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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 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…


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60 day raw food log: day 21 Weighing the cost of a raw food diet…is it worth it? (part 3)

 

WHAT IN THE WORLD DO I HAVE TO GAIN FROM EATING THIS WAY?


Energy

Sun Power!

Serious—power a small city, build bigger pyramids, apply for the “HELP WANTED: SUPERHERO” position advertised on craigslist, kind of energy. I have never felt lighter or freer…EVER!

You’ve heard raw food zealots talk about it, try it for yourself and see why so many athletes are turning to a diet high in raw foods to give them a competitive edge.  ULTRA-MARATHONERS are eating this way! When was the last time you ran 100 miles?

 

Mental Clarity

I don’t know that I can convey how clear my thinking becomes eating this way.  There’s a precision and depth to my thoughts that I DO NOT experience when eating cooked foods.  Some might even refer to it as

Whose more "in the moment"? Kids or dogs...

spiritual.  I’ll skip that label and just say raw foods are very expansive…

 

Addicted No More

Three weeks ago I was addicted to food, alcohol, and caffeine.  No other way to call it.  I was.  I don’t necessarily mean in the “I better get to a 12-step meeting” kind of way.  I mean how most of us are addicted to these things that should enhance our lives but for many don’t.

Having a couple beers with your friends is nice.  Sitting alone and spending your insomniacal hours working on a case of beer isn’t.

A glass of wine with your pasta dinner can be a beautiful thing.  Eating whole pizzas because your bored and drinking 50, 75, 100, or more drinks per WEEK…not so pretty.

The simplest, fastest, most effective way to break your food/booze/caffeine cravings is to go 100% raw with a focus on green foods. Doesn’t have to be forever, but give your body the break it deserves.  You will be surprised by how effective green foods are at combating your addictions.

 

Transcendence

It feels kinda cool to transcend food.  Best analogy I can think of is the totally in-control bartender who doesn’t drink himself…

So much of modern life can feel out of our control.  And it sucks to feel like you are always letting yourself down and breaking your own promises.  I gotta admit that I feel a sense of power being able to go to work in an Italian resaturant and bar and only eat tangerines on my shift while everyone else is eating pizza and getting drunk.

One man–a diabetic–comes in every night and drinks two or three bourbons while chowing down on minestrone, a caesar salad, a basket of garlic bread, a heaping plate of chicken alfredo, and some cheesecake.  All while lamenting how cursed he is to have diabetes!  It feels good not to be that guy.

 

Healthier Every Day

I remember literally feeling like every day I woke up my health was deteriorating markedly.  It really blows to be only 36 years old and huffing and puffing up a flight of stairs.

So many of the ailments people “come down with”, “contract”, or “suffer from”, are 100% avoidable.  Please don’t take me as some kind of jerk who is going to insist that all sickness is self-made.  I don’t think that at all.  But most of the everyday “conditions” we live with are.  The guy I mentioned who comes into my bar every night…he CHOOSES to be a diabetic.  One month eating raw and he’d be a different person and he would NOT be a diabetic.

Another example of the health benefits of eating raw is how totally it covers all the bases.  I was in the health food store the other day waiting for my fresh watermelon juice to be made.  So I decided to walk around and look at the shelves.  Two thirds of the stores shelves contain vitamins, powders, supplements, tonics, etc.  TWO THIRDS!  I had a funny reaction–literally–and started laughing out loud.  It all seemed so ridiculous.  None of those pills are going to fix anything. Total waste of time and money.  Let alone pharmaceuticals…

 

Natural Weight Control

Oprah and Ricky can talk all they want about the need for heavy people to accept themselves and the evils of a society obsessed with being thin…it doesn’t change the fact that none of us want to be fat!

If you read my Fat Kid Suit story you know I grew up being a fat kid in a fat family.  It sucked!  You know why I think people dislike being fat the most?  Because all those layers are proof that you are hiding shit and that your thoughts aren’t your own.

Have you watched the Biggest Loser?  Ever see people cry that much?  Even for reality TV these “losers” are shedding more tears than I thought humanly possible.

Being fat is not congruent with any kind of personal authenticity.  When I’m fat I start avoiding eye contact.  It’s a terrible terrible way to be and while I’m all empathy about how hard it is to make up your mind to change it, it’s 100% on you.  Eating raw has helped me quickly realize that, and I no longer want to abdicate my responsibility to and for myself.

If you haven’t tried eating 100% (or at least mostly) raw yet, you may not believe me when I tell you that eating raw is NOT a diet.  And I hope you know that I don’t mean that in some cheese-ball marketing sense.  It simply isn’t a diet.  I’ve lost a lot of weight already, and I have NEVER ONCE thought about a calorie, a carb, or wondered how many fat grams I was eating.  NEVER EVER do I tell myself I shouldn’t have seconds or thirds of anything.

I pour the olive oil on THICK!  I eat a whole avocado as a snack. I lick honey off of spoons.  The other day I got a massive pineapple and ate the whole thing for lunch.  You know those a-holes who say that drinking fruit juice is the same as drinking soda?  I drank a quart of fresh pressed seasonal apples juiced into a cloudy lover of a concoction that zinged in my mouth and sweetened my soul like no other…yeah it was that good.  My body SOAKED it all up into my cells which collectively broke out in song.  And guess what?  It wasn’t the Coke song.

 

Sex

Oh, NOW you’re paying attention!  Yeah sex.  That thing you try and squeeze in between cocktail dreardoms and buffet bellyaches.  Only a very small group of fetishists find belching and food induced comas to be a turn on.

You know what’s really sexy?  FRUIT!  Farmer’s markets are the new sex shops.  I don’t mean you have to use the fruit that way, just eat it.   And then let all that stored solar stuff of life bump up against some other radiant beings overflow.  In other words, sex is better the more raw foods you eat.

NO idea who this guy is, but HE'S got the right idea!

Having that youthful raw foods “glow” and lightness of being make you FEEL sexy at any age.  That kind of confidence and feeling of self-worth is the only real aphrodisiac…

 

The Environment & Animals Everywhere Will Thank You

This one is obvious to most people.  I’m not going to get all science right now.  There are tons of great resources out there regarding the undeniable connection between what we eat and the environment.  If anything, I’m sick of the words “green,” “sustainable,” “vegan,” and “carbon footprint.”  These are becoming marketing buzz words, overused, and to me they are often elitist terms with very little real world application for the majority of the worlds population.

I wasn’t attracted to raw foods for ethical reasons.  If anything I’m a borderline Nihilist who is completely A-political.  But, what we do most of the time makes the largest impact in our personal lives and on the human family as a whole.  Eating less meat and dairy has a far greater impact than driving a Prius does…

I’m not an “animal lover,” but the more raw foods I eat the more empathy I feel for animals, other people, and myself.  Having apparently turned my hatred toward plants, I’m now regularly butchering papayas the size of infant children and braining coconuts to get at their sweet innards.  You can’t please every species all of the time I guess.  Besides, the other day when I drove by a small farm, the chickens waved.

 

My Conclusions

I’m sure there are heaps more benefits that I don’t even know about yet.  I’m only just beginning with all of this.  Three weeks in I’m loving the results and wanting more.

Can I do this 100% of the time?  Probably not.  And I don’t think that’s what matters anyways.  But I can see myself mostly raw from here forward.

 

Your Input

What are some benefits to eating raw that you have experienced and that I failed to mention?  What percentage (roughly) of your diet comes from raw foods?  What do you like/dislike about the raw food movement?

PLEASE comment and join in on the discussion!

 

P.S.

Tomorrow I weigh myself and will post the result of week three’s weight loss.  All while NOT dieting.  So please check back for that and more!

Thanks!


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60 day raw food log: day 16 Weighing the cost of a raw food diet…is it worth it?

Most people are concerned about money right now.

I am in need of an IV drip connected to a money bag myself.  The place where I bartend is only scheduling me for 3-4 shifts a week, and like many restaurants, is struggling.

So one part of determining if raw food eating is “worth” it is the dollars spent. I’ll do my best to give a dollars & cents breakdown on what eating this way is costing me and how it compares to when I ate a “normal” American diet.

Another price to pay for eating raw is taking an honest look at the things you give up to do so.  Pizza delivery and cheap beer.  Pitchers of mojitos to wash down some gourmet Cuban cuisine.  Street food (especially TACO TRUCKS!)  BBQ joints…did I mention Taco Trucks?

CIMG3610

I knew my moto was back in Cali when I came across this taco truck on a cold night just south of the border. The Oregon border!

Finally, anytime you examine somethings true cost you have to figure out just what the hell you’re getting out of it.  AKA…what are the benefits?

So is it worth it? I’m no expert and I can’t answer this (or any other question) for you.  But let you inside my abnormally large head and show you exactly how I feel at this juncture about the costs of eating raw…

Today (part 1) will focus on the monetary cost.  Tomorrow (part 2) will look at the cost of giving up things you love and are used to…like taco trucks.  And in (part 3) I’ll wrap it up with a snazzy cost/benefits analysis (sorry no charts or Excel spreadsheets) that attempts to explore the sometimes measurable, sometimes intangible benefits of a raw food life.

Part One

IS EATING RAW MORE EXPENSIVE THAN COOKED?

First few times you walk over to the raw “section” at the health food store (you know you’ve become a radical marginal member of society when you are shopping in a specialized section of a specialty store) two things will probably jump to your attention…

My first thought was “This is a really tiny section.  Not really a section actually, more like an end-cap.”

My second thought was, “Holy shit!  $14 for peanut butter!?”

Bulk Items

To make matters worse, a lot of the things you “need” to get started are bulk items. These types of items will probably last you a month, but they require payment in full today.

As an example, I bought a big bottle of spirulina for $43.  Two weeks later I’m only halfway through it.  But when I

swamp2

Spirulina bringing someone else back from the dead...

was standing there in the store trying to imagine how bad something that grows on top of a swamp might taste, and ruminating on the sad fact that lately I don’t even make $43 some nights, well lets just say it wasn’t easy to hand over the green required to buy the green. (Spirulinas really more blue-green).

My conclusion? These items aren’t in actuality expensive and can actually make raw eating more economical in some instances. At $1.4o per serving, roughly the price of a Coke, instead of corn syrup, chemicals, and an ingredient list that reads more like toilet bowl cleaner than beverage; you get the most concentrated bio-available protein on the planet.

So, score one for the spirulina and other bulk raw items you might want like cacao nibs, hemp oil, and raw honey.

Pre-packaged stuff VS. Produce

When you are new and trying to “adjust” to raw  for the first time you will naturally gravitate to the expensive pre-packaged raw items because they sorta look like what you think foods supposed to look like.

realhomerI stood there having a Homer Simpson style conversation with myself that went something like this… “Ahhhh…crackers!  I know what crackers are! This is a peculiarly small little bag with only 6 crackers in it…not exactly a Costco size box of Wheat Thins…but it says here…sun-dried tomato crackers…mmm…sounds yummy…and they are only…let me just turn this little package over and find the price….$9!  WTF!”

I bought them anyways.  Because I was scared of not having what I refer to as “food-food.”  And you know what allows you to psychologically pay NINE BUCKS for SIX CRACKERS?  The little sticker on the package that says “raw.”  And do you know what those crackers taste like, I’ll give you a hint…it’s a 4 letter word…start’s with an “S”…and it’s not sun dried tomatoes!

I’ve been reading a lot of other raw foodists blogs and watching their You Tube channels and tweeting with them and I’m starting to get the feeling that the longer one eats raw, the more likely they are to do almost all of their shopping at a Farmer’s Market, or in a good organic produce section.

My conclusion? Go ahead and buy the pre-packaged stuff.  Try it.  See what you like and what you don’t.  Soon you will save the dehydrated breads and little $4 baggies of superfood trail mix for when you need the convenience or the comfort.  Spend the bulk of your dough on fruits & veggies that are pound for pound, yes even at organic prices, the best value for your food dollar.

11/14 UPDATE!  Went to Farmer’s Market today and loaded up on fresh veggies/greens/and fruit.  I even bought a big jar of raw wildflower honey.  Grand Total = $40  Because I’m 100% raw I also got “free” breakfast out of the deal just walking around enjoying all the samples being handed out.  When I came home I took everything out and put it on the table so I could see what all I bought.  I had to take a picture…amazing isn’t it?  The honey will last a couple weeks and I’m sharing this with my girlfriend, so the real cost to me for the week I estimate to be closer to$25!!!

DSCN1435

How Much Are You NOT Spending?check-into-booze

This is really fair question to ask, and the one that pushed me over the edge on the money issue.  Do this little exercise yourself, and be brutally honest about it.

I added up what I spent each week on:

  • Coffee. Up to 2 weeks ago I was spending over $6 per day at Starbucks.
  • Booze. I’m talking drinks out (w/ tips), drinks in, wine, beer, all of it! For me drinking on the cheap was still costing  me over $70 per week. And that’s with a job where I can have a drink or two for free.
  • Cooked food groceries. I love to cook.  Shop pretty smart at Trader Joe’s.  My share of weekly groceries is about $40 per week.
  • Eating out. Make sure you include any fast food, lunches out, frozen yogurts, movie popcorn, brunch, all that!  I had really cut back lately.  In the past my girlfriend and I would grab sushi or Mexican food at least 3x per week. But due to lack of work and recently moving, I’m gonna say I was spending about $25 per week eating out.
  • Cigarettes. I don’t smoke cigarettes, so this wasn’t an issue with me.  But if you do smoke, we’re talking big bucks here, and you ARE going to stop smoking if you go 100% raw.  Maybe not immediately, but soon.
  • Other drugs including prescriptions. In one way or another, to quote Weezer, “We are ALL on drugs.”  I like to party, and think recreational substances have their place. But for arguments sake assume you won’t be spending money on that after you get hooked up to nature’s crack–raw food.  Also include most (not all, like I don’t think eating raw is going to do anything in the contraceptive department) pharmaceuticals.  Especially meds for cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux (my GERD is 100% GONE), etc.

So for me…about $200 per week.  What’s your total?

So that’s $200 per week that I can apply to eating 100% raw food, drinking fresh-squeezed vibrant juices, and even eating out every so often in a little raw cafe or gourmet raw eatery.  $200 is A LOT of vegetables and fruit.

Another aspect of how much it really costs to eat raw vegan organic foods that I hadn’t thought of until I read Derek Markham’s blog today…is all the money not spent at the Doctors office.  In his case he acknowledges that as a father he chooses to spend a large portion of his families income on fresh organic food.  Derek says, “Our kids deserve the best fuel for their minds and bodies, and eating this way is our ‘health insurance’.” That blew me away.

What I’m NOT suggesting is that you cancel your health insurance (if you have health insurance) and count that as potential savings if you go raw.  But imagine the money you, your family, and the country would save by having less sick days, co-pays, depression, and chronic illness…

My conclusion? Money should have nothing to do with whether or not someone chooses to go raw.  If anything, I am spending a little less money each week to give my body an abundance of nutrients and delicious food.

Tune in tomorrow if you want to read about some of my misgivings about going (and staying raw long-term), as well as a candid lament about things I’m not sure I can live without (or want to).


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60 days raw food log:day 12 Eating Raw Can Be Confusing.

What happened to the simple raw food concepts I was introduced to a couple years back when I was first exposed to live foods?

It was so simple.  Listen to David Wolfe jump up and down raving about what a natural high raw foods were and treat myself to gourmet raw food at Cafe Gratitude on the weekend while during the week relishing abundance and enjoying two avocados a day…

Now I keep hearing new terms like “high raw” which sometimes seems to simply refer to trying to eat a higher percentage of raw foods daily and at other times some kind of designation for those who do raw to the highest greenest extremes? Then there are people (Doctors) throwing around optimal macro percentages to eat like 80/10/10…

I thought all that stuff was for the regular dieting masses who want to get in the “zone” and who are plagued by the evils of cooked foods? When I eat raw, I feel like I naturally & rapidly notice anything I’m not doing right and change it.  Why have such distinct rules?  Why not focus on just eating raw? (I really want to know.  These aren’t rhetorical questions.  So if you have comments please share them with me!!!)

As an example.  I don’t feel like I’m eating enough succulent watery fruits & veggies. I need to find a good farmers market and do more of my shopping there.  But to worry about whether I just poured 1 tbs or was it 2 tbs of cold-processed hemp oil onto my salad?  Seriously?

I want to research and write more about this.  I also want to get better about making this blog a resource for the best recipes I come across.  Soon I will be adding a Raw Restaurant Review tab & a Recipes tab.  For today, check out these awesome pics and recipes for raw comfort foods I found on a blog that I’m not sure is current, but there are these really decadent recipes in the archives including “mayo” and “mashed potatoes & turkey.” Just in time for Thanksgiving!

mashed potaoes and turkey raw

Raw Thanksgiving

What I ate today:

  • Double portion of watermelon juice
  • Raw pistachios
  • RAW bar
  • Apple
  • Spinach Salad w/ olives, avocado, olive oil, lemon & black pepper w/ rawmesan.


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60 days raw food log: Day 11 is a day full of cravings

Day 11

Yesterday sailed by, easy breezy. Wind in my sails like Captain Jack Sparrow.

Today…not so easy & nothing breezy about it.  I am craving  &%^$#  EVERYTHING! Here’s a partial list:

  • Grilled ham & cheese sandwich from Olympic Diner in SF. The waitress would get pissed when I asked if they could throw a fried egg on it, I’d say “pretty please” and she’d bring it out w/ a smile and EXTRA home fries!grill ham egg cheese
  • ANY flavor of piping hot ooey gooey mozzarella topped perfection from Rocco’s Pizzeria in Walnut Creek. My creation usually was pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and feta…but sometimes I’d go for traditional red sauce w/ ground beef, garlic, and green peppers.roccos
  • A heaping plate of CARNITAS from my favorite authentic Mexican restaurant, Las Montanas in Concord.  Somehow their food isn’t “wet” like most mex places.  It floods your mouth with flavor, but as an example the rice is fluffy and dry and perfect.  The staff is the best I’ve ever encountered.  The drinks always sucked so i stuck with ice cold LAGUNITAS IPA from the tap.
  • My own cooking, esp slow cooked homemade spicy tomato sauce w/ pasta…
  • A perfect loaf of ciabatta from the BROOKLYN BREAD COMPANY in Carroll Gardens and salted butter!BK bread
  • The #3 I think it was at the Thai restaurant my boss used to take me to on 23rd street in Chelsea when I worked in Manhattan.  Even when I asked for “not so spicy” I’d cry through every meal and savor every morsel.  I REALLY MISS NYC on many levels.
  • Sweet & Tangy pulled pork BBQ  or Tri-Tip sandwich from Firestone Grille in my original hometown of San Luis Obispo CA. firestoneTheir fries are the bomb, the patio is the place to be seen, and all kinds of micro brewskies. While in SLO why not hit up the Thurs night Farmer’s Market and stand in the ridiculous long line for McKlintocks beef ribs, camp beans, garlic bread & real lemonade… And one more spot in SLO you can’t skip is High Street Deli on, yup, High Street.  San Luis Sourdough piled with whatever you want in between…   High Street
  • Chilaquiles w/ chorizo & sour cream at the King’s Highway, the cool new diner at the chic new Ace Hotel in Palm Springs where a friend recently saw Drew Barrymore and company eating.  Wash it down with their house ale that’s only $3 a pint in an otherwise pricey enviro. Go on a Wed night & bring your swimsuit, grab a Tanqueray and Lime at the bar & go join the DJ’d pool party.ace
  • Chili Fries with a mountain of melted cheddar! But the chili has got to be SPICY like Cool Cats in SLO!chili_fries

Ok, sorry to put you through that if you came to this blog looking for encouragement with your raw endeavors.  But, this is part of it, right?  I’m trying to keep it real and not sugarcoat my experience going raw.

I’m NOT going to eat anything like that today!  And no cold beer! Raw food eating is worth it. I feel good and already look a lot better.  In about a week I’ll post the first before & after pics of my journey into better health. Each Tuesday I will also weigh myself.  My first week I lost 7lbs. So I’m curious to see what week two’s weight loss is.

I feel kinda bad (not really) for posting all those cooked food pics on a raw food blog–don’t judge. So to try and offset the greasy pics above I want to post the best looking raw food pic I have seen this week. They are “Red Pepper Poppers” and that is EGGPLANT BACON! I can’t wait to make them!  The recipe is at
http://www.rawmazing.com/recipes/red-pepper-poppers/

red pepper poppers eggplant bacon

What I ate so far today:

  • Watermelon Juice (I just found out it’s an APHRODISIAC! I don’t think chili fries make you a better lover..)
  • Pear
  • Blueberry Banana Smoothie w/ honey & green powder
  • Salad: Leftover homemade pesto, spinach, olives, rawmesan
  • Apple
  • Vanilla-maca-date-banana-shake

***PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT WHAT YOU CRAVE AND WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR DIET IS RAW! THANKS! I’m really curious to here from others about this.


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60 Days Raw Log: Day 3 is for sexy pears & other cravings

Day 3

Feel much better today.  Woke up minus the headache and body stiffness but still have noticeable kidney pain. Also, my body temp feels lower, and I find myself taking a hot shower a couple times a day and wearing long sleeves and jeans for a change. I’m stoked to have one more day off to adjust to all this before having to get back to work Fri night.  I currently work as a bartender and it takes a lot of patience, ability to remember, plain old labor, etc.  So tomorrow night we’ll see how I function at work totally raw.

Cravings…pretty bad today…craving grilled ham n’ cheese sandwiches and marinated tri-tip steak….it’s difficult to imagine eating this way for more than a month or two…

I’m also allowing myself to be kinda boring for now with regards to food prep, and unique smoothies, etc.  I want to get a little more into raw recipes, I especially want to learn how to make raw “chips” so I have crunchy salty snacks (I found a good recipe online for kale chips)!  But I don’t have the money for a food dehydrator and need to take one baby step after the other for now.

I was spoiled when I did the raw thing in SF because there are SEVERAL amazing raw restaurants there, and raw food vendors at the huge farmers market’s that sell these amazing wraps and shakes and stuff.  Here in Palm Springs…not so much.

Looking forward to that energy rush that comes with raw eating, but hasn’t happened yet.  It actually feels like my body is telling me to chill and lay low–I’m sure after all the abuse I’ve subjected it to that it needs major cleansing.

What I ate today:

  • Watermelon Juice (LOVE THIS STUFF!)
  • Lot’s of h20 w/ lemon squeezed in it
  • Huge combo salad: Spinach, lettuce, olives, red peppers, a whole avocado, black pepper, lemon, olive oil, topped with this incredible product called RAWMESEAN (walnuts, sea salt, nutritional yeast).
  • A mango
  • 2 sweet sexy pears! *&^% delicious these organic pairs
  • Raw chocolate & almond butter
  • A raw bar made with nuts and dates
  • Some delicious figs I bought and ate while walking around the Thur nite Farmers Market
  • My asian slaw salad again
  • A real chocolate shake! Raw honey from farmers market, cacao powder, hemp seeds, almond butter, dates…insanely thick, creamy and delicious!

As you can see I’m eating a good amount.  That’s really key with this way of eating.  Eat what you wantDO NOT concern yourself with any of the following:

  1. Calories (all calories are not the same–no matter what they say)
  2. Carbs (raw honey is the food of the gods!  real fruit sugar IS NOT the same as corn-syrup even though they are both “fructose.”
  3. Fat (your body thanks you for the olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts!)
  4. Percentages--forget it.  Listen to your body, it will tell you what you need.  Fershizzel my Nizzel.