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In Defense of Want…my quick “Christmas” post.

This time of year there is a lot of talk about how we should all be wanting less.

Especially in the “alternative” world of new-agers, where want may be the only really “bad” 4-letter word left since bush has once again become a reference to unshaven treasures.

We all see–and are paying for–the mindless consumption of crap.  And it does seem a true shame that so much is consumed with so little appreciation.

But…

I don’t think you can make want the villain.  Want is integral to who we are.  To want is what life is.

Coming out of my recent toxic slumber, where I didn’t want ANYTHING, I personally am thrilled to have an ever growing “I want” list!

On that list are lots of things:

A real camera (not a point & shoot), some cooked culinary wonders, some raw culinary wonders, many books, a Vita Mix, tickets to concerts/film festivals/and stand-up comedy shows, a camper van for road trips, ceramic cooking knives, drunken weekends with my brothers and friends in TJ or Vegas, more art & music in my life, a back issue of Vice magazine that has insightful collectible pics of my favorite porn star, and yeah–I WANT an i-phone!

Also on the list are places I want to experience, and stuff I want to try.  I want to keep changing and not live the same life every day.  I want to be proven wrong and shocked.  I want more education. I want the rug pulled out from under me sometimes.  I want to have friends that I disagree with but still find irresistible.  I want to like what I do for money. I want acknowledgment for what I contribute creatively.

In other words, I want.

And why are we so afraid of that?  Can you imagine a human society full of ascetics and “saints?”   I just can’t comprehend the popular image of heaven being a place where people are freed of want and just float around in an asexual mist minus all hungering.

We even live in a culture where we are taught to hide what we want from others like we are all playing poker instead of living.

Want is perceived as being indelicate.  Control your impulses, control your thoughts, control your self...

But is it want that is the issue, or is it being disconnected from any awareness of what we really want and  knowing how to feel good about it?  Are we punishing ourselves for past mistakes by denying ourselves the essence of life–desire?  Instead of always trying to figure out ways to have less, maybe we can direct our energies to making sure that everyone has more.  Of what they want…

What about the raw thing?

A lot of people have been asking me how my 2 month raw challenge ended.

I lost over 33 pounds, I feel and look A LOT better, and I am ready to tackle some other issues in my life.  I am a very analytical guy and tend to live in my head.  When I force myself to be more physical (daily intense exercise, more time outdoors, more attention to my body) I feel so alive!

Eating only raw foods has expedited that process and I’ve spent the last 3 days back in Bikram yoga classes.  So that’s going to be my main focus in 2010.  Using my body as much as my mind.

I was a little fearful that once I started eating any cooked food, or had one cocktail, it would open some kind of floodgate and I would start eating & drinking uncontrollably.  The opposite has been true.  One small cooked meal and all I could think about was getting fresh raw food in my body the next meal.

I spent all night out with friends last night, bar hopping.  I had two top shelf Makers Manhattans and that’s all I wanted.   This morning it was back to yoga and coconut water.

Since I am visiting friends for the holidays I’ve been having one healthy cooked vegetarian meal a day.  But if I weren’t in vacation mode, I don’t think I’d even be eating that much cooked food…

I am avoiding beer, fried foods, commercial dairy, gluten, and refined sugars.  And when I eat it takes very little before I’m stuffed.  A feeling I haven’t had for 2 months, and one which doesn’t feel as good as I remember…

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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 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.