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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 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 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…