lot of peoples problems both on a personal level and a collective one.  That’s how I mostly feel…at other times the whole thing seems ridiculous and absurd!  Not eat ANY cooked foods?  Not get drunk and stupid?  WHY?!?  What am I trying to prove? To whom?

As an example last night a guy at the bar wanted mashed potatoes.  We don’t have that on the menu, but Mike the Chef made some for him anyways, that’s the kind of old school cool we serve up.  When I bring him the potatoes I’m drooling.  When he adds a few dollops of real butter I’m butter.  So I try and remind myself that when I get home later I was actually going to make my own version of mashed “potatoes” which are made from soaked cashews and cauliflower blended up with salt & pepper.  They taste pretty good.  But they are NOT potatoes, and they are cold.  For some reason it just seemed stupid to me…am I too good for potatoes?

My intention with this blog is not necessarily to inspire anyone to do anything.  I simply want to reveal what eating raw is doing for me (now and in the future).  So please take what I say with a grain of pink Himalayan crystal salt.   I’m half-way through my trial and will continue to candidly share my peaks and valley floors with anyone interested…

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60 day raw food log: day 17 Weighing the cost of a raw food diet…is it worth it? (Part 2)

Yesterdays blog (part 1) looked at the misconception that eating “raw” has to be expensive.  It really doesn’t.

Today (part 2) I share what I think is a much bigger price to pay than money when it comes to the raw foods life…

Tomorrow (part 3) I’m going to look at the innumerable benefits of eating raw and try to do a simple Pro’s & Con’s analysis to see if eating raw feels worth it to me.

Part 2

IS GOING RAW WORTH IT EVEN THOUGH I HAVE TO GIVE UP SO MUCH?

Coffee

I love coffee.  The aroma. The acidity. The buzzzzz. And I especially crave the taste.  Black tar washing down my gullet.

I know coffee isn’t great for me.  Sure every so often there’s a report about it having antioxidants as long as we drink it in moderation…come on…let’s be big boys & girls and admit it…we like coffee because it’s a drug.  An upper extraordinaire.

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This morning I woke up feeling like shit.  Warmed over death.  I had almost all juice yesterday and it’s kicking the cleansing back into high gear for me.  Now normally, a quick $3 exchange with my dealer in the green apron would instantly change how I felt. LITERALLY.

Yeah-yeah there would be an energy spike and a corresponding drop..blah blah blah…that’s what a second cup of coffee is for.  And I like most people ENJOY the coffee roller coaster.  Especially because the ride right next to it in the park is the Booze Cruise. booze-cruise

So let me bottom line how I feel about coffee despite the fact that I am better hydrated and overall better off without it.  I miss the nervous creative highs & lows I experienced with coffee.

Alcohol

If coffee is creative than alcohol is fun. Right?  We’ve ALL had fun drinking.  And we’ve all cursed Jack, Jim, and Jose for ever being born.

66 A Shirt Full of BoozeIt’s tough to imagine the world without alcohol.  The liquid hazy realm is where we all become stuff of legends…”Dude!  I got SO trashed!  I woke up in a planter in front of a bank!” and “WTF Lara, don’t you remember peeing on the McDonald’s sign last night

in front of like one million people driving down Wilshire?”

Good times.

I’ve been bartending for about three years.  I’m not the kind of bartender who throws bottles in the air.  I’m not particularly fast.  I’m the kind of bartender that gets to know you and makes you a perfect drink every time.

I love beer & liquor (slowly coming around on wine with the help of Chilean malbecs ), my love of bourbon and tequila drives me to constantly learn and craft each cocktail.

You know how they say that what people choose to drink says a lot about them.  It’s true.  It’s a fascinating thing and what’s really cool is that it changes both seasonally and slowly over time as someones personality shifts.

For example, when I lived in the cold SF bay area all my drinking revolved around bourbon and dark seasonal ales makers-mark-cocktail-shaker-1from NorCal on up through the Oregon coast (My all time fave was Lagunitas’ Lucky 13 Mondo Red).  The cocktail I liked to treat myself to was a stiff Maker’s Manhattan.

When I moved to Palm Springs I became obsessed with drinking Hefeweizens during the hot summer days and with meals.  My desert tonic of choice?  The simplest Tanqueray gimlet:  3 oz of Tanqueray, the juice squeezed from half a lime, and ice go into the shaker.  Shake the HELL out of it and strain it UP into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice in a clear plastic Dixie cup if I was taking out to the pool…

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If I seem like I’m rambling a little, that’s because I am.

I want to convey that I really like and miss these things.  I can’t sit here and type some BS lie like, “Oh…I don’t really miss any of that.”  Because I do.

Food

Now obviously, I don’t have to give up food.  I eat as much of it as I want.  As long as it’s fruit, vegetables, nuts…

I’m talking about pizza, steak, hamburgers, mashed potatoes, lasagna, burritos, sushi, cornbread, bacon, chili-cheese fries, artisan goat cheese, nachos, sourdough melts, street tacos, BBQ, potato salad, tamales, Vegas buffets, spanakopita, cubano sandwiches, breakfast potatoes, garlic bread, chips & salsa, pad thai, samosas, baingan bharta, and anything made or topped with copious amounts of sweet roasted garlic…

Making that list this early in my attempt at 60 days raw (and maybe as a way of life) is both a little sadistic and masochistic…but you knew I’d eventually have to get some S&M into a blog called Live Nude Food. Click here for a little amateur food porn I downloaded on a day last week when my food cravings were worse than normal. Go ahead and click it. You know you want to.

So right now you’re probably thinking “WTF!?”.  Me too.

I’ve run out of the time needed to delve into the social ramifications of being a raw food weirdo (that IS what people think).  Suffice it to say that if you think eating a diet that is contrary in every last respect to what the rest of your family, your friends, and the country eats…carries zero consequences; your crazier than Tom Cruise.

Yeah, you can get all new friends (maybe you need to anyways).  You can carry baggies of cacao to the movies and thank the big dipper that raw eateries are coming soon to a corner near you.  But it’s not gonna be all fun, and it sure as hell isn’t easy.  So why claim that it is?

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You can see why I say this is the real cost of going raw.  And it’s one I’m still weighing out myself.  It’s good that I’ve made the decision to commit to 60 days 100% raw NO MATTER WHAT.  If I was trying to ask these same questions over and over every day, it would be a disaster for me.  In the meantime my health and overall feeling about life have drastically improved in just two weeks.  That’s frickin impressive on any level.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Tomorrow I’ll try and articulate what’s so incredible about the raw foods experience, and I’ll ask myself how it stacks up to the booze cruise…

What I ate today:

  • Carrot/Orange/Apple juice
  • Half a Pineapple/Green Powder/Honey/Coconut Oil “Colada”
  • My new chocolate hemp Cocoa Puffs shake
  • The other half of the pineapple…

Notes: Felt full all day.  So much buzzy energy I almost don’t feel grounded.  Went for a long walk at dusk along a dried out river bed. I’m updating this at 4:45 in the morning and haven’t gone to sleep yet…


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60 day raw food log: day 15 This is really working! Lost 13 lbs in only 2 weeks!

So I’m now 241 lbs. I may post before & after pics soon, or I might just do it at the 30 days milestone?  My face looks way thinner already and I feel much lighter in general. And that’s with virtually NO…

EXERCISE:

So far. I am feeling the urge to get back to Bikram yoga.

When I do my quick little bike commute to the restaurant where I tend bar, I remember how amazing it was when I used to go on long mountain bike rides on the Central Coast of California or take a spring Sunday to ride from Brooklyn into the city and lazily circumnavigate Manhattan (the reward was always a stop @ the Whole Food’s at Columbus Circle for picnic supplies to be gorged on in Central Park followed closely by a nap on the grass).

FOOD CRAVINGS:

I still battle with intermittent yet powerful cooked food cravings.  Last night I was dying every time I took a pizza or garlic bread to a customer…

But you know what?  I feel tremendous. And how crazy is it to lose so much weight, so healthily, and so fast?  Thirteen pounds in just two weeks!?!


THIS IS NOT A DIET:

I really need to drive home an important point for anyone reading this wondering if they are capable of going raw–I AM NOT STARVING MYSELF.  I AM NOT EVEN DIETING. Seriously.  I eat as much and as often as I want.

Eating raw is qualitative not quantitative. That’s a funny expression I coined so that I would sound like I really know what I’m talking about.  It just means that eating and thinking this way (raw), has ZIP to do with dieting. Zero calorie watching.  Zero hesitation if you want seconds or thirds. Your free to focus instead only on what you are eating.

FREE TO THINK & CREATE:

And you know what? After the initial misery while cleansing (for me it was terrible headaches and anger), and after the evangelical weird high most new raw-fooders go through where they get sorta preachy & annoying (while still being extremely lovable by virtue of their infectious radiant charisma) , you are all freed-up to think and plan and enjoy exploring areas of life other than food.

For me that’s been learning what a blog (noun) is, and how to blog (verb).

I also dug up the grave that some screenplays I started but never finished were buried in. I had to re-introduce myself to a dormant creative ghost who shared in secret with me (don’t worry ghosts don’t read blogs, they read blaaahhhgggs) that it still wants to be fueled by alcohol and occasional cocaine parties.

But that would be a different kind of blog…

What I ate so far today:

  • Watermelon Juice from Nature’s Cafe (they are on Twitter now!)sweet livin walnuts
  • “Sweet Livin’ Walnuts” from Aimee’salso bought these at Nature’s Cafe. Sweet & salty…sorta like almond praline meets cinnamon toast crunch cereal? For me the Stevia leaves an aftertaste…that’s my one complaint..I really prefer raw honey as a sweetener.
  • Big Salad w/ avocado, sprouts, tomato, kalamatas, olive oil, lemon juice…
  • My first self-prepared “gourmet” raw meal: I made cashew “mayonnaise” in the blender, bought a surprisingly good raw dehydrated rye “bread”, and topped it with a thick layer of the mayo, olives, and half an avo, so that I had this ridiculously flavorful open faced sandwich that had deli overtures.
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sorry the pic is fuzzy, the sandwich moved!


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60 Days Raw Log: It’s Day 7 and people are preposterous

Day 7

So what I’ve been noticing is that I wake up feeling really groggy-cloudy-almost painful to wake.  I think I’m still really just in the initial stages of cleansing and need to be real about my expectations…

Now once that grogginess lifts, I feel really good and am surprised how much energy I have despite really not eating much.  I also notice I tend to be really hungry one day and the then not much at all the next.

When I eat this way I start to think different almost immediately.  As I go about my day and watch how people move, drive, interact, think, etc. it becomes crystal to me that we are all full of shit and that humans are preposterous.  We’re beautiful and strange and damn good survivors even if it is at other species expense, but as Larry David says in the latest Woody Allen flick, “On the whole, I’m sorry to say, we’re a failed species.”

It really got me thinking about how permanent humans think we are, and wondering just how long we’ll actually be around?

What I ate today:

  • Watermelon juice
  • Sun dried tomato crackers (dehydrated…bought at the health food store), greens, and guacamole
  • RAW bar
  • Apple
  • MY NEW FAVORITE SMOOTHIE! I cut the soft flesh out of a whole fresh papaya the size of football, and it filled up almost half my blender!  Then I added 1 1/2 tbs of coconut oil, 1 tbs raw honey, ice, and water.  Holy!

Note:  I will weigh myself tomorrow.