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90 day Natural Fitness Challenge: Day 12 Garlic knees & serial killers

Garlic Knees

Me pretending i didn't want to go to yoga this morning...

Due to scheduling difficulties [watching too many movies at the Film Festival] it has been nearly impossible for me to make it to Palm Desert for Bikram classes this past week.  So I was pumped to be able to go this morning, and even better got to take my friend Justin’s class for the first time!

Excitement unfortunately wasn’t enough to propel me through the 90 minute class; I hit a total wall before we even got to tree pose (there was still A LOT of class left, and zero energy in my tank).  Rough class.

My knees smelled like garlic–you spend a lot of time looking at and smelling your knees in yoga–and I was tempted to lick them for energy.

Today’s class reminded me how critical a regular yoga practice is if you want to make any kind of progress with flexibility and strength.  When I used to do Bikram regularly I found that it took about 3 classes every week to maintain whatever level I was at…and four or more classes per week to progress…

One or two classes a week (while sometimes that’s all I can do) can be frustrating.

I’ll be back in the heated room tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.  The super chill aspect to Bikram is that it doesn’t actually matter how “good” you do–the point IS to struggle–so it’s all good regardless.

Plus I got a “that’s a pretty good camel Ken” from Justin.  So there’s that.

Eating Is Confusing

My intention is to get back to a daily accounting of exactly what I eat.  Not because I haven’t been eating good, but because I need it as a tool to see what is working for me and what’s not.

Since ending my strictly 100% raw foods for 60 days thing I have not had ANY refined sugars, commercial meat or dairy, white processed flour, or any kind of fake foods (low-fat, non-fat, GMO, artificial sugars, fake meats, etc.).

What I have been eating is my citrus and green smoothie every day, fresh fruit, raw snacks like LARA bars, raw chocolate energy shakes, cold-pressed oils, hummus with blue corn chips, pasta made with brown rice that I toss with my raw pestos and tomato sauces, quinoa with lentils and roasted veggies, etc.

All that is fine & well.  My cravings are at bay.  My diet is pretty damn clean.  But…I don’t feel nearly as light and energetic as I did when I was 100% raw.

Another Raw Push & Beyond

not my girlfriend

Because my girlfriend is a gluten-free vegetarian and because we only have two nights a week we can eat together, I cook meals we can share on those nights.  The other nights I eat whatever is around when I get home from work.  Her diet works very well for her, but I suspect it isn’t what is best for me despite it’s being so healthy…

Like me, she eats a lot of greens and fresh fruits during the day (we both like that now and don’t feel the need any longer for traditional breakfasts and lunches) and then at night she eats a lot of grains, potatoes, grilled veggies, corn tortillas, legumes, and organic cheeses.  I love the way those foods taste, but they make me feel very soft.

When I was eating raw I had an intuitive flash that I didn’t want to be a vegetarian (many report the opposite epiphany).  My intuition tells me that the diet which fits my body best is almost all raw fruits and veggies, a little bit of raw nuts, seeds & raw goat cheese, with a serving of beef or fish a couple times a week. [I am now so picky about the meat/eggs/and dairy that I eat that it is difficult to find…]

Soon I will be setting aside two weeks to eat 100% raw beegan again, and during that time I will be seriously upping the number of yoga classes I attend.

After those two weeks are up I will be trying the above version of a high-raw diet vs. the one I do now that has a lot of vegetarian cooked foods…

If you are wondering why I don’t just eat 100% raw all the time and leave it at that, my simple answer is that I don’t want to.  I like to cook.  I like beans and rice.  I like melted cheese.  I just don’t need as much of it anymore and when I do eat those foods now, somewhere in the back of my head is an unshakable craving for an orange or a peach.  Often, after a cooked dinner, I immediately begin to imagine how good my morning green drink is going to be…

Tonight’s Movie…


Very excited about the film I will be seeing tonight at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  It’s part of a trilogy about a serial killer, the series is called Red Riding. Tonight I will see film one: Red Riding 1974.

Day 12 Food & Exercise log:

  1. Quart of water on waking
  2. A coconut water before Bikram
  3. Another quart of water during Bikram
  4. A tropical tango smoothie after class (coconut water, coconut, papaya, pineapple, strawberry)
  5. Freshly made hummus from the health food store deli.  I add cold-pressed olive oil and roasted garlic…and eat it with “Sesame Blues” chips.
  6. Drank some water while I cut my Annie’s hair (I insist on being called Pedro while I cut hair).
  7. Will have a green drink (grapefruit/orange/spinach) before I go to the Film Fest.
  8. Will ride my bike to the theater and during the movie I will have a raw energy bar called ‘matcha’ from earthling organics..they taste like coconut graham crackers!
  9. I have a huge pot of veggies [brocc,leaks, garlic, red/blue/and yellow fingerling potatoes, carrots, asparagus, red onion, brussel sprouts] marinating in wine, olive oil, and herbs in the fridge.  I will oven roast them when I get home and we will have a huge veggie feast with some organic red wine from Trader Joe’s.
  10. Tomorrow is another Bikram class!

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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?