Fat Kid Suit


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Raw Food Thanksgiving: In just 30 days I’ve gone from zero to MY hero.

Today I want to thank myself for seriously committing to change.

My 3oth straight day raw was actually yesterday, but it’s timely to post my first set of before & after pictures today; a day we all pull our heads out of our asses and attempt to give thanks for the bounty that is existence.

 

What I’m thankful for today

I am thankful for my body’s insane resiliency; its capacity to bounce back and regenerate itself is incredible.

One month ago today I was sitting here at this same spot (my kitchen table) drinking continuous triple measured gin gimlets and eating massive quantities of nutrient deficient, fat laden, coma inducing food.  How the hell do I remember what I was doing a month ago?  That’s what I did every day.

The almost manic levels of energy I am experiencing (after getting past a couple difficult weeks) is making me want to explore so many things.  I have way less time than energy now–the INVERSE of  my life just one short month ago–where time lagged and I didn’t give a shit about anything.  I certainly had never blogged before, let alone about raw foods!  Now I have this daily-growing list of topics I want to explore, people I want to meet, stuff I want to try, recipes I cant wait to make, and places I’m dying to travel to…

 

A real load off

Weighed myself Tuesday and am proud to announce that I lost exactly 20 lbs in less than 30 days–eating only 100% raw food (raw fruits/uncooked veggies/raw nuts &eeds/raw honey & agave).

It takes a lot to post pics like these.  It’s weird to have strangers inspect your face and gut.  When I look at the picture from one month ago I’m disgusted.  How could I let myself get to that place? And while I am partly referring to the physical, please understand I am mostly referring to my mental/emotional state.

 

Here goes:

One month ago -- 254 big ones!

TODAY! 30 DAYS RAW! 234 LBS!

When I look at the “after” picture, I feel excited.  This is just the start.

It took 30 days just to figure out WTF was going on, get used to not drinking myself into a stupor, and find my way back into my own skin.

If you are considering making a change like this, please try to be compassionate with yourself and don’t expect too much at once. It’s a lot to just commit to a new way of eating.  The first month I kind of went into hiding, this blog my one connector to the outside world.

 

Exercise

I really didn’t exercise the first month.  But now I have too much energy NOT too! Isn’t that a nice problem to have?

Tuesday I dug out some of those funny 1980’s style resistance bands that I bought and never used and did a crude upper body workout.  Go ahead and laugh, these bands actually work. I used them in an EMS academy years ago that was taught boot camp style.  We all (guys and girls) got ripped and experienced massive strength gains using only the bands and calisthenics during our three month academy.

Yesterday I pumped up the sadly flat tires on my neglected fixed gear and took her for a long ride.  I ride my other bike to work each day, but it’s less than 2 miles and not a work out. Nothing like only having one steep gear to reanimate my long dormant legs and ass!

Just how she should be...Simple & Hot!

Struggling up a small hill, completely anaerobic, it was tough for me to believe I used to ride my bike over 50 miles a day as a bike messenger in NYC!

 

Climbing Mountains

Today just before dusk I rode over to the base of a popular—extremely steep—hiking trail.  Locked my bike to the trail sign and headed straight up for about 45 minutes.  The view is staggering. Other than the big hunk of cross-sectioned moon, alone on the mountain, it REALLY hit me:  I’m doing this.  I remember this feeling. I feel incredible…

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60 day raw food log: day 23 the raw food & vegan scene is bumping in Santa Monica!

Hung out today by the beach in Santa Monica and Venice Beach.  Gorgeous sunset, great people watching…and that’s all to be expected from this place…although it’s not every day you are sitting in a cool raw food restaurant where Harvey Keitel’s getting takeout!

I only have time for a super fast update since I am staying with a friend and minus my laptop.  But let me say this…the raw food scene is insane here!  When I get back to Palm Springs I will give a full report on the delicious stuff I ate here and the cool people I met.

It’s a crying shame I can’t stay longer and check out some of the other raw eateries…but I have a girlfriend with Midnight movie tickets for New Moon and, oh yeah *&^%$ work!

What I ate today:

  • a big juicy pineapple (yup, a whole pineapple)
  • tangerines
  • carrot/apple/orange juice
  • LARA bar
  • drank the juice out of a coconut
  • watermelon juice (JUICE PLACES EVERYWHERE HERE! COULDN’T RESIST!
  • Sampled some raw ice cream
  • A big messy raw burger called a “BIG MATT”
  • Sun dried durian dipped in chocolate
  • tangerines

Start planning your raw vacation to Santa Monica!  You’re gonna wish your bags were already packed after you read about what I found here.  Good thing I only live 2 hrs away! Good night. Details coming soon…


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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?

rolling-stone-uphill-against-resistance1

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

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

What I ate today:

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

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


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

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

EXERCISE:

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

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

FOOD CRAVINGS:

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

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


THIS IS NOT A DIET:

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

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

FREE TO THINK & CREATE:

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

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

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

But that would be a different kind of blog…

What I ate so far today:

  • Watermelon Juice from Nature’s Cafe (they are on Twitter now!)sweet livin walnuts
  • “Sweet Livin’ Walnuts” from Aimee’salso bought these at Nature’s Cafe. Sweet & salty…sorta like almond praline meets cinnamon toast crunch cereal? For me the Stevia leaves an aftertaste…that’s my one complaint..I really prefer raw honey as a sweetener.
  • Big Salad w/ avocado, sprouts, tomato, kalamatas, olive oil, lemon juice…
  • My first self-prepared “gourmet” raw meal: I made cashew “mayonnaise” in the blender, bought a surprisingly good raw dehydrated rye “bread”, and topped it with a thick layer of the mayo, olives, and half an avo, so that I had this ridiculously flavorful open faced sandwich that had deli overtures.
DSCN1417

sorry the pic is fuzzy, the sandwich moved!


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60 day raw food log: Day 14 RAW FOOD CONTROVERSY

Don’t read this if you are easily offended as a raw foodie, vegetarian, or vegan.

For the hell of it today I want to write down some very specific feelings I’m having about food and how it seems to divide us into preformed types and all the thinking that surrounds it. I write now knowing that how I feel may change after I complete 60 days eating 100% raw (yesterday I referred to myself as an ever-changing furnace) and it will be interesting to re-read this then.

I’d also really like to hear your thoughts, so please take the time to comment if you have anything you’d like to share.

Here goes:

1. I don’t think its wrong that some humans eat meat. I’ve gone all over the map on this. When I was 18 or so I read John Robbin’s work Diet For a New America. Really made sense. So much so I “became” a Vegan (see the wording there?) for 3 years.

I also read Harvey Diamonds Fit for Life and started telling everyone that because we don’t have sharp fangs and lack the impulse to chase little squirrels around and tear them apart with our non-existent claws; that proves humans are not supposed to eat meat.squirrel

My feeling now is that we need to focus more on eating meat more consciously. And no, I don’t think that means that we should only eat meat we hunt or kill with our own hands. Human evolution happens through implementation of technologies. That’s HOW we evolve.

If vegans and raw food people really want to make a huge impact–work on helping everyday people (most will always eat meat) eat less and better sources of meat & dairy. Stop judging people and start helping them. We need to clean up our oceans so we can eat clean fish if we want to eat fish. We need to support families who raise animals humanely.

That’s my current feeling about meat…

2. The real food revolution has to happen with cooked foods. Regular old cooked food restaurants are where the improvements need to come. If a gal wants to eat a slice of pizza, she should be able to find a place that isn’t serving foods with hormones, pesticides, refined sugars…If a guy wants a big fat patty melt with cheddar and onions, give it to him, don’t hold back and make it diet food or even call it “health food”, just be committed to the INGREDIENTS being the best they can be. And yeah, have loads of vegetarian, vegan, and raw choices on the menu too!

A cool example of this I recently stumbled on is a vegetarian Mexican restaurant I read about called Gracias Madre GraciasMadre-websitethe owners of Cafe Gratitude (an excellent raw restaurant in the SF Bay Area) have opened.  Why would raw restaurateurs open a cooked food eatery? I think because this is precisely where the BIGGEST impact can be made for the benefit of all. And isn’t that the real spirit of vegan raw food eating?

As a raw vegan community we would do better to villainize cooked foods less (which given the deplorable state of most cooked foods is hard to do–see–that’s why I’m saying the big changes have to come with cooking) and show people how to include more raw foods in their lives. I love the “raw til dinner” concept as an example.

I guess that’s all for now. 

I will be weighing myself tomorrow (2 weeks raw) and that scale better budge!


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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 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.