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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 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 10 A celebrity is someone who has more followers than they are following…

Day 10

**See below for what I ate today and a few more thoughts about raw food.

But today I’m dying to blog about this rabbit hole I fell into less than two weeks ago called “blogging” and the even bigger humungojumbo rabbit hole I fell into a couple nights ago called Twitter.

Jesus!  Twitter is like a Bizzaro World vortex, a place with great meaning & a place so banal and meaningless. All wrapped into one supposedly “social” space.  I love it!  But it is also so crazy self-promoting and weird, you know?

Like me.  I turned to Twitter because I thought it would be a good way to expose myself, er, my blog.  So after a few crazy cracked out of my mind “don’t bother me here I’m trying to Tweet!” hours I start to see that only people with persona’s and a high level of inter-connectivity sophistication have anyone at all reading their tweets or posts.  Makes sense I guess, but to a new blogger/tweeter its also a mix of daunting & depressing.

And then my blog…It sucked! Maybe it still does? So I spent a long sleepless night giving it a makeover: Adding Twitter to it, putting up a cool dinosaur header, posting photos of myself & obligatory cute kitten photos… But it still looks and feels so texty compared to other blogs I’ve been finding which are more sexy.

And for what? It @#$%’s with your head.  Why do I care?!? And I think that’s a good question.  If you have the answer, PLEASE tweet at me or comment on my blog or introduce me to some other new wild rabbit hole of communication I haven’t had the pleasure of falling into yet…

What I ate today:

  • Watermelon juice
  • Smoothie: Strawberries, banana, spirulina, honey
  • Raw trail mix with Goji berries
  • Mexican Salad: Cabbage, ZESTY PICKLED PEPPERS & VEGGIES, red bell pepper, avocado/sea salt/olive oil/lemon juice dressing.
  • Chocolate smoothie: raw cacao, banana, figs, honey, walnuts


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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.


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60 Days Raw Log: It’s Day 7 and people are preposterous

Day 7

So what I’ve been noticing is that I wake up feeling really groggy-cloudy-almost painful to wake.  I think I’m still really just in the initial stages of cleansing and need to be real about my expectations…

Now once that grogginess lifts, I feel really good and am surprised how much energy I have despite really not eating much.  I also notice I tend to be really hungry one day and the then not much at all the next.

When I eat this way I start to think different almost immediately.  As I go about my day and watch how people move, drive, interact, think, etc. it becomes crystal to me that we are all full of shit and that humans are preposterous.  We’re beautiful and strange and damn good survivors even if it is at other species expense, but as Larry David says in the latest Woody Allen flick, “On the whole, I’m sorry to say, we’re a failed species.”

It really got me thinking about how permanent humans think we are, and wondering just how long we’ll actually be around?

What I ate today:

  • Watermelon juice
  • Sun dried tomato crackers (dehydrated…bought at the health food store), greens, and guacamole
  • RAW bar
  • Apple
  • MY NEW FAVORITE SMOOTHIE! I cut the soft flesh out of a whole fresh papaya the size of football, and it filled up almost half my blender!  Then I added 1 1/2 tbs of coconut oil, 1 tbs raw honey, ice, and water.  Holy!

Note:  I will weigh myself tomorrow.