Fat Kid Suit


12 Comments

Shocker: I’ve lost 19 pounds since Valentine’s Day by avoiding Industrial Food!

I want to share where I am at with my efforts to walk away from Industrial food.

An Inner Debate

On Feb 9 I listened in as Daniel Vitalis and David Wolfe participated in Kevin Gianni’s “Great Health Debate.”  Click to read my review of the event and see why it immediately motivated me to make some serious changes in my life.

That was only 3 1/2 weeks ago–just before Valentines Day.  Since then I have honored my commitment to avoid meat, dairy, GMOs, processed foods, refined sugar, coffee, and I’ve eliminated all gluten from my diet.  The result?

I Break the News

I FEEL GREAT and I HAVE LOST 19 LBS in just 25 DAYS!

I wasn’t expecting these kind of results.  When I went to weigh myself today I thought the scale would tell me I had  lost around 10-12 LBS.   The reason I am surprised is because I have been unable to exercise due to injury.

100% Raw VS My New Approach

This level of weight loss is almost identical to the results I had when I did my 100% raw food challenge.  Even the starting and ending weights are within a few pounds! Here you can see full body Before & After pics taken during my first 30 days raw. However, this time around I am only eating about 1/3  of my calories in raw form (uncooked fruits n’ veggies).

Cooked Carbs

I was concerned that my increased intake of cooked carbohydrate like potatoes, carrots, beans, brown rice pasta, and organic corn tortillas; might even result in weight gain.  When I did 100% raw I gave up ALL alcohol.  The past 3 1/2 weeks I have enjoyed red wine and even cocktails made with only fresh ingredients.

Fat Phobia

The other difference between how I eat now VS when I ate only raw food for 60 days–is my fat intake. While I have not been fat phobic in any way, I am eating way less fat than when I did 100% raw and was eating a ton of nuts, nut creams, nut butters, and 1-2 avocados a day. I don’t include nuts in my diet every day now.  I eat a half an avocado every other day or so.  I cook sparingly with olive oil and try to instead use it in it’s uncooked form in salads or pesto. I do eat a few eggs each week.

So What Exactly DO I Eat Now?

If you are curious to read more about what I HAVE been eating, and even see some pics, check out my daily food log called What I Ate Today.

The only current “Before & After” pics I have kinda suck, but I will include them here because I think you can see a dramatic difference in my fat face.  My apologies, the first pic is creepy.

 

Scary Valentine photo taken Feb 12 256 LBS

Same hat, looking a little more Grapes Of Wrath, less than 3 weeks later, Mar 7--237 LBS

Advertisements


15 Comments

People are kinda creeped by what I am keeping in my fridge

If you have read FAT KID SUIT lately you know that I recently started over.  One year is plenty of time to get in amazing shape.  Unfortunately it is also more than enough time to completely fall apart and double in size.

This past Saturday was the first time in a year I went to the local Farmer’s Market with the intention of buying almost ALL of my food for the week there.  I forgot just how different shopping for a true plant-based diet is…

 

When you truly buy enough plant calories, there is little room in the fridge for anything else!

Let me give you a tour of the fridge, which friends and family have called everything from “Gross!” to “Insane!”

Top Shelf

  • Hidden from view are amazing local dates and a couple jars of raw almond butter.
  • Tangerines
  • Apples (several varieties)
  • Snap Peas
  • Local Eggs
  • Red and Gold raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Three colors of bell peppers
  • Red cabbage
  • Oranges

Middle Shelf

  • In what used to be the “cheese” drawer is cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Hidden from view under that drawer is a huge bag of oranges, and a big bag of tangelos for juicing.
  • Sitting in water is celery and three types of carrots.

Bottom “Crisper” Drawers

  • The bottom is mostly greens.  Kale, spinach, mache, arugula, cilantro…bags and bags of greens!

In addition to the what is in the fridge we keep several bunches of bananas and a couple bottles of wine on the counter  at all times.  Next to the fridge are some little “dry” pantry shelves…

 

Basic staples I am using a lot of since changing the way I eat back to plant-based and including some cooked vegetables.

Some of the stuff on these shelves are left overs from different things I’ve tried and am no longer really doing.  For instance the powdered greens and greens in pill form.  As you can see from the fridge pics the focus is on fresh.

Why not 100% raw?

I am not wanting to do 100% raw right now.  By not pushing for 100% I am eating less nuts and almost no raw specialty foods.  In addition to the calories I get from raw fruits, veggies, and small quantities of raw nuts and oils–I get calories from simple cooked meals that are comprised of potatoes and other cooked vegetables, tomato sauces, and delicious fresh pesto.  I limit myself to having a few servings of whole grains and eggs each week.  The cans you see are cat food, which since October have been the only meat in the house…

In just a few weeks I have gotten off the coffee ride, am drinking a lot less hard liquor, and no beer.  Done are the nightly pizzas, the garlic bread, french fries, and junk sweets.  And guess what?  The out of control and disgusting acid reflux, which had reached a level where I couldn’t even lay flat to sleep, is 100% gone.  I am exercising almost every day now, and feel compelled to do so.  I will weigh myself soon, but from what I can see in the mirror I have already dropped a lot of toxic weight.  All thanks to avoiding industrial food and doing my best to choose the most nutrient rich foods I can eat.

 


7 Comments

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…


2 Comments

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!


8 Comments

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).