Fat Kid Suit


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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 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 Days raw food log: Day 9 Is raw food a religion?

Day 9

Is eating raw more like a religion than just a simple way of eating?  I hope not. Religion nauseates me.

It is interesting that RAW is talked about as a “lifestyle.” One where no matter how connected you are to other raw “fooders” {has it’s own lingo too…} you are still alienated from people in general.  And without question there’s a fair amount of elitism that enters into the picture, not altogether different from various religious groups who believe they are the “chosen.”

Even my girlfriend who is the healthiest person I know gets an inferiority complex every time I try to eat raw because she only eats “80% raw.”

But whose to really measure this health benefit against that social one?  Life’s short…then you die, right? And along the way the garnishment of pleasure is an A no. 1 priority. And that’s where it gets confusing.  It’s a genuine pleasurable thing to feel energy-charged and healthy and even to some extent sober.  But it’s also thrilling to get stoned and drunk and end up at some grease trap of a restaurant at 3am.

To each his own, ferschizzle, but still what fascinating choices present themselves in the raw, undercooked, cooked, and overcooked field of experiences we each translate as “Life.”

The only thing I really care about at this point in my existence is making sure that I don’t confuse being alive with living. In many ways I don’t feel like I’ve spent much of my time so far on earth really LIVING.  So if today raw foods tune me in, and tomorrow it’s psychedelics or a bridge to jump off–don’t judge.

What I ate today:

  • cracked open a coconut and drank it before I spanked it, I mean before I spooned big hunks of it’s white luscious flesh into my veggie hole.
  • wild blueberry and banana smoothie with barley grass powder and honey
  • Asian cabbage slaw: today I mixed it up with pears instead of apples and hemp pistachio tahini instead of almond butter!
  • Raw Pesto! I blended up basil, garlic, olive brine, olive oil, RAWMESAN, walnuts, and lemon juice.  Perfect beautiful pesto!  Used it as a dressing with a mix bowl full of spinach, baby tomatos, and kalamatas.


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60 Days Raw Log: On day 2 I’m painfully sober at the library

Day 2

Woke up with a crap headache, disoriented, and sore all over.  Now to be fair, I wake up feeling that way a few times a week after drinking too much the night before.  Today I woke up feeling that way from not drinking…I guess that’s better?  The only problem is my head never stopped pounding all day.

Wednesday is “library day.”  My girlfriend is a nerd and this is her favorite day.  We get our laptops and books together and spend hours at the Rancho Mirage Public Library, which is a neat modern well funded library set in a cool desert scape.

I lost my cool a couple times today.  Our neighbors are roofing and the noise & stink from the tar machine is maddening.  Also, the roofing crew starts earlier & earlier each morning, today they were banging around before 7am!

Little things blow chunks and piss you off when you drastically cut out the drugs you rely on (at this point in my life alcohol & caffeine).  I remember this from before, a weird mix of increased mental clarity and wishing things weren’t so clear…

The worst thing about today however was the non-stop throbbing pain at the base of my skull–which I know from past expereince is primarily a result of caffeine withdrawals.

BTW, if you are dependent on alcohol and want to use raw foods as a tool to break that dependency, even if you just want a break from it, let me give you a huge tip:  The key is tons of green foods! I don’t have time to find the source where I read about all of this right now, maybe later, but it has to do with what your body is really after when you drink…booze mimic and trick your body into thinking they have something to offer.  But your body really needs the true alkalizing effects of GREEN FOODS.  Whenever I incorporate lots of fresh green foods (salads) and green powders (smoothies) I can’t believe how easy it is to stop drinking!

What I ate today:

  • Smoothie: Raw cacao powder, raw almond butter, raw coconut oil, green foods powder.
  • Watermelon Juice
  • Orange
  • RAW bar: A pre-packaged live food bar made from seeds and berries, crunchy & tasty.
  • An Asian “slaw” I made: 1 carrot, 1 gala apple, 2 handfuls of green cabbage, onion tossed in a dressing made of  raw almond butter, Shoyu, lemon juice & hemp oil, topped w/hemp seeds.  It was extremely filling & took a long time to chew.
  • Smoothie: green powder, coconut oil, cacao nibs (I will experiment with other smoothies soon)
  • Blood orange

Overall it was a very rough day.  I didn’t get much done, my head was super painful from waking til finally just saying screw it and laying in bed with lights off til I fell asleep…


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60 Days Raw Log: Day 1 means going cold turkey & no more booze!

If you read the explanation of why I named this blog Fat Kid Suit you will have a little better idea of why I am once again trying out the live foods life…it took me a long time and a lot of excuses to get to today.  Now that I feel committed to making some changes I plan to document my experiences in a daily log.

Tuesday

Oct 27, 2009

Day 1

Chose today to start because I am off from work the next few days.  Since I am going “cold turkey” off of cooked foods, alcohol, and coffee; I figure I may get sick in that cleansing way and I’m sure I’ll be lethargic and even angry at times…

I will be weighing myself each week or so at the health food store where I will do most of my shopping. It’s a tiny little store with a small “raw” section, a “deli” where I can get salads and fresh squeezed juices, and a doctors scale in the bathroom.

Now that I’ve made up mind to do this, the biggest remaining obstacle to my second attempt at raw is going to be money.  I just moved to Palm Springs CA from San Francisco, I was unemployed for 6 months, and have been “under-employed” since (only working 3 shifts or so a week in bars that are devoid of customers).  So, I am BROKE BROKE BROKE.  From what I recall, eating raw isn’t cheap, and I’ve used that as one of my excuses for not addressing my alcohol intake and diet.

So…I’ve decided to flip it around in my favor. After adding up how much I spend on Starbucks, booze, and occasional restaurant meals, I figure I spend at least $70 per week.  I will now be spending most of that money at the Farmer’s Market!

“RAW” basically means:

Fruits

Veggies

Raw nuts and nut butters

Raw seeds

Cold-processed oils such as olive & hemp

Raw honey and Raw chocolate

That’s what you can eat. Am I missing anything?

What isn’t “raw”:

Booze

Coffee

Pizza

(Shit!  I live on the above!)

Cooked anything

Almost all sugary stuff

Bread

Dairy

Meat

Chips, cereals, etc.

Get the idea? 

*I’m not going to be worrying about what percentages of what macro nutrients I’m eating.  I won’t be wondering if I’m eating too much or to little.  This isn’t a quantitative approach to eating, it’s qualitative.  So, what matters, is what I eat.

Today’s Weight: 254 lbs.

What I ate today:

Fresh squeezed watermelon juice from the health food store deli! Sweet, delicious, and did you know watermelon is packed with as much chlorophyll as most green plants?

An organic peach

A big organic carrot

A small salad with tomato, olives, red onion, carrot, and a dressing I made from cold-pressed olive oil, a squeeze of lime, and a couple grinds of black pepper.

A smoothie I blended up: 1 tbs green foods powder called “Super Green & Super Fruits Blend”, 1 tbs organic coconut oil (creamy and delicious), 3 big dates, 1 tsp raw honey, water and ice.

A lot of water including some Peligrino Sparkling with lime squeezed in.

A large orange

A “Lara Bar”

How the day went:  The start of day one was rough.  Partly because of the lack of coffee and partly because of that feeling I get when I’m about to start something that I know won’t be easy and may even be downright unpleasant.  Denying yourself Nachos topped with chorizo and washed down with cadillac margaritas is never easy–and I know that’s the kinda thing I’m facing.

So I tried to think about how great I’ll feel & look…

Other than that no negatives, I feel fine, although I am hungry and craving a salty snack and beer...